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NATO operation Moshtarak .... Orwell is ever present in Afghanistan ---Peace is war. PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Monday, 08 February 2010 02:21
NATO operation Moshtarak .... Orwell is ever present in Afghanistan ---Peace is war. 
 

-PEJnews “ Joan Russow
Reports about  NATO engaging in Operation Moshtarak  against the Taliban, are juxtaposed with Reports about negotiating with the Taliban. as well as with NATO expansionism

www.PEJ.org

(1) NATO OPERATION MOSTARAK

It is recently announced that NATO is engaging in Operation  MOSTARAK , which translates as Operation together.
BBC reports : The offensive will involve British, American and Afghan troops and is .
Codenamed "Operation Moshtarak" - which means "together" in the Dari language - it has been described as a "softening-up operation" to clear the Taliban from its remaining strongholds in the area."
This Operation will involve an invasion by 10,000 British troops and 15,000 US troops. 

Rueters reports that Thousands of Afghan security forces also are expected to take part in the offensive -- codenamed "Operation Moshtarak." They include troops from the Afghan National Army as well as about 100 specialists from Afghanistan's elite police unit -- the Afghan National Civil Order Police."

(2) TALKS WITH THE TALIBAN

BBC Report

In a recent BBC report, Ainsworth, - the UK Defence Secretary  discusses talks with Taliban, in BBC report  “Ainsworth warns of casualties in Operation Moshtarak”
“Mr Ainsworth said British forces in Afghanistan were engaged in direct talks with Taliban representatives.
......
"Those talks have already been going on, and have been going on for some time. They're led by the Afghan government, and we would encourage them to do so."

IPS Report

IPS reporter, Gareth Porter reports on Peace talks.
Peace Talks May Follow Ex-Taliban Mediators' Plan

Gareth Porter  KABUL, Feb 7 (IPS) - If peace talks do ultimately begin between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the Taliban leadership, they may well follow a "road map" to a political settlement drawn up by a group of ex-Taliban officials who have been serving as intermediaries between the two sides.

The four Taliban mediators have been encouraging both Karzai and the Taliban leadership to begin with steps toward military de-escalation and confidence-building before proceeding to the central political-military issues that must be negotiated, a member of the mediation team, Arsullah Rahmani, told IPS in an interview at his home in Kabul.

The first step toward a settlement is "an agreement between Karzai and the Taliban about no killing of doctors and no damage to roads, etc [by the Taliban], in return for no night raids and detention [by the United States]," said Rahmani, formerly a Taliban commander and now an elected member of Afghanistan's upper house. Rahmani said the mediation group's plan calls for the two sides to address the question of changing the constitution in the last stage of the negotiations, after they have reached agreement on the key international issues of withdrawal of all foreign troops and al Qaeda and the Taliban's renunciation of ties with al Qaeda.

The mediators, all four of whom occupied prominent positions in the Taliban regime until it was overthrown by the U.S. military intervention in 2001, have passed their proposal for peace negotiations to Karzai, Taliban leader Mullah Omar, and the United States and NATO, according to Rahmani.

Karzai personally asked the ex-Taliban officials to help get peace negotiations started, according to Rahmani. He also appeared to reflect the team's de-escalation proposal when he told al Jazeera in January that he would seek an end to nighttime raids on Afghan homes as well to as the arrest and detention of Afghans on suspicion of belonging to the Taliban.

The team also believes the Taliban is at least favourably inclined toward their "road map" to a settlement. Former Taliban foreign minister Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil, another member of the team, told IPS that the Taliban "are going to accept some of our suggestions."

The mediation team has the advantage of being led by Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, who is said to have been one of the founders of the Taliban movement.

Zaeef helped organise Islamic courts during the Taliban regime, worked in the Taliban defence ministry and was the regime's last ambassador to Pakistan. He was subjected to degrading treatment at the Kandahar detention facility before spending two and a half years in the U.S. detention centre at Guantanamo Bay.

Suhail Shaheen, who was spokesman for the Taliban Embassy in Pakistan when Zaeef was ambassador there, and is now a journalist, has written that Taliban leader Mullah Omar and his inner circle "have chosen Zaeef as their point of contact for talks with the Americans and NATO."

It is unclear how Zaeef and other team members have communicated with Taliban leaders. Muttawakil said in an interview that it would be dangerous to the Taliban to try to contact them directly. "I don't want anyone to be harmed," he said. He has communicated with the Taliban primarily through his own statements to the news media, Muttawakil told IPS.

The mediation team was allowed to visit Saudi Arabia in October 2008, at a meeting which some Taliban officials reportedly attended. But a Taliban official denied that any Taliban officials had attended.

However, Zaeef has also been allowed to travel to Dubai on a number of occasions, and may have been able to speak directly to senior Taliban officials there.

