Revolutionary Worker #1124, October 28, 2001, posted at http://rwor.org
The following excerpt is from a pamphlet titled, "The Real Story Behind Terrorism in Afghanistan," by "A Group of Concerned Afghans Living in the U.S.A."
TERRORISM AND AFGHANISTAN
No matter how the U.S. government tries to associate people of Afghanistan with terrorism, "destroying the training camps" of terrorists in Afghanistan, is nothing but sheer hypocrisy. The fact of the matter is that Afghanistan, and people of Afghanistan had nothing to do with terror and terrorism prior to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. Just as the Soviet troops entered the country, hundreds of well-educated progressive forces armed and organized by the Maoist forces of Afghanistan (Shola Jawaid), attacked the Soviet tanks that were entering the country from the north. The heroic attack stunned the Soviet Union.1
Inspired by the armed resistance of Maoists, a popular uprising against the Soviet troops spread across the country. From Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, to the remote villages of Nooristan in Hindu Kush Mountains in the east, armed struggle erupted spontaneously. People attacked the pro-Soviet government posts with guns, swords, kitchen knives, homemade bombs, sling shots, sticks and empty hands. The successful resistance caught the eyes of the world in the first few months of the war. The United States wasted no time. Soon after the war broke out, the CIA infiltrated the countryside of Afghanistan. The MUSLIM BROTHERS of Afghanistan was organized and armed by the U.S. In the first few years of the war half a dozen groups were formed in Pakistan.2 Each named itself ISLAMIC PARTY.
The United States and the Western media publicized the ISLAMIC PARTIES as FREEDOM FIGHTERS. In addition to the reactionary clergymen, all thugs from Afghanistan and terrorists from around the world were armed and organized in the rank and file of the ISLAMIC PARTIES. With the help of the U.S. CIA and Pakistan's intelligence service (ISI), the countryside of Afghanistan and the Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan, were turned into the training camps of "FREEDOM FIGHTERS."
The ISLAMIC PARTIES were tasked to fight the Russian troops, and at the same time, eliminate the Maoist forces of Afghanistan (Shola Jawaid). In the course of the war against the Soviet Union, from 1979 to 1989, thousands of Maoists (Shola Jawaid) were murdered and assassinated by the ISLAMIC PARTIES. By the end of the 1980s the Afghan movement was co-opted by the CIA and ISI of Pakistan.
In the height of Afghan war against Soviet Union, in mid 80s, Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates joined the ISLAMIC PARTIES to help support the "Afghan Jihad" (holy war). Islamic terrorists were recruited to fight against the "atheist communists."3 At the end of the 1980s, the war against the Soviet invasion, initiated by the Maoist forces of Afghanistan, was changed to a crusade of ISLAM against COMMUNISM. Under the U.S. anticommunist fervor, Afghanistan turned into the training ground of "devout Muslims."
In 1992, after the Soviet Union was forced to leave Afghanistan, most of the educated progressive forces, including Maoists of Shola Jawaid, were weak and highly fragmented. The ISLAMIC PARTIES, parented by the U.S. and Western countries, formed THE ISLAMIC STATE OF AFGHANISTAN. The ISLAMIC STATE never managed to bring peace and justice. The infighting of the ISLAMIC PARTIES from 1992 to 1996 created more war, destruction and instability in Afghanistan. Leaders of the ISLAMIC PARTIES, "each for his own right," claimed to be the Supreme Leader of Afghanistan.
BLOOD FOR OIL
In the meantime, the U.S. government after spending billions and billions of dollars in the war against the Soviet Union, had a chance to reap the fruits of the war. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, the rich oil fields of the former Soviet Union, agreed to export oil to the United States. The United States needed a secure state in order to pipeline oil from Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to the Indian Ocean.
To make this dream come true, the U.S. decided to replace the ISLAMIC STATE with more fundamentalist Islamic forces that could bring "stability," "law and order." The U.S. undertook a dangerous game called "FIGHTING FIRE WITH FIRE." The fact that many Afghans would lose their lives in "FIGHTING FIRE WITH FIRE" was no concern for the United States. The fear that "FIGHTING FIRE WITH FIRE" could claim the life of Americans never crossed the mind of American policy makers. Perhaps blood for oil is the standard norm in making U.S. foreign policy!
