IFTEKHAR A. KHAN Some of us have argued consistently that situation in Afghanistan will ultimately depend on which of the two warring forces had more resilience to suffer human losses. Will the Afghans give up first or the US-led occupation force of NATO troops, weary of taking body bags, quit? General Stanley McChrystal's demand for 40,000 more troops suggests the situation is fast spinning out of control of the ISAF. Recall General McChrystal who commanded Joint Operations Command and had been running camp NAMA (nasty ass military area), an interrogation and torture centre near Baghdad, had taken over from General David McKiernan in Afghanistan. McKiernan was summarily discharged from service for asking for 10,000 more troops in Afghanistan. His successor now asks for 40,000 more, while Mr Barack Obama vacillates what to do. In his Pittsburgh address after the G20 meeting he warned there were no "perfect answers" in Afghanistan. "I will ultimately make this decision based on what will meet that core goal that I had set out at the beginning, which is to dismantle, disrupt and destroy the Al-Qaeda network," he asserted. Coinciding with the address was the NATO announcement of the death of five more US soldiers. Since his takeover on February 18, President Barack Obama has considered the Afghan war his own and thinks it "necessary" to win. Indeed his stakes as first black occupant of the White House are high. But he must ask himself why 68,000 of his soldiers, 40,000 NATO troops, and 75,000 contractors or rented headhunters have failed to turn the war in his favour. He will do well to rummage into his archive to refresh his memory about the Vietnam War. The US in 1961 had 2,000 troops there, in 1964 they escalated to 16,500, in 1965 to 100,000, in 1966 they shot up to 200,000, and at the height of war to 500,000. But the pinkos, the Vietnamese called then, steadfastly stood their ground. After massacring hundreds of thousands of pinkos and suffering a staggering loss of 58,000 soldiers, the US pulled out. In its final bailout from its embassy in Saigon some of its remnants were clutching to foothold of the last helicopter to take off. Is it not a sobering thought, Mr Barack Obama? What is the difference between Vietnamese pinkos of sixties and Afghan Taliban of 21st century? Both fought to rid their ancestral lands of foreign occupiers. In the manner the US and its propaganda machine - controlled print and TV media - churns out disinformation that the Taliban are a threat to the United States, similarly in the sixties the media had fed the US public the falsehood that if Vietnam military mission failed, it would directly endanger American lives. It was a scam then, it's a scam now. Neither did the Vietnamese pose any threat nor indeed do the ill-fed, ill-clothed Afghans. Propagandists know that the effect of disinformation on the public mind is directly proportional to how blatantly and how often it is disseminated. Afghans have no voice in the Western media to counter one-sided blitz of false charges against them nor do our intellectuals and writers, sad to say, seem willing to represent them. It's appalling to note that quite a number of columnists shun espousing the cause of Afghani people, for they apprehend being branded conservative and Taliban sympathisers. Muted, they indirectly support the oppressors. None of us may like to live under a Taliban regime, but at the same time none also must tolerate death and destruction the foreign forces perpetrate in one of the poorest Muslim states in the world. Sadly, our writers are far fewer than foreign writers expressing their disgust against the imperialist policy in Afghanistan. Enlightened moderate Pervez Musharraf recently branded Mian Nawaz Sharif a Taliban at heart. Let's discriminate between being Taliban and being against their annihilation, which definitely are two different issues. That's why large Muslim populations are not as much against the Taliban as are their governments under US arm-twisting. Research reveals that about 88 percent Afghans support the Taliban and about 97 percent of the area is under the Taliban control. Western populations had so far sat smug that their valiant soldiers were warring and winning against the bad guys in Afghanistan. They woke up only when body bags draped in national flags began to arrive home. To respect the dead soldiers blown up to pieces by the IDEs they use the euphemism 'body bags' just like they call the graveyard a cemetery and torture centre a correctional facility. Why Obama dillydallies to send more troops in the Afghanistan theatre is because more troops would mean more exposure and more loss of lives. Loss of local lives is irrelevant, but of the white lives counts in the civilised world. A few weeks ago, a long line of Afghan war widows clad in blue burqas queuing up for donation presented a heartrending view. Afghans are raising no brouhaha over the loss of lives of their dear ones, but the Western world is. None among the Afghan mothers who lost their sons because of the coalition's bombing holds a placard in front of Karzai's guarded palace as does Cindy Sheehan in front of the White House. Bob Woodward cast McChrystal in somewhat humane picture that the general wanted ISAF be seen by the Afghans as guests out to help them. One must say the guests have outlived Afghan hospitality and must leave. The writer is a freelance columnist. E-mail: pinecity@gmail.com