(now cross posted at DailyKos)
The ongoing war in Afghanistan-it can now be thought of as perpetual and unending is more important than a lot of people seem to think. It is not just a far-away semi-colonial war but part of an ongoing struggle for control of Central Asia and the Middle East by the imperial forces of NATO.
It has to be very clear than despite the fact that Europeans are somewhat reluctant partners in this enterprise they are, nevertheless partners and part of essential parts of the Empire. Europeans, like Americans, like their priviledged position in the world. They are a little less bloodthirsty than we are-it is a less essential part of their cultural life. In America violence is loved for its own sake. In Europe it is merely a sometimes necessary component of asserting interests. That’s the only realistic difference between Europe and the United States. The notion that Europeans are more “progressive” than Americans in foreign policy is just not true. Europeans sees the United States as the military arm of the Empire required to insure that world security is maintained particularly energy security. Europeans like the fact the United States provides them with security and are quite willing to accede to the brutality of the the American military in keeping the wogs in check-a brutality that they have far more knowledge of than the American people do. I generalize here because in Europe a large segment of the left is notably against militarism still unlike here.
Having said that the war itself shows us some interesting patterns. As reported in the NYT, the great show “battle” has not really had any real results. The article Violence Helps Taliban Undo Afghan Gains is worth reading but you and I both know what it says and probably knew even before the “battle” happened what the results would be as do all non-compromised journalists and observers of the situation. This and many other stories of the recent war in Afghanistan often buried on the back pages of the NYT tell a tale of woe almost unbelievable in its pathos.