[WSMDiscuss] Correction: The Tragedy of Afghanistan: A Brief Account and Implications

Fayyaz Baqir fbaqir at gmail.com
Tue Aug 17 14:25:08 CEST 2021

If you don't know where you want to go, almost every road will take you
there. What else can a political order based on unprecedented economic
power and infantile ethical responsibility produce?

On Tue, Aug 17, 2021 at 6:40 AM Sukla Sen via WSM-Discuss <
wsm-discuss at lists.openspaceforum.net> wrote:

> A big sorry!
> In the very opening line, "2011" has to be read as "2001".
> Sukla
> On Tue, 17 Aug 2021, 15:34 Sukla Sen, <sukla.sen at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I. The US, in October 2011, invaded the Taliban-ruled Afghanistan in its
>> attempt to root out the Al Qaeda and apprehend/eliminate its leader Osama
>> bin Laden - in turn, to eliminate or at least very substantially cut down
>> global "terrorism", directed against the US and its allies.
>> In the wake of the traumatic 9/11, which the Qaeda/Laden had,
>> understandably, masterminded.
>> Not for restoring "democracy" or even "order" or whatever of that sort.
>> The Taliban was acting as a perfect host and, so, had to be unseated and,
>> if possible, liquidated - in the process.
>> And an alternative order was to be erected in place, which can eventually
>> take care of itself.
>> While Laden - hiding in a safe haven in neighbouring Pakistan that had
>> been helping both the US (openly, under compulsion) and the Qaeda (not so
>> openly, at its own volition), could be eliminated in a Bond-like operation
>> only in May 2011.
>> Even though the Qaeda regime had been dislodged, rather promptly, back in
>> December 2011.
>> The Qaeda, in the process, got largely dismantled, but the Taliban kept
>> on fighting - burrowing itself deep in the interiors.
>> At the end, with more than matching promptness, theTaliban captures Kabul
>> almost the moment the NATO forces leave.
>> The last batch had left on this July 2 last.
>> From July 2 to August 16 - it's just one and a half month.
>> The attempt to install an alternative indigenous order has, as is so very
>> conspicuous, miserably floundered.
>> The attempts to come to a negotiated compromise solution with the Taliban
>> too bore no fruit at all.
>> III. Via the pathetic withdrawal, the US has, now, openly acknowledged
>> the limits of its capabilities to don the self-selected cap of "the leader
>> of the free world".
>> That's also of huge consequence.
>> III. The earlier spell of Taliban rule - marked by widespread brutal
>> violence, had been just horrific - even more so for the women and the
>> ethnic/sectarian minorities.
>> The Taliban had, however, gained global notoriety via, too spectacular,
>> demolition of the two giant sixth-century "Bamiyan Buddhas".
>> IV. Now, we are, in a way, back to the square one.
>> Afghanistan turns out to be a perpetually accursed land.
>> The Taliban, this time, appears to be a bit more restrained.
>> That's how it looks at this moment.
>> Let's see.
>> V. What happens in Afghanistan cannot but have a deep impact on the whole
>> region - and Pakistan, in particular.
>> Even the wider world is likely to be affected.
>> It's a tragic development.
>> Undoubtedly.
>> <<“We gave them every tool they could need. We paid their salaries.
>> Provided for the maintenance of their airplanes,” Mr. Biden said. “We gave
>> them every chance to determine their own future. What we could not provide
>> was the will to fight for that future.”
>> ...
>> We went to Afghanistan almost 20 years ago with clear goals: Get those
>> who attacked us on Sept. 11, 2001, and make sure Al Qaeda could not use
>> Afghanistan as a base from which to attack us again. We did that. We
>> severely degraded Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. We never gave up the hunt for
>> Osama bin Laden, and we got him. That was a decade ago. Our mission in
>> Afghanistan was never supposed to have been nation-building.
>> When I came into office, I inherited a deal that President Trump
>> negotiated with the Taliban. Under his agreement, U.S. forces would be out
>> of Afghanistan by May 1, 2021. The choice I had to make as your president
>> was either to follow through on that agreement or be prepared to go back to
>> fighting the Taliban in the middle of the spring fighting season. It was
>> only a cold reality of either following through on the agreement to
>> withdraw our forces or escalating the conflict, and sending thousands more
>> American troops back into combat in Afghanistan, lurching into the third
>> decade of conflict.
>> I stand squarely behind my decision. After 20 years, I’ve learned the
>> hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw U.S. forces. This did
>> unfold more quickly than we had anticipated. So what’s happened?
>> Afghanistan political leaders gave up and fled the country. The Afghan
>> military collapsed, sometimes without trying to fight. If anything, the
>> developments of the past week reinforce that ending U.S. military
>> involvement in Afghanistan now was the right decision. American troops
>> cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan
>> forces are not willing to fight for themselves.>>
>> (Excerpted from: <
>> https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/16/us/politics/biden-afghanistan.html>.)
>> Also look up:
>> I. <https://www.bbc.com/news/world-58232525>.
>> II. <
>> https://www.reuters.com/article/us-afghanistan-conflict-idUSKBN2FI0AT>.
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