Chuck Spinney sends:
In my opinion, this is an extremely important piece of writing and needs to be read very carefully. The author of this article built an international reputation for excellence during his reporting on the Iraq War, and now he is positioning himself to do the same on Afghanistan. Conflating al Qaeda with the Taliban will mutate the so-called war on terror into an Anti-Pashtun (AF-Pak) War, with unknowable ramifications that could very well make the lunacy of Mad King George's aggression in Iraq look miniscule in comparison.
A Wider and Unnecessary War: The March of Folly
By PATRICK COCKBURN December 7, 2009
By treating Pashtun villagers as if they were all Taliban, and Taliban as being the equivalent of al-Qa’ida, Mr Obama is increasing, not reducing, the threat of terrorist attack on the US or Britain. He is providing the battleground bin Laden hoped for and, like President Bush before him, has jumped willingly into the al-Qa’ida trap.
. . . . . .
One of the most foolish and misleading claims by US and British generals is that fighting a guerrilla war can be successfully combined with dispensing aid and building bridges and roads. But, as one commentator puts it, such a mixture of Wyatt Earp and Mother Theresa is not feasible. Soldiers are trained to get what they want by force and that is generally what they do. Afghans whose families have just been killed by a bomb will not be conciliated by a fine new drainage system.
Other minefields face incoming American and British forces. The Afghan government is in many respects a criminal racket.