A common sight in Afghanistan is women begging for money to feed their starving children. Commonplace is women sold into prostitution where they service U.S. troops and military contractors. Likewise, Afghani women almost everywhere are forced to wear suffocating head to toe burqas.
The United States first became involved in Afghanistan in 1978 under Carter’s regime. The U.S. intervention was to overthrow the pro-woman and pro-education PDPA (People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan) government. In response to massive U.S. intervention and the begging of the PDPA government, the Soviet Union intervened in an attempt to defeat the U.S. backed misogynistic religious fanatics of the mujahideen. Six billion dollars in U.S. military aid and a million lives later, the United States managed to achieve a government that stripped women of all rights, executed all opposition including communists, executed atheists, executed homosexuals, committed mass murder against national minorities, destroyed irreplaceable art, and eliminated science from the life of Afghanistan. Today, the U.S. intervention in Afghanistan that started in 1978 has continued, and those who the U.S. backs today, unlike socialist forces, continue to be anti-women.
The anti-woman nature of the current U.S. puppet government of Karzai continues to be documented. This includes a March 28, 2012 report by Human Rights Watch which reported finding 400 girls and women in prison for the “moral crimes” of trying to escape forced and underage marriages, beatings, stabbings, burnings, rapes, forced prostitution, kidnappings, and murder threats.
One 19 year-old woman, convicted of “running away” after fleeing a husband and mother-in-law who beat her told Human Rights Watch, “I will try to become independent and divorce him. I hate the word ‘husband.’ My liver is totally black from my husband… If I knew about prison and everything [that would happen to me] I would have just jumped into the river and committed suicide.”
In contrast, even a source that was hostile to the PDPA government had to admit the following:
“The Soviet Union invades Afghanistan. The emancipation of Afghan women moves quickly. There are greater opportunities for education, employment, and professional training, especially for women in the cities…. Women students outnumber men at the Universities…. The Communists legally guarantee the equal rights of women and men. More and more women hold positions in business, government, the diplomatic corps, the police, the army, and in Parliament. Women are teachers, nurses, entertainers, doctors and lawyers. Education and employment for women becomes more acceptable through much of Afghan society.”
– Deborah Ellis, Women of the Afghan War (Praeger, 2000)
When the PDPA took power in 1978 they announced a 20-point program that called for women’s rights, the expropriation of the biggest landowners, the ending of the debts of Afghanistan’s 11 million peasants, equality between Afghanistan’s many peoples, universal education for both sexes in their native languages, aid to small businesses, and the extension of the state owned sector. Women’s gains included legal equality, guaranteed education, a cap on the bride price, and the outlawing of polygamy. This included a literacy drive largely aimed at educating young girls. Ninety-nine percent of Afghan women were illiterate at the outset of the PDPA led revolution and within a decade 1.5 million people passed literacy exams.
By the late 1980s 40% of the doctors in Afghanistan were women, 65% of the students at Kabul University were women, and secular family courts, sometimes presided over by women, had replaced the Islamic sharia courts of the mullahs.
The CIA-funded misogynists of the mujahideen shot the teachers and literacy workers who taught little girls how to read and write, denouncing them as communists. These mujahideen, the “freedom fighters” of “Charlie Wilson’s War”, were also known for throwing acid into the faces of women liberated veil. None of this, however, made it into the Hollywood propaganda film Charlie Wilson’s War; instead proven lies were repeated in that film. One of those lies was the accusation that the Soviet Union had planted bombs placed inside of toys that blew-up when children picked them up. This accusation was first aired in a CBS News segment in 1987 that actually showed a bomb made to look like a toy. According to the segment, that bomb was planted by Soviet soldiers. The Post, however, later revealed that a BBC producer admitted to making the bomb-toy used by the CBS cameraman for the story.