The mediators and other close observers of the Taliban position do not expect the al Qaeda issue to be difficult to resolve. Rahmani said the Taliban statement of Dec. 4 offering to negotiate "legal guarantees" against "meddling" beyond Afghanistan's borders was a signal that the Taliban leadership is prepared to renounce ties with al Qaeda under a peace agreement.

The immediate concern of the mediating team is that the United States will block political moves toward a settlement.

"I don't understand U.S. policy," Rahmani said. "Sometimes they say 'we will negotiate with the Taliban, and sometimes they say 'we must destroy them'."

The United States has refused in the past to provide assurances that Taliban officials would be given safe passage to participate in negotiations in Kabul. The mediation team is now suggesting that negotiations should take place outside Afghanistan.

"The Taliban should have the ability to go to other countries, should have an office outside the country, in Turkey, for example," said Rahmani. "If we have offices of both sides in another country, they could reach agreement."

The existing constitution of Afghanistan is expected to be the real sticking point in the negotiations. The former Taliban officials have different interpretations of the Taliban's position on that issue.

Rahmani told IPS he believes the Taliban will "accept the constitution with some changes. They're going to demand changes in a few articles, not the whole thing," he said. The ex-Taliban commander says that assessment is based on discussions with the Taliban, adding, "It's not my opinion. This is what they said."

Muttawakil, the former Taliban foreign minister, believes, however, that the changes the Taliban are likely to demand would be very far-reaching.

In an interview with IPS, Muttawakil said he expected the Taliban to reject some provisions "copied from the U.S. constitution", such as the position of vice-president, and to demand "an emirate government".

Muttawakil suggested that the primary implication of such a proposal would not be to eliminate electoral institutions but to ensure that laws based on Islam are enforced. "The important thing is Sharia law," said Muttawakil.

Sharia-based laws exist on paper already, he said, but are not being enforced. "Narcotics and corruption are forbidden by Islam," said Muttawakil, but are being allowed under the present system.

Former Taliban foreign ministry official Wahid Muzhdah, who is not a member of the mediating team but is an analyst of the Taliban's thinking, says the Taliban insistence on "Sharia law government" means they want religious scholars, or ulema, to exercise ultimate power over the law and perhaps even the selection of a government.

The Taliban position is that not everyone should have the right to elect the president, according to Muzhdah. Although the idea of giving the ulema veto power over the choice of government would represent a direct challenge to the liberal democratic institutions in the existing constitution, Muzhdah recalls that it was widely discussed during the period immediately following the overthrow of the Communist-led regime in 1992.

The political negotiations between Karzai and the Taliban may also hinge on the idea of an interim government that would preside over a process of revising or rewriting the constitution, according to Muzhdah.

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, an ally of the Taliban who commands an insurgent group independent of the Taliban leadership, has called for such a temporary government to ensure that a new constitution is written with participation of "all parties".

*Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist specialising in U.S. national security policy. The paperback edition of his latest book, "Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam", was published in 2006.

3. OPERATION MOSHTARAK AND AMBIVALENT POSITION OF KARZAI

Al Jazeras commented  on Operation Moshtarak and President KARZI.

While Operation Moshtarak is gearing up - the Afghani President in a security conference in Munich, Germany, on Sunday 02/07/2010, has demanded that NATO-ISAF forces in his country stop all military raids on local villages. Speaking on Sunday at the annual Munich Security Conference, Hamid Karzai said civilian deaths and injuries inflicted during operations by international forces had caused deep anger among Afghans.
 
Hamid Karzai should know that there is no way to totally avoid civilian casualties while fighting the Taliban, who are totally assimilated into the local village societies in Afghanistan. There is no way to uproot the Taliban from the countryside without going after the Taliban to their safe havens and hideouts with, in most of the cases, are not isolated caves in the mountains or training camps but remote towns and villages, local tribesmen and supportive population. What Hamid Karzai is asking for is a total defensive mode of protecting the main towns and his bases of power which is a recipe for growing grip of the Taliban on the countryside and for an ever lasting war (see - Way-Out 01.28.10).
 
Hamid Karzai clearly wants NATO-ISAF to protect his political assets in Afghanistan but not to win the war, because, in the long run, without foreign military power to support him, there is a big question whether he is really capable to stay in power and maintain his grip on the Afghan society (see - Karzai 01.16.10).  “

4.  EXPANSIVE REACH OF NATO :

On February 7, 2010 at the Munich Conference on Security, Rasmussen, the Secretary General of NATO, outlined his view of the new  expansive role of NATO:

“Our Afghanistan experience also leads me to my third point: the need to turn NATO into a forum for consultation on worldwide security issues. Not as a competitor to the United Nations. That is not possible, nor is it desirable.

