memri
August 8, 2011 Special Dispatch No. 4064

Saudi English-Language Daily: What's Going On in Afghanistan Today Is Resistance Against Occupation; 'The U.S. Must Learn From History, It Is In Its Own Interest to End This Conflict and to Leave While It Can — With Dignity'

August 8, 2011
Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan | Special Dispatch No. 4064

In its May 30, 2011 editorial, titled "Afghan killings," the Saudi English-language daily Arab News discussed the U.S. military's mission in Afghanistan, stating: "[I]f this war was about avenging the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, [which were] ostensibly carried out by Al-Qaeda – [now,] with the outfit wiped out in Afghanistan and even its figurehead leader [Osama bin Laden] killed in neighboring Pakistan... the U.S. mission in the region is already accomplished. The West has no excuse or business to be around now..."

The editorial concludes: "What's going on in Afghanistan today is resistance against occupation... The U.S. must learn from history. It is in its own interest to end this conflict and to leave while it can — with dignity."

The following is the editorial, in the original English:[1]

"This War [In Afghanistan] Is Only Fueling Anti-Western Anger in the Region and Across the Muslim World"

"This war [in Afghanistan] is only fueling anti-Western anger in the region and across the Muslim world.
'A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths a statistic,' argued the late Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. For the United States and its NATO allies, the killing of 52 Afghan civilians, at least 12 of them young children and two women, on Saturday night [May 28] in another airstrike is merely another statistic in the 'war on terror.'

"And if the killing of civilians in the bombing of a residential compound in Helmand drew angry protests and 'warnings' by President Hamid Karzai, they were predictably followed by 'sincere apologies' by the coalition saying 'top priority is given to prevent civilian casualties and it takes such cases very seriously.' Karzai thunders that he has repeatedly warned the coalition against air raids that kill innocents and that this is his 'last warning' to the coalition. And the White House says it takes 'Afghan concerns very seriously,' adding, 'We work very hard to avoid civilian casualties.'

"We have been here before of course. We have seen many such 'warnings' by the Afghan president and many such 'apologies' by the coalition. Media pundits and human rights groups will express their 'outrage' for a day or two and move on. Little will change on the ground. The farce goes on – until there is another airstrike killing more innocent people.

"The truth is, the world has grown weary of this decade-long war and doesn't really care two hoots whether it's Taliban insurgents or innocent civilians who are wiped out by the indiscriminate U.S.-NATO bombings. The Americans do not want to be reminded of the mess created by their trillion-dollar war abroad at a time when they have more pressing things to worry about, like the economy and jobs. As a result, the coalition forces kill at will – and with impunity.

"What will it take to wake up the conscience of the world, and of the Americans, over this wretched, interminable war? Tens of thousands of innocents have been killed in the U.S.-NATO air raids and 'operations' on the ground – many times more than those killed in Taliban attacks. And this war is supposed to bring freedom, democracy and peace to Afghanistan! How many more must die before the international community asked the West to leave Afghanistan? Why do we not see Vietnam [era]-like anti-war protests around the world?

"What's Going On in Afghanistan Today is Resistance Against Occupation... The U.S. Must Learn From History – It Is In Its Own Interest to End This Conflict and Leave While It Can"

"Even if this war was about avenging the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, [which were] ostensibly carried out by Al-Qaeda – [now,] with the outfit wiped out in Afghanistan and even its figurehead leader [Osama bin Laden] killed in neighboring Pakistan this month, the U.S. mission in the region is already accomplished. The West has no excuse or business to be around now. This war is only feeding and fueling anti-Western anger in the region and across the Muslim world.

"What's going on in Afghanistan today is resistance against occupation. And the Afghans will fight for a thousand years without worrying about consequences or the brute power of the adversary. This is a game that no one, including the Russians and British, has won in Afghanistan.

"The U.S. must learn from history. It is in its own interest to end this conflict and leave while it can – with dignity. Dialogue is the only way out."


Endnotes:

[1] Arab News (Saudi Arabia), May 30, 2011. The text has been lightly edited for clarity.

Share this Report:

HELP BRIDGE THE LANGUAGE GAP – DONATE TO MEMRI’S 2020 SUMMER CAMPAIGN