FIGHTING FIRE WITH FIRE
To implement "fighting fire with fire," the U.S. mobilized the fundamentalist Islamic forces of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Arab countries. A group of religious students studying in the Islamic theological schools of Pakistan, along with fundamentalist clergymen from Afghanistan were organized and armed by the CIA and ISI of Pakistan. Arab countries joined the crusade of "fighting fire with fire." This new creation was named TALIBAN (Muslim religious students).
The TALIBAN activists started to invite people for peace, by holding Quran in one hand and sword in the other hand. This approach, in a war-torn country like Afghanistan, was very appealing. Many warriors of the ISLAMIC PARTIES, frustrated with the ISLAMIC PARTIES, joined the rank and file of TALIBAN.
As the peaceful approach of TALIBAN proved to be effective in gaining the trust of people, the governments of the United States and Pakistan were convinced that TALIBAN was the best alternative for replacing the ISLAMIC STATE. With the help of the U.S. government, and full support from Pakistan, TALIBAN quickly gained power and strength. When TALIBAN gained strength, the Quran and sword created a synergy that combined fanaticism with terror. Soon TALIBAN started launching terrorizing attacks on the ISLAMIC STATE and on civilians.
The TALIBAN'S first assault on Afghanistan was not very successful. The ISLAMIC STATE managed to fight and defeat TALIBAN in the province of Jalalabad. However, with more financial and political support from the CIA, and by incorporating Arab terrorist organizations, TALIBAN was able to win victories one after the other. In Kandahar province, the TALIBAN forces managed to establish a permanent base. Because of the strategic location of Kandahar, TALIBAN was able to intensify fighting against the ISLAMIC STATE OF AFGHANISTAN.
In 1996, TALIBAN captured Kabul and ousted the ISLAMIC STATE OF AFGHANISTAN. The leaders of the warring ISLAMIC PARTIES retreated to the northern provinces where the NORTHERN ALLIANCE was formed. Once again, the United States managed to impose its policy in Afghanistan successfully. However, this success proved to be costly not only to the people of Afghanistan, but also claimed the lives of Americans as well.
Based on the Islamic Shariat, TALIBAN forces women to stay home. Women must put on Burka and must have a male companion anytime they leave the house. Girls are forbidden from going to school. All men must grow a beard. Anyone caught stealing, his/her hand will be cut off--a legacy that is practiced in Saudi Arabia. Hundreds of Afghan children have lost their hands to minor crimes.
Based on TALIBAN'S Ordinance, any woman seen with nail polish on her nails, the woman will be punished. Half a dozen Afghan women had their fingers cut off because of this Ordinance. All music, videos, movies and entertainment are banned. Afghanistan is pushed back to the medieval age. This is the price that people of Afghanistan are paying for the U.S. policy of "fighting fire with fire." This is the price that Afghan people are paying for the U.S. policy of "law & order." This is the price that people of Afghanistan are paying for a "stable" regime. This is the price that people of Afghanistan are paying for the U.S. to gain access to cheap oil from Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
THE FIRE GOES WILD
The TALIBAN irony of terror brutalized women, minorities, and followers of all faiths in Afghanistan. TALIBAN violated every tenet of human rights. And yet, the government of the United States turned his blind eye to their crimes. The cry of Afghan people, the oppression of women, the outrage of the world community against the destruction of Buddha statues, all and all, were ignored by the United States and the Western world.
Only after the whirlwind of fanaticism engulfed the World Trade Center, which took more than 6,000 lives in the U.S., the U.S. government now speaks about "fighting terrorism." The intention of fighting terrorism may seem quite fair and logical in the eyes of most American people, because they have lost loved ones in the tragedy. However, the notion of the U.S. government "fighting terrorism" is nothing but hypocrisy.
People of Afghanistan and people around the world have repeatedly seen that the U.S. government recruits, trains, and arms terrorists. The U.S. government has politically supported and financially funded terrorism time after time--as long as terrorism serves the interest of the U.S. oil corporations and big businesses.
But once in a while, when the terrorists disobey the government of the United States, and when they dare to challenge the ruling class of the United States, the U.S. war machine is turned on. Hasty decisions are taken. Super terrorist operations such as "Operation Desert Storm," and "Operation Justice Infinite" are undertaken. And yet, these measures bring no harm to the terrorists. These measures achieve nothing but inflicting more pain and more killing of innocent people around the world, and now killing people in the United States also....
WHAT IS TO BE DONE?
Contrary to the U.S. ruling class, who always victimizes the victim, this writing is to educate and inform American people about the historical background of American policies and practices in Afghanistan.
