Should The Left Call for Taliban Victory?

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NDPP
Should The Left Call for Taliban Victory?

Should the Left Call for Taliban Victory?

http://socialistworker.org/2009/08/18/should-the-left-call-for-taliban-v...

"Every US and NATO tank that the Taliban destroy, every Karzai appointed stooge they assassinate and every town or village they liberate is a victory for our side and a grievous blow to US imperialism--we would do well to remember that and to offer our solidarity and support for a Taliban victory in Afghanistan..?

Issues Pages: 
josh

No.

genstrike

Well, I personally, and I think the left should, call for a Canadian and NATO defeat in Afghanistan.

But define "Taliban".  From what I understand, it is a blanket term used by militaristic forces in society to dismiss the entire Afghan resistance as the work of some ultra-right thugs.

ETA:  Also, define "left"

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

NO and NO.

The left, the broad left, should support the demands made by RAWA and Malalai Joya that Afghanistan be left to Afghanis to govern their own state and resolve their own issues.

Unionist

The Afghan resistance to the invaders and their puppets takes many forms, one of which is the armed insurgency. I can't imagine how any progressive forces could fail to work toward the victory of the resistance in all its forms. But it is not for us to tell the Afghan people who is leading their struggle.

al-Qa'bong

I know an Afghan family that was forced from their home at gunpoint by the Taliban.  They also told me how Taliban members would stuff people into a house, then drive a tank into the building.  According to them the Taliban are "very bad people."  Supporting the resistance against The West is one thing, but how could we support the Taliban?

Cueball Cueball's picture

What is the Taliban? I have seen a lot of reportage that suggests we are talking about a very diverse resistance movement, with varying views and goals, based in everything from religion to nationalism, or a mixture of both. How to come to terms with making a determination about something like this. Seems pretty pointless to me. What I do know is that I support resistance to occupation, and when it comes down to the coing toss between those who are defending their country from foreign occupation, and the occupier, I know what side I stand on, in principle, regardless of their.

Whateve evil may have been done in the name of the Taliban does not trump the evil of empire.

NDPP

What a coincidence, I know an Afghan family too and they told me that lurid, made up tales of Taliban excesses were de rigeur for favourable decisions by the  Canadian immigration personnel that processed them. Hope NATO nazis lose and Afghan resistance wins.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Al Q, isnt with immigration.

josh

NATO Nazis?  Very apt comparison.

And yeah, the Taliban are real sweethearts.  Defenders of women's rights and Buddhist cultural heritage.  Or any heritage not their own.  Where's the beard police when you need them?

Fidel

This is a senseless war that should end sooner than later. The US is actually funding the Taliban according to reports. This is nothing new for Uncle Sam. If we look back in history, Uncle Sam has funded, armed and abetted the enemy before in SE Asia with the Khmer Rouge. Only then the KR were still recognized by Reaganauts and Thatcherites as legitimate rulers of Kampuchea until late 1980's before revelation of the killing fields made it obvious to the world that the KR were criminals.

The US has an established history of working with criminal governments and installing brutal rightwing dictatatorships around the world. I dont  think Afghanistan fits exactly that pattern, because in this instance Afghans are knowingly joining a criminal Taliban regime in order to both liberate their country as well as earn monthly paycheques. So they are more comparable to hired mercenaries than the usual leftwing revolutionaries. The organized political left in Afghaniistan was obliterated during the "civil war" from 1992 to 1996 after which the US-backed Taliban tookover government in Kabul from the mujahideen(some who are now in Karzai's government)

This is a war on terror "drama" as Malalai Joya describes it. There need to be transparent UN mediated peace talks as Tariq Ali, Jack Layton and some high profile UN officials and private commentators around the world have suggested. If the Taliban are going to win anyway regardless, then why not make the terms of negotiation for peace transparent to the world and especially for the sake of ordinary Afghans in the dark as to what the sticking points are for progress toward peace and foreign troop withdrawal are with off and on again backchannel talks occurring between western officials and the Taliban? Peace sooner than later translates to an end to the organized murder. I think the death toll among Afghans is rising, and that needs to stop asap.

 

 

Michelle

What Frustrated Mess said.

Fidel

I support FM and RAWA, too. Unfortunately the people orchestrating this "war on terror drama(Malalai Joya)" do not.

As far as we know, mullah Omar and Taliban leaders stated their terms for agreement with the US back in 2001 when the Taliban asked for proof that "al-Qa'eda" and bin Laden are responsible for perpetrating 9/11. The US has no proof, and all of the US and Taliban leaders know it. Therefore, what are the real terms of peace? There doesnt seem to be any. The US and NATO's intentions seem to be perpetual war with their former proxies in Afghanistan. The organized murder of Afghans and chaos in that country will not end until actual peace negotiations are forced on the principals in this "war on terror drama"(Malaia Joya, 2009)

 

sanizadeh

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 Left could do better by supporting the progressive forces in Afghanistan, not anyone who is not European in appearence.

