Afghanistan: A Personal History

Afghanistan: A Personal History

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It’s hard to talk about Afghanistan’s recent history without talking about a much longer history and tradition. Those of us who are the children of the Mujahideen grew up on stories of our ancestors defeating Alexander the Great and the British Colonial Empire. When I talk to my generation, who grew up when Afghanistan’s current fighting began, about 40 years ago, they talk about those days with a fervor – our families suffered immensely and sacrificed dozens of uncles and relatives to the struggle against Soviet imperialism, but this wasn’t something that happened in isolation.

We’re Afghans – we’ve been killing colonizers since our history began. Not only that, we’ve been taking down their empires with them. The oldest photo we have of our family was stumbled upon by my father who one day found himself looking at his ancestors staring back at him when researching the second Anglo-Afghan war. A proud moment for a man who prides himself on being from a long line of anti imperialists

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Bay Area Intifada Update from Afghanistan

***Note: One of our BAI contributors sent us this journal from Afghanistan. It has been extremely difficult to film as they can afford “handlers” and bringing that much attention on one’s self could get them stuffed into the trunk of a car.

Currently in Jalabad city listening to a 10yr old kid tell me a story of when Daesh came to his village and sat 10 people on top of bombs and blew them up in front of them and other villagers.

He says they must have been Pakistani because they only spoke urdu and had a translator with them.

As of now they’re relatively small and are suggested to be numbering around 3000 but I don’t think its even possible to know because its a mass state of confusion out here.
Its very clear that the security situation is far worse than this time last year.

The Taliban have proven there will be no peace under occupation and practically hit their targets at will. Just a couple nights ago the they shot out the electricity of all of Jalalabad.

When I got to Kabul on Thursday, I asked my cousin how the situation was and he said in a straight face “its good, there hasn’t been a major attack in 10 days.”

The central govt is extremely weak and is growing more and more unpopular by the day. So far Ashraf Ghani is a total failure. Its not entirely his fault as Dr Abdullah basically held the country hostage after failing in the ‘elections.’

He now has a 50/50 share in running the government.

Which means almost 100% gridlock. Very much American democracy at work. Corporations and the rich running amuck.
The central government and the security apparatus occupy the streets. Its not looking good for them. The helicoptors and drones are nonstop. No one even blinks at them though. The  helicoptors shot out flares the other day and I ducked down like a fool.

Back to the little kid: this boy is 10, wearing some old n dirty clothes, smart as a whip and currently has to work 15 hr days instead attending school. He wants to do both and doesnt flinch at the thought. He was mostly concerned where he could get some shoes as it is getting cold.

That is just one kid out of millions that face this reality.

I’m pretty sure hes gonna try to leave here at in a few years like the 100,000s of young men that have this year. This exodus is a catastrophe.

I’m on my way to my village to say a prayer for my uncle who was martyred 14yrs ago today. His moselium is there and last I heard was damaged by a Taliban rocket a month ago.

I spoke with a man who worked on the property of someone the Taliban has beef with. He’s a groundskeeper. The Taliban showed up at the property a few months back (which isn’t particularly strange because they’re very active here). They took a look around, then came back and shot him in the stomach. They realized he wasnt dead so they shot him in the temple. It wasnt this brother’s time to go though as he told ua what happened himself.

I still would rather stay here than ever look at the US ever again.

***Nota: Uno de nuestros colaboradores en BAI envió este diario – de viaje – desde Afganistán. Ha sido extremadamente difícil de filmar ya que pueden pagar a manipuladores y atraer tanta atención a uno que podrían meterlo a la cajuela de un auto.

“Actualmente en la ciudad de Jalabad escuchando a un niño de 10 años diciéndome una historia de cuando Daes vino a este poblado y sentó a 10 personas sobre unas bombas y los voló frente a ellos y otros pobladores.

Dice que han de haber sido pakistaníes porque solamente hablaron urdu y tenían un traductor con ellos.

Por ahora son, relativamente pequeño y sugieren que son alrededor de 3, 000 pero no creo que eso sea siquiera posible de saber porque es un estado de confusión en masa.

Es muy claro que la situación de seguridad es mucho peor que hace un año.

Los Talibanes han probado que no habrá paz bajo ocupación y prácticamente atacan a voluntad. Sólo hace un par de noches cortaron la electricidad de todo Jalalabad.

Cuando llegué el Jueves a Kabul, pregunté a mi primo cómo estaba la situación y dijo con cara seria “está bien, no ha habido un gran ataque en 10 días”

“El gobierno central es extremadamente débil y está siendo cada día más y más impopular por día. Hasta ahora Ashraf Ghani es un fracaso total. No es su culpa completamente ya que el Dr. Abdullah básicamente tuvo como rehén al país después de fallar en las ‘elecciones.’

Él ahora tiene un 50/50 en la gestión del gobierno.

Lo cual significa casi el 100% en contra. Mucha democracia estadounidense en el trabajo. Las corporaciones y los ricos están incontrolables.

