Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 8 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/8/11

How About a Spring Peace Offensive in Afghanistan?

By       (Page 1 of 3 pages)   No comments
Message John Grant
Become a Fan
  (55 fans)
Peace is in the air and its blowing around like little specks of Spring pollen. Maybe it's a good time for the US government to recognize this hopeful spirit of Spring and try to figure out a new tack in its foreign war policy.


US war policy is still very much bogged down in the paranoid, preemptive strike mentality of the Bush years. We have moved on only in the sense our very sophisticated military is now less concerned about holding large areas and much more focused on the precise task of finding and killing insurgent leaders. Lop off their heads.


At the same time, using its two most powerful tools vis-Ã -vis the American public -- secrecy and public relations -- our military is involved in a concerted campaign of face-saving, lest anyone think our forces are in a condition of moral quagmire or military stalemate. Which they are.


Consider the story in The New York Times about Mohammed Massoom Stanekzai [1], an official of the Hamid Karzai government of Afghanistan, specifically secretary of something called the High Peace Council. Stanekzai reveals that, as part of his office focused on "peace," he and other Afghan officials are in regular contact with the Taliban insurgency.


This is really interesting news. The backward nation of Afghanistan actually has a Department Of Peace. Of course, antiwar Congressman Dennis Kucinich has lobbied for a Department Of Peace in the United States for years. It's in his bill H.R. 808.


"We talk all the time," Stanekzai said. "We've sent representatives to their side and they've sent representatives to our side." The exchanges are now "a step beyond" just talk of setting up future talks, Stanekzai said, suggesting that they were beginning to get into substantial issues.


The reason for the Times story was the announcement that the US is giving $50 million to help out the Afghan High Peace Council. Maybe it's cynical, but experience makes one wonder whether the $50 million is intended to really facilitate the struggle for peace with the Taliban insurgency or whether it's a bribe to keep the US in the driver's seat and, thus, intended as a monkey wrench in the works to prevent any kind of real peace.


Members of the Taliban insurgency deny they are speaking with the Karzai government about anything. As the Taliban has consistently demanded, they say they will not formally talk to anyone until there is a complete withdrawal of foreign forces, that is, the US military. Meanwhile, the US military says it's ready to discuss not shooting at Taliban diplomats as they travel to and from talks.


This, of course, is Exhibit Number One of the problem. The Taliban want the foreigners out, and the foreigners want to tell them when and where they can meet to talk without being blown up by F16s or drones. As the Strother Martin character says in Cool Hand Luke, "What we have here is a failure to communicate."

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

John Grant Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

I'm a 72-year-old American who served in Vietnam as a naive 19-year-old. From that moment on, I've been studying and re-thinking what US counter-insurgency war means. I live outside of Philadelphia, where I'm a writer, photographer and political (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The Drug War: A Roller-Coaster To Hell

A Conspiracy of Whores

Me and The New York Times

They're "Slow Torturing" Bradley Manning Right Under Our Noses

A Troubled Nation Feeds On bin Laden's Corpse

Bradley Manning and the secret world

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend