The US administration and its forces in Afghanistan are seen as blowing hot and cold, perhaps, as a part of the new strategy adopted on the advice of General David Patraeus and General Stanley McChrystal. Both the generals won laurels for their performance in Iraq, regardless of the continuous destruction that goes on in that unlucky country while the US troops prepare to pull out. After the occupation of Iraq, the US started exploiting the Shia-Sunni divide to weaken the local resistance. This worked initially for two reasons. First, Iraqi Shias, despite being in majority, were kept muffled by the cloak and dagger diplomacy of Saddam Hussain. This was also facilitated by the history whereby Sunnis had ruled the country. Second, such a status quo was also facilitated by the minority controlling the state machinery including the army. Hence, Saddam kept his hold and the US treated him with a lot of consideration when it needed him to attack the Iranian 'revolutionary regime which came in as the Shah fled his country. However, the Shia discontent was a known factor like the Kurdish minority in Kirkuk and around who, despite being Sunnis, had a history of having suffered persecution at the hands of Baghdad for their irredentist claims. The US planned it intelligently to induce Saddam to occupy Kuwait after its army was exhausted in the Iranian long war. Thus the dictator was misled into believing that the US was paying back for his favour of attacking Iran to punish the clerics. Actually, it is now widely believed, that this was planned by the US oil lobby which was very powerful then and has lost some of its clout due to the loss of some money; however, it remains influential as some powerful people represent it in the US. As per their planning once the Iraqi forces got to Kuwait, the move sent jitters throughout the Muslim Middle East, as Israel remains untouchable because of the US support plus its own nukes. The Saudi kingship asked for the US forces to be landed into their country to guarantee against any possible danger. So Iraq was made to submit to an arrangement which punished the dictator as well as its helpless people. It is well known how about half a million children died because of the sanctions imposed on the country. Then 9/11 appeared giving a lever to the neocons that had bizarre dreams of world domination under the cover of clichs pertaining to democracy and development in their false-flag tale named as 'The American Century. George Bush, who had been exclusively a part of the oil lobby amongst Daddy Bushes children, is now believed to have been brought in as president. It is a matter of record that he was very thick with the oil lobby and even as president he had been threatening the Taliban to oblige Enron and Unocal with award of business contracts. Bush decided that the attacks had been carried out by a conspiracy between 20 youngsters from Muslim countries who, except one, had perished in the flights which brought down the Twin Towers in New York and also damaged the Department of Defence. It is now an established fact that seven of those cited to be dead in the 'hijackings were alive on the next day in Saudi Arabia, which shows what was being fed by the US administration and media to its citizens who also suffered grievous losses of all kinds. Osama bin Ladin was held responsible and the Taliban were threatened with attack on their country by the US. True to their traditions, they refused to be cowed down. A coalition was worked out with Russia, the northern warlords of Afghanistan and neighbouring Central Asian countries and the attack was launched. The Taliban, though viciously outgunned and without any air force, fought courageously; however, had to quit the seat of power finding it difficult to hold on and so the country was occupied by the US forces. Subsequently, the UN-NATO forces were brought in. However, lacking the will to build-up the destroyed country in order to politically finish off the Taliban, the US disappointed the local population in a big way. In Iraq, the US used money plus awful suppression, to create a mirage of peace by using Sunnis and Shias against each other. The same thing is now being tried in Afghanistan. There are reports that the US private contractors have brought in non-Afghans, who masquerade as Afghans, and are creating difficult situations. Additionally, lot of money is being distributed among the Afghans too. Nevertheless, tremendous propaganda blitzes are trying to project that the Taliban have become 'divided and are terribly short of arms and ammunition. Pentagon has lately been stressing that the arrests of Taliban leaders by Pakistan has almost finished the movement. Such news can be very flattering but the people in the area know about the way the Afghans fight a foreign force. In addition, the reviled Karzai is trying to make peace with the Taliban. His overtures have recently been disapproved by the US Secretary of State Clinton. In a recent interview, she said: There would be no talks with the Taliban. Thus, a highly confused scene is being built up at home to feed the local public opinion. In Afghanistan, the US has not scored any military success worth mentioning in the last three months but propaganda has built up in Marjah, under pressure from the enemy even now, as a great breakthrough. Moreover, similar tactics are being used to create a big hullabaloo about the impending Kandahar operation projected to take place in June sometimes. Hence, the liberal distribution of money among the Afghans by the soldiers and contractors. History indicates that Iraq and Afghanistan are different countries; geographically and historically. The Taliban shot back from oblivion to make America feel concerned about its interests in the region. This was due to their capacity to fight the the foreign forces and the disgust of the local people with the corrupt government imposed on them by the US. The latters 'reconstruction is seen as a failure. Now, trying to bribe some tribes is being tried. Afghanistans history is very different. God has given incredible patience to the Afghans in fighting a foreign enemy although they generally lack the same in interpersonal dealings. A famous proverb about the enemy stresses: Leave the wounded snake to the ants. Money maybe a palliative but definitely not a solution. The writer is a former interior secretary.