Afghanistan quagmire; lessons to remember

Yusuf Zaman

No Country has influenced history the way Afghanistan has done. This landlocked country right at the crossroads of Central and South Asia has been depredated and arrogated numerous times. It has stimulated fall of prodigious and colossal super powers that invaded it for their vested interests. From the British Empire to USSR to US, Afghans have triumphed owing to their iron-clad resolve and faith in Allah. A country that was once regarded as a mere gateway has made history in the process.

The British, Soviets and Americans invaded Afghanistan decades apart but with somewhat similar motives; to sit at the gateway, impede opposing access and connectivity, enhance own areas of influence, grab resources, implant their puppets as rulers and, riding on supremacist mindset impose their culture cum system in Afghanistan.

This huge canvass was conceived and executed predominantly driven by their all-round might, power, cultural imperialism and somewhat Zionistic attitude. All the intruders pondered brute force, killed millions, plundered wealth, inflicted destruction and committed Human Right abuses at will. Afghans, barring sold ones, stood tall and confronted the intruders. Though Afghans were rag tag in strength, resources and weaponry but fought with perseverance, staunch resolve and faith in Allah.

Resultantly superpowers of the time melted away after having met with stern reproval from the Afghans. Initially it was the British and then Soviets which were humbled by Afghans. Realizing their resolve to fight, they were given required logistics by the opponents of intruders. In 80s, it was US funding against USSR in Afghanistan which stamped this gateway as Graveyard of Empires.

Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it. US in power hangover went against the tides of history and became the latest Super Power to invade Afghanistan for her own vested interests. A well planned media strategy was unleashed wherein Afghans were labeled as inhumane, extremists, fanatics and threat to global peace. US and all her allies went in as hungry wolves. US ousted Taliban and brought in puppet government to further her designs. US and allies stayed for two decades. Millions of Afghans were killed, thousands sustained life changing wounds, millions displaced, schools and hospitals bombed with impunity, thousands caged in barbaric jails in Begram and Guantanamo and millions went through trauma.

Afghans were subjected to humiliation, disrespect and tortures. Afghans experienced Human Right abuses which were not even thinkable. Alongside Afghanistan, Pakistan suffered massively due to the spill over from next door. Pakistan sustained over 80, 000 causalities and a direct loss of over 152 billion dollars to the economy besides indirect losses. Reality stands that Pakistan had nothing to do with the war next door. During 20 years, US and her allies kept changing goal posts to prolong their stay to implement their larger designs.

They poured trillions of dollars but could not evade inevitable defeat and humiliation. After 20 years’ struggle, the once ousted Taliban ousted the US and her all Allies. What a fall!!! What a humiliation!!! Occupation forces failed to connect with the masses due to their Zionistic and imperialistic mindset. Their effort to inject their culture, way of life and system of government failed. The so-called shakers and movers are now pleading to Taliban for safe passage from the country they invaded. The ongoing Afghan Quagmire has many lessons to offer for wiser to remember. 13 significant ones are appended below:

  1. Imposing a particular system of government on other states is impractical and illogical. All states and set of people have a fundamental right to live the way they want. They have the right to elect their governments and cannot be subjugated by imported puppets. Nation preserves its religion, faith and culture come what may.
  2. Riding supremacist mindset, subjecting states and societies to cultural imperialism is not doable. Ideological and people with faith will never bow down to imperialistic agendas.
  3. Money alone doesn’t make Armies. US spent over 100 billion dollars on raising a 300,000 plus Afghan National Army. Once confronted with challenge it simply ran away. An army needs an ideology, faith, resolve, respect, own-ness of masses and leadership to fight. Soldiers will never sacrifice their lives for something they don’t believe.
  4. Corruption is cancerous to a state and society. It triggers misgovernance which degenerates attachment with state and society thus accelerating rising of masses against government. Afghan government of Karzai and Ghani did nothing for the masses other than plundering wealth with impunity. Speedy, bloodless takeover and warm reception of Taliban reinforces the above notion.
  5. History shuffles the power every century. Crown of Super power is always changing hands. And all super powers repeat the same mistakes more often and fade away.
  6. There are no permanent friends at the global level. Friendship hinges on common interests. There are no permanent allies but interests. Pakistan allied with US in Afghanistan against USSR and now it is facilitating stability in Afghanistan with erstwhile USSR (Russia).
  7. History reveals time and again that Human Rights, Freedom of Expression, Women Empowerment and other such like notions are coercion tools designed to disparage weaker / targeted states. Mightier don’t care as millions in Afghanistan and weaker states have been treated as they are of cheaper blood, worse than animals and of lesser God.
  8. Media sells what their Masters want to sell. Objectivity and truth is tightly enveloped by dollars, greed and lust. Changing goal posts in Afghanistan were projected as sacred goals as per designs of their Masters.
  9. No power on Earth can withstand faith, perseverance and resolve of masses though they may be rag tag in resources. Just thousands of Talibans humbled and humiliated two super powers in last 4 decades. Our Kashmiri brothers must not lose sight of this reality.
  10. Puppets and traitors are basically slaves and hence have no respect, dignity and future. Ghani, Amrullah, Mohib, Karzai and others served their Foreign Masters and betrayed their countrymen. All these are on the run or struggling to survive.
  11. Freedom struggle demands enormous ultimate sacrifices and therefore it has to be always home-grown. Foreign influence alone cannot sustain freedom movement. The masses in Afghanistan rose against the foreign occupants forcing them to run away shamelessly.
  12. Agenda setting is temporary. Falsehood perishes and truth is eternal. All floated narratives of occupation forces have proven to be naked lies.
  13. Last but not the least History is for wiser, others become history.

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