G. Dunkel / Workers World & The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan – 2008-11-21 22:17:04
Afghanistan: The Wrong War at Any Time
G. Dunkel / Workers World
(November 6, 2008) — For months now Afghanistan has been deadlier for US troops than Iraq, even though there are 32,000 US soldiers in Afghanistan and 160,000 in Iraq.
A total of 1,004 foreign soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001. Some 625 of the casualties were from the United States. Forty percent of them occurred in the past two years. (icasualties.org)
A handful of US special forces in coalition with warlords from the north of the country overthrew the Taliban government in 2001. The Revolutionary Association of Women in Afghanistan sums up the event this way: “The US ‘war on terrorism’ removed the Taliban regime in October 2001, but it has not removed religious fundamentalism which is the main cause of all our miseries. In fact, by reinstalling the warlords in power in Afghanistan, the US administration is replacing one fundamentalist regime with another.” (rawa.org)
Currently NATO supplies the troops for the UN-mandated International Security Assistance Force. About 18,000 US troops operate under ISAF control.
Most of the casualties from violence in Afghanistan are civilians. A very rough and incomplete count from January 2008 by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission counted 900 civilian deaths, many of them from attacks on wedding parties and funerals or children at play. An estimate from the Xinhua News Agency gives civilian deaths as 1,415. (Sept. 28)
The AIHRC, which was set up by a UN General Assembly mandate and is funded from a levy on donations flowing through the UN, asserts that 98 percent of civilian casualties caused by coalition forces in Afghanistan are “intentional.”
The head of the AIHRC, Lal Gul, said in a Sept. 2 report, “The actions of the coalition forces, especially the American forces, are not only against the human rights laws, but are considered war crimes.”
In addition to the deaths caused by the violence raging throughout the country, Afghanistan is facing the threat of famine this winter due to three years of failed crops. The Afghan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock estimates that the country needs two million tons of basic food–wheat, flour and rice–in the next six months to feed people in isolated areas.
Even if the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization and other donor organizations can get tons of food to Afghanistan’s major cities, they will encounter extreme problems with moving it to the isolated communities where most of the country’s poor live.
Not only have 40 years of war destroyed Afghanistan’s roads, but the Afghan resistance attacks supply lines to keep materiel from reaching the US and NATO outposts that are far from the capital. These two factors have driven up the cost of moving a truckload of food or goods from Kabul to Khandahar, the two largest cities in Afghanistan, from $1,800 in the spring to almost 10 times as much currently. The price increase implies a large increase in risk to the truckers. (Der Spiegel, Oct. 17)
According to Asian Times Pakistan bureau head Syed Saleem Shahzad, the Taliban have such accurate intelligence on US/NATO shipments to Afghanistan through the Pakistani port of Karachi that the ISAF made a deal to move nonmilitary cargo through Russia. (Le Monde Diplomatique, Oct. 2008)
Even though foreign donors–mainly the US and its imperialist European allies like Britain, Germany and France–have supplied Afghanistan with $35 billion in “aid” since 2001, around 20 million people out of a population of 26 million are living under the poverty line based on official statistics. (BBC, Oct. 17)
According to the FAO, being poor in Afghanistan means living on less than two US dollars a day. Adult literacy is only 29 percent. In some regions, less than one percent of the population is literate. One in five children dies before the age of five.
While the living standards of the Afghan people as a whole are deteriorating rapidly as the war intensifies between the client government of Hamid Karzai, propped up by ISAF and the US, and its opposition, led by the Taliban, the Kabul government is also attacking the conditions of women.
“We have the same ideas as the Taliban,” says parliamentarian Qazi Naseer Ahmad. “We want sharia [Islamic] law in our country. Women must ask permission from their husbands before they leave the home, and they must not wear clothes that are against Islam.” (Christian Science Monitor, April 21)
The Monitor also wrote that some members of parliament proposed legislation in April that would ban T-shirts, loud music, women and men mingling in public, billiards, video games, playing with pigeons and kites, and more. This proposal would reinstate the regulations from the Taliban era that the US corporate media publicized in order to justify removing the Taliban with the 2001 invasion.
Gen. David Petraeus took the helm at Central Command Oct. 31, a step which puts him in charge of the US military in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq he was the architect of the surge. He is expected to promote a similar “surge” in Afghanistan, with a twist that underlines the weak US position in that country.
