Who should lead reconstruction in Afghanistan?

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The American exit from Afghanistan was as chaotic and reckless as its invasion of the country 20 years ago – and again it was Afghani civilians who paid the price.

The hellfire missile attack on a car allegedly containing two terrorists about to strike Kabul airport has been reported by CNN to have killed nine Afghani civilians – including six children.

These most recent civilian deaths at US hands brings to almost 50,000 the number of Afghani civilians killed in the 20-year US-led invasion/occupation which was supported throughout by the Aotearoa New Zealand government.

This murderous last-gasp attack by the US was carried out to appease US President Biden who wanted blood after his promise to “hunt down” the terrorists who earlier conducted a suicide attack at Kabul airport from which a dozen US soldiers were killed.

What an inglorious end to two decades of brutish US imperialism – the lashing-out murder of six more Afghani children.

But it’s not these children the US cares about – or the 50,000 other Afghani civilians killed in the occupation. On the eve of leaving Afghanistan, General Kenneth McKenzie, head of US Central Command, said “my heart is broken over the losses we sustained three days ago”. He was referring to the killing of a dozen US troops in a suicide attack at Kabul airport last week.

Meanwhile Biden has described the US evacuation as an “extraordinary success”. That man could make an Armani suit from a piece of dung.

The killing of civilians is of no account. I have a t-shirt which says “the first casualty of war is truth and the rest are mostly civilians.” How true.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

The “nation-building” exercise which justified the 20 year occupation was always a charade. The US promoted so called democratic elections but only US puppet leaders could stand for President and in last year’s Afghanistan election fewer than two million people voted from a registered voter base of 9.6 million in a nation of 39 million people.

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani was “democratically elected” by less than one million votes from a population of almost 40 million people. It was never an exercise in democracy but the imposition of imperial rule from afar.

Meanwhile the architects of the invasion – people such as George Bush, John Howard, Helen Clark and Tony Blair – have variously decried the chaotic withdrawal saying we are abandoning Afghanistan.

Al Jazerra columnist Andrew Mitrovica has suggested George Bush should be sharing a bunk bed with Ratko Mladic at The Hague and that former British PM Tony Blair should follow up by personal example on his calls not to abandon Afghanistan.

I think former Australian and New Zealand PMs, John Howard and Helen Clark should do the same to help with reconstruction in Afghanistan. And Willie Apiata should join them.

26 COMMENTS

  1. Might be a bit premature John to start thinking about that?

    The “Empire” has yet to exact its revenge on Afghanistan and the Taliban for humiliating them.

    This will probably play out over the next 20 years?

    • Oh I don’t think so. Have you not noticed the other Empire waiting in the wings, colonizing by stealth countries rich in mineral resources? Afghanistan is very, very rich in rare earth minerals, Africa too. The other Empire has the biggest stakes in those treasures. Together with the access networks thanks to 20 years of BRI foresight. And while the west’s militaries spend untold millions to ensure the troops are up to speed with their gender equality, pronoun usage and transgender surgery the other Empire is training to find the target and eliminate it. When they meet there will be one winner. Unlikely to be us.

      • China are going to offer to help because they have their eye on the wealth. You will have to wonder about the Taliban if they accept help from a regime that is re-educating millions of muslims in China.

        • Taliban are nationalists. They’ll have their hands full dealing with ISIS-K’s attempt to create a caliphate across central Asia and the Muslim Brotherhood’s shoring up of al-Qaeda. And whipping the women who’ve become too uppity in the last two decades back into shape.

      • Agreed . . our soldiers having an appreciation and in depth understanding of LGBT issues and rights is really going to swing the balance in a shooting war with China.

    • Whoever started the carnage including the US – well send lots of dosh for the appalling harm they caused and all the other countries including Aotearoa that were involved.

      • You think maybe the Afghans themselves should be included in your reckoning? They did begin the in-fighting when the communist regime took power. The traditional do like their Sharia law; not about to give it up readily. And not just in Afghanistan either.

