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Afghanistan is About Perpetual War

By Harvey Wasserman

The war in Afghanistan is about perpetual war, not Afghanistan.

It’s about preventing democracy in the United States, not bringing it to Southwest Asia.

And it is the tombstone of the Obama Presidency.

To justify the fight, they’ve rounded up the usual suspects: Terror. Oil. Minerals. Poppies. Democracy.

But George Orwell’s 1984 -- now updated with important new books -- illuminates the bigger picture: "continuous warfare" is the key to social control.

It keeps the public frightened and dependent.

And it keeps "the wheels of industry turning without increasing the real wealth of the world. Goods must be produced, but they must not be distributed."

Better to destroy them in a ritual slaughter like Afghanistan, and wherever is next.

For a truly prosperous society, educated and secure, cannot be ruled by the few. Poverty, ignorance and fear are the three pillars of authoritarian control. Without war, they all disappear.

Thus Afghanistan. Before it: the Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, central America. After: whoever else is handy.

Recent books by Howard Zinn and David Swanson have updated Orwell's analysis.

Zinn’s THE BOMB ( ), testifies to the obliteration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the utter senselessness of these "announced nuclear tests." Once an Allied bombardier, Zinn revisited a French town he helped destroy. He found the act, of which he was once proud, had no military meaning whatsoever.

Though he passed away earlier this year, Howard's PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES continues to shape our understanding of this nation's true core. In narrating the hidden, bloody past of our compromised democracy, he warns at end that even for the US, "There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people."

Swanson's new WAR IS A LIE ( adds to the litany. A tireless campaigner for peace and justice ( , Swanson was instrumental in tearing away the ridiculous Bush lie that the war in Iraq was about Weapons of Mass Destruction. WAR IS A LIE adds carefully documented, passionately argued reasons why the era of endless slaughter in Southwest Asia is a tool of social control for the military-industrial elite.

Over the years, Norman Solomon's books and film WAR MADE EASY ( ) have also provided a firm, steady opposition to this fatal addiction.

Nowhere has our military madness become more transparent than in the Obama Administration. The "shellacking" the Democrats took this fall stems directly from Obama’s painfully visible failure to bring hope or change to a nation at war since 1941.

For a few infuriating weeks, Obama danced around the decision to escalate in Afghanistan. Rarely has a single human being had a greater chance to change history.

Obama could have stood up to the generals. He could have de-escalated. He could have begun the process of drawing down the military budget, the only way to save our economy.

More than 50% of taxpayer money goes to weaponry. We have troops in more than 100 countries. We spend more on our military than all the rest of the world combined. Throughout history---Athens, Rome, Persia---empires have spent themselves to military oblivion. We have now been in Afghanistan longer than the USSR.

With a simple speech, Obama could have begun the Great Reversal. It was a crystal clear moment. The public support was there. It was what he was elected to do.

But like Lyndon Johnson’s catastrophic March 1965 decision to escalate the war in Vietnam, Obama went exactly the wrong way. He became the first man in history to accept the Nobel Peace Prize with a pro-war speech. With Bush's Secretary of War by his side, he ceded to the military our nation's most critical decision. He doomed our domestic economy and global ecology by burying us still deeper in the lethal quagmire of perpetual war.

All else is sad detail. When Obama caved on Afghanistan, so did his presidency.

As Orwell, Zinn, Swanson and Solomon make clear, perpetual war is the carefully engineered route to poverty, ignorance and dictatorship.

Afghanistan is merely the latest installment in this seamless, unseemly tragedy. Its ever-changing justifications are meaningless smokescreens, forever poised to cloud the inevitable transition to the next conflict. The names, places and rhetoric may change, but the impact will not.

Until we find a way to break through to a genuine state of peace -- and we must, and soon -- we have no future.

HARVEY WASSERMAN’S HISTORY OF THE US, introduced by Howard Zinn, is at He edits the web site.

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It's a very comprehensive interview, not only being about the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, for it's about US (and NATO) militarization, globally. But Afghanistan is definitely included in the discussion; as well as Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and the Horn of Africa, and other countries. It certainly makes the fact that the war leadership of the US is definitely aiming for global dominance. There could be no other reason for such extreme militarism on a literally global scale.

It's an audio, radio program interview with Ken McDermotRoe as host on Oct. 6th. Rick Rozoff speaks of the Nov. 20th NATO summit in Lisbon as upcoming, instead of past, so I looked for the interview at

"World’s Sole Military Superpower Extends Its Reach" (29:42)

Rick Rozoff, Stop NATO, Nov. 23rd, 2010

Harvey Wasserman was very brief, but is right, and the above interview will fill in plenty of detail. The two combined don't provide all relevant details, information or analysis, but I think we can deduced from the above interview that Harvey Wasserman is certainly not off-base in writing of "next war(s)", for that or those are frighteningly likely with the fever the war elites of the US have for global dominance.

And those include theatre wars, but also the covert wars using extremely criminal proxy governments and their military forces, while the US is always more than involved, including with special ops forces, NATO is often involved and I guess will be all the more often involved with the expansionism of this military gangster organization, and then we have the UN's so-called peacekeeping forces, these killers, rapists, and so on. And many of these covert wars and US-escalated conflicts are already happening, some have been going on for years. It's been going on since around 1996 in the DR Congo (Zaire), f.e.

They also use terrorists, like the extremely criminal and mafia-like KLA in Kosovo, f.e. There are some good RussiaToday videos at Youtube about this. The following one is an example, but they're not all over 10 minutes.

