Killing Liberalism, Secularism & Socialism in Afghanistan
This is the story of how America and its allies killed liberalism, secularism and socialism in Afghanistan. This is the story of how freedom was extinguished by the supposed forces of liberation. If you are wondering why the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan and why radical Islam found safe refuge in this rugged nation state then you have no further to look than home and this article.
The urban regions of Afghanistan were quite modern for their historic time period during the 1970‘s. A time when women in the cities wore Western clothing, a time when warlords and bearded clerics were on the fringes of urban society or not present at all. What went wrong with this seemingly promising country? How did this beacon of progress and social liberty turn into a cesspool of violence, extremism & radical Islam?
The Saur Revolution
The story begins in April of 1978 with the assassination of a now forgotten Afghan politician named Mir Akbar Khyber. Mr. Khyber was the urban Afghan intelligentsia’s cream of the crop and a leader in the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA).
Khyber’s 15,000 strong funeral procession blossomed into a popular demonstration against the corrupt dictatorial government of President Daoud Khan. The President ordered a clampdown on leading PDPA members and in response to Daoud and his criminal regime’s actions, patriotic members of the Afghan military forces surrounded the decedent Presidential palace and liquidated Daoud and his family.
Despite holding supreme political power, the Marxist oriented military officers immediately handed all authority to the PDPA which subsequently proclaimed the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan.
This glorious day of socialist victory is known to history as the Saur Revolution. The historic conditions of oppression in Afghanistan had crystalized to such a degree that socialist revolution had at last arrived. However, counterrevolutionary forces mobilized against the Afghan PDPA leadership and civil war soon erupted.
The backwards, mullah ridden, illiterate society of Afghanistan surrendered its greatest chance of advancement into the modern socialist world when Afghans decided to fight socialism.
The Russian newspaper Pravda reported on December 31, 1979 that: “It seemed that there [Afghanistan] life had frozen along medieval lines and that the people were doomed to drag out a miserable existence. Feudal lords controlled destinies and meted out reprisals against people; in order to perpetuate this state of affairs, they propagated obscurantism, enmeshed the masses in bondage, and suppressed all attempts to bring a spark of light into the dark of lawlessness and arbitrary rule.”
The Pravda article summed up the inherently unequal conditions that plagued Afghanistan. Yet despite their backwardness, poverty and illiteracy, the Afghan people, largely revolted against their socialist liberators. Initially, there did not exist a counterrevolutionary movement against the Saur Revolution. However, after the PDPA government announced their plans of implementing equal rights for women and minorities, the entire “socioeconomic structure of Afghanistan’s rural society” shook and all of a sudden, armed resistance and revolts broke out all throughout the country.
This war was the last war fought by the Soviet Union. The defeat of the Soviet armed forces at the hands of ragtag peasants and tribesmen signaled the collapse of the once great superpower.
The Soviet “Invasion”
Since the Soviet Union bordered unstable Afghanistan, instability threatened Soviet holdings in Central Asia and as a result the country was forced to act. The Soviet Union’s “limited contingent” of soldiers had indeed “been invited” by the legitimate PDPA government of Afghanistan and would be withdrawn from the state “only with the agreement of the Afghan government”.
Late Soviet leader Brezhnev elaborated and argued that Soviet troops would be withdrawn only after “counterrevolutionary activities” against the PDPA had ceased and after Afghanistan’s neighbours provided “dependable guarantees” that they would halt their support for reactionary “gangs”.
Brezhnev advised Pakistan to halt its support for rebels, terrorists and counterrevolutionaries since its border region had become a breeding ground for insurgent forces. Pakistan however, outright refused to negotiate with the Afghan government directly and instead relied upon United Nations mediators to conduct talks. By 1981, it had become evident that Comrade Brezhnev’s health had greatly diminished and that his death was momentary – perhaps his senility was responsible for failing to station a greater Soviet presence in Afghanistan.
Poverty & Illiteracy of Afghanistan
Afghanistan at this time had a population of approximately 17 million. Within this populace, over 90 percent of people were illiterate and 85 percent existed as subsistent farmers. If calculated on a mathematical basis, the 15% of Afghans who resided in cities amounted to merely 2.55 million people. That meant that socialist authority could never be fully established within the rugged countryside and its roughly 14.55 million inhabitants.
Moreover, one Soviet Kazakh scholar asserts that by the time the Soviet forces arrived in Afghanistan, “counterrevolutionary elements opposing the legal government of Afghanistan… collected under the broad banner of Islam.”
History proves that the merger of religious radicalism with illiterate rural populations tends to create devastating resistance forces. Specifically, the history of Afghanistan proved that the ordinary Afghan, “paid far less heed to edicts from Kabul than” to the edicts “of his local mullah or tribal chief.”
Socialist power easily overwhelmed Afghanistan’s sedentary populace and established PDPA rule in the small urban centers, however, the rural population would prove impossible to control. Afghanistan’s counterrevolutionary power lay within the people of its mountainous terrain “who had always remained attached to individual freedom”. These people were and continue to remain defiant of any foreign power – from the time of Alexander the Great up until the disastrous Anglo-Afghan Wars of the 19th century up to NATO’s mission in Afghanistan today.
The porous and unprotected 1,500-mile Afghan-Pakistani border known as the Durand Line brewed insurgent activity and provided the foreign backed reactionaries with “numerous routes of ingress” and treacherous terrain in which to hide. The incompetence of the Afghan government’s defense forces combined with the immobility of the relatively small Soviet ground forces allowed guerillas to mobilize, attack and resupply from their safe havens along the Pakistani frontier.
