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InvisibleXlea321
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Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 9,134
The betrayal of Afghanistan
    #2067973 - 11/03/03 02:28 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

A taste of what Iraq has coming to it...

THE BETRAYAL OF AFGHANISTAN

At the Labour party conference following the September 11 attacks, Tony Blair said memorably: "To the Afghan people, we make this commitment. We will not walk away... If the Taliban regime changes, we will work with you to make sure its successor is one that is broadbased, that unites all ethnic groups and offers some way out of the poverty that is your miserable existence." He was echoing George Bush, who had said a few days earlier: "The oppressed people of Afghanistan will know the generosity of America and its allies. As we strike military targets, we will also drop food, medicine and supplies to the starving and suffering men and women and children of Afghanistan. The US is a friend of the Afghan people."

Almost every word they spoke was false. Their declarations of concern were cruel illusions that prepared the way for the conquest of both Afghanistan and Iraq. As the illegal Anglo-American occupation of Iraq now unravels, the forgotten disaster in Afghanistan, the first "victory" in the "war on terror", is perhaps an even more shocking testament to power.

More than $10bn has been spent on Afghanistan since October 7 2001, most of it by the US. More than 80% of this has paid for bombing the country and paying the warlords, the former mojahedin who called themselves the "Northern Alliance". The Americans gave each warlord tens of thousands of dollars in cash and truckloads of weapons. "We were reaching out to every commander that we could," a CIA official told the Wall Street Journal during the war. In other words, they bribed them to stop fighting each other and fight the Taliban.

These were the same warlords who, vying for control of Kabul after the Russians left in 1989, pulverised the city, killing 50,000 civilians, half of them in one year, 1994, according to Human Rights Watch. Thanks to the Americans, effective control of Afghanistan has been ceded to most of the same mafiosi and their private armies, who rule by fear, extortion and monopolising the opium poppy trade that supplies Britain with 90% of its street heroin. The post-Taliban government is a facade; it has no money and its writ barely runs to the gates of Kabul, in spite of democratic pretensions such as the election planned for next year. Omar Zakhilwal, an official in the ministry of rural affairs, told me that the government gets less than 20% of the aid that is delivered to Afghanistan - "We don't even have enough money to pay wages, let alone plan reconstruction," he said. President Harmid Karzai is a placeman of Washington who goes nowhere without his posse of US Special Forces bodyguards.

In a series of extraordinary reports, the latest published in July, Human Rights Watch has documented atrocities "committed by gunmen and warlords who were propelled into power by the United States and its coalition partners after the Taliban fell in 2001" and who have "essentially hijacked the country". The report describes army and police troops controlled by the warlords kidnapping villagers with impunity and holding them for ransom in unofficial prisons; the widespread rape of women, girls and boys; routine extortion, robbery and arbitrary murder. Girls' schools are burned down. "Because the soldiers are targeting women and girls," the report says, "many are staying indoors, making it impossible for them to attend school [or] go to work."

In the western city of Herat, for example, women are arrested if they drive; they are prohibited from travelling with an unrelated man, even an unrelated taxi driver. If they are caught, they are subjected to a "chastity test", squandering precious medical services to which, says Human Rights Watch, "women and girls have almost no access, particularly in Herat, where fewer than one per cent of women give birth with a trained attendant". The death rate of mothers giving birth is the highest in the world, according to Unicef. Herat is ruled by the warlord Ismail Khan, whom US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld endorsed as "an appealing man... thoughtful, measured and self-confident".

The apartheid might have legally ended, but for as many as 90% of the women of Afghanistan, these "reforms" - such as the setting up of a women's ministry in Kabul - are little more than a technicality. The burka is still ubiquitous. As Samar says, the plight of rural women is often more desperate now because the ultra-puritanical Taliban dealt harshly with rape, murder and banditry. Unlike today, it was possible to travel safely across much of the country.

"During the Taliban we were living in a graveyard, but we were secure," a campaigner, Marina, told me. "Some people even say they were better. That's how desperate the situation is today. The laws may have changed, but women dare not leave their homes without the burka, which we wear as much for our protection."

Marina is a leading member of Rawa, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, a heroic organisation that for years tried to alert the outside world to the suffering of the women of Afghanistan. Rawa women travelled secretly throughout the country, with cameras concealed beneath their burkas. They filmed a Taliban execution and other abuses, and smuggled their videotape to the west. "We took it to different media groups," said Marina. "Reuters, ABC Australia, for example, and they said, yes, it's very nice, but we can't show it because it's too shocking for people in the west." In fact, the execution was shown finally in a documentary broadcast by Channel 4.