"Kosovo: Europe's mafia state" (26:33)
RussiaToday, May 13th, 2008

After Kosovo unilaterally proclaimed its independence, there were many discussions concerning the legality and political consequences of this act. But one more important aspect of the in Kosovo problem are the extensive links of the Kosovo leadership with organised crime. To talk about this problem, our guest today is the former Head of the Russian Interpol bureau, Vladimir Ovchinsky.

The RussiaToday video, further above, "Kosovo: Europe's mafia state", with Vladimir Ovchinsky says much about what the Russian Interpol knew and knows about the KLA, KLA international trafficking of heroin from Afghanistan to Europe, the OIL interests American elites have there, Kosovo and area, and more.

Wherein he speaks of Carla del Ponte, though, I think he's mistaken about her having been a good chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. There are some articles at about highly criminal, corrupt conduct by the prosecution team, including her. The following are some of these articles.

"The Criminalization of Justice at The Hague: Former Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte Faces Charges of Witness Intimidation"

by Benjamin Schett, Sept. 7th, 2010

She faces these charges, but also fellow prosecutors do, some of her associates in the ICTY, International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, anyway. And the intimidation evidently was for creating false witnesses while treating their false testimonies as truthful and accurate.

"Kosovo: The US and the EU support a Political Process linked to Organized Crime
Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci is part of a criminal syndicate

by Michel Chossudovsky, Feb. 12th, 2008

Carla del Ponte, who was chief prosecutor at the ICTY under pressure from the Mad(eleine) Albright, covered up the extreme criminality of Thaci, who was widely known to be very criminal, but who was part of the KLA and the Clinton administration made use of him for the goals of American elites. He apparently is strongly associated with organized crime and international trafficking of heroin. Interpol, Europol, the US Congress, Michel or Michael Levine, who formerly was in the US DEA and became a whistleblower regarding DEA and possibly also CIA drug trafficking business, all have known of Thaci's extreme criminality.

"Did Milosevic or his Accusers 'Cheat Justice'? The Show Trial That Went Wrong"

by Alexander Cockburn,, March 14th, 2006

"It's hard not to feel that by dying in his cell, Slobodan Milosevic finally succeeded in his determined effort to cheat justice."

Thus the opening sentence of a New York Times editorial, Tuesday March 14. The editorial cited without comment Carla Del Ponte, the chief prosecutor of the United Nations tribunal, who told an Italian interviewer that "the death of Milosevic represents for me a total defeat."

The editorial ended with words of praise for the high purpose of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) established by the U.N. Security Council in 1994.

In fact Milosevic's death in his cell from a heart attack spared Del Ponte and the Court (itself a drumhead tribunal set up by the United States with no proper foundation under international law or treaty) the ongoing embarrassment of a proceeding where Milosevic had made a very strong showing against the phalanx of prosecutors, hearsay witnesses and prejudiced judges marshaled against him. Until his death, "total defeat" had been the prospect facing Del Ponte, not Milosevic, though she presumably felt justifiably confident -- based on their record of prejudiced rulings against Milosevic -- that the judges would never let her down.


The trial had been going badly from the point of view of the prosecution (which included the judges) for most of its incredible duration. Here is what Neil Clark, a Balkans specialist, wrote in the Guardian newspaper of London, in 2003,

"The trial had been going badly from the point of view of the prosecution (which included the judges) for most of its incredible duration. Here is what Neil Clark, a Balkans specialist, wrote in the Guardian newspaper of London, in 2003,

It is two years today that the trial of Slobodan Milosevic opened at The Hague. The chief prosecutor, Carla del Ponte, was triumphant as she announced the 66 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity and genocide that the former Yugoslavian president was charged with. CNN was among those who called it 'the most important trial since Nuremburg' as the prosecution outlined the 'crimes of medieval savagery' allegedly committed by the 'butcher of Belgrade.'"

But since those heady days, things have gone horribly wrong for Ms. Del Ponte. The charges relating to the war in Kosovo were expected to be the strongest part of her case. But not only has the prosecution signally failed to prove Milosevic's personal responsibility for atrocities committed on the ground, the nature and extent of the atrocities themselves has also been called into question...


...The trial has heard more than 100 prosecution witnesses, and not a single one has testified that Milosevic ordered war crimes. On the contrary: only last Tuesday, a Muslim captain in the Yugoslav army testified that no one in his unit had ever committed systematic harassment of Albanian civilians in Kosovo, and that he had never heard of any other unit doing so either. On 9 November the former head of security in the Yugoslav army, General Geza Farkas, an ethnic Hungarian, testified that all Yugoslav soldiers in Kosovo were handed a document explaining international humanitarian law, and that they were ordered to disobey any orders which violated it. What a contrast with US army practice!

Instead, what has emerged from the trial to the general indifference of the world's media is that the Serbs were subject to horrendous provocations. ...

... The judges themselves admitted that their ruling had no precedent in law, but legality has never bothered them much: ever complicit with the prosecutor, they allowed the addition of new indictments after Milosevic's transferral to The Hague in 2001, even though this violates the key tenet of extradition law that a defendant may not be tried for charges other than those for which he was originally extradited.


"The Hague Tribunal: The Political Economy of Sham Justice
Carla Del Ponte Addresses Goldman Sachs on Justice and Profits"

by Edward S. Herman, Nov. 20th, 2005

Carla del Ponte, as chief prosecutor for the ICTY, evidently was working for or complicit with the profiteering Goldman Sachs.

The KLA might not be terrorists, per se, but they're extremely criminal, international traffickers of heroin, and quite a powerful mafia; the very kind of people who are useful to the war elites of the US.

Those elites aim for global dominance and a hell of a lot of profit, all at the expense of taxpayer dollars and as many innocent lives as these elites figure must be "sacrificed" so that they can fulfill their "dreams". So more of their wars are likely, too likely anyway.

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