Comments of an Afghan

What follows is a letter to me by an Afghan living in North America who does not want himself identified but who is concerned about the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan. He has some ideas about what should be done and would like them posted on the blog for discussion. He prefers not to be identified by name.
RLC Dear Prof. Bob: The current situation in Afghanistan encourages me to write a brief suggestion to save Afghanistan from extremism, terrorism, warlords, criminals and those who did crime against humanity. President Hamid is a good friend of mine. He is a very nice, educated, well English spoken but he is not a good president. The opportunities is given by the world, he has not done much to have s stable, democratic, central and provincial governments. With the support of super power and number 1 army of the world along with NATO troops and billions of dollars he did not do much for Afghanistan, nether for his own government. Taliban is still strong, suicide bombs still blasting, Afghanistan is producing eighty five percent hereon of the worlds, the Afghan nation enemies, looters, rapists, killers and bloody hands warlords and Northern Alliance and bloody Punjsheries are still in power which make Hamid so call democracy regime unpopular. Hamid is very weak and afraid of Northern Alliance. He can not make decisions because he does not have a power and free hands, even his dress code is northern style but he is Pushton and does not have the carriage to wear his own traditional clothe. It shows how covered and powerless he is. If he is the only choice, I am sorry he is not a good choice. He use American money, American army, American support but he is doing nothing in return. As you know it is not my personal opinion it is the opinion of the majority of Afghans. He does not have control over his presidency how he can control the strong Afghan nation? I believe he is just a symbol; all power is the hand of Northern Alliance with negative and bloody history. To get result, have a friendly and stable Afghanistan with popular government that can get the trust of Afghan people and make Afghanistan free of Taliban and violence I have some suggestion to the Afghan policy makers in US government. I like to point them out very briefly as follow: 1-Afgan-American research small group
Most likely the majority of information get by CIA come from Northern Alliance people, there sympathizers or there friends. Those information are supportive of them and against the people, region or those that the do not like them. I believe it will be a good idea to have a small group of American-Afghans to go to Afghanistan and talk direct to Afghan impartial people, intellectuals, tribal elders and those who really want peaceful, secure, and free of Taliban and terrorism Afghanistan. The group should also travel to Pakistan, Iran, England, and Canada, US and Germany and talk to displace Afghans to find out the truth about Afghanistan. The group should have at least six months.
2-Afghan traditional Jerga Afghanistan is a tribal nation for thousand of years. The tribal tradition has significant role in the lives of Afghans. One of the most popular techniques to solve tribal, regional and national problem is Afghan Jerga and tribal rules, for example twenty million people in Pushtonistan and in Blochistan are living under the tribal and jerga’s rules. These territories are the world safest places that have fewer crimes, less robberies, less theft and 0 rapes. There is no government. Only tribal rules and Jerga solves their problems. Another good example is King Zaher Shah’s forty years rule in Afghanistan, without fighting. Peace and harmony were everywhere, because the king knew how to deal with tribes. I think establishing provincial and district Jergas will bring a lot of peace and security. And will be a public resistance against the insurgences. 3-Establishing 50000 tribal loyal forces to government Supporting and stabilizing the central government need Afghan tribal independent force to replace the Northern Alliance bloody armed men which destabilized central government. The forces should make of impartial civilians including Pushton tribes, Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazaras. The force should increase gradually up to 100000. When the force established the Northern Alliance should be disarmed totally eighty percent Afghan population dislike Northern Alliance. To get the trust of the majority of Afghans the leader of warlords should face justice because they did crime against humanity. 4-Strong interior ministry The ministry of interior should organize and rules the combine forces to clear the street and territories from criminals, warlords, Taliban suicide bomb and bring safety and security to Afghanistan. American troops and NATO troops should support the force and work together. 2000 to 3000 from the force should protect the president and be under the command of the president that the president feels strong without fear of others that he can work freely. Interior ministry should cooperate with the ministry of defence with the support of US army and NATO troops and make the notional defence ministry stronger to defend the country. 5-Internal immigration Some area in the south is very poor. People do not have anything to do. The territories are small there is not enough land for them to do farming. The youth join the Taliban to fight American and NATO army Northern Afghanistan is very wide and full of farming and enough land that need little work to be ready for farming. It would be a good idea to bring them to the north and keep them busy. They also can help the government to stabilize north of the country. .6- Reconstruction procedure should speed up, especially, in agriculture sector, because eighty to eighty five percent of the population feed by farming, new farming land should be provided for farmer to do their regular farming, instead of opium. It will reduce the growing of opium. I am sure many countries in the world will provide support for such a project. The reconstruction projects will create a friendly atmosphere between the government and public. 7-Get the support of Pashtons Pashtons are the majority of Afghanistan. They have significant role in the Afghan society along the history. Without their support it is very difficult to stabilize the country. In recent days they were the main resistance that driven the former Soviet from Afghanistan and they pay the most price for freedom. Pashtons fought against the Soviet and their alleys (Northern Alliance.), Including Shah Mosood a local Punjsheries commander and chief of Shori-e-Nazar who had signed peace accord with KGB to fight with former Mujahideen, especially against the Pushtons fighters back by United States and Pakistan.( look up Bruce Richardson book, Afghanistan Ending the Reign Of Soviet Terror). Afghan nation scarified two millions people to get their freedom but today Shah Mosood is the hero of freedom and Northern Alliance is in power. It is psychologically warfare with the Majority of Afghan nation, especially with the Pashtons. It hurts their feelings. How the Pashtons can support the Northern Alliance government which killed hundred thousand of their people? Pashtons are upset and also they are ignored. They do not have a leadership. Only Taliban claim they are the leader of Pashtons, which is not true because the majority of Pashtons are not with Taliban. There should be created Pashton leadership and work with them to get their support. Without their support and strong or equal participation in the government, peace and security will be very difficult to return to Afghanistan. They are living along the border with Pakistan; their territories are used by Taliban. Fighting is in their territories. If they are organized and give hand to the government there is strong hope for stability, safety and security. Get the sport of Pashtons and bring stability and safety to the country There are many other ideas to save Afghanistan, however, I believe the above ideas with a little more work will be the most popular idea for safety, security, stable and popular Afghanistan., if there is time for American and NATO troops to leave, Afghanistan should have a type of government that can survive. If you have further consideration, feel free to contact me.. I hope my thought will be helpful. Many thanks. Best regards L.

