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Should The Left Call for Taliban Victory?

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Frmrsldr
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sanizadeh wrote:

Taliban are no more Afghani than Canadian forces are. Their leaders are from Pakistan, they are supported by Pakistan Intelligence service, and funded by Saudi Arabia. Opposing Canadian presence in Afghanistan should not be extended to support another group of foreign invaders.

The Taliban are Pashtuns. Pashtuns are an Af-Pak people. In fact, they are the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan. It was the British who (intentionally) screwed up the border of Afghanistan. Afghans are highly intolerant of feringhees (foreigners). If the Pashtuns were foreigners, the Afghans would be fighting them as much as they are fighting us. Hamid Karzai is a Pashtun. If he were not Afghan, he would have been killed a long time ago. Hazaras are another Afghan ethnic group. Yet they are treated very badly by other Afghans. Why? Because they are the descendants of another group of foreign occupiers - the Mongols.


Ghislaine
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Wow Frmrsldr, thanks for that analysis of how Afghanis of various ethnicities are just inhrently violenct and cannot help from killing each other bsaed on race/ethnicity. Who knew an entire country acted and felt that way?

What ethnicity is Malalai Joya and the other 52% of the country who are women and definitely don't act or think in the way your describe? And I don't believe for a second that the majority of the men think that way either. I love the racist generalizations though.


Frmrsldr
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genstrike wrote:

it would be as big of a joke as the Paris Peace Accords in Vietnam.  Why not just an immediate withdrawal of the western occupying forces and allow Afghans to govern themselves?

Hey, the Paris Peace Talks resulted in U.S. forces leaving Vietnam. If these peace talks among the U.S., U.K., the Afghan government and the Taliban, etc., result in us leaving Afghanistan, then I'm all for it.

A negotiated 'peace' (I use that term very loosely) is a face saving way for us to withdraw from Afghanistan. A unilateral immediate withdrawal of our forces isn't going to happen. The U.S., U.K., Canadian governments, etc. are in a state of denial: The first forces of Obama's troop surge have been in Afghanistan for a number of weeks and U.S. and U.K. forces have been fighting an offensive in Helmand province. This escalation of violence has resulted in an escalation of British and American casualties. Yet both the U.S. and U.K. governments draw the conclusion from this that we need to send more troops and further escalate the violence.

They're still telling the big lie (to anyone who cares to listen) that we are waging an illegal aggressive war in Afghanistan to "defend" ourselves.


Nick Van der Graaf
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Joined: Nov 17 2008

I know, I know.... Bush bad, United States bad etc. I agree. I've been there all my life. But long before 9/11 I was reading perfectly credible reports of just how bad life under the Taliban was. Just like some other bete noires of the left, they were holding public executions in soccer stadiums. And what kind of people use artillery to blow up ancient art? Please. I am hard-pressed to imagine anything more barbaric than that. They are the ultimate reactionaries, I don't know what could be more clear. I understand Karzai is an American stooge, but the reality is that THERE ARE WORSE THINGS THAN AMERICAN STOOGES. And the Taliban is one of those things.

Therefore, as a good lefty for the last 30+ years, and a long-time supporter of women's rights, I cannot endorse the idea that the left should be "supporting" the Taliban in any way whatsoever. The very idea is shocking.


Frmrsldr
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Banjo wrote:

What sanizadeh said.... the mind set which would lead  someone to support such viscious bastards because they are the enemy of your enemy is amiss.

That is the mind set that created the Taliban and their mujahideen bretheren. The CIA wanted insurgents who would hurt the U.S.S.R. This was during the Cold War. What better enemy of athiest communist ideology than radical Islam? The more radical, the better.


Ghislaine
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Joined: Feb 15 2008

Frmrsldr wrote:

Banjo wrote:

What sanizadeh said.... the mind set which would lead  someone to support such viscious bastards because they are the enemy of your enemy is amiss.

That is the mind set that created the Taliban and their mujahideen bretheren. The CIA wanted insurgents who would hurt the U.S.S.R. This was during the Cold War. What better enemy of athiest communist ideology than radical Islam? The more radical, the better.

So...call them Amercian-created stooges then and don't support them on that basis.


Tommy_Paine
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Joined: Apr 22 2001

 

I'm not sure. On one hand, they deny voting rights and seem very intent on enslaving a segment of their society. 