    • Don’t be silly, women’s rights are for middle class white women in western countries. But of course even then, it’s way less important than trans rights.

      Could I have my sandwich now?

      Please

      • Hit the nail on the head, men becoming woman should have more rights than woman. Guess why we never got equal rights.

    • Does that literally mean just yourself ‘WOMEN’?
      And how do you propose to achieve that exactly?
      Are the Taliban expected to cooperate and if not who is going to stop them?
      The worlds first all-female army?
      Wonder Woman?

  2. Sadly I think Afghanistan is an irredeemable basket case. Any money sent for reconstruction will get siphoned off by corrupt administrators. Any reconstruction teams sent in to assist will be at severe risk.
    Leave Afghanistan to return to the 14th Century.

    • This may be the unpalatable truth.
      The British failed in the 19th century, the Russians in the 20th, and now the Americans in the 20th. Time to learn the lesson.
      Afghanistan is indeed irredeemable.
      Unless, by the actions of its own non-Taliban non-ISIS citizens; but the omens are unpromising. To be female and Afghanistani is, as of now, a terrible fate.

    • Yup I am afraid that this is the only logical conclusion (leaving them reduced to living in the 14th Century) . . as the only way that the Taliban will be able to be removed is by force coupled with a permanent and comprehensive foreign (western) occupation and especially after the (moderate) Afghans have been found to not be capable of holding off the Taliban themselves.

    • You mean ‘syphoning off’, like what has been going on in Afghanistan for the last 20 years? Only in that case, most of the money went into the pockets of the military, American Corporates and the bank accounts of their toadies like Ashraf Ghani, who took off with a helicopter full of cash when the Taliban arrived.

      Besides, how much money will get through to Afghanistan anyway, since the international finance cartels are locking up (stealing) Afghanistan’s currency reserves and blocking other sources of desperately needed income. Just as well the Taliban now have the opium trade to support the country – another own goal by the US. It was the Taliban that only took 12 months to get rid of the opium crops when they were last in power – for which they got no thanks.

      As for the inhumane statement, “Leave Afghanistan to return to the 14th Century.” is that a quote from one of the usual warmongering US politicians like Madeline Albright – same shit, different war:
      Interviewer: “We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that is more children than died in Hiroshima.
      And, you know, is the price worth it?”
      To which Ambassador Albright responded,
      “I think that is a very hard choice, but the price, we think, the price is worth it.”

    • Afghanistan was trying to modernize when the usa + the Saudi’s + Pakistans secret service trained armed and funded up to 100,000 Wahhabi extremists ,,,, which were let lose on Afghanistan with the full knowledge it would destroy the country / eliminate Women’s rights etc etc ….

      It was a safe friendly country before it was sacrificed by the usa ,,,, to fight a proxy war against Russia ,,,, see for yourself s
      “Afghanistan – Travel Stories From The 1970’s.” ,,, https://youtu.be/SC_greF3tTU?list=LL

      Britain in particular have repeatedly behaved like blood thirsty invading barbarians in Afghanistan ,,,, Winston Churchill “a man who swilled on champagne while 4 million men, women and children in Bengal starved due to his racist colonial policies.”,,, showed the savage colors of the British Empire in Afghanistan …

      “Churchill found his love for war during the time he spent in Afghanistan. While there he said “all who resist will be killed without quarter” because the Pashtuns need “recognise the superiority of race”. He believed the Pashtuns needed to be dealt with, he would reminisce in his writings about how he partook in the burning villages and peoples homes:

      “We proceeded systematically, village by village, and we destroyed the houses, filled up the wells, blew down the towers, cut down the great shady trees, burned the crops and broke the reservoirs in punitive devastation.” – Churchill on how the British carried on in Afghanistan, and he was only too happy to be part of it.