That was before September 11 2001, when Bush and the US media discovered the issue of women in Afghanistan. She says that the current silence in the west over the atrocious nature of the western-backed warlord regime is no different. We met clandestinely and she wore a veil to disguise her identity. Marina is not her real name.

"Two girls who went to school without their burkas were killed and their dead bodies were put in front of their houses," she said. "Last month, 35 women jumped into a river along with their children and died, just to save themselves from commanders on a rampage of rape. That is Afghanistan today; the Taliban and the warlords of the Northern Alliance are two faces of the same coin. For America, it's a Frankenstein story - you make a monster and the monster goes against you. If America had not built up these warlords, Osama bin Laden and all the fundamentalist forces in Afghanistan during the Russian invasion, they would not have attacked the master on September 11 2001."

Afghanistan's tragedy exemplifies the maxim of western power - that third world countries are regarded and dealt with strictly in terms of their usefulness to "us". The ruthlessness and hypocrisy this requires is imprinted on Afghanistan's modern history. One of the most closely guarded secrets of the cold war was America's and Britain's collusion with the warlords, the mojahedin, and the critical part they played in stimulating the jihad that produced the Taliban, al-Qaida and September 11.

"According to the official view of history," Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's national security adviser, admitted in an interview in 1998, "CIA aid to the mojahedin began during 1980, that is, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan... But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise." At Brzezinski's urging, in July 1979 Carter authorised $500m to help set up what was basically a terrorist organisation. The goal was to lure Moscow, then deeply troubled by the spread of Islamic fundamentalism in the Soviet central Asian republics, into the "trap" of Afghanistan, a source of the contagion.

For 17 years, Washington poured $4bn into the pockets of some of the most brutal men on earth - with the overall aim of exhausting and ultimately destroying the Soviet Union in a futile war. One of them, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a warlord particularly favoured by the CIA, received tens of millions of dollars. His speciality was trafficking opium and throwing acid in the faces of women who refused to wear the veil. In 1994, he agreed to stop attacking Kabul on condition that he was made primeminister - which he was.

Eight years earlier, CIA director William Casey had given his backing to a plan put forward by Pakistan's intelligence agency, the ISI, to recruit people from around the world to join the Afghan jihad. More than 100,000 Islamic militants were trained in Pakistan between 1986 and 1992, in camps overseen by the CIA and MI6, with the SAS training future al-Qaida and Taliban fighters in bomb- making and other black arts. Their leaders were trained at a CIA camp in Virginia. This was called Operation Cyclone and continued long after the Soviets had withdrawn in 1989.

In January 1997, a state department official told journalists in a private briefing that it was hoped Afghanistan would become an oil protectorate, "like Saudi Arabia". It was pointed out to him that Saudi Arabia had no democracy and persecuted women. "We can live with that," he said.

In May last year, the Guardian published the result of an investigation by Jonathan Steele. He concluded that, in addition to up to 8,000 Afghans killed by American bombs, as many as 20,000 more may have died as an indirect consequence of Bush's invasion, including those who fled their homes and were denied emergency relief in the middle of a drought. Of all the great humanitarian crises of recent years, no country has been helped less than Afghanistan. Bosnia, with a quarter of the population, received $356 per person; Afghanistan gets $42 per person. Only 3% of all international aid spent in Afghanistan has been for reconstruction; the US-led military "coalition" accounts for 84%, the rest is emergency aid. Last March, Karzai flew to Washington to beg for more money. He was promised extra money from private US investors. Of this, $35m will finance a proposed five-star hotel. As Bush said, "The Afghan people will know the generosity of America and its allies."

http://pilger.carlton.com/print/133100


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OfflineLearyfan
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Re: The betrayal of Afghanistan [Re: Xlea321]
    #2068019 - 11/03/03 03:09 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

They'll get away with it. They know most people don't have sympathy for people from Afganistan after 9-11.




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OfflineAzmodeus
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Re: The betrayal of Afghanistan [Re: Xlea321]
    #2068052 - 11/03/03 03:21 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

"To the Afghan people, we make this commitment. We will not walk away... If the Taliban regime changes, we will work with you to make sure its successor is one that is broadbased, that unites all ethnic groups and offers some way out of the poverty that is your miserable existence."

Did he really say miserable existance?! :ooo: i guess it wasn't all lies for him...but seriously, did the afghan people belive this shit?...let it be a lesson they don't soon forget! :shake:


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Lest we forget. "


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OfflineAzmodeus
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Re: The betrayal of Afghanistan [Re: Xlea321]
    #2068053 - 11/03/03 03:21 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

edit: dbl post...
but you'd have to be stupid to trust anything the whitehouse says.


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"Know your Body - Know your Mind - Know your Substance - Know your Source.

Lest we forget. "


Edited by Azmodeus (11/03/03 03:22 PM)


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