Jamaat al-Muslimeen International (Forum)

Understanding Afghanistan
Rebuilding a Shattered Country to which we Owe our Freedom
by Kaukab Siddique, Ph.D

THE WHITE HOUSE has once again cast its ugly shadow on the Muslim world by making a well-thought-out policy statement according to which the focus of "terrorism" has shifted to South Asia. It then singles out Afghanistan for special calumny.

Afghanistan is a seemingly dirt poor, landlocked nation. It has no oil and no media through which it could influence the world. Afghanistan's civil airlines is blocked from the minor routes it travelled earlier, owing to sanctions imposed by the United States (through the UN).

Other than Osama bin Laden, whose every move is traced by the CIA and Mossad, there is no one in Afghanistan who can be called a "terrorist" even by the U.S. definition. Afghans have always fought against armed forces, not against civilians. And the Afghans have never fought the U.S. Thus the mystery of the USA's moves against this tiny country needs to be unravelled.

The Afghans fought the USSR's occupation army in every town and in every village and at every hillock. A million Afghans gave their lives in the resistance. The Soviet kill ratio in Afghanistan was higher than that scored by the Nazis against the Russians in World WarII. Yet the Afghans persisted and made it impossible for the Russkis to win. The Chinese Institute of Strategic Studies estimated that the Soviets spent $30 billion on the war in Afghanistan. After the defeat of Communism, the Russians themselves disclosed that the figure was twice as much: $60 billion

That's how the Soviet empire became untenable. It had many internal contradictions, but the Afghans pulled it down.

Eastern Europe would not have been free without Afghanistan. At least Polish and and East German leaders admitted it.

U.S. Funds and Pakistani help: After the Soviet withdrawal, the Zionist media saw Afghanistan as a threat to their interests and started using the terminology "the CIA-funded war in Afghanistan." This was the media's way of making the Afghans unpopular. HAVE YOU EVER HEARD THE TERM "WHITE HOUSE, CIA-FUNDED and DEFENDED ZIONIST ENTITY." No one has, despite the fact that Israel would not even exist but for U.S. funds, weapons and surveillance.

Even Muslims are sometimes driven to the idiotic conclusion that somehow the CIA was fighting the war. The amusing fact is that only FOUR American fighting men entered Afghanistan in all those years. These were from a private group and had to be carried out because their stomachs couldn't take it.

If outside help could win wars, the South Vietnamese would have won against the North, and the PLO (which had huge amounts of Soviet money and weapons at one time) would have not run away from the Israelis.

(Pakistani generals have also made frivolous claims, as if they fought the Jihad. Any detailed look at the war would show that the Afghans fought, sacrificed and won.)

STAGE TWO: The Destruction of Hikmatyar's Power: Hikmatyar was a brave Afghan leader but unaware of what his own friends would do to him. Once the Soviets withdrew, he was given glimpses of American support and urged to wage conventional war against Jalalabad, leading to heavy losses in his ranks.

Then he was pitted against the Jamiate Islami which had captured Kabul. He kept on trying to take Kabul by force which he could have shared peacefully.

The Hikmatyar-Rabbani conflict depleted both sides and created a power vacuum in the country. The U.S. policy in this stage was not to allow any Islamic government to stabilize itself in Kabul. It was a policy of masterful attrition.

The power vacuum led to the breakdown of law and order in the whole country and the emergence local thugs and petty warlords.

These were students from Afghanistan who studied in Islamic schools in Pakistan. They seem to have been funded and armed by Pakistan (with American overt and covert support). The American government seemed to be quite satisfied when the Taliban easily filled the power vacuum and easily took over most cities and finally Kabul. They were against all existing mujahideen groups, be they of Hikmatyar or Rabbani. Hence they were seen as favorable by the U.S., Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and unfavorably by Iran.

YOU CAN'T KEEP AN AFGHAN DOWN: Once the Taliban were in power, they showed their "patrons" that trying keep an Afghan as "puppet" is like riding a tiger. The Taliban became an independent power and decided to crack down on western influences including liquor and the activities of missionaries.

In their zeal the Afghans were extra strict with women, especially in Kabul. I see this as follows:

KABUL was always a citadel of anti-Islamic forces. The Russians and the Afghan Communists (who claimed that Islam is reactionary and outdated) had paraded women in the streets, giving them skirts to wear. Look at some of these Afghan women now living in the U.S. They look parisian rather than Afghan. Thus the Communists created this paradox: While their military occupied a Muslim land and their agents walked on the Qur'an, they claimed they were freeing women by putting them in western dresses.

THE JIHAD WAS ABOUT SELF-DETERMINATION: The right of a nation to live by its best light. None of us have the right to tell Afghans how to live. They have given a million lives to live like Muslims.

So women in Kabul were punished by the Taliban by being forced to wear large outergarments and being denied lipstick and high heeled shoes. Unfortunately the Taliban insisted that women could not even go to hospital or school if they refused to wear Islamic dress according to the Taliban interpretation.

KABUL IS A CONQUERED CITY. What have other conquerors done? The Russians, British and Americans raped German women en masse when they occupied Germany. German families starved by the millions, so much so that in Nuremburg (where the show trial was held to fix German guilt), many a German woman sold herself for no more than a chocolate from a GI.

Let alone conquest: Look at what the Americans did in a foreign city friendly to them: Saigon. It became a vast brothel.

By contrast the Taliban have been extremely decent.
(Ironically propaganda against the Taliban comes from western women who visited Afghanistan alone and received all due hospitality.)

In most of Afghanistan, women go about their business as before. The Taliban do not have a police force to enforce their intrepretations in every village.

THE CASE OF OSAMA BIN LADEN: Soon after Bin Laden took refuge in Afghanistan,and the Afghans refused to give him up, the U.S. and the media here started to heat up the propaganda against Afghanistan. Till that time the U.S. had not realized that Afghan women's movements were being restricted. By a strange coincidence, Afghanistan's refusal to hand over Bin Laden was FOLLOWED by Hillary Clinton's expression of great sorrow for the suffering of Afghan women.

WHAT CAN BE DONE FOR AFGHANISTAN? : Pakistanis, the Muslim world, Eastern Europe and all those who were opposed to Soviet "Socialist" Imperialism owe a debt to the Afghans.

The only decent thing to do is to help Afghanistan rebuild. The sanctions should be removed. Village by village and town by town, the Afghans should be given the resources to build homes, provide electricity and running water, pave roads, construct schools and hospitals.

The worldwide funding should be without strings. The Afghans have earned their independence. Don't insult them by sending in missionaries in the guise of charitable organizations.

THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION has earned infamy for itself among Islamic nations by clamping sanctions on an entire poverty-stricken, war-battered country just because one man has taken refuge there.

Clinton has gone against the American tradition. Hasn't this country (at least after slavery) been a haven for those whom others saw as seditionists and revolutionaries? How many Israelis live here who have committed atrocities against Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims and Africans?

Once a person has taken refuge, it's common sense to leave him alone. During the Monica Lewisnsky "crisis" Clinton's men fired missiles not only into Sudan but into a MOSQUE in southern Afghanistan. Dozens of worshippers were killed. Surely the world knows who fired those missiles.

The Afghans say: Osama bin Laden cannot be tried by the media or by the CIA. If the U.S. has any evidence against Bin Laden, the Afghans want to see it.

Don't we say in America that a person is innocent until proven guilty BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT.

2000-05-18 Thu 23:17ct