Thursday, January 29, 2009

Why Afghanistan War?

- Its Roots

This is a machine translation of a Spanish language article by Vicenç Navarro that appeared in Sistema Digital.

The new U.S. President, Mr. Barack Hussein Obama, has indicated that one of its intentions is to ask its NATO allies to increase their contribution to the war in Afghanistan. Hence the urgency of the Spanish population is informed about the origin of that conflict. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the Spanish media have given a skewed version of what happened in that country.

The first time that Afghanistan appeared in the media Spaniards was in the eighties when the media referred to the U.S. intervention to stop the invasion of that country by the Soviet Union. Afghanistan in danger of becoming more a colony of the Soviet empire, which was prevented by the U.S. intervention in support of the liberation forces who fought against a puppet government, satellite in the Soviet Union. This is the most widespread version of what happened in Afghanistan in the mid-eighties and after.

The second time it appeared in Afghanistan when the media was less than a month after the attack on the Twin Towers in New York on September 11, 2001, the U.S. Armed Forces attacked the Taliban regime in that country, causing its collapse and replacement by a government appointed in practice by the U.S. federal government So far the official version, reproduced in the media and persuasion Spaniards. These versions, however, (and especially the first) do not correspond with reality. And it is of great importance and urgency to correct this version, making known the real story of those events. There are several books that have reported critically on the version of events promoted by the means of persuasion and information dominate U.S. and Europe. Among them, the report Afghanistan, Another Untold Story, by Michael Parenti, published in Znet.


Afghanistan, one of the world's poorest countries, was ruled until the mid-seventies by a feudal system in which 75% of the land was owned 3% of the rural population. It was a system based on a huge farm, because of the enormous poverty of its people. But where there is usually also holding resistance. And in the sixties that the forces opposed to feudal regime (ruled by a monarchy) established the People's Democratic Party (PDP) leader of the resistance that forced the ouster of the monarchy in 1973, being replaced by a government that was also of inefficient, corrupt, autocratic and unpopular. The PDP had the strength to demand the abdication of King and dismissal but had not had sufficient strength to change the regime. Dissatisfaction with the regime, however, reached such a level that in 1978 there were many popular movements that forced the resignation of the government. And the Army did not resist such mobilizations. Rather, the support, thus the first popular government led by the PDP led by a national poet and novelist, Noor Mohammed Taraki, (the García Marquez of Afghanistan). The PDP was the ruling party that initiated many reforms including the legalization of unions, the establishment of a minimum wage, progressive taxation, a literacy campaign, and reforms in the areas of health and public health who provided access the population to such services. In rural areas, facilitated the establishment of agricultural cooperatives. A reform that also had a huge impact was to encourage the liberation of women, opening up public education to girls as well as children, and facilitating the integration of women into the labor market and the university. As the daily San Francisco Chronicle (November 17, 2001) "under the PDP government, the women studied agriculture, engineering and commerce at the University. Some women took jobs in government and seven of them were elected to Parliament. Women driving cars, traveling freely, and constituted 57% of university students. " Professor John Ryan of the University of Winnipeg, an expert in agricultural economics and expert on Afghanistan has indicated that the land reform initiated by this government had an enormous impact on the welfare of rural populations. This government also eliminated the cultivation of opium (Afghanistan produces 70% of the opium consumed in the production of heroin).

However, such reforms have generated huge resistance from those groups whose interests were being adversely affected. Among them, three groups led the opposition. You were the owners of large land holdings, were the other religious leaders who were opposed by all means to women's emancipation, and a third group were opium smugglers. In support of these groups came Saudi Arabia, the fundamentalist state that provides aid to Islamic fundamentalists, the Pakistan Army, Afghan fearful that the reforms to contaminate the working class of Pakistan itself, and of course, the federal government of the United States .


It should be stressed that even the CIA, the spy agency of the U.S. federal government had recognized the independent and popular PDP and never (during the period that political battle against the feudal system) referred to the PDP as an "agent of Moscow." Was fully aware that this political force was responding to a demand which had its own independence and autonomy. Despite this, and before the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, the U.S. federal government was funding the Afghan fundamentalist and extremist forces who were trying to sabotage the reforms that the PDP government (including public schools in rural areas to educate the girls). Mr. Brzezinski, National Security Council of President Carter, has admitted that the U.S. government funded extremist guerrillas who carried out such acts of sabotage, burning, for example, public schools. Moreover, the U.S. federal government encouraged a military coup against the government PDP held briefly in 1979 and killed thousands of Tarak and PDP leader before the next military andalusia PDP retake power.

