The Hitler option in Afghanistan

Published on OpEdsNews, by Patrick Martin, June 29, 2010 (see also included videos).

The removal of Gen. Stanley McChrystal as the US commander in Afghanistan and his replacement by Gen. David Petraeus is not, as portrayed by Obama’s political apologists, a principled defense of civilian control over the military. Nor is it, as the official line emanating from the White House would have it, a change in personnel only, not in policy.

There is every indication that the change in command is the result of growing dissatisfaction with McChrystal’s counterinsurgency methods, which have failed to dislodge the Taliban-led guerrilla forces that control the bulk of southern and eastern Afghanistan. It presages a drastic increase in the level of US military violence, and especially the scale of civilian casualties among the Afghan population. Their “crime” is to sympathize with and support the anti-US insurgency … //

… That is where American policy in Afghanistan is now headed: towards a dramatic escalation of violence in a war that has always been characterized by extreme brutality and disregard for the destruction of innocent lives.

Such is the response of US imperialism to its failure to suppress popular opposition in Afghanistan to Washington’s neo-colonial war and occupation. The push to escalate the bloodbath arises because the anti-US insurgency has mass popular support. This struggle of the Afghan masses against foreign occupation is entirely legitimate.

Tens of thousands of Afghan civilians have been killed in more than nine years of warfare, the longest single military engagement in American history. US air strikes have hit wedding celebrations, family outings, even funeral ceremonies.

Thousands of Afghans have been seized and detained and tortured at the infamous Bagram prison camp and at other such facilities throughout the country. US Predator missiles have been fired from drone aircraft at villages on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, with hundreds, probably thousands, dead.

This is the bloodbath that Obama publicly supported as the “good war” in his presidential campaign, and which the liberal wing of the Democratic Party embraces enthusiastically to this day, in the face of growing popular opposition within the US. Those who are making the decisions to continue and escalate this conflict are guilty of war crimes. Those who supply the political rationalizations to “sell” this war to the American people are their accomplices. (full long text).

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