Afghanistan: War-torn, insecure and unhappy after 18 years of war

US Marine in Afghanistan.

After more than 18 years of the so-called “war on terror” by the United States and NATO in which $100 billion has been spent, sadly, our country is still ranked as the most war-torn, insecure, drug-producing, corrupt, illiterate and unhappy country in the world.

Afghan women are the main victims: my people are being brutally killed in their hundreds every day. The level of violence and savage acts of terror are more severe than during the Taliban era. The occupation has only added to our problems.

The Australian government still follows the wrong and bloody policy of the US in Afghanistan: there is no difference between the troops from Australia and those from the US and NATO countries. They advance the same agenda.

Our people are fed up with the terrorist-fostering policies of Western governments.

Given the country's important geopolitical position, almost 40 governments are working hard for their strategic interests in Afghanistan. Most of them use terrorist groups as their weapon to reach their goals.

Afghanistan has been turned into a battleground of the big powers, and our poor people are the first and easy victims.

Recently, hundreds of terrorist Taliban fighters were released from prison in the name of so-called peace negotiations. The Western governments and the puppet regime of Ashraf Ghani are trying to share power with the blood-thirsty Taliban.

This means that after 18 years of war and the killing of hundreds of thousands of Afghans, we are in the same place we were in 2001. In fact, we are in an even worse place because another terror group — ISIS — is expanding its dreadful wings across Afghanistan. This is a new tragedy for our poor people.

Peace without justice is meaningless for our people. I have said again and again over the past decade that democracy never comes with a military invasion, or with the support of sworn enemies. This has been shown again and again in practice to our people.

My message to progressive forces and organisations in Australia, and around the world, is to join hands with progressive forces and individuals in Afghanistan — the only alternative for the bright future of our benighted country.

[Malalai Joya, an activist and former Afghan politician, has been called the bravest and most famous woman in Afghanistan. Her autobiography written with Derrick O'Keefe is called Raising My Voice or A Woman Among Warlords.]