Ukraine another Groundhog Day

It was the day after my 80th birthday 24th February 2022 that the first Russian soldiers crossed the border into Ukraine.

So predictable so preventable,

Like every war before this one the euphoria of war was palpable, young and old, men and women, appeared before the cameras to tell the world how they would fight the invaders and free their country.

Figures ranging from 7.4 to 8 million people 17 per cent of the entire population of Ukraine have fled their homes into neighbouring countries, many now widowed, and children orphaned, now living off the charity of others, and handouts from food banks. They will see as we do the pictures of cities razed to the ground, cities that were once their home, their homeland in flames, they must now wonder if they will ever be able to return, would they want to? I’m sure so many of them must be asking themselves now WHY?

Do these people now look back to the American led coup of 2014, the stirring up by the CIA and FBI of far-right factions in the country, the civil war that raged in the east of Ukraine for 8 years, the fires of war stocked by American weapons pouring into the country?

Liberating Afghanistan

The people there are dead because we wanted them dead.

Pentagon spokesperson on the bombing of a village that killed 93 civilians.

Kabul today has contours of rubble rather than streets where people live in bombed-out buildings, and children play in the rubble of what remains of its once-famous art deco cinema. A poster warns of cluster bombs ‘yellow and from the USA’ are in the vicinity, yet people are still being disfigured, still suffering lost limbs having confused the cluster canisters for yellow relief packages that were dropped by American planes in October 2001, after the invading ‘Coalition’ had stopped relief convoys crossing from Pakistan. Why then is the poster is not heeded – the people can not read.

The number of civilians killed directly by the post-September 11 bombings and  invasion of Afghanistan is estimated at between thirteen hundred and eight thousand as many as twenty thousand Afghanis may have lost their lives as an indirect consequence, wrote Jonathan Steele in an investigation for the Guardian

‘The bombing caused massive dislocation by prompting hundreds of Afghans to flee their homes. It stopped aid supplies to drought victims who depended on emergency relief. It provoked an upsurge in fighting leading yet more people to flee, they, too, become the tally of the dead.’

Only the dead know an end to war.

The war in Afghanistan was well documented at the time, now it slips into history, and the lessons of the past have not been learned. The mujahedin, whose guerrilla army was effectively created by America in the 1980s as an instrument of the Cold War, As the Bush administration prepared to attack Afghanistan in the wake of the September Twin Towers to Saudi Arabians – CIA agents secretly met their old clients on the border with Pakistan and handed them millions of dollars in cash.

‘We were reaching out to every commander that we could’ a CIA official told the Wall Street Journal.

By reaching out, he meant bribing them to stop fighting each other and instead fight the Taliban. In his semi-official history, the Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward reports that the CIA spent $70 million in bribes. He describes a meeting between a CIA agent known as Gary and a warlord called Amniat-Melli:

Gary placed a bundle of cash on the table: $500,000 in ten one-foot stacks of $100 bills. He believed it would be more impressive than the usual $200,000, the best way to say we’re here, we’re serious, here’s money, we know you need it…. Gary would soon ask CIA headquarters for and receive $10 million in cash.

The problem with the PDPA government for Washington was it was supported by the Soviet Union. At Brzezinski’s urging and unknown to the American public and Congress, President Carter authorised $500 million to fund and arm the mujahedin: in effect, to set up what the Americans would now describe as a terrorist organisation. The aim was to overthrow the Afghan government and draw the Soviets into Afghanistan. In an interview in 1998, Brzezinski said:

According to the official view of history, CIA aid to the mujahedin began in 1980, that is, after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan on 24 December 1979. but the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise. Indeed, it was on 3 July 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion, this aid was going to provoke a Soviet military intervention … We didn’t push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.   

Brzezinski was asked if, having seen the consequences, he had any regrets. ‘Regret what?’ he replied.

The secret operation was an excellent idea. It has the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap …. The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: ‘We now have the opportunity to give the USSR its Vietnam War.’ Indeed, for almost ten years, Moscow has o carry on a conflict that brought about the demoralisation and finally the break-u of the Soviet empire.

For seventeen years, the US deliberately cultivated an extremist against which it would later proclaim a ‘war on terror. ‘Central to the US-sponsored operation’ wrote Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed in The War on Truth: 9/11, Disinformation and the Anatomy of Terrorism

Was the attempt to manufacture an extremist religious ideology by amalgamating local Afghan feudal traditions which Islamic rhetoric… The extremist religious ‘jihad’ ideology cultivated in CIA-sponsored training programs was interspersed with tribal norms, giving rise to a distinctly distorted system of war values garbed with ‘Islamic’ jargon … Amongst the myriad of polices designed to generate the desired level of extremism, the US-funded – to the tune of millions of dollars – the production and distribution in Afghanistan of School textbooks promoting murder and fanaticism.  

It is well documented what went on in Latin America at the hands of the United States of America in their attempt to control (by regime change) the governments therefore the rich resources of Latin American countries. It is well documented what went on in Afghanistan, at the hands of the United States of America, a proxy-war, to draw the then USSR into as it was put, their Vietnam. Later using the same people they had used to draw the USSR into a war they never wished to become involved in, and then utilising the same people (now terrorists) to justify America’s invasion of Afghanistan. (Their second Vietnam is it turned out).

Now here again we see America fighting a proxy-war in Ukraine, once more drawing

Into a war, not of their own choosing. A war that is leaving a trail of  destruction in their wake, displacing millions and turning them into refugees. Forcing hardship on neighbouring countries, and trashing economies across Europe.

I have to wonder if the people we saw on our television screens, still feel it was all worth it or if given the chance to rewind time, would now choose to trade goods and resources with Russia rather than bullets and bombs? (Supplied of course by their friends in the US)

Stay safe.

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