Thursday, September 16, 2010

Amrullah Saleh: If We Do Not Rise Today. . ."

Amrullah Saleh is the brilliant former intelligence chief for the Afghan revolutionary Ahmed Shah Massoud. He's a veteran Taliban-fighter. This past summer, immediately after Afghan president Hamid Karzai convened his "peace jirga" to secure a patina of political legitimacy for his plans to reinegrate the Taliban into the circles of power in Kabul, Saleh was ousted from his post as head of Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security.

Saleh has now joined with Afghan's Massoudists and Opposition leader Dr. Abdullah in a growing force of Afghan democrats, secularists, women's rights leaders, ethnic leaders and reformers who are now girding themselves for the worst (see: A Warning To The War-Weary: See What Your Peace Will Bring and also "An Afghan Revolution in The Making").

Saleh has just granted an interview to National Public Radio at his heavily-guarded home in the Panjshir Valley. He made several portentious observations about Karzai's overtures to the Taliban, and he noted that Karzai has quietly released 400 Taliban operatives in recent weeks. Several of Saleh's comments should be noticed:

"We are very clear, very articulate in our messaging. We do not want the Taliban to come and cut the noses off our women. We do not want the Taliban to destroy what is left of our historic heritage. We don't want them to dominate the scene, so a compromise with the Taliban from a position of weakness and not taking into consideration the massive interests of the Afghan people is what I warn the people about."

"The type of sympathy systematically growing for the Taliban within the Afghan system is extremely dangerous."

"We think that if we do not rise today, our rights, our very basic rights in a deal with the Taliban, will be violated fundamentally."

"We are telling our people the danger is real."

"Calling [the Taliban] our 'disgruntled brothers' or whatever is completely unacceptable for the people of Afghanistan. . . if we continue with this policy we will be giving [Afghanistan] back to the Taliban."

"Why are we continuously calling the Taliban our brothers? They are our killers. They put IEDs (improvised explosive devices), they facilitiate suicide atttacks, they burn schools, they throw acid at the faces of women, they have banned education. I don't need that type of brother."

"I am anti-Talibanization of Afghanistan. We were fighting the Taliban before NATO and if we see our history, our life, our principles, are compromised in a deal with the Taliban, we will fight again."

Meanwhile, the Opposition gains momentum: "Every day, dozens of sympathisers approach Saleh. Those who share his vision are growing fast and I'm part of this process."

Update: The focus of the United Nations in Afghanistan should be the reconstruction of a democratic state answerable to the Afghan people though fully free and fair elections. But Tolonews reports: The United Nations has sent away about a third of its international employees from Afghanistan amid fears of violence during this week's parliamentary elections. Around 300 UN staff are expected to remain out of the country for a week, and those who stay behind will be under strong security restrictions.

"It is always the elites and the strongmen who profit."


Post a Comment

<< Home