The Washington Post gave five pages to a former aid worker who tried desperately to colonize Helmand Province, Afghanistan. The USA's attempt at foreign domination has collapsed. This neo-missionary 'aid' fails because it is not revolutionary, it is reactionary. The point is to dominate and control, not protect and assist.
By Holly Barnes Higgins
Sunday, February 4, 2007; Page B01
The news came in a phone call from Afghanistan. Ten days ago, a suicide bomber tried to talk his way into a compound in Lashkar Gah where I had worked until last October. He blew himself up without getting in and no one else was seriously hurt, but the story shook me. What I had expected for so long had finally happened.
I went to Afghanistan in October 2005 to work on an economic development project funded by the U.S. government. I went because I believed in the mission: helping to improve the quality of life in a war-torn land. I was lucky to get out.
Right on the heels of writing---and trying to keep back tears---about pre-invasion Afghanistan, the WP publishes this incredible, must-read article. The 'economic aid' woman who got a lot of loot trying to convince these peasants to grow...? Nothing. She came back to her imperial home to rest upon her laurels (i.e.---her pay) and whine about what a mess the place is where the world's two biggest, nastiest empires have utterly destroyed, playing 'Risk'.
She whines about not being able to go shopping or anywhere, for that matter. I remember when not only one could go shopping for anything, literally, in Afghanistan, it was easy as pie! And safer than shopping in many inner cities in the USA back in the sixties and seventies! The grim landscape this leech presents (how sweet of her to line her own nest, trying to 'fix' a place she and her allies destroyed!) was not visible to us hippies when we used to go there to hang out and learn from the farmers, herders and merchants, how to do things. How to make a pot, weave a rug, tend sheep...all the things the tribes and clans of Afghanistan have done successfully for eons.
The invading Americans had to pretend we were bringing democracy and freedom when we were actually simply parking our asses in Afghanistan so we can threaten Iran, China and Russia all at once. Using it as a home base for military spying on its neighbors, we imagine that no one else can figure this out. I keep talking about the ancient Chinese/Japanese game of 'Go' which means '5' in Japanese: it is difficult to connect even five squares without opposition counteracting it.
In this international game, we think, since we have troops in 130+ nations, we control world events in our favor everywhere! The problem with playing this game with mostly military forces is, as resistance rises, the cost of holding these bases rise and the chance that the whole thing can collapse is very high.
One can only hold bases so long as the people surrounding these bases want them to exist. And it is painfully obvious that the Afghanis don't want us running their country, thank you. It never ceases to marvel me, how aid workers feel they are fixing things while few if any of them have even the slightest understanding of how things really work, the evolution of societies in various climates and other factors.
For example, Western aid workers went into Africa to dig wells. They figured this would bring hope and wealth to Africans who were living as seasonal nomads. I lived in the desert during my childhood and have a great appreciation of the value of water and the dangers of wells. I watched Americans destroy the Tucson water table, draining the rivers and in general, destroying the place because they stupidly wanted water-flushing toilets and daily baths in a very dry desert!
This will end badly. Eventually, even nomads won't be able to pick through the ruins because there is no water table unless a new Ice Age comes and replenishes it! In Africa, these wells attracted what was once widely scattered herders. They then hung out there because there was endless water. The animals stripped the land bare of all vegetation. The desert moved in. To survive, the herders had to fight each other, they were increasingly sedentary and this has led to...Darfur.
I will note that once the USA and Israel armed the PLO to attack the elected officials of Hamas, the need to wave Darfur in front of our eyes has collapsed and no one mentions the place anymore outside of the Chinese who seem ready to take over all our affairs in Africa.
Which goes back to the whining American 'aid worker' who did nearly zero work for the Afghanis: the Chinese aren't coming into Africa with bombs, troops and guns! They are coming there with trade. I would strongly suggest, if we let them do that to Afghanistan, they would at least make some money.
But that would mean they would win the World Go Game too. This, we cannot allow. The Russians gave Afghanistan 'aid workers' back in the sixties. As revolutionaries (hahaha) they brought liberalism, women's education, newspapers and electrical projects like the Aswan dam in Egypt. When the Afghanis got grumpy, the Russians pulled off their 'aid worker' masks and lunged into open warfare, assassinations and coups.
Which is how all 'aid' ends. People eager to do business go to great lengths to do business. Drug dealers show this quite clearly. The only reason 90% of America's farmers aren't growing poppy and pot is due ONLY to the fact that we are in a police state of extreme brutality and government subsidies of traditional, poor-paying farming! So why aren't we simply paying the farmers of Afghanistan $50,000 a year to NOT grow wheat, for example?
Like we do here, the government keeps farm prices up by restricting imports (ooops! Um, free trade...gack!) and bribes to keep down production. When free trade started, I used to have sheep. A lot of sheep. Made a good profit off of them. Then free trade opened America's markets to sheep goods from Australia so Australia would support American imperialism in Asia and then to surround Russia with enemies, our government decided to open the floodgates of Mongolia and China and my sheep went from $175 a head to less than $30 a head. A tremendous financial loss for me!
