Afghan anti-war activist and feminist Malalai Joya sent the solidarity message below to a protest organised by Sydney Stop the War Coalition against the visit of US Vice President Mike Pence to Australia on April 29.
Joya was elected to Afghanistan’s National Assembly of Afghanistan from 2005 until early 2007. She was dismissed from her seat for denouncing the presence of warlords and war criminals in the Afghan Parliament.
* * *
I am very sorry to say that, after more than 15 years of the so-called war on terror by US-NATO forces and their spending of tens of billions of dollars, the news from Afghanistan is disastrous.
Today, the men and women in my country are not liberated at all: we still suffer from the fascism of fundamentalism of different brands and an occupation by the US and NATO forces.
I have said in the past, again and again, that the root cause of the problems of my country is occupation and fundamentalism. What I have said in the past has all come true.
Sadly, our country still tops the list as drug producing, corrupt, illiterate, unhappy and misogynist and war-affected. The genocide in our country is no less brutal now than it was during the horror of the Taliban era. The occupation has only added to our problems.
There is no need for me to describe the condition of Afghanistan in detail, except to say that the wave of asylum seekers to Europe and other countries are mostly young people who take big risks. They then arrive and have to face more terrible political, economic and social conditions.
Millions of Afghans suffer from insecurity, poverty, joblessness, addiction, oppression and tyranny. More than 85% suffer from some sort of depression and mental disorders. More than 3 million from a total population of 30 million are addicted to drugs. The number is growing every day.
Western governments are clearly responsible for Afghanistan’s catastrophe: the wave of terrorism and the millions of asylum seekers are the outcome of these past 15 years of wrongdoing in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and elsewhere.
As more than 60% of Afghans are jobless and destitute, they either join the Taliban, ISIS or other terrorist groups who pay up to US$600 per month to their fighters. Those who are deported from the West get addicted or join the ranks of the terrorists to survive.
I strongly condemn the Western governments’ anti-asylum seeker policies. Human rights values, international conventions and, most importantly, the major role they played in this crisis, oblige them to help those in need. They must follow international laws governing refugees.
The so-called war on terror is the biggest lie of the century.
In Afghanistan, we see how the US and NATO still directly and indirectly support and arm the most dangerous terrorists.
“Anti-terrorism” is still a strategic weapon in the hands of the White House; it is being used to destabilise Asia and block the economic and military progress of Russia, China and other potential US rivals.
Many of you may have heard about the so-called Mother of All Bombs (MOAB), the biggest non-nuclear US bomb that was recently dropped in Achin district of Nangarhar.
The claim that the target of this bomb was ISIS is a big lie because I don’t believe the US wants to destroy the Taliban, ISIS and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Rather, it has contributed to nurturing this deadly virus in our country all these years.
The MOAB was dropped to test the most deadly weapon on our society and send a message to Russia, Iran, China and other rivals that the US has its most destructive bombs in its bases in Afghanistan, and can use them whenever it wishes.
The bombs and arms used by the US and NATO over the 16 years of occupation have contained radioactive elements. These have contaminated our environment and led to a terrifying rise in the rates of birth defects among children in the war-torn areas. In many areas, agriculture has also suffered.
The US has dropped bombs containing white phosphorous and depleted uranium on our people and it has also led to terrible environmental destruction.
The puppet government of Kabul gave the Pentagon a green light for committing these crimes and carrying out such tests when it signed the shameful strategic agreement with the US. In reality, our country has become the laboratory of the US-NATO war machine, and once again the site of conflict between the superpowers.
We are worried that Afghanistan will become the site of the superpowers’ arms race and sink deeper into war, destruction and misfortune.
As long as our country is occupied by the US and NATO, we will not have security and stability.
What Martin Luther King said 50 years ago remains true: the current US system is the biggest purveyor of violence and terrorism in history.
Over the decades of war, progressive forces and individuals in Afghanistan have resisted occupation and struggled against fundamentalism. This is our hope for the future of Afghanistan. Your solidarity and support always gave me more hope and courage to continue with this struggle.
Unfortunately, the US-NATO war and military invasions have turned the world into a bloodbath and we can even expect World War III if they are not stopped.
Stopping these savage wars and brutalities and establishing world peace is the moral responsibility of every conscious citizen of the world.