Uzbek refugees return home amid concern that they are being coerced

One wonders what brings these refugees back to their country. Are they simply so lonely, so homesick for their country, that they are unable to visualize what the country is actually like? Lets hope they are not imprisoned, beaten, killed — at least this is the kind of image of the country controlled by Karimov that I have. Could I be that wrong?

Uzbek refugees return home, amid concern that they are being coerced
International Herald Tribune

“Less than two years after they fled Uzbekistan in the wake of the government’s bloody crackdown on protests in an eastern city, scores of Uzbeks have returned home — to an uncertain welcome from an authoritarian regime.”
“Rachel Denber of Human Rights Watch said she distrusts the Uzbek government’s promises that no returnee will be harmed … ‘There is nothing in Uzbekistan’s contemporary history that shows that this government sticks to its promises.’ “
“President Islam Karimov is accused by human rights groups and the U.S. State Department of arbitrary arrests, political persecution and torture.”

US looks at plan to oust Musharraf

If it is true that the Americans are signalling that Musharraf might be removed, then his status is indeed precarious. It is strange that this is published in Australia but not in the United States.

US looks at plan to oust Musharraf
By Bruce Loudon
The Australian

“The US has indicated for the first time that it might be willing to back plans by elite echelons of the military in Islamabad to oust Pervez Musharraf from power, as the Pakistani President was beset by major new difficulties over his attempts to sack the country’s chief justice.”
“Reports yesterday quoting highly placed US diplomatic and intelligence officials – previously rusted on to the view that General Musharraf was an indispensable Western ally in the battle against terrorism – outlined a succession plan to replace him.”
“Thousands of lawyers clashed with baton-wielding riot police yesterday during a nationwide day of action against the sacking of the top judge.”
“motives for the sacking emerged when it was disclosed that last month Justice Iftikhar said in a speech that General Musharraf could not continue as army chief beyond the expiry of his term as President later this year.”
“General Musharraf has a highly controversial plan that would have him elected to another five-year term as President … But he also wants to continue as Army Chief of Staff”
“The bitter wrangling lends weight to those in the US diplomatic and intelligence community who believe it is time to consider the post-Musharraf era.”
“The US report suggests … the view that the alternative to his regime would be chaos and a takeover by extremist Islamic mullahs is no longer ascendant.”
“The report … might … indicate the President’s allies in Washington are about to pull the rug from under him.”

Bolton admits Lebanon truce block

Bolton’s admission that the United States deliberately resisted calls for an immediate ceasefire in order to weaken Hizbullah simply reveals how insensitive this administration has been to the various situations on the ground in the Middle East. Their insistence that Hizbullah is a terrorist organization represents their refusal to admit that Hizbullah has many functions, many of them social and thus many of them vital to the continuing welfare of many people, not only Shi’a, in Lebanon.

