Monday, August 22, 2011

Afghans Executed in Iran

April 2010

Forty-five young Afghans had been executed in Iran and as many as three-thousand more were on the list, most of them accused of smuggling drugs! My first reaction when I learned about this was anger, a deep, raging anger of the sort that boils inside of you and burns inside and outside. This brutal regime has no consideration for human life whatsoever. But sadly, my sense of anger comes with a sense of helplessness.

For over thirty years now, Afghans have been killed in ways that amount to genocide, both within and outside our country, and we have had no national voice to demand answers, or to demand that the killing be stopped. It is estimated that two million of us have been murdered, but not one single person has ever been prosecuted for these crimes. For over thirty years now, we have never had any real government to stand up for our rights or protect us. 

The news last year of the execution of 45 Afghans stirred a boiling anger among our countrymen both within Afghanistan and around the world. We saw Afghans staging protest rallies in front of Iranian embassies around the world to voice their anger and to denounce these murders. I support all of these demonstrations, as well as any other forms of protest against this merciless and brutal regime. But the one thing that most deeply troubles me about this situation is that no one—whether Afghan or other—is talking about the root cause of these problems, about why desperate young Afghans are driven to drug smuggling. Specifically, no one is talking about Pakistan's role in all of this. I urge all Afghans to also stage their protest demonstrations in front of Pakistani embassies around the world, because Pakistan is largely responsible for turning our country into one huge poppy growing farmland. 

For at least twenty years, our country has been used as a giant opium production factory for Pakistan's corrupt and powerful ISI. Pakistan is responsible for creating and forcing this civil war in Afghanistan, and Pakistan is also to blame for breaking Afghanistan's economy. We must blame Pakistan for making our people homeless and jobless, and for breaking the cultural backbone of our people. Our young people are so desperately trying to make a little money for just the basic food to feed their hungry families. And it is all because of Pakistan. We need to include Pakistan in our protests—ten times more than Iran. 

Some of the blame for Afghanistan's plight belongs to the UN and to America and the European countries that for the last nine years have had a strong presence in Afghanistan and yet have not done anything to eliminate the poppy growing industry there. Sadly, and ironically the situation is actually hurting Americans more than anyone else around the world. America has spent over 200 billion dollars in the Afghan War over the last nine years, and still they are losing that war. And it is all because of that drug. Today, the cause of giving freedom and democracy to Afghanistan is lost and the war is solely about drugs. In order to successfully end the war in Afghanistan, we need to root out the opium industry that still flourishes in the country.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Response to Accusations of Supposed Enemy Power

In the video above, it is quoted that "We have a weaker enemy now. They are using improvised attacks because they no longer have the capability to fight."

When they had the capability to fight. The first two years after 9/11, the enemy did not did even have the capability to plant an improvised bomb or conduct any attacks. But today they are everywhere, including northern Afghanistan that even at the peak of the Taliban power they were not able not to be.   

Can the American Government Pressure Pakistan?

We certainly can—and we must—pressure Pakistan to do much, much more in the war against the Taliban. How can we do that? We can use the Durand Line Agreement against them. In 1898, the British Indian colonial government foreign secretary William Durand signed a treaty with the Afghan ruler Amir Abdul Rahman to partition a significant amount of Afghan land and put it under British India control. 

Over the past century, that treaty has been questioned for several reasons. First, Amir Abdul Rahman was illiterate and unable to read even Farsi or Pashto, let alone English, which was the language used in the treaty. Also, Amir Abdul Rahman signed that treaty in exchange for weapons and money which were supposed to be paid every year. It is more than likely that Abdul Rahman's understanding was that British India control would exist only for an interim period; that is, during the time over which he accepted the payments. In other words, he probably considered this a temporary arrangement and did not know that it could—or would— become permanent. Nonetheless, after a while the yearly payments were stopped by British India, thus constituting a breach of the original treaty and agreement.

While all of these issues might have cast a shadow over the Durand Line Agreement, the real blow came in 1945, when the British government lost India, and Indians got their freedom, thus effectively invalidating any previous treaties signed by that colonial power. In point of fact, India itself gained its independence from Britain using this very same argument. What that meant later on however, was that when India formally declared its independence in 1947, Pakistan was created—partitioned by the now null-and-void Durand Line Agreement; in other words, with Afghan lands passed over through a defunct and repudiated treaty signed by a deposed colonial power. They did it anyway and the world- community took little notice of these critically important facts. 

Without those illegal treaties masterminded and signed by the colonial Indian British government, Pakistan itself could not be created, and might not even exist today as a sovereign state. Technically speaking, the entire Northwest frontier of Pakistan belongs to Afghanistan. Over half of Pakistan, all the way to the Arabian Sea, is Afghan land. In fact, Pakistan itself has never formally ratified the Durand Line Agreement through which it came into existence!

