For seven years, we have been fighting for
"freedom and democracy" in Afghanistan, "defending the Occident
at the Hindukush". For seven years, we have acknowledged the need to invest more
in civil reconstruction. But things are getting worse every year. When will the
situation improve? Will it ever improve?
No politician commenting on Afghanistan forgets to say "we are there because we have no choice". Are the alternatives only: "either we occupy this country or the Taliban will come back and restore a terror state"? Is anyone fighting the foreign soldiers a terrorist?
For seven years, human rights have eroded everywhere in the world. People disappear into secret camps in Afghanistan or somewhere else. Suspects are tortured in places like Abu Ghoreib, or given to the forces of friendly dictators. All that I hear from my contacts in the Middle East is that the fear is rising every year - even normal people in safe countries allied to the US are now terrified they might disappear some day.
How can we still talk about "the need for more civil reconstruction" as the reason for increasing attacks? We should talk about torture and "collateral damage"! Can we seriously discuss a military victory in Afghanistan? We should speak about guerrilla warfare! You may say that things in Iraq improved recently as there are now "only" forty attacks a day. But how does it come that the new strong man in Iraq and all political groups demand a complete withdrawal of the foreign forces? Could it be that the foreign soldiers and the occupation are the problem?
For seven years, we have been conducting this crusader-style "war on terror". And every year, the terror gets worse. Wherever we look in the world: there are new terror cells, more security issues, less civil rights, and higher risks of a terror attack.
The signs are written on the wall: the "war on terror" is creating the terror - in fact it is itself terror. I do not say doing nothing would have been right after September 11 - but it would have been better than doing what we have done.
There is an alternative: to withdraw from Afghanistan and Iraq! To end the occupation and the "war on terror"!
It says in the bible: "You shall recognise them by their deeds" (and not by their words). A good purpose cannot justify bad means.
Dr. Bernhard Lucke is a researcher dealing with environmental and resource management at the Brandenburgische Technische Universität in Cottbus, Germany.
Related materials from the Atlantic Community:
- Marek Swierczynski: NATO is Trapped in Afghanistan
- Eva Diez: Spanish Engagement in Afghanistan: An Undefined Mission
- Interview with Hussain Haqqani: Pakistan's New Commitment to the War on Terror