A reader sent through this article from the Guardian by Malalai Joya, who was the youngest woman to enter the Afghan parliament before being suspended for denouncing the warlords and war criminals sitting beside her.
Almost eight years after the Taliban regime was toppled, our hopes for a truly democratic and independent Afghanistan have been betrayed by the continued domination of fundamentalists and by a brutal occupation that ultimately serves only American strategic interests in the region.
You must understand that the government headed by Hamid Karzai is full of warlords and extremists who are brothers in creed of the Taliban. Many of these men committed terrible crimes against the Afghan people during the civil war of the 1990s.
For expressing my views I have been expelled from my seat in parliament, and I have survived numerous assassination attempts. The fact that I was kicked out of office while brutal warlords enjoyed immunity from prosecution for their crimes should tell you all you need to know about the “democracy” backed by Nato troops.
She then calls on Western countries to end the occupation and stop supporting the corrupt warlords in power:
This week, US vice-president Joe Biden asserted that “more loss of life [is] inevitable” in Afghanistan, and that the ongoing occupation is in the “national interests” of both the US and the UK.
I have a different message to the people of Britain. I don’t believe it is in your interests to see more young people sent off to war, and to have more of your taxpayers’ money going to fund an occupation that keeps a gang of corrupt warlords and drug lords in power in Kabul.
What’s more, I don’t believe it is inevitable that this bloodshed continues forever. Some say that if foreign troops leave Afghanistan will descend into civil war. But what about the civil war and catastrophe of today? The longer this occupation continues, the worse the civil war will be.
Food for thought at a time when John Key is considering sending more New Zealand troops to Afghanistan.