The US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 needs to be known as what it was – an imperialist warfare launched below the guise of a combat towards terrorism, award-winning journalist and filmmaker John Pilger has informed RT.
Pilger joined RT’s Going Underground program to replicate on the teachings that needs to be realized from 20 years of occupation in Afghanistan, which led to an ignoble withdrawal final month. He warned towards remembering the navy misadventure as a type of “good warfare” justified by the specter of terrorism. Identical to wars in Vietnam or Iraq, the warfare in Afghanistan was waged within the curiosity of Western imperialism.
The time period didn’t even have any unfavourable connotation within the 19th century, Pilger stated. Quite the opposite, Britons “fought for the repute of being imperialists, Christian gents going off… to unfold the ability of the imperial heart. And that’s what we’ve had for 20 years in Afghanistan,” he stated.
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You don’t must look exhausting to search out proof of that, Pilger argued. Then-British prime minister Tony Blair, “an nearly caricature imperialist,” in Pilger’s phrases, was fairly forthcoming in regards to the intention of the occupation when he championed it within the wake of the 9/11 terrorist assaults. He known as the surge of assist for navy motion “a second to grab.”
“The kaleidoscope has been shaken, the items are in flux, quickly they’ll settle once more,” Blair stated in a speech in October 2001. “Earlier than they do, allow us to reorder this world round us.”
“That is likely one of the clearest statements of an imperialist,” Pilger stated. “In different phrases, ‘We’re going into a rustic, we’ll blow all of it up, we’ll change it throughout, we’ll undermine its tradition, we’ll kill its folks, and we’ll make it a greater place.’”
We don’t put on pith helmets now, however may as nicely.
The Afghan invasion was efficiently offered to the Western public on the premise that the 9/11 assaults had been orchestrated from Afghanistan, the place Osama Bin Laden loved the hospitality of its Taliban authorities below the Pashtun code of honor. The Taliban supplied at hand over the terrorist mastermind for a trial in a 3rd nation working below Sharia legislation, if proof of his accountability for the assault had been offered.
The hawkish Bush administration rejected the face-saving association and invaded with full drive. It later refused to just accept a deal that Washington’s handpicked new ruler of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, negotiated with Taliban leaders. The Islamists supplied to retire and distance themselves from politics in alternate for an amnesty. Denied, they went into exile or hiding, solely to emerge a number of years later main an more and more highly effective insurgency towards the federal government in Kabul and its Western sponsors.
Paradoxically, the Clinton administration reportedly courted the Taliban authorities within the mid-1990s, looking for their cooperation in an formidable mission to assemble a pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan and India. Turkmen gasoline may then be offered to customers in Europe, competing with gasoline from Iran and Russia.
“[Afghanistan under] the Taliban had been a shopper state of the US,” Pilger insisted. “The Taliban management, together with a number of the folks we’re seeing now, had been invited to the US.”
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Identical to the invasion itself was justified as a crackdown on terrorism, the continued navy presence was offered to the Western viewers by the necessity to protect the progressive achievements of the US-backed authorities. It’s true that in some locations, like Kabul itself, life turned safer and far more liberating than below the rule of the Taliban. However Afghanistan’s hinterlands, the place many of the nation’s inhabitants lived, remained a medieval patchwork of fiefdoms dominated by warlords who preserved their oppressive habits, Pilger identified.
“They traded in ladies and younger boys, they ran the heroin commerce. And naturally the CIA, which had been their principal backers adopted very carefully by MI6, knew all about this,” he stated.
A number of a long time earlier, he added, the US had no qualms about hurting Afghan civilians when it backed Islamist forces towards the federal government of the Soviet-supported Individuals’s Democratic Celebration of Afghanistan (PDPA). A few of its insurance policies had been terribly progressive for Afghanistan, like equal rights for ladies and literacy applications. A 1979 cable from the US embassy in Kabul cited by Pilger stated that the broader US curiosity “could be served by the demise of the PDPA authorities, regardless of no matter setbacks this may imply for future social and financial reforms in Afghanistan.”
In different phrases, the rights of girls can go to hell, the rights of poor folks can go to hell.
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