In February of 2009, when the Taliban marched perilously close to Pakistan's own capital of Islamabad, we in America became very nervous and our officials criticized Pakistan for not confronting and stopping the Taliban's approach on the city. We had no reason to be worried. In fact, instead of being worried, we should have seized this opportunity to gain a powerful position in our stance toward Pakistan. The march of the Taliban to Islamabad gave us all of the reason we needed to take control of a significant amount of land that is controlled by the Taliban. Thus the Taliban's march to Islamabad could have spelled the beginning of the end of the Taliban, because all of those areas that are currently off limits to our troops and military operations could have been restored to Afghanistan over night, thereby making it perfectly legal for us to go in and flush out the enemy from lands that now belonged to Afghanistan and no longer to Pakistan.

Furthermore, one would have hoped that the Taliban march to Islamabad—and the threat of losing a vast portion of it's geography—would have stirred up the Pakistani's sense of patriotism and thus forced a divorce between ISI and the Taliban. And that too could have been the beginning of the end for the Taliban and Al Qaeda. 

At this time, I still firmly believe that we can put Pakistan under tremendous pressure to listen to America and Europe simply by reminding them of the illegality of the Durand Line Agreement. We can obligate them to keep the territory clean of Taliban or risk the loss of the vast territories now under Pakistani control. This can be used as a wild card to pressure Pakistan to do much more to flush out and destroy the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Pakistan's ISI is Stepping Up

As you read these words, Al Qaeda and the Taliban—with orders from Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)—are stepping up their terrorist activities in Afghanistan. They know that the Americans are confused and uncertain about both the short and long-term future of the war. They know that President Obama is reviewing America's policy in Afghanistan. They know that if they are able to successfully mount vicious attacks to kill Americans and Europeans in Afghanistan, they can pressure America to become discouraged and to forget about the war in Afghanistan. To this purpose, they are skillfully exploiting the American media for free and to their own advantage. That is why the month of October 2009 was one of the deadliest months since the beginning of the war. 

The war in Afghanistan is taking a toll on us. We are tired and confused and disillusioned, because we don't see any light at the end of the tunnel. Statements such as "Afghanistan is the graveyard of superpowers," are made more often in the news lately, as an excuse for our problems in Afghanistan. As an Afghan, I can assure you that Afghanistan is not the graveyard of the superpowers. In the case of the Soviet Union, if Afghans were to accept that honor, make no mistake that it was only because we as a nation fought together with everything we had against the Soviets, and in point of fact, the whole world was helping us as well. 

By contrast, when the United States went to Afghanistan in 2001, perhaps 80% of the people in Afghanistan supported them. Within two and a half months, the US flag was waving even on the top of the Taliban compound. Tens of thousands of Afghan soldiers belonging to the Northern Alliance were poised to follow the Taliban and Bin Laden anywhere they had to in order to bring them to justice, free of charge. Unfortunately, and sadly, the United States, heavily influenced by Pakistan and General Musharraf, rejected their aid. When we had Bin Laden cornered in Tora Bora, even then we did not use the help of the Northern Alliance. Instead, we used the same local forces that previously were with the Taliban and ISI. That is exactly why Bin Laden escaped. Wasn't capturing Bin Laden the reason we went to Afghanistan in the first place? We are not losing the war in Afghanistan because the Taliban are making the biggest IEDs. We are losing because we made huge mistakes and we are paying the price for it now.

Can we turn this war around? Easily! To do so, we need to take action swiftly and pervasively. No, we don't need any more troop surges. We have already had too many. We need to change our policies. Here is what we need to do in order to win: (1) Pull American and NATO forces from the front line. (2) Allow the Afghans to take over. Re-enlist the same Afghans who were fighting against the Taliban before 9/11. Help them financially and with weapons. We need about 200,000 of them to replace American and NATO forces. Give them the privilege to clean their own country from the germ of the Taliban and Bin Laden. It is their country, and they will clean it. (3) We need to cut the poppies to the last plant. It is critical that we realize and understand that opium is the reason for this war. (4) We must absolutely stop talking about sharing the government with the Taliban. This is the biggest mistake we have made from day one of the war in Afghanistan. 

Instead of engaging the help of the Afghan people and pounding the Taliban out of existence, we coined the term "moderate Taliban" and started to share the government with them. We confused the Afghan people. Today, 90% of Afghans think that the US is in league with the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Afghans also believe that if the US wants to capture Bin Laden, we can do it easily, and that the only reason that we have not done so is that Bin Laden is with us. The Afghan people believe that Americans will soon leave and then the Taliban will come back with a deadly vengeance. They fear for their lives—and rightly so—and therefore they will not dare to side against the Taliban. We need to regain their trust. If we fail to do all of the things I have listed in this article, we could send a million more troops and it would not do one bit of good. Soon the US will leave Afghanistan just like the Russians, broken and frustrated.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Something Shocking: Taliban as American Translators

As you may know, American troops and perhaps American intelligence services in Afghanistan often need Afghan translators who are fluent in both the Farsi and Pashto languages. There is constant advertising on Afghan TV channels that translators can earn as much as $220,000 per year.

