Right Assessment, wrong conclusions.


Unlike most of its anchor columnists, doing incorrect assessments to reach wrong conclusions, the New York Times editorial writers usually do correct assessments only to reach the same wrong conclusions.

The best example is its August 09, 2003 editorial, titled "Belated Help for Afghanistan." It sets a graceful tone of admitting the reality from the first line. It says, 21 months "after American-backed forces drove the Taliban from Kabul, Afghanistan remains a long way from recovery and stability." Surrendering to the reality it adds, the power of the US installed puppet regime "barely extends beyond Kabul.?

However, saying that Karzai is in control of Kabul is also a bit exaggeration, because Kabul is not a small place. In fact, a Canadian Afghan called this scribe from Kabul the other day and summed up the situation in a few words: "Karazi’s government is a government over five kilometers."

Elsewhere, according to the New York Times, "warlords maintain their own security forces, collect their own taxes and otherwise undermine the government’s authority." The startling part of the analysis reveals, "the Pentagon spends $10 billion a year on the 9,000 American troops fighting Taliban remnants," whereas "the administration has spent less than $1 billion on reconstruction so far."

Instead of raising some legitimate questions, doing the right comparisons and impartial evaluation, the editorial comes up with some funny concluding suggestions. It asks for "several thousand additional troops," "new mandate from the Security Council," and "additional contributions from Europe and Japan."

Would all this help remove "Taliban remnants"? What kind of remnants the US face that it could not remove despite the overwhelming military force and $10 billion a year? At this rate, the spending will become $20 billion this November. Its not joke.

Let us do a quick comparison. The Afghans were fed up with the Taliban. Right? Still the Taliban controlled 90 per cent of the country and there was no mass killings of the kind we are witnessing since their departure. Why is it so that Afghan people loved to see the Taliban gone, yet they did not allow Karazai government to extend beyond 5 kilometers? It is far less than one percent of the total land. Who controls the rest" Remnants and terrorists"

Continue the comparison. The Taliban?s military and economic strength was far below what is at the U.S. disposal in Afghanistan. How could they maintain law and order over 90 percent of the land? Through oppression because they were "murderous thugs"? If so, count the opponents to both the Taliban and Karzai regimes killed in five and two years respectively ? subtract US human right abuses and torture facilities, such as Guantanamo bay, from the Taliban side of the equation. But the US is up against terrorists, the New York Times may argue. So were the Soviets. Think about the results.

The problem is that the so-called reliable mainstream media does not ask the right questions. The New York Times editorial is a typical example of how it analyses 2 and 2 separately, but never tries to put these together. It was supposed to ask, how long would the US need "several thousand additional troops and new mandate from the Security Council" to protect a government over five kilometers?

It is not only the matter of five kilometers. According to a reliable source, the murderous warlords of the Northern Alliance have such a stronghold that Karzai can neither appoint nor remove a person from very insignificant positions in Kabul. Almost everyone in Kabul knows how Director General Din Muhammad Jur?at, a Panjsheri, beat Interior Minister Taj Muhammad Wardak to death. The Minister?s crime was to issue transfer orders of the DG. The question for the New York Times to ask is, Will the billions of US dollars and years of protection ever bring legitimacy to Karazai’s regime?

Will it end the much-hyped phenomenon of terrorism? The editorial concludes that the US ?paid a terrible price for not doing more to stabilize Afghanistan after the Soviet withdrawal" in the form of September. It is simply an attempt to blind its readers to the reality that just like Karzai, the Taliban were the creation of the US and its puppets in Pakistan.

The issue was that the Taliban grew too big for the shoes the US was trying to put them into. The US is not paying the price for not interfering in Afghanistan after the Soviet withdrawal, but for not allowing the people all over the Muslim world to live according to their free will.

The price will become heavier, not because the US repeats its mistake. But because: a) the US has chosen to come out of its comfort zone to the battle field, where many were anxious to have them on the ground, b) it continues to impose unpopular regimes with brute force and dollars, c) it is underrating genuine resistance of the people to its occupation " both in Afghanistan and Iraq " as revenge of the remnants and d) its media continues to support the government in blinding its public to the realities on the ground.