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Topic subjectStatues and what we know about Afghanistan
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=22&topic_id=11218&mesg_id=11218
11218, Statues and what we know about Afghanistan
Posted by cued, Tue Oct-09-01 11:32 AM
I found this on GLBPOC and I thought to post it here. However, my thrust for posting this here comes out of something else.

I volunteer at the GBLT community center here in Tucson, AZ, called Wingspan. Today, a new volunteer came in. She's bisexual, eighteen, white, and considers herself an activist. While training, we have a chance to get to know each other. And Carol, who I normally work with, starts making an analogy between the KKK and Taliban. And then Sarah (her name) starts talking about how women are treated in Afghanistan (like she's been there and all). And I am stuck in the middle, saying, "But we don't know anything about their culture. We don't know any of the contexts. We _MUST_ be careful about looking at other people with our American eyes and our American culture and making moralistic judgements."

No one wanted to hear that.

But it is getting to me. It is getting to me that the media is going through all of this effort to make us think/feel that our "striking" Afghanistan (and going into Iraq, now) is something that we need to do. It is attempting to play off of our cultural (American cultural) mindsets. And this scares me because not everyone is going to be able to read into it and see it.

When I read this, I just wanted Sarah and Carol to read it to counter some of the shit they, we all, are being fed.

There is no excuse.
There is no justification.


Here is a speech delivered by an Afghan senior official Syyed
Rehmatullah Hashmi in University of Southern California,Los
angeles,California on 10th March 2001. It is worth reading.
Please read it carefully and send it to everybody you know as early as possible without discriminating the religion,country and nations cos i think everyone has a kind heart in one's body for a human being. I have omitted the details to avoid the lenth of the mail but you can find it on the web site of MSA-USC
*Note: Indicate words that were not heard clearly in the

I was just coming from a group of scholars, and
the first thing we started there was the statues. It s very unfortunate how little we see and how little we know. And it really confuses me, if people really know that little or not. Nobody has seen the problems of Afghanistan; nobody saw their problems before. And the only thing that represents Afghanistan today are the statues.

The problem of Afghanistan was not new. As you know that
Afghanistan is called, The Crossroads of Asia. So, we are suffering because of our geo-strategic location. We have suffered in the 18th century, 19th century, and we are still suffering in this century.(they are sufferning now in 21st

We have not attacked the British. We have not attacked the
Russians. It was them who attacked us. So the problems in Afghanistan you see is not our creation. That reflects the image of the world. If you don t like the image in the mirror, do not break the mirror; break your face.

The problems in Afghanistan started in 1979. Afghanistan was a
peaceful country and it was doing its own job. The Russians, along with their 140,000 troops attacked Afghanistan in the December of 1979, just 21 years ago, stayed there for a decade, killed one and a half million people, maimed one million more people, and six million out of the eighteen million people migrated because of the Russian brutalities. Even today,
our children are dying because of the landmines that they planted for us. And nobody knows about this.

After the Russians left during the Russian occupation, on the
other side, the American government, the British government, the French, the Chinese, and all of the rest, supported the counter-revolutionaries called the Mujahideen; 7 parties only in Pakistan and 8 parties in Iran who fought the Russian occupation. And after the Russians left, these parties
went into Afghanistan. All of them had different ideologies, a lot of weapon. And instead of having a single administration, they fought in Afghanistan.

So seeing this destruction and lawlessness, a group of students
called the Taliban the following things that we have done, and many of you may not know:

* The first thing we have done is reunify the fragmented country

* Second thing we have done, which everybody failed to do, was disarm (the) population.

* And the third thing that we have done is to establish a single
administration under Afghanistan, which did not exist for 10

* And the fourth achievement that we have that is surprising to
everybody is that we have eradicated 75% of all worlds Opium cultivation. Afghanistan produced 75% of all worlds Opium. The drug, you know that Opium? The Narcotics business? And last year we issued an edict asking the people to stop growing Opium, and this year, the United Nations Drug Control Program, UNDCP, and their head, Barnard F., announced that there was 0% of
Opium cultivation.

* The fifth achievement that we have, but it's a little controversial, some of our friends will not know is the restoration of Human rights. Before us, nobody could live peacefully in Afghanistan. So the first thing we have
done, begun to the people is a secure and peaceful

The second major thing that we have restored is to give them free and fair justice; you don't have to buy justice, unlike here. You will have justice freely. And you have criticized us for violating women's rights. They didn't
have the right to select their husbands, or to reject their
husbands. First thing we have done is to let them choose their future. we had to start from zero; we couldn t jump in the middle.

Now you ve asked me about the rights of women's education and the rights of women's work. Unlike what is said here, women do work in Afghanistan. You're right that until 1997 I
mean, in 1996 when we captured the capitol Kabul, we did ask
women to stay home. It didn't mean that we wanted them to stay at home forever, but nobody listened to us. We said that there is no law, and there is no order, and have to stay at home. They were raped before us, every day. So, after we disarmed the people, and after we brought law and order, now women
are working. They work in the Ministry of Health, Interior,
Ministry of Education, Ministry of Social Affairs, and so on.

* And the Seventh problem is that we are accused of is terrorism, or the existence of terrorists in Afghanistan. And for Americans terrorism or terrorist means only bin Laden.

