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  • Date :
  • 2/7/2009

Truth Unravels

war in afghanistan
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates finally conceded that his government has no plan for creating heaven in Afghanistan.

 One can fairly concur that this is the most honest statement in recent memory form a US top brass. The reality is not very difficult to comprehend: ever since invading and occupying Afghanistan in 2001 and toppling the Taliban regime, the Americans knew what they were looking for in that war-ravaged country. Some mistakenly believed that Uncle Sam was on a mission to create a heaven or at least another Japan in Afghanistan!

The reality that the US is pursuing its own agenda in that Muslim country was hardly palatable to camps that wrongly thought only of America’s potential for good in taking on the Talbian.

However, now that Gates openly spilt the beans, many need to reconsider their focus or may be their power of self-deception is such that they dismiss the convictions of the US war chief. Of course, by adopting a realistic approach in comparing Afghanistan and Japan after the latter was invaded by US forces in the dying days of the World War II, it can be said that Gates has a more realistic understanding of the situation in Afghanistan than those who are rather waiting for another Japan-like state.

When Japan was occupied by the US troops, it had just experienced a social revolution. Japan had access to cultural, political, social, economic and industrial infrastructure. More importantly there was a deep national determination by the Japanese people who had decided to enter the new era of modernism. When Japan conceded defeat in war, it was in the military sense of the word not in the cultural domain. It was for the same reason that Japanese leaders transformed the grave loss into a historical opportunity and set out to modernize. They also rerouted the destructive militarism into a national resolve for sustainable development. It is known that the defeated emperor of Japan conceded defeat when he threw away all the foreign-made shoes into the sea and instead made shoes for himself from rice stalks.

war in afghanistan

But what about Afghanistan? For more than a century that country has been a major challenge between the forces of traditionalism and modernism. All efforts to reinvent it into modernism have been doomed.

Afghanistan has experienced almost all political and social systems over past century, but has failed to successfully embrace one and move forward.

Systems that Afghans have experienced include the monarchy of Muhammad Zahir Shah (1933-73), leftist republic of Sardar Daoud Khan (1973-78), the communist regime of Nur Muhammad Taraki (1978-89), the Islamic Republic of Burhanuddin Rabbani (1992-96), medieval rule of the Taliban (1996-2001) and incumbent President Hamid Karzai’s liberal democracy ( 2001-until now).

However, the bitter truth is that the oppressed and impoverished nation has failed to build a national consensus after experiencing all the tried and tested political schools.

Those who have in-depth knowledge of Afghan history rightly believe that no foreign power can or will make Afghanistan a normal and decent place unless Afghans rise to the occasion.

However, it would not require a lot of insanity or complicated plots to make that place hell, as the big powers have been doing for almost three decades by raining death and destruction on that land. The US and NATO have now taken such a dirty mission upon themselves.

war in afghanistan

It matters little if the likes of Gates or other war-mongers confesses to their crimes or not. At least for now it is more than apparent that there exists a terrible reservoir of ill will and ignorance both in and outside Afghanistan to make a bad situation worse.

The paradox is that in and outside Japan the agenda is to make that country heaven on earth with hard work, rule of law and putting first things first.

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