Petraeus is open to negotiations with the “moderate” elements of the Taliban. He recognizes that the US and its allies can’t win militarily.
The colonial occupation of Afghanistan by the United States and its imperialist allies has been a disaster for the Afghan people. Progressives outside Afghanistan must demand an end to the entire occupation and not allow an increase of US and NATO troops, even one that accompanies negotiations.
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Peace Jirga or a New Formula to
Compensate for the US Fiasco in Afghanistan
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
(1 November 2008) — In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
A Pashto proverb says: “I am beating you hither; you are sounding back thither.”
The fact of the matter is that Afghanistan has been chafing under the occupation of the US Alliance of crusaders for the last seven years. Our national independence, our religious and Islamic values, the Afghan dignity and pride have lost their true meaning as a result of the encroachments and aggressions of tens of thousand of troops hailing from more than 38 countries.
The brutality and barbarism being perpetrated by the invading army is trampling on our atmosphere, land and villages. Still more, every other day, the invaders are threateningly speaking of bringing additional forces .
All these notwithstanding, neither a jirga, the arbitraries, nor any entity of justice came forward to hint to those who are responsible for the current crisis and catastrophe in Afghanistan and expose those who are behind all this mess? Similarly, nor they rose to the occasion to portray the players bent on further expanding and accelerating this brutality.
It is a matter of a shocking concern that, on the one hand our land and country are under occupation; our home and hearth have been ruined; our people have been forced to immigration and displacement; they have been shackled and tortured and, above all, these flagrant violations are continuing intermittingly.
Despite all these, a peace jirga is ostensibly held to establish peace. The participants, even by the way of inadvertence, do not point to the brutalities and atrocities committed by the foreign troops in Afghanistan and the region; they did not raise their fingers to this serious issue, nor to the bloodshed unleashed by the troops.
Even the participants could not say that the presence of the foreign troops in Afghanistan was itself a problems. By and large, the participants of the jirgas are striving, on the behest of the USA, to put the blame on those who are protecting and safeguarding our national dignity, integrity and sovereignty of the land.
They insist on these heroes to lay down their arms and submit themselves to Bush with a full surrender without demur. If they claim that is not the case, then, we see this hard fact like a broad day light that the people of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq are wading through a river of blood and dust; they are stranded and displaced in their own homeland. The main cause behind all these mishaps is the presence of the Crusaders Alliance; the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq by this Alliance and the support being extended to them by some other countries.
Even today, if the US-led Alliance leaves Afghanistan, and puts an end to the diabolical policy of arrogance in this part of the world, then it is clear to all that peace will return and the masses will take a breath of relief; economic prosperity will usher in; countries and tribes will embark on a path of co-existence on the basis of fraternity and friendship.
We ask the participants of the so-called peace mini-jirga, among whom do you intend to make peace? If you are trying to make peace between Pakistan and Afghanistan, they have their own State institutions and the norms of good neighborliness are well-known to them, they can resolve their pending issues through diplomatic channels. Then what is the role of this mini-jirga’s holding this meeting?
We know that no serious difference does exist between the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Had it been the case, they must have held the peace jirga to solve it. In other words, had there been such a conspicuous issue between the two countries, we would have accepted their rationale of holding the regional jirga.
However, the fact is that Bush has ensconced himself in the so-called peace jirga, acting by proxy. We question whom he does represent in the peace-making process of the jirga?
But if the issue is not between the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan and there is a third power, which they consider as a threat – i.e the Taliban. Then it would have been more rationale to have extended a invitation to them to tell their side of the story, to tell why they have put their lives in danger and avowed to lay down their lives and are calling people to jihad and struggle and have opted for a militant approach to resolve the problem.
But we see, the real contending party is out of sight; it is being ignored. Both the plaintiff, the witness and the judge are all hailing from the same household, and are calling this gathering of theirs as the peace jirga of the tribes residing on both sides of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Now when the so-called peace jirga’s meetings are continuing in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, our message to them is that such farce jirgas for peace and stability will not succeed because the Mujahid people of Afghanistan know the substance of such shallow jirgas.
They know the calibre of the government sponsored intermediaries and the true features of the members of such jirgas who are tasked under the US agenda to achieve a certain goal and put sugar-coated tablets down the throats of the people. Last but not least, to keep the kettle boiling for fermentation of the political game.
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
Source: Theunjustmedia. Kavkaz Center