What better cause, what better enemy for young Canadians to fight and die for?

Ooops, we're talking about Afghanistan.  I thought we were rehashing the Boer War.

Sorry. 

I get confused.

Or not.

 

 


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005
This thread is filled with superior gentle sensitive people who know what is best for the Afghan people. They do not support immediate unilateral withdrawal of invaders. They support "negotiations", where the invaders can install their puppets solidly before they leave. The Afghan people will harshly judge those who side wiþh the invaders, no matter what the humanitarian pretext.

Frmrsldr
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Joined: Mar 4 2009

Ghislaine wrote:

Wow Frmrsldr, thanks for that analysis of how Afghanis of various ethnicities are just inhrently violenct and cannot help from killing each other bsaed on race/ethnicity. Who knew an entire country acted and felt that way?

What ethnicity is Malalai Joya and the other 52% of the country who are women and definitely don't act or think in the way your describe? And I don't believe for a second that the majority of the men think that way either. I love the racist generalizations though.

Where do I say Afghans cannot help from killing each other based on race/ethnicity? I did say Afghans have an intolerance for foreigners and foreign occupiers. Is that so surprising? Afghanistan has been invaded by foreigners dating back to Alexander the Great.

Afghanistan has never been a strong centralized nation state. It is more like a collection of feudal fiefdoms along ethnic, tribal and clan lines ruled by elders and war lords. The American and British (something the British had been doing since the days of empire) played the racist card in their proxy war of October - December 2001. Our Northern Alliance "allies" are Tajik and Uzbek Afghan war lords who were used to fight against the (mainly) Pashtun Taliban forces.

Malalai Joya is Pashtun. She was suspended from the Loya Jurga for criticizing the preponderance of war lords in government and Mr. Karzai's dropping motions to prosecute any war lords guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity during the Afghan civil war (1992-1996).

The U.S. is once again currently playing the racist card by arming militias in Afghanistan (as it did in Iraq). The militias are based on ethnic/tribal/clan lines.


WillC
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Joined: Oct 1 2004

Quote:
Ooops, we're talking about Afghanistan. I thought we were rehashing the Boer War.

Sorry.
I get confused, Or not.

That's like calling Layton Taliban Jack because the NDP doesn't support the war.


Frmrsldr
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Joined: Mar 4 2009

Ghislaine wrote:

Frmrsldr wrote:

Banjo wrote:

What sanizadeh said.... the mind set which would lead  someone to support such viscious bastards because they are the enemy of your enemy is amiss.

That is the mind set that created the Taliban and their mujahideen bretheren. The CIA wanted insurgents who would hurt the U.S.S.R. This was during the Cold War. What better enemy of athiest communist ideology than radical Islam? The more radical, the better.

So...call them Amercian-created stooges then and don't support them on that basis.

You bet. The CIA created them. Now American, British, Canadian troops are fighting against them. While this is going on, the U.S., U.K., etc., governments are negotiating for a peace or armistice with the insurgent leaders. Charlie Wilson's war has come back to bite us in the ass! What irony! Talk about a convoluted Italian opera.


genstrike
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Joined: May 1 2008

jrootham wrote:

Once upon a time I listened with disbelief when right wingers said the left was primarily driven by anti Americanism.

 

Then latter day Babble happened.

I'm probable one of the people you're referring to, but I'm not motivated by anti-Americanism.  It is true that I want to see US and NATO forces defeated and embarassed in their imperialist endeavours, but that is because I am opposed to imperialism, not because of anti-Americanism.

In fact, the whole term "anti-Americanism" reeks of bullshit.  It tries to dismiss perfectly valid opposition to western imperialist foreign policy (even Canadian imperialism - go figure that one out) as some irrational hatred of the American people.  It is the same kind of twisted logic as denouncing opposition to Israeli apartheid as anti-Semitic.

jrootham wrote:
Listen carefully. The enemy of my enemy is not my friend.

And you are also mischaracterizing our arguments in order to set up a straw man.  I didn't say that the enemy of my enemy was my friend.  I said that the imperialist forces of NATO need to withdraw from Afghanistan and allow the people of Afghanistan self-determination.  And I believe that the Afghan people have the right to self-defence against imperialism, and that includes armed struggle.