Now you will not know that bin Laden was in Afghanistan 17 years before even we existed. Bin Laden was in Afghanistan, fought the Soviet Union, and Mr. Ronald Reagan, the president of America in that time, and Dick, Mr. Dick Chaney called such people freedom fighters or the Heroes of Independence, because they were fighting for their cause. So Osama bin Laden was one of those guys who was instigated by such media reports, so in that provocation by these countries to go to Afghanistan and fight the Soviets there. And now when the Soviet Union is fragmented, such people were not needed anymore, and they were transformed into terrorists from heroes to terrorists.

So exactly like Mr. Yassir Arafat was transformed from a terrorist to a hero. So we don t know as to what is the definition of Terrorism. We do regret that the terrorists
were actually horrific acts and they were terrorist acts. But if
they are terrorist acts, what is the difference between those terrorist acts and the attacks on Afghanistan when in 1998 attacks, cruise missile attacks on Afghanistan. Neither of the two were declared and both of them killed civilians. So we are confused as to what is the definition of Terrorism. If it means killing civilians blindly, both of them killed civilians blindly.

They announced that they were trying to kill Osama bin Laden. We
didn't know Osama bin Laden then. I didn t know him; he was just a simple man. So we were all shocked. I was one of those men who was sitting at home at night, I was called for an immediate council meeting and we all were told the United States have attacked Afghanistan with 75 cruise missiles and trying to kill one man. And they missed that man; killed 19 other students
and never apologized for those killings. So what would you do if
you were in our status; if we were to go and send 75 cruise missiles into the United States and say that we were going to kill a man that we thought not believed that we thought was responsible for our embassy, and we missed that man, and we killed 19 other Americans what would the United States do?
An instant declaration of war. But we were polite. We didn't
declare war. We had a lot of problems at home; we didn't want further problem.

United States is looking for a Boogy Man always. Remember what
Gorbachev said? He said, that he s going to do the worst thing ever to the United States. And everybody thought that he s going to blow the United States with nuclear weapon. But he said, "I m going to remove their enemy". And then he fragmented Soviet Union. And he was right. After he fragmented Soviet Union, a lot of people lost their jobs in the Pentagon, in the CIA, and the FBI, because they were not needed anymore. So we think that maybe these guys are looking for a Boogy Man now. Maybe they want to justify their annual budget, maybe they want to make their citizens feel that they are still needed to defend them. Afghanistan is not a terrorist state; we cannot even make a needle. How are we going to be a terrorist state? How are we going to be a threat to the world? If the world terrorism
is really derived from the word terror , then there are countries making weapons of mass destruction, countries making nuclear weapons, forest deforestation, soil, air, and water pollution they are terrorist states; we are not.

Now, we are under sanctions. And the sanctions have caused a lot
of problems, despite that we are going under so many problems, the 23 years of continuous war, the total destruction of our infrastructure, and the problem of refugees, and the problem of land mines in our agricultural lands, all of a sudden the United Nations, with the provocation of Russia, is imposing sanctions on Afghanistan. And the sanctions have been approved; we are under sanctions. Several hundred children died a month
ago, here it is (holds up pamphlet). Seven hundred children died because of malnutrition and the severe cold weather. Nobody even talked about that.

Everybody knows about the statues. For us, we are surprised, that the world is destroying our future with economic sanctions, then they have no right to worry about our past. But it is really, really ridiculous. These people do not care about children, about people who are dying there, about the foreign
interference that still exists, they only care about the
statues. And I m sure they don t care about our heritage. They don t care about our heritage; they only care about their picnic site one time. Maybe they'll have a good picnic site there, seeing those statues.

We are still open-minded. We are still, we have still opened our
doors for negotiations, but our offices are closed everywhere our office was closed in New York a week ago. They are trying to shut our offices in other countries, trying to isolate us, and they dont know that isolation is counter-productive.

I m prolonging this speech, I m sorry, because I have been
repeating it everywhere, so I may have left some thing in it, and I will let you ask me questions. he answered a question, I will tell you a story of CNN. CNN was in Afghanistan interviewing bin Laden, in '98. You have to be careful in listening to this. I was there, and they asked bin
Laden as to what was the thinking about the killing of civilians
in Iraq.

After three hours of formal conversation, and the camera was
rolling. He said, that if all American citizens and if all British citizens are willing, or supporting, to kill all Iraqi civilians, then all American citizens and all British citizens deserve the same thing or to be killed.

CNN cut everything. Three-hour conversation was not there, only
thing they put was and it was not complete the only clause that they said was, the independent clause of what he said, they said that, all American and British citizens must be killed. This is what came on the air.

But he didn't mean this. And I know that all Americans do not support the killing civilians there. Not even a quarter of that. That was impossible. But now what they taught their people was that bin Laden is saying that all American civilians must be killed.


"americans are gross!" -utamaroho

Uplifting thoughts:

"We are the end result of our ancestors prayers as they died. We you are the sum total of their answered prayers."

"I am because we are; we are because I am."

"falling in love with somebody's soul...their essence their personality their walk their talk the way they speak and smile...no matter what the physical outer body is..male or female...is a temptation i hope i am never foolish enough to resist." - Hot Damali