The true killers of children were the Mujahideen. These U.S. backed misogynistic killers hated the more advanced proletarian center of Kabul with its liberated women the most. In the Russian Civil War (1918-1922) a similar thing happened with the U.S. backed anti-Semitic White Army committing mass murder in the cities of Ukraine, seeing these cities as heavily populated by Jews and communists. The White Army murdered 100,000 Jews in the Ukraine alone. Likewise, the mujahideen promised to burn Kabul to the ground, and they did, as the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) describe in an April 2012 statement:
“The ignorant and criminal army of factions mercilessly killed 70,000 people in Kabul in just a few years of their dogfights; completely destroyed and looted the city; imprisoned women at home with their medieval-aged mindset; didn’t refrain from raping girls and even children; and eliminated and pillaged our cultural and national assets. General Akhtar Abdur Rahman (1), Director General of Pakistan’s ISI and father of the Jehadi criminals of Afghanistan had said, “Kabul must burn!”. Although he himself burned before his treacherous wish could be fulfilled, but his chained lackeys made sure the dream of their godfather was realized in a manner more horrible than he could imagine. Gulbuddin, the cannibal, fired more than a thousand rockets in Kabul in a single day; Sayyaf, Rabbani and Massoud declared their loyalty to their Pakistani and Arab fathers by killing and massacring our Hazara compatriots in Afshar of Kabul, and refreshed the memory of their ruthless ancestor Abdur Rahman Khan in a more horrifying manner; Dostum and his voracious militia continued their barbarous acts of looting and raping women and girls; Iran’s stooges Mazari, Khalili, Mohaqiq, Anwari and others hammered nails into the skulls of innocent people, demonstrated “dance of the dead” (a ritualistic killing where a person’s throat was slightly slit and hot oil was poured on the cut, the wriggling of the body was called the ‘dance’) and displayed other shameful practices of Akhundi-styled crimes.”
This is what the American funded liberation of Afghanistan looked like. Out of these religious fanatics the U.S. with the help of the Pakistani ISI also helped create the Taliban government as RAWA also explains:
“There is no doubt that the US and west carefully chose their fundamentalist mercenaries. They armed to teeth the most traitorous elements like Gulbuddin, Rabbani, Sayyaf and Younis Khalis, who are real enemies of the tribal, religious and linguistic unity of our country, and introduced them as “leaders” to our people. After four years of disaster, they again equipped the Taliban against its Jehadi brothers with the help of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and other reactionary fundamentalists of the region and imposed them upon our people for many years, so that they could further torture our people, who were already fed-up of the in-fights of the factions, by the execution of medieval-aged laws. By enforcing their inquisitorial policies, the Taliban led our people to more ignorance and misfortune, and by killing of the people of Shamali, massacre of our compatriots in Yakawlang of Bamyan, massacre in Mazar and countless other crimes, followed the methods of discordant butchery and treacheries of their Jehadi predecessors in a more brutal fashion.”
By the time of the September 11th attacks the United States had already been at war with the people of Afghanistan for over two decades with the blood of over a million Afghanis and the enslavement of the Afghani women on its hands. The B-52s, troops, and unmanned drone killers of NATO and US imperialism, however, did not bring liberation, but instead the U.S. imperialists continued the rule of many of the same anti-woman fanatics it had supported in the past. Today the nightmare of U.S. imperialist war in Afghanistan continues into its fourth decade with U.S. troops keeping the corrupt, anti-democratic, and anti-woman Karzai government in power through military actions that have left many civilians dead.
Obama, declaring Afghanistan the “good war” committed 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan in 2009 to prop –up Karzai’s corrupt anti-woman regime. These troops have been responsible for many massacres from the sky and on the ground. Atrocities have included U.S. soldiers who have murdered Afghani civilians for sport and collected their body parts as trophies, and regular night raids of homes of people suspected of opposing the regime of Karzai where whoever answers the door is shot dead.
One thing is quite certain, over four decades of imperialist intervention in Afghanistan has done nothing but harm the people. As former Parliamentarian Malalai Joya stated, “We have many problems in Afghanistan — fundamentalism, warlords, the Taliban. But we will have a better chance to solve them if we have our self-determination, our freedom, our independence. NATO’s bombs will never deliver democracy and justice to Afghanistan or any other country”.
Yet, Amnesty International has taken up the cause of supporting Obama’s continued war in Afghanistan. Under the slogan “NATO: Keep the Progress Going” Amnesty International sponsored a public meeting urging continued U.S. war in Afghanistan. Keynote speaker was Madeline Albright, Secretary of State under Bill Clinton. This is the same Madeline Albright who said it was worth it for the U.S. to murder 500,000 Iraqi children. During Clinton’s regime economic sanctions against Iraq caused massive death including hundreds of thousands of children. On May of 1996, 60 Minutes aired an interview with Madeline Albright, who at the time was Clinton’s UN Ambassador. Correspondent Leslie Stahl asked Albright, “We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And — and you know, is the price worth it?”
Madeline Albright replied “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price — we think the price is worth it.”
Do not be deceived by the liberal backers of U.S. imperialism like Barack Obama, Madeline Albright, and Amnesty International. The U.S. war in Afghanistan is not the “good war”. Likewise, U.S. imperialist goals are never humanitarian. Instead, U.S. imperialism is a blood dripping beast that controls the world’s resources, labor, and wealth through mass murder, terror, and many forms of economic manipulation. Only the overthrow of U.S. imperialism through socialist revolution will end the United State’s constant warfare against the people of the world.
