The Afghanistan situation

By Yousef Munayyer

So I read an article about the fighting in Afghanistan this week. What a surprise! The author strongly supported American action because the U.S. forces were there to end oppression and fight for freedom. Yeah right. Get real! Many people should not even use the word oppression because they don’t know what it means. What is oppression to the average American? How can the average American define oppression if they have never experienced it? Imagine someone who has lived in the north pole all there life trying to describe what its like to have hot weather. Or someone who has never consumed alcohol try to describe what it is like to be drunk. Both of these are impossible just as it is impossible for most Americans to understand oppression.

The problem with accepting U.S. aggression in Afghanistan because we feel we are “liberating” the oppressed is that we use our moral standards to govern our actions and the actions of other countries instead of law. Lets assume that all the terrible stuff we hear about the Taliban is true. We have absolutely no right to judge them based on our own moral convictions. Each and every person has the right to hold his/her own morals and we should not persecute them for that. What we should persecute them for, though, is violation of law. Law is supreme over morals because there can be no discrepancy in written law.

Also, we must try to understand what it is that we really know about the “Taliban.” Very little of the information that is portrayed by the media about the Taliban is correct or can be proven correct. For instance, MSNBC has been repeatedly airing a special about the Taliban. The special is a collection of several instances taped with a professional camera in Afghanistan. Several times the camera crew gets close up shots with people they allege to be members of the Taliban. The special also points out some “facts” about the Taliban, one of which is that television broadcasts are not allowed in Afghanistan. Does any of this not make sense to someone else? Here we have a professional camera crew, videotaping supposed Taliban members with hi-tech video equipment. Now, if this terrible Taliban really doesn’t allow television broadcasts in Afghanistan, does MSNBC really want me to believe they are going to let their camera crew in to watch public executions? How dumb to they expect me to be? I already know they want to make the Taliban look as bad as possible but damn it, I’m not that stupid.

So what is this terrible Taliban regime that rules with an “iron hand.” The “Taliban,” an Arabic word that means “students,” is a movement that had taken power in central Afghanistan, and is an offshoot of the Wahabi movement in Saudi Arabia. (But why don’t we condemn the Saudi Wahabis for there morals and send troops to fight over there? Maybe its because we need the oil.) They believe in actively enforcing Islamic law as it is outlined in Islamic History and the Qura’an, just as the American government enforces the Constitution. The Taliban is made up of Ethnic Pashtun Muslims who are the majority in Afghanistan.

Now that Kabul and Jalalabad have fallen to the Northern Alliance Forces what is next? Where do we go from here? Is it over now that the Taliban has gone away? Well, first off, the military campaign in Afghanistan in the past few months has accomplished several things. One, it has killed innocent civilians. Two, it has uprooted a government, and three, it has further destroyed a country that was just starting to recover after 20 years of war. Notice none of the accomplishments achieved were capturing anyone responsible for Sept. 11, 6,000 civilians died in vein because more civilians are dying and still there is not definite culprit and no evidence leading to their arrest. The U.S. marched into Afghanistan demanding them to turn over Osama bin Laden. Well, the Taliban asked for proof of Osama bin Laden’s involvement in the crimes. Wow, why in hell would they do that, where on earth could the possible have got this idea of innocent till proven guilty. Asking for proof of an accused person’s guilt, damn, now that’s what I call radical! But hey it doesn’t matter, who needs proof when we have a bigger army. Speak softly and carry a big stick. George W. Bush probably carries a photo of Theodore Roosevelt in his wallet and asks it for advice before he addresses the nation, we all now he isn’t that good of a public speaker all by himself.

The article I had referred to in the beginning suggested that absolutely no blame lay on America for any of the problems that happen worldwide especially what’s going on in Afghanistan. In fact many countries like China, Turkey and Russia are standing firm behind America on this one. But thinking logically why wouldn’t they, they all need support for there own aggressive genocides in Tibet, against the Kurds and against the Chechnyans, respectively.

And another funny thing is how we here all are lead to believe that The U.S.A. plays and active role in the international community. Yeah, that is true to an extent, there is an American representative in the United Nations, even though the U.S.A. has the greatest outstanding debt to the U.N. because they have refused to pay their dues unlike all other countries. Its ridiculous that one of the founding nations of the U.N. refuses to financially support it and has never financially supported it since is birth in the 1950s.

So what’s next? Well most probably another article by someone who could care less about what is really happening in the world. But ideally on an international level there should be a new government established by the Pashtun (the majority) people of Afghanistan and the Northern Alliance (the minority mostly comprised of Tajiks and Uzbeks) should settle in the background. But more realistically what will probably happen is the country of Afghanistan will be divided into different countries, much like what happened in the former Yugoslavia and what will probably end up happening in Iraq. But hey, that’s the beauty of capitalistic imperialism.