But NATO is a framework which has already proven to be uniquely able to combine security consultation, military planning and actual operations for more than just NATO members themselves.|”

And he reiterated the expansive new “security” role of NATO:
“Let me reiterate: Territorial defence of its member states is the core function of NATO. And NATO is first and foremost a transatlantic Alliance. Our centre of gravity will remain the bond between Europe and North America. But we cannot meet today’s security requirements effectively without engaging much more actively and systematically with other important players on the international scene. It can’t be ad-hoc. It has to be the way we do business.

That is why, to carry out NATO’s job effectively today, the Alliance should become the hub of a network of security partnerships and a centre for consultation on international security issues — even issues on which the Affiance might never take action.

NATO can be the place where views, concerns and best practices on security are shared by NATO’s global partners. And where, if it makes sense — if we decide that NATO should have a role -- we might work out how to tackle global challenges together. I know very well that this idea might seem a bit ambitious. But is it really? Who stands to lose if NATO and other international institutions were to move closer together? The record shows already that it makes sense — we should just do more of it. What would be the harm if countries such as China, India, Pakistan and others were to develop closer ties with NATO? I think, in fact, there would only be a benefit, in terms of trust, confidence and cooperation.
And let me address a concern which I can already see forming. No, I don’t see this proposal as competing with the UN. Because I don’t think it does compete with the UN. We are talking here about a group of nations consulting, formally or informally, on security. Nothing more. In fact, I think it would actually benefit the UN. NATO is operating almost without exception in support of UN resolutions. Miles are all strong and active UN members. A stronger, more inclusive security coalition, with NATO as the hub, would, to my mind, be firmly to the benefit of the UN, and to the principles of the UN Charter. “

5. NATO IN ESSENCE IS PERPETUATING A LIMITED NOTION OF SECURITY

True Security is not through militarism but through  an extension of the concept of "œcommon security" as advanced by Olaf Palme

1. to promote and fully guarantee social and cultural rights such as respect the right to food, potable water, sewage treatment, housing,
health care, education and social justice; and fully guarantee civil and political rights such as  and the right to self
determination, freedom of expression; labour rights including compliance with International Labour organization Conventions
2. to prevent discrimination on grounds such as race, gender origin, disability, political and other opinion, religion, as well  as gender identity, and sexual orientation, Also to prevent discrimination against indigenous peoples and migrant workers;
3. to enable socially equitable and environmentally
sound development; and institute fair and just transition into socially equitable and environmentally safe and sound development

4. to Achieve a state of peace, justice

5. to Create a global structure that respects the rule of
law; and to respect the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice

6. to Ensure the preservation and protection of the
environment, to respect the inherent worth of nature beyond human
purpose, to reduce the ecological footprint and move away from the
current model of overconsumption

Conditional support by the UN Security Council for NATO mission
The objectives of the Charter of the United Nations has the following objectives;

Under the Preamble of the Charter of the United Nations the fundamental purposes of the Charter are delineated:
 
-to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind [humanity].
 
 -to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and
 
- to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.”

ISAF, NATO mission in Afghanistan received only conditional support from the UN Security Council.

In promoting the two-year extension of Canada's involvement in Afghanistan beyond February 2007, the Rt. Hon Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, gave the impression that there was unconditional support by the UN Security Council of the ISAF and other anti-terrorism operations in Afghanistan.

In the preamble to UN Security resolution 1444 in 2002, related to anti-terrorism and ISAF operations, there was conditional support given to these operations:

There was a conditional sanctioning by the UN Security Council of a NATO's International Security Force which operated under the US-led "Operation Enduring Freedom". This force, often described as a peacekeeping force, was sanctioned in UN Security Council resolutions only if the force's actions were in keeping with the Charter of the United Nations. Under the UN Charter, one of the purposes of the United Nations is the following:

"To establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained,..."

There was only a conditional sanctioning by the UN Security Council of a NATO's ISAF operating in conjunction with the US-led "Operation Enduring Freedom". This force, often described as a peacekeeping force, was sanctioned in UN Security Council resolutions only if the NATO  force's actions were in keeping with the Charter of the United Nations. Under the UN Charter, one of the purposes of the United Nations is the following:

"To establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained,..."

There has been sufficient evidence that NATO through its use of weapons and through its treatment of detainees, has been in violation of Geneva Protocols, Geneva Conventions, and the Convention Against Torture.


RASMUSSEN ignored that NATO is a military organization that in essence its function is in violation of  the fundamental objective of the UN Charter: to prevent the scourge of war. Even thought ISAF has the support of a UN Security Council Resolution: The support was conditional on adhering to the Charter of the United Nations. He also ignored NATO's undermining of years of international obligations incurred through treaties, conventions, and covenants, of international commitments made through Conference Action Plans, and of international expectations created through UN General Assembly Resolutions and Declarations. These obligations, commitments and expectations have created international peremptory norms related to Common Security as described above.

MORE PEJ.ORG -  Manley supports Canada continually engaged in NATO 's Bomb, Blast, and Bribe Operation   

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Last Updated on Friday, 27 December 2013 11:12
 

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