Bolton admits Lebanon truce block
BBC News

“A former top American diplomat says the US deliberately resisted calls for a immediate ceasefire during the conflict in Lebanon in the summer of 2006.”
“Former ambassador to the UN John Bolton told the BBC that before any ceasefire Washington wanted Israel to eliminate Hezbollah’s military capability”
“He said the US decided to join efforts to end the conflict only when it was clear Israel’s campaign wasn’t working.”
“Britain joined the US in refusing to call for an immediate ceasefire.”
“…several key players claim that, privately,there were Arab leaders who also wanted Israel to destroy Hezbollah.”
” ‘There were many not … resistant to the thought that the Israelis should thoroughly defeat Hezbollah, who… increasingly by Arab states were seen as an Iranian proxy,” said UN special envoy Terje Roed Larsen.’ “
“More than 1,000 Lebanese civilians and an unknown number of Hezbollah fighters were killed in the conflict. Israel lost 116 soldiers in the fighting, while 43 of its civilians were killed in Hezbollah rocket attacks.”

Turkey/Israel pipeline could shift Middle East power balance

The development of the infrastructure will surely affect the course of affairs in the Middle East. This news suggests how strong the ties between Turkey and Israel can become, and how crucial the deal actually is for both sides at this time. Yes, this could be a “seismic economic shift.”

Turkey/Israel pipeline could shift Middle East power balance
By Morris R. Beschloss
The Desert Sun

“…the prospective agreement between Turkey and Israel to construct such a strategic connection may accomplish a seismic economic shift.”
“With Russia in the process of exerting an energy stranglehold over much of the trans-Caucasian and Eastern European areas, a new pipeline could become a counterweight to Moscow’s increasing expansionism.”
“This pipeline now is being considered for extension from oil center Azerbaijan’s Baku on the Caspian Sea through Georgia to Turkey’s Mediterranean seaport of Ceyhan, all of which avoid impinging on any Russian territory.”
“Turkey and Israel have reached a memo of understanding calling for a $4 billion pipeline linking the Turkish port of Ceyhan and Israel’s Ashkelon seaport…”
“…this giant project represents a realignment of geopolitical power as well as a circumvention of Russian hegemony.”
“Emanating from the oil-rich Caspian Sea, this contemplated multinational pipeline avoids encroaching on Russian territory, thereby eliminating any attempted Moscow interference with its free flow.”
“With energy drawn from the Caspian Sea’s Azerbaijan-controlled sector, Russia’s influence and interference effectively is withheld.”

An expert’s predictions

In early 2003 Fred Donner predicted correctly the consequences of Bush’s pre-emptive attack on Iraq. Virtually everything he predicted is coming true. Virtually everything the Bush administration predicted did not. Have a look:
http://humanities.uchicago.edu/depts/nelc/facultypages/donner/topten.html

Pakistani al-Qaeda camps destroyed

If this report is accurate something important is taking place in Pakistan. And this is not the only thing: the demonstrations against Musharraf are also significant. We need to watch …

Pakistani al-Qaeda camps destroyed
Financial Times By Farhan Bokhari

“…fighting between al-Qaeda loyalists and tribal militants in … Pakistani border region has almost completely destroyed camps used by a leading terrorist from Uzbekistan, Pakistani intelligence officials claimed on Thursday.”
“The claim … could mark … a success in Pakistan’s war against militants hiding on its soil … also vindicate Pakistan … on two controversial agreements signed by the government with tribal elders in the region…”
“General Pervez Musharraf … last year ordered his troops home from the … border region after deals that would see local tribal elders policing the region themselves. The move has been widely criticised as giving freer rein for militants…”
“Pakistani intelligence officials, however, claimed … after a week of fighting … the infrastructure used by loyalists of Tahir Yuldashev, the pro al-Qaeda militant, had been wiped out. More than half the people killed so far were said to be Uzbek Islamists who took refuge on the Pakistani side of the border after US-led forces ousted the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001.”
“Western diplomats warned that there was no way of independently confirming the claim. ‘Since the Pakistanis do not let anyone from the outside to freely venture around the tribal areas…’ “

Rival militants clash in Pakistan

The fighting between Pushtun tribesmen and some of their visitors in the Northwest Frontier Province is very significant. It may signal that the militant Islamists have over-stayed their welcome. And it may indeed be a practical outcome of the deal the local tribes made with the Pakistan army: to take the responsibility of policing their own area, as they have always done in the past. The tribesmen may feel they have good reason to drive them out, or at least to subdue them, given the number of tribal leaders who have been bumped off by the local insurgents. The tribes have had trouble with the radical militants just as the Afghanistan government has on its side of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
We would do well to avoid jumping to conclusions on what this means for the Taliban. That the Taliban are joining with the tribesmen against the Uzbeks, even though reputedly they have been trained to think like a Wahhabi, which is to discount non-Muslim grounds of loyalty in favor of the umma, indicates that the differences among them have become difficult to resolve. Here, in any case, tribal loyalties are being asserted against at least some of the militant insurgents who claim to be zealous for Islam.
Could this be a turning point?

