Afghanistan’s girls show the dark side of America’s influence on the world

Afghanistan’s girls show the dark side of America’s influence on the world

Summary: Trump is committing America to the overthrow of a 4th secular regime in the Middle East, probably to be replaced (like the others) by a fundamentalist Islamic government (or chaos). Amidst the cheering for Trump, let’s look at what we have done for the women in Afghanistan. Let’s remember that before we wreck another country.

People say “you can’t turn back the clock.”
Islamic Fundamentalists have proven that you can do so.
You just can’t care if others see you as evil.

Afghanistan Women in the Burka

America has helped overthrow three secular regimes — Afghanistan in the 1980s (Operation Cyclone, “Charlie Wilson’s War”), Operation Iraq Freedom in 2003, and Libya (Operation Unified Protector in 2011). Fundamentalist Islamic regimes replaced them all (in Libya, with along chaos).

Now we are doing it again in Syria (Operation Inherent ResolveTimber Sycamore, etc.). See this mind-blowing ignorant advocacy at National Review by influential Middle East expert Matthew Brodsky. As with our first three interventions, we ignore the likely Islamic government that will replace Assad. We ignore the likely effects of this regime change on Syria’s people, as we have ignored our responsibility for the horrific effects of our past revolutions.

As a reminder, consider Afghanistan. It made great progress in the 1950s and 1960s. This continued in the turbulent 1970s, with a quiet coup in 1973 against the monarchy, the communist revolution in 1978. The communists accelerated the pace of modernization, with more rights for women.

The Mujahideen, largely fundamentalist Islamic warriors, rebelled. US propaganda told Americans they were secular western-loving rebels (we love being lied to). The Soviets sent troops to help the government fight the insurgents, as America has done so many times. We intervened to help the Islamic rebels (Operation Cyclone) — who won. (See details about our role at the end of the post.)

Afghanistan was not heaven before our intervention, or even Buffalo. For details see “Women in Afghanistan” by Amnesty International, October 2013.

“Afghan women were first eligible to vote in 1919 – only a year after women in the UK were given voting rights, and a year before the women in the United States were allowed to vote. In the 1950s purdah (gendered separation) was abolished; in the 1960s a new constitution brought equality to many areas of life, including political participation.”

We helped end that. The following photos show a nation working to join the world’s civilization. The first photo shows the fantastic change from then to now, with women’s role in society rolled back several centuries. At the College of Medicine in Kabul two Afghan medical students listen to their professor as they examine a plaster cast from a human body. Photo from The Atlantic: “Afghanistan in the 1950s and 60s“.

Women at the Kabul Medical School in 1962 - Afghanistan
AFP/Getty Photo.

A scene in a Kabul record store, date unknown (probably late 1950s or early 1960s). From a photo essay by Mohammad Qayoumi in Foreign Policy.

Women at a record store in Kabul, Afghanistan

A photo from Kabul in 1967 by Dr. Bill Podlich published in the Daily Mail: “Life before the Taliban“. Back then girls attended high school (shown here in their uniforms). See women at the park — in western clothes, with no male escort.

Kabul - 1967 - High School girls - Afghanistan

Women at a park in Kabul, Afghanistan - 1967

Here are photos of Kabul in the 1970s (validity, sources and dates are unknown).

Women of Kabul in 1970s - Afghanistan

Women at a Kabul Park - Afghanistan

For more of photos of this troubled country see the “Once Upon a Time in Afghanistan” page at Facebook.

Afghanistan today

Women in Afghanistan-Reuters

The Taliban enforce their version of Islamic Sharia law. Women and girls are tightly regulated. See some of the details in “Women in Afghanistan” by Amnesty International, October 2013.

  • Banned from going to school or studying.
  • Banned from working.
  • Banned from leaving the house without a male chaperone.
  • Banned from showing their skin in public.
  • Banned from accessing healthcare delivered by men (with women forbidden from working, healthcare was virtually inaccessible).
  • Banned from being involved in politics or speaking publicly.

“There were many other ways their rights were denied to them. Women were essentially invisible in public life, imprisoned in their home. In Kabul, residents were ordered to cover their ground and first-floor windows so women inside could not be seen from the street. If a woman left the house, it was in a full body veil (burqa), accompanied by a male relative: she had no independence.

“If she disobeyed these discriminatory laws, punishments were harsh. A woman could be flogged for showing an inch or two of skin under her full-body burqa, beaten for attempting to study, stoned to death if she was found guilty of adultery.”

