Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What will the future of Afghanistan and Iraq be?

Last December we saw the total withdrawal of the American troops from Iraq and it is estimated that by the end of 2014 they will leave Afghanistan as well. And that will hopefully end America's campaign on terror, on foreign territories at least. Well that is if they are not convinced by Israel to invade Iran too, or get involved in Syria or even North Korea. They will find a way or an excuse if they really want to, there is no doubt about it.

The thing is, what happens to any country that is "lucky" enough to receive the help of America in attaining democracy the American way, after they and their allies' troops leave. These wars have cost the American and European tax payer a whole lot of money, never mind the thousands of lives of American and European troops, together with the more than one million of Iraqis and Afghans. 

 Well let's face the facts: the US and their allies did not invade simply to find Osama bin Laden, find and destroy the terrorists and bring democracy in these regions. Democracy is established in one nation or region by the will of the people, not by the invasion of another country. The West invaded those lands to promote their interests in these regions. Many have profited out of these wars, but certainly not the ordinary people of the USA or Europe and their allies form all over the world. 

We have the weapon industry, the oil industry and the whole capitalist system benefiting from these wars and the deaths of innocent people. Because introducing "democracy" to any closed and isolated countries that avoid the western culture and goods, equals to opening new markets to sell your goods. Nearly the whole world has been part of this capitalist system for some time now. Few countries are out of it and refuse to join. And we see how they are portrayed as troublesome and that they desperately need our "democracy." It is not the first time that people die so that some countries or lobbies or corporations serve their interests and expand their sphere of influence. 

If we look back in history we will see how different regions, continents or individual countries have been manipulated and "encouraged" to change and reform their economies in order to be part of this economic system we currently have. Europe for example was dragged into it with the famous Marshal plan. The continent after the WW2 was in ruins and if it wasn't for the money it received from America as a part of the Marshal plan, economic recovery would be very difficult to achieve. The money of course did not come for free. Europe was flooded by American goods, boosting the American economy and promoting the American way of life and thinking in to the western part of the continent. 

In that way, certain European elites were established to support and maintain the status quo. And of course keep buying American goods. As long as the money and the investments from America were pouring in, they made sure to transform their countries into an image of USA. Capitalist, market based economies, multicultural and free trading. The same happened in other countries in bigger or lesser extend. Japan, South Korea in the far East are just another example of the expansion of this model. 

But in certain countries the interests differed. For example Palestine and Israel. The West desperately needed to have its foot in this very important region. Plus to solve the Jewish state problem and to compensate the Jews for what they had to suffer during WW2 by granting their wishes for an independent state. But the West has to pour millions of dollars in supporting the state for Israel each year, just to help it keep its military supremacy in the region and thus its existence. At any cost. That is the only reason the West forbids Iran to have nuclear weapons, because the balance of power in the region will shift. And it is so important to them that they are contemplating even an invasion. 

 The situation in the Balkans is no better. Kosovo is only one of the nations that rely on Western funds just to exist. The country even relies on Europe for its policing. FYROM too receives a huge amount of money from various foreign "investors" who stupidly wastes in propaganda and its effort to beat Greece and prove that they are the true descendants of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon. These "investors" have another agenda for the country and the region and that is not of course that of peace and stability.  Europe's and America's policies in the Balkans were always been disastrous and fanned nationalism, ethnic tensions and even in the past many wars. Europe always played one Balkan nation against another in order to serve their own interests or stop the Russian influence or Ottoman domination.  

Of course they have always claimed that they did what they did "for the good" of the people. Well in another article in my blog I explain how they used espionage to involve Greece in WW1 and everybody knows the role of Britain in the Turkish invasion of Cyprus that lead to another problem that Europe faces today: a divided EU nation with no hope of resolution, simply because the interests of different Western states lie with keeping the island nation divided. So I would not be very trusting of any Western propaganda. 

