Afghanistan: The Land of Endless Tragedies - Omid Jurrat Rastakhiz
Imagine; you are a young man in his 30s and also graduated from a university. For five years, you have applied to government institutions and private sector companies one by one with your university degree in the hope of finding a job, and you have received a negative response each time. Finally, you bought a wheelbarrow with a lot of effort and started selling fruits and vegetables. Yet your daily earnings are nothing but 10 -50 Afghani money. However, you have two children at home to feed with your wife, and one small piece of bread costs 10 Afghanis. Moreover, you cannot earn this amount of money every day. Because there is a corona pandemic, most of the state institutions are closed, private sector companies are bankrupt, and the workers' salaries are not paid. Millions of people are unemployed, they cannot afford to spend to meet their needs and when you cannot sell fruits and vegetables, you cannot earn even the little money I mentioned above. On the other hand, rumors are circulating that the Taliban, a virus worse than corona, has come to the gates of the city. Shutters are being lowered, shops and bakeries are closing; everyone is nervous. Because, if the conflict starts, the poor will not be able to obtain even the 10-50 Afghanis they earn daily and will starve. The rich, those at the top of the state, have already sent their families abroad with the billions of dollars they have squandered for 20 years, acquired the property from Turkey, Cyprus, and European countries, and obtained citizenship of these countries; their hearts are at ease. If things get messy, they’ll rush out of the country immediately. Your children are starving and devastated. In this case, you would want to join the army, which has a monthly salary of $100. But when you hear that averages of 100 soldiers are brutally killed by the Taliban every day, you give up on this idea because you do not want to die in vain. There is a rumor that heads of state institutions colluded with the Taliban and gifted districts and military outposts. In the marketplaces, in the streets, and everywhere; hungry men, women, and children roam. They have come to a point where they will tear each other apart for 10 Afghanis from hunger. In addition, there are suicide attacks or explosions in the city every minute, and dozens of poor, workers and civilians die. When you leave your house in the morning to find a slice of bread, you are not sure that you will return home safely in the evening. What would you do in this situation? Unfortunately, the situation of 90 percent of the people of Afghanistan is not better than what I have described.
Let’s get to the main issue and take a look at the situation Afghanistan has been in for a year and try to interpret the future scenarios.
For many years, the USA, its allies, and the slaves they put in charge of the country have been yacking “peace” up. For this reason, US imperialism sent Afghan-origin murderer Zalmai Khalilzad to the region, supposedly to make peace with the Taliban. We know him from the 1980s when the USA and its allies from all over the world deported jihadists to Afghanistan. He is one of the constituents of the Islamic jihad. The jihadists who turned Afghanistan into hell in the 90s are considered the founding fathers of the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Therefore, this person will do nothing but fan the flame of war, let alone bring peace. What has happened in the last year proves this statement. Last year, a so-called agreement was reached between the US and the Taliban, the content of which has still not been revealed. We only know that the United States and its allies will remove all their military force from Afghanistan, and all imprisoned Taliban militants will be freed. In return, the Taliban will “reduce the violence”. To me, it’s a pretty funny concept to “reduce the violence”. It is not said to eliminate violence, but to reduce it. In other words, keep waging war. This means that if you used to launch 100 rockets, now you can launch 90 or 80. If only they would at least implement what they say. However, for a year now, the war has continued at its full speed. Because, more than five thousand brutal and barbarian Taliban militants, including hundreds of murderers of civilians, have joined the battlefield again. In the last two years, more than 100 districts have been occupied by the Taliban and the war has reached the gated of big cities. Strangely enough, while the hotspots of war used to be in the Southern regions of Afghanistan, which borders Pakistan, it has shifted to the Northern of the country for the last three or four years. More precisely, it has been shifted. As we all know, the northern provinces of the country are bordering the Central Asian countries, with China on the North East side and Russia above. Therefore, when the events are evaluated with a solid political mind, one cannot help thinking that these wars are a project. Because US imperialism has not turned its back on its jihadist friends. On the contrary, it is arming them and making them fight at full speed against nations that may oppose them, which we have seen in the Iraq and Syria crises. It used the ISIS card in Iraq and especially in Syria, but it partially failed in this plan with the attempts of Russia. And wanted to implement the same plan in Afghanistan, but ISIS did not fit in the Afghan society and on the other hand fell out with Pakistan and the Taliban. Because once ISIS took its place, the Taliban would lose its power, and Pakistan would lose its strategic position over Afghanistan. I remember a few years ago when the issue of ISIS was heating up, political commentators and some high-ranking officials of the state made the following statements: “ISIS will replace the Taliban and settle in the provinces bordering Central Asia. When northern Afghanistan is plunged into complete turmoil and the civil war is back in place, ISIS militants will take advantage of the opportunity to infiltrate the Turkestan Geography, and from there, squeeze Russia and China. The leaders of the Taliban will join the state of Afghanistan, in which case the remnants of the Taliban will have no choice but to join ISIS. The north of Afghanistan will turn into a second Waziristan this time against Central Asia. But the control of ISIS will also be in the hands of Afghan government; they will be led by Hanif Atmar, now Afghanistan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.” But as I said above, this plan did not work. Especially Pakistan opposed this plan. Cause Pakistan would lose its Taliban card. As a matter of fact, the USA wants to put this plan back into place with the Taliban. Already, the Pentagon says that al-Qaeda will be back in two years before they even remove their troops.