For a more vivid picture see this photo of Bibi Aisha, punished for fleeing her husband’s house in Kabul, Afghanistan. From TIME: “Women of Afghanistan“. Forcibly married at 14. Fled at 18 after years of abuse. She was caught and mutilated by her family as punishment. This is the Afghanistan we helped build.

Bibi Aisha - TIME
Bibi Aisha. Photo by Jodi Bieber/TIME.

Conclusion

Afghanistan has been had civil wars running since 1978. We did not start these wars, and they would have run without us. But our years of interference have contributed to Afghanistan’s problems, not helped them. Nor can we claim bad luck, after making similar mistakes in Iraq and Libya. Interventionists talk about our Responsibility to Protect. If that is a valid reason for our help overthrowing those government, we should be prosecuted for malpractice.

Now we are doing so again in Syria. When will we learn to do better? How do the women of the Middle East see America’s interventions?

“Once is an accident. Twice is a coincidence. Three times is an enemy action.”
— James Bond in Goldfinger (1959). What is the fourth time?

For More Information

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about women and gender roles, especially these…

  1. We destroy a secular regime in Afghanistan (& its women’s rights), then we wage war on the new regime to restore women’s rights. Welcome to the American Empire.
  2. Today’s propaganda: we must fight in Afghanistan to help its women.
  3. About our sudden concern for Afghanistan’s women (& the desperate search for a reason to fight).
  4. A non-violent crusade giving rights to the world’s women!
  5. Subjugation of women anywhere threatens US national security!
  6. Rambo & James Bond taught us about Afghanistan’s mujahideen.

Long afterwards we learn the truth about our role in Afghanistan.

But we don’t mind! That’s why our elites lie to us so often.

Some revelations from the book, by the publisher.

“By the latter years of the 1980s the CIA was not just providing arms to a half million Afghans, it had taken 150,000 of them and transformed them into what it called a force of “techno holy warriors.” “From today’s perspective,” Crile observes, “that may seem more than a bit ill advised-particularly when you factor in the specialized training in urban warfare that the Agency sponsored to include the use of pipe bombs, bicycle bombs, car bombs, camel bombs, along with a host of other tactics to wreak havoc with the army of a modern superpower.”

“The United States continued to fund the Afghan rebels long after the withdrawal of the Soviet Union. Incredibly, the subsidies continued despite the fact that one of the most important mujahid leaders sided with Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War.

“In addition to $200 million in aid from the U.S. and $200 million from Saudi Arabia, in 1991 and 1992 the rebels received Iraqi weapons captured by U.S. forces during the Gulf War. At the same time, the Berlin Wall came down and the Soviet Union ceased to exist. The Cold War was effectively over but what began as a war against Communism was continuing to be funded.”

Trailer to “Charlie Wilson’s War”.

The book and the film.

Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of How the Wildest Man in Congress and a Rogue CIA Agent Changed the History of Our Times
Available at Amazon.
Charlie Wilson's War
Available at Amazon.

TTP Spokesman Confesses the Expected…Pak. Taliban Work For India, Afghanistan

[TTP Spokesman Sells-Out Former Mehsud Comrades For Drone Assassination In Paktika]

RAW, NDS fund Taliban: Ehsanullah Ehsan’s confession video

 

 

 

 

VIDEO LINK

Pakistan Army has released confessional video statement of prominent leader of the Pakistani Taliban’s Jamaat-ur-Ahrar (JuA) faction, Ehsanullah Ehsan, who has surrendered to security forces last week.

Ehsanullah Ehsan remained Tehreek e-Taliban’s spokesman and later JuA’s. Both groups have carried out some of the most violent attacks in Pakistan.

In his confession before security forces, the notorious militants said that TTP maligned Islam and misguided the youths, saying that the banned outfit has contacts with RAW and Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS).

He said disputed with Taliban leadership after the group accepted Indian assistance against Pakistan.

Complete text of Ehsanullah Ehsan’s video confession:

“My name is Liaqat Ali and Ehsanullah Ehsan, I belong to Mohmand Agency. In early 2008, I joined TTP when I was a college student. I later became TTP Mohmand Agency spokesman and then central spokesman of TTP and Jamaat-ur-Ahrar.”

“In these nine years, I observed that TTP recruited youth by misleading them in the name of Islam. They did not follow whatever they preached. A handful of emirs who dominated TTP leadership used to receive extortion money from innocent people, massacre innocents by bomb blasts on public points, attack schools, colleges and universities… So, Islam doesn’t teach us this.”

