Apr 30, 2008

How long is the Afghan insurgency going to take?

By Sanjar

The current conflict in Afghanistan is a battle of Will, the war challenges the will of international community to fight in Afghanistan, the will of Afghans in the future of their country and finally the will of Taliban and insurgents to continue their battle against the foreign troops. This story weighs up the will of Afghans and the lack of a self-rooted cause for having a peaceful country. The will and motivation of international community to continue the war is less significant than their resources. The will and support for the war in Afghanistan lies in democratic western public such as Britain. The will and support of the public is going to be challenged as the price of war both in human heads and dollars climb up. The war is basically challenging the resources of international community in Afghanistan. The question is how tough the war going to be and whether it will need more resources and can the international community afford it?

The will of Afghans for any future peace is affected by their perception of the politics in their country, deeply affected by the war in the past and the instigator of those wars. Militarization of politics in Afghanistan in the last three decades has turned the population into political cynics, distrusting politics and the ones involved at the cause of political leaders. Wars and armies in Afghanistan became heavily politicized in the 1970s as a result of two military coups. The politicisation of wars and the militarisation of politics continued as the country saw over a dozen regimes; ideologically opposing each other, extremely. The war and politics got very dirty in Afghanistan when gradually military fictions relied on their relevant ethnic groups for recruitment; gradually giving power to a variety of ethnic-regional factions, self-serving warlords, and criminal freebooters. The situation fostered an intense competition for enlargement of factional militias through indiscriminate recruitment from their respective ethnic constituencies or, in the case of some parties, increased reliance on non-Afghans. The process not only ethnicised the warring militias but also brought large numbers of bandits, thugs, and criminal elements to the ranks of the competing factions. Factional--and nominally national--leaders were reluctant to prevent their allies from criminal acts, fearing their defection to a rival party. This gave a free hand to armed groups that had carved the country into fiefdoms and were involved in narcotics, plundering public and private property, extortion, corruption, rape, war crimes and violence. The result was, population lost their trust in any military fiction, political party and self-declared leader.

The afghan conflict is characterised by international intervention, the international community has supported their fictions in the last three decades. These fictions including the ones currently in power, involved in gross human rights violation. UN plans for peace in Afghanistan has always failed and resulted in further bloodshed, UN plan for peaceful transfer of power from Najib regime to a transitional government, was a set up to oust Najib from power. led to an intense power struggle among the Mujahideen groups who had taken over different parts of the country and seized or looted the government. Foreign supported groups in Afghanistan has been cleverly drafted to emphasize in an internal division within the opposing camps, resulting the country sinking into devastating civil wars leading to foreign invasions, i.e. soviet 1979 - 1989, Pakistan 1994 – 2001 and international since 2001. Political polarization of the county intensified as the wars developed. The wars in the last three decade assisted by foreign interventions have caused tremendous social change, ripping society apart vertically and horizontally. The wars has been the battle of any afghan against any other afghan, at the end it has been realised that they are not the one who benefits, it’s the self dubbed leaders and their foreign backers. Resulting in afghan lost of trust in leaders and any political formation.

The reason for the growth of anti foreign and government insurgency after international intervention is the lack of sympathy among the population to the government and the international community. The population stands by as Taliban and insurgents disrupt the state building process. In the current intervention the international community has an agenda which is to root out terrorism so it’s no longer a threat to them. the question for Afghans is what is there for Afghans in it? Do they gain anything, yes, their country is getting reconstructed. But the people who have been brought to power by international community are not popular in the public eye, the international community seemed to intervene only to destroy Taliban and bringing the opposition to power. The international community intervened with 6000 troops while they committed 40000 to Kosovo a country which is one sixth of Helmand, one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, under British auspices. The international community clearly didn’t intervene to stabilise Afghanistan because the proportion of force was not enough for stabilisation. They depended on criminal elements and warlords accused of war crimes to control their respective territory. The international troop size swelled as the fight with Taliban got tougher. The international community put 50000 troops to fight the insurgency. The insurgency is not going to be won without public support which lacks the will to support the government.

Taliban were not ousted for their poor human rights record, or international isolation because of their medieval treatment of women, or their imposition of far-reaching social restrictions such as compulsory beard, dressing code etc, or because of national economic failure. Taliban were ousted merely because of extensive links to Deobandi religious schools - ‘madrassas’, to foreign extremist networks, and to wanted terrorists such as Osama bin laden. As a matter of fact Taliban implemented several good social policies, such as eradication of administrative corruption, disarmament of fighting groups, stabilising the society and putting an end to village level ethnic conflict, and prevention of poppy cultivation and drug production. These are all provisions which the current government and the international community have failed to prevent. Topped up by rising social inequalities fuelled by drug money and international community generous bonuses to its allies.