The greatest advantage held by the Mujahideen as a guerilla force were its militant safe havens across the Durand Line in Pakistan. The counterrevolutionaries attacked Communist forces, retreated back to Pakistan, received food, medical attention, time to rest, supplies and returned back to Afghanistan. Moreover, through the Pakistani Inter-services Intelligence Agency (ISI), the counterrevolutionaries received training on how to effectively conduct guerilla warfare and were continuously briefed with intelligence reports from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and ISI on Soviet military deployments.
The Soviet military mission in Afghanistan greatly improved US-Pakistani relations which became crucial in aiding the Afghan counterrevolutionaries. The training, supplies and intelligence provided to the Afghan reactionaries played a pivotal role in the fight against Communism due to the fact that the insurgents could not be engaged by Soviet forces based in Afghanistan.
The insurgents fought the ideal type of guerilla warfare in which they constantly possessed the element of surprise and at the same time possessed friendly territory from which to carry out attacks. Moreover, General Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq, President and Chief Martial Law Administrator of Pakistan during the 1980’s established a series of deeni madaris along the Durand Line.
Zia the Madman
These dens of radical Islamist indoctrination served Zia’s plans to infest the Durand Line with religiously oriented students who could be used to carry out jihad, or Islamic holy war, against the Communist forces of liberation in Afghanistan.
Zia’s ultimate goal in establishing the religious schools was to promote the independent minded frontiersmen to join the counterrevolutionary struggle against Communism.
Zia being educated at the US General Staff College knew that he could utilize religion to stir up anti-Communist feelings within illiterate Pakistan and Afghanistan. It comes as no surprise, since Zia, being the ruler of the country used religion as elites had done throughout history to convince the downtrodden to fight against their own interests.
Zia is arguably the classic example of the amoral, corrupt elitist who as Karl Marx argued against provided the poor with religious promises in exchange for total subservience. Under his rule Pakistan sheltered over 3 million Afghan refugees, spent $400 million each year for their upkeep and indoctrinated thousands with radical Islam.
The so called arms ‘pipeline’ to the Afghan counterinsurgents had been composed of three parts. Firstly, the CIA bought Soviet made weapons and paid for their shipment into Pakistan. Secondly, the CIA supplied weapons were transferred across Pakistan by the ISI to their designated war parties while lastly, the guerillas who obtained these weapons trekked across the Hindu Kush mountains into Afghanistan to wage war. Initially, Zia rejected President Jimmy Carter’s offer for a $400 million aid package to fight the Soviets calling it “peanuts”. After biding his time, Zia found a crucial ally in Republic President Ronald Reagan.
Enter Reagan & the CIA
Reagan offered Pakistan a massive $3.2 billion military and economic aid package over a six year time period – Zia happily accepted. Moreover, by 1985, the USA had invested almost $625 million in support of the Afghan counterinsurgency. In 1985 alone, the Reagan administration provided a staggering $250 million to the Afghan guerillas representing as stated by the Washington Post: “… the largest CIA military support application since the Vietnam War.”
The CIA also trained the anti-Communist forces, “in the use of mortars, rocket grenades, ground-to-air missiles and” ironically, Soviet made AK-47 assault rifles.
The pressure of America’s proxy war naturally affected the operational capabilities of the Soviet ground forces who by now were bogged down in their urban fortresses. The US press further reported that in order to provide financial support to the terrorist jihadist counterinsurgents, the CIA provided funds via Swiss banks.
The Washington Post reported that the American government had deposited $250 million in Swiss banks to be channelled to Afghan counterinsurgents. This enormous sum of money had been equalled by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and was spent on purchasing smuggled Soviet and Chinese made weapons for use in Afghanistan. Reagan signed a National Security directive in April, 1984 that authorized American efforts to remove Soviet forces from Afghanistan “by all means available.”
The American Congress in autumn of 1984 voted for enormous increases in CIA funding for covert military operations in Afghanistan. President Reagan further escalated the war by authorizing shipments of advanced Stinger surface-to-air missiles to the Afghan jihadists. The significance of the Stinger was that for the first time since the war began, Soviet air units now faced serious risks of being shot down.
The extent of Western imperialism’s presence in Afghanistan manifested in 1986 when the CIA provided the Afghan reactionaries with 200 advanced surface-to-air Stinger missiles. These missiles greatly diminished the power of the Soviet MI-24 HIND gunship since it was proved that the success rate of shooting down the helicopters by the Stingers exceeded the 80 percent range.
Also by 1986, Soviet aircraft had been shot down under supervision of US experts. The presence of the so-called ‘experts’ is greatly significant for it truly represented the magnitude of American imperialism’s interference in the affairs of Communism. Aside from America’s great military support of the counterrevolutionaries, the People’s Republic of China also aided the jihadists to a great degree.
General Boris Gromov, leader of Soviet combat operations in Afghanistan symbolically walked last across the Soviet troops crossing the Soviet-Afghan Friendship Bridge on the 15th of February 1989 and crossed from Afghanistan into Soviet Uzbekistan. That historic moment confirmed total defeat of the forces of good against the forces of evil.
After reading the above the reader realizes that the Western world, hell bent on defeating any potential ally of the Soviet Union sold its soul for victory. The backing of jihadists in the 1980′s incubated Radical Islam and culminated in the 9/11 attacks against America. The reason why NATO is in Afghanistan right now is because the Western powers helped create the very devils they are fighting today. In the 1980′s they were known as “freedom fighters”, now they are known as “terrorists”. The PDPA was soundly defeated by the American backed insurgents during the early 1990′s and all forms of liberalism, secularism & socialism had been murdered in Afghanistan. The defeat of the PDPA ushered in an era of civil war, Sharia Law & Islamic extremism with repercussions being felt around the world today.
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