(1) A COMPLETE BASTARD AND US CLIENT AT THE SERVICE OF A FILTHY DICTATOR AND THE CIA.
A telling (if gushingly laudatory and jingoistic) piece on Gen. Akhtar Abdur Rehman, head of the Pakistani ISI, and godfather of the Afghan Mujahadin, and one of the most abominable figures operating in the Central Asia/South Asia theater was penned by Mariam Shah. Below we present some excerpts. For the whole page, go to: http://www.siasat.pk/forum/showthread.php?139146-An-Unsung-Hero-of-Modern-History-Gen-Akhtar-Abdur-Rehman
An Unsung Hero of Modern History: Gen Akhtar Abdur Rehman
PKKH Exclusive | by Mariam Shah
“General Akhtar was the architect of the Afghan Jihad. It was he who advocated Pakistani participation, it was he who devised the overall military strategy, and it was he who supervised its implementation so skillfully that the Mujahedeen defeated a superpower” (Brig Retd Muhammad Yusaf)
Buried in the Army graveyard in Rawalpindi, this unsung brave man is one of the true heroes of this land, who defeated a world super power in the Afghan jihad. He was a silent soldier who crafted the destruction plan of the Soviet Union at the hands of the Mujahedeen. He showed passion, commitment, intelligence and the warrior spirit of the great Islamic conquerors. He gave a spark to and ignited the lifeless intelligence agency of Pakistan and made it one of the finest and a dynamic spy agency of the world. Through his tireless and tacit efforts, ISI played an important part in the destruction of the Soviet Union. He was the real architect of the Soviet defeat and worked as a mason, building day and night, to turn the tables on the enemies of Islam. With his foresight, commitment and dedication he increased the power and effect of the ISI as an intelligence agency. He was a background player and executed his plans from behind the curtain.
The anecdote of General Akhtar Abdul Rahman’s life, who is one of the finest generals of Pakistan army, is that being a child he would never have know that he will become a mastermind for the devastation of a world super power. He was born on 11 June 1924 and his father, Dr. Abdul Rehman died when he was three and a half years old. He completed his high school education from the Ajnala High school and after that he entered the Islamia College Amritsar. Then he joined Government College Lahore and did his masters in economics in 1945. Soon after completing his education he joined the Army and was commissioned in 1946. He led the journey of his life without a father, not knowing that he is going to even the scores with a super power in the near future; he was raised and educated by his mother.
He joined the Indian army in 1945 and was commissioned in 1946. Akhtar was a very junior artillery officer at the time of the partition of India and the birth of Pakistan. He witnessed the unspeakable horrors of the partition and was dismayed by the brutalities committed by Hindus and Sikhs against Muslims during the course. The whole traumatic episode left a deep mark inside him and it was never forgotten nor forgiven by him. After this, for the rest of his life he considered India as a relentless enemy both for his country and his religion. He fought in three wars (1948, 1965, and 1971) with India and defended the beloved land. He had several appointments before he was offered the position of DG ISI.
In 1979, General Akhtar was offered a very important and coveted position of Director General Inter Services Intelligence. He headed the intelligence agency and built it as a very effective military institution which impacted both national and international affairs. Within the span off seven years he, along with his potential and loyal team, gave life to ISI and made it one of the most vibrant and effective institution. He conceived and crafted the plans to deal with the Soviet Union through the Afghan Mujahedeen and covert guerilla fighters from Pakistan.
In the wake of Soviet invasion in Afghanistan there were apprehensions that they might attack Pakistan too, so there were many potential threats to the security of Pakistan at that time. After the initial years of Soviet invasion in Afghanistan, the military leadership under General Zia decided to fight with soviets and to teach them a lesson, even before the American assistance initiated through CIA. At that time US President Jimmy Carter was entangled in the internal dilemmas and threats which emerged after the hostage crisis in Iran, so no considerable assistance was provided. In the beginning Gen Akhtar was alone in considering that he can force the Soviet forces out of Afghanistan, he was way too optimistic. He was of the view that Pakistan should support the Jihad covertly.
