Friday, December 19, 2008

CRIKEY: Charlie Wilson's prophecy comes true ...

Our military campaign in Afghanistan involves allying ourselves with thugs who may be tomorrow’s bin-Ladins, writes Irfan Yusuf ...

In the movie Charlie Wilson's War, Tom Hanks plays the role of the Democratic Congressman from Texas who embroiled the United States in the last hot conflict of the Cold War. In real life, Wilson appeared on American 60 Minutes explained how he saw the Afghanistan conflict as being not just about defeating the Soviet Union, but also about making real and lasting change to the lives of ordinary Afghans, millions of whom were displaced in refugee camps in Pakistan and Iran.

In 1993, Wilson described the jihad in these terms ...
... the Afghan freedom fighters ... probably the most heroic response to tyranny in modern history.
The US and its jihadist allies (including an all-Arab militia led by Osama bin Ladin) defeated the Soviet Union, which withdraw its troops from Afghanistan in 1989. The Americans abandoned Afghanistan to tribal warlords and then to the Taliban. Wilson tried in vain to convince his colleagues in Congress and the President that the US now needed to rescue and repair Afghanistan in much the same way as it did Western Europe after the Second World War. They ignored his pleas. Congressman Wilson tld his colleagues:
We always go in with our ideals. Then we leave. But the ball keeps bouncing.
At the conclusion of the film, a quote from Wilson appears on the screen:

These things happened and they changed the world. Then we f-cked up the end game.
The grand Afghanistan f-ck-up continues, with President Hamid Karzai telling the Chicago Tribune that the United States policy of empowering allegedly friendly militias will prove disastrous in the long term. Karzai describes them as:

... thugs or warlords... those people who have no limits to misbehaviour.

In his Christmas visit to Australian troops in Afghanistan, Kevin Rudd told troops he had been to too many funerals. Our troops are involved in both fighting insurgents and building essential community infrastructure in Oruzgan province, including schools and hospitals. Young soldiers like Stuart Nash die doing work Congressman Charlie Wilson insisted America needed to do back in 1989. Meanwhile, Osama bin Ladin and Mullah Omar still haven't been captured. Our military campaign involves allying ourselves with thugs who may be tomorrow's bin-Ladins.

They call this madness "The War on Terror".

First published in Crikey on Friday 19 December 2008.

Words © 2008 Irfan Yusuf

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Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sadiq X said...

The problem with your comment anonymous, is that when they 'exterminate' all of us Muslims, then they will come for you, and exterminate you. Its not a 'Muslim' thing, and Muslims arent initiating the problems, it is the people in the shadows, who are above government, who are messing with the world, and your mind. You are just one of the sheeple, following whatever the media tells you...ya better wake up.

Drugless said...

Anon @ 7:14am, it's your right as the son of a member of the executive of the Christian Democratic Party and as an ex-Young Liberal to smoke as much pot as you like and then go to sleep at 7:14am after leaving an abusive message on this blog. And it's our prerogative as readers to furnish you with a 1-finger salute.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Darby Drugless said...

Anon, in the words of John Safran, go to hell!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Drugless said...

My name is Drug Darby aka JohnnyTurk888. I am addicted to crack and would love to marry Ayeesha except that I am too busy leaving anonymous messages on this blog and changing the author's Wikipedia profile.