What you may not know is that they don't require you to be a qualified translator! In fact, I know of people who were hired that were not even fluent in either one of those languages, and their command of English is worse than mine. I find this to be terribly unfair to all of our service men and women in Afghanistan. After all, how much do our fighting soldiers actually earn? Likely it is a fraction of what those translators make.

To add to the inequality of pay to service, the translators end up working in the safety of our bases in Kabul and elsewhere, whereas our troops are always in harm's way, fighting on the dangerous and deadly front lines throughout the mountains and fields of Afghanistan. Why do we hire thousands of unqualified individuals and shower them with that kind of money? There are thousands of Afghans living in Afghanistan that are fluent in English and who would be more than happy to support our cause and work with us for a fraction of that money. Even in America there are thousands of Afghans that could work for $5000 a month. However, the way that we appropriate the translator salary is only a small part of the concern.

What worries me the most is that we are not even careful about the background and the connections of the people we hire. For example, in the Seattle Afghan community, several people were hired that are well known pro-Taliban and are also members of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's extremist organization. When they talk with each other, they joke about how they are getting paid by the "infidels" while they are at the very same time simply helping their "Muslim brothers"—that would be the Taliban—when they are at work in Afghanistan! The fact that we are unable to identify these enemies is not as shocking as the fact that even when we know who they are we fail to take any measures to stop them.

Just before 9/11, three or four American women were captured by the Taliban in Kabul. They were charged with promoting Christianity and converting Muslims. This is a grave charge in any Islamic country, but that was especially true in Afghanistan under the rule of the Taliban and Bin Laden, where it was punishable by death. I recall feeling absolutely terrible when I heard of these arrests. I felt guilty for being an Afghan living in America, along with tens of thousands of other Afghans, all enjoying America's freedoms, without worry and without fear of persecution, yet none of us were doing anything significant to help or support the helpless Afghan people back home. In stark contrast, these American women had left their beautiful lives in America for Kabul to feed thousands of orphans; orphans which I might add were created by our Muslim Taliban brothers.

In Seattle during that time there was a small group of Afghans who allied themselves with, and sent aid to, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, one of the worst extremist leaders in all of Afghanistan, responsible for the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent Afghans. At that time, the American system was much more liberal with respect to extremist ideologies, and therefore this group was operating freely and openly. Every two or three months this nefarious group would circulate a propaganda pamphlet among the greater Seattle Afghan community. That ugly pamphlet consisted mostly of news or messages from their killer leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

Just before 9/11, they disseminated one of these propagandist pamphlets, which I'm happy to say was their very last one. However, it contained the story about those women missionaries arrested in Afghanistan, and it claimed to be giving us the "good news" that these "evil" Zionists missionaries were caught by the Taliban. Further, this Seattle-based extremist group called for the execution of these women to make an example of them, and argued to promote the idea that the Taliban should chase down and capture more "Zionists" and put them to immediate death as well.

A few years ago I found out that one of the two people who were acting as leaders of this group in Seattle had been hired as a translator by our army and was working with them in Kabul. Recently I also found out that the second leader of this group was also hired as a translator and is now imbedded with our troops in Afghanistan. We are paying each of these people hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money each year, and we have every reason to believe that they may be doing more to protect the Taliban than our own troops. This is utterly shocking to me! Needless to say, I was determined not to be quiet about it, and I have made many complaints to whatever authorities I could possibly contact. I even sent a letter to the recruiting company that had supposedly completed background checks on these two individuals. In response, a lawsuit was filed against me.

Osama Undergoes "Water Boarding" by CIA After Supposed Death

As we, here in America, and other people around the world are busy speculating about the details of how Bin Laden was killed, Osama himself undergoes some harsh interrogations designed to blood- vomit all his secrets. He has a lot to tell us! And a lot to pay for!

This was not a rush operation. Osama was under surveillance for months (according to the American government), and that of course was CIA surveillance, the best of the best! Then the Navy seals were sent, of course to arrest him first, and to bring his dead body only if he blew himself up.

This elite force of Navy Seals, also the best of the best, attacked the compound where they faced little resistance. There were only one or two armed guards and they were quickly eliminated. Then, at the third floor, the Seals came face to face with an unarmed Osama. And according to our government, he was shot once between the eyebrows and once in the chest. Then, again according to our government, the Seals gathered a pile of documents, including some hard drives, computers, and a ton of paper documents.

