Thursday, September 29, 2011

US Sacrificed Aid Agencies That Help Children To Kill Bin Laden

If you ever had any doubt that the hunt to locate and then kill Osama bin Laden was about anything other than vengeance and demonstrating to the world that Captain USA always gets his man, this latest revelation ought to dispel that. First, it was revealed by the UK Guardian newspaper in July that the CIA used a phoney-NGO vaccination program inside Pakistan to locate bin Laden, the prelude to his execution by US Special Forces. The collateral damage of that ploy are now becoming clear with a major aid agency, Save the Children, being forced to shut down operations inside Pakistan because of suspicion of the involvement of NGOs in the illegal assassination.
Furious aid workers say the CIA's reckless use of aid work as a cover by spy agencies has threatened the safety of genuine aid workers and endangered multimillion-pound programmes to help Pakistan's poor.
Save the Children has 2,000 employees in Pakistan and assisted 7 million people in 2010, half of whom where caught in massive floods while the remainder benefited from long-term development programmes.After the security threat in late July, those activities slowed or juddered to a halt.

Now, there are all sorts of critiques one can make about the role of NGOs in the developing world but it is clear that the callous use of the cover provided by western aid agencies working in Pakistan to carry out a revenge mission of more than dubious legality, which would definitely have an impact on the lives of thousands of children, is not only obscene but a true testament of America's arrogance an inhumanity. After nearly a decade of firing missiles from unmanned aerial vehicles into rural and isolated villages, in order to smash a movement whose roots lie in the desire for liberation from imperialism, it is hardly surprising that they would put the work of thousands of aid workers at risk without nary a thought nor a word of apology afterward.

Of course, all of this was so infuriatingly unnecessary. Having created bin Laden with money and weapons and political support for promoting the move conservative forms of resistance to the Soviet invasion, the Americans subsequently left Afghanistan to tear itself apart as former mujahideen fought over who would rule the poverty-stricken, war torn country. Certainly those warlords were corrupt and brutal but the real problem was that the US only cared about defeating their enemy, the Soviet Union, and not about providing the kind of development resources that would have reduced the kind of scarcity - particularly after the withdrawal of military and financial aid during the resistance - that causes civil wars when combined with heavily armed populations.

If that disillusionment in his former masters wasn't enough, the US war against Iraq in 1991 provided the final proof to bin Laden that the US was no friend of Muslims - unless they were immediately useful (a point worth remembering these days in Libya). It was America's abandonment of Afghanistan after it had served its purpose and its brutal war against Iraq - waged from the Muslim holy land of Saudi Arabia - that created bin Laden the enemy of America. But even this needn't have ended up in the massacre of 9/11, the subsequent war in Afghanistan and the present, dangerous deterioration in relations between the US and Pakistan. After bin Laden declared his jihad against the USA and had organized the first attacks on the US - on US embassies in three countries in 1998 and on the USS Cole, a destroyer anchored off of Yemen in 2000 - the Taliban offered both before and after 9/11 to give up bin Laden for trial but the USA wasn't interested in any sort of negotiations or anything short of absolute surrender.
Wakil Ahmad Muttawakil, Taliban’s last foreign minister, told Al Jazeera in an exclusive interview that his government had made several proposals to the United States to present the al-Qaeda leader, considered the mastermind of the 2001 attacks, for trial for his involvement in plots targeting US facilities during the 1990s.
"Even before the [9/11] attacks, our Islamic Emirate had tried through various proposals to resolve the Osama issue. One such proposal was to set up a three-nation court, or something under the supervision of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference [OIC]," Muttawakil said.
"But the US showed no interest in it. They kept demanding we hand him over, but we had no relations with the US, no agreement of any sort. They did not recognise our government."
And once 9/11 had taken place, war was needed to restore American prestige, even if it ended up killing many dozens of times the number of innocent people as died in the World Trade Center (and, while the war against Iraq clearly had no relation whatsoever to 9/11 it caused the premature deaths of perhaps a million people, compared to the 3,000 who died in New York City). This latest atrocity in the interest of America's imperial prestige, at a time of declining American power, will only add fuel to the fire of anti-Americanism and weaken their position in Pakistan and beyond.
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