American media, by and large, seems to be doing a great injustice to the American people by keeping them in the dark about the looming crisis in Afghanistan. The US administration is refusing to admit major reversals although there has been a daring jail break by 500 Taliban militants, and now the killing of 8 NATO soldiers (see here). Barack Obama seems to have finally abandoned the slogan for “CHANGE” and has formally handed over American foreign policy to the US war machine.
President Barack Obama plans to name CIA Director Leon Panetta defense secretary and Gen. David Petraeus, now running the war in Afghanistan, as chief of the intelligence agency, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“U.S. military and civilian defense leaders call 2011 the make-or-break year for turning around the war and laying the path for a gradual U.S. exit by 2015. The main obstacles are the uncertain leadership and weak government, the question of whether the Taliban can be integrated into Afghan political life and the continued safe harbor Pakistan provides for militants attacking U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces over the border in Afghanistan.”
But if 2011 is the make-or-break year, Barack Obama is giving the world more of the same by clearly demonstrating that the George W. Bush strategy would continue. There is no fresh diplomatic initiative to find an honorable exit from Afghanistan.
I have been writing for years that Afghanistan would ultimately prove deadly for the USA as it was for Soviet Union. The latter broke up into many nations. For centuries Afghanistan has been the graveyard of many adventurers seeking to tame the wild and fiercely independent Afghans.
India and Pakistan can be subdued, but only for some time. And to humor the ruthless US administration they may buckle under and buy war toys, nuclear gadgets as also open McDonald, Kentucky Fried chicken and departmental store chains. But Afghanistan is a different cup of tea….
Pity the whole nation is watching while the young and innocent American soldiers, along with innocent Afghan civilians, are being sacrificed at the altar of the greed and myopia of the US administration…
LAT reports that 9 Americans were killed when Afghan pilot opened fire at Kabul airport … See here…
Swaraaj Chauhan describes his two-decade-long stint as a full-time journalist as eventful, purposeful, and full of joy and excitement. In 1993 he could foresee a different work culture appearing on the horizon, and decided to devote full time to teaching journalism (also, partly, with a desire to give back to the community from where he had enriched himself so much.)
Alongside, he worked for about a year in 1993 for the US State Department’s SPAN magazine, a nearly five-decade-old art and culture monthly magazine promoting US-India relations. It gave him an excellent opportunity to learn about things American, plus the pleasure of playing tennis in the lavish American embassy compound in the heart of New Delhi.
In !995 he joined WWF-India as a full-time media and environment education consultant and worked there for five years travelling a great deal, including to Husum in Germany as a part of the international team to formulate WWF’s Eco-tourism policy.
He taught journalism to honors students in a college affiliated to the University of Delhi, as also at the prestigious Indian Institute of Mass Communication where he lectured on “Development Journalism” to mid-career journalists/Information officers from the SAARC, African, East European and Latin American countries, for eight years.
In 2004 the BBC World Service Trust (BBC WST) selected him as a Trainer/Mentor for India under a European Union project. In 2008/09 He completed another European Union-funded project for the BBC WST related to Disaster Management and media coverage in two eastern States in India — West Bengal and Orissa.
Last year, he spent a couple of months in Australia and enjoyed trekking, and also taught for a while at the University of South Australia.
Recently, he was appointed as a Member of the Board of Studies at Chitkara University in Chandigarh, a beautiful city in North India designed by the famous Swiss/French architect Le Corbusier. He also teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students there.
He loves trekking, especially in the hills, and never misses an opportunity to play a game of tennis. The Western and Indian classical music are always within his reach for instant relaxation.
And last, but not least, is his firm belief in the power of the positive thought to heal oneself and others.