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Friday, 07.09.2010, 08:18am (GMT)
By: Dr. Rahmat Zirakyar, Independent
June 30, 2010
Soviet leader Gorbachev called
Soviet leader Gorbachev had called
PROFESSOR GALTUNG’S ANALYSIS
Johan Galtung is one the most dissident intellectuals in the world, a distinguished Sociologist, the “father” of the academic discipline Peace Research, and Professor of Peace Studies. In 1959, he founded International Peace Research Institute in
Professor Johan Galtung’s latest book is: The Fall of the
According to the Massachusetts-based non-profit organization the National Priorities Project (May 28, 2010), the total amount spent on the
Similar to the importance of the fall of Berlin Wall (in November of 1989) for Eastern Europe, the collapsed U.S.-backed coup against the elected government of Venezuela (April 13, 2002) was world-historical for South America. U.S. administration under President George W. Bush had failed to bring down Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez. This event signalized the limits of the ability of the U.S. empire to dismantle popular democracy in the region. Governments in this region have been trying to chart a new, independent course for the good of the majority of their populations. However, the story of these new developments has been “largely untold” in the U.S. Oliver Stone’s new documentary, “South of the Border” (June 26, 2010) is presenting progressive change in South America and, thus, draws attention to the fall of this region’s Berlin Wall. (See Robert Naiman, “Stone’s Border Shows Fall of South America’s Berlin Wall”, Huffington Post, June 23, 2010).
Prof. Johan Galtung draws the Radio Pacifica listeners’ attention to several important points: (1) 1.56 billion Muslims are “dedicated to the idea of defending Islam when trampled upon.” (2) Islam does not allow “capitulation to infidels”. For example, take a look at the “mini-empire of Israel….The time perspective of the Muslims is unlimited”, but Washington does not seem to have unlimited time perspective. (3) Washington is counting on the Afghan national army and national police to “take over the job”; however, “ they will be aligning themselves with the next stage in Afghan history.” (4) Washington will take part in “conflict resolution.” It is important to identify the goals of the parties: The Taliban do not want secularization. “I find that legitimate. The U.S. goal of a base, I find it illegitimate. The U.S. goal of an oil pipeline and controlling it, I find it illegitimate, by means of war.” But the U.S. goal that no attack should come from Afghanistan, is “completely legitimate”, particularly today, because the U.S. “has produced quite a lot of people who have reasons for hating the country.” (5) Prof. Galtung does not “think” that the 911 attack “came from Afghanistan, nor” does he think that Osama Bin Laden’s “role was very much important. I think it was essentially Saudi Arabian”. Many Saudis (including the royal house “divided down in the middle”) believe that in Saudi Arabia, where Islam originated, two religions are not allowed. But staging two wars (in 1991 and 2003) from the Muslim “sacred land” against another Muslim-Arab country (Iraq) compounded the problem. (6) To avoid “a great misunderstanding”, development projects have to be blessed by Allah. “You will cater to a small group of Westernized people in Kabul and a couple of other places”, and that is all you can reach. (7) If U.S would reject conflict resolution, its alternative would be “to become irrelevant”. Namely, “neither victory, nor defeat, nor withdrawal, nor conflict resolution” means “becoming irrelevant” which, in turn, means the death of empire. To analyze the U.S. corporate media, Prof. Galtung refers to a quote from an Osama Bin Laden’s speech in October of 2001, after the 911 catastrophe. Bin Laden said: “You are now suffering the humiliation we suffered more than eighty years ago.” Now listen to Prof. Galtung: “You take 2001, you subtract eighty, you come to 1921. But he [Bin Laden] said <more than [eighty] > , so let us subtract five more, as a maximum-1916, ‘17, ‘18. [1916,] Sykes-Picot; 1917, Balfour Declaration; 1918, the occupation of Istanbul”. (Istanbul is historic, cultural and commercial center in northwestern Turkey, which had served as the capital city of Muslim Ottoman Empire from 1453-1922). Johan Galtung continues his story: “ I remember. I was eating in my apartment in Manassas, close to Washington, where my wife and I live in much pleasure much of our lives. I was hitting Googling to find out how many U.S. media had picked up what happened more than eighty years ago. Amy [Woodman of Radio Pacifica/Democracy Now!], I found zero.” Let us explain Sykes-Picot and Balfour Declaration: The secret Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 was negotiated by French diplomat Picot and Briton Sir Sykes to define their countries’ respective spheres of influence and control in the Middle East after the expected downfall of the Muslim Ottoman Empire (1453-1922). Balfour Declaration was issued of sympathy with Zionism made by the then British Foreign Secretary James Arthur Balfour in 1917. Balfour’s letter made public the British support of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine. One of U.S. prestigious political scientists Stephen M. Walt writes: “The Arab inhabitants of Palestine were not responsible for European anti-Semitism or Nazi genocide, yet it was their land that was lost when Israel was created.” Stephen M. Walt, Taming American Power: The Global Response to U.S. Supremacy, 2006, quoted in Zirakyar, Algebra of New Politics( published in the Afghan national language Pashto, 2006, p. 472). For more information on Israel and Palestine conflict, read: Rashid Khalidi, The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood, 2006; John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, “The Israel Lobby”, London Review of Books, Vol. 28, No. 6 (March 2006, electronic version); Robert Fisk, “The United States of Israel”, April 28, 2006 (Independent); Edward W. Said, Covering Islam: How the Media and the Experts Determine How We See the Rest of the World, 1997; Karen Armstrong, Holy War: The Crusades and Their Impact on Today’s World, 1991.
