by Stephen Lendman
America came to stay. Obama saying "(w)e will bring America's longest war to a responsible end" is false. It's his latest Big Lie.
His Monday statement included many others. "The United States did not seek this fight," he said.
"We went into Afghanistan out of necessity, after our nation was attacked by al Qaeda on September 11th, 2001."
"We went to war against al Qaeda and its extremist allies with the strong support of the American people and their representatives in Congress; with the international community and our NATO allies; and with the Afghan people, who welcomed the opportunity of a life free from the dark tyranny of extremism."
"(W)e have struck significant blows against al Qaeda's leadership, we have eliminated Osama bin Laden, and we have prevented Afghanistan from being used to launch attacks against our homeland."
"We have also supported the Afghan people as they continue the hard work of building a democracy."
Fact: On October 28, 2007, candidate Obama said:
"I will promise you this, that if we have not gotten our troops out by the time I am president, it is the first thing I will do."
"I will get our troops home. We will bring an end to this war. You can take that to the bank."
Fact: On December 1, 2009, President Obama said:
"(A)s Commander-in-Chief, I have determined that it is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 US troops to Afghanistan."
Fact: After 18 months, "our troops will begin to come home," he said.
Fact: They didn't come home.
Fact: They stayed.
Fact: Afghanistan was Bush's war.
Fact: It's Obama's since January 20, 2009.
Fact: Waging it had nothing to do with necessity.
Fact: It was a war of choice.
Fact: It remains one.
Fact: It shows no signs of ending.
Fact: 9/11 was the mother of all US false flags.
Fact: It was pretext for war on terror duplicity.
Fact: It was a thinly veiled reason for maintaining Washington's permanent war policy.
Fact: It had nothing to do with striking "significant blows against al Qaeda's leadership."
Fact: Or eliminating bin Laden.
Fact: In December 2001, he died naturally from kidney disease. BBC said so at the time. So did other major media reports.
Fact: Afghanistan poses no threat to America.
Fact: Not post-9/11.
Fact: Not now.
Fact: Washington's Afghanistan war had nothing to with protecting national security.
Fact: It aimed to restore the world's largest opium supply for global heroin trafficking.
Fact: To control it.
Fact: To give Wall Street huge amounts of hot money to launder.
Fact: An estimated $1.5 trillion annually.
Fact: CIA involvement is longstanding.
Fact: So are business, financial, government and underworld figures.
Fact: Over 12 and a half years of war left millions dead.
Fact: Millions more deeply impoverished, unemployed, underemployed, without basic services and immiserated.
Fact: America deplores democracy at home and abroad.
Fact: Afghanistan democracy is fantasy.
Fact: Its elections are more farcical than real.
Fact: Fraud substitutes for a free and open process.
Fact: Voters have no say.
Fact: Pentagon commanders consider Afghanistan extremely important.
Fact: It's strategically located.
Fact: It straddles the Middle East, South and Central Asia.
Fact: It's in the heart of Eurasia.
Fact: It's perhaps the world's largest land-based aircraft carrier.
Fact: Occupation projects America's military might.
Fact: It targets Russia, China, Iran, and other oil-rich Middle East states.
Fact: It advances America's imperium.
Fact: It serves its aim for unchallenged global dominance.
Fact: It seeks control over Afghan's untapped natural gas, oil and other mineral resources.
Fact: They're huge.
Fact: They're worth an estimated $1 trillion.
Fact: Perhaps more.
Fact: They include gas, iron, cobalt, gold, other minerals, and over 90% of global opium used for heroin production.
Fact: Afghanistan is considered the Saudi Arabia of lithium.
Fact: It's essential for modern industry.
Fact: It's vital for producing batteries, laptops and other key products.
Fact: Afghanistan is at the crossroads of vital pipeline routes.
Fact: It represents huge potential.
Fact: An economic bonanza awaits profiteers.
Fact: Afghans won't benefit.
Fact: Surviving concerns them most.
Fact: Violence continues daily.
Don't expect Obama's drawdown to change things. Perhaps it won't come. Earlier promises he made were broken.
Several times during his tenure he promised an Afghanistan exit plan. Letting Afghan forces replace US ones.
Shifting America's mission from combat to support. Ending its longest war.
In January 2013, he said "transition is well underway. Plans are for Afghan forces to replace Americans."
By yearend 2014, they'll "have full responsibility for their security, and this war will come to a responsible end."