Let’s ask ourselves this: Why didn't they pour gasoline on all the documents and set them on fire? Do you think that U.S. Intelligence wants to learn as much as they can about the information in those documents and hard drives? Exactly, and that is the same reason why they also did not destroy the most important documents of all, Osama himself. Osama, in fact was the most important piece of those documents, and we could not afford to kill him because we needed to bring him back alive, and study him word by word and line by line. I believe 100% that right now Osama is alive and undergoing some of those "enhanced interrogation techniques," because the CIA wants to exorcize all of the devils out of Osama.

Yes, to believe that Osama—that an unarmed Osama that we needed so much alive—was just shot for sport, would really be a big insult to CIA and our government. If I believed that, then I would not be proud of the CIA.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Nato's Military Vehicles Set on Fire

Sun, 25 Apr 2010

As Reuters reports: "NATO and Afghan forces came under heavy fire while searching a compound in the eastern Afghanistan province of Logar, setting off a gun battle that killed two United States soldiers and five insurgents, NATO and General Mustafa Mosseini, the province's chief of police said Friday. A search of the compound later turned up automatic rifles, material for making roadside bombs and blasting caps. Among the dead was a Taliban commander with ties to the Haqqani group, a Pakistan-based Afghan Taliban faction with close ties to Al Qaeda, according to NATO." One day later Reuters reported: "The French news agency reports hundreds of tribesmen took to the streets shouting anti-U.S. slogans. The news service said the demonstrators insisted that the men killed and detained were civilians. Afghan officials said that residents of Logar then set fire to several military vehicles, protesting the military action (They were all NATO military vehicles)."

Now, why in the world would these Afghans protest the killing of armed and well-known Taliban by NATO? I might understand if they were protesting the killing of civilians, especially if they were being killed recklessly. Is this common, or has it been common all these years for Afghans to protest the killing of extremists like the Taliban? No. These Afghans were not protesting the killing of armed active Taliban like the ones that US and NATO forces routed in Logar. Or, at the very least, their protests were not the ones that ended up with actions like attacking and burning NATO military vehicles. Because a day later, while I was about to post a new article on my website, yet another report was issued:

"KABUL, Afghanistan. Twelve trucks, most of them carrying fuel to a NATO base in eastern Afghanistan, were burned by an angry crowd early Sunday less than 30 miles from Kabul, according to local officials and NATO reports. The attack was thought to be in retribution for two raids by a joint Afghan-American force over the weekend, Afghan officials said." 

This is the first time people of Afghanistan expressed their anger against NATO and Americans at this level. What are the reasons? (1) America's announcement that it would begin pulling the American troops starting July 2011; (2) NATO's announcement to handover the military command to Afghans; and (3) Karzai's recent anti-west comments (Please go to my web site and read my related article: Karzai: Another Suicide Bomber). In that article I analyze Karzai's participation in Kandahar's Meeting of Elders (April 3, 2010), and I conclude that his words in that meeting were extremely provocative. In fact, he as much as incited his own people to create political protests and uprisings. How is that possible? Because the Afghan people saw just how soft America's reaction was in the wake of Karzai's comments both in his parliament speech April first, and in the Kandahar Elders meeting on April third. And so, fearing that the end is very near for the presence of American troops in Afghanistan, the people suddenly realized that they now needed to establish some credit for their future, when the Taliban comes roaring back. In other words, they simply want to save their own throats.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Karzai's CNN Interview

During an interview with CNN's Fared Zakeria in February, 2009, President Karzai was asked about his brother's involvement in the narcotic trade in Afghanistan. Karzai paused and then stated that each time he protests the killing of civilians in Afghanistan by American forces, the next day the American media goes after him with these kinds of allegations to shut him up! Is this how Karzai views American media? Is this the way the American media is? My understanding of the American media is quite the opposite. During the coverage of the Abu Ghraib prison abuse in Iraq, the American media did not go after Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki when he protested the abuse in that prison. The American media is not looking for ways to defend US foreign policy. In fact, quite to the contrary, the US media can be criticized for being too critical of US foreign policy.

The point is not that Mr. Karzai's understanding of American media is wrong. The point is that Karzai made this absurd claim as a head of state on an internationally televised interview that the rest of the Islamic world—and many more people who are critical of anything that America does—are tuned in to. Karzai's ridiculous claims only serve to fuel the hatred because they place doubt in the minds of millions of people around the world, or worse, cause them to believe that perhaps Americans knowingly and purposely are killing civilians in Afghanistan. People around the world tend to view Karzai as an American guy, or at least as an insider friendly to America, and they will very likely take him seriously on his accusations of American troops deliberately killing civilians. 

