The burning of a Quran in the United States has outraged Muslims across Afghanistan Protest rallies have rolled through ten Afghan provinces, with participants chanting " Death to America " and " Death to Obama".
The violent protests in Afghanistan against the desecration of the Holy Quran by a wicked American padre has definitely put the US-led occupiers in a quandary, though the Afghan regime too. A severe backlash by the country’s predominantly conservative polity wasn’t all unexpected. What seemingly has flummoxed the occupiers particularly is that the protest broke out in places like Mazar-i-Sharif, Herat and Kabul that President Hamid Karzai has identified for the first transfer of security from the coalition forces to the Afghan army and police. They are thus in a tizzy, and in jitters are saying things that contradict their own oft-repeated tall assertions about Afghanistan’s pacification. As for one is their contention that these demonstrations have been incited by Taliban. But that is tantamount to a self-confession that Taliban are yet a force to reckon with and not on the run as have their military commanders been projecting ever since their troop surge. If they are true in their assertion, then the protest in a place like Mazar-i-Sharif, a rabidly anti-Taliban ruthless warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum’s lair, and in Herat, another likewise-disposed warlord Ismail Khan’s redoubt, bespeaks greatly of Taliban’s persistent influence. And that in itself is a resounding corroboration of the UN latest report that almost 70 percent of the country is under the Taliban’s sway, now stretching out from its south and east to its north and west as well. Still, the occupiers would do themselves a lot a good as also to the Afghans and the region if they read these demonstrations correctly. The protestors were raising slogans against the Americans, which to an extent is understandable as the wicked profaner was an evil American parson. But, notably, they were also screaming slogans for the occupiers to leave, and even reportedly tried besieging coalition forces’ bases at places, apart from attacking fatally the UN Mazar-i-Sharif facility. This manifests the Afghan people’s growing resentment against their continued foreign occupation. And it would be big blunder of the occupying militaries and their political bosses at home if they do not take due notice of this reality. Historically, it is an established fact that the Afghans, by temperament a fiercely independent-minded people, are intolerant of foreign occupation, of which the Americans and the British among the occupiers should know from their own experiences. It was this Afghan propensity the Americans worked on to give a bloody nose to Afghanistan’s Soviet occupiers to avenge their Vietnam humiliation. Certainly, if under the Soviet occupation the Afghans were valiantly fighting for their independence at a great cost to their lives and blood, they couldn’t have turned into lambs under the US-led occupation. Unarguably, neither could have their passion for independence dwindled nor their fighting spirit for it diminished in any manner. The British would know this very well from their own Afghan wars when as an imperial power they were fiercely pitched in a bitter rivalry with the Czarist Russia in the region. They had then even captured Kabul and stayed garrisoned there in all the imperial awe for more than two and a half years. But when the Pakhtun Afghans struck, they drove the British imperial army out of Kabul, chased it down to Torkham, mowing down its officers, soldiers, political officials and their families one by one all the way, leaving only one survivor to tell the dreadful story to the British royals, their India viceroyalty and to the world. The US-led occupiers would do well to understand that the Afghan patience with their occupation too has now run out. There is no point for their military commanders to manoeuvre engineered opinion polls showing three-fourth of Afghans in support of their prolonged foreign occupation, just to offset the western publics snowballing disenchantment with the Afghan war, with about two-third Americans now opposed to it, if not to mislead their political leaderships. Indeed, the American military commanders in particular would act very wise if they put their full weight behind their political leadership’s latest moves for a political solution involving peace negotiations with Taliban and other insurgent groups. They must know never ever have foreign armies won in this inhospitable land. All have kissed defeat, sooner or later. And this isn’t going to change even now. So instead of hankering for a win in an unwinnable war, they must go for a possible political way out. In that alone lies the good of all - their own as well as the Afghans’ and the others’.