The Americans, like the British and the Soviets before them, all dug their own graveyard in Afghanistan trying to invade to annex its mineral deposits and control the ancient trade routes.
Imperial powers do not forgive those who expose their weaknesses or make public the sordid and immoral inner workings of empire. Empires are fragile constructions. Their power is as much one of perception as of military strength.
The virtues they claim to uphold and defend, usually in the name of their superior civilization, are a mask for pillage, the exploitation of cheap labor, indiscriminate violence, and state terror.
The current American empire, damaged and humiliated by the troves of internal documents published by WikiLeaks, will, for this reason, persecute Julian Assange for the rest of his life. It does not matter who is president or which political party is in power.
Imperialists speak with one voice. The killing of thirteen U.S. troops by a suicide bomber at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul evoked from Joe Biden the full-throated cry of all imperialists.
To those who carried out this attack, we will not forgive, we will not forget, we will hunt you down and make you pay.
This was swiftly followed by two drone strikes in Kabul against suspected members of the Islamic State in Khorasan Province, ISKP (ISIS-K), which took credit for the suicide bombing that left some 170 dead, including 28 members of the Taliban.
The Taliban, which defeated U.S. and coalition forces in a 20-year war, is about to be confronted with the wrath of a wounded empire. The Cuban, Vietnamese, Iranian, Syrian, Libyan, Venezuelan and Haitian governments know what comes next.
The collateral damage on the infrastructure must be paid for by the poorest and most vulnerable Afghans, instead of by the evil destructive invaders.
The faux pity for the Afghan people, which has defined the coverage of the desperate collaborators with the U.S. and coalition occupying forces and educated elites fleeing to the Kabul airport, begins and ends with the plight of the evacuees.
There were few tears shed for the families routinely terrorized by coalition forces or the some 70,000 civilians who were obliterated by U.S. air strikes, drone attacks, missiles, and artillery, or gunned down by nervous occupying forces who saw every Afghan, with some justification, as the enemy during the war.
And there will be few tears for the humanitarian catastrophe the empire is orchestrating on the 38 million Afghans, who live in one of the most impoverished and aid-dependent countries in the world.
Since the 2001 invasion the United States deployed about 775,000 military personnel to subdue Afghanistan and poured $143 billion into the country, with 60% of the money going to prop up the corrupt Afghan military.
The rest was devoted to funding so-called economic development projects, aid programs and anti-poppy cultivation initiatives, with the bulk of those funds being siphoned off by foreign aid groups, private contractors, and outside consultants.
Grants from the US regime and other malign entities accounted for 75% of the Afghan government budget. That assistance has now evaporated.
Afghanistan’s reserves and other financial accounts have been frozen, meaning the new government cannot access some $9.5 billion in assets belonging to the Afghan central bank?
Shipments of cash to Afghanistan have been stopped. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that Afghanistan will no longer be able to access the lender’s resources.
Things are already dire. There are some 14 million Afghans, one in three, who lack sufficient food. There are two million Afghan children who are malnourished. There are 3.5 million people in Afghanistan who have been displaced from their homes at the hand of the NATO invaders.
The war has wrecked infrastructure. A drought destroyed 40% of the nation’s crops last year. The assault on the Afghan economy is already seeing food prices skyrocket.
The sanctions and severance of aid will force civil servants to go without salaries and the health service, already chronically short of medicine and equipment, will collapse.
The suffering orchestrated by the empire will be of Biblical proportions. And this is what the empire wants, exactly the copycat of all those other invaded nations on this planet?
UNICEF estimates that 500,000 children were killed as a direct result of sanctions on Iraq. Expect child deaths in Afghanistan to soar above that horrifying figure.
And expect the same imperial heartlessness Madeline Albright, then the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, exhibited when she told “60 Minutes” correspondent Lesley Stahl that the deaths of half a million Iraqi children because of the sanctions was “worth it.”
Or the heartlessness of Killary Clinton who joked “We came, we saw, he died,” when informed of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi’s brutal assassination.
Or the demand by Democratic Senator Zell Miller of Georgia who after the attacks of 9/11 declared, “I say, bomb the hell out of them. If there’s collateral damage, so be it.”
No matter that the empire has since turned Libya along with Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen into cauldrons of violence, chaos, and misery. The power to destroy is an intoxicating drug that is its own justification.
Like Cato the Censor, the U.S. military and intelligence agencies are, if history is any guide, at this moment planning to destabilize Afghanistan by funding, arming, and backing any militia, warlord or terrorist organization willing to strike at the Taliban.
The CIA, which should exclusively gather intelligence, is a rogue paramilitary organization that oversees secret kidnappings, interrogation at black sites, torture, manhunts, and targeted assassinations across the globe.
It carried out commando raids in Afghanistan that killed a large number of Afghan civilians, which repeatedly sent enraged family members and villagers into the arms of the Taliban.