 

From what I understand, the far-right anti-woman assholes who were running the country before 2001 were and are thoroughly discredited in the eyes of the Afghan people.  What is called the "Taliban" isn't a monolithic group of theocrats - they run the gamut from progressive patriots pissed off at the folks in NATO for bombing their weddings to a few warlords and druglords looking out for themselves to some of those religious extremists (although the latter are relatively few in number and have little support).  However, any attacks on NATO forces are simply attributed to an amorphous blob called the "Taliban" in order to associate the entire Afghan resistance with religious extremists as a propaganda tool in order to mislead their populations at home and paint the picture that most people see today in order to keep liberal and progressive support for the war.  That's why I get a little confused on the original question of "should the left support the Taliban" because I'm not completely sure what they're referring to.

And if the Taliban is bad, it's not like our man Karzai is pure as the driven snow either.  The rape law has just made a comeback, and it was the Karzai government who sentenced a young man to death in a four minute trial for reading about women's rights.  But don't worry, on appeal they brought it down to just 20 years.  Our Northern Alliance buddies also forbade the activities of RAWA as well.

I think there is a touch of a racist conception of the Afghan people going on here - we can't trust these brown people with their own country, they'll just wind up killing each other and oppressing women.  But we can trust our friendly imperialist occupying force until we can show these brown people how to run their country like a proper western capitalist "democracy".  Of course, this is completely ignorant of the histroy of Afghanistan - it is actually a relatively peaceful place when not being subjected to foreign imperialism, and women's rights were progressing quite well prior to the imperialist adventures of the 80s.


genstrike
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Joined: May 1 2008

Unionist wrote:
This thread is filled with superior gentle sensitive people who know what is best for the Afghan people. They do not support immediate unilateral withdrawal of invaders. They support "negotiations", where the invaders can install their puppets solidly before they leave. The Afghan people will harshly judge those who side wiþh the invaders, no matter what the humanitarian pretext.

 

Bravo, Unionist!  This is exactly the problem with this thread - people who think they know what is best for Afghanistan and think they can impose it with their military might.  Really, it's no different from the imperialist and racist mentality that caused this war in the first place.

And if people call Layton "Taliban Jack", what chance do people like us have?  I guess we're fortunate that "Taliban Unionist" and "Taliban genstrike" don't quite have the same ring to it, eh?


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

And apparently brown people like Taliban Tariq Ali who've commented on the need for regional peace don't know what's good for brown people living there either. If Layton agrees with some brown skinned socialist from Pakistan, it can't be good.


sanizadeh
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Joined: Dec 3 2007

Frmrsldr wrote:

The Taliban are Pashtuns. Pashtuns are an Af-Pak people. In fact, they are the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan. It was the British who (intentionally) screwed up the border of Afghanistan.

I know that. However if we go with that argument, we can also say another 25% of Afghans are Tajik (of Iranian origin), and the fact that the parts they live in (western and Northern Afghanistan) was forcefully removed from Iran (Persia) by the British army during the Anglo-Persian war in 1857. So would it be justifiable in your view if the Iranian army steps in and takes those parts back? Would not that be a foreign invasion?

I am not denying that the Pakistani Taliban share ethnicity and culture with Southern Afghanistan. My point was that they are essentially a group created by Pakistan ISI, located there and funded by Saudi Arabia. no doubt some in ISI hope to extend Pakistan's control over Afghanistan through this group.


al-Qa'bong
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Joined: Feb 27 2003

Quote:

Afghanistan has never been a strong centralized nation state. It is more like a collection of feudal fiefdoms along ethnic, tribal and clan lines ruled by elders and war lords. The American and British (something the British had been doing since the days of empire) played the racist card in their proxy war of October - December 2001. Our Northern Alliance "allies" are Tajik and Uzbek Afghan war lords who were used to fight against the (mainly) Pashtun Taliban forces.

 

I visited that Afghani family I mentioned above (father Dari, mother Pashtun) the day after the Taliban were run out of Kabul. A bunch of other Afghans dropped by while I was there. One of them said something that didn't make sense to me at the time, but makes perfect sense now. He said the first thing the new Afghan government should do was to create a strong army. I thought, "This is nuts; haven't these people had enough of war?" but later realized that without a strong central power, the various factions and warlords would continue tearing the country apart. The Afghanis in that room eight years ago were optimistic that the West would help to create that strong power in Afghanistan. I don't know what they're thinking today.


martin dufresne
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Joined: Dec 24 2005

This article and others suggest that most Afghan women will not be allowed to vote in the coming election. The following is excerpted from The Independent.