The US General in Afghanistan, in a television interview in September, 2009, said, "Our goal is to win Afghan skeptical minds and hearts." Why then do we not try to win at least Karzai's "skeptical mind and heart?" And each time Karzai claims that our troops are killing innocent Afghan civilians, how many more Afghan hearts and minds become skeptical! Is this the kind of guy we should be spending millions of dollars to install as a leader in Afghanistan? I know with certainty that American troops are ten times more careful than Afghans not to kill civilians.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Taliban Leaders Arrested in Pakistan


For several months, President Karzai has been bragging about making peace with the Taliban in Afghanistan, and through all of this time, secret negotiations were going on between parties. Suddenly, starting in February 2010, the Pakistani secret service started arresting some key Taliban leaders. The naive American media quickly got very excited - was this a bold new shift in Pakistani policy? But then as Pakistan made even more arrests of key Taliban members, the news broke that in fact these Taliban were the ones participating in those secret peace talks with the CIA or the Afghan government.

All those years, when these murderers were fighting in Afghanistan and were sending suicide bombers to target allied troops and innocent Afghans, they were living freely in Pakistan, and nobody was arresting them. Why now? Quite simply, the Pakistan government realized that the peace talks with Afghan government were inevitable, and that they might very well lead to a stabilized government in Afghanistan that would threaten their opium trade. So they came up with a diabolical plan. On the one hand they started arresting those Taliban leaders who were engaged in those secret talks with the Afghan government to prevent any American or Afghan intervention, and on the other hand they hand-picked their own representative to participate in those so-called peace talks. That person was Gulbuddin Hykmatyar! ISI has 30 years of experience with Hykmatyar. He was responsible for shelling Kabul in 1992 for several months to help ISI gain the control of Afghanistan. He was the one that, when ISI asked him to leave all of his arsenal and fighters to the Taliban, he obeyed and did so.

So, after all of these years that Hykmatyar and his guerrillas were busy targeting American and allied forces, as ISI wanted, when ISI needed someone to engage in those so-called peace talks (I would suggest that they needed someone to disrupt those peace talks), Hykmatyar was picked to trick the allied forces. ISI's calculation, perhaps accurate, was that the Americans by that time were tired of being in Afghanistan, and desperately were trying to create some kind of new unified government in Afghanistan so that they could leave, just like Gorbachev had done in the late 1980s. In other words, they wanted to exploit growing American sentiment against continued involvement in Afghanistan. Furthermore, at about the same time, Bin Laden boasted that he would spend 30 billion dollars to modernize the Afghan army.

Naturally, ISI would want to have their agents already in place within the Afghan government, so that as soon as the Americans leave, the Afghan army would simply fall into their hands, and then of course ISI would reap the benefits of this huge arm deal. That is the multi-billion dollar dream of ISI. As an expert, I can categorically state that these peace talks will not in any way help Afghanistan or bring peace to the region, nor will they help American and European long term interests.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Muhammad Ali and Major Nidal Hassan

Muhammad Ali and Major Malik Nidal Hassan are both Muslims who refused to serve in a war that they objected to. Unlike Major Nidal, Ali did not say, "I am a Muslim and I reject to be deployed to an Islamic country" (although he also did not say, "Send me to Israel to see what kind of soldier I am"). This is what Ali said: "I will not disgrace my religion, my people, or myself by becoming a tool to enslave people who are fighting for their own justice and equality." Also unlike Major Nidal, Ali did not pick up a gun and randomly shoot at his comrades. He did not kill or wound dozens of people.

At the time that Ali refused to serve in the Vietnam War (1969), I was only a child in Afghanistan, perhaps a second-grader. But Ali's rejection to be deployed was such big news even in my little town of Kabul that, to this day, I remember it like it was yesterday. Even at that young age, and thousands of miles away, I remember feeling like I was standing shoulder to shoulder with Ali in America, or even as if I was suddenly becoming his follower. I was even more proud when, even as he was stripped of his championship title and lost his boxing license, Ali still stood his ground firmly without wavering an inch. Isn't this what an excellent and compassionate human being is all about? I know Ali became a boxing champion in the ring, but Ali as a legend, Ali as an icon—that was born outside the ring. Even now, decades later, as a Muslim, as an Afghan, as an Afghan American, as a human being, I am deeply proud of Ali. I share this pride with millions of people across the world. Despite race or color, blacks, whites, Chinese, Russians, Japanese and all other races share this human pride with Ali. As a human being that moment is one of the highlights of the better side of our human history. As an American, what Ali did was and remains one of the brightest highlights of our proud American history.

