Sunday, October 23, 2011

Karzai's Rejection and Geo-Politics. . . . .

Well the chances of a war between the US and Pakistan are probably considerably less than zero percent. However, those ridiculously long odd do nothing to dampen the supreme irony and humor in the recent revelation of Afghanistan's President Karzai that if such a war were to erupt, Afghanistan would be squarely on the side of it's neighbouring Islamic nation against the world's only so-called 'super-power.'  One cannot help but wonder how this revelation must play in mainstream America among those poor ignorant souls who bought into the neo-colonial spin, so prevalent in the US and elsewhere, that the invasion of Afghanistan was an act of benevolence, or at the very least 'self-defence.' History will, of course, read it differently. All colonial efforts, whether traditional or economic, are accompanied by some grand narrative of benevolence and defence. The real motivations of such efforts are, of course, geo-political power and economic interest. But to the average American (or Canadian for that matter) who doesn't understand the complex economic and political issues behind the spin, Mr. Karzai's words must send their heads reeling. For most Americans, steeped as they are in the professional ignorance peddled by Fox News and friends, this must sound like Charles De Gualle telling the New York Times that he would support Hitler after D Day. Of course the comparison would be specious but this is the kind of thing that goes on inside the head of people that fail to take a realistic view of geo-politics.

The reason that Karzai would say that he would, in a conflict situation, come to the aid (however minimal it would be) of Pakistan against the US is that the United States never built up any so-called 'good-will' in Afghanistan, whether among the people in general or the brutal tribal lords who still govern the nation. For all its fancy, completely fictional, spin, the US's invasion of  Afghanistan was part of a multi-pronged effort at consolidating its waning power in West Asia and the Middle East and to entrench the dominance of weapons and security corporations within the United States, a symbiotic relationship that was coming under threat with the end of the Cold War. Year in and year out, the lion's share of US federal spending finds its way, through one door or another, into the pockets of Weapons producers or private security companies. The American establishment knew that this relationship had become tentative an increasingly difficult to justify during the 1990s but the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq  made this huge transfer of cash from average tax-payers to large corporations once again unquestionable. However, like most colonial or neo-colonial powers, the US forgot basic lessons of the past and failed to maintain good-will with those on whom their basic geo-political plan depended. In other words, as is their history, they didn't take care of 'the people,' but they also failed, as they once did so effectively, to establish an adequate strong-arm regime on who they could depend for blind obedience. In the long run this means real trouble for the US as their global power slowly dissipates and their ability to compel nations to do their bidding with their economic power disappears.

 For example, for several generations the US has had a vested interest in conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. This is because while the Palestinians pose no real threat to the US or Israel, the conflict gives the US government a ready-made excuse for the billions and billions that it gives to Israel, thus further justifying their militarist economy. But Mr. Karzai's rather blatant rejection of the US in the recent interview, suggests that time is running out for the US and its Allies; they are gradually losing their grip on their once unquestioned global dominance, but they are also running out of the economic clout to enforce their control. Unless they fundamentally change their basic strategy the US will gradually lose its ability to maintain any serious control over any country and they will be forced either into an extreme fascist reaction or a new conciliatory policy that looks for peace and economic cooperation. If Mr. Karzai is any indication of their job so far, the US, and the West in general, is in serious trouble.

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