Monday, December 7, 2009

America's war in Afghanistan: "Nothing is written"

Peace route in South Asia through India and Pakistan 

by Mike Marcellino 

Part 1 of a 3 part series on America's course in Afghanistan

Why can't the United States resolve human rights problems peacefully, without the use of force, any longer? 

Secretary Clinton says the U.S. won't talk unless the Taliban throws down their weapons (surrender). 

Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader, says they won't talk until the U. S. and NATO forces leave Afghanistan (surrender). Oddly, Omar was America's friend when he lost an eye fighting against and Soviet forces in Afghanistan in the 1980s. 

And, the war and violence in Afghanistan and across the border in Pakistan escalates and widens. 

According to an article written by Raja Karthikeya in Asia Times Online Nov. 25, 2009, the way to peace in Afghanistan is through India and Pakistan.  Interestingly, the author never mentions the United States or NATO once in his article.

One wonders if American and European diplomats and political leaders are listening to the voices of reason, peace, history and politics of South Asia.  Afghanistan, Pakistan and India share that region, its history and current entanglements.  Granted Afghanistan has ties to the Middle East.  And as Karthikeya points out, the Taliban doesn't seem to fit anywhere, and appears to be more an ideology than a political movement. 

I highly recommend reading the article by Karthikeya, a researcher for the Center for Strategic Studies in Washington D.C.

Here's the link to the article -
A route for South Asian peace through Afghanistan

The historical problem with the view of United States' diplomats and political leaders is the function, for the most part with blinders on - seeing the word in America's view without really looking at nations through their eyes of their own people.

America hasn't always had her provincial blinders on.  Two cases in point that I can testify to from my experience in our national government as an aide to one of the most respected congressman and champions of human rights in our country's history.

In the past, the United States has ended oppression in the world without the use of military force. America brought freedom to Jews in the Soviet Union and ended the longest period of marshal law in world history, bringing freedom to the Taiwanese. 

I can vouch for the fact that oppression can be ended and peace achieved without a shot being fired.  

From 1983 to 1987, I served as an as an aide to former U. S. Congressman Louis Stokes of Ohio and worked successfully with many people in the United States and the world to resolve, without military force, critical human rights problems that at the time seemed insurmountable in the Soviet Union and Taiwan.  Both human rights matters existed within the backdrop of tensions over the Cold War and the threat of war between China and Taiwan. 

As an Englishman, "Lawrence of Arabia," (or, at least, actor Peter O'Toole in the Academy Award winning film), once said:  

"Nothing is written.

In my book, "Nothing is insurmountable."  

Copyright Mike Marcellino 2009

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