How they see us: Shock waves from the mother of all bombs
President Trump is “hell-bent on pursuing a military solution” in Afghanistan, said S. Mudassir Ali Shah in Dawn (Pakistan). Washington didn’t send a single representative to Moscow last week for the latest round of talks on Afghanistan, in which diplomats from Iran, Pakistan, China, and Russia explored the prospects for peace between the central government in Kabul and the Afghan Taliban. Instead, a few hours before discussions began, the U.S. dropped its most massive non-nuclear bomb, the 21,600-pound “mother of all bombs,” on a complex of tunnels and caves in the Tora Bora mountains currently being used by ISIS. More than 90 militants were killed, and the blast was felt on the Pakistani side of the border as well, damaging a mosque and several other buildings. It’s ironic, of course, because those very tunnels were built “with massive funding from the CIA” in the 1980s, for the mujahedeen to use in their fight against the Soviets. The U.S. builds in Afghanistan, and the U.S. bombs what it has built to oblivion. It’s hard to disagree with former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who denounced the “brutal use of our country as a testing ground for dangerous weapons.”
Nobody listens to Karzai anymore, said the Daily Afghanistan (Afghanistan) in an editorial. Under his administration, “many opportunities to fight terrorism were lost” because he opposed U.S. raids on terrorist hideouts. In fact, most Afghans approve of this latest U.S. bombing—both because ISIS has become a scourge in the region, murdering innocents in suicide attacks, and because there were no civilian casualties. Now that our government has shown it is serious about fighting terrorism with our international allies, “a great wave of hope has emerged among the people.”
But it’s counterproductive to fight the extremists in this country, said Hewad (Afghanistan) in an editorial. All too frequently, innocent Afghans are killed by U.S. bombs, their relatives are radicalized, and the land is poisoned. The war on terrorism should go on, “but we want to fight the terrorists in their sanctuaries and we want to fight against the countries nurturing terrorism.” ISIS, al Qaida, the Haqqani network, the Taliban—all of these extremist groups that are now slaughtering Afghans receive training and funding across the border in Pakistan, “the mother of terrorism.” If the Americans are truly serious about combating terrorism, they will stop sending money to Pakistan and start dropping bombs there instead.
The U.S. doesn’t really care about stopping terrorism here, said Weesa (Afghanistan). The Americans didn’t drop a $170,000 bomb on this “country of poor, hopeless, and defenseless people” because they thought it was the only way to eliminate a few dozen cave-dwelling radicals. No, they wanted to show off their expensive armaments and scare their rivals in “Russia, North Korea, and some other countries.” Sixteen years after the U.S. first came to Afghanistan, our nation is now little more than a bombing range. “We damn this barbaric war.” ■