The government-owned China Daily featured an editorial today containing a devastating condemnation of the US-led war in Afghanistan.
The context is the massacre of 16 Afghan civilians in Kandahar on March 11, which has “infuriated” the Afghan people and “strained the already tense” Afghan-US relations.
The editorial demands that “Washington owes the Afghan people an honest explanation” of what actually happened — in an oblique challenge to the Pentagon’s doctored version that the killings were the rampage by a ‘rogue’ US sergeant.
The editorial suggests that the “US should be held accountable” for the civilian deaths, which cause “widespread concern among the international community” over the US’ war strategy.
In a strong condemnation of the US, the editorial concludes that the world community is “sickened” by the civilian deaths caused by the US “in the name of anti-terrorism.”
Inter alia, the editorial estimates that the Barack Obama administration’s proposed ‘transition’ and troop drawdown in Afghanistan may not turn out to be “smooth”. It observes caustically: “There is also no guarantee that the US will not leave Afghanistan in as big a mess as it did in Iraq.”
Needless to say, Beijing is taking off the gloves; this is a no-holds-barred attack on the US’ war in Afghanistan. The tone of condemnation is harsh and is unprecedented.
What has caused this? Obviously, China is judging that the US is quickening its exit and the entire war strategy has now come to devolve upon the modalities of exit. Beijing is deeply cocerned that US is leaving behind a highly unstable country on China’s borders and the prospects of Afghanistan stabilising in a near term are dim indeed. Read More