By Maxim Nikolenko.
The past week from August 21 to August 27, witnessed an opening of a new chapter in the endless War on Terror when President Trump formally announced a new strategy on Afghanistan. In the meantime, the destabilized country suffered numerous terrorist attacks, dominating the list of at least 205 victims who died in 27 terrorist incidents, predominately implemented in the war-torn countries of the Muslim World.
“Since the founding of our republic, our country has produced a special class of heroes whose selflessness, courage, and resolve is unmatched in human history”; were the words of President Trump, nourishing the ‘religion’ of Manifest Destiny (American exceptionalism) before the troops at Fort Myer military base in Arlington, Virginia. The President arrived there to talk about war, endless war which he embraced after consulting with “great generals”, thus throwing in the pit his previous remarks of criticism of American involvement in the Mideast.
Now, he stood to announce the new American strategy for the region of South Asia. Unlike the attempted ban on transgender service in the military, the announcement of war went virtually unchallenged by the so-called ‘liberal’ class of Americans. Indeed, anti-war marches are unnecessary, unimportant, and a waste of energy of those who are fighting for ‘justice’. Of course, fighting for the kind of justice that is facilitated by the corporate press.
In the meantime, Trump made it clear in his remarks that America is departing from a policy of “nation building”, a myth which Washington applied to justify American interventions as a noble humanitarian “crusade.” The national “security interests” is the emboldened priority now, hence, the United States is no longer destroying nations in the Mideast under façade of democracy and promotion of human rights, though that concept can still be applied in certain instances, as it is currently being applied in South American against countries such as Venezuela.
“A core pillar” of the American and NATO occupation of Afghanistan is now shifted from “time-based” to the occupation based on “conditions”, a vague principle which permits the government to send an ‘unknown number’ of American soldiers for an indefinite period of time. In practice, it is a permanent colonization of Afghanistan, with no end in sight to war.
The extremely right-wing and neoliberal government of India is now encouraged to increase its presence in Afghanistan, to counter the influence of China, while Washington is debating on whether to cut aid to its old ally Pakistan.
The priority of these shifts has almost nothing to do with the War on Terror, and perhaps almost everything to do with the acquisition of mineral resources in Afghanistan, facilitation of the Military Industrial Complex, and a war on China.
If ‘conditions’ now dictate the approach in Afghanistan, then they are perfect for the interests of American Empire. In the past week, an unknown number of people died in the ongoing war of U.S-backed regime with Taliban and fanatics of Daesh (ISIS). Additionally, 72 civilians and soldiers died in 5 separate terrorist attacks. In the worst incident, at least 45 people have lost their lives when a Shia Mosque was attacked in the capital Kabul.
There are also reports of U.S-led air strikes which killed many civilians.
Other Attacks Across the Destabilized World
The endless war in Afghanistan resembles a similar tragedy of Iraq. There, thousands of Iraqi troops have made a swift advance on the fanatics of Daesh in Tal Afar. An unknown number of people died in the offensive. By the time of writing this article, the city was liberated. Nonetheless, the liberation of Mosul and Tal Afar did not have an impact on the threat of terrorist attacks across the country. In the past week, 24 Iraqis have died in 10 separate attacks, with 4 fatal bombings occurring in the capital city Baghdad. The war against Daesh continues.
Another region, devastated by the insurgency of Islamists is the Chad Basin. At least 53 people died there from Boko Haram attacks (33 in Nigeria and 20 in Cameroon).
In Libya, 11 people were executed by Daesh militants. Daesh medievalists are among many groups who operate the chaos of the post-Gaddafi era. The NATO-led destruction of once prosperous Libya had destabilized the entire region of Western Africa.
In separate events, 1 soldier was reported killed during the attack on a checkpoint in the Malian city of Timbuktu.
9 people were reported dead when men belonging to Abu Sayyaf bandits attacked a village in Basilan province of the Philippines. Previously, the group had pledged allegiance to Daesh, and currently, is been fought against by the army in the city of Marawi.
19 people are reported dead in fighting between the government forces and rebel groups in Yei River state of South Sudan. This particular incident has gained wide attention because one of the victims is an American journalist Christopher Allen.
The incident of clashes in the Indian-controlled Kashmir left 8 security forces and 2 militants dead. A responsibility for the incident was claimed by Jaish-e-Mohammed group.
At least 2 Pakistani soldiers were killed when a landmine exploded in the country’s South Waziristan.
An Islamist was shot dead by security in Brussels after stabbing two soldiers. In the past week, Europe had witnessed 4 attacks. There were three incidents of stabbing (1 in Poland, one in U.K, and one in Belgium). One attack was prevented at the rock concert in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
At least 3 people have lost their lives in a shooting reported from the Veracruz State of Mexico. Among the victims is a journalist Cándido Ríos. It is reported that he is the 9th journalist killed in Mexico so far this year. The country is experiencing a dramatic spike in homicides amidst the so-called War on Drugs, a reality for many neoliberal ‘democracies’ of Central and South America.
Concluding this report is a video published on Ruptly, depicting the UN Deputy Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen, expressing concern for civilians who are trapped in the ISIS-held city of Raqqa. The battle is ongoing to retake the city, with U.S-led coalition conducting air strikes to support the efforts of its Kurdish proxies of the Syrian Democratic Forces on the ground. The battle for Syrian Raqqa resembles the Massacre of Mosul. Both cities have undergone a siege, and are practically being reduced to rubble. The few images that appear from Raqqa depict an unprecedented level of destruction. According to Affairs Stephen, at least 25,000 civilians are still trapped in ruins of the remaining districts controlled by Daesh. Stephen also noted that “an average of 27 people are being killed in Raqqa, every day.” Perhaps, it means that 2322 people have died since the final offensive to retake the city was announced on June 6. Like in Mosul, the true extent of the human tragedy is unknown.
While delivering his speech on Afghanistan and South Asia, President Trump stressed the importance of secrecy and silence: “America’s enemies must never know our plans or believe they can wait us out. I will not say when we are going to attack, but attack we will.” The enemies he is referring to are not only the countries that will experience the “attack we will”, but also the American people, particularly the American soldiers who are transferred to foreign lands to fight the destructive wars of the Empire.
We can only guess about the changed euphemized in such statements. To what extent will the secrecy be extended, and how much more destabilized will the world become from present and future policies of ‘attack we will’?