The Afghan capitol is in the midst of peace fever, especially the Karzai government. Some in Kabul fear of such things as the having to wear the veil in public again as President Karzai works together toward a comprehensive peace plan with the top Taliban supporting warlord, 60-year-old Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. The news is discussed not only by Afghans, but in India and Australia as well. Al Qaeda telling the Internet that Hekmatyar, who as a young man threw acid in an unveiled woman’s face, has a habit of changing sides and urging the rest of the Taliban supporters to consider he only represents himself.
War coverage unlike in past wars has been so limited that the reader might think I’m making it up that most of Kabul is dwelling on these efforts, unless one googles "Peace Negotiation Breakthrough in the Afghan War", then Insurgent Faction Presents Afghan Peace Plan
President Obama, just returning from visiting Afghanistan, when I began writing this essay, partly pulled the rug out from under Karzai when Obama scolded Karzai about corruption. This, since Hekmatyar the top al Qaeda supporting warlord who Karzai is negotiating toward power sharing with is clearly corrupt. Every Afghan political official came to office through corruption and/or through being a warlord with the exception of Karzai, who used to be a top Northern Alliance official living off his brother’s income, but not directives. In the US almost everyone including so-called experts are fixated with Vietnam War history. The UN peace negotiating experts are very much involved in the negotiations. UN peace experts know that peace overwhelmingly comes, or fails, through negotiations, never because legislators set a date for cutting off funds. The Vietnam War probably ended sooner because Congress quietly avoided funding the last war supplemental spending bill, not by announcing a cut off date where they publicly pledged to do so. Kucinich’s peace movement is on the wrong track. Senator Specter makes far more sense, except some interpret his statements that we keep fighting al Qaeda in the wrong place as meaning sending troops to Yemen. If UN peace negotiators had been in charge, "Negotiate Now" would be the peace rallying cry. The US peace movement is betraying peace, and pulling the rug out from under Karzai, a peace-oriented Afghan official who constantly pressures the US to avoid civilian deaths.
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is spreading some valuable information. President Bush constantly warnrd of a bloodbath if the US left Iraq as a tit-for-tat bloodbath was occurring between Shiites and Sunnis. Hekmatyar reported a bloodbath after the Soviets left as warlords and others fought over who should be in charge. Hakmatyaar thus wants the Afghan army to stay intact while power sharing was being arranged and the US leaves Afghanistan. If Kucinich musters the support to cut off funding and US troops leave, followed by a bloodbath, Kucinich’s supporters will have nothing to brag about during the next election cycle. Both General McChrystal and Mullah Omar are clean fighters without bloodbaths. No massacres, no shopping bazaars being blown up by a 7-year-old remotely detonated suicide bomber like in Iraq. When the central bank of Afghanistan wasn’t penetrated, the suicide-vested bombers retreated to the shopping bazaar complex next to it, holding up for hours without blowing themselves or the shopping complex or killing the shoppers. Google "Taliban code of ethics" for comprehensive detail google with "NY Times" Hekmatyar is right, chaos again would increase the casualties.
Bin Laden is intrigued that the US spends several hundred thousand dollars to keep each soldier equipped as safely as possible, including follow up medical care. He knows that turning the US into a bloody mess such as bombing shopping bazaars, police and soldier funerals, and religious sites and public transit like in Russia, London and Spain would mean a draft and maybe less than five or ten thousand dollar back up per GI. Al Qaeda is confident that the US will bankrupt itself though military spending and I think teases us to spend more. Expecting that the American people in a US currency-less world will have to desperately barter for goods and services, where almost no food is grown close to where the people who are bartering are. Usually al Qaeda, all over the world, has back ups on terror attacks. None on the Christmas Day “underpants” bomb might have meant it was intended to not blow up the plane only scare us to spend more money, and screw up air travel. An al Qaeda operative telling an unsympathetic relative, his father, “You will never see me again”, goes against al Qaeda’s usual intense secrecy. Even if al Qaeda is wrong about US future bankruptcy, it still means that as long as the war continues Obama’s health and job’s programs will be 20% less successful than it would be had the war ended. And the Democrats will have around 20% less representatives in the next election cycle. And if the Republican Party continues shifting to the right, US culture at least 20% more to bin Laden’s liking.
Let’s back Karzai’s showing independence of Washington for his own good as well as ours.
Maybe I should end this article here, and I was banned from Daily Kos because my add-ons were called repeat submissions of the same article. Washington always gives an inch toward Karzai’s constant attempts to negotiate with everyone, and his efforts to keep some independence. If Washington ever gave a firm "No!", the US peace movement would come to Karzai’s defense. The UN asked that the Taliban be taken off the terror list to facilitate its back door peace negotiations with the Taliban. The US response was to take four retired officials off the terror list, who immediately got busy on a benchmark approach. "No night raids, in return for no roads being blown up". So there was no public UN complaints against the US dragging it’s feet. Mullah Omar kept denying that negotiations were going on.
Kai Eide, a Swedish UN Afghan special envoy after he retired or quit lashed out of Pakistan arresting Mullah Omar’s second in command Mullah Abdul Baradar, according to Eide just as back door negotiations were going on. Al Jazeera News reporting that Pakistan arrested Mullah Baradar to prevent him from going to the Saudis because they didn’t want a Saudi rather than Pakistan brokered peace that might leave Afghanistan not dominated by Pakistan and possibly too close to India.
US doves are letting the Afghan negotiators down by not supporting them and since reality is weird and most US hawks hope for a better Afghanistan. in the long run, US hawks are letting the negotiators down as well.
America ends up with two goals that often overlap. One is as some kind of police force dealing with bin Laden’s dream of Islam as a permanent warfare state as long as there is a religiously divided world. The other is promoting Western values. Mullah Omar goes against most of bin Laden’s practices but won’t officially oppose him because he doesn’t want a new war between him and al Qaeda. Hekmatyar doesn’t mind condemning bin Laden’s desire for war without end but not on the social values of what society should look like. I long for a way of not requiring Mullah Omar to condemn al Qaeda, and take advantage of Omar’s strict code of ethics against excessive vengeance that makes life far more bearable for the Afghans. Perhaps the Hekmatyar could become the unintended catalysts in this direction.
I’m from a peace tradition but got peace activists upset by not crying out against the drone war. However if one googles "Kandahar Becomes Battlefield Even Before a U.S. Offensive" one will note farmers digging ditches killed by drone attacks. The drones could take pictures of what’s being dug instead of shooting and when it comes to some real goons hiding in Pakistan some brave heroes could try to capture them with stun guns, especially if the US ends capital punishment. This may seem ridiculous to most, but the Kucinichs and Cindy Sheehan blanketly condemning drone attacks as immoral and trying to Congressionally mandate a fund cutoff date in no way makes the war end any sooner. Kucinich has some good ideas especially when it comes to standing up to the monopolies and big business, but we desperately need a more mature peace movement. We should look to UN peace keeping officials for guidance.
NEWS FLASH: Finally there is an article that should show the Kucinichs and Cindy Sheehans that Karzai is no puppet and is really for peace and allow the US peace movement to help peace efforts on the ground in Afghanistan. Google “Afghan leader is seen to flout influence of U.S.”
By Richard Kane