Afghanistan,  Your View

The slander begins

Cross-posted from Lerterland

Malalai Joya at Comment Is Free makes valid points about corruption under Karzai but then writes:

Like many around the world, I am wondering what kind of “peace” prize can be awarded to a leader who continues the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and starts a new war in Pakistan, all while supporting Israel?

By “continuing the occupation of Iraq” I’m sure Joya meant the withdrawal of U.S. forces from all major Iraqi cities and the commitment to full withdrawal from the country by summer 2011. Must have been a slip of the keyboard. Or a complete lack of intellectual honesty.

But Obama “started a new war in Pakistan”? How dare she. Long before Obama took office, the Taliban and allied militants launched an all-out war against the Pakistani state. The Lal Masjid incident. The assassination of Benazir Bhutto. More recently, the assault on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore. The attempted takeover of Swat and neighboring provinces. A string of ghastly suicide bombings in Peshawar and elsewhere, victimizing hundreds of innocent Muslim civilians. Somehow their lost lives don’t factor into Joya’s analysis. It’s Obama’s fault. Right.

Yes, there are covert U.S. activities still unfolding in the Waziristans, as Rachel Maddow observed last night. I’ve seen reasonable critiques of the drone attacks and other covert ops being undertaken there, but those actions do not amount to “starting a new war” in Pakistan — this is revisionism. The covert ops are a response to terrorist activity on the part of the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

Praising the UK soldier and war resister Joe Glenton, Joya concludes: “[I]n times of great injustice, it is sometimes better to go to jail than be part of committing war crimes.” So for Joya, that’s what Obama is doing — sending those West Point cadets overseas to commit war crimes. What a disgraceful statement.

“But I still have hope because, as our history teaches, the people of Afghanistan will never accept occupation,” says Joya. That must be why as of February 2009, 63 percent of Afghans supported the presence of U.S. troops — a decline, admittedly, from a high of 78 percent in 2006.

[Editor’s note: Harry’s Place has posted previously about Malalai Joya]