‘Taliban won't lay down arms so long as US rockets hit Afghans’
Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:28AM
This is the kind of situation we (Americans) are creating for the civilians in Afghanistan, where they feel like, you watch your family members getting killed, pieces of them in the area from rockets; and you feel like there is nothing that you can do. Just last March, there was another atrocity of 16 civilians killed, mostly children and so it is no surprise that the people in Afghanistan will do whatever they can do to try to fight to defend themselves.”An analyst says Afghans who saw the body parts of their loved ones strewn around during US rocket attacks would never lay down their arms. The comment comes as US-led NATO says the strategy of buying the loyalty of Taliban members in Afghanistan has proved to be a failure as only around 5,000 militants have responded to the strategy by laying down their weapons. The US-led Western military alliance said the plan has had very little effect across Afghanistan so far. Press TV has talked with John Parker who is with the International Action Center to further discuss the issue. What follows is a rough transcript of the Interview. Press TV: Putting a price tag on the loyalty of the Taliban, considering the US is clearly seen as the enemy and incidents like the burning of the Qur’an, civilian massacres. Why would the US in this situation continue to make a deal with the Taliban? Parker: Well, the United States, as we see, what it is doing around the world; with its increased war threats against Syria, Iran and other parts of the world; is the United States is desperate. They are very desperate to do whatever they can; to try to mitigate this world economic crisis that is really threatening the profits of these ruling elites. So whatever they can try to do to try to secure their hegemony in the region; their military occupation if it costs civilian deaths, killings of children, it does not matter to them. So I am not surprised if they are going to spend more and more and more of our tax dollars here in the United States to try to desperately maintain the control for oil and hegemony in the region. Press TV: And also the US has admitted that any exit strategy from Afghanistan will have to be a combination of a negotiated settlement with the Taliban. Now, has the US decreased terror in that country in your opinion, or increased killings, in your opinion, now having entered the tenth year it is occupying Afghanistan. Parker: Yes, it is very interesting that the Amnesty International, just recently, came out and said that NATO’s presence in Afghanistan was basically a good thing and that coincides with the leadership change with someone who has had State Department connections who is now is in charge of the Amnesty International, and it coincides with this propaganda war right now to convince people that the US is doing a good thing in there. But if you just looks at some of the facts, just a couple of instances, I mean, just last year in March, I think it was March 1st or so when nine children were killed and a child was looking up, who survived, and said all these helicopters were just hitting one child, one after the other, one after the other, and people were so angry that they had protested and even the [David] Petraeus [Director of the Central Intelligence Agency] had to issue an apology.
One of the people, one of the folks there, said that they were so angry that they had no choice, they said I have to pick up a Kalashnikov, I have to wear a suicide vest, I have no choice, I have no options.This is the kind of situation we are creating for the civilians in Afghanistan, where they feel like, you watch your family members getting killed, pieces of them in the area from rockets; and you feel like there is nothing that you can do. Just last March, there was another atrocity of 16 civilians killed, mostly children and so it is no surprise that the people in Afghanistan will do whatever they can do to try to fight to defend themselves. No amount of money, no program that they are going to issue to people in Afghanistan is going to change that fact. They are spending about over two billion dollars a week, on this war on Afghanistan and so it is, all that money could be used here in this country, and many people in this country realize that, and that is why overwhelmingly people want immediate withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan back to the United States, so it is not surprising that they are desperate. Press TV: We all know that wars are costly, other than money of course, human lives, but with overall economic downturn in the US, their debt and close to 9 percent unemployment you would think their government the US government that is would have better ideas than military spending on their mind? However they continue as you just mentioned ‘two billion dollars a week’, in spending in Afghanistan. Parker: Well, when the concern is making profits and not the needs of the people, then you are going to act accordingly. And unfortunately it is not the people, it is not really a democracy in the United States; it is not the people who rule. It is a very small percentage of military industrial complex, the financial industries, the banks who are demanding all of these austerity programs around the world. So they make the priorities and it is insane; I mean there are nine million homes that are sitting vacant that many people, many homeless people could use but they can’t sell them at a profit, so if they can’t sell them at a profit then it is not going to happen. That is the kind of reality the upside down logic that puts profit before people and that is what is determining these policies and these military policies around the world. MY/VG/GHN