Skip to comments.The Lion Prowls in Afghanistan
Posted on 10/04/2006 6:10:55 PM PDT by freedom44
What I want to say is that he was never an extremist, neither in his private nor political life. He believed that a modern moderate Islam could work in Afghanistan. He said that the extreme left or right failed in Afghanistan, since both had neglected the needs of the people. Therefore, we could not govern Afghanistan like any traditional Muslim country. -Ahmad Wali Massoud regarding Ahmed Massoud Shah of the Northern Alliance.
In 1996, funded financially and backed morally by their allies in Pakistan, the Taliban (Students of Islamic Knowledge Movement) emerged as the prominent force in Afghanistan after the war against the Soviet Union and the fall of the corrupt communist dictatorship. In a campaign of failed promises, the Taliban unified various ethnic and religious groups in their attempt at stifling power. Originally the Afghani people, who were exhausted and weary due to decades of civil war, supported what they saw as a unified force that would be able to bring stability to the nation. On the global platform, Pakistan was able to convince the Clinton Administration, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom that the Taliban was the ideal choice of governance for Afghanistan. Having the desire to consolidate their own power while dismissing US-calls for the return of King Mohammad Zahir Shah they solidified the most fundamentalist elements of the regime.
Foreign government subsistence for the Taliban was thoroughly tied to economic self-interest. Pakistan and others wanted to protect a convoy of open trade between Pakistan and Central Asia. So that Afghani nationalists could not procure power, a Sharia led Sunni fundamentalist regime was implemented. Viable opposition groups such as the Northern Alliance led by The Lion of Panjshir, Ahmed Massoud Shah, fought against the regime from the north and controlled about 30% of the territory. Nevertheless, countries neglected morally or economically supporting these groups instead maintaining their support for the extremist regime. During the next couple of years, the Taliban ruthlessly oppressed the Afghani people, initiating a radical form of Wahhabist Sunni Islam in the nation.
Some of the crimes of Taliban government were the jailing or beating of men for shaving their beards, execution of women in stadiums, executing homosexuals with excessively large bricks, stoning of adulteresses, shooting of criminals by family members, banning of television and music, destruction of religious minority holy sites, requiring religious minorities to wear badges, forbidding women to attend school or hold a job, and requiring women to wear the burqa, among others.
After the terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center and The Pentagon, the Bush administration initiated the Bush Doctrine, implemented with the objective of spreading democracy throughout the Middle East. The basic theory behind the doctrine may be solidified by Historian Spencer R. Weart, democracies will not fight each other. The trumpeted conclusive objective of the doctrine is the implementation of a democratic region that respects human rights, religious and ethnic minorities, and the basic foundations of freedom.
In Afghanistan, the Bush Doctrine has been a monumental success. During presidential elections, 10.5 million Afghanis registered to vote, 40.3% percent of them women. Afghanis were given a diverse list of eighteen presidential candidates to choose from while being given access to 25,000 poll stations across the country. In Decembers parliamentary elections the country elected its first parliament since the late 60s. A variety of ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds were represented by the three hundred fifty one elected. The spurring turnout surprised most pundits, the thought of one of the poorest nations in the world where theres more illiterates than literates embracing democracy was a mandate.
In 2005, ABC conducted the first nation-wide poll inside of Afghanistan, showing the enthusiasm and confidence of the average Afghani. According to the poll ninety one percent said that they supported Karzais government while only one percent said they supported Taliban. When asked their sentiments towards the United States overthrow of the Taliban, eighty seven percent said it was a good thing while only nine percent said it was a bad. When asked if women should be allowed to hold office, sixty four percent said yes. When asked if Afghanistan is going in right direction seventy seven percent said yes. When asked for approval of current living conditions, eighty five percent agreed. When asked what the greatest danger to Afghanistan is, forty one percent said the Taliban only four percent said the United States.
In a 2005 report, The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said under the post-Taliban interim Government, Afghanistans economy has recovered significantly. Non-drug gross domestic product (GDP) rose to about over $4 billion in 2002, and economic growth for 2003 was estimated at 16 per cent. Considerable progress has been made on the education front. By 2004, 54.4 percent of primary age children were in school. Since 2002, a record four million high school students have enrolled. But Afghanistan still has the worst education system in the world, and one of the lowest adult literacy rates, at just 28.7 per cent of the population, according to the report. These results show the dynamics of the Afghani nation and their proud push towards a modern, progressive democracy.
Many Americans have been false-heartedly led by the mainstream media to believe that the doctrine has become an unmitigated disaster. This form of distorting reality frames a deceptive image of the conditions in Afghanistan. Propaganda wars aside, the truth emanating from Afghanistan is that the Asian country is progressing in remarkable fashion and the tremendous majority of Afghanis are supportive of both the Karzai government and are grateful to The Bush Administration. The Afghanis understand that it takes time to progress toward an independent, proud modern democratic nation, but they also understand that Afghanistan will eventually emerge as one of the seats of progress in the Middle East because the spirit of the The Lion of Panjshir lives on.
A great man whose fall foretell the atrocities of 9/11. Were he alive, he'd definitley be PM of Afghanistan.
PM KArzai was a mamber of MAsood's Northern Alliance and IIRC is quite close to him.
Everything I ever saw about the man just oozed greatness.