As for their atrocities, no need to refer to any tales. Their public record (which they are quite proud of) is sufficient.

 

genstrike

Fidel wrote:
There need to be transparent UN mediated peace talks as Tariq Ali, Jack Layton and some high profile UN officials and private commentators around the world have suggested. If the Taliban are going to win anyway regardless, then why not make the terms of negotiation for peace transparent to the world and especially for the sake of ordinary Afghans in the dark as to what the sticking points are for progress toward peace and foreign troop withdrawal are with off and on again backchannel talks occurring between western officials and the Taliban? Peace sooner than later translates to an end to the organized murder. I think the death toll among Afghans is rising, and that needs to stop asap.

Why does there have to be "peace talks" between imperialist power and their puppet government and the Afghan resistance, hosted by an organization which generally functions as a cover for imperialism?  Any "peace talks" would likely result in simply trying to find a diplomatic solution for the imperialist powers to keep their influence but reduce their casualties - 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?

WillC

What sanizadeh said.   For the past several years I've been following babble, and felt defensive when my views have been attacked. This thread shows me the absurdidties that rigid ideologues will go to.  If that is insulting I'm sorry, but the mind set which would lead  someone to support such viscious bastards because they are the enemy of your enemy is amiss. You put your ideology before your humanity.

josh

I think most people who have commented have answered No to the thread question.  So, you may be knocking down a bit of a strawman, Banjo.

Fidel

genstrike wrote:
Why does there have to be "peace talks" between imperialist power and their puppet government and the Afghan resistance, hosted by an organization which generally functions as a cover for imperialism?  Any "peace talks" would likely result in simply trying to find a diplomatic solution for the imperialist powers to keep their influence but reduce their casualties - 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?

Ah! But the US extended terms for peace to the NVA, and the NVA published the Americans' peace offer. Nixon and Kissinger felt that the NVA were trying to embarrass them. The whole world knew then that the US was not serious about negotiating peace, and Nixon's public support at home began plummeting.The doctor and madman then escalated the bombing on Hanoi as well as the secret saturation bombings ofneighboring Cambodia. The last thing the US and NATO gangsters want are their terms for peace revealing to the world in this "war on terror drama." The Taliban have already made some of their terms for peace known publicly, which is for the US to provide proof to the world that bin Laden and the Islamic wing of the CIA, "al-Qa'eda" are responsible for perpetrating 9/11 terror in NYC and plane hijackings elsewhere. What's strange in this instance is that the Taliban realize by now that no proof or evidence in any legal sense will be produced. [url=http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/174977]Tariq Ali[/url] said last year:

Quote:
What is really required in the region is an American/NATO exit strategy from Afghanistan, which should entail a regional solution involving Pakistan, Iran, India, and Russia. These four states could guarantee a national government and massive social reconstruction in that country. No matter what, NATO and the Americans have failed abysmally

Right now the UN could play a key role in making the impossible terms for peace known to the world, and especially millions of Afghans. Afghanistan's sovereignty will not be respected by great game players until NATO troops are withdrawn from Afghanistan, and Pakistan's sovereign affairs are left to Pakistanis.

genstrike

As a "rigid ideologue", I take exception to Banjo's post.  Clearly, it is just more evidence that rigid ideologues and supporters of the ISO are no longer welcome on babble because their positions and those of their organizations are challenged and discussed openly.

(the above was sarcasm)

genstrike

Fidel wrote:
Quote:
What is really required in the region is an American/NATO exit strategy from Afghanistan, which should entail a regional solution involving Pakistan, Iran, India, and Russia. These four states could guarantee a national government and massive social reconstruction in that country. No matter what, NATO and the Americans have failed abysmally
  Right now the UN could play a key role in making the impossible terms for peace known to the world, and especially millions of Afghans. Afghanistan's sovereignty will not be respected by great game players until NATO troops are withdrawn from Afghanistan, and Pakistan's sovereign affairs are left to Pakistanis.

Do you not see the irony in saying that "Afghanistan's sovereigntly will not be respected by great game players" and calling for a "regional solution involving Pakistan, Iran, India and Russia."

I don't think a "regional solution" is necessary - the solution would be to leave Afghanistan to the Afghans, and that solution only requires one country - Afghanistan.

Also, I don't think we need an "exit strategy", apart from the question of how many planeloads will it take to pack up and leave.  "Exit strategy" implies a diplomatic measure to keep imperialist interests safe after a military pullout.

Fidel

Your solution is not actually a solution. It's a wait and see attitude which NATO and the Taliban are doing now and will continue to do for some time at the expense of ordinary Afghans, Pakistanis and the death toll. The principals in this "war on terror drama" don't want outside intervention or meddling in their affairs either while they step up the killing to a frenzied pace.

sanizadeh

Regional solution sounds fine, but why including Russia in it? Russia is not in that region at all. Afghanistan borders Tajikstan and Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, China and Pakistan.

