Afghanistan, often called the crossroads of Central Asia, has had a turbulent history. In 328 BC, Alexander the Great entered the territory of present-day Afghanistan, then part of the Persian Empire, to capture Bactria (present-day Balkh). Invasions by the Scythians, White Huns, and Turks followed in succeeding centuries. In AD 642, Arabs invaded the entire region and introduced Islam.
Arab rule quickly gave way to the Persians, who controlled the area until conquered
by the Turkic Ghaznavids in 998. Mahmud of Ghazni (998-1030) consolidated the
conquests of his predecessors and turned Ghazni into a great cultural center as
well as a base for frequent forays into India. Following Mahmud's short-lived
dynasty, various princes attempted to rule sections
of the country until the Mongol invasion of 1219. The Mongol invasion, led by Genghis Khan, resulted in the destruction of many cities, including Herat, Ghazni, and Balkh, and the despoliation of fertile agricultural areas.
Following Genghis Khan's death in 1227, a succession of petty chieftains and
princes struggled for supremacy until late in the 14th century, when one of his
descendants, Tamerlane, incorporated Afghanistan into his own vast Asian
empire. Babur, a descendant of Tamerlane
and the founder of India's Moghul dynasty at the beginning of the 16th century, made Kabul the capital of an Afghan principality.
In 1747, Ahmad Shah Durrani, the founder of what is known today as
Afghanistan, established his rule. A Pashtun, Durrani was elected king by a
tribal council after the assassination of the Persian ruler Nadir Shah at
Khabushan in the same year. Throughout his reign, Durrani consolidated
chieftainships, petty principalities, and fragmented provinces into one
country. His rule extended from Mashhad in the west to Kashmir and Delhi in the east, and from the Amu Darya (Oxus) River in the north to the Arabian Sea in the south. All of Afghanistan's rulers until the 1978 Sowjets coup were from Durrani's Pashtun tribal confederation, and all were members of that tribe's Mohammadzai clan after 1818.
Collision between the expanding British and Russian Empires significantly influenced Afghanistan during the 19th century. British concern over Russian advances in Central Asia and growing influence in Persia culminated in two Anglo-Afghan wars. The first (1839-42) resulted
not only in the destruction of a British army, but is remembered today as an example of the ferocity of Afghan resistance to foreign rule. The second Anglo-Afghan war (1878-80) was sparked by Amir Shir Ali's refusal to accept a British mission in Kabul. This conflict brought
Amir Abdur Rahman to the Afghan throne. During his reign (1880-1901), the British and Russians officially established the boundaries of what would become modern Afghanistan. The British retained effective control over Kabul's foreign affairs.Afghanistan remained neutral during World War I, despite German encouragement of anti-British feelings and Afghan rebellion along the borders of British India. The Afghan king's policy of neutrality was not universally popular within the country, however.Habibullah, Abdur Rahman's son and successor, was assassinated by members of an anti-British movement in 1919. His third son, Amanullah, regained control of Afghanistan's foreign policy after launching the Third Anglo-Afghan war with an attack on India in the same year. During the ensuing conflict, the war-weary British
relinquished their control over Afghan foreign affairs by signing the Treaty of Rawalpindi in August 1919. In commemoration of this event, Afghans celebrate August 19 as their Independence Day.
Reform and Reaction
King Amanullah (1919-29) moved to end his country's traditional isolation in
the years following the Third Anglo-Afghan war. He established diplomatic
relations with most major countries and, following a 1927 tour of Europe and
Turkey--which had seen modernization and
secularization under Attaturk--introduced several reforms intended to modernize the country. Some of these, such as the abolition of the traditional Muslim veil for women and the opening of a number of coeducational schools, quickly alienated many tribal and religious leaders. The
weakness of the army under Amanullah further jeopardized his position. He was forced to abdicate in January 1929 after Kabul fell to forces led by Bacha-i-Saqao, a Tajik
brigand. Prince Nadir Khan, a cousin of Amanullah's, in turn defeated Bacha-i-Saqao in October of the same year. With considerable Pashtun tribal support, Khan was declared King Nadir Shah. Four years later, however, he was assassinated in a revenge killing by a Kabul student.
