Sat Sep 18th, 2021 at 10:10:47 AM EST
Afghanistan, the Graveyard of Empires ... yet it's the civilian population that bears the brunt of violence and have to pick op the pieces of a devastated nation.
A parade of white Taliban flags lines Musa Qala bazaar right up to the central monument where two kidnappers were hanged in a public execution earlier this year. The flags flutter from almost every shop in celebration, some rough and handmade, others printed and lined with tinsel.
The dusty town, an opium trading centre reached most of the year by driving up the gravel bed of a seasonal river, was the Taliban's southern capital from 2015 until the militant group took over the national capital. Before that it was the site of intense fighting by British and US forces for more than a decade, including a bitter 2006 British siege in which 88 men were holed up for two months, leading to the first - albeit hyperlocal - international ceasefire negotiations with the Taliban.
Now its rulers control the country as well as this stretch of farming valley, and the only physical traces of the foreign mission are a couple of broken concrete spans of a bridge to nowhere, shoddily built and mostly washed away in the first flooding season that followed.
The memories run deeper, and they are not good. Here 23 British soldiers and at least four Americans were killed, fighting in the name of a better, peaceful Afghanistan. As such it is a place that carries particularly painful associations for UK troops. Yet the legacy of their mission, seen from Musa Qala, is only a mirrored grief and a scattering of families.
"They spent a lot of money and killed a lot of people," said Sufia, a widow in her 40s. "But they left nothing behind except these terrible memories." She lost her husband to a mine 13 years ago.
Condi Rice and Robert Gates contradict each other on Afghanistan | EuroTrib - Feb. 2008 |
I don't get it... Some three weeks ago, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates faced the world media and accused Britain and European NATO allies of inexperience in fighting the Taleban that made me go almost ballistic.
These last 24 hours print and broadcast media have bannered stories about US State Secretary Condi Rice meeting with PM Gordon Brown and UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband demanding NATO allies in Europe for more troops on the Afghan front lines, warning that unless more troops were deployed in the South, Afghanistan would risk becoming a 'failed state.'
Risking NATO - Testing the Limits of the Alliance in Afghanistan | RAND Corp. - 2010 |
Truth of the matter, Article 5 and Afghanistan redefined the mission of NATO as a political tool in service of the American Empire and globale expansion. The only war left for human kind is to battle climate change and environmental deterioration of Planet Earth ... there is no Plan B.
The NATO Bucharest Summit decided to name the Russian Republic an empire of evil ... a gift to new US alliance with Eastern Europe. Further NATO expansion to Russian frontier was ascertained.
Gates to deliver provocative farewell speech to European allies | The Atlantic Council - June 2011 |
The Siege of Musa Qala, Helmand
Protests in parts of #Helmand province against Kabul admin and US over Musa Qala massacre. Protesters chanted "Death to America, Death to puppets of America"
The regime and its American masters only understand the language of brute force. The criminal regime will face justice of the Afghan people and no one will show mercy to the heads of this regime. The American invaders and the regime leaders are behind all the mischief in Afghanistan. The massacre of innocent civilians in Musa Qala will only strengthen the resolve of the Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to drive the filthy criminal invaders and their stooges out of Afghanistan.
The end of Ashraf Ghani and his security chiefs will be like of those of the Vietnamese in Saigon. The American military helicopters perched on the US Embassy walls in Kabul will be evacuating their personnel while pushing off slaves like Ashraf Ghani to the wrath of the Afghans.
Over the Horizon - A Farewell Strike and Mistakes Made
Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISK-P)
Sounding the Retreat - Until Next War
Most deaths occurred from gunfire into a panicked crowd ...
Commander-in-chief Donald Trump remarks about war dead as "losers"
A new report details multiple instances of President Donald Trump making disparaging remarks about members of the U.S. military who have been captured or killed, including referring to the American war dead at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in France in 2018 as "losers" and "suckers."
The Lucky Ones - the Evacuees
The conservative government in the Netherlands deported Afghan families seeking asylum up to August this year. A deplorable situation in Kabul as the Taliban forces surrounded the capital ... the courageous Afghan people wanted the fighting to end. They did not long for an invigorated Taliban regime of centuries old fundamentalists that would abuse women and misinterpret the Quran.
Ending two decades of a brutal war in humiliation. Afghanistan for the Afghans is a fiction, the crossroads of the Silk Road does not only bring travelers who will be treated as guests and are welcomed.
One Western poet from the 19th century, James Elroy Flecker, summed up this view by describing the way eastwards as "The Golden Road."
Although the West might not have such an opinion of Afghanistan at this present time, for hundreds, indeed thousands of years until quite recently, the stereotypical Western idea that the East - and Afghanistan - was a land of great wealth was in fact perfectly true.
For centuries, Europe was in world terms, a poverty-stricken and unimportant territory, whereas the East was the land of affluence, high-value international trade and intellectual achievement; and in these areas, Afghanistan can claim to have been a leader of the East.