“The internal disputes and battle for leadership raged within Taliban ranks after army launched operation in trial areas. Umar Khalid Khurasani, Khan Sayed Sajna and Mullah Fazullah were in the run. Their shura decided to hold draw that led to election of Fazullah.”

“What one can expect from such organizations that elect a leader through draw, and emir [Fazullah] was the one who forcefully married to his teacher’s daughter… such persons are not serving Islam.”

“When we moved to Afghanistan from North Waziristan, I saw that Taliban leadership fostered relations with Indian RAW agency that financed Taliban and even gave targets. Taliban received reward [from RAW] of every action in Pakistan. They left fighters to face Pakistan Army while they themselves sought refuge in safe hideouts.”

“When they started accepting Indian funds and NDS aid, I told Khurasani that this way we are supporting kufars (non-believers) by killing our own people, he said: for the sake of terrorism in Pakistan, even if Israel aided my, I will accept. So, I realized that they doing all this for their own interests and under a particular agenda.”

“Afghan security agencies have been facilitating Pakistani Taliban with documents and identity cards to move freely in Afghanistan,” he said.

“Jamaat-ur-Ahrar leadership is facing severe disappointment following Pakistan Army’s action on its camps along Afghan border.”

“Those who are stuck there, I want to give them a message that please stop it and back to a peaceful life,” he said.

“After coverage ban on Taliban, they turned to social media and attempted to mislead teen and innocent youths by propaganda and a wrong interpretation of Islam,” he said.

“I want to give a message to all social media users that beware of their [Taliban’s] propaganda. They are playing in hands of others… these were the reason behind my surrender to Pakistan Army,” he concluded.

Ehsan Ullah Ahsan Stills New 26-04

Background

Ehsanullah Ehsan joined TTP in 2008 and became its spokesman.

In December 2011, Ehsanullah disputed that the Pakistani Taliban was negotiating a cease-fire with the Pakistani government. He asserted that the individuals negotiating that cease-fire were doing so without the authorization of the Taliban’s leadership.

He was sacked on June 25, 2013.

Ehsan, along with other former commanders of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, such as Omar Khorasani, a senior leader in the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan joined JuA.

The JuA was formed in August 2014 as a breakaway faction of the central TTP by chief Omar Khalid Khorasani, the commander of its Mohmand district, and Ehsan, who left his post as a central TTP spokesman.

JuA rejoined the central TTP the following March but is known to operate independently of the central TTP leadership, which is led by Mullah Fazlullah.- Samaa

Saudi Spring Beginning To Boil…Real Reason For Kingfish Salmon’s Sudden Generosity

A Month Of Asia Tour – King Salman’s Mission & The Real Reason He’s Here

 

 

 

Muslim countries, especially those that subscribe to Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabism, broadcasted and printed a piece of great news over the weekend. King Salman issued a royal decree restoring “all allowances, financial benefits, and bonuses” for civil servants and military personnel on Saturday. Saudi claimed it was due to a recovery in oil prices and internal changes.

 

Last September, in what appeared to be the energy-rich Saudi’s most drastic move to save money, ministers’ salaries were cut by 20% and perks for public sector employees were scaled back. It was indeed a desperate measure after the kingdom hiked petrol prices by more than 50%, not to mention price increases for electricity, water, sewage, diesel and kerosene.

Saudis Pumping Petrol at Station

When Saudi announced the cuts on September 28, the crude oil had already recovered from its low of US$28 a barrel in January 2016 – to around US$45 a barrel. When King Salman announced the cancellation of the salaries and perks cut over the weekend, the commodity price was at US$50 a barrel. Does it make sense for the country to make a U-turn after just a 5 bucks recovery?

 

King Salman took the opportunity to also install two of his sons to key posts. Prince Khaled bin Salman, an F-15 pilot who has trained in the United States, was made ambassador to Washington. Another son and long-time oil policy official, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, was appointed state minister for energy affairs.

Prince Khaled bin Salman - Ambassador to Washington, U.S.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman - State Minister for Energy Affairs

What the mainstream media from Sunni Islam nations refused to tell you was the “April 21 movement” which hit the Twitter hashtag. The cuts, which affected about two-thirds of working Saudis, were so unpopular that the Saudis demanded for the reinstatement of their financial benefits since it took into effect in October last year.

 

The calls for protests in at least four Saudi cities have spooked the Al Saud monarchy of Saudi Arabia. Regime forces were reportedly lined the streets of central Riyadh over the weekend in anticipation of a demonstration by unhappy citizens. Saudis were upset that while the monarchy continues with its lavish public spending, the normal citizens were victimized.

