Doyle McManus, an American journalist, in his analytical piece that was published in Los Angeles Times, counselled the Obama Administration that since its plans to convert Afghanistan into a smoothly functioning democracy and hand the war to the Afghan Army with US advisors, has failed, it would be better if it came up with another plan – i.e. to leave the war-torn country as soon as possible. This shows that the occupation of Afghanistan by the US-led Nato forces was a big mistake, and that America needed to salvage some of its misplaced pride, to seek some face-saving by withdrawing and letting the regional countries help in deciding the future of Afghanistan. Pakistan has already volunteered to work in that direction!

But rather than learning its lessons and pacifying Pakistan - its principle ally in the faulty war – for breaching its sovereignty and killing of 24 army personnel at the Salalah border post, Washington has not only refused to render an unqualified apology. That would have facilitated a resumption of the vital supply routes into Afghanistan. It could also have taken action against the Nato officers, who participated in the unprovoked action. Rather it is unfortunate that the US still continues to blame Pakistani military for it; making it increasingly difficult for Pakistan - as the opposition has whipped up public frenzy and pushed the government to seek unanimity in Parliament over the issue - notwithstanding the warning by the Taliban threatening fatal reprisals against the parliamentarians and their families voicing resumption.

Since the Vietnam humiliation, the imperialist force has (for instance, during the cold war) successfully garnered support and forced regime change across the globe through covert interventions, rather than overt military operations, until its deadly mistake of attacking Iraq and Afghanistan. Unfortunately, presently there is no meeting point over the end game in Afghanistan so far between the US aiming to leave behind a compliant ruling clique under the wings of its newfound strategic partner India, and Pakistan desirous of letting the Afghans themselves to decide their future.

Susan Glasser made it so evident in her article titled The wars America does not talk about, published in Foreign Policy magazine. “No boots on the ground and a convenient narrative of freedom, toppling dictatorships. Yes! I am talking about Libya,” she wrote. Although she stops at that, it takes no rocket science to assume that it also points towards America’s infiltration into the turmoil and joining the freedom chant in Egypt, Yemen, Syria and Bahrain with Nato’s support, besides the continued CIA machinations against Iran and Pakistan that are designed to weaken the Islamic countries, defang them of their strength and control their natural wealth, i.e. oil, gas, coal and minerals, without overtly committing their own men in uniform.

In revisiting the decades-old cold war strategy, the writer laments former President George Bush’s fatal mistake of sending the American troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and derives satisfaction indirectly admitting its covert role in the Libyan regime change. “Here is a war that works,” she says quoting Ben Rhodes, the White House Deputy Security Advisor, who coyly marvels: “And by the way, did we mention how different we are than George W. Bush, pushing regime change at the barrel of an American gun?”

In her article, Ms Glasser also mentioned about the pain that she felt due to the fruitless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which have cost the American people so dearly with trillions of their dollars going down the drain, besides countless body bags that mark the misadventure. This ignominy, according to her, is further summed up in “a harrowing portrait of a team of American soldiers fighting vainly to keep their outpost in Afghanistan’s remote Korengal valley”, depicted in journalist Tim Hetherington’s documentary, Restrepo. That shows “comrades mourning the dead and piles of discarded ammunition littering their mountain aerie, with a chilling sentence that scrolled across the screen: ‘The US military withdrew from Korengal a year later. In other words, it was all in vain’.”

While the intent of the Iraqi expedition carried out on a false pretext was soon exposed, as were excesses by the American and British troops in Iraqi and Afghan detention camps, countless stories about the behaviour of the foreign soldiers under war stress, and embarrassing reversals suffered by the allies at the hands of the Afghan freedom fighters, keep surfacing and knocking the hell out of the myth of the war fought for democracy. Keeping this in view, how would one describe the downing of Chinook helicopters and accounting for 67 casualties mostly Navy SEALs regarded as “the deadliest single incident in this longest war in American history”; the twin bombing of US base in Kabul wounding 77 marines; the guerrilla storming of US Embassy in Kabul resulting in a 20-hour daring siege causing 25 deaths and shooting down of an American drone; all in the wake of the allied troop surge in Afghanistan designed to facilitate a triumphant American withdrawal from the inhospitable war zone.

Rather than recognise the futility of their global misadventures that have brought them more flak than credit bringing worldwide disgrace and dishonour, the US and its think tanks insist on finding scapegoats for their failures. They continue blaming Pakistan for harbouring close links with the Haqqani Network responsible for striking the US-led Nato forces in Afghanistan and failing to take action against the alleged safe havens in Waziristan. On the contrary, Haqqani rubbished the American claim and declared that he and his men were living in Afghanistan, and did not feel the need to have an outpost in Pakistan’s tribal areas. Even if the American blame is to be believed, it points to the abject failure of the world’s most sophisticated military might to thwart, contain or defeat a small group of combatants for over a decade that reflects poorly on its part.

Worst still, after a unified Pakistani civil and military response calling for peace initiatives to find a face-saving exit for it, the US instead brought its protégé Hamid Karzai’s bizarre accusation that Pakistan masterminded Burhanuddin Rabbani’s murder - the man, who was making an effort to end hostilities in Afghanistan. More so, what about the puppet sheltering fugitive Malvi Fazllulah of the Pakistani Taliban brand under US tutelage, and enabling his men to carry out attacks across into Pakistan? Mind looking yourself in the mirror!

The writer is a freelance columnist.

Email: zaheerbhatti1@gmail.com