Welcome to the Toeg Effect. This is your host, Toeg. Today, we examine the forgotten conflict and its future. Today, we look into the effects of this conflict on the country and what lies ahead. Today, we review
THE AFGHAN CONFLICT AND THE FUTURE OF AFGHANISTAN
On October 7, 2001, the US launched its attack on the country of Afghanistan. The reason for the attack was supposedly to rid Afghanistan of the terrorist group known as al Qaeda as well as the country’s government lead by the Taliban. But an article by the BBC on September 20, 2001, sheds some new light on the subject. Entitled, “US Rejects Bin Laden,” the story gives a different perspective on the events leading to the war on Afghanistan. According to then White House spokesperson, Ari Fleischer, the real demands were quite different. In the report, he is quoting as saying, « The president has demanded that key figures of the al-Qaeda terrorist organization, including Osama Bin Laden, be turned over to responsible authorities and that the Taliban close terrorist camps in Afghanistan – and the United States stands behind those demands. »
In this message there is no mention of a US requirement for the removal of the Taliban-led government, only a stoppage of their supposed terrorist camps. Furthermore, the article stated the following: “The US, which has begun a major military build-up in the Gulf, has threatened to attack if the Taliban allow Bin Laden to remain in Afghanistan.” Indeed, it appeared that the fate of Osama ben Laden and Afghanistan were inextricably linked. So what did the Taliban do about such dire circumstances?? According to the article, “The United States has dismissed as inadequate a ruling by Afghanistan’s senior clerics that Osama Bin Laden should be asked to leave the country.”
The following day, the Taliban asked to see proof that Osama was guilty of starting 9/11, but the US government refused all requests. By October 7, 2001, the invasion of Afghanistan had begun, and all hopes of a peaceful settlement dashed. Why didn’t the US accede to the Taliban’s offer for removal of Osama, and why did they refuse to produce the necessary evidence requested by the Taliban? The answer may well lie in an article by the BBC posted just two days before the Taliban offer of OBL’s delivery.
On September 18, 2001, a BBC article reports that Niaz Naik, a former Pakistani Foreign Secretary, told the BBC that he first heard of the Afghan invasion in July of that year while attending a UN-sponsored event in Berlin. According to the report, “Mr Naik was told that if the military action went ahead it would take place before the snows started falling in Afghanistan, by the middle of October at the latest. The wider objective, according to Mr Naik, would be to topple the Taliban regime and install a transitional government of moderate Afghans in its place – possibly under the leadership of the former Afghan King Zahir Shah.” He further went on to explain that handing over Osama would have been completely useless. It appears that the US had already decided to attack Afghanistan and install their puppet government long before the official start of hostilities on October 7.
In this piece I will expose the results of this illegal incursion into the nation known as Afghanistan and I will show what lays ahead for the war ravaged country.
On February 9, 2006, the International Herald Tribune ran an article by Obaid Younossi, a senior analyst at the Rand Corporation, a nonprofit research organization.
“On the eve of the Soviet invasion almost 26 years ago, I left Afghanistan as a young man in search of a better life. Recently, I returned to my native land for the first time and found that many bright and ambitious young people have been following in my footsteps, creating a brain drain that will make it much harder to rebuild Afghanistan as a democratic and economically viable nation.
“While in Kabul on a project for the Rand Corporation, the nonprofit research organization where I now work, I saw young men lining up in the passport office and at embassies to get documents needed to leave Afghanistan. When I asked university students whether they want to stay in Afghanistan or go to another country, an overwhelming majority said they want to emigrate.
“One of the greatest challenges in Afghanistan is to halt or at least seriously reduce this brain drain and attract talented Afghans to return. But how?
“Talented Afghans are leaving – and few are returning from abroad – because insurgent attacks, threats and criminal activities are still common. As long as Taliban remnants and criminals continue to kill and terrorize Afghans, the nation will not be an attractive place for young people to build their futures.
“In addition, Kabul lacks a steady supply of electricity and clean water. The city’s air is choked with dust and pollution from diesel fuel that is used to run electric generators and from the huge number of cars crammed into a city designed to sustain only a fifth of its roughly four million inhabitants.
“Afghans with an education and the skills in greatest demand know they can earn far more and live far better abroad. For example, university professors make less than $2 per hour in Afghanistan, and licensed physicians make about $100 a month working in a government hospital.
“To stem the brain drain and entice professional Afghans to return, the United States and the international community need to make Afghanistan a better place to live.
“First, security needs to be improved. This will require an intensified effort to train and supply Afghan security forces to maintain peace and order on their own, so they are not permanently dependent on U.S. and NATO forces. In addition, the United States needs to give Afghans concrete assurances that America is their long-term security partner.
“Second, the United States needs to work with Afghans to develop a long-term development plan for the nation, and back it with a multibillion-dollar financial commitment lasting at least 10 years. If it can hasten a real peace, this investment in creating a thriving Afghan economy would cost less than spending on continued warfare.
“Third, alternative livelihoods must be found for farmers now growing poppies, the biggest cash crop in Afghanistan and a major source of heroin sold around the world. The illegal drug trade fosters corruption,