Dr. Mohammed Daud Miraki, MA, MA, PhD firstname.lastname@example.org Dr. Rahmat Rabi Zirakyar MA, PhD email@example.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.
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.
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.
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
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