It is also known that even a child knows that, Pakistan and especially its intelligence agency ISI is behind the Taliban. If the USA is the enemy of the Taliban and has seemingly fought for years, why does it give billions of dollars each year to Pakistan and especially to Pakistan’s military? Isn’t this a contradiction? Therefore, taking these into account, it would be foolish to ignore the fact that the USA still supports, strengthens, and arms the Taliban through Pakistan. It is also clear that the Taliban have unwavering ties to al-Qaeda, which the USA itself admits. When the Taliban comes al-Qaeda will surely come along with it, and the scenario I mentioned above project itself.
Let me tell you an incident to understand more clearly what I wrote above: I had a chat with one of the local commanders of Kunduz Province which is located in the north of the country (unfortunately, I can’t say his name for life safety). He told me the following: “One day, I set out with my troops of about 100 to attack the areas where the Taliban are located. While we were going quickly towards the Taliban, the governor of Kunduz phoned me so that we wouldn’t attack. I didn’t obey and we continued to move forward with the vehicles. Then, I received a call from the Ministry of Defence, from which I was ordered not to attack. Again, I didn’t obey and kept going. But this time, General Rashid Dostum (now he would be a Marshal) called. Firstly, he threatened me and swore like a trooper. He said that if we didn’t come back, we would be destroyed by US planes. This time I had to stop the attack and turn back”. What is more, this commander had repeatedly witnessed foreign helicopter landing and taking off from the Taliban ranks and delivering ammunition to them.
According to another scenario, the USA and its allies want to divide Afghanistan, so that when they leave this country, they leave behind a crisis like Palestine-Israel or Pakistan-India. The fact that the former jihadists who were against the Taliban and fought against the Soviets in the last month gathered their militants and armed themselves with full equipment to protect so-called Northern Afghanistan from the Taliban also proves this scenario relatively. In the past, both the Afghan State and the US were against the arming of these jihadists, but now they exactly allow it. However, what these agents did in the 90s was much worse than the Taliban. They massacred 70.000 civilians in Kabul alone and razed it to the ground. As if these agents have squandered under the roof of the government for 20 years is not enough, now they are about to start the brutality of the 90s again. If the situation continues like this, a new civil war is inevitable. Even if they defeat the Taliban, later, no one can easily control these jihadists, who consisted of tens of thousands of savages. They will continue to tear and smash each other, just like before. Obviously, the history of the 90s is about to be rewritten. If there is a civil war like before, Afghanistan will likely be split.
According to the other scenario, the Taliban will occupy all of the northern districts, which make up the majority of Afghanistan’s population, after a while, so-called peace will be achieved and the country will hold elections. In this case, the Taliban, which holds the majority of the country’s population, will easily win the elections and take over the country. Once they capture everything, they will hold al-Qaeda cards, and threaten Central Asia and Russia from northern Afghanistan. For this, the Tajikistan-Afghanistan border, which consists of difficult mountainous regions, is very convenient. Naturally, Russia and China will have counter moves against this, but it will be in the interest of the USA and its allies to keep them busy in this region for a long time and to cause them to spend their economic and military power.
As I write these lines, the Taliban forces have reached the gate of the city where I live. Panic is at its peak, men are already growing beards. There happen power cuts; phone lines and the internet are not working well. We can’t hear from our relatives in the districts captured by the Taliban, the telephone lines and internet networks there are completely cut off. The jihadist gangs I mentioned above, armed from head to foot with heavy and light weapons, roam the city. From time to time, conflicts break out among themselves, they rob and kidnap whenever they want. It is deplorable that there is no movement from the left organizations these days, which is the most sensitive and vital period, while the north of Afghanistan is rapidly drifting into massacre, brutality, and turmoil. People, who had been aching for “revolution” through social media till yesterday, either remained silent or found the solution to flee to Kabul and abroad. It was obvious that leftist organizations would act like this. Because the heads of these organizations proved that they could not do anything with their wrong activities in the 80s. On the other hand, their organizational style is wrong. If they can’t meet even once o month in small numbers and they can’t attract even three people to their organizations in a year, one can consider the rest. Therefore, the Afghan people with all their suffering were left to their own fate.
The important thing here is that a brave one among the left organizations should show some courage and come forward to organize people by taking advantage of the opportunities that arise. I hope such an event will happen soon, otherwise, the intellectuals and leftist organizations of Afghanistan will have to answer to history in the future.
Lastly, if we bring up Turkey’s desire to be directly involved in the Afghanistan crisis in the name of protecting Hamid Karzai International Airport. The history of Afghanistan has shown this: Those who entered this country got stuck in the swamp and could not get out easily. Britain and the Soviet Union are very good examples. Actually, we don’t know exactly what Erdoğan desires. We don’t know if he has a desire to spread the idea of neo-Ottomanism in her mind or if he wants to derive benefits from the West with this behavior and get closer to the West again. But it should not be forgotten that Afghanistan is not Syria or Iraq for Turkey. To have troops in Afghanistan, it is first necessary to get the approval of Pakistan and the Taliban. Even with this approval, Turkey has to be hostile to countries like Iran, Russia, India, and China. However, these countries have investments in Afghanistan that they have been working in for years. They would not easily leave the country to Turkey. On the other hand, the ongoing friendship between the people of Turkey and Afghanistan until today will be shaken by Erdoğan’s move. There is already rhetoric of ordinary people around me worrying that Turkey will bring ISIS to our country. Therefore, if Erdoğan sends soldiers to Afghanistan, he will not be able to avoid being trapped, he will risk the lives of the soldiers, most of whom are poor young people, and she is stigmatized as an occupier in the eyes of the Afghan people. If Erdoğan enters Afghanistan, be sure that he will be stuck in this quagmire for at least ten years and history will repeat itself.