Quite to the contrary, as a Muslim, as an Afghan, as an Afghan American, and as a human being, I am ashamed of Major Nidal. Not only am I ashamed but I am outraged for what he did and as an American. I am still bleeding from his terrible deeds. The only people that support Major Nidal are people like Bin Laden, the Taliban, ISI, and other extremists.

By rejecting deployment in Afghanistan, Major Nidal did nothing at all to help the poor Afghan people. By refusing to go there, his actions only served to support the opium growers, the drug dealers, and people like Bin Laden and the Taliban—those who are responsible for killing close to one million innocent Afghans, all of them Muslims. According to witnesses, as Major Nidal was shooting at his comrades, killing and wounding them, he was shouting "Allahu Akbar." (God is Great). This is what Muslims are supposed to shout when they kill a non–Muslim—that is, when we believe that such an act is part of our holy duty (Jihad). But that is not limited to the killing of non-Muslims, because once one allows himself to take another human being's life, then one can find reasons to take other people's lives, too.

This is what has been happening in our Islamic world for the last 1400 years. Of course for misguided, sick people like Major Nidal who live in Muslim countries, killing Muslims is always easier because they tend not to be protected by their local and state governments. What I mean by that is, fortunately Major Nidal 's rampage was stopped quickly, but in Afghanistan it has been for 30 years that people like Major Nidal have been on one rampage after another, and for those 30 years the non-stop killing has taken the lives of close to 2 million innocent people.

Why do I hate it when I hear of murderers shouting "Allahu Akbar?" Because for the last 30 years, when people like Major Nidal killed innocent Afghans (all Muslims) they shouted "Allahu Akbar." In 1992 when Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (the most notorious Mujahedeen leader) was shelling Kabul with hundreds of missiles a day, every day (for months), each time his thugs fired a missile, they shouted "Allahu Akbar." Deplorably, I think we Muslims are the only people on the face of the Earth who continually kill people in the name of God. Please don't tell me that Major Nidal's killing spree has nothing to do with Islam.

I have recently published, in English, my book of 600 pages all about Islam. What Major Nidal did has everything to do with Islam. It is certainly not the version that Muhammad Ali learned, but sadly, it is the version that Bin Laden, the Taliban, and hundreds of thousands of other Muslims have apparently learned, are learning, and are teaching. Major Nidal was a sick psychiatrist who was infected with a deadly germ that I call IEG (the Islamic Extremism Germ). This disease can be treated in its early stages, and the best thing we can do is to vaccinate young Muslims and prevent their minds from being infected. The best and most inexpensive way to deal with this disease of the mind is to give IEG more importance than global warming. I am outraged that the US government has spent over one trillion dollars in eight years to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan without a significant result, but it did not spend one hundred million a year to vaccinate millions of people in the Islamic world, specifically in Afghanistan, to prevent this disease.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Mistake After 9/11

Probably the biggest mistake we ever made in Afghanistan after 9/11 is that we continued to listen to Pakistan. Pakistan was perhaps the first country to send its condolences to the US after the attacks on 9/11. And just as quickly, they sent their envoy to the Taliban and asked them to surrender Osama Bin Laden! This is the same Pakistan that was responsible for creating the Taliban, secretly transporting Bin Laden into Afghanistan, and helping Al Qaeda build military training camps there. Pakistan, which never paid any serious attention to our interests previously, and in fact totally ignored US interests in the region, was now consoling us and was pretending to be the hero that was coming to our rescue after that tragic day. Imagine if it had been Iran that had aided Afghanistan's Taliban and Al Qaeda, in which case we probably would have bombed them immediately after 9/11.

Instead, we attacked Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with Al Qaeda or the 9/11 attacks. Pakistan was in large part responsible for 9/11, but we allowed ourselves to be misled by their feigned shedding of tears for our losses and their deceptiveness in acting as if they wanted to bring the people responsible to justice. We fell for it, and as soon as they saw our guards down, they began to deceive us even further. They began to tell us:

(1) Please don't attack the Taliban because there are lots of Moderate Taliban and we can work with them;

(2) Don't allow the Northern Alliance forces to come to Kabul and attack the Taliban, because the Taliban are Pushtoons, and therefore all of the other Pushtoons will join the Taliban; and

(3) Don't attack the Taliban because they are having a clerics meeting to discuss the possible surrender of Bin Laden.

And further, Pakistan, being the great "educator" that they are, told us that Afghanistan is made of tribes that are often enemies of each other. Taliban belong to the Pushtoon tribe, and their opposition belong to the Tajik, Hazara, and Uzbek tribes. As I stated earlier, Pakistan told us not to use Northern Alliance (United Front) forces to pursue the Taliban because then all Pushtoons would join forces with the Taliban. We bought that argument hook, line, and sinker, and we backed off pursuing the Taliban. That was probably our biggest mistake of all, because we had tens of thousands of Afghan forces ready to go after the Taliban, and we lost the initial momentum that we could have used.