El gobierno central y el aparato de seguridad ocupan las calles. No se ve bien para ellos. Los helicópteros y drones andan sin parar. Nadie, parpadea siquiera frente ante éstos. Los helicópteros dispararon el otro día bengalas y me agaché como un tonto.”

Volviendo al pequeño: este niño tiene 10, llevaba ropa vieja y sucia, muy inteligente y actualmente tiene que trabajar 15 horas al día en lugar de ir a la escuela. Él quiere hacer ambas cosas y ni siquiera, en su mente, se le hace difícil. Él estaba más preocupado por dónde obtener zapatos ya que estaba haciendo más frío.

Ése fue sólo un niño de los millones que enfrentan esta realidad.

Estoy seguro que él intentará irse en algunos años como los cientos de miles de jóvenes que lo han hecho este año. Es una catástrofe este éxodo.

Voy camino a mi ciudad para decir una oración por mi tío quien fue martirizado hoy hace 14 años. Su mausoleo esta ahí y lo último que escuché es que fue dañado por un proyectil Talibán hace un mes.

Hablé con un hombre que trabajó en la propiedad de alguien que tiene relación con los Talibanes. Él es un jardinero. Los Talibanes aparecieron en la propiedad unos meses atrás (lo cual no es particularmente extraño porque son muy activos aquí). Echaron un vistazo, volvieron y le dispararon en el estómago. Se dieron cuenta que no estaba muerto así que dispararon en el templo. No era su tiempo – para irse – puesto que él mismo nos contó lo ocurrido.

Todavía prefiero quedarme aquí y nunca más ver los EE. UU. de nuevo.

[Video] Pakistani Authorities Continue to Destroy Refugee Camps Around the Country

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Pakistani Authorities Continue to Destroy Refugee Camps Around the Country

Written by Jabar

“Residents of a mud shantytown in Islamabad‬ have received orders to leave their homes before their neighborhood is destroyed. The inhabitants, mostly Afghan refugees and displaced Pakistanis, say authorities believe the district is a hotbed of militancy.” – RFE/RL

The destruction of refugee camps is part of a broader strategy to expel Afghan refugees from Pakistan entirely. Mass sweeps are scheduled to take place in many areas including ‪#‎Peshawar‬ later this year. Continue reading

The story of Malalai of Maiwand – Afghan Heroine

Battle of Maiwand Afghanistan

Malalai “Anaa” is a national heroine that stood up in the most critical point of the battle of Maiwand in the second Anglo-Afghan War. (1880) As the morale of the Afghan Mujahideen was wailing, she stood up and proclaimed:
“Young love! If you do not fall in the battle of maiwand
By god someone is saving you as a symbol of shame”
Malalai’s fame spurred from this incident.

Amazing : Interactive website brings viewers deep inside refugee camp in Kabul

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Photo: lovely planet images

From KABOUL KIS
Enter the site and click to launch the different reports on these informal camps in Kabul where families displaced by the war are trying to survive.

Once inside the site, viewers are able to read about the individuals with the camp, see their living conditions, hear their voices and the sounds as if one is present within the camp.

ENTER SITE: KABOULKIS

US Military Trashes, Sells its Unwanted gear in Afghanistan Leaving Behind Towering Junkyard

Originally Posted by AP

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan 

The withdrawing U.S. military is destroying most of the equipment it is leaving behind in Afghanistan after 13 years of war, selling the scrap for millions of dollars to those willing to buy it.

The policy stands in stark contrast to the Americans’ withdrawal from Iraq, when they donated or sold still-usable items worth about $100 million.

The equipment is being trashed, U.S. officials say, because of fears that anything left behind in Afghanistan could fall into the hands of insurgents and used to make bombs. Leaving it behind also saves the U.S. billions of dollars in transportation costs.

Afghans are angry at the policy, arguing that even furniture and appliances that could improve their lives is being turned into useless junk.

“They use everything while they are here, and then they give it to us after breaking it,” said Mohammed Qasim, a junk dealer in the volatile southern province of Kandahar. He gestured toward the large yellow frame of a gutted generator, saying it would have been more useful in somebody’s home, given the lack of electricity in the area.

The twisted mounds of metal, steel and industrial rubber scattered over a vast field had once been armored vehicles, trucks and huge blast walls that protected troops from suicide bombers. Giant black treads were pulled from tanks. Even air conditioners, exercise machines and office equipment were crushed and stuffed into multicolored shipping containers piled on top of each other in the junkyard.

