Through Afghan Eyes

What success should mean for Afghans and not only Americans

afghan girlsThe future of Afghanistan and what the United States can do to help that nation are in jeopardy right now. I’m sure this statement is of no surprise to anyone, which is unfortunate. We have been in Afghanistan for over 7 years now and at the end of those 7 years, the country is in the worst shape it has been in since the Taliban fell from power in 2001. Afghans are angry at America; the most recent example of why they are so upset is the recent aerial strikes by US warplanes that, according to some reports, killed well over 100 people.

If this report is confirmed and is revealed to be the deadliest incident involving civilians since 2001, then it might make Americans and Afghans alike wonder what reason the US and NATO have to even be in Afghanistan. A friend of mine on another blog recently expressed his anger over this, asking “What’s the point of being in Afghanistan to fight terrorists who mass murder civilians if we are just going to mass murder the civilians for them?”

I found this to be a very good insight into what is happening in Afghanistan. I cannot imagine the anger and despair the Afghan villagers in Farah Province are feeling right now. Who is on their side? Who’s going to help them rebuild their country, their lives, and their communities?

american soldier in afghan

This is why we need to modify our strategy in Afghanistan. Two presidents in a row now have failed to address the key issues…sending more troops to battle the Taliban is only a small part of the solution to rebuild Afghanistan. I highly doubt we would be seeing this resurgence of violence if coalition forces had put more effort into necessities like women’s empowerment, education for girls, the eradication of poverty, the removal of land mines (there are millions in Afghanistan) and the modernization of an infrastructure intentionally run-down by millenarians bent on bringing their society back to the dark days of the 7th Century.

There is an excellent web source I have been reading from, called “The Afghan Women’s Mission”…I have added it to my sidebar and borrowed an image from the site at the top of this post. Afghanistan’s answer to future success is not simply more soldiers and more fighting…yes, the Taliban needs to be defeated and yes, air power has proven to be essential in backing up Afghan and coalition forces who encounter swarms of Taliban fighters in the vast mountainous expanses throughout the country. But we need more civilian aid. Afghans who are satisfied with their lives will prove to be far more valuable in defeating the Taliban and stabilizing the country than even the most sophisticated bomb.

 There is an old proverb I’ve heard many times, and I’m sure you have too: “catch a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you fee him for a lifetime”. I think this can be applied to the great nation of Afghanistan. The country needs a police force and a modern army that can fight for the people and stand against threat regardless of who is in the White House or what the political situation is like in the US. I hope that President Obamahas some ideas on how to do this. The surge in Iraq saw great success because the strategy was to work directly with the Iraqi people. The same needs to be done in Afghanistan if we want to see more results.

After 7 long years that have grown in ferocity as they pass, Afghans lack basic services. Afghanistan needs to be fixed, or else the US and our NATO allies will simply be remembered as another set of “invaders” who failed to bring anything but violence to Afghanistan, and Afghans will slide back into a hell that will make the current spate of roadside bombings and suicide attacks seem serene. Regional neighbors, like Russia, Iran, and India, have an even bigger stake in all off this. Surely, Indian and Russian intelligence are going to be very afraid if Taliban leader Mullah Omar succeeds in coming to power…India will be especially concerned if the Taliban gains power in Pakistan. That, I must add, would be a recipe for a humanitarian disaster.

I remember in the weeks after September 11th, President Bush asked children all across America to donate $1 to the children of Afghanistan. What ever happened to those days? I thought we were all united, standing together and ready to confront the challenges we faced. Its time we live up to what we started and help fix Afghanistan.


2 Responses to “Through Afghan Eyes”

  1. Red Pill Says:

    Highly recommended. These are some courageous women!

    Interview with the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA)
    Established in 1977, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) is an independent women’s organisation fighting for human rights and social justice in Afghanistan. RAWA opposed the Soviet invasion and occupation of Afghanistan from 1979-89, as well as the subsequent Mujahaden and Taliban governments, running underground schools for Afghan girls, publishing a journal and setting up humanitarian projects.

    These women are there on the ground. They know what’s up.

  2. United World 108 Says:

    Red Pill,

    Thank you very much for the links

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