Fueling Madness of Militarism in Afghanistan — Global Issues
SAN FRANCISCO, Sep 02 (IPS) – Joe Biden made a moving remark a few days ago when he spoke from the White House just after suicide bombers killed 13 US soldiers and 170 Afghans at an airport in Kabul: “To those who carried out this attack, as well as to anyone who wishes America harm, know this: we will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay.
But the president’s promise was a prelude to another episode of what Martin Luther King Jr. called “the madness of militarism.” The United States quickly followed through on Biden’s wish with a drone strike in the Afghan province of Nangarhar that the Pentagon said killed two “high profile” ISIS-K targets.
Speaking to the media with standard assurance, an army general used artful wording to state: “We do not know of any civilian casualties.” But reports did point to a few civilian deaths. And the worst would soon happen. Another US drone attack – this time near Kabul airport – on Sunday led to reliable reports that children were among the dead. The Washington Post reported on Monday that family members said the US drone strike “killed 10 civilians in Kabul, including several young children.”
According to a neighbor who witnessed the attack, the newspaper added, “the dead were all from a single extended family who emerged from a car into their modest driveway when the strike struck a nearby vehicle.” The words Biden used last Thursday night, vowing revenge, could reach surviving Afghan relatives and their supporters: “We will not forgive. We won’t forget. ”And maybe even,“ We will hunt you down and make you pay. ”The cycles of revenge never end, and they have continued to fuel America’s never-ending war – like a kind of perpetual emotional machine – in the name of the fight against terrorism. It is a pattern that has reproduced itself countless times in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere for two decades. And it should not be a mystery that the American war created even more “enemy” fighters. But neither the American mass media nor official Washington cares much about the kind of rational warning that retired United States Army General William Odom offered in an interview with C-SPAN in 2002: “Terrorism is not an enemy. It cannot be defeated. It is a tactic. It is about as reasonable to say that we declare the war against the nightly attacks and that we hope to win this war. not win the war on terrorism. Under another name, the “war on terror” has become – for the White House, the Pentagon and Congress – political authorization to kill and displace people on a large scale in at least eight countries, rarely seen, much less understood.
Whatever the intention, the resulting carnage often included scores of civilians. The names and faces of the dead and wounded very rarely reach those who sign the orders and appropriate the funds. Amid his administration’s botched planning for the pullout, corporate media denounced Biden for his wise move to finally pull the US military out of Afghanistan. There is no doubt that Biden is hoping to appease Washington’s portable press warriors with drone strikes and other displays of air power. But the past 20 years have shown that you cannot stop terrorism on the ground by terrorizing people from the air. Sooner or later what happens comes back.
Norman Solomon is the National Director of RootsAction.org and the author of numerous books, including War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death. He was a delegate for Bernie Sanders of California at the 2016 and 2020 Democratic National Conventions. Solomon is the Founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Public Accuracy.
Follow IPS New UN Bureau on Instagram
© Inter Press Service (2021) – All rights reservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service