      Churchill would also write of how “every tribesman caught was speared or cut down at once”” https://crimesofbritain.com/the-crimes-of-winston-churchill/

      I’m pretty sure the Brits did some of the last ‘executions by cannon’ in Afghanistan ,,, “The destroying of the body and scattering the remains over a wide area had a particular religious function as a means of execution in the Indian subcontinent as it effectively prevented the necessary funeral rites of Muslims and Hindus.” https://i2.wp.com/random-times.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/img_4316.jpg?fit=640%2C448&ssl=1

      Anyway Britain, Nato, 5 eyes (which is us) should pay compensation but stay the fuck out of their affairs ,,,,,

      Our media has us worse than ignorant to what is happening and has happened in Afghanistan and Eurasia ,,,, as James Brown and Johns comments demonstrate in spades.,,,,

      They prefer pig ignorance to educating themselves ,,,,

      But for those who prefer learning and knowledge ,,, this interview / link is hard to beat for helping gain some up to date awareness ,,, incorporating the context of modern history leading to this point in time. https://youtu.be/QiF3TQZSxhs?list=LL&t=521

  3. Oh. Don’t forget today is the passing of Ho Chi Mhin. He beat the French, the British, Japanese & the US on home turf.
    Empires are things of the past. They should remain there. China knows that too.
    They really don’t want to be one. It’s a western concept. Just like capitalism, of which, they’re winning that war too. How unlucky of them.

  4. The Afghan people will rebuild their nation according to the designs of their chosen Government, the Taliban. They don’t need any further foreign interference.

    Of course, should they choose to threaten or harm foreign interests, or harbour those that would do so, then death from the skies will be visited upon them, in the standard tradition of US foreign policy.

  5. Hi John,

    You ask; “Who should lead reconstruction in Afghanistan?”

    The answer is; ‘We should’

    New Zealand should give a lead in the reconstruction of Afghanistan, hopefully as a template for others to follow.

    After all isn’t that is what our governent all along claimed, was what we were spending $300m on in Banyan province doing?

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/10-years-eight-lives-and-300m-in-bamiyan-was-new-zealands-time-in-afghanistan-worth-it/BH35B62VNOAWTFPOL57T5XEOR4/

    According to various government sources New Zealand was in Banyan building roads and a school and hospitals and clinics.

    We need to continue this work and instead of going there with our guns, and armoured vehicles and barbed wire as part of an occupying force, go there at the invitation of the Taliban authorities and Afghan people. If we cannot win the war. let us win the peace.

    The Taliban claim they welcome Western Aid.

    For ten years we claimed we were supplying it.

    If that is true, then we already have the projects we need to complete and the contacts in the community to complete them. But this tine not as occupiers but as guests.

    We should ask our NZDF volunteers and interpreters who served in the war, if any would be prepared to volunteer to go back to Afghanistan without their guns, to complete the aid projects they claimed to have been working on before the Taliban takeover.

    Our war with the Taliban is over, they won we lost. we need to get over it. We need to go back there in peace. That is if we were ever really there for the welfare of the Afghanistan people, as we claimed.

    .
    We went there in war, now the war is over, instead of turning our backs on the Afghan people we need to send a peace mission paid at the same level as our our military mission. After decades of war, we could (and should), fund a mini-Marshall Plan, as a template for the reconstruction of the country, that our bigger allies could follow.

    Admittedly such a mission would be dangerous and even life threatening, 
    It is easy to play the hero when you are carrying an armalite, Charlotte Bellis is in staying in Afghanistan at the invitation of the victorious Taliban authorities armed only with a camera and a microphone. If Charlotte Bellis can do it, others can too
      

    I think the first project we could offer to the Taliban authoriies and administrators is to complete the clearing up of our dangerous left over war refuse that is still killing Afghan children.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/programmes/the-detail/story/2018722375/the-tragic-results-of-nzdf-s-failure-to-clean-up-after-bamyan

    I know there would be a financial burden and even further sacrifice, And you may disagree John, there are so many needy causes here that $300m could go a long way to solve. But we had no objection to spending that much on war. In my opinion, because of that, we are now honour bound to spend at least that much on winning the peace. The alternative is  complete collapse and famine, with consequences for the whole world. 

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