‘US-Afghan pact struck to affirm Washington foothold’
Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:31AM
The purpose [of US-Afghan pact] was to keep a foothold in Afghanistan to soften the specter of withdrawing in 2014; but we are not going to withdraw, are we?”US President Barack Obama has said that Washington watches with "deep concern," a hike in the so-called ‘green-on-blue’ attacks, which reportedly target the US troops in Afghanistan. The number of the ‘insider’ attacks, in which Afghan security forces turn their weapons against US-led foreign forces, occupying their country, has increased in 2012. At least 40 US-led troopers have been killed in such attacks so far this year. Obama said “we have been watching with deep concern the so-called green-on-blue attacks where you have Afghan individuals, some of whom are actually enrolled in the Afghan military and in some cases dressing up as Afghan military or police, attacking the coalition's, including our own troops." The high number of military casualties in Afghanistan has caused widespread anger and frustration in the United States and other NATO member states, undermining public support for the US-led war. A total of 566 US-led forces died in Afghanistan in 2011. However, 2010 remains the deadliest year for foreign military casualties, with a death toll of 711. Insecurity continues to rise across Afghanistan, despite the presence there of about 130,000 US-led forces. Press TV has conducted an interview with international Lawyer Franklin Lamb in Beirut to further discuss the issue. Lamb is joined by Middle East expert Peter Eyre in London and Randy Short with Dignity, Human Rights, and Peace in Washington. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview. Press TV: Franklin our guest there talks about the geopolitical purpose that Afghanistan as a whole serves for the United States. Can you expand on that for us? Lamb: Well, frankly I can not think about legitimate purpose that it solves, the day that we began ten years ago, it was a tragedy, it has been a tragedy for ten years and the tragedy will continue even if we do pullout next year. What we tried to do failed, as an empire we tried to keep influence there, we tried to dominate, the same thing that the Soviet Union tried and failed to do. Now I think that history is going to note the ugly iconic images which are the death of the wedding parties by the so-called collateral damages and also the innocent civilians -who- were killed and also the burning of the Qur’an. There is no way we can stay there and there was an interesting conferences this weekend in the University of Oregon and the subject to the whole conference was about, why Afghanistan?
Nobody wants to be there except some militarists in the American society. It is tragic; we have got to compensate to those people after we leave, we have got to submit reparations but I see no geopolitical advantage that we can now obtain and I think that we must just must leave as quickly as possible.Press TV: And part of this New World Order, Franklin Lamb, Randy Short mentioned, is getting closer to China, now we know that the US is repositioning its strategy for Asia; the majority of the US military warships are supposed to be moving to the area, if some have not already. Do you agree with that? I mean we are seeing also that how US has pretty much opened Myanmar to the situation, we know that there is a border of Myanmar with China. So is this getting closer to China as part of the long-term goal? Lamb: Well, our colleague mentioned the New World Order, which as we recall, was announced in 1991 after the so-called President Bush victory in expelling Iraq from Kuwait and he was 90 percent in the polls for a while, of course he lost the election. It may be that there is a plan to squeeze China but at this point this seems to me that the American [government], our government as opposed to our people, made huge mistakes in Iraq, Afghanistan, we are making it in Lebanon, in Syria etc. to, of course, the benefit of the ascendant power which is Iran with whom we really, if we want to look after our interest, we should have good relations with.
But there may be this effort to squeeze China but honestly we are not in a position to do it, economically there is no will among the people to do it, militarily we can do it for as bit longer but it seems to me that this election in America, after the election hopefully we are going to see some change, because the people have certainly realized, as Ron Paul, the man who should be elected president, said just yesterday in a large rally, you know, ‘we have just made a tragic, tragic mistake and we have got to salvage it, we have got to come home, leave these theaters that we have disturbed and look after ourselves and that project is so urgent, as you know, and it has been compounded almost monthly.We have to come home and look after our infrastructure, our cities and our people and, you know, leave these areas. Press TV: Well, the general public, Franklin Lamb, was presented this past May with this strategic pact that was signed between the United States and Afghanistan; what do you think of this pact? I mean was it a way to show that the Afghan government is approving the US presence in their country, when at the same time you have these night raids for example, which is in violation of the pact, happened time and again, not to mention other things, that are in violation …, I mean what kind of pact is this anyways? Lamb: Well, I just want to say that I think that Mr. Short’s [other gust of the program] analysis about what is going on in the States what has happened with his concept of the tipping point is exactly right. I have not been there for a while, but I remember the old days after Vietnam and I think we are going to have some kind of clysmic events and it is going to be up to every American to, you know, take charge in improving our society. I think the agreement between the Americans and the Afghan government as opposed to the people, [is] very evident and the purpose was to keep a foothold in Afghanistan, to soften the specter of withdrawing in 2014; but we are not going to withdraw, are we? We are going to have training missions there, so I think that so-called strategic agreement was to keep the lines open to the economy and to keep the channels open for supplying arms, and also to keep plenty of agents and personnel in Afghanistan to monitor, as our gentleman said, the border with Pakistan and China and just have a presence there and has a deterrent or an observation post with respect to Iran. We have given amazing gifts to Iran as you know, and one of them is Afghanistan besides Iraq and Lebanon now. So yes, I think that was just a document that [was] made with a corrupt government, corrupt president just to keep a foothold and open a channel if we have to go back. MY/HN