Tuesday, 13 December 2011



The international conference on Afghanistan has just been held in Bonn.
Travellers to the nearby Cologne airport were greeted by huge levels of
security which extended to the streets of Bonn itself to protect the military,
security and diplomatic legions arriving to decide a faraway country's fate.

These were scenes straight out of 19th century European colonialism. In 1884,
when the European powers met to carve up Africa in front of US observers, 
there were no Africans present. This time, although many Afghans had been
invited, some were denied entry to Germany for "visa purposes," the Taliban 
did not attend, and Pakistan boycotted the conference following the US attack
that killed 24 of its soldiers. 

A day earlier there had been an altogether different Afghan conference at the
Rhenish State Museum in Trier. The event, organised by Protesters against
Petersberg II, and the No to War, No to Nato Network, brought together 
speakers as diverse as Joseph Gerson from the US peace movement, Pax 
Christi's Christine Hoffman, Irish Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire,
Tobias Pfluger from Die Link and Jeremy Corbyn MP, chair of Stop the War
Coalition, Halim Karim of the Committee for Peace and Freedom in Afghanistan,
and former Afghan MP Malalai Joya, an opponent of the  occupation who was
forced out by Karzai and his gang.

Today the west has basically admitted defeat, just as the Soviet Union 20
years ago was forced to do. in truth Bonn was an exercise in colonial 
illusion. It is time to wake up to the reality of the war, the cost, the loss
and ultimately the futility of the occupation. In the end it will all be
fruitless. The people of Afghanistan will assert their rights free from
occupation - something that they have striven to do for a very long time.

1 comment:

  1. http://www.flickr.com/photos/kombizz/6718959395/