Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Rethink Afghanistan

The Rose Crescent House of Peace endorses much of the new film by Brave New films on Afghanistan. The recent position paper circulated by the House of Peace calls on the USA to immediately cease all unmanned drone attacks inside of Pakistan.

Moreover, the Rose Crescent position on Afghanistan is that further military escalation will push thousands more into the Taleban camp.

We put forward that the Taleban theology is un-Islamic. However, its defeat must take place within the realm of theology and not bullets.

We categorically assert that the USA is in danger of starting down a road of genocide against the Pashtun people. As more Pashtuns take up arms in defense of their villages, the war will continue to escalate.

We do not call on the USA to cease operations because, as some believe, the war cannot be won by the Americans. Whether or not the USA can defeat the Taleban is irrelevant. Our call is based on the cost of human life, the destruction of what is left in Afghanistan, and the destruction of the environment that will result from operations that will quickly move from fighting the Taleban to fighting Pashtuns.

If the Obama administration moves forward with its operations, we predict that the "surge" will continue upwards to 100,000 USA troops; we predict that over a million Pashtuns will be killed or severely injured; that alternatives to the Taleban will be completely destroyed; and that the environment will be further degraded (through uranium munitions, aerial spraying of opium crops, etc), further eroding life in Afghanistan - and thus fueling extremist groups such as the Taleban.

Interview with Ambassador Zia:

Question: You say that the Taliban cannot be defeated.

Zia: That is not what I said. Of course, anyone can be defeated. Drop enough bombs and they are dead. No. That is not the point at all. That is what those people who are caught up in machoism, on both sides, want to say.

Question: Why?

Zia: Why? They want to romantize the Taleban and the Afghan people as warriors for their own ends. They will portray them as "Indians" who were then beaten by an even more fierce people, the Americans, something the Soviets couldn't do. So, in the end, the Pashtuns are used by everyone for chest pounding purposes.

Question: What about the House of Peace's recent call for America to cease the military expansion.

Zia: Yes. That was the right call, I believe. Inschallah, it will be heeded.

Question: Do you think more people will go over to the Taliban if the war escalates?

Zia: Of course. Who are the Taliban? If you are Pashtun, they are your cousins. You speak the same language. You grew up with them. Look, when the warlords were all killing each other after the Russians left, everyone was happy the Taleban came in. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/144382.stm

Question: So what should people do? Just give up and embrace them?

Zia: No. No one is saying that. But no one in the West is listening to us either. That is why I came to this meeting of the Rose Crescent here in London. So that I could tell you what we are thinking.

Question: Thank you Mr. Zia. And may the blessings of Allah be upon you and your family.

Zia: And upon you.



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