The ‘good war’ is a bad war

Linked with Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan RAWA, with John Pilger – Australia & England, and with Rina Amiri – Afghanistan & USA.

Published on johnpilger.com, by John Pilger, January 9, 2008.

… Rawa is the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, which since 1977 has alerted the world to the suffering of women and girls in that country. There is no organisation on earth like it. It is the high bar of feminism, home of the bravest of the brave. Year after year, Rawa agents have travelled secretly through Afghanistan, teaching at clandestine girls? schools, ministering to isolated and brutalised women, recording outrages on cameras concealed beneath their burqas. They were the Taliban regime?s implacable foes when the word Taliban was barely heard in the west: when the Clinton administration was secretly courting the mullahs so that the oil company Unocal could build a pipeline across Afghanistan from the Caspian.

Indeed, Rawa’s understanding of the designs and hypocrisy of western governments informs a truth about Afghanistan excluded from news, now reduced to a drama of British squaddies besieged by a demonic enemy in a ‘good war’ …

… The truth about the ‘good war’ is to be found in compelling evidence that the 2001 invasion, widely supported in the west as a justifiable response to the 11 September attacks, was actually planned two months prior to 9/11 and that the most pressing problem for Washington was not the Taliban’s links with Osama Bin Laden, but the prospect of the Taliban mullahs losing control of Afghanistan to less reliable mujahedin factions, led by warlords who had been funded and armed by the CIA to fight America’s proxy war against the Soviet occupiers in the 1980s.


Known as the Northern Alliance, these mujahedin had been largely a creation of Washington, which believed the ‘jihadi card’ could be used to bring down the Soviet Union. The Taliban were a product of this and, during the Clinton years, they were admired for their ‘discipline’. Or, as the Wall Street Journal put it, ‘[the Taliban] are the players most capable of achieving peace in Afghanistan at this moment in history’.

The ‘moment in history’ was a secret memorandum of understanding the mullahs had signed with the Clinton administration on the pipeline deal. However, by the late 1990s, the Northern Alliance had encroached further and further on territory controlled by the Taliban, whom, as a result, were deemed in Washington to lack the ’stability’ required of such an important client. It was the consistency of this client relationship that had been a prerequisite of US support, regardless of the Taliban’s aversion to human rights. (Asked about this, a state department briefer had predicted that ‘the Taliban will develop like the Saudis did’, with a pro-American economy, no democracy and ‘lots of sharia law’, which meant the legalised persecution of women. ‘We can live with that’, he said.) …

… Tony Blair once said memorably: ‘To the Afghan people, we make this commitment. We will not walk away … [We will offer] some way out of the poverty that is your miserable existence’. I thought about this as I watched children play in a destroyed cinema. They were illiterate and so could not read the poster warning that unexploded cluster bombs lay in the debris … (full text).

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