Thursday, 8 March 2012

Truth Subcontracted--When Misguided People Guided US’s Foreign Policy

Truth Subcontracted--When Misguided People Guided US’s Foreign Policy

Dr. Mohammed Daud Miraki, MA, MA, PhD
mdmiraki@ameritech.net
Dr. Rahmat Rabi Zirakyar MA, PhD
zirakyar1234@yahoo.com

The recent incident at Bagram Airbase involving the burning of the Holy Koran has exhibited the return on the US’s investment in Afghanistan. This is the legacy in part of subcontracting the truth to the so-called cultural advisors. This is not the first time this type of disgraceful conduct witnessed by others or the news of such misconduct made its way to the media and stirred peoples’ emotions. Similar misconducts happened many times during US operations in Pashtun villages. This is due to the US government subcontracting the truth by hiring incompetent advisors. By subcontracting the truth to ignorant translators and advisors both linguistically and culturally with premeditated desire to undermine Pashtuns also contributed to the loss of Pashtun lives and destruction of their villages. It is this flawed approach and misguided policy that has contributed to the continuous disaster and current crisis involving the desecration of the Holy Koran in Afghanistan.

It has been reported that a commission of Afghan lawmakers visited Bagram to get a glimpse of what has happened and who was the responsible party. According to these visiting members of the parliament, the American military personnel had placed the blame for this incident on the Afghan translators. The translators allegedly could not distinguish between the Holy Koran and other writings. This is the core subject of this write up that the US government has delegated responsibility of their affairs to these information and advising mercenaries. Whether they have been translators, advisors and the so-called ‘think-tanks’, their core value is to maximize utility, namely dollars accumulations for themselves. 
The cost of the invasion has been of course tremendous to the people of Afghanistan. However, the cost of subcontracting the truth could have been avoided. The people that suffered the most from this business relationship have been the Pashtun people. For example, on the eve of the US invasion of Afghanistan, the leaders of the Afghan minorities and their fellow travelers along with some alienated de-Pashtunized members of former royal cast had lined up to enlist and serve their pockets. The alienated de-Pashtunized former royal cast was hoping to get a piece of the pie; however, due to the overwhelming power of the Northern Alliance these de-Pashtunized former royal cast was deprived even though they served the American-led invasion with absolute sincerity.

Meanwhile since misguided people were guiding the US policy and some of these insiders were of the Afghan descent such as Khalilzad and his acolytes, while the want-to-be translators, cultural experts and advisors had found a golden opportunity to fill their pockets with large sums of money. The overwhelming majority of these translators and advisors of the Afghan minorities background did not know their own mother tongue of Dari [Afghan version of Persian] and cultural values well enough to qualify as either translators or cultural advisors. As to Pashto, none of these minorities and members of the alienated de-Pashtunized royal cast could speak Pashto with exception of few words and few flawed sentences.  
 Also, since the anti-Pashtun Northern Alliance was partner to the US-led NATO forces, the Pashtun endured the eventual cost as the Northern Alliance equated all Pashtuns with Taliban. Consequently, the initial cost was wholesale transfer of Pashtun prisoners whether fighters or peasants to Guantanamo Bay, Kandahar, or Bagram prisons. Since none of the translators and advisors could understand Pashto and they had a preconceived prejudice and premeditated hatred toward Pashtuns, they simply labeled everyone that spoke Pashto as Taliban fighters. 
Pashtun prisoners were labeled Taliban simply because they spoke Pashto. Moreover, the overwhelming majority of the translators and advisors were supporters of the Northern Alliance, the organization composed of Afghan minorities that sold Afghanistan for mere change of less than $200 million. The CIA’s field commander in Afghanistan Berntsen shared his experience with the Northern Alliance as follows:

“I know from my experience that Persians and their Afghan cousins are all carpet salesmen at heart.”


By implication, Berntsen believed that the commanders of the Northern Alliance would sell Afghanistan like a carpet. This is the character of the Northern Alliance elements and their supporting cadre of US employed translators eager to target Pashtuns.

A segment of the translators and advisors was composed of former Afghan Parchami communists with a grudge against the US for supporting the former Mujahideen fighters against the former Soviet Union and their installed communist regime in Afghanistan. Hence, these former Soviet-connected Afghan Communists were aiming to undermine US in Afghanistan even if it meant undermining Afghan lives and their sacred values. The Parcham (Flag) faction of the Khalk (People) Party had collaborated with Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December of 1979 as the Northern Alliance did with the US-lead invasion of Afghanistan in October of 2001. Majority of Parchamis was non-Pashtun and their leadership was vehemently anti-Pashtun, especially after the Soviet invasion.

Meanwhile, the US has found itself in such a hostile neighborhood wherein the neighbors of Afghanistan whether they are the Pakistani intelligence agency, the ISI or the Iranian Sepa organization are more than eager to undermine the US. Their aim is to further humiliate the US since they know that the Pashtuns are the only people capable of ensuring this eventual humiliation. Unfortunately, all this happens at the cost of Pashtun lives and livelihood.

We would like to make two essential points one pertaining to the domestic constituency of Afghan minorities enjoying the decade of occupation and the other point pertains to the US national interests.

The Americans have desecrated the Holy Koran on a number of occasions in Pashtun villages and detention facilities in Bagram; however, since the non-Pashtun population was not present during the desecration, it did not matter to them or they did not believe Pashtuns’ claim of desecration. Especially, the supporters of the Northern Alliance did not want to address any redress that would undermine their economic gains with the foreign forces. When the desecration of the Holy Koran took place at Bagram Airbase, these Afghan minority workers were shocked to see with their own eyes what Pashtuns complained about for the past ten years. Consequently, these workers submitted to their emotions and Islamic believes by expressing their disenchantment and outrage.

We have a message to these hypocrites that the Pashtun people have endured this type of treatment for the past ten years while the non-Pashtuns of the Northern Alliance collaborated with the invaders. These collaborators enjoyed the leftover dirt thrown at them at every turn of the way. Meanwhile, the US government has to reassess this business of subcontracting information to these information mercenaries. The elements of the Northern Alliance serving as translators labeled every Pashtun man as a Talib fighter and every Pashtun family as collaborator. Consequently, Pashtun men, families and villages have been targeted with no mercy. 
The traitorous behavior of these translators and advisors cost the lives of thousands of Pashtuns all over Afghanistan. Hence, these translators and advisors could not save themselves from the wrath of the Afghan nation including the resistance. However, the US government should also hold these translators and advisors responsible for their misguided assistance. Moreover, the so-called ‘think tanks’ mushroomed in the aftermath of 911 of which there are dimes a dozens at the consultancy landscape. They should have been scrutinized not bankrolled for providing flawed self-serving advice that ruined an entire nation, Afghanistan. 

However, since the US days seem to be numbered in Afghanistan, it is a little too late to undo this flawed and criminal approach wherein peoples lives are subcontracted to an army of self-centered and self-sold individuals and organizations. This subcontracting along with the continuous bombing and murders and deprivation of the Pashtun people from all spheres of normal life constitute too great of cost to undo at this time. The only feasible action at this time would be to start the process of complete withdrawal of all foreign forces and instituting justice and peace in All Afghanistan.

The Afghan nation whether Pashtuns or non-Pashtuns have realized in the past week when the Holy Koran was desecrated that the US in Afghanistan has not only cost the lives of the people there but also undermined their religious and cultural principles.

All Rights Reserved, 2012

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