Black Agenda Radio Commentaries
News, analysis and commentary on the human condition from a black left perspective.
Obama Buys Allies Where the U.S. Has No Friends A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
"The U.S. plans to double the Afghan army and police, to 400,000 men, through the sheer magnetic pull of money. But, as the old song goes, money can't buy you love." At root, the Obama/ Petraeus plan for Afghanistan is bribery on a massive scale, a "surge" of billions of dollars to convert the desperately unemployed into U.S.-allied fighters. The plan only looks halfway intelligent in comparison to the early Rumsfeld Iraq plan, which was based on the assumption t

Obama Buys Allies Where the U.S. Has No Friends
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
“As the old song goes, money can’t buy you love.”
The Obama plan for Afghanistan, like General David Petraeus’s plan for Iraq, boils down to using massive bribery – ten or twenty billion dollars, or more – to create a political and military ally in a country that doesn’t want the U.S. to be there. There’s really nothing mysterious or out of the ordinary about the strategy. The Obama/Patraeus plan for Afghanistan was also the George Bush plan for Iraq in the last two years of the Republican administration, and only appears to be some kind of stroke of brilliance when compared to the Donald Rumsfeld plan to subdue and colonize Iraq in the early years of the Iraq war.
Rumsfeld’s plan was defeated because it was based on thoroughly racist assumptions. The first assumption was that Iraqis would be universally overjoyed to be occupied by the Great (White) American Father – that they would gladly surrender their national sovereignty and put up no long-term resistance. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and Vice President Cheney and all the Bush minions had not a shred of a doubt that the Iraqis desired nothing more than to become a colony of the United States. When Baghdad was burning, consumed in flames set by the Iraqis themselves after American forces captured the city, Secretary Rumsfeld announced, and truly believed, that the Iraqis were “celebrating” having been conquered by the U.S.A. He assured the American people that only a few of Saddam Hussein’s most fanatically loyal “dead-enders” would put up further resistance to the American occupation. That essentially racist belief – that colored people desire to be ruled by white people – convinced the Bush administration that it could keep U.S. troop levels in Iraq low – that the vast majority of Iraqis wanted to be occupied by foreigners.
Rumsfeld stuck with his assumption until the American occupation was transformed into a siege of the Americans. Finally, Rumsfeld lost his job. In counter-insurgency terms, the war had been lost.
“General Petraeus’s so-called troop “surge” was only possible because Sunni fighters were getting paychecks from the United States occupation force.”
But America’s war was not the Iraqi’s war. Shia Muslim political parties had their own agenda, and waged a savage war of ethnic cleansing and sectarian annihilation. The Americans didn’t want Iraqis of any religious persuasion running their own country, but they were unable to control events. What happened next was not part of an American plan. Shia Muslim forces had captured 75 percent of Baghdad and Sunni Muslims were on the ropes. At least one hundred thousand former Sunni resistance fighters – virtually the entire force that had earlier brought low the American war machine – agreed to join the U.S. payroll. They made peace with the Americans to escape the wrath of the Shia – and to feed their families. General Petraeus’s so-called troop “surge” was only possible because there were few Sunni fighters to surge against. They were getting paychecks from the United States occupation force.
President Obama hopes to buy off various groups of fighters in Afghanistan in the same way. The U.S. plans to double the Afghan army and police, to 400,000 men, through the sheer magnetic pull of money. But, as the old song goes, money can’t buy you love – in Afghanistan or Iraq – especially when it competes with people’s natural desire to run their own countries. Only racists believe otherwise.
For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.
Direct download: 20090325_gf_escalating_afghan_war.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:11am EDT