George Bush spent a lot of time talking about the War on Terrorism yesterday in his State of the Union speech. He said things like “we saved the whole country from starvation and brought back peace.” However, the events that are currently taking place in Afghanistan make us doubt if the words of the American president are true.
The media distributed information that there is a real war taking place in two parts of the country at once, one being fought with artillery, tanks, and mortars. The representatives of two ethnic groups of the country, the Uzbeks and the Tajiks, are waging war in the north of Afghanistan. Their leaders, generals Fahim and Dostum, cannot divide their territories. Why is this? Dissatisfied political ambitions, or another fight for influence in the drug business?
There are battles in another part of the country, in the Paktia province, between the troops of the new governor of the province and the local tribal chieftain, who does not want to obey the new authorities. There have reportedly been 38 people killed, according to the latest information. It is hard to say what the outcome of this conflict is going to be. In addition, US troops are deployed a short distance far from the site of the conflict, but they are not interfering in it. The Americans do not care about the feuds between the local chieftains.
The head of the Afghan interim government, Hamid Karzai, who is currently on a visit to the States, is very alarmed about these conflicts. Karzai addressed the UN with an offer to increase the peacemaking contingent deployed in Afghanistan and to dispatch peacemakers to all large cities of the country, not only to Kabul.
PRAVDA.Ru has warned about this when the authorities were making the decisions about the peacemaking force. We said that that there would be no use in them and that the peacemakers will not be capable of controlling the situation. Afghanistan will be divided by the local commanders, who will not be able to divide their power peacefully. This is exactly what is happening in the country at present moment.
This situation is also dangerous, because there are Taliban groups moving along the territory of the country, both small squads of 15-30 people and large groups of 300-400. They can seize a large settlement, even a city, announce they are not dead, but 'live and kicking. The psychological and political consequences of such a step will not be the good news for either the Americans or Afghans.
Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
Reuters photo: Afghanistan Interim Authority Chairman Hamid Karzai makes a point with the press next to President George W. Bush