Afghan women to miss out on vote in landmark election
By Jerome Starkey in Kabul and Kim Sengupta, August 17, 2009

Millions of Afghan women will be denied their chance to vote in presidential elections this week because there aren't enough female officials to staff the women-only polling stations. A desperate shortage of female staff is threatening to undermine the legitimacy of the elections, which are the pinnacle of western-led efforts to build a peaceful democracy. Strict cultural norms mean women can't vote in male-run stations. Women's activists said the Independent Election Commission (IEC), which is organising the polls, still needs to recruit 13,000 women before Thursday's elections. The IEC refused to comment on recruitment figures, but papers leaked to The Independent suggest the shortfall is much worse, at more than 42,000.

Without female staff to operate the strictly segregated stations, and more importantly, without female searchers to frisk women voters as they arrive at those stations, conservative men across the country will ban their wives and daughters from taking part. "If half of the population can't participate, the election is illegitimate," said Orzala Ashref, a director of the Afghan Women's Network. "Without women's votes, without women's participation, of course the election is not going to be valid." ( . . . )

The lack of female staff has fuelled fears of proxy voting, where men vote for their entire families. Concerns were first raised in December when The Independent revealed "phantom" women voters were outnumbering men in the registration process. Election officials in Gardez were encouraging men to register wives, mothers and daughters in absentia. "They said I could just give them a list of the women in my family, and they would give me the registration cards," said one. "I could see lists and lists of women's names on the table. They said they were under pressure from Kabul to register lots of women." New figures seen by The Independent show women registrants outnumbered men in five provinces, including Logar, Paktia and Khowst. In Paktika women accounted for 49% of new registrants. What's most alarming is that those places where the female recruitment has been most difficult are the same places where there was over-registration of women," said a senior western diplomat. Wom!
en's registration cards are especially prone to fraud because unlike the men's, they don't include a passport picture of the owner. Photographs of bare faced women are deemed culturally unacceptable ( . . . )

Comment: Could the freedom-lovin' Karzai government be fearful of how Afghan women would vote if given the chance? Naaahhhh...

 


Frmrsldr
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genstrike wrote:

...women's rights were progressing quite well prior to the imperialist adventures of the 80s.

The Soviet Afghan War of the 1980s was a case of one communist country (Afghanistan) asking another communist country (Russia) for assistance in quelling an insurgency. Given the fact that both Afghanistan and Russia were communist societies, women's rights still progressed and were defended in the 1980s. It wasn't until the civil war of the 1990s and when the Taliban took over in 2001 and beyond when women's rights and human rights suffered egregious setbacks.


Frmrsldr
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sanizadeh wrote:

... no doubt some in ISI hope to extend Pakistan's control over Afghanistan through this group.

The ISI and the Pakistan military fear that war may break out with India over Kashmir. If this happens, and India overruns Pakistan - Afghanistan provides "strategic depth" - Pakistani forces will continue the fight with India in Afghanistan.


Frmrsldr
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al-Qa'bong wrote:

I visited that Afghani family I mentioned above (father Dari, mother Pashtun) the day after the Taliban were run out of Kabul. A bunch of other Afghans dropped by while I was there. One of them said something that didn't make sense to me at the time, but makes perfect sense now. He said the first thing the new Afghan government should do was to create a strong army. I thought, "This is nuts; haven't these people had enough of war?" but later realized that without a strong central power, the various factions and warlords would continue tearing the country apart. The Afghanis in that room eight years ago were optimistic that the West would help to create that strong power in Afghanistan. I don't know what they're thinking today.

Ever since the puppet regime was established in Afghanistan, the majority of MPs were/are Tajik and Uzbek war lords. Thus the Pashtuns, the largest ethnic group were grossly under-represented. That is why, since the beginning (the Bonn Conference) it was important that the President (Hamid Karzai, as we know) be a Pashtun.


Frmrsldr
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http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090831/jones

"If the contest at the ballot box doesn't move the country to greater violence, all this 'security' should do the trick.

It's too bad about Afghans though. Given half a chance, they'd vote for change and peace and reconciliation and no more soldiers."


al-Qa'bong
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Joined: Feb 27 2003

Quote:
Given the fact that both Afghanistan and Russia were communist societies, women's rights still progressed and were defended in the 1980s.

