Small Wars Journal

US–Taliban Peace Talks Betray the Trust of the Afghan People

US–Taliban Peace Talks Betray the Trust of the Afghan People by Akram Gizabi - Military Times

When the US started bombing Taliban positions in 2001, there was a euphoric relief shown by the majority of people whose lives were hell under the Taliban despotic rule. More than most, the religious minorities of Afghanistan, such as the Hazaras, Hindus and Jews — and of course women of all ethnic groups — were relieved that finally their nightmares were over.

People were dejected because, under the guise of Islam, they were being brutalized by agents of a foreign power. Cutting off of limbs and executions of women and men were public spectacles, as was stoning women to death for adultery. People were forced to watch, and in some cases participate, in these brutalities.

They behaved according to the dictates of their sect of religion, which is not favorable to women education, employment or empowerment. During the Taliban reign from 1996 to 2001, women were practically under house arrest. They could only venture out when accompanied by a male relative and only when they were attired in a way that would not draw men’s attention…

Read on.


From our article above:

"Afghans fought the Soviets with over a million losses of lives with the understanding that it was not just their war. They were abandoned after the Soviet withdrawal. They thought that this time it would be different. To their great sorrow, they are learning this is not so. They hoped that the United States would honor the security agreement that it had signed with them. They hoped that repeated reassurances given to them by Americans would be honored. Instead, they watch with amazement that the United States is busy finding the fastest way out of Afghanistan, while leaving the Afghans to the wolves, only this time even more vicious ones."

As we all know now, the Afghans fought the Soviets/the communists during the Old Cold War for much the same reason the Afghans fight the U.S./the West today; this being, to prevent their state and societies from being "transformed"/from being "modernized" along -- alien and profane -- "modern"/"secular" political, economic, social and value lines.

Example No. One:  The Afghans versus the secular "transformative"/the secular "modernizing" Soviets/communists during the Old Cold War:

"The overt attack on Afghan social values was presented, by the resistance forces, as an attack on Islamic values. This was also seen as an attack on the honor of women. The initiatives introduced by PDPA -- to impose literacy on women and girls -- inevitably raised questions as to the potential role of women outside the the home. This provoked defensive actions from men, concerned with protecting the honor of women with their families, and to also ensure that traditional roles of women within the domestic sphere continued to be performed. It also generated fears that the important roles of women, as the primary vehicles for passing traditional and Islamic values from one generation to another, would be undermined if they were exposed to external and, particularly, non-Islamic values. This enabled the exiled radical Islamic parties to claim leadership of the resistance and to also declare a jihad."…

Example No. Two:  The Afghans versus the secular "transformative"/the secular "modernizing" U.S./the West Post-the Old Cold War:

"The U.S. effort to use military force to bring about democracy has been focused primarily on the Greater Middle East, where it has led to one failure after another.U.S. military forces invaded Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003) with the intention of turning them into liberal democracies. The occupying forces not only failed to achieve that goal, but they also ended up precipitating bloody wars that did enormous damage to political and social life in those two countries. The main reason for this dismal record is that large-scale social engineering in any society is difficult, but it is especially daunting in a foreign country whose political leadership has just been toppled from power. The target state will be in turmoil; the invading forces will be dealing with an alien culture that might even be hostile to liberal democracy; and most importantly, nationalist sentiment is sure to increase sharply and generate an insurgency against the occupier, as the United States discovered in Afghanistan and Iraq.  (See the section entitled "Fighting Losing Wars.")

Bottom Line Thought -- Based on the Above:

Based on the perspective I offer here, the problem becomes:

a.  Not one of the U.S./the West -- yesterday or today -- "abandoning the Afghans" but, rather,

b.  One of the U.S./the West -- after defeating the Soviets/the communists -- themselves becoming the "bad guys?"

(In the sense that the U.S./the West, post-9/11, were seen by the Afghans to have simply replaced the Soviets/the communists; this, in attempting to "transform"/to "modernize" Afghanistan [et. al] more along -- alien and profane -- political, economic, social and value lines?)