Independence Day

Independence Day

By: Kian Mokhtari

And now it’s the French’s turn!!

Ten French NATO troops were killed in fierce fighting following a Taliban attack near the Afghan capital Kabul. They were killed during two days of fighting in Sarobi district, about 50 kilometers east of the Afghan capital.

On July 13, nine US soldiers were killed in an attack on a base in northeastern Kunar province. The US “abandoned” the garrison following the pummeling they got and for once there were no reports of Taliban casualties; meaning the Taliban must have gained control of the field during battle.

A British soldier serving under US-led coalition forces was killed on August 18 when his patrol came under attack in southern Afghanistan.

The incidents come at a time of heightened security to confront any possible insurgent attacks on the 89th Afghan Independence Day. Afghanistan celebrated the 19th of August to commemorate the Treaty of Rawalpindi in 1919 that granted the country independence from British rule.

There have never been any long-term foreign winners in Afghan conflicts –ever.

The entire idea of moving forces to Afghanistan and setting up numerous garrisons has been tried, tested and failed dozens of times over. Bloody-nosed invaders have been sent packing in a terrible hurry because the entire process of invasion, occupation and foreign consolidation of the country is faulty.

There are just so many historical precedences that you’d think there simply cannot be another invader foolish enough to want to take the risk.

For instance in December 1838 a British army was assembled in India for an Afghan campaign. By April 1839, after a difficult advance under constant harassment from tribal fighters it reached Kabul. In 1842, Following a horrendously disastrous stay 4,500 troops (British and Indian) and 12,000 camp-followers and irregular fighters retreated from Kabul to march to Jalalabad; continuously battered by the local tribes along the way the only European survivor, Dr Brydon, reached Jalalabad. Then Jalalabad and Kandahar garrisons under attack.

Sounds familiar?

The British money pit campaign of Afghanistan kept Britain busy until 1919 and eventually Britain had to let go leading to the treaty of Rawalpindi.

Many British commentators wrote at the time that military occupation of another nation did not necessarily mean holding the reigns of power over that nation and bemoaned the brainlessness of Imperial advisors.

So what on earth are the Europeans and Americans doing back in Afghanistan?

Well, the “great game” is back on after a sixty-year hiatus of the Cold War. The Anglo-Afghan wars (1838-1919) were about marking the boundaries of British sphere of Imperial rule over India, curbing Russian influence in the region and neutralizing Iran.

Iran came off worst in the campaign because it was lumbered with playboy kings at the time and lost Herat as well as its regional Imperial status.

Dragged down by domestic affairs, Iran gave up its Imperial ambitions following the aforementioned 19th century campaign.

However the West never took its beady eyes off control over Afghanistan. So Taliban, Al-Qaeda or otherwise, a Western-led invasion of Afghanistan would have been inevitable really; and 9/11 became the convenient excuse for a return to Afghanistan of the English-speaking world’s Imperialistic ambitions and troops. This time however the Germans and the French joined in the bravado and another fine mess is being made of Afghanistan through naked Western ambition.

They say British forces never retreat; they withdraw. It is quite clear that this time it is common sense that has wholly abandoned the Western invaders.

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