And if we examine the case of my native country Greece, there we see a very interesting mix of meddling resulting in national failures and disasters. Greece after WW2 had to endure a bloody civil war that to many was the first test of the Cold War. It is well know that British troops got actually involved in battles against the communists and Greece almost became one of their colonies. All that so Greece can remain under Western influence. After a two decade peace, America backed a military junta in the country, that rolled back any progress in democracy the country made. Even when Greece joined the EEC, the decision was taken not on economic grounds rather political: the West always wanted to control Greece and the whole region of the Southern Balkans because of their strategic location.

In order to establish a firm pro-western regime, Europe and America poured bucket loads of money into Greece. As part of the Marshal plan, the US was giving the country aid in exchange for the right to establish military bases in the country. After the civil war and the victory of the pro-Western nationalists, there are reports that in many interrogation rooms used by the police to interrogate suspected communists, the police officers were shouting at the suspects "what are you? an American! what are you?" Before beating them up. Any person found to be a communist was expelled from the country only to resettle in the former communist states. That is how there is a large number of Greek diaspora in Eastern Europe! 

American troops were giving food, cosmetics and beverages to the poor and deprived after so many wars Greek folk, that was visiting their bases to receive free goods. All US bases apart one in Crete were closed during the presidency of George Papandreou the Senior, after a spat he had with the American government. 

Greece was also receiving money from Europe. Ever since it became member of the then EEC and later the EU, Greece was receiving special "packages" for development or subsidies from the different EU projects and bodies. The most famous and even controversial was the Delors packet that there was so much talk about in the Greek media when I was growing up. The truth is that while some of these funds were wisely absorbed and the life of the Greek people got better, a large amount was wasted away. Telephone cables, new roads, internet connections, bridges and new air ports were quickly expanding. Anything to make it easier to the Greeks to consume and follow the Western example. But on the other hand, most of the Greek successful companies were forced to close, relocate or were bought by larger Western multinationals. 

In many cases Greece was being given subsidies not to produce and to bury any excess fruit and vegetables it produced, instead of exporting them. And a large amount of this money was abused to make sure that the two major parties that ruled Greece for the past 40 years remained in power. The money were used in bribery for votes and political favors in order to keep the established "pro-Western" "pro-Capitalist" regime. I was only a receptionist in a hotel in Thessaloniki, Greece's second largest city, when we were receiving bookings from one of those two main parties. Bookings to accommodate "Hellenized" immigrants from Russia and many other former Soviet republics. The party was paying for the flights, accommodation and transportation to our hotel with just one condition; for those people to vote for this particular party in the upcoming elections. That is how political elections were rigged in Greece and how those two parties remained in power. 

Now of course it is the cheated ordinary Greek people who have to pay the price and the European tax payers to see their taxes used once again to maintain the status quo in the continent. Because even when the Greek public eventually woke up and decided to get rid off PASOK and the New Democracy parties that led the country to such decline, it was then Europe actually that told them to stick to them so that they can insure that the country would stick to its commitments to its creditors and the bail out deals. How else would the country sell out all its national assets to multinationals? So after of decades of European and American meddling in Greece's affairs, we are still were we started; Greece being totally reliant to the Western countries.

So what does all this has to do with Iraq and Afghanistan? Well basically history is repeating itself. We invaded to establish a new pro-Western regime in those two countries. We help establish a corrupt elite to make sure that both countries will  remain under American or Western control and influence, but this elite will become addicted to money that will be coming from us and so the countries will never progress. Ain't what our elites and governments want by the way. And we are going to keep pouring money into those countries and the more we do that, the more dependent they will become from us. Africa is perhaps the most tragic example of these kind of policies that our elites are practicing. Iraq and Afghanistan will be bleeding money out of the Western countries for decades to come. No matter if America will be able to pull out by 2014 or not, the elite they want to establish over there will keep asking for support, aka funds to deal with the never-ending threat of the Taliban. 

The moral lesson of this story? Never get involved in another country's affairs in order to serve your interests and change the status quo. If you do, then you will have to be prepared to pay for it for a long time to come. I may sound anti-West and anti-American or anti-European. No I am not. I am a proud Greek, a proud European and a proud Western man. But I am so with the original version of the term. A Greek humanist with a vision for an equal world. Not a war mongering bank and market loving greedy scum!! There is a huge difference.

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