After 17 bloody years, the longest war in U.S. history continues without relent or purpose in Afghanistan.
There, a valiant, fiercely-independent people, the Pashtun (Pathan) mountain tribes, have battled the full might of the U.S. Empire to a stalemate that has so far cost American taxpayers $4 trillion, and 2,371 dead and 20,320 wounded soldiers. No one knows how many Afghans have died. The number is kept secret.
Pashtun tribesmen in the Taliban alliance and their allies are fighting to oust all foreign troops from Afghanistan and evict the western-imposed and backed puppet regime in Kabul that pretends to be the nation’s legitimate government. Withdraw foreign troops and the Kabul regime would last for only days.
The whole thing smells of the Vietnam War. Lessons so painfully learned by America in that conflict have been completely forgotten and the same mistakes repeated. The lies and happy talk from politicians, generals and media continue apace.
This week, Taliban forces occupied the important strategic city of Ghazni on the road from Peshawar to Kabul. It took three days and massive air attacks by U.S. B-1 heavy bombers, Apache helicopter gun ships, A-10 ground attack aircraft, and massed warplanes from U.S. bases in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Qatar and the 5th U.S. Fleet to finally drive back the Taliban assault. Taliban also overran key military targets in Kabul and the countryside, killing hundreds of government troops in a sort of Afghan Tet offensive.
Afghan regime police and army units put up feeble resistance or ran away. Parts of Ghazni were left in ruins. It was a huge embarrassment to the U.S. imperial generals and their Afghan satraps who had claimed ‘the corner in Afghanistan has finally been turned.’
Efforts by the Trump administration to bomb Taliban into submission have clearly failed. U.S. commanders fear using American ground troops in battle lest they suffer serious casualties. Meanwhile, the US is running low on bombs.
Roads are now so dangerous for the occupiers that most movement must be by air. Taliban is estimated to permanently control almost 50% percent of Afghanistan. That number would rise to 100 percent were it not for omnipresent US air power. Taliban rules the night.
Taliban are not and never were ‘terrorists’ as Washington’s war propaganda falsely claimed. I was there at the creation of the movement—a group of Afghan religious students armed by Pakistan whose goal was to stop post-civil war banditry, the mass rape of women, and to fight the Afghan Communists. When Taliban gained power, it eliminated 95 percent of the rampant Afghanistan opium-heroin trade. After the U.S. invaded, allied to the old Afghan Communists and northern Tajik tribes, opium-heroin production soared to record levels. Today, U.S.-occupied Afghanistan is the world’s largest producer of opium, morphine and heroin.