January 11, 2008

Feminism And Beyond

John Pilger looks at the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), which he calls "the high bar of feminism, home of the bravest of the brave":
Year after year, Rawa agents have traveled secretly through Afghanistan, teaching at clandestine girls' schools, ministering to isolated and brutalized 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.
A RAWA spokeswoman criticizes Western double standards: we rail against the Taliban but support the regional warlords whose oppression of women is no different.
The reason the United States gave for invading Afghanistan in October 2001 was "to destroy the infrastructure of al-Qaeda, the perpetrators of 9/11." The women of Rawa say this is false. In a rare statement on 4 December that went unreported in Britain, they said: "By experience, [we have found] that the US does not want to defeat the Taliban and al-Qaeda, because then they will have no excuse to stay in Afghanistan and work towards the realization of their economic, political and strategic interests in the region."

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...

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.
Pilger argues that "the tactical victory in Afghanistan in 2001, achieved with bombs, has become a strategic disaster in south Asia".

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