Fidel

sanizadeh wrote:

Regional solution sounds fine, but why including Russia in it? Russia is not in that region at all. Afghanistan borders Tajikstan and Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, China and Pakistan.

These are the countries alleged to be funding and feeding "the resistance" with violence from drug trafficking among other things spilling over borders into their countries. The Pakistani ISI, a long time extension of the American CIA,  still controls the Taliban as well as "al-Qa'eda" and other militant groups. It's believed that Pakistan's elite still have designs on Afghanistan for "strategic depth" It's complicated, and what is needed is a regional solution as mentioned by Tariq Ali and others who know and understand the issues. But essentially, Russia, Iran, China etc don't want NATO in their backyard, and theyre using Afghanistan for their own strategic manouvering against NATO trying to expand its military presence Eastward. What we're seeing in Afghanistan is part of larger regional and even "geostrategic" issues of sovereignty.

Unionist

Some here seem to forget that atrocity stories were used as part of the pretext for invasion, and certainly continue to be used for the need to "stay the course" and win the war.

Not just this invasion - all of them.

That's why it's not for us to decide who is leading the resistance, who the Taliban are, or whether all factions are innocent and charitable. Our duty is to oppose the invasion - in the first place, our own invaders - and wish success to the resistance as a whole. Afghans will figure out who will govern and how once we and our paid puppet warlords are gone.

 

jrootham

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.

 

Listen carefully.  The enemy of my enemy is not my friend.  If you really want the war in Afghanistan to end, then you should push for whatever terms and conditions that will end it quickest and forget this absolutist unilateral withdrawal crap.

SparkyOne

The Taliban never did anything to the people of Afghanistan.

It's not Taliban bombs that are killing Afghan people it's NATO.

Their assassin's. I don't even believe the Tliban use IEDs, let alone those IED's killing people. I think thats bombs on the NATO rucks blowing up because their made cheaply. NATO blames the  taliban when their trucks blow up.

WillC

josh wrote:

I think most people who have commented have answered No to the thread question.  So, you may be knocking down a bit of a strawman, Banjo.

I hope so. I was just astounded that anyone would support them. The Socialist Worker sees them as "merely an expression of class resistance," similar to Liberation theology in Latin America.  Maybe they got in the habit of supporting them when the Taliban were fighting the Soviets.

Fidel

Most of today's Taliban were being orphaned during America's 1980's proxy war, which was an anticommunist jehad against against the Soviets and Soviet-backed PDPA government to cleanse Central Asia of secular socialism. And then those orphans and Muslims from other countries went to school for indoctrination in religious fundamentalism and guerilla warfare/terrorism in US and Saudi funded madrassas in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the late 1980's and 90's. They are the same US and Saudi funded madrassas which produced "al-Qa'eda" and some of the superstars of 9/11 terror. And some of those people were working for the US CIA and military simultaneously in the years and months leading up to 9/11. 

The Americans and Brits have mentioned wanting to talk and negotiate with the so called reasonable Taliban, and that they should sever all ties with al-Qa'eda terrorists including OBL. These are lies, and the Taliban know they are lies and probably have no reason to trust the US and NATO officials who have met with Taliban officials in the hotels of Lahore and Islamabad regularly according to Tariq Ali.

The bottom line is that the US and NATO dont really want transparent peace negotiations where heads of state are held accountable to the people suffering by this war, and especially not UN mediated talks involving those countries which the US-led NATO is playing at colder war with. Because real peace talks might lead to the outlining of an exit strategy for NATO. Better to keep it a dirty war and as much known about "the enemy's" demands kept secret from the public as possible.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

jrootham wrote:

If you really want the war in Afghanistan to end, then you should push for whatever terms and conditions that will end it quickest and forget this absolutist unilateral withdrawal crap.

Saved for posterity.

Ghislaine

I am with FM, sanizadeh, Al-Q, Michelle, etc. I am horrified anyone here would wish any success on those who pour acid on girls attempting to attend school. That is just one small example. I support withdrawal and did not support going there in the first place, but rooting for the Taliban? Seriously?!!!?

Cueball wrote:

 

Whateve evil may have been done in the name of the Taliban does not trump the evil of empire.

Whatever evil may have been done in the name of the empire does not trump the evil done in the name of Taliban.

Fidel

Afghans havent had a posterity since about 1979. Apparently some babblers believe this war and foreign meddling in Afghanistan is about to be stopped by 11, 000 or so Taliban fighters controlled by Pakistan's army intelligence agency. If does happen, I'm sure we'd all jump for joy for the Afghans.

30 years and counting for this cold war game in Central Asia. It just never ends. It seems perpetual war really does represent normalcy for Afghans. Freedom is slavery and ignorance, strength.

Frmrsldr

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Pogo Pogo's picture

I don't consider myself to be superior or gentle and I am not well versed on Afghanistan.  However I am good friends with a number of recent immigrants who fully support the troops mainly out of concern for the safety of relatives. Perhaps their support is misplaced, I just know that it is in the back of my mind whenever I think of the issue.

martin dufresne

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

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

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.

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