The truck bomb that exploded in front of Islamabad’s Marriott hotel killing at least 53 people heralded in the latest salvo in the the U.S.’s and Mujahedin’s love/hate relationship. Their relationship began in 1979 in Afghanistan and Pakistan when the U.S., starting with Jimmy Carter and his National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brezezinski hatched an idea of using the most extreme militant Islamists to first draw in the Soviets (to Afghanistan) then go to war against them. At the time the U.S. was allied closely with Pakistani dictator General Zia Ul-Haq. Zia allowed Pakistan to be the primary conduit for weapons transfers from Washington to the Mujahedin from ’79 on.
Washington’s ongoing support for the Mujahedin, particularly during the Reagan presidency, was an action carried out simultaneously with the U.S. arming and training of Nicaragua’s Contras, who had been members of the deposed right wing dictator Anastasio Somoza’s National Guard. Despite both parties antithesis towards freedom and democracy both were dubbed "freedom fighters" by Washington. The U.S.’s "freedom fighters" wether in Central America or Afghanistan had a strong penchant for killing civilians as well as raping women and girls.
The Taliban, simply the current evolution of the Mujahedin, views the U.S. in the same manner as their cohorts viewed the Soviets in the 80’s.
It is likely the hotel bombing is a response to a number of attacks carried out by the United states and its allies over the past several weeks. The attacks in question took place both in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The first and most notable one took place in the Herat district of Afghanistan. On August 21 a U.S. bombing killed 90 civilians, 60 of them children. The figure was confirmed by Afghan human rights groups as well as the UN. The U.S. response however was to basically call the Afghans and UN liars insisting that most of the dead were Taliban and only a small number were children. After a couple of weeks of the U.S. basically calling the Afghans and the UN liers the U.S. achnowledged the deaths but still did not accept responsibility saying it was faulty intelligence from an Afghan with a vendetta.
In South Waziristan, Pakistan, on September 3 the first officially acknowledged attack by US forces on Pakistani soil killed 20 people, primarily women and children. It does appear that the U.S. is determined to make Pakistan its next front in its "war on Terror".
The reasons, goals and methods of of U.S. interactions with the rest of the World, particularly impoverished and needy areas such as Pakistan and Afghanistan should be constantly open to analysis. Because of poverty, harsh winters and the 2005 earthquake that still is impacting certain parts of Pakistan humanitarian endeavors should be paramount. Arrogance or Crass self interests vis-a-vis warfare or material acquisition through thuggery all too often has appeared to be the cornerstone of capitalism historically. A refocus towards ending hunger and poverty as well as illiteracy in the World are far more fitting goals then greed, power and materialism.
- "The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time" – by Jeffrey Sachs
- "Banker To The Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty" – by Muhammad Yunus
- "Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time" – by Greg Mortenson