Mohammad Zahir Shah, Nadir Khan's 19-year-old son, succeeded to the throne
and reigned from 1933 to 1973. In 1964, King Zahir Shah promulgated a liberal
constitution providing for a two-chamber legislature to which the king
appointed one-third of the deputies. The people elected another third, and the
remainder were selected indirectly by provincial assemblies. Although
Zahir's 'experiment in democracy' produced few lasting reforms, it permitted the growth of unofficial extremist parties of both left and right. This included the communist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA), which had close ideological ties to the Soviet
Union. In 1967, the PDPA split into two major rival factions: the Khalq (Masses) faction headed by Nur Muhammad Taraki and supported by the military, and the Parcham (Banner) faction led by Babrak Karmal. The split reflected deep ethnic, class, and ideological divisions within Afghan society.Zahir's cousin, Sardar Mohammad Daoud, served as his Prime Minister from 1953 to 1963. During his tenure as Prime Minister, Daoud solicited military and economic assistance from both Washington and Moscow and introduced controversial social policies. Daoud's alleged support for the creation of a Pashtun state in the Pakistan-Afghan border area heightened tensions with Pakistan and eventually resulted in Daoud's dismissal in March 1963.Daoud's Republic (1973-78) and the April 1978 Coup Amid charges of corruption and malfeasance against the royal family and poor economic conditions caused by the severe 1971-72 drought, former Prime Minister Daoud seized power in a military coup on July 17, 1973. Daoud
abolished the monarchy, abrogated the 1964 constitution, and declared Afghanistan a republic with himself as its first President and Prime Minister. His attempts to carry out badly needed economic and social reforms met with little success, and the new constitution promulgated
in February 1977 failed to quell chronic political instability.Seeking to exploit more effectively mounting popular disaffection, the PDPA reunified with Moscow's support. On April 27-28, 1978, the PDPA initiated a bloody coup which resulted in the overthrow and death of Daoud and
most of his family. Nur Muhammad Taraki, Secretary General of the PDPA, became President of the Revolutionary Council and Prime Minister of the newly established Democratic Republic of Afghanistan.Opposition to the Marxist government emerged almost immediately. During its first 18 months of rule, the PDPA brutally imposed a Marxist-style 'reform' program which ran counter to deeply rooted Islamic traditions.Decrees advocating the abolition of usury, changes in
marriage customs, and land reform were particularly misunderstood and upsetting to highly conservative villagers. In addition, thousands of members of the traditional elite, the religious establishment, and the intelligentsia were imprisoned, tortured, or murdered.
Conflicts within the PDPA also surfaced early and resulted in exiles, purges, imprisonments, and
executions.By the summer of 1978, a major revolt in the Nuristan region of eastern Afghanistan spread into a country-wide insurgency. In September 1979, Hafizullah Amin, who had earlier been the Prime Minister and minister of defense, seized power from Taraki after a palace shootout. Over the next two months, instability plagued Amin's regime as
he moved against perceived enemies in the PDPA. By December, party morale was crumbling, and the insurgency was growing.
The Soviet Invasion
The Soviet Union moved quickly to take advantage of the April 1978 coup. In December 1978, Moscow signed a new bilateral treaty of friendship and cooperation with Afghanistan, and the Soviet military assistance program increased significantly. The regime's survival increasingly was dependent upon Soviet military equipment and advisers as the insurgency spread and the Afghan army began to collapse.By October 1979, however, relations between Afghanistan
and the Soviet Union were tense as Hafizullah Amin refused to take Soviet advice on how to stabilize and consolidate his government. Faced with a deteriorating security situation on December 24, 1979, large numbers of Soviet airborne forces, joining thousands of Soviet troops already on the ground, began to land in Kabul under the pretext of a field exercise. On December 26, these invasion forces killed Hafizullah Amin and installed Babrak Karmal, exiled leader of the Parcham faction, as Prime Minister. Massive Soviet ground forces invaded from the north on December 27.Following the invasion, the Karmal regime, although backed by an expeditionary force of about 120,000 Soviet troops, was unable to establish authority outside Kabul. As much as 80% of the countryside, including parts of Herat and Kandahar, eluded effective government control. An overwhelming majority of Afghans opposed the communist regime, either actively or passively. Afghan freedom fighters (mujahidin) made it almost impossible for the regime to maintain a system of local government outside major urban centers. Poorly armed at first, in 1984 the mujahidin began receiving substantial assistance in the form of weapons and training from the U.S. and other outside powers.In May 1985, the seven principal Peshawar-based guerrilla organizations formed an alliance to coordinate their political and military operations against the Soviet occupation. Late in 1985, the mujahidin were active in and around Kabul, launching rocket attacks and assassinating high government officials. The failure of
the Soviet Union to win over a significant number of Afghan collaborators or to rebuild a viable Afghan army forced it to bear an increasing responsibility for fighting the resistance and for civilian administration.Soviet and popular displeasure with the Karmal regime led to its demise in May 1986. Karmal was replaced by Muhammad Najibullah, former chief of the Afghan secret
police (KHAD). Najibullah had established a reputation for brutal efficiency during his tenure as KHAD chief.As Prime Minister, though, Najibullah was ineffective and highly dependent on Soviet support. Undercut by deep-seated divisions within the PDPA, regime efforts to broaden its base of support proved futile.The Geneva Accords and AftermathBy the mid-1980s, the tenacious Afghan resistance movement--aided by the United States, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and others--was exacting a high price from the Soviets, both militarily within Afghanistan and by
souring the U.S.S.R.'s relations with much of the Western and Islamic world. Although informal negotiations for a Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan had been underway since 1982, it was not until 1988 that the Governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan, with the United States and Soviet Union serving as guarantors, signed an agreement settling the major differences between them. The agreement, known as the Geneva accords, included five major documents, which, among other things, called for U.S. and Soviet non-interference in the internal affairs of Pakistan and Afghanistan, the right of refugees to return to Afghanistan without fear of persecution or harassment, and, most importantly, a timetable that ensured full Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan by February 15, 1989. About 14,500 Soviet and an estimated one million Afghan lives were lost between 1979 and the Soviet withdrawal in 1989.