 

On another occasion, a different Afghani told me how he had attended university classes in Kabul in the 1970s, sitting beside women in miniskirts.


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

al-Qa'bong wrote:

Quote:
Given the fact that both Afghanistan and Russia were communist societies, women's rights still progressed and were defended in the 1980s.

 

On another occasion, a different Afghani told me how he had attended university classes in Kabul in the 1970s, sitting beside women in miniskirts.


According to Canadian John Ryan, progressive reforms were stopped in 1979 and thousands of people jailed. This was after Hafizullah Amin seized power and had Noor Mohamed Taraki and his supporters murdered.


Frmrsldr
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Fidel wrote:

According to Canadian John Ryan, progressive reforms were stopped in 1979 and thousands of people jailed. This was after Hafizullah Amin seized power and had Noor Mohamed Taraki and his supporters murdered.

This was that CIA sponsored coup that provided the spark for the Afghan insurgency that soon involved Russia.


Frustrated Mess
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Joined: Feb 23 2005

Nick Van der Graaf wrote:

 And what kind of people use artillery to blow up ancient art? Please. I am hard-pressed to imagine anything more barbaric than that. They are the ultimate reactionaries, I don't know what could be more clear.

Really? Well to answer what kind of people use artillery to blow up ancient art, I give you the ultimate reactionaries:

UNESCO, the United Nations cultural organization, has issued a report outlining the extensive damage caused by US occupation forces in Iraq to the archeological site of ancient Babylon, about 100 Km (60 miles) south of Baghdad.

The report was based on examinations of the site by prominent specialists, including John Curtis, John Russell and Elizabeth Stone.

It charges American and Polish forces with carrying out "a grave encroachment on this internationally known archaeological site."

The report continues, "During their presence in Babylon, the MNF-I [Multi-National Forces] and contractors employed by them, mainly KBR, directly caused major damage to the city by digging, cutting, scraping, and leveling. Key structures that were damaged include the Ishtar Gate and the Processional Way."

http://www.uruknet.info/?p=56851

 

Imagine that, eh? Now do you support bombing. invading, and installing a government in the US, or does your ultimate reactionary solutions only apply to nations of brown people? Just wondering.


Polunatic2
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Joined: Mar 12 2006

Quote:
...every town or village they liberate is a victory for our side and a grievous blow to U.S. imperialism--we would do well to remember that and to offer our solidarity and support for a Taliban victory in Afghanistan.
A grievous blow? From reports we see, villages change hands on a daily basis. Don't the invaders use the same language every time they re-take a village? 

If the Taliban are able to retake the entire country, there will be a lot of space for leftists and other progressives in Afghanistan to critically support the new government once they're finished with summary executions. 


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

Nick Van der Graaf wrote:

 And what kind of people use artillery to blow up ancient art? Please. I am hard-pressed to imagine anything more barbaric than that.

You must have had a comfortable life, then.

 


josh
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Joined: Aug 5 2002

"Really? Well to answer what kind of people use artillery to blow up ancient art, I give you the ultimate reactionaries:

UNESCO, the United Nations cultural organization, has issued a report outlining the extensive damage caused by US occupation forces in Iraq to the archeological site of ancient Babylon, about 100 Km (60 miles) south of Baghdad."

 

C'mon. Did they target with the intent of committting cultural genocide?


martin dufresne
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Joined: Dec 24 2005

Ah yes, intent is all... and that of the Good Guys is always to trounce Evil, right?...

 


Frustrated Mess
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Joined: Feb 23 2005

They manufactured a reson for war, illegally invaded a soverieign state, smashed its civilian infrastructure, murdered up to a million people, displaced 4 million, allowed the plundering and looting of cultural artifacts, museums, galleries, etc ... and they were presenetd with a list of sites in need of protectind including the UNESCO heritage sites and turned these sites of human cultural value into bases and latrines anyway. This was no accident or act of ignorance even if ignorance was an excuse for breaking the law.

As Naomi Klein effectively argued, it was a purposeful effort to erase Iraqi cultural history to produce a blank, neo-liberal slate. It is telling the only things they preserved and protected was oil infrastructure.

The US government has no cultural or moral superiority over the Taliban. The Afghans, and all of us, should be free of both organized political groupings of vandals and thugs.


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