Latest Afghanistan agreement shows that U.S. government still doesn’t get it

Tariq Jeeroburkhan

May 11, 2012 During a midnight deal signed in Kabul last week, President Obama extended the stay of U.S. troops in Afghanistan until 2024. Regardless of the justifications used to keep troops in the foreign country, the basic point, coming from working and underclass people at home in the U.S., is still not being addressed.

While the anti-war crowd has always been opposed to the war and destruction in Afghanistan, people throughout the social and political spectrum are finally beginning to realize the simple equation that every dollar spent in Afghanistan means one less dollar spent here. And this realization is becoming more and more apparent as more people need more of those dollars here.

Maybe that is a reason why even Mitt Romney supporters are evenly in favour of withdrawing American financial and personnel commitments from Afghanistan starting now, not even waiting for 2014.

It may come as no surprise, therefore, that the effective decade-long extension of American tax dollar commitments to Afghanistan has not been publically announced, least of all portrayed as such to the American people by the mainstream U.S. media.

The point is not for the Obama-edition of the U.S. political class to figure out new ways to justify continuing the cash flow for military and resource industry complexes, as it comes up with new excuses to stay in Afghanistan — it’s about Obama realizing that American citizens are asking for those networks and resources that Obama is committing to Afghanistan, to be established and committed here at home, including American citizens.

Obama had held off U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan until the election year when the timing of troop withdrawal (or at least the announcement) could have been used and marketed to re-establish himself as the peacemaker.

Unfortunately, his administration, among countless others previous, has failed to see that the logic behind appeasing the “peace-niks” is not just about winning a voting demographic; it’s about preserving a country, at home, that is worth protecting.

The Republicans have done everything possible to give the impression that it isn’t safe to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, and the mainstream media has done everything possible to use those contrived safety concerns to overshadow reporting on the reality of crumbling local infrastructures that need a financial and resource-based infusion domestically.

This has become more than just a voter issue to win points in an election race — it’s about doing what needs to be done to re-establish the U.S., domestically, as a country and citizenry worth saving. It’s not about protecting the jewels of empire and imperialism and holding onto them for display like trophies in a case, either. It’s about spreading the wealth domestically, and that begins with a re-prioritizing of nationalism over imperialism.

The midnight deal ratified by Presidents Obama and Karzai last week in Kabul took the United States in the complete opposite direction and kept domestic taxpayers on the hook for another ten years at least.

Although the agreement, which provides the framework for co-operation based on already established partnerships, is in effect until 2024 — it doesn’t come into effect until both parties complete “their respective internal legal requirements necessary for the entry into force of this agreement.” The agreement also gives either country the option to break out of the deal, by giving a year’s notice and also allows both countries to renew the agreement indefinitely, come 2024.


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Filed under afghanistan, Community Rights, Economic Issues, European Politics, Human Rights, International Politics, Media Coverage, Political Accountability, Security Issues, United States Politics

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