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.