Friday, August 28, 2009

A message from RAWA

Bearing in mind the events unfolding in Afghanistan, and the growing opposition to continued presence of British (or any) troops in the country, I had some questions I wanted to ask. The TV News has its stable of experts that they bring on to discuss such complex and troubling matters. I thought I would ask the ladies at RAWA. They very kindly responded to my questions, reproduced here in full.

From RAWA (My questions in italics)

Sorry for the late reply. I hope your questions have been answered. Please feel more than free to write to us in case you have further inquiries.

Here are the questions with the answers:

# What would be the immediate consequence of a troop withdrawal in southern afghanistan? Kabul-based NGO worker Rory Stewart (interviewed on the BBC), for example, believes that the Taliban would pose no major threat to the people of Afghanistan, let alone the greater security of the world at large, and that any military effort should be expended on hunting Al-Quaeda as opposed to the Taliban. Is this really the case?

Ideologically, there is no difference between the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Both are fundamentalists created and supported by foreigners so eliminating one and sparing the other doesn’t change much. Both of them are terrorists. If the troops immediately withdraw the Taliban will take power eventually as they are much stronger than the warlords in the government. Many say a civil war will start and things will get worse. A war is already going on and matters cannot be made worse.

We should not forget though that after the withdrawal of the troops there will be three forces left in Afghanistan, the Taliban, Northern Alliance and the democratic forces who are with the people. If the US and its allies stop supporting these fundamentalists the people will definitely be victorious in defeating these criminals and establishing real democracy, freedom and peace in the country. The US and its allies should also pressurize the neighboring countries o Afghanistan and other countries such as Saudi Arabia not to support these fundamentalist.

Plus it should uproot fundamentalists of every brand, may it be the Taliban, Al-Qaeda or the Northern Alliance criminals in the government as all of the fundamentalists are equally dangerous. We believe US and its allies are not serious in finishing terrorism because such an enormous superpower cannot possibly be incapable of defeating a small band of medieval-minded and illiterate men. And again if it is apparently fighting the Taliban, it is supporting the Northern Alliance with all its strength, who are the brethren-in-creed of the Taliban. So this shows the dishonesty of the US and its allies in this war.

#Is a conflict in Southern Afghanistan really felt to be unwinnable? Do the Taliban have overwhelming grass roots support of the People of southern Afghanistan? As a follow up to this, if the Taliban were permitted to re-gain prominece in Civil life in Southern Afghanistan, having effecively 'won' the conflict against the UK and by extension NATO, would it be posible that 'moderate elements' of the Taliban could be co-opted by NATO forces to perhaps bring stability to the region, allowing development to take place, and being generally a preferable option to the described carnage being visitd upon the region by the presence of foreign troops? This is the chief argument put forward for those opposed to a NATO presence in Afghanistan. In your opinion, would this outcome be possible?

Not at all. The conflict is definitely winnable especially by the superpower US and its other powerful allies including Britain. It is just that these countries are not serious in their pledge to fight terrorism. In fact they need a reason to stay in Afghanistan for their own interests and the Taliban provide the best excuse to deceive the world.

The Taliban don’t have support among the people. How is it possible that the criminals who took Afghanistan into the Stone Age, beheaded young Ajmal Naqshbandi (the Afghan journalist kidnapped along with the Italian journalist), turned stadiums into hanging places, cut hands and humiliated women on streets by beating, have immense support among the people? But it is also true that today our people are so fed up with the lawlessness of the Karzai government and by the killings of the innocent people by the foreign troops that they do prefer the Taliban because they provide security. People are protected from night raids by foreign troops and criminals get punished by the Taliban, something which the government fails to do. So in these terrible conditions the people prefer Taliban out of the three enemies.

The Taliban will not bring stability to the region. Even if they bring stability, as in peace and security, they will continue their dark laws the way they did from 1996-2001 which is also bad. Although it is preferable to have one enemy – the Taliban – instead of two (foreign troops and Taliban), the Taliban are not going to bring any positive changes in the lives of our people, especially women. There are no such things as “moderate Taliban” because all Taliban are misogynists and dark-minded. Not a single Talib has stepped forward and condemned what its government did against the Afghan people for almost four years. They just act slightly open-minded so they get some share of power in the present government but they are all ideologically similar. So even these “moderate” elements won’t make much difference.

Best wishes,

RAWA (sent late July 09, only uploaded now coz of, er, technical difficulties).

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