This video from the USA is called Rethink Afghanistan War (Part 3): Cost of War.
By Bill Van Auken in the USA:
23 May 2012
The official declaration on Afghanistan issued from the NATO summit in Chicago on Monday speaks of a country “on its path toward self-reliance in security, improved governance, and economic and social development,” where “the lives of Afghan men, women and children have improved significantly” over the past decade of US-NATO occupation.
It promises an “irreversible transition” from the US-led war to a situation in which “Afghan forces will be in the lead for security nation-wide” by the middle of next year. And it envisions the emergence of a “peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan” that will “contribute to economic and social development in the wider region.”
Readers unfamiliar with the tone and rhetoric of such NATO documents can be excused for rubbing their eyes in disbelief. What country are they talking about?
The claims about Afghanistan emerging as a “prosperous” and “stable” nation are as preposterous as the pretense that the Afghan government is providing improved security, governance and development.
This is a country where over half the population lives below the official poverty line, and 30,000 children die every year from the ravages of malnutrition. Surveys continue to rank Afghanistan as one of the world’s ten poorest countries and the worst country on the planet to be a mother, given the astronomical rates of maternal and infant deaths.
The unemployment rate has remained at roughly 40 percent since the US invasion of October 2001. A meteoric rise in emigration is a sure measure of deteriorating social conditions, with three times the number of Afghans fleeing their country in 2011 compared to four years earlier.
As for attributing “improved governance’ to the US-backed puppet Hamid Karzai, his government is universally recognized as one of the most corrupt on the planet, with a thin layer of warlords, crooks and crony capitalists pocketing billions of dollars in aid money. This wholesale and shameless graft has earned Krazai’s regime the hatred of the Afghan people while generating popular support for resistance to the foreign occupation that keeps him in office.
A recent series of high-profile attacks in the center of the capital have called into question even the old characterizations of Karzai as the “mayor of Kabul.” The tripling of the number of US troops deployed in Afghanistan under Obama has succeeded only in spreading what the Pentagon describes as a “robust” insurgency throughout the country.
Turkmenistan signed a natural gas deal with Pakistan and India on Wednesday, bolstering US plans for the construction of a 1,100-mile pipeline across occupied Afghanistan: here.
At the May 20-21 NATO summit in Chicago, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard pledged further support for the US-led occupation of Afghanistan. She stressed that the planned drawdown of more than 1,500 Australian troops in the southern Uruzgan province was in line with the Obama administration’s “transition”, which aims to withdraw combat forces in 2014 while maintaining a substantial military presence until 2024 and beyond: here.
Only a few hours’ drive from the Afghan capital Kabul is an area renowned for some of the world’s brightest and most valuable rubies. But this wealth is being plundered by thieves, corrupt officials and the Taliban, as the BBC’s Bilal Sarwary discovers: here.