BBC

“Nearly 50 people have been killed after rising tension between local and foreign militants in north-west Pakistan erupted into fierce fighting … a stronghold of the Taleban”

“…Most of those killed were militants from Uzbekistan suspected of links with al-Qaeda”
“…militants in the mountainous region want Western troops out of Afghanistan, but divisions and power struggles between them have reportedly grown in recent months.”
“…Uzbek militants had largely kept themselves to themselves and were not linked to al-Qaeda’s anti-Western agenda, but in recent months they are reported to have become more involved in local disputes.”
“…Reports suggested that Taleban and local tribesmen had demanded the Uzbeks leave, or disarm, and that fighting broke out when they refused”
“…Each side has blamed the other for the outbreak of fighting.”

The Politics of Naming: Genocide, Civil War, Insurgency

Mahmood Mamdani is the Herbert Lehman Professor Government and professor of anthropology at Columbia University. Anything he has to say about the situation in Africa, especially Rwanda, Uganda or South Africa, should be taken very seriously. Few people are well informed on Darfur and he is among those better informed. His reading of the situation in Darfur generates questions about what is “real” and what is simply labelling. The problem we all have in trying to track the course of affairs in the world is how to evaluate the “information” that comes to us, most of it being constructed by interested parties. The naming of events and situations is a most important feature of the situations. So far, the Bush administration and other western powers have succeeded in using language to talk about Iraq that have stuck, and so have set the terms for how to conceive of the proper response. Are the terms we use for the situation in Darfur the most fitting?
RLC

The Politics of Naming: Genocide, Civil War, Insurgency
Mahmood Mamdani
London Review of Books

“The similarities between Iraq and Darfur are remarkable.”
“…estimate of … civilians killed … is roughly similar. The killers are mostly paramilitaries, closely linked to the official military, which is said to be their main source of arms. The victims too are by and large identified as members of groups, rather than targeted as individuals. But the violence in the two places is named differently. In Iraq, it is said to be a cycle of insurgency and counter-insurgency; in Darfur, it is called genocide.”
“What would happen if we thought of Darfur as we do of Iraq, as a place with a history and politics – a messy politics of insurgency and counter-insurgency?”
“Why should an intervention in Darfur not turn out to be a trigger that escalates rather than reduces the level of violence as intervention in Iraq has done?”
“Morally, there is no doubt about the horrific nature of the violence against civilians in Darfur. The ambiguity lies in the politics of the violence, whose sources include both a state-connected counter-insurgency and an organised insurgency, very much like the violence in Iraq.”
“The worst thing in Darfur would be an Iraq-style intervention. That would almost certainly spread the civil war to other parts of Sudan, unravelling the peace process in the east and south and dragging the whole country into the global War on Terror.”

Targetting Tehran: the case of the missing Iranian general

The sense that the United States government as well as other governments will do anything to achieve its aims — torture, kidnapping, assassination — has so poisoned the public image of what governments do that we can think of many reasons why a high Iranian official might disappear. There was a day when most of us would have immediately supposed that this Iranian official had defected to “The West” to escape the repressive regime in his home country, but now we wonder about other possibilities … because there are so many other possibilities, most of them unseemly. So far, no clues — which allows the imagination to run rampant.
RLC

Targetting Tehran: the case of the missing Iranian general
World Socialist Website
By Peter Symonds

“…disappearance of a top Iranian general, Brigadier General AliReza Asgari … all the accounts point to the involvement of the US, Israeli and/or other Western intelligence agencies in the defection or abduction of Asgari, a former deputy defense minister…”
“Senior Bush administration officials have repeatedly declared that the US has no plans for war against Iran. The most obvious purpose in interrogating a figure like Asgari, however, is to extract information about Iran’s military…”
“Most of the facts surrounding Asgari’s disappearance are contested.”
“The *Washington Post* last Thursday published one version of events. Its source—”a senior US official” told the newspaper that Asgari had defected and was “willingly cooperating” with “Western intelligence agencies” at an undisclosed location.”
“Iranian authorities raised the alarm about a possible kidnapping by the CIA or Mossad and notified Interpol.”
“What conclusions can be drawn amid all this deception and counter-deception?”