Where did the Taliban come from?
The first devotees came from the poverty-stricken refugee camps that sprung
up along the Pakistani border during the Afghan-Soviet war. The young men of
these camps learned a fierce and fundamental strain of Islam through the
madrassas, Islamic schools that dotted the Afghan-Pakistani border. In
September 1994, Mohammad Omar, then a mullah and today the leader of the
Taliban, created the militia in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar. From
the start, its goal was to unite a divided and war-plagued Afghanistan under a
strict and unyielding version of Sharia -- Islamic law as written in the Koran,
the life of Mohammed and his followers, and Muslim scholars through the ages.
The Taliban's growing power in Kandahar attracted the attention of the
Pakistani government, which hired the Taliban in November 1994 to protect
convoys traveling between Pakistan and Central Asia. Taliban successes against
local warlords attracted more followers and emboldened the Taliban to take
control of Jalalabad, the eastern city bordering Pakistan on Sept. 11, 1996.
Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, was occupied by the Taliban on Sept. 27,
Following the Soviet withdrawal in 1989, the mujahedeen -- Islamic warriors -- once united against the Soviets, divided along ethnic and regional lines.
During this civil war, the Taliban promised an end to the corruption and chaos plaguing much of the country. That young men followed, to the word, the teachings of mullahs was neither unusual nor radical within the context of Afghanistan's history. Since the Anglo-Afghanistan wars of the 19th century, religious leaders have played a major role in galvanizing opposition.
Building an Islamic State
After seizing control, the Taliban instituted strict enforcement of Sharia, Islamic religious law. Modern conveniences such as computers, televisions, movies and radios were banned under the pretext that they diverted minds from the tenets of Islam. Any depiction of living things, including photography, paintings and sculpture was banned. Men were required to wear beards at least a fist-length below the chin. Women and girls were banned from schools and the workplace and ordered to wear burqas, a one-piece gown with a built-in mesh screen from which to see and breathe. Enforcement for breaking Taliban law is meted out by the Department for Promoting Virtue and Preventing Vice. Infractions such as improper beard lengths may merit a public beating. More serious crimes such as theft or blasphemy could result in an amputation or execution
Most of the Taliban were Pushtuns. Pushtunwali is the customary law of the Pushtuns, which has two major pillars: honour and hospitality. Honour lies in freedom, and an Afghan will not willingly tolerate to be ruled by a foreigner--as the British in the 19th century and the Soviets in the 20th century learned to their dismay. Hospitality means that an Afghan will never surrender a guest, especially to the enemies of the guest so long as even a single member of the host family is alive.
RAWA-Women under the Taliban
Until the Taliban came to power, Saudi Arabia was the most oppressive country on earth for women, and many of the Taliban's restrictions are rooted in that hardline Gulf state's gender apartheid. Saudi Arabia has also been financially supportive of the Taliban and the religious schools in which they are indoctrinated. 'We have long regarded the Saudi kingdom as our right hand,' says the head of the Taliban governing council.
Sher Abbas Stanakzai, who was the Taliban's 36-year-old deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, explainted why his regime has banned all forms of entertainment, he says, 'Time should be spent serving the country and praying to God. Nothing else. Everything else is a waste of time, and people are not allowed to waste their time.'
For women, the restrictions are even harsher. Female education, from kindergarten through graduate school, banned. Employment for women, banned. It's now illegal to wear makeup, nail polish, jewelry, pluck your eyebrows, cut your hair short, wear colorful or stylish clothes, sheer stockings, white socks and shoes, high-heel shoes, walk loudly, talk loudly or laugh in public. In fact, the government doesn't believe women should go out at all: 'Women, you should not step outside your residence' reads one of the Taliban dictates.