The hostility of the U.S. federal government towards reform of the government PDP was based in part on opposition from the U.S. government towards the nationalization of land and other interventions that were in conflict with the ideals of the U.S. federal government, reforms also had the advice of technicians from the Soviet Union. The U.S. government was concerned about the possible expansion of Soviet influence. Behind such support had an anti-fundamentalist, as reflected in the figure Brzezinski (a Polish anti-fundamentalist), he considered that the fundamental objective of U.S. foreign policy should be to eliminate the influence of the Soviet Union in the world at the expense of whatever, including the cost of supporting some of the most retrograde and reactionary forces in the world, such as Muslim fundamentalists in Afghanistan.

The alliance of U.S., Saudi Arabia and Pakistan was enormously powerful and threaten the continuity of the government of PDP. Hence, the government requested assistance to the Soviet Union, support that was rejected several times, until finally, the government of the USSR agreed to send military aid to the Afghan army (loyal to the PDP), which was against the fundamentalist guerrillas Mojahidden (Islamic guerrilla fighters) backed by U.S., Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.


Finally, in 1979, the government of the Soviet Union accepted the request of the PDP government to send troops in support of the army against mobilization of international forces that they were questioning its stability and viability. In part this was also what he wants the U.S. federal government immediately because it was such an invasion as an excuse to mobilize the Muslim world against the USSR's support of a government Lazio, progressive and eager to modernize the country. U.S. and Saudi Arabia, the sources of the reaction, spent 40 billion dollars in support of Mojahidden, who joined 100,000 Muslim fundamentalists from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia (including Bin Laden), Iran and Algeria, armed and advised by CIA.

Ten years later the Soviet troops left Afghanistan. The war, however, continued three years, during which the PDP government remained popular, despite the massive destruction of the country's infrastructure, the result of the great hostility of the reactionary alliance. Even after the collapse of the USSR, the government continued to rule for another year, despite not receiving weapons that might use to defend themselves from extremist forces supported by the governments of U.S., Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Again, as in the Spanish Republic, the lack of weapons was the reason that the opposition beat that conflict, the government initiated a Mujahiddeen who started a massive repression, looting, with mass executions, closing public schools , oppressing women in systematic campaigns of rape, destroying the urban areas. In an Amnesty International report in 2001 that accused the Mujahiddeen of "systematic violation of women as a way of terrorizing women and population, and as a reward to the troops." The government started again the opium trade, with the help of Pakistani intelligence services and the CIA (who worked together in support of the Mujahiddeen) Afghanistan becoming the largest producer of heroin in the world. Several of the military Mujahiddeen left Afghanistan and went to fight in Algeria, Chechnya, Kosovo and Kashmir beginning of the terrorist network in defense of Muslim fundamentalism.

A fraction of the Mujahiddeen were the Taliban, the fundamentalist group in such a partnership, which by their fanaticism, and cruelty imposed discipline killing govern large areas of the country and finally seized power. Banned music, schools, education lació, libraries and any sign of modernization. Established order, executing all those who create disorder from political opponents to common thieves. Imposed the dress as Burkan to women and forbade the men to shave. Women were deprived of rights, including the educated, and those that were considered immoral were stoned and burned alive. Moreover completed rape of women by Mujahiddeen and the production of opium. The Taliban government had the support of the federal government of President Clinton. According to Ted Rall (it is about oil. "San Francisco Chronicle. Nov.2, 2001), the U.S. government paid until 1999 the salaries of Taliban officials and it was not until 2001, when following the attack on the twin towers, that President Bush to mobilize public support to the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan, denounced treatment of women in Afghanistan. Later, even the lady Laura Bush became a feminist and denounced such abuses. On September 11 marked the end of the US-Taliban alliance and the fall of the Taliban government in December 2001 replaced by another pro-US faction of Mujahiddeen who began the fight against the Taliban. Opium production appeared again.

A question that requires answer is how could the U.S. supporting the Taliban government, knowing their support for Bin Laden and the terrorist group (which had been funded by the U.S. in origin)? How is the Taliban government that had never been declared "a government that supported terrorism? One reason is that having done so would have meant that companies could not pretolíficas U.S. have signed an agreement with the Taliban government to build a pipeline to allow transportation of oil from Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to the Indian Ocean. In fact, the support would have continued not to have happened on September 11. And since the story is well known.

Throughout this process, they have forgotten that if it had allowed the PDP government would have made the reforms that the country needed, there would be no "invasion" of Soviet Afghanistan, there would be no war in Afghanistan, Bin Laden would not have occurred and Al Qaeda and there had been a September 11. And this is precisely the truth that is hidden. The story would have taken other paths. Al Qaeda would probably have emerged, but the venue and format would have been different. In the background of the conflict is the strength of the U.S. federal government (and their allies, and especially Saudi Arabia), and their opposition to reforms and secular progressives. Needless to say there are other reasons for the existence of Islamic terrorism. But resistance to this necessary and urgent reforms led by secular and progressive groups is a major cause. Opposition to the massive exploitation that exists in the Muslim world has been channeled through extremely reactionary forces in which religious fundamentalism has been encouraged to stop the popular mobilizations that would have cut and lay out such exploitation.

Vicenç Navarro

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