Sunday, August 14

War as an argument for power

The predicted progress gallops in Afghanistan. The chaos of the repressed evacuation, the persecution of anyone who does not like the Taliban regime “house to house”, the erasure of women, the despair of those trapped, the desolate waiting of those who await solutions, the silent cries of protests.

“The Taliban have won the war.” The sentence pronounced this Tuesday by the Spanish Josep Borrell (High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy) falls like a cluster bomb but with such limited effects that they are barely perceptible in the international consciousness. It is true that the head of European diplomacy has stressed that he discards an “official recognition” of the Taliban government, but he is inclined to talk to them about evacuation operations and granting aid, for example. They call him realpolitik, pragmatism regardless of ideologies.

The EU actually recognizes or does not recognize by country. Juan Guaidó was accepted quickly when he proclaimed himself president of Venezuela, also advised by the Commission. Borrell was not in favor of speaking with Maduro, nor with the Catalan independentistas, but Afghanistan seems to lean towards that pragmatism.

It’s not the only one. In reality, most countries, including their powerful neighbors, are in that line: accept the new Taliban government in Kabul. They have won the war. In the 21st century, winning a war still guarantees power. Although it is a terrorist group that seriously violates human rights. In the same way that obtaining votes in an election legitimizes fascist parties to cloud democracy. And in your case, to destroy it.

Mikel Ayestarán, a leading Spanish journalist and informant in numerous conflicts, said these days that “When the Taliban had the Emirate between 1996 and 2001, only three countries recognized it“: Pakistan, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. But it is not the same anymore and we are doing a crash course on how things have changed, for the worse, in 20 years. realpolitik. The powers take positions. In this context, by the way, the US continues its decline and China continues to gain positions.

“The Taliban have won the war” indicates that there was. George W. Bush officially declared it on October 7, 2001, less than a month after the 9/11 attacks, but it was “against terror.” The terror then was Bin Laden and the Taliban who, it was said, harbored him. “The Taliban will pay a price” and “the oppressed people of Afghanistan will know the generosity of the US and our allies,” Bush said. In November, the First Lady, Laura Bush, made a hole in the preparations for the presidential Thanksgiving turkey to expand the objective: “the fight against terrorism is also a fight for the rights and dignity of women,” he advanced .

This Thursday, women held by US soldiers at the airport asked for help to flee.

The military campaign was dubbed “enduring freedom” and it takes on a particularly bitter meaning today. It has ended up being a war against the Afghan people, rights and conscience if we stick to its end. To the handover of power to the Taliban. It was, as you know, in February 2020, in Doha, Qatar. By agreement signed exclusively by the United States of Donald Trump and the Taliban and accepted by the Loya Jirga or great assembly of elders and political elites of Afghanistan. Here is a detailed schematic. But the real summary of that agreement has three basic points: 1) In your country you can do whatever you want 2) Beware of attacking ours 3) We will talk about collaboration and business. Pure pragmatism.

Experience shows us that Saudi Arabia, for example, can dismember journalists critical of its princes without consequences. And that there, as in Qatar and other countries of the Persian Gulf, women can be treated, mistreated, as inferior beings, without causing special discomfort. The president of Afghanistan until four days ago, Ashraf Ghani, rushed out with his family and 169 million dollars and says that left Kabul to avoid bloodshed. Another exemplary autarchy, specialized in giving asylum to senior leaders fleeing with Pasta. So Afghanistan fits in the package if it doesn’t make too much noise and as soon as the protests and signature drives stop.

Current US President Joe Biden has assured that they never said what they said, although they did say what happened: that they never intended to export democracy but rather to protect the United States from terrorism and punish the perpetrators of the September 11 attacks. When Bin Laden moved to Pakistan, the bombs kept falling on the Afghans and the occupation lasted for two decades, only to leave them now.

No one assumes or is held accountable for this immense and long fraud, or for the consequences that will follow. The worst thing is that Afghanistan falls into a society invaded by misinformation, from inaccuracies to hoaxes. Millions of citizens embark on blaming Biden for example, on saving Trump, on ignoring the role of Bush. Here, in looking at Pedro Sánchez’s sneakers from the height of their brains, or blaming the Minister of Equality Irene Montero that the Taliban have returned in a delirious carom. Diarrheal trials that strengthen impunity. It produces even modesty to point it out, but the media fill hours and hours, pages and screens with it.

With the European Union in a coma, he will make various statements expressing his “deep concern”, while looking the other way even within his own bosom, at Hungary or Poland so close to ideological Talibanisms. Or this Spain that already feels them in parliaments and supplies them tirelessly in the media. At this time the Balkans are boiling in a conflict that did not end in the 90s as they believed and continues to fester. Bosnian Serbs continue to glorify war criminals and protest forbidden to deny the Srebrenica genocide that did exist.

All the Srebrenicas return. And fascism. And fundamentalisms. If they end up winning the war even if it is by abandonment of the opposite, it already works. Every day more practical power is cooked away from the citizens, perhaps because too many desert the battlefield where their rights are at stake.