If women do venture out, it must be for an essential, government-sanctioned purpose, and they must wear the all-enveloping burqa. Even then they risk their lives. Not so long ago, a young mother, Torpeka, was shot repeatedly by the Taliban while rushing her seriously ill toddler to a doctor. Veiled as the law requires, she was spotted by a teenage Taliban guard, who tried to stop her because she shouldn't have left her home. Afraid her child might die if she were delayed, Torpeka kept going. The guard aimed his Kalashnikov machine-gun and fired several rounds directly at her. She was hit, but didn't die on the spot, as she could have. Instead, Afghans watching the incident in the crowded marketplace intervened, and Torpeka and her child received prompt medical attention. When her family later complained to the Taliban authorities, they were informed that it was the injured woman's fault. She had no right being out in public in the first place.
The burqa is a garment that covers women from head to toe, the heavy gauze patch across the eyes makes it hard to see, and completely blocks peripheral vision. Since enforced veiling, a growing number of women have been hit by vehicles because the burqa leaves them unable to walk fast, or see where they are going. Recently in Kabul, a Taliban tank rolled right over a veiled woman. Fortunately, she fell between the tracks. Instead of being crushed to death, she was not seriously hurt, but was severely traumatized.
11. Setemper - The Taliban´s blowback - USA attacks Afghanistan
Blowback is the term that the CIA uses to describe a situation when a some operative, a terrorist, or some situation that they've created gets out of their control and comes back to haunt them. It's a situation where the scientist (Frankenstein) creates a monster that 'blows back' on its creator.
Manuel Noriega, Saddam Hussein, Timothy McVeigh and Osama bin Laden are all pretty good examples of blowback. They were all nurtured for many years by the CIA, the US military or military intelligence.
During the Reagan years, the CIA ran nearly two dozen covert operations against various governments. Of these, Afghanistan was by far the biggest; it was, in fact, the biggest CIA operation of all time, both in terms of dollars spent (US$5 to US$6 billion) and personnel involved.
As for the CIA, its aim was simply to humiliate the Soviets by arming anyone who would fight against them. The agency funneled cash and weapons to over a dozen guerrilla groups, many of whom had been staging raids from Pakistan years before the Soviet invasion. For many years, long after the Soviets left Afghanistan, most of these groups were still fighting each other for control of the country.
From 1986 to 1989, the CIA distributed more than a thousand of these surface-to-air missiles to the Afghan mujihadeen, who used some of them to bring down 270 Soviet aircraft. The U.S. is still looking for the Stinger missiles, fearing they may be in the hands of Islamic extremists, like Osama bin Laden, or hostile foreign governments.
In a covert buy-back scheme, funded by the U.S. Congress, the CIA has offered up to $US175,000 apiece, five times their original cost, to get the missiles back. The scheme initially provoked a flood of responses from Afghan warlords and shady Pakistani middlemen. Hundreds of Stingers are believed to be still unaccounted for.
The CIA succeeded in creating chaos, but never developed a plan for ending it. When the ten-year war was over, a million people were dead, and Afghan heroin had captured 60% of the U.S. market. CIA-supported mujahedeen engaged heavily in drug trafficking while fighting against the Soviet-supported government and its plans to reform the very backward Afghan society. The CIA's principal client was Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, one of the leading druglords and a major heroin refiner. CIA-supplied trucks and mules, which had carried arms into Afghanistan, were used to transport opium to laboratories along the Afghan/Pakistan border. They provided up to half of the heroin used annually in the U.S. and three-quarters of that used in Western Europe. U.S. officials admitted in 1990 that they had failed to investigate or take action against the drug operation. In 1993, an official of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency called Afghanistan the new Colombia of the drug world.
Not so many years later, the 'freedom fighters', the CIA had supported, began to turn up in unexpected places. They bombed the World Trade Center in New York City, murdered several CIA employees in Virginia and some American businessmen in Pakistan and gave support to Osama bin Laden, a prime CIA 'asset' back when our national security advisors had no qualms about giving guns to religious fundamentalists.
This was when America´s WAR ON TERROR started. Within two or three weeks Afghanistan was contolled by the US and it´s natural resources could be used.
Ultimele referate adaugate
- Mihai beniuc - „poezii"
- Mihai eminescu - student la berlin
- Mircea Eliade - Mioara Nazdravana (mioriţa)
- Chirita in provintie de Vasile Alecsandri -expunerea subiectului
- Dragoste de viata de Jack London
|Ion Luca Caragiale
- Triumful talentului… (reproducere) de Ion Luca Caragiale
- Fantasticul in proza lui Mircea Eliade - La tiganci
- „Personalitate creatoare” si „figura a spiritului creator” eminescian
- Enigma Otiliei de George Calinescu - geneza, subiectul si tema romanului
- Arta literara in romanul Ion, - Liviu Rebreanu