Weekly Update into Afghanistan Situation – March 12, 2010

-As the number of allies willing to continue supporting the US-led occupation of Afghanistan continues to decline, the United States is having to reach deeper and deeper into the “loot bag” to pay off the remaining allies that it is desperate to hold on to. In addition to the 65 billion dollars the US will be spending in Afghanistan this year, an additional request for 700 million dollars in payoffs to Pakistan has also been requested. This is in further addition to the 1.5 billion over 5 years that the US originally promised Pakistan for its support, as well as the “Preferential Partner” trade arrangement between Germany and Pakistan that was part of Pakistan’s reward for helping the US-occupation of Afghanistan.

-Clearly, this is a payoff to Pakistan in return for allowing Afghani refugees to remain in Pakistan until 2012. The scariest part of the equation is wondering why only now, after 8 years of foreign NATO-led occupation, have the occupiers played the only card they have left and expanded their bribery-strategy to the international level. There are two possible answers. One, obviously, with international support for the occupation of Afghanistan collapsing at the government level to match popular opinion of their electorates, the US needs to hold on to all the allies it has by “any means necessary”, the clear corruption of the bribery-strategy notwithstanding. Two, much more scarier, is the indication that the occupation forces are preparing to create hundreds of thousands more Afghani refugees and want to make sure that there is somewhere to put them. That is as clear an admission of defeat by NATO forces as you will see. An acknowledgment of NATO’s inability to win the hearts and minds of the Afghani people which will result in the forced exodus of Afghani citizens to Pakistan. Obviously, the UN is well aware of NATO’s plans and this may be part of the reason that the UN decided last week to wash their hands of the situation and get out of Afghanistan altogether.

-“The Helmand Blog”, which is a British army propaganda website run by something called the UK Forces Media Ops Team, reports that the results of Operation Moshtarak proves that the war in Afghanistan is “winnable”. This leads us to question what the British Army definition of “winning” is, considering that Operation Moshtarak has killed more Afghani civilians than it has insurgents, even using the biased occupation-forces definition of “insurgent”. If this is what the British Army considers a “success”, then it is no wonder that they will never have the faith and trust of the Afghani people. Not until they put their guns down and realize that Afghanistan belongs to the people of Afghanistan and not the British, American or Canadian armies. The alternative will be Afghani refugees by the thousands.

-Here at home, the Afghani detainee scandal has had some new developments. Former Supreme Court judge Frank Iacobucci, who was in charge of looking into the abuses by Canadian Security agents against security-certificate detainees here in Canada and therefore knows a little something about the dirtiness of Canada’s security agencies, was appointed last Friday to review the secret documents relating to the handling of Afghani prisoners. The government has refused to hand over the documents to Parliament and even shut down Parliament in hope that the issue would just “go away”. It won’t.

-The opposition parties claim that the move to convene the Iacobucci-inquiry is simply a move to appease the Canadian public’s demands to know what really happened and is a political trick to avoid releasing the internal CSIS documents to the public and the Canadian Parliament. What we know for sure is that these documents will show that Canada’s security forces were aware for two full years that Afghani detainees faced torture, yet Canada continued to hand over the detainees despite this awareness. So why the refusal to release these documents to the public? What other misdeeds will be exposed? One possible answer is that these documents will reveal that Canadian forces participated in the actual physical torture of the prisoners themselves. Canadians should take note and demand a full public inquiry into the Afghani detainee scandal.

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Filed under Canadian Politics, Community Rights, Human Rights, International Politics, Media Coverage, Political Accountability, United States Politics

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