Contrary to what Musharraf and Pakistan told us, Afghanistan is one country and one people. And in fact, even prior to the US joining the fight after 9/11, there were tens of thousands of Pushtoons fighting alongside Tajik, Hazara, and Uzbek against the Taliban. We did not use them, and the results were tragic. Because instead, we listened to our so-called friends in Pakistan and we played right into the hands of both the Taliban and the ISI. We gave them billions of dollars in aid that they continue to use against us, because they use that money to acquire weapons and to continue to recruit extremists. We need to turn our back on Pakistan and its deceptions once and for all.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Ten Thousand Toilets Shrine for Osama

The fate and the future of America's war against terrorism depends on who will build Osama's grave monument and turn it into a shrine. Who will it be: the extremists, who would build a ten thousand stars shrine, or Americans, who would build a ten thousand toilets shrine. The more the US and the west insists on emphasizing Osama's 9/11 crimes, the more we unite Muslims around Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and the ISI, and the more we help them to build that ten thousand stars shrine. It is human nature—if we were to see a silverback Gorilla fighting with a little monkey, deep inside we all sympathize with the monkey—especially if that monkey shows some courage and fights back.
To the Islamic world, Osama and Al Qaeda are a lot like that little monkey, and unfortunately the US and the west are, to many Muslims, seen to be just like that silverback Gorilla. And because we are supposedly the silverback bully, Osama and Al Qaeda are our little monkey. And Muslims will not sympathize with Americans, as much as they cry about 9/11. Deep inside they even push us toward praising Osama. But if we in the US and the west stop talking about and dwelling on 9/11, at least for a while, and if we instead start talking about the crimes that are Osama, his gang of Al Qaeda, his accomplices (the Taliban) and his bosses (the ISI) have all committed against Muslims, we will be able to turn the tide. Because then Osama becomes that silverback, against the poor, helpless, Afghan people. He and his accomplices are responsible for killing tens of thousands of poor Muslims in Afghanistan alone. What for? For drug money! That is what the war in Afghanistan is really about.

Afghanistan was turned into opium farms by Pakistan, as soon as the Russians left Afghanistan, and especially when their puppet regime fell apart (1992). Since then Osama and his resources were all used for that purpose. Yes, and when the Muslims realize this, then they will look at that face of Osama and Al Qaeda and Taliban and ISI, and they will not sympathize with him, or them, anymore. They will stand up against all of them. Isn't that what we want? Yes, and then the Muslims themselves will build a ten thousand toilets shrine for Osama, and they will bury Al Qaeda and the Taliban and the ISI in that same grave.
  Read my book Afghan Hearts and Minds. Go to my web site This is now at least 25 years that I am reciting this. Can some of you hear me finally?  

Monday, August 1, 2011

Just Like France, Should the US Ban the Burqa?

