Monday, September 01, 2008


"Here in Afghanistan, we have a mafia running the system."
~ Malalai Joya, Afghani MP.

I guess no one expects that there are brave women in Afghanistan, but here's something I've had bookmarked for a few weeks--bookmarked because I don't think Malalai Joya is the bravest woman in Afghanistan but because I think she's the bravest person in Afghanistan. Why? Because of the truth she speaks, as in this recent interview published in Counterpunch:

Well, this is a parliament in which 80 per cent of the members are warlords or drug lords. They either snatched their places in parliament at gun point or bought these seats off with US dollars. In some cases, both guns and dollars played a role. Even Human Rights Watch has accused some leading members of this parliament of war crimes. But this parliament, in a unique move, granted warlords an amnesty against crimes committed during the war. Even Mulla Umar can benefit after this amnesty.

Karzai, who was voted in as a lesser evil, has been co-operating with these criminals all the time. Hence, no wonder if he is unpopular today. But he is sustained in the presidential palace by USA and all the warlords co-operate with the USA.

[ . . . ]

Corruption and drug trafficking have become a big issues. In my view, security is the biggest issue. After that it is corruption. The so-called international community which in fact is US government and its allies, has sent a lot of money. This amount was enough to build two instead of one Afghanistan. But even Karzai himself confesses that the money has ended up in the pockets of ministers, bureaucrats and member parliaments. On the other hand, one hears about a mother in Heart (sic) selling her daughter for ten dollars. And not merely the brother of Karzai is a drug lord, foreign troops have been allegedly involved.

[ . . . ]

For instance, Russian state TV has hinted at US troops involvement in drug trafficking. That was reported in the press here. But this is like an open secret. Karzai in one of his speeches last year said that it was not only Afghans who are involved in drug trafficking. He hinted at foreign connections. Though he did not name any country or troops but people in Afghanistan understood what he meant. Now Afghan drugs are finding their way to New York and European capitals. Hence, no wonder today Afghanistan is producing 90 per cent of world opium. This is taking its toll on women. Now we hear about ‘opium brides’. When harvests fail, peasants are not able to pay back loans to drug lords; they ‘marry’ their daughters off to warlords instead.

It goes without saying that Joya's life has been even less easy under this patriarchal regime since she spoke out in the Loya Jirga against the warlords, but she does appear to have the support of the ordinary people.

Although I don't have any sympathy for the Taleban, yet there has been too much silence on the situation in Afghanistan which I suspect is contrived in order to cover up atrocities by NATO forces and Afghan government troops. Recently there was another report about an aerial massacre of almost one hundred Afghans, most of them children. An Afghan investigation into the killings has been substantiated by another from the UN. Meanwhile, the Pentagon continues to lie about the savage attack while mainstream American media has lent its usual assistance in official efforts to cover up the magnitude of the killing. The NATO commander in Afghanistan is now calling for a "joint inquiry" into the killings, which will probably result in an amazing piece of creative writing.

I guess this is why there is only a two-page note that serves as the status of forces agreement between the US and Afghanistan.

With that in mind, here's a documentary on a massacre of thousands of Afghans and non-Afghans, presumably Taleban, who surrendered to US and Afghan forces in 2001. Notice how the Prince of Darkness attempts to justify war crimes in a very Kissingerian way; but instead of speaking of missionary work, he prefers to make a reference to Mother Theresa.

Needless to say, the documentary has never been aired in the US. Run time 50 minutes.

Full screen version available here.

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