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Afghanistan Realities: 'War on Terror' is a Cruel Hoax

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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 05:58 PM
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Afghanistan Realities: 'War on Terror' is a Cruel Hoax

"More than US$10 billion has been spent on Afghanistan since October 7, 2001, most of it by the US. More than 80% of this has paid for bombing the country and paying the warlords .."

"In 1997, US State Department officials and executives of the Union Oil Company of California (UNOCAL) lavishly entertained Taliban leaders in Washington and Houston... In January 1997, a State Department official told journalists in a private briefing that it was hoped Afghanistan would become an oil protectorate, like Saudi Arabia.... The US goal was the realisation of a 60-year dream of building a pipeline from the former Soviet Caspian across Afghanistan to a deep-water port."

"I visited Afghanistan...earlier this year. In a lifetime of making my way through places of upheaval, I had not seen anything like it. Kabul is a glimpse of Dresden post-1945, with contours of rubble rather than streets, where people live in collapsed buildings, like earthquake victims waiting for rescue."

At the British Labour Party conference following the September 11, 2001, attacks, Prime Minister Tony Blair said memorably: To the Afghan people, we make this commitment. We will not walk away... If the Taliban regime changes, we will work with you to make sure its successor is one that is broad based, that unites all ethnic groups and offers some way out of the poverty that is your miserable existence.

He was echoing US President George Bush, who had said a few days earlier: The oppressed people of Afghanistan will know the generosity of America and its allies. As we strike military targets, we will also drop food, medicine and supplies to the starving and suffering men, women and children of Afghanistan. The US is a friend of the Afghan people.

Almost every word they spoke was false. Their declarations of concern were cruel illusions that prepared the way for the conquest of both Afghanistan and Iraq. As the illegal Anglo-American occupation of Iraq now unravels, the forgotten disaster in Afghanistan, the first victory in the war on terror, is perhaps an even more shocking testament to power.

The post-Taliban government is a facade; it has no money and its writ barely runs to the gates of Kabul, in spite of democratic pretensions such as the election planned for next year. Omar Zakhilwal, an official in the ministry of rural affairs, told me that the government gets less than 20% of the aid that is delivered to Afghanistan. We don't even have enough money to pay wages, let alone plan reconstruction, he said. President Hamid Karzai is a placeman of Washington who goes nowhere without his posse of US special forces bodyguards. snip

In a series of extraordinary reports, the latest published in July, Human Rights Watch has documented atrocities committed by gunmen and warlords who were propelled into power by the United States and its coalition partners after the Taliban fell in 2001 and who have essentially hijacked the country. The report describes army and police troops controlled by the warlords kidnapping villagers with impunity and holding them for ransom in unofficial prisons; the widespread rape of women, girls and boys; routine extortion, robbery and arbitrary murder. Girls' schools are burned down. Because the soldiers are targeting women and girls, the report says, many are staying indoors, making it impossible for them to attend school go to work.

In the western city of Herat, for example, women are arrested if they drive; they are prohibited from travelling with an unrelated man, even an unrelated taxi driver. If they are caught, they are subjected to a chastity test, squandering precious medical services to which, says Human Rights Watch, women and girls have almost no access, particularly in Herat, where fewer than one per cent of women give birth with a trained attendant. The death rate of mothers giving birth is the highest in the world, according to UNICEF. Herat is ruled by the warlord Ismail Khan, whom US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld endorsed as an appealing man... thoughtful, measured and self-confident.


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