I read up on him, and now every time I go out I wear a shemagh, hoping that folks will ask me why and I can say, "There was a great man, a good Muslim. We let him down."
I can remember hearing news reports about his assassination right after 9/11. What a great ally he would have been. Even though we were ignoring him at the time he was always attempting to get the U.S. on his side.
His legacy is probably also one of the reasons Karzai was such a popular choice to begin with.
How is it that we ever could "keep" the fruits of freedom to ourselves? Freedom is a God-given gift, standing right there for any nation who wants it to take. Nobody "gave" America our freedom, we took it. America, for all the strength we have, cannot control the world or police all of its bad governments. If we follow that path it will stretch us so thin and cost us so much that we'll self destruct. Consider that it has cost us 1/2 trillion dollars just to kill a few thousand islamofacists. This is exactly how the Soviet Union imploded.
That said, it's necessary to defend any nation that is our ally, or that has some strategic value to us. But I'm not sure anymore that trying to 'democratize' the more barbaric islamofacist nations is a wise venture. Islam has shown itself throughout the ages to be a 'religion' that cannot be converted.
PM KArzai was a mamber of MAsood's Northern Alliance and IIRC is quite close to him.
Hamid Karzai is a highly influential figure and potentially commands the loyalty of large numbers of Afghans.
He is a powerful Pashtun tribal leader from the Taleban's political stronghold of Kandahar and a member of the same clan as the former Afghan king, Zahir Shah.
Relations with the Taliban
When the Taliban emerged onto the political scene in the 1990s, Karzai was initially among their supporters. However, as with many other early Taliban supporters, he broke with the Taliban, citing distrust of their links to Pakistan. After the Taliban drove Rabbani out of Kabul in 1996, Karzai refused to serve as their U.N. ambassador. In 1997, Karzai joined many of his family members in the United States, from where he worked to reinstate Zahir Shah. His father was assassinated, presumably by Taliban agents, on July 14, 1999, and Karzai swore revenge against the Taliban by working to help overthrow them.
In the months following the September 11, 2001 attacks, Karzai together with Mujahideen loyal to the Afghan Northern Alliance worked with the United States to overthrow the Taliban in Afghanistan and muster support for a new government. In December 2001, exiled Afghan political leaders - many with no followers inside Afghanistan - gathered in Bonn, Germany, to agree new leadership structures. Under the December 5 Bonn Agreement they formed an interim Transitional Administration and named Karzai Chairman of a 29-member governing committee.
Thank you for highlighting my crapulent spelling. :)
BTW, is that a yes or a no to the alleged connections?
Masood was assasinated by Bin Laden operatives just days before 9/11. That was to stop him from being urged by the US to take out Bin Laden. Masood was the greatest danger to Bin Laden and with proper backup would have been sucessful. Unlikely Bin Laden would have escaped.
I'm confident that many have learned the lessons of Afghanistan
One reason the Taliban took over was after the soviets withdrew, so did we.
"Just let them kill each other" is a common cry.
What some people don't seem to understand is the world is a very small place and getting smaller every day. And groups like Al-Qaida thrive in the dark disconnected place of the world. that would be ok except they don't stay there.
I r gots muchly edumakasuns! :-)
PS That would be a no. Before 9-11 he didn't really have any connetiion with the northern alliance. They were for the most part Tajiks and he's a Pashtun.
I don't advocate over extending. What I am opposed to is outright isolationism and blatantly ignoring pleas for help. We can't commit in Sudan right now but the Pres. is doing all in his power to end the atrocities there, not just twiddling his thumbs like some would advocate.
What we accomplsihed in America was extraordinary. It is by no means a small feat that we gained independence. Once subjugated, people do not very often try to throw away their chains and history is littered with bloody and failed attempts to do so. How easily many urge them to fight and revolt yet little do people understand the true cost and sacrifice that must be offered to be free.
We can't simply sit back and let other nations and people rot. It is not only in the interest of humanity but also in the intererst of security to intervene where we need to when we can. To not do so is not only immoral, but suicidal. Because we left Afghanistan, 9/11 happened. Because Lebanon was left to fester, Hezbollah gained a foothold. Who knows what other schemes and atrocities are being planned in the dark recesses of the world where the media do not cover?
BTW, Masood and Karzai are Muslims. We have no reason to alienate friends and allies.
"I r gots muchly edumakasuns! :-)"
"PS That would be a no. Before 9-11 he didn't really have any connetiion with the northern alliance. They were for the most part Tajiks and he's a Pashtun."
Ok, thank you.
Agreed. See #15.
4th grade! I was going to try the 5th grade but then I got my draft notice....
The Looming Tower deals a bit with this. If you haven't got it, I highly recommend it. I really obsess on this kind of stuff and this is one of the best accounts that I've read. Lots of fact, heavily footnoted + the guy can write, it's a real page turner.
Thanks for the reccommendation. Interesting looking book.
Ya I had caught alot of that in the news. Another advantage he had was that he already had captured the hearts of many Afghanis. He would have had no need to try to convince them that he was really the good guy.
I had also heard that he had tried getting us to give him some material support such as helicopters. Well it's all too little too late now.
I often wonder what might have been if Masoud and company remained alive.
What’s going on in Afgh is the direct result of this admin chumming up with both Iranians and the Talis. Karzai’s govt started to deteriorate right after 0 was selected.
Massood might have proven to be Afgh’s Bibi.
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