Saudi Arabia - Public Sector Workers

Although Saudi Minister of state Mohammed Alsheikh said it was Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who recommended the change (cancellation of cuts in benefits and perks) after alleged better-than-expected budget figures in the first quarter of 2017, clearly the monarchy dared not take the risk and therefore caved in to the peoples’ demand.

 

The bonus cuts had caused widespread grumbling in Saudi Arabia. For two-thirds of employed citizens, the bonuses had accounted for a substantial amount of their total take-home pay. The public discontent could trigger a similar “Arab Spring” as the protestors were also calling for an end to Saudi’s absolute monarchy (disguised as constitutional monarchy) in the “April 21 movement”.

Protest Against Saudi Arabia Monarchy - April 21 Movement

Simon Henderson, Baker fellow at The Washington Institute and director of the Institute’s Gulf and Energy Policy Program said – “They adjusted things; they claim they are adjusting things because the economy is in a better position, but that’s nonsense. It sounds as though they felt it politically necessary to do something, which is economically risky.”

 

The unpopular cuts did not only affect the civil servants but also the military personnel. To pacify the powerful military forces, the monarch also ordered an additional two-month salary bonus for regime forces involved in a brutal and inhuman aggression against neighbouring Yemen. Salaries and allowances accounted for 45% (or US$128 billion) of government spending in 2015.

King Salman - The Saudi Spring

The panicked King Salman also made another U-turn when he told the kingdom’s central bank to instruct banks to maintain the current favourable terms of consumer and property loans to low-income Saudis, after having ordered their rescheduling in autumn to aid Saudis affected by the cuts. Another demand was for a halt to the sale of shares of state oil giant Aramco.

 

Saudi Arabia is in a mess, despite the slight recovery in oil prices. Although Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman tries to play down the problems, the kingdom is facing its worst economy growth since the world recession in 2008-09. New construction projects are scarce, and payments to builders got held up last year. Nowadays, even Saudi banks aren’t attractive to buyers.

Saudi Arabia - King Abdullah Financial District Riyadh

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc has reportedly been seeking for years to sell its 40% stake in Alawwal Bank (formerly known as Saudi Hollandi), while Credit Agricole SA is considering a sale of its 31% stake in Banque Saudi Fransi. Alawwal Bank reported a 50% plunge in net income while Banque Saudi Fransi saw its profit down 13%.

 

Other Articles That May Interest You …

Trump’s Pentagon To Fire-Off Minuteman III ICBM Towards Asia, Overnight

MINUTEMAN III SCHEDULED TO LAUNCH

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. —

 

An operational test launch of an Air Force Global Strike Command unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile is scheduled for Wednesday, April. 26, between 12:01 p.m. to 6:01 a.m. from north Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The purpose of the ICBM test launch program is to validate and verify the effectiveness, readiness, and accuracy of the weapon system, according to Air Force Global Strike Command.

Col. John Moss, 30th Space Wing commander, is the launch decision authority.

“Team V is once again ready to work with Air Force Global Strike Command to successfully launch another Minuteman III missile,” said Moss. “These Minuteman launches are essential to verify the status of our national nuclear force and to demonstrate our national nuclear capabilities. We are proud of our long history in partnering with the men and women of the 576th Flight Test Squadron to execute these missions for the nation.”

The 576th Flight Test Squadron will be responsible for installed tracking, telemetry, and command destruct systems on the missile.

 

For more information, please call Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs at (318) 456-1305 or after hours at (318) 532-1215.

US tests missile in Pacific as it escalates threats to North Korea

By Mike Head

While demanding that North Korea halt its nuclear and missile tests—and threatening military attack if it does not—the Trump administration will today test launch a nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) from California across the Pacific, in a menacing show of force.

According to Air Force Global Strike Command, the operation will test the weapon’s “effectiveness, accuracy and readiness.” In the context of the mounting US military pressure on North Korea and its neighbour China, it is an unmistakeable threat of American preparedness to use nuclear-armed ICBMs.

Missile launches were “essential to verify the status of our national nuclear force and to demonstrate our national nuclear capabilities,” Colonel Chris Moss, the Vandenberg Air Force Base 30th Space Wing commander said.

For all the political and media hysteria about the danger presented by North Korea’s small and primitive nuclear and missile capacity, the provocatively-timed US test again underscores where the real risk of nuclear war resides—in Washington and the Pentagon’s unmatched arsenal of thousands of nuclear warheads.

No target was specified for today’s exercise, but an earlier US missile test, launched from a North Dakota base in February, travelled 6,760 kilometres to a test range at Kwajalein Atoll, part of the Marshall Islands in the northwestern Pacific.

The Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site in the Marshall Islands is just one of the scores of US military bases throughout the Pacific, Japan and South Korea, as well as fleets of warships and submarines, from which devastating attacks on North Korea could be mounted.

On the same day as the missile test, President Donald Trump will hold a rare and suddenly announced White House briefing on the North Korean situation with all 100 members of the US Senate. Adding to the ominous atmosphere, the briefing will be delivered by the top four US war-related officials: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, National Intelligence Director Dan Coats and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Joseph Dunford. (see: “Trump summons the Senate to the White House”)

In another sign of war preparations, Trump had a publicised dinner on Monday night with two key foreign policy “hawks”—Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham. No information was released on what they discussed, but Graham tweeted the next day: “Donald Trump is NOT going to let the nutjob in North Korea develop a missile—with a nuclear weapon on top—that can hit the US.” The “nutjob” was an insulting reference to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

As these developments unfolded, Washington was encircling the Korean Peninsula with nuclear-capable warships conducting war games with Japanese and South Korean naval vessels.

The USS Wayne E. Meyer, a destroyer, began exercises yesterday with a South Korean destroyer in the Yellow Sea, west of Korea. Another destroyer, the USS Fitzgerald conducted drills with a Japanese destroyer in the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea, east of Korea.

The US Seventh Fleet said both exercises demonstrate “the US Navy’s inherent flexibility to combine with allied naval forces in response to a broad range of situations.”

In further chilling displays, the USS Michigan, a guided-missile submarine, docked in the South Korean port of Busan and the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier task force, accompanied by Japanese ships, is due to arrive in the waters off the Korean Peninsula to stage a combined operation with the South Korean navy.

Despite incessant claims by the political elites and corporate media that North Korea was poised to conduct its sixth nuclear test yesterday, the country’s 85th anniversary of its army, Pyongyang reportedly only conducted live-fire artillery drills near Wonsan on the east coast.

On Monday Trump summoned ambassadors from the 15 UN Security Council members, including China and Russia, to demand they impose further crippling sanctions on North Korea, featuring an oil embargo, transport bans and punitive measures against Chinese banks allegedly doing business in North Korea. This was despite evidence, such as soaring oil prices in North Korea, that China is already severely constricting supplies.

Trump delivered what amounted to an ultimatum, declaring that North Korea was “a real threat to the world” and a “big world problem” that “we have to finally solve.”

Publicly, the Trump administration is holding out the prospect of applying enough pressure on China to compel North Korea to abandon its missile and nuclear programs. But Beijing is sending increasingly alarmed signals that it has “very limited influence” over the Pyongyang regime.

An editorial yesterday in the state-controlled Global Times warned that convincing Pyongyang to cease its nuclear activities was not “as easy as saying abracadabra.” The “game of chicken” between Washington and Pyongyang could “quickly get out of control” with terrible consequences that “no side will be able to stop.” It described the situation as “puzzle filled with bombs” and declared: “Pyongyang must not strike a match and detonate it.”

This was not the first time that Beijing has voiced dismay at the danger of a military conflagration that would have a severely damaging impact on China’s geo-strategic interests.

Two days earlier, a Global Times editorial openly criticised North Korea, and said Pyongyang was making a “mistake” if it thought China was “a sentinel and on guard duty for China.” The editorial declared that North Korea’s nuclear program was “jeopardising China’s major national interests” and preventing Pyongyang from developing nuclear weapons was already “Beijing’s priority” in Northeast Asia.

China’s leaders obviously understand that their country, not just its erstwhile ally North Korea, is Washington’s target. A US assault on the Korean Peninsula could not only lead to the destabilising collapse of North Korea, near one of China’s major industrial regions, but install a US-backed regime on China’s border, as the US sought to during the 1950-53 Korean War.

The fact that China is in the firing line was highlighted yesterday by testimony at a US Senate Armed Forces Committee hearing on the Asia-Pacific region. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace senior fellow Ashley Tellis described North Korea as a “near-term” challenge, whereas “the challenges emanating from China are long term, enduring and aimed fundamentally at decoupling the United States from its Asian partners.”

These comments again point to the underlying driving force behind the Korean crisis. Not just in North East Asia but around the world, the ruling US capitalist class is intent on using America’s military might to offset its economic decline and block China, or any other potential rival, from challenging the global hegemony it established through victory over Germany and Japan in World War II.