A poor, God-loving Muslim woman living in France apparently no longer has the right to cover herself the way she thinks is proper, this despite all of these other women who routinely wear very revealing and highly provocative clothing or scanty bikinis in public, where strip clubs abound, and yet their rights are preserved!
What did the French people see in the burqa that, despite all the personal freedoms that people enjoy in Europe in general, and in France in particular, that moved them to ban the burqa?
Here in America, any such move to ban the burqa would immediately be condemned by many as a violation of a woman's freedom of speech. It would also be a violation of the freedom of religion, and these are the two most fundamental rights we have in America. Or would it be?
In order to have a better indication of what is going on here, we need to look at whether these Muslim women are truly wearing the burqa voluntarily and of their own free will, or is someone or some organization forcing these women to wear it. Over thirty years ago, I was a student at Kabul University, where at the time there were at least a couple of thousand women studying at that university. Kabul University was and still is the biggest university in Afghanistan, and that is why young women from all over Afghanistan go there to study, including many from the most remote villages in Afghanistan, which usually have a very conservative Islamic mindset. Yet, I can barely recall one single girl at that University who actually wore even the smallest covering—the little Chader, or scarf—let alone a full scale Chadery or burqa (veil). Today by contrast, thirty years later, if you go back to that same university, I bet you will not find one girl who is without a fully covering veil.
Now let’s go back to Iran before Khomeini, which again is about thirty years ago. Back then you could barely ever find a girl who was wearing that long burqa, or veil. Iran was even more modern socially than Afghanistan or Pakistan. But go pay a visit today, and you will not find even a single girl or lady that is not wearing one of those long, fully covering burqas! So why is it that in both Afghanistan and Iran, thirty years ago, when women had the freedom to wear the burqa or not, no one wanted to wear it, and yet today they all “willingly” hide themselves under that burqa! I hope you still remember those gruesome scenes of members of the Taliban beating women on street corners in Kabul. Those women were wearing their burqas as they were required to—the heaviest one that covers the most, called the Chadery—but even that was not enough for the fanatics, because one of the women had a couple of small holes in her old stockings, and thus the fact that a nickel-size patch of her skin was visible, that was enough for the Taliban to beat her in front of the eyes of hundreds of onlookers!
No, I think it is safe to say that wearing the burqa is most often not the choice that a woman would actually make for herself, and so in most cases these women are not wearing it voluntarily of their own free will. They are in fact being forced to put it on. Whenever these women see an opportunity, either politically or socially, to stop wearing the burqa or to stop being forced to wear it, they immediately throw it away, just like they did in Afghanistan and Iran 30 years ago. The sad fact is that they wear it only under duress, in other words, when they are forced by others to put it on. Sometimes they are under that pressure for so long and so much that these women will actually argue for wearing it, and that fact can confuse others, particularly non-Muslims, into believing that they are not being forced, or that they wear it because they really do want to.
Viewed in this way, if America was to ban the wearing of the burqa, it would really not be violating a woman's right to dress the way she wants to, because it’s established that women do not want to wear it at all. Instead, banning the burqa would amount to prohibiting a man (or an organization) from forcing a woman to hide in the burqa—from forcing her to wear it against her will. Some might argue that banning the burqa would be disrespectful of Islam and a slap in the face to Muslims. No, it will not be. For example, Islam actually allows men to have four wives and hundreds of sex slaves (Kaneez) all at the same time. Do we allow men to practice that here in America? Of course not! And is that viewed as disrespecting Islam? Not at all—it is only a matter of respect for American laws in America.
But one might wonder why the French are creating so much hassle over this issue at this particular moment, when it seems like there are so many other pressing issues that are much more important to resolve, from wars to the serious worldwide economic recession. So then, why did the French people go through so much trouble, and withstand so much international criticism, just to ban the burqa?
I seriously doubt that banning the burqa in France had anything whatsoever to do with women's rights, or even with the idea to prevent possible abuse by Muslim men. Let me tell you exactly why they did it. They noticed that wherever there was a woman wearing one of those long, fully covered burqas, there was usually a man nearby with the characteristic long beard of the extremist. When followed secretly by plain-clothes security officials, these men invariably ended up in a Mosque full of the most extreme Muslims. Thus French counterterrorism police realized that behind this burqa and behind that telltale beard there was most often an extreme Islamic mindset, a mindset which was fed by extremism, and a mindset that was feeding back that extremism, or passing it on to others. They realized that in most cases, these radicals were the ones who were pushing other peace-loving Muslims against the west, their religions, their lifestyle.

In this way the extremists were using those same civil rights—which were designed to protect the freedom of religion and the freedom of speech—against the hosting countries. French counterterrorism experts further realized that these women in the burqa and men in the beards who always shadowed the women were in fact the ones who were raising their kids in isolation, through strict home schooling, for example, and instilling in those children a deep hatred for the western countries in which they lived, waiting to carry out their terrorist plots. And unfortunately, it is likely that these kids will become the softest targets for the extremists who are working invisibly, from behind the scenes at many local mosques. But the saddest thing is that some of these kids, after being brainwashed and turned against the west, will then be pushed to the next level of joining extreme anti-America and anti-west organizations. From there, they will be pushed to the next level of taking trips to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and some other places, where they will be introduced to some Sheiks. Then they will be moved to the next and most extreme level of participating in military-style exercises and training. And the worst extremists among them will be the most likely to become the future members of "sleeper cells" here in America and Europe, where they will plot terror attacks against both military and civilian targets. Particularly these days, it seems that they are bent on hitting civilian targets the most.
But the more important, and the most despicable thing about these extremists, who live among us in our communities, while trying to hide behind the burqa and the beard, is that they are not only forcing their own children to become radicalized, they are also doing it to other kids, whether at their own mosques or within the community at large. Through their own kids and their women they will push other kids and families to follow their terrible example. Islamic societies like the Pakistani, Afghani, Iraqi, Irani and so many others are closely connected. Some of these societies—even if they want to—do not have the resolve or the means to disconnect from the extremists who are around or among them, because they are afraid of becoming isolated. That fear makes them even more vulnerable to being manipulated and victimized by these extremists.
In order to win the war against terrorism, we need to take extremism very seriously. While we have spent over one trillion dollars in the last 10 years in Afghanistan and Iraq alone, and we did everything militarily that we possibly could, by contrast we did nothing, or close to nothing, to fight extremism. We will never succeed to win the war against terrorism without fighting and eradicating extremism. We need to concentrate on attacking the cause of the sickness—the disease, the germs—instead of attacking the sick.