Quantum Note: The Bonn Farce
The Bonn Conference of 2001 was a clever reenactment of the Third Reich era. It bulldozed all existing structures, just as Hitler had done, and, instead, it set the ball rolling for a brand new Afghanistan, with a made-in-America Constitution, inaugurating an era in which billions of dollars would flow into a country that had never seen that amount of money in centuries past put together. The mechanism established through the Bonn 2001 conference must have been suggested by Satan himself, for it orchestrated the biggest fraud in modern history at a scale no one can even imagine.
By Dr. Muzaffar Iqbal
They all came in their Sunday bests, dined and drank at the expense of Frau Angela Merkel, the first female Chancellor (Bundeskanzlerin) of Germany, an office that harks back to the “Holy” Roman Empire. Of course, Frau Merkel knows that she holds an office that was once held by Adolf Hitler (January 1933 to April 30, 1945), and it is, therefore, not surprising that the gala gathering in Bonn last week had a fair amount of politics of the Third Reich.
Ten years ago, a similar gathering was held in Bonn; it was called to legitimize US aggression against one of the poorest countries in the world in terms of material resources, but one of the richest in terms of spiritual tradition and hardiness of its people. That conference did, in fact, accomplish the desired result. It nullified, with one declaration, the constitution of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan along with all of its state organizations, documents, and governing structures. Afghanistan was, henceforth, deemed to have no constitution, no legal government, no officials, no recognized authority.
The Bonn Conference of 2001 was a clever reenactment of the Third Reich era. It bulldozed all existing structures, just as Hitler had done, and, instead, it set the ball rolling for a brand new Afghanistan, with a made-in-America Constitution, inaugurating an era in which billions of dollars would flow into a country that had never seen that amount of money in centuries past put together. The mechanism established through the Bonn 2001 conference must have been suggested by Satan himself, for it orchestrated the biggest fraud in modern history at a scale no one can even imagine: it brought to Afghanistan a brand new democracy bombed in from air and then spread it out on imported lush greenness of lawns which would instantaneously materialize overnight in the bombed out, rubble-filled, capital now segregated into green, yellow, and red apartheid zones.
The money trail was fabulous; even Garcia Marquez cannot imagine such a saga: over the last decade millions of freshly minted green bucks arrived in the capital only to disappear with the same speed with which they arrived. I still recall the small news item that once flashed in the international press about Hamid Karzai’s brother being caught at Dubai airport with a pallet of green bucks. That news item was, however, only a minor episode in the saga.
During the last ten years, Afghanistan has provided fantastic opportunities to thousands of ex-CIA personnel, security contractors, so-called reconstruction workers, missionaries, and all sorts of charlatans, including a woman who has set up a bowling alley in the capital, which is now also home to the world’s greatest pork chop restaurant and which teams with an underworld dealing with everything imaginable—from drugs to women to upstart entrepreneurs of all kinds to would-be media lords who have set up little satellite channels to propagate their new-found freedom.
Last week’s Bonn Conference on Afghanistan (December 5, 2011) was not really a replica of the farce held ten years ago; it was worse than anything one could have imagined. Its high point was nauseating repetition of empty, meaningless words uttered by ministers who read out prepared speeches, vaguely pledging their support to Afghan people. No one asked what it meant; no one was interested in anything real; it was, after all, a party of more than a thousand men and women brought together for the purpose of giving a veneer of legitimacy to plans which would extend the occupation of Afghanistan into the next decade, but not many in the gathering had a clue of how this will take place.
The lord mayor of it all, the man whose writ does not go beyond the barricaded capital, was the chief attraction at the Bonn Conference. But there was no show per se; it was a long litany of self-praise, mutual pats on the back amidst vague commitment to the future decade. All the Western players of this new game in Afghanistan have realized that they need a new farce to legitimize their stay in the country beyond 2014. But they have not yet made their operational plans and therefore, the support they were seeking from 1000 plus guests brought to Bonn had to be for grand and glorious words, rather than concrete action. This lacuna in the farce was somewhat heightened by the absence of Pakistan, though Pakistan’s presence would have not changed the farce in any substantial way.
This does not mean that the farce was badly administered; the choreography was, in fact, perfect. Just a day before it began, Lieutenant General James Bucknall, Britain’s top commander in Afghanistan, issued a statement in which he said that the war in Afghanistan has driven the Taliban to terror tactics but the West must make sure its own “investment in blood” succeeds in the long-term. Britain’s total investment in blood, one must note the official figures here, amounts to some 390 British troops compared to thousands of men, women, and children ruthlessly slaughtered in villages which have been desecrated in that tortured land.
Bucknall had nothing to say about war crimes of British soldiers, some of which are still “under investigation” by British army; instead, he boasted of “taking out 130 to 140 mid-level Taliban leaders every month” and falsely claimed that Taliban were “not holding their own heartland” and that there was “absolutely no evidence anywhere in Afghanistan” that their influence was spreading. This is not surprising, as Afghanistan for Bucknall and for the NATO high command is just Kabul and “Kabul is a flourishing capital city,” Bucknall said, “that is much safer than Karachi.”
In his bravado, he ignored the fact that even his own officer, General Sir David Richards, the head of Britain’s armed forces, had admitted last month that the West had made tactical mistakes during the decade-long conflict and public enthusiasm in Britain has been sapped by a steadily rising death toll among British soldiers, and reports of war crimes over attacks on civilians in Afghanistan, especially after WikiLeaks posted 90,000 secret intelligence files online, some of which provided hard evidence for such crimes. According to these details British soldiers have allegedly shot or bombed Afghan civilians, including women and children, on 21 different occasions.
The Bonn conference has proven one more time, if anyone needs one more proof, the insanity of Afghan venture and the callousness of the Western political leadership; if this insanity continues for another decade, not a shred of humanity will be left in that ravaged land.