The Afghanis are famous shepherds. They, too, have been devastated by international trade. Their valuable sheep are now nearly worthless. Their wheat, worthless due to food aid. This has killed farmers in Africa, too. The more food we give them, the more we destroy their farms. Europe and Asia protected their own farmers by keeping out American food. Farmers in India are committing suicide because of American, European and Asian food flooding into India.
The stupid aid worker in this WP article, Ms. Higgins, doesn't talk about any of this. She doesn't mention how farmers in South Korea traveled all over the world to disrupt the final Doha rounds. How they committed suicide in public, how the military shot them, beat them and they fought back with tremendous ferocity! Oh, geeze? Fighting peasants. Hmmm. I think I see something here.
She didn't talk about this because she is a reactionary working for the empire and her sole function was to stop the peasants from interfering with the military's plans for world dominance. Her main job, evidently, was to instruct these farmers to grow something besides drugs. She had no alternatives, she just wanted them to stop. Did she explain to them how the imperial powers are run by rich men who desire only to suck up all the money in the world so they could be super-rich? Did she point out to them that these super-rich men were paying her and her job was to keep them on the farm and disarmed and disabled?
No? Of course not which is why Maoist rebels are taking over Nepal, for example! Indeed, either chaos, religious revivals or communist insurrections are spreading because the American imperial economic system is collapsing rapidly as the USA sinks into bankruptcy.
Far from showing people how to do things, we should be learning from them! Our path was paved on the acquisition of native lands, displacement of whole populations of humans and even the eradication of natives and of course, fighting other empires, winning and then running the world's banking systems.
Which we tried to loot. And now it is collapsing because we decided to fix our own trade/farming/industrial problems by using cheap Chinese labor and polluting Chinese lands while also raping oil-rich nations that have no nukes. Poor Afghanistan has nothing we want except it is the Keystone of Asia: all empires must march down the bloody lanes of Kabul. All must pass and all must pay the ultimate price.
The natives there are very stubborn. This is because they have seen this over and over again. The Mongols, for example, stayed because they were happy to live there, happy to be themselves and they do poorly when things are too good, anyway. The rough life of the nomad makes them strong! The idea that a rough life can be a good life escapes many people.
As someone like the Mongols, a person who has lived for many years in the mountains in a tent in the snow, without any modern conveniences, I assure everyone, it is a bracing life! Every day, an adventure. It requires many skills which the Afghanis have and which I admire hugely. The USA government could have sent me there to organize the peasants. But then, I would only go as a revolutionary and that would mean fighting and...hahaha. Obviously, the point is to defang the peasants and chain them up so they don't bother the very powerful and the very rich.
And the Afghanis know this. They aren't dumb even if they aren't well-educated. It takes brains to live the lives they live. Tolstoy fretted about all this. I read 'War and Peace' carefully every ten years or so. The 'boring' parts are where he talks about the peasants, their attitude towards life and the rulers and how quiet they are and how agricultural agents of the government fail simply because the organic life-forces at work within the peasant community is hard to understand from the outside.
But sometimes the peasants do react. Then we get massive revolutions like in Russia and China, two empires with many peasants.
But the revolutionaries' solutions failed. They didn't take into account the elderich realities of farming. Revolutionaries preaching the arcane new arts of modern technology and tools had to brutally suppress the peasants in order to get their changes across. And do note how this has collapsed! Our attempts are just as ridiculous and destructive.
Here at home, the modern factory-farm is an ecological disaster. Most farms here abouts are abandoned. They look like urban junkyards with lots of machines discarded and rusting. Many farmers no longer use barns built with love and care and standing for centuries. Instead, they use tents! I get a constant stream of tent catalogs! To keep the rivers and lakes from being destroyed by factory farms, laws are passed but all it takes is a nasty storm and all that pollution is flooded into the landscape anyway.
Using chemicals and frankenfoods, we try to race ahead of Mother Nature who uses her crafty, sharp tool called 'evolution' to undo or destroy our attempts at controlling all of nature so it would make us millionaires.
And that is what the Afghani farmers want: to make money. And selling heroin is making them richer. Much richer! And the only way to stop them is to kill all of them. And like any system that makes a lot of money, opium is killing them. It is an addictive drug that kills pain and we have made life there a royal pain.
And in the sixties, they used mostly pot. A much gentler herb. Easy to grow. You can't OD on it. Has no withdrawal symptoms. Gads. We should have left them alone. But we can't! We won't.
So they will systematically kill us, kill any aid workers we send and eventually, destroy our empire. And you can bet, they are sending REVOLUTIONARIES all over kingdom come, instructing people as to how to fight off Americans. Indeed, Iraq is the school of choice these days. So many American targets, so much time to learn!
Here are some photos showing how Chris, Danny and I lived for well over 10 years: