Despite spending many billions of dollars and nearly eight years in Afghanistan, Afghans don’t trust the U.S. government. This is why more American soldiers are dying there.
American rationale in Afghanistan is not clear to Afghans. Under George W. Bush, the goal of the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 was to destroy al-Qaeda by eliminating Osama bin-Laden and his cohorts. When that failed, the goal shifted to the noble-sounding “building democracy.” With the Obama administration, it has shifted to the more modest goal of eliminating the threat of the Taliban as a source of terrorism. Building democracy, good government and justice for all Afghans has taken a back seat— if it has a seat at all. And this is the greatest tragedy of the war in Afghanistan.
With the overthrow of the Taliban, many Afghans hoped that after a century of Western meddling, beginning with British colonization in Central Asia, through the Russian occupation, then America’s arming of the fundamentalist Mujahadeen, American-led efforts to bring democracy would finally bear positive results. However when Bush and the Pentagon gave their blessings to the same fundamentalist warlords who had killed hundreds of thousands of Afghans and who destroyed the modern Afghanistan that had been building since the 1920s, that dream was over.
Now one of the most notorious autocrats from the Mujahadeen era, Rashid Dostum has returned to Kabul and the folds of Hamid Karzai’s government. Dostum had been living in exile in Turkey after threatening to shoot a fellow Afghan government official. One wonders who paid for his exile. Dostum was probably not washing dishes for his keep, like so many poorer Afghan exiles forced out by the Karzai administration for their efforts to establish a just democracy.
But Dostum is back, and has been greeted by a disturbing article in the New York Times that re-visits the terrible massacre of 2,000 Taliban POWs in 2001 at Dasht-i-Khar, and the U.S.’s refusal to investigate the possibility of war crimes associated with that action, then or since. According to the Times article, the U.S. State Department has grumbled to Karzai about the inappropriateness of Dostum having a high position in Afghanistan’s government. But the Afghan government is pretty familiar with the ineffectiveness of State’s grumblings, and this one will be shrugged off like so many others, especially as Karzai girds himself with strongmen who will deliver the votes of their cowed constituents to the Karzai ticket—by any means.
The AP reported today that the Obama administration will do nothing to investigate Dostum’s alleged war crimes because they did not involve Americans or occur on U.S. soil. With that reasoning, the Nuremburg trials of holocaust planners following WWII should not have been held either.
Afghans are not stupid or blind. Millions lived through the horrors of warlord regimes that spawned the Taliban in the first place. They know the story of Dostum, of Abdullah Abdullah and the many other alleged war criminals who now enjoy high positions in the Afghan government. They have yearned for a commission of transitional justice to see that those who lead the armies of murder and destruction in the Afghan civil war have a thorough hearing, and that the guilty are punished—or at least removed from positions of power.
But the Obama administration’s washing their hands of this issue indicates business as usual in America’s kid-glove handling of notorious Afghan warlords. So, Afghans resign themselves to the reality of an ineffective, un-democratic Afghan government that threatens and jails journalists, profits from the drug trade, and rests on a foundation of corruption, bribery and cronyism. It enjoys the multi-billion dollar support of the U.S. government, which now has officially distanced itself from the promotion of democracy, justice, and human rights in Afghanistan.
Considering all of this, it is no wonder that the Taliban have re-gained a strong foothold throughout Afghanistan. They were originally formed to fight the corrupt warlords, but the Karzai government, with the complicity of the U.S. government, brought them back.
It is with great, great sorrow that witness increasing casualties of coalition military forces in Afghanistan. They have an admirable mission, but their enemies are far more powerful than the barefoot Taliban recruits. The tie-wearing Taliban in Kabul and elsewhere are much larger threats to world peace and justice. They should receive far, far greater scrutiny of the blood on their hands, and not be simply shrugged off by the U.S. government, if the Afghan situation is to be resolved.
17 July 2009, 01:01
Former disgraced exile now in high Afghan government position— U.S. will not investigate death of 2,000 POWS associated with him
Saturday 11 July 2009, by Robert Maier
mr Maier !
it was 3000 not 2000 who killed by dostum fighter during war . those was ( Taliban ) , and 85% of those ( talib ) was not afghan pashtoon . they come from Chechen - Saudi Arabia - Sudan - labia - Pakistan and even same of them was come from united stat of America and fight against dostum , if you remember ( john walker Lind - who now serve 20 years sentence in USA ) he captured in Qala Jungi of mazar sharidf during three or four day deadly fight against dostum . general dostum fought against Taliban since long time in Afghanistan and he is a great choice in this war against Taliban . i suggest pentagon to find more or this kind of experienced retied general and use there experience in fild against enemy of Afghanistan and united stat too . Daizangi .
20 July 2009, 00:33
اعلامیه دفتر ستر جنرال عبدالرشید دوستم بنیانگذار ج م ا ا
اعلامیه الحاج ستر جنرال عبدالرشید دوستم رئیس اركان سرقومندانی اعلی قوای مسلح و موسس و بنیان گذار و رهبر حزب جنبش ملی اسلامی افغانستان
به جواب مقاله ۱۱ جولای ۲۰۰۹ روزنامه نیویورك تایمز
29 July 2009, 06:28, by A.SATTAR
Whether it is 3000 or 300000. it does not matter. you can see that G.A.R.Dostum killed his enemies and i think it is fair in war.
According to the report of UN Taliban are terrorist so the killing of taliban is not a crime. But the killing of innocents like Afghans in attack and said to be suspected as taliban is a crime, there fore you should arrest and hang W.Bush and Obama.
And one thing more that who is Obama? who gave him this authority to check Afghanistan, i can say that hundreds of cases are to be solved in america and he should solve them not to interfare in afghanistan and dostum. LONG LIVE DOSTUM........
31 July 2009, 22:48, by HAROON AMIN
WELL I MUST SAY THAT THIS IDIOT NAME DOSTOM IS NOT FROM AFGHANISTAN NOR HE IS AN AFGHAN .UP UNTIL TODAY NOT MANY PEOPLE KNOWS HIS FAMILY (( MEANING HIS MOM & DAD )) NOR NOT MANY PEOPLE KNOW THAT WHERE HE WAS BORN .ALL WE KNOW THAT HE IS (( HARAWMEE )) MEANING THAT HE WAS BORN FROM SOME PARENTS THAT HE DOES NOT EVEN KNOW THEM .WE KNOW THAT WHEN HE WAS YOUNGE HE WAS RAPED BY OTHER ANIMALS LIKE HIM AND ONCE HE GOT OLDER HE BECAME AS BASTARD AS HE IS NOW .ANYWAYS (( DOSTOM )) MUST KNOW THAT HE WILL PAY PRICE SOONER OR LATER .I HAVE TO SAY THAT HE WON’T ONLY PAY PRICE HE GANG OF CAWORD AND OF COURSE HIS WIVES AND ALL HIS FAMILY WOULD PAY PRICE TOO .THIS ANIMAL IS A CAWORD (( NAMARD )) HE USED BE WITH (( COMUNISTS )) THEN HE JOINED THE (( PAJSHERIES )) THEN HE WAS WITH (( HEZB E ISLAMI )) AFTER THAT HE WAS BEAT UP BADLY BY TALIBAN .ANIMAL (( DOSTOM )) AND HIS GANG USED CALL THEM SELFS (( GELAM GAM )) .WELL I MUST SAY THAT WHATEVER THEY CALLED THEM SELFS ONCE TALIBAN CAME TO KABUL THESE BASTRADS DISAPPEARED FROM KABUL AND EVEN FROM THE COUNTRY .THESE ANIMALS MEANING THE (( GELAM GAMS )) THEY LFET SO QUICK AND FAST EVEN THEY LEFT THEIR WIVES AND KIDS FOR TALIBAN .PANJSHERIES AS WELL THEY ALL GOT SCARED AND LEFT & LEAVING BEHIND THEIR FAMILIES .MY QUESTION IS FOR THIS ANIMAL NAME (( DOSTOM )) WHERE DID HE GO WHEN TALIBAN TOOK CONTROL OF KABUL ? THEN WHERE WAS THIS ANIMAL WHEN TALIBAN CAME AND TOOK OVER HIS OWN TOWN (( SHEBERGHAN )) .WHY COULDN’T HE FIGHT WITH TALIBAN ? WHY DID HE ESCAPE TO (( TURKEY )) ? NOW HE IS BAGGING HIS BROTHER IN LAWS MEANING THE AMERICANS SO THEY CAN PROTECT HIM , HE IS BEGGING THEM SO THEY WOULD FORGET ABOUT MASS KILLING OF TALIBANS PRISONERS ? WELL EVEN IF HIS BROTHER IN LAWS (( THE AMERICANS )) WOULD PROTECT HIM AND FORGET HIM , THE AFGHAN PEOPLE WOULD NOT FORGET HIS CRIMES AND WILL NOT LET HIM LIVE LONGER IN THAT COUNTRY ,WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT HE WILL PAY PRICE THERE IS NO SECOND CHANCE FOR THIS ANIMAL NAME (( DOSTOM )) .
10 August 2009, 12:35
ahhahha God bless Afghanistan
23 August 2011, 11:54
Gen. Dostum has killed some pakistani patans. If taliban try again to come to northern part then he will do this again. Good job .