After WikiLeaks: ‘Civilized’ War Criminals Await the Passage of Time – Le Quotidien d’Oran, Algeria
Was the engagement in Afghanistan a ‘colonialist war’ from almost the very beginning? According to this article from Algeria’s Le Quotidien Oran, people in the Middle East and North Africa have known all along what the NATO allies had in mind when they invaded the country in 2001. What from an American point of view was an effort to capture and/or kill those who had attacked the United States, people in these other ‘latitudes’ considered it a war to alter and control other lands, just as our European forbears had a habit of doing.
Citing the media’s gross oversimplification of the war to suit Western interests, for Le Quotidien Oran, columnist K. Selim writes in part:
For those who follow the daily horrors and suffering of the Afghans and the adventures of the armies of NATO in this country so cursed by history, there is no scoop here – no revelation. The war against al-Qaeda and the Taliban quickly turned into a colonialist war. And in our latitudes, everyone knows that this is such a war.
Confronted with evidence of their crimes, the leaders of civilization dodge the issue and rely on the passage of time to erase memories of the carnage for which they are accountable. One recalls that during the Vietnam War, after an especially horrific episode in the history of humanity, a single junior American officer was convicted for a single massacre: My-Lai. Crimes committed in Fallujah by the “elite” Marine Corps continue to go unpunished, even while the world knows the extent of the horror in Iraq.
What then is the significance of the leak of thousands of secret documents about the conduct of the war in Afghanistan? The “otherness” of children, women and elderly Afghans is such, that it’s difficult, is it not, to feel the least compassion for their plight? Any traffic accident in the developed world arouses more emotion. By this measure, the Afghan dead are only statistics.
In effect, media handling of the war is centered around two points: the “endangerment” of Western forces, and the role of Afghanistan’s two neighbors, Pakistan and Iran. This is a flimsy approach to the matter, and the coarseness of the process demonstrates perfectly the contempt with which public opinion is held.
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