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  • Monday, May 30, 2005

    "Liberated" Afghan women still face abuse

    Those Afghan women must be so thrilled that one theocracy has been replaced with another. Reuters reports:

    Women are raped, murdered and abused with impunity all over Afghanistan despite the overthrow of the Taliban that was supposed to have ushered in a new era of rights for women, Amnesty International said on Monday.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts


    At 5/31/2005 09:24:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Would you say that this is the fault of the Americans?


    At 5/31/2005 10:35:00 pm, Blogger DJEB said...

    I would go as far as to say that in large part it is, as the U.S. is responsible for the Taliban crackpots who took over in the first place; then for not sending enough troops to maintain order and turning regional power over to warlords of the same stripe as the Taliban.

    At 6/01/2005 11:35:00 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    The US was founded in 1776. Women in Afghanistan were being treated like this before then and ever since. Now that the US has overthrown the taliban, western organisations have access to Afghanistan and the plight of women under a misogynistic culture is made evident.


    At 6/02/2005 03:20:00 am, Blogger DJEB said...

    I remember a thread like this from a couple of months back when you pretended not to know what was going on in Afghanistan in the seventies. The country was undergoing a vibrant revolution with agrarian reform, schools, rights for women. Then came the following:

    Q: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs [From the Shadows] that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahidin in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period, you were the national security advisor to President Carter. You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that corect?

    Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahidin began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec. 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was 3 July 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.

    [Asked if he regreted this action] Brzezinski: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam War. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.

    - Zbigniew Brzezinski in1998 interview with Le Nouvel Observateur

    Probably the most subversive effect of the privatized jihad was on the madrassahs, many of which were turned into politico-military training schools. The point was to integrate guerrilla training with the teachings of Islam and thus create "Islamic guerrillas." The London-based Indian journalist Dilip Hiro commented in the curriculum of the madrassahs: "Predominant themes were that Islam was a complete sociopolitical ideology, that holy Islam was being violated by atheistic Soviet troops, and that the Islamic people of Afghanistan should reassert their independence by overthrowing the leftist Afghan regime propped up by Moscow." The madrassahs not only opened their doors to Islamic radicals from around the world but also taught that the Islamic revolution in Afghanistan would be but a precursor to revolution in other Muslim-majority countries, particularly those in Soviet Central Asia.
    'The skills passed on by trainers to fighters included "the use of sophisticated fuses, timers and explosives; automatic weapons with armor-piercing ammunition, remote-control devices for triggering mines and bombs (used later in the volunteers' home countries, and against the Israelis in occupied Arab territory such as southern Lebanon). [Mamdani quoting John Cooley in Unholy Wars]"


    [A] team of Los Angeles Times reporters who carried out an investigation [in 1996] into the aftermath of the Afghan War "over four continents" found that the key leaders of every major terrorist attack, from New York to France to Saudi Arabia, inevitably turned out to have been veterans of the Afghan War.

    - Mamood Mamdani in Good Muslim Bad Muslim: America, The Cold War, And The Roots of Terror, p.136 - 139

    At 6/02/2005 10:03:00 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    And how does this affect the treatment of Afghan women as meted out by their menfolk since well before and since 1776? How much of this is the fault of the US?


    At 6/02/2005 04:02:00 pm, Blogger DJEB said...

    As pointed out above, the treatment of Afghan women in the 18th century is not the issue. The issue is their treatment in the 1970s. You can pretend that I didn't write about the revolution underway in Afghanistan at that time; and you can pretend that the U.S. did not cause the end of that revolution. But pretending does not change the fact that it is posted right above.

    At 6/02/2005 10:19:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Are you advocating that the US post a soldier inside every Afghan household in order to prevent the beating of the woman of the house? How can the US be held responsible for the misogynistic behaviour of the Afghan male, behaviour which has not changed since humans lived there. this has nothing whatsoever to do with the revolution, the US or the USSR etc. Get back to the issue and drop the non sequitur.


    At 6/03/2005 11:12:00 am, Blogger DJEB said...

    You want to pretend I haven't addressed this above? Ok. I'll play that game.

    Afghanistan underwent very liberal reforms in the 1970s. There was land reform, controls on prices and profits, an increase in the public sector, a campaign to wipe out illiteracy, separation of religion from state (I'll say that one again - separation of religion and state), legalization of trade unions and emancipation of women (I'll say that one again, too - emancipation of women).

    The U.S., however, saw Afghanistan as an "Afghan trap" (in the words of the then National Security Advisor it the U.S. as quoted above) for the USSR and began funding the Islamic crazies that you are so fond of speaking about in an effort to lure the Soviet Union into Afghanistan to give it a long and damaging war. It worked. As mentioned above, the funding for the crazies included funding for madrassahs (Islamic schools) to teach "the moral equivanent of [the U.S.'s] Founding Fathers" (to quote Ronald Reagan on the matter) to be sufficiently fundamentalist. This also worked.

    So again I say, it is not what happened in the 18th Century, it is what happened in the 1970s that is important.

    [Additionally, there are the Geneva Conventions which hold requirements for occupying forces to protect the citizens of the occupied land (those parts of the Convention not yet having been "render[ed] quaint" by the Attorney General).]

    At 6/06/2005 02:28:00 am, Blogger DJEB said...

    The pretending has ended, I guess.

    At 6/13/2005 08:32:00 am, Blogger DJEB said...

    Yup. No more pretending.


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