Anton Goryunov writes from Moscow: You know what I find really strange about the war in Afghanistan? Not that NATO is losing it but pretends that it’s winning or that the media is not providing an objective account of what’s really going on over there or that billions of Western taxpayers’ money are being stolen by the corrupt regime of President Hamid Karzai. All these things don’t surprise me in the slightest. That’s what wars are all about.
What really puzzles me, though, about Afghanistan is the lack of enthusiasm on the part of the peace campaigners in the world, who seem to be having a rather relaxed attitude towards the whole thing. Sure, from time to time small groups of people gather in some place to protest, rather lazily, against the war in Afghanistan, but it’s all very low key and timid and doesn’t really impress anyone.
And yet, there’s a lot to protest about. Innocent people are dying in their thousands, huge money is wasted at a time when the world economy needs every penny it can get, the threat of terrorism that was supposed to fall as a result of the war is as high as it was, if not higher, and Pakistan has been dragged into the conflict with unpredictable consequences for the whole region. There’s a lot for the peace campaigners to chew on here, but they stay silent.
Why aren’t they demanding that their respective governments stop the senseless butchery and pull out their troops? Do they actually buy all that official rubbish about Al-Qaeda sitting there in Pakistan, just waiting for the NATO troops to pull out to flood back into Afghanistan? Or how about the assertion that NATO troops in Afghanistan are actually protecting the streets of their respective countries from terrorists while they are fighting the Afghan insurgents? How does all that bulls..t work in the real world?
Something very strange is happening to the peace movement around the world. The last time it turned out in force was in 2003 in Britain, when there was a mass demonstration in London against the impending war in Iraq. Sure, the then Prime Minister Tony Blair and his New Labour clique went ahead with it, but it was still a powerful statement and, in some sense, it probably hastened Blair’s eventual downfall. Since then, though, the peace campaigners in Britain were mostly silent, making an occasional noise about Trident and nuclear disarmament.
For some strange reason Afghanistan just doesn’t get the peace loving public around the world all that excited. Even though the war there has been going on for nearly 10 years now and promises to last another 4 years – at least. That’s a lot of dead and wounded people, on both sides, by the way. Not to mention a lot more of wasted billions.
I suppose protesting against wars is no longer seen as cool by the majority of peace campaigners. Not to mention that governments have acquired a lot of expertise in wrapping up their military adventures into the cloak of some moral crusade, like it is happening now in Libya, making it look as if it’s all about fighting tyrants and terrorists and not invading other countries where they aren’t welcome.
Not to mention that the United Nations has sold out to a bunch of opportunist politicians, who can now tell it what to do. It is high time to get rid of the UN Security Council and make the post of the UN Secretary General a rotating one. Who needs the likes of Ban Ki Moon to peddle the line of several countries and help pass dodgy resolutions that allow to start wars with no problems?
Still, the peace campaigners could have at least made some noises about Afghanistan and Libya. Just to remind politicians that they are not that stupid to fall for their tricks.
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