Friday, July 30, 2010

The U.S. Military Fights to Silence Opposition to the Afghanistan War

Protesters in Afghanistan burned SUV's and chanted "Death to America" after security armored vehicles of the US embassy crashed killing civilians. The public outcry against the United States after this accident shows that their presence there is not welcomed by most of the Afghan people even in the capital city of Kabul where they have the strongest base of support. Rather than confront the reality of an unpopular colonial-type occupation head-on, the U.S. military continues to cover-up their failures in Afghanistan in order to justify their continued occupation.

Secretary Robert Gates of the U.S. Defense Department for example condemned the release of thousands of documents that reveal the indiscriminate killing of Afghan civilians and the failure of the U.S-lead war effort to defeat the Taliban. Hypocritically, Secretary Gates is criticizing the leak of information about the crimes of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan rather than demanding an investigation of those who committed the crimes. He has also signaled that the documented evidence of U.S. crimes committed against civilians in Afghanistan will not in anyway change U.S. policy there."They do not, in my view, fundamentally call into question the efficacy of our current strategy in Afghanistan and its prospects for success.”

It is well known that Secretary Gates believes that public opposition in Europe and the United States to the occupation of Afghanistan is as dangerous to his mission there as the Taliban. He publicly stated his fear that the anti-war sentiment of Europeans could pressure European governments to back-down from the U.S.-lead wars in the Middle-East. This of course would be a positive development and signal of democracy if leaders responded to the public opposition of their citizens to endless war and occupation. But for the U.S. superpower democracy is not the goal. The Afghan war is an unpopular war at home as it is inside Afghanistan its self, but under the logic of empire voices of opposition are considered obsolete.

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