THEBUZZ
THEBUZZ

Weekly Update: ‘Corrupt’ Afghans; Anti-National Corporates

Saintly Americans, Corrupt Afghans?

The week’s international news is all about the motley army of Taliban sweeping across Afghanistan crushing one of the best trained armies in full fatigues and sophisticated weaponry, like a house of Cards. Allegedly no one expected it. The USA, having invested $1 trillion, 20 years and over 2,000 American lives, has been left dumbfounded. The only chat talk everywhere in the West is the blame game. The one topping is ‘corruption’ in the Afghan government and Army.

On the face of it, it sounds credible that the blame must be with the Afghans. With so many American Army Generals and Senior Commanders, providing years and years of training to the Afghan National Army, preparing them for withstanding modern forces such as China or Russia, it just doesn’t make sense the way it folded in front of rugged men with inferior weapons. It seems to have no will to fight. On the other hand the Taliban have waged a relentless war for 20 years with victory in their sight.

From ex Generals to diplomats and war journalists, there seems to be a common allegation that the Afghan National Army and the Government were corrupt to the boot. That all the money was going down a black hole of a few pockets. But there is a bit of the pot calling the kettle black.

American firms have been milking the American taxpayer both in the Afghan war and the Iraq wars. Plenty of unnecessary equipment has been sent at inflated prices. Plenty of mercenaries, ‘experts’ and ‘think tanks’ have made a fortune. Even NGOs have had part of the $1 trillion spent there.

Is it a wonder that the Afghans who became part of the power structure funded by Sugar Daddy nexus also decided to make a bob or two while the going was good. Money was being thrown at warlords and drug barons to join the war against the Taliban. These were warlords whose fortunes came from wars, kidnapping, protection money etc. It’s difficult to see how they were going to become born again good Samaritans. And drug lords are hardly the beacon of upright citizens. For them nothing changes. If the Americans won’t provide they can deal with Taliban albeit with lesser profits. Their lifestyles are not going to change much.

The soldiers and bureaucrats of the Afghan Army and administration come from same backgrounds as Taliban, largely the Pashtuns. There are relatives on both sides. Traditions and Clan loyalties are usually stronger than promises to foreign governments among Pashtuns. The culture they belong to is the same on both sides of this conflict.

An idealism exported by the West and run with financial inducements in the hope of converting the locals was a bit of fairyland strategy. People don’t change within a generation. Even if a small percentage of Afghans did really believe in Uncle Sam’s recipe for ‘progress’, they spring back into the culture they have known, when politics changes. Those who joined the American enterprise, probably had no passion in it. Even if women had some equality in jobs in cities administered under western gaze, they were most likely unequal in the home of soldiers that were meant to uphold the bold new Afghanistan in the image of the west.

The fact is that the war has been profitable for many except the American tax payer the British Taxpayer, the average Afghan, the injured and the relatives of the dead.  The big players have made money on all sides. The Taliban paid for their war by flooding the west with heroin and many drug barons in the drug Train have enriched themselves with the help of Taliban.

Biden probably decided that the show must stop. It has no happy ending and never had a happy ending. A few mad men in the multiple ‘think tanks’ and ‘strategy teams’ probably continued to see a success to the crusade if only…. They are leading the blame on Afghans without looking at their own country’s corruption and ill thought interventionism. That’s the problem with ‘idealists’. Their blindness to reality is what lands human beings in the mess that Afghanistan is in now. It’s not corruption in Afghan Army that gave the Taliban the edge, it is that the Taliban believe in their cause more than the Afghan Army does in western idealism.

Now Corporates Are Anti-national!

https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/industrys-practices-are-against-national-interest-says-piyush-goyal/article35902835.ece?homepage=true

Bitterness and envy has been characteristic of the Hindutvawallahs. If Muslims show some happiness, there soon follows a ‘riot’ and a put down. If some Left wing individuals dare dream about a different India, they get thrown into prisons as ‘terrorists’. If farmers take democratic protests as a right, they are called secessionists and Communists. Its only Hindu, Hindu, Hindu that can be celebrated and even then, a particular type of Hinduism, as sanctioned by the Hindutva proponents. Pluralist Hindus are betrayers pro-Pakistan or simply anti-national according to Hindutva democracy. Not content with that, the bile has now been vented against the industrialists.

Piyush Goyal called Tata and like as ‘not acting in the national interest’. Giving a speech that might have better suited a Pakistani businessman with pretensions to be as big as Tata, the Union Commerce and Industry Minister let out a tirade of unprovoked and unsolicited diatribe against businesses like Tata and Sons. It was bizarre and revealing about the thinking of some of the leaders of the BJP.

TATA is a business. Like all businesses it concentrates on profits and expansion. If the opportunity is there, it will buy raw material cheap and sell products at a profit. That’s what business is all about. Goyal accused Tata of buying raw material from anywhere in the world, where it can save even ten paisa, rather than from India. ‘Korean and Japanese firms wouldn’t do that,’ he said. Try selling your products there, he said!

A little fact that he failed to say is that despite everything, Japanese industry has some degree of protectionism and subtle assistance from the State. It is not surprising that some key industries pay back. In India, the BJP has ‘favourites’ that it allegedly supports. Perhaps TATA hasn’t given the party enough money.

The bile came out when Goyal said, ‘A company like yours, perhaps you bought a foreign company. Is the importance of that company greater than national interest?’

He accused the industry of “Me, Myself, My Company!” and extoled, “We all need to go beyond this approach”, which in coded language means, support BJP.

PM Modi and others distanced themselves from this, realising the damage such remarks could do to India’s desire to attract inward investments. Goyal’s final statement was much changed when officially released. But the video exists of his tirade.

India has joined the free market economy. It wants international investments. But it seems it wants industry to be free only to be flag bearers of Hindutva.

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