It is, reaching out to Amrullah Saleh, who was Ashraf Ghani’s vice president and who has declared himself “the legitimate caretaker president” of Afghanistan.
Saleh is holed up in the Panjashir Valley. He, along with warlords Afgand Massoud, Mohammad Atta Noor and Abdul Rashid Dostum, are clamoring to be armed and supported to perpetuate conflict in Afghanistan.
The United States and its allies have left the battlefield, but America still has a ‘Great Arsenal of Democracy, adding that he and his fighters need “more weapons, more ammunition and more supplies.”
The cynicism of arming and funding the Mujahedin against the Soviets exposes the lie of America’s humanitarian concerns in Afghanistan.
One million Afghan civilians were killed in the nine-year conflict with the Soviets, along with 90,000 Mujahedin fighters, 18,000 Afghan troops, and 14,500 Soviet soldiers. But these deaths, along with the destruction of Afghanistan, were “worth it” to cripple the Soviets.
Jimmy Carter’s national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, along with the Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, oversaw the arming of the most radical Islamic Mujahedin groups fighting the Soviet occupation forces, leading to the extinguishing of the secular, democratic Afghan opposition.
The clandestine campaign to destabilize the Soviet Union by making it “bleed for as much and as long as is possible” was carried out, like the arming of the contra forces in Nicaragua, largely off the books.
It did not, as far as official Washington was concerned, exist, a way to avoid the unwelcome scrutiny of covert operations carried out by the Church Committee hearings in the 1970’s that made public the three decades of CIA-backed coups, assassinations, blackmail, intimidation, dark propaganda, and torture.
The rogue operation, led by Brzezinski, organized secret units of assassination teams and paramilitary squads that carried out lethal attacks on perceived enemies around the globe. It trained Afghan Mujahedin in Pakistan and China’s Xinjiang province.
It shifted the heroin trade, used to fund the insurgency, from southeast Asia to the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
This pattern of behavior, which destabilized Afghanistan and the region, is reflexive in the military and the intelligence community. It will, without doubt, be repeated now in Afghanistan, with the same catastrophic results.
The chaos these intelligence agencies create becomes the chaos that justifies their existence and the chaos that sees them demand more resources and ever greater levels of violence.
All empires die. The end is usually unpleasant. The American empire, humiliated in Afghanistan, as it was in Syria, Iraq, and Libya, as it was at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba and in Vietnam, is blind to its own declining strength, ineptitude, and savagery.
Its entire economy, a “military Keynesianism,” revolves around the war industry. Military spending and war are the engine behind the nation’s economic survival and identity.
It does not matter that with each new debacle the United States turns larger and larger parts of the globe against it and all it claims to represent.
It has no mechanism to stop itself, despite its numerous defeats, fiascos, blunders and diminishing power, from striking out irrationally like a wounded animal.
The mandarins who oversee our collective suicide, despite repeated failure, doggedly insist we can reshape the world in our own image. This myopia creates the very conditions that accelerate the empire’s demise.
At the same time a bankrupt media, whether on MSNBC, CNN or FOX, lionizes and amplifies the voices of the inept and corrupt political, military and intelligence class including John Bolton, Leon Panetta and David Petraeus, which blindly drives the nation into the morass.
Chalmers Johnson in his trilogy on the fall of the American empire – “Blow-back,” “The Sorrows of Empire” and “Nemesis” – reminds readers that the Greek goddess Nemesis is “the spirit of retribution, a corrective to the greed and stupidity that sometimes governs relations among people.
She stands for “righteous anger,” a deity who “punishes human transgression of the natural, right order of things and the arrogance that causes it.
He warns that if we continue to cling to our empire, as the Roman Republic did, we will certainly lose our democracy and grimly await the eventual blow-back that imperialism generates.
To maintain the US empire abroad requires foreign resources and commitments that will inevitably undercut our domestic democracy and, in the end, produce a military dictatorship or its civilian equivalent.
The founders of the USA understood this well and tried to create a form of government – a republic – that would prevent this from occurring.
But the combination of huge standing armies, almost continuous wars and ruinous military expenses have destroyed our republican structure in favor of an imperial presidency.
The US regime is on the cusp of losing the democracy for the sake of keeping the empire alive. Once a nation is started down that path, the dynamics that apply to all empires come into play isolation, overstretch, the uniting of forces opposed to imperialism, and bankruptcy.
If the empire was capable of introspection and forgiveness, it could free itself from its death spiral. If the empire disbanded, much as the British empire did, and retreated to focus on the ills that beset the United States it could free itself from its death spiral.
But those who manipulate the levers of empire are unaccountable. They are hidden from public view and beyond public scrutiny.
They are determined to keep playing the great game, rolling the dice with lives and national treasure.
They will, we expect, preside gleefully over the deaths of even more Afghans, assuring themselves it is worth it, without realizing that the gallows they erect are for themselves.
Mint Press.com / ABC Flash Point News 2021.