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.