The intent is to tell Americans that people of Afghanistan have suffered from terrorism and war during the last 21 years. Afghans have endured losses far beyond the tragedy of the World Trade Center. All the pain and misery, the 1.7 million lives lost in Afghanistan, the 6 million Afghans living in refugee camps, the sicknesses, the starvation and the death of innocent children, is imposed on people of Afghanistan by the superpowers. The Soviet Union brutalized people of Afghanistan during the 10 years of its occupation of Afghanistan. The United States has propped up and imposed the most reactionary forces and regimes on the Afghan people.
The loss of lives in the tragedy of the World Trade Center is as painful as the loss of lives of people in Vietnam, in Iraq, in Bosnia, in Kosovo, and in Afghanistan. The root cause of suffering and tragedies are common among people of the United States and people around the world. The multinational corporations, the reactionary policies and practices of the ruling classes of our countries, headed by the ruling class of the United States, are the main enemies of the American people and people around the world.
It is a fact that in tragedies we all mourn. In wars we all bleed. The race, gender, nationality, culture, and even the political and geographic boundaries are no longer the guarantee for living in peace and harmony. Globalization is bringing us closer and closer to each other. Inflicting pain to one is pain for all. In our world today, no wealth is accumulated without plunder. No gain is made without the loss of another.
In the economic sense, the wealth of the WALMARTS and KMARTS is the exploitation of women and children in sweatshops. In the political and military sense, the "Freedom Fighters" of the U.S. are the oppressors of Afghans. The oppressors of Afghans are the killers of the innocent Americans. Just as TALIBAN does not and cannot harm the U.S. ruling class, the U.S. government that created the TALIBAN and Osama bin Laden cannot and will not destroy them.
No hypocrisy of the U.S. ruling class in the name of democracy, no religious demagogy of TALIBAN will heal the pain and losses of the American and the wounds of Afghan people. No war or retribution brings peace. By looking and finding the root causes of terror and terrorism, by eliminating the root causes of oppression and injustice, together we can fight and end the horrors. The destiny is crystal clear. Either we all unite to overthrow our ruling classes and oppressors in order to end the horrors. Or, our ruling classes and oppressors will put an end to all of us by horrors.
Long Live People of the United States and People of Afghanistan!
Down with TALIBAN and the creators of TALIBAN!
1The long silence of the U.S. and Western media about the involvement of the Maoist forces in the Afghan war is not small glitches or a single mistake in journalism. The U.S. and Western media, who pride themselves with investigation and objectivity in journalism, have deliberately remained silent about the Maoists in Afghanistan.
Ignoring the presence of tens of thousands of Maoists, as a social force that has been historically far grater and stronger than the pro-Soviet and the Islamic forces, is no accident. It is an act of complacency of the media with the anti-communist fervor of the U.S. government. Otherwise, the effectiveness of the Maoists in initiating and organizing the war against the Soviet invasion, including thousands of Maoists in trenches fighting the Soviet's Red Army, is no trivial news event. This silence is a deliberate act of negligence that must be expected from the mainstream media that is sponsored by corporate funds.
2CIA initiated contacts with the MUSLIM brothers of Afghanistan via Sheikh Abdul Rahman. Sheikh Abdul Rahman is the Egyptian clergy who resided in New York. Before he was accused of bombing the World Trade Center in 1993, as a CIA agent, he established contacts with Gulbudin Hekmatyar. Gulbudin Hekmatyar was the CIA's favorite leader, because he was a veteran in killing Maoists in Afghanistan. Gulbudin Hekmatyar, after killing a prominent Maoist, Saidal Sokhandan, in 1968 went into hiding in Pakistan. Hekmatyar was protected and trained by the Pakistan intelligence services, before he opened his terrorist front in the name of ISLAMIC PARTY OF AFGHANISTAN.
Records indicate that Hekmatyar received half of the CIA funds, while the other half was distributed among the remaining six ISLAMIC PARTIES. Also, the ISLAMIC PARTY of Heykatyar received ground to air "stinger" missiles from the U.S. in the height of the Afghan war against the Soviet Union. When the war ended, the missiles were never returned back to the U.S. authorities. It is believed that those missiles ended up in the hands of Arab terrorists and the TALIBAN.
3CIA reports indicate that Osama bin Laden was involved in this campaign. The U.S. government was well aware of the activities of Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. It is believed that Osama bin Laden was on the CIA payroll at this time.
This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
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