By spring 2013, "our troops will have a different mission - training, advising, assisting Afghan forces. It will be a historic moment and another step toward full Afghan sovereignty."
"Afghanistan (has) a long-term partner in the United States of America."
US Special Forces and CIA elements came to stay. Search and destroy missions are prioritized.
Drone wars continue. They're instruments of state terror. They don't make America safer. Or Afghanistan and neighboring countries.
Mostly noncombatant civilians are killed. Few so-called high value ones. Claims otherwise are false.
All wars are based on Big Lies. They're sold to gullible Americans. Facts are twisted to fit US policy.
It bears repeating, America came to Afghanistan to stay. Super-bases were built to accommodate US forces.
Tens of thousands of private military contractors supplement them. They're staying.
Their skills range from technical to hired guns like Blackwater (now Academi).
Afghans deplore war. They want peace. They want America, its minions and related elements out.
They want their country back. Months earlier, an unnamed European diplomat said:
"Never in history has any superpower spent so much money, sent so many troops to a country, and had so little influence over" what followed.
As long as Afghanistan remains strategically important, US forces and influence will remain.
Troop numbers can surge any time. By presidential diktat. Pretexts are easy to invent. Fictitious enemies make it easy to do so.
Washington's current Afghanistan troop strength numbers around 32,000. Obama announced a reduction to 9,800. By end of 2014.
To 4,000 by end of 2015, he said. Mostly in Kabul and Bagram air base. By end of 2016, an unspecified number of US forces will remain.
To protect America's embassy, Obama said. To maintain a so-called "security assistance component." At least 1,000 US forces will be involved, he said.
After 2014, they'll no longer patrol Afghan "cities, towns, mountains and valleys." So-called "cooperat(ion)" will follow. For "training" purposes.
For "anti-terrorism operations against remnants of Al Qaeda." Since the 1980s, Al Qaeda and similar groups have been used strategically as enemies and allies. Obama didn't explain.
Washington needs a Status of Forces (SOFA) agreement to stay. It establishes the framework under which US forces operate abroad.
The Department of Defense Technical Information Center calls them agreements "that define the legal position of a 'visiting' military force deployed in the territory of a friendly state."
They delineate "the status of visiting military forces (and) may be bilateral or multilateral."
"Provisions pertaining to the status of visiting forces may be set forth in a separate agreement, or they may form a part of a more comprehensive agreement."
"These provisions describe how the authorities of a visiting force may control members of that force and the amenability of the force or its member to the local law or to the authority of local officials."
"To the extent that agreements delineate matters affecting the relations between a military force and civilian authorities and population, they may be considered as civil affairs agreements."
Occupied countries get little choice. Pentagon officials draft provisions. They're largely one way.
The late Chalmers Johnson explained them saying:
"America's foreign military enclaves, though structurally, legally, and conceptually different from colonies, are themselves something like microcolonies in that they are completely beyond the jurisdiction of the occupied nation."
"The US virtually always negotiates a 'status of forces agreement' (SOFA) with the ostensibly independent 'host' nation."
They're a modern day version of 19th century China's "extraterritoriality" agreements.
They granted foreigners charged with crimes the "right" to be tried by his (or her) own government under his (or her) own national law.
Most SOFAs prevent local courts from exercising legal jurisdiction over American personnel.
Even those committing murder and rape are exempt unless US officials yield to local authorities. Usually, offenders are whisked out of countries before they ask.
America's total number of SOFAs is unknown. Most are secret. Some are too embarrassing to reveal.
America has hundreds of known, shared, and secret bases in over 150 countries.
Johnson said they "usurp, distort, or subvert whatever institutions of democratic (or other form of) government may exist with the host society."
Their presence assures trouble. It includes murder, rape, theft, drunken driving, and other crimes.
Locals also face unacceptable noise, pollution, environmental destruction, appropriated public land, and US personnel mindless of local laws, customs, and rights of ordinary people.
Locals lose control of their lives. They have no say. They have virtually no chance for redress. They're most harmed when occupations are permanent.
Current US-installed Afghan president Hamid Karzai refused to sign a SOFA. Presidential runoff candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai said they'll support one.
Afghans have no say. Or Americans. They're tired of wars without end. Over 80% oppose them.
They want them ended. They want long overdue vital domestic issues addressed. They want them prioritized.
Wars without mercy remain official US policy. Public opposition won't stop them. They continue. It's the American way.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.