America followed the “wait and see” policy as they believed that Soviet troops would take over Afghanistan in few weeks. So they did not offer any support as they thought of Afghanistan as a lost case; so why throw good money and provoke the Soviets by supporting the Mujahedeen. The US also thought that Afghan resistance cannot go more than six months, so they didn’t bothered to assist, but once they witnessed the slaughter of soviet troops at the hands of Afghan Mujahedeen, they changed their plan and fueled the money inside. It should be very clear that when USA sensed the victory in Afghanistan at the hands of Mujahedeen then they initiated the aid and assistance. When Reagan came in the White House he announced an aid package for Pakistan, which Gen Zia accepted. Although the covert operations by ISI were funded by CIA but Pakistan became a frontline state and Afghanistan a battle ground. In making Afghanistan a “graveyard of a super power”, ISI in general and General Akhtar played a central role and made the Soviet pullout inevitable. To come face to face with a super power like Russia was not a joke nor it was that simple, but Gen Akhtar was determined to wipe them out, and he never looked back once he had come to his decision.
When Gen Akhtar took the command of ISI as DG, he started each and every task from the scratch. It was a very major task to provide assistance to Afghan Mujahedeen at every front. But there was no such strategy and plan to deal with all the emerging scenes, never dealt with by the Pak forces before. Gen Akhtar was solely responsible for devising and executing plans and organizing massive covert military operations against the Soviets. He established training centers and many army officials were made responsible to train the Afghan Mujahedeen, equipping them with warfare strategies and necessity skills so that they would be able to defend their homeland against the Soviet invasion. ISI trained the guerilla fighters and even a few army soldiers were trained to assist, guide and fight with the Mujahedeens in Afghanistan in the covert operations. Gen Akhtar established a very close relation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Pakistan, and with the State Department, especially the branch that interacted constantly with the CIA. Gen Zia managed the diplomatic affairs and Gen Akhtar directed and led the troops in the ground. The constant nine years of training, guidance and military assistance to guerilla fighters in Afghanistan by ISI, demolished the base of the Soviets and claimed around 13000 lives of soviet troops. The world stood in surprise and shock as less trained, less equipped and sometimes illiterate guerilla fighters defeated the well trained and highly equipped army of thousands.
Gen Akhtar was on the hit list of KGB and huge prize-money was put on his head, but he fearlessly involved himself in the planning and execution of the jihad, and never bothered about the personal threats which emerged against him. He not only countered the communist threat but pushed them back in the hell. He was an inborn strategist, as the way he articulated the guerilla warfare against a conventional army is still unparalleled. He was sharp at the diplomatic end as well and dealt at all fronts with intelligence and open mindedness. Both Pakistan and Afghanistan owe a lot to him, as he fought for the cause of the Ummah. He died in a fatal plane crash on 17th August 1988 near Bahawalpur and was never able to see the dawn of the Afghan Mujahedeen and fall of the Soviet Union.
He had a complex personality, as he never showed his emotions nor ever revealed himself outside his family. As an individual he was too honest and upright as he always reported what was going on, never overlooking anybody including his own staff, but Zia never reacted. He was very straight and never accepted corruption on the other hand Zia seemed to accept corruption as a way of life in Pakistan, and would not sack individuals for this offence. He never encouraged nor was he an admirer of favors and popularity. He was very crucial for the Afghan Jihad and he worked closely with Gen Zia on national and international matters. Based on his competence, integrity, and loyalty Zia developed a great trust and confidence in Gen Akhtar and at last promoted him to the rank of a general.
History repeats itself, first it was Ghauri and Ghaznavi and now a soldier from the green land. One interesting thing which is very rarely mentioned about Gen Akhtar is that his ancestors were from Afghanistan and were Kakazai (a tribe from the Laghman province of Afghanistan who came to South Asia during the Afghan invasion made by Mahmud of Ghazni). If we create a link between his ancestral place, love for Pakistan and Islam, it is true to say that a “son of Afghanistan fought from the soil of Pakistan, for the cause of Islam and stood for Jihad till the last”.
What ISI is today can be very much attributed to the efforts and commitment shown by General Akhtar Abdul Rahman. He very tactfully maneuvered the annihilation plan of the Soviet Union and through the ISI, gave a serious blow to it, which demolished communism as such. This role of Pakistan was acknowledged by the Germans and the ISI was presented with a piece of Berlin Wall marked with the inscription “those who struck the first blow” in appreciation to its efforts which eventuated in the demolition of the Soviet Empire. This piece of stone is one of the most valued possessions of the ISI. Gen Akhtar was the person who was very optimistic about the covert operations by Pakistan and supportive of the Afghan jihad from the start. He was the architect of the intelligence warfare in Pakistan as he molded the fragile structure into a forceful one, which ultimately proved its worth. He wrote the history with a message of hope, courage and consistent commitment to a cause. He did his job with modesty and humility, that’s why he never came into limelight and remained an unsung hero and died as a “silent soldier” with his boots on.