OBAMA’S SPEECH ON AFGHANISTAN
A week before President Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Price in Oslo, he spoke at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he revealed his plan to send additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. He said: “Now, the people of Afghanistan have endured violence for decades. They have been confronted with occupation by the Soviet Union and then by foreign al-Qaeda fighters who used Afghan land for their own purposes. So tonight, I want the Afghan people to understand: America seeks an end to this era of war and suffering. We have no interest in occupying your country. We will support efforts by the Afghan government to open the door to those Taliban who abandon violence and respect the human rights of their fellow citizens. And we will seek a partnership with Afghanistan grounded on mutual respect, to isolate those who destroy, to strengthen those who build, to hasten the day when our troops will leave, and to forge a lasting friendship in which America is your partner and never your patron.” (From Obama’s Speech on December 1, 2009).
Prof. Galtung’s reaction to Obama’s above speech was this: “Totally unrealistic and extremely badly informed, and that from such an intelligent, such a charming man with such a brilliant rhetoric….Afghans …are sick and tired, absolutely, of being invaded. The idea that the Taliban should lay down their arms before the Americans withdraw is outside reality.” Prof. Galtung continues that “There will be negotiations. We are probably coming into a period where Taliban, at some point, will meet Americans.” However, Taliban “will not go to a place”, continues Galtung, “where they can easily be captured.” Prof. Galtung adds that “There will be something similar to the talks between North Vietnam and the Americans.” President Obama’s “double plan” of sending additional 30,000 troops and withdrawing, would be an “invitation for Taliban to look at their watch and wait.”
THE STATE OF WAR IN “CHAOS-ISTAN”
The explosive article “The Runaway General” by Michal Hastings was based on several weeks’ interviews and travel with four-star U.S. General Stanly McChrystal’s “tight circle” of aids this spring (cbsnews.com, June 22, 2010). But the drama around his resignation obscured the bitter truth about the U.S. war in “Chaos-istan”. A few important quotes from the major U.S. military figures in Afghanistan shall reveal just how shallow the discourse about this war is: Remember that the former Soviet leader Gorbachev called Afghanistan “the bleeding wound”. Similarly, top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan General McChrystal’s “bleeding ulcer” refers to the description of the recent Marjah offensive in Afghanistan’s Helmand province. His Staff Sergeant Kenneth Hicks warned: “[W]e’re fucking losing this thing[war].” A Senior Advisor to General McChrystal stated: “If Americans pulled back and started paying attention to this war, it would become even less popular.” Douglas Macgregor, a retired colonel expressed his thought this way: “The entire COIN [counterinsurgency] is a fraud perpetuated on the American people.” General McChrystal’s Chief of Operations Major General Bill Mayville asserted that “It is not going to look like a win, smell like a win, or taste like a win.” Last fall in London, General McChrystal “dismissed the counterterrorism strategy being advocated by Vice President Joe Biden as <shortsighted>, saying it would lead to a state of <Chaos-istan>.”
To Professor Johan Galtung, the word is “dialogue, dialogue, dialogue”. Galtung suggests to President Obama to “take an intellectual helicopter and getting up above the conflict, see your own legitimacy and illegitimacy and the other side’s legitimacy and illegitimacy, starting thinking that maybe he has a point and then trying to see if there’s some reality that could accommodate all of it.” Prof. Galtung is suggesting to Washington to “get down from the idea of having a separate mandate from God, even a mandate to kill. The word is dialogue.” Peace research scholar and mediator Prof. Johan Galtung distinguishes between “the [U.S.] empire and the republic”, and he adds that “the republic could do beautifully without the empire.” Galtung suggests to the U.S. empire to “make yourself a normal country. No exceptionalism, please. A normal, wonderful country.” Prof. Johan Galtung admires “the U.S. republic” but detests its “empire”. In his own words: “I love the U.S. republic, and I hate the U.S. empire.” Based on his comparative study of the fall of empires, Prof. Johan Galtung predicts that the U.S. empire is ending in 10 years, by 2020.