In this Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013 photo, scrap bought …

In the last year, the U.S. has turned equipment and vehicles into 387 million pounds (176 million kilograms) of scrap that it sold to Afghans for $46.5 million, according to Mimi Schirmacher, a spokeswoman for the military’s Defense Logistics Agency in Virginia. Continue reading

“The Next Day Was Revenge” : Rivalry or Cooperation

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BAI Note:  We would like to suggest that people watch the following video from October 7, 2012 –the 11th anniversary of the US/NATO occupation of aggression against the peoples of Afghanistan– in order to have a better context for this article’s analysis of the past year. BAI would also like to extend an offer of prayer to all who have died from the aggression (whether or not they are dying in battle, or crossing borders, or at the hands of fascists in Europe and North America) :

~”Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji’un انا لله وانا اليه راجعون

Surely we come from Allah; And to him shall we return”~

From Tom Vee : Video from last year’s rally and march:


11th Anniversary of AFG war Poster - Hoodies & Hijabs March

11th Anniversary of AFG war Poster – Hoodies & Hijabs March

“The Next Day Was Revenge” : Rivalry or Cooperation

Oakland, California

Since October 7 of 2012, the 11th anniversary of the US/ NATO occupation  of aggression against the Afghan people (and the 520th year of genocidal occupation of Turtle Island), Oakland, California has seen a major shift in its political make up, as seen manifested in the politics in the streets: Self-Determination and militancy, a revolutionary unity amongst non white-identified peoples, a respect for 3rd Worldism and Islamic values…elements social movements in the US have not seen in decades.

The past year’s successes and failures from voluntary separatism can not be determined just yet. But one major challenge is clear: black and brown people do not have as much money or access to resources as whites. That’s just a fact.

The generic term “POC” or “people of color” is highly problematic, as it easily mis-implies hegemony. In reality, this is a sign of weakness and of declining power among black and brown folks (and of course, others of color) in the US.

This needs to be understood in order for our day-to-day organizing to reflect this truism as well as for us to fully understand what necessitated a voluntary (and for some, temporary) separatism from white radicalism and the politics of academia. We see two tasks in front of us that will not progress at the hand of white people. The first task is the destruction of white hegemony and white supremacy inside and outside “the Movement.” Secondly, and intertwined with the first, we need to strategize, organize, and articulate our collective actions as various tentacles of the same dangerous revolutionary beast connected to a centuries-old struggle for liberation, rather than to act as self-important cliques in a college scene (or a dropped-out-of-life scene). Currently, we don’t have a movement at all: we have a “scene.” This is one of the largest problems and biggest distractions of our time. In fact, it’s an argument in favor of separatism (whether temporary or prolonged)–of checking white supremacy to ensure that more of us are compelled to take action with the confidence that we will struggle against a common enemy, rather than merely struggling to have our perspectives included in the narrative of what goes down–a struggle we’ve been bound to for fucking ever.

Pigs Are Haram

Pigs Are Haram

Continue reading

Afghanistan – Farmers’ killing sparks anti-police protest

Farmers’ killing sparks anti-ALP protest

While carrying the victims’ bodies, people of the area took to the streets on Tuesday morning, chanting slogans against ALP

By Hidayatullah Hamdard

People of the Dasht-i-Archi district of northern Kunduz province on Tuesday staged a protest against an Afghan Local Police (ALP) member who killed two farmers after they refused to give him Ushr.

Afghan Local Police is a semi-volunteer force
The Afghan Local Police is a semi-volunteer force. (Photo: David Gilkey/NPR)

The incident took place on Monday evening when ALP official Iftikhar asked the growers for alms, but they declined giving him wheat. The policeman shot dead the famers and injured a 12 years old boy in Bajauri village.

While carrying the victims’ bodies, people of the area took to the streets on Tuesday morning, chanting slogans against ALP in the district centre.

“We are tired of this behaviour of ALP personnel. The farmers were killed 50 metres from the police headquarters, but the government could not arrest the culprit,” one of the protestors, Inzar Gul, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

The ALP men seek a share in their crop yields in the name of Zakat and Ushr, complained a tribal elder from the area. Some elements joined the protest to fuel violence, but the demonstration ended on a peaceful note.

The district chief, Sheikh Sadruddin Saadi, said the local policeman had killed a farmer due to personal enmity. The policeman was also shot dead by the victim’s relatives, he added.

(VIDEO) Machete Attack on Police Station – Uyghur Autonomous Region

Video and Excerpts from Sina July 8

Autnomous Uyghur Region, Turkestan

“Surveillance video showing rioters with machetes attacking a local police station on June 26 in Shanshan county of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region was released Saturday.

Reports stated that 24 people, of which 16 were ethnic Uyghurs and eight were Han, were killed. The attacks also left 21 others injured.”

June 26th, Uyghur Autonomous region

June 26th, Uyghur Autonomous region

watch video here

[BAI Note] The clashes in “Turkestan” have been going on for decades as the Muslim Uyghur population has been in a decolonial struggle against the Chinese state and the Han Chinese. The Hans have been flooding and settling the region which is often called “Xinjiang,” which means “New Frontier” or “New Colony,” by the Chinese state and global mainstream media. The security forces in the region are Han Chinese as well and any act against the settlers is considered an act against the state. Since 9/11, the Chinese government has taken to calling the Uyghur rebels “insurgents” and the uprisings acts of “terror.”  The Muslim Uyghur community, now an ethnic minority group in the region, has also been banned by the Chinese state from observing Ramadan. Other Muslim activities such as visits to the masjid (mosques) have also been curbed. Continue reading