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West not intended to quit Mideast
Mon, 02 May 2011 06:35:21 GMT
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The United States' invasion of Afghanistan took place in 2001 with the alleged goal of dismantling al-Qaeda and destroying any bases the group may have in that country.

And now, almost 10 years later, not only have militant groups not been dismantled, but attacks are on the rise, as the month of April has witnessed one of the bloodiest months in a long time for foreign soldiers in Afghanistan.

The other US war in Iraq which started in 2003, has also witnessed one of its bloodiest months.

In an interview with Chris Bambery, Journalist and Middle East Expert from London, Press TV has discussed the issue further more.

PressTV: What does the US think it can accomplish now that it hasn't accomplished in almost 10 years in Afghanistan?

Bambery: Well, I think it's interesting that General Petraeus is quitting Afghanistan, but it seems that he has no understanding why it is that the Americans are taking such casualties there. Firstly, I think he finds it difficult to understand the very American presence versus to resistance. But let's give you an example; for instance in Kabul this week I was reunited with a group of Pashto from Helmand who fled to Kabul to escape American bombing. The constant American bombing of regions in Afghanistan and indeed in Pakistan with drone attacks is creating not just a refugee crisis internally to Pakistan and Afghanistan but also causes resentment against what the Americans are doing and that fuels resistance.

Secondly as well, there was another story from this week in New York Times about a highway. The Americans are putting millions of dollars into it in thr east of the country were essentially money has been signed for corruption, but also they had to bribe the Taliban indirectly in order to build the highway which is not yet completed.

That sums up the real fairy of the American mission. There has been no reconstruction of Afghanistan and there is a growing crisis. Huge amount of refugees enter that city [Kabul]. There is a massive problem of housing, a massive problem of pollution and the corruption itself is evident in Kabul.

And yet Petraeus doesn't seem to understand any of this. I think ten years of occupation is a complete failure and the Americans have really little strategy.

Unfortunately, I don't believe they are about to quit the region when seeing the intervention in Libya, the sanctioning of Saudi invasion of Bahrain which the Westerns remain silent about, and the Saleh regime in Yemen. I see no evidence that they are quitting the region. But I think in the end they may be forced to quit Afghanistan. Iraq has a different story which we can come on to it. The occupation of Iraq has been a disaster and you are quite right to say that the resistance is growing.

PressTV: Do you agree that the goal of the US is usually to demonize and destroy. Do you see these dynamics in the entire situation that we are talking about in Iraq and Afghanistan? What is your perspective on this?

Bambery: Well, I think the destruction itself is evident and we see the demonization all the time, and in the moment you know the intervention in Bahrain was almost projected as a humanitarian intervention. There is no mention of the reality of Bahrain. But I think going back to the main problem, you see America, Britain, France face real economic difficulties, but strangely the economic difficulties means the Americans in particular, and the British and French in less extent are prepared to use their military power to offset that economic decline. And if you go back ten years, it was clear that new conservatives in Washington had a plan of intervention in the region.

Firstly there was a plan to build a presence to circle Iran and other enemy regimes that they regard in that area. Secondly it was to secure and control the oil and gas supplies of those regions, not only because the Americans rely on their oil and gas, but Europe and elsewhere rely on that and that gave the Americans a leverage over their so-called allies. Thirdly I believe as well the Americans want to have a permanent presence in Iraq, for geo-political reasons, because they still view Iran as an enemy and fourthly they look into ways for intervening in Arab revolutions.

Personally, I think (Egyptian ousted President Hosni) Mubarak was a big hit for the Americans and I think they were worried about this sort of movements that are emerging in Egypt which will be anti-Zionist and anti-imperialist. But the reasons for intervening in Libya is to try to get a grip on the Arab revolutions and to co-opt that movement in Libya and use it for their own reasons.

So I think a number of strategic reasons still remain. On Israel, I don't believe the Americans are going to turn back to Israel. I think there's been a real weakening of the relationship between Israel and the Americans. And I think that's probably because Israel itself senses America's weakness and no longer base America's orders and I think down the road there is a serious problem for the Israelis. But down the road they will have to rely on the Americans and if that relationship weakens, it leaves Israel already suffering from Hezbollah in Lebanon, unable to break Hamas in Gaza. It leaves Israel isolated and I think the Israelis despite bravado they put in public, are very worried about the Arab revolutions, very concerned.

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