The war against the Taliban is going to be a long battle; the question I posed at the beginning was whether the international community has the resources to fight this war. The insurgents are mostly the product of the past wars and guerrilla warfare, the military establishment is conceptually oriented toward a war of attrition. It is, in essence, a guerrilla war. This orientation shapes the underlying principles of its tactical and operational manoeuvre: elusiveness is considered the key to survival in drawn-out combat; the fight for survival calls for survival to fight; and trading territory for time constitutes the basis of operational resilience. The tactic is vivid in Helmand where they fighting British Army, the towns in Helmand province switch control between British army and Taliban. Taliban are reluctant to defend defensive lines at any cost. Taliban have a good understanding of foreign armies tactical weight and their enemy's offensive momentum. Taliban know they can’t stand against well-armed western armies but they know foreign armies are overstretched and sporadic attacks would pressure their resources and morale. Taliban are light force mounted on pickup trucks or motorbikes tailored to ambush ‘forward enemy basis’, caravans and government establishment. The war is against a ghost enemy, which retreats behind an imperceptible border into Pakistan. Pakistan is a safehaven for Taliban where they international forces is not allowed to chase them. The soviets lost the same war; history proves hard defeating a cross border insurgency. Americans lost a similar war in Vietnam against Vietcong. Taliban rely heavily on ethnic participation of Pashtuns, who see themselves isolated in the foreign mediated power share of current government, and popular support in south, south west and eastern Afghanistan. Taliban relies on religion to justify their fight and brutal punishment of civilians and enemy to intimidate the public.

The fight against Taliban is not going to be won unless there is a positive change in the will and aspiration of Afghan public. Democracy is an empty word for many Afghans, pronounced by political leader to exploit the ideology for their political ends; the word was popular from 60s to late 80s. It has resurfaced after the international intervention. More than words such as democracy is needed to reinstate Afghan trust in the government. The insurgency is not beatable and its going to draw more support from the public as the conflict escalates. The will of Afghan people might be positively affected if they see changes in their daily life. The current government is far too corrupt, manipulated by criminals and ineffective to be trusted. To change the government the international community need to pour more resources into Afghanistan, more money is need to reform the government bureaucracy, rebuild the infrastructure and more troops to provide security for the progress. Coupled with new state building strategies, the foreign aid need to stop spending less money on themselves and more on Afghanistan. Otherwise this is going to be a long and bloody war, not new to Afghanistan, but challenging to the will of international intervention.

Apr 28, 2008

Let's go to Kabulistan

Let's go to Kabulistan

Afghan Wireless Company filtered Persian sites!

The Afghan Wireless Comunication Company filtered tow Persian site. Persianblog and Blogfa filtered by this Company.
You can access to main page and you can publish your posts but other people can not reach your web log by typing address.

Apr 24, 2008

TV stations under government pressure

By Sanjar

Minister of information and culture, Abdul Kareem Khuram, has ordered several private TV stations to stop broadcasting popular soap operas that allegedly contains ‘offensive’ scenes. The minister went further by describing offensive as being "un-Islamic". Apparently the ministry reached the decision under pressure from the parliament and clerics.

The Soap Operas are very popular television programs and if any form of formal audience rating was possible in Afghanistan I have no doubt the shows would rate the highest. The serials provide vital revenue for TV stations. The soap operas are dubbed into Pashto and Farsi. Banning the program could be a financial blow to TV stations and the end of the young dubbing sector.

The minister of information warned of sever action against TV station neglecting the decision but did not clarify what. In a freedom liking system the law outlines all sanction in the interest of ensuring consistency and avoiding arbitrary action by those in power. The media law has envisaged no disciplinary measures in this case because the action of the minister is not in the law.

the Parliament has also passed a resolution seeking to bar not the soaps but any TV programme from showing dancing and other practices that are "un-Islamic".

The parliament is a house built by secular west to host radical muslims. This resolution was passed two months after the one which supported the death sentence for Parwez Kambakhsh, a journalist, for downloading an article criticising Islam's stance on women's rights.

The latest action of the parliament and the government once again shows who run the country under the shadow of secular western military. The Afghans can’t do anything which is not endorsed by these fundamentalists. When Islam was introduced there was no TV so we can’t know what islam says about TV and its professional conduct, but now we have to deal with a situation under a bunch of thugs and criminals that anything which has not been covered by Islam becomes the domain of their authority.

The fundamentalist Afghan officials take advantage of western financial assistance and their military protection. They don’t mind to be protected from the ruthless hand of Taliban by westerners. They live in modern buildings and drive in convoys which are paid by western tax payer money but their black moral framework has not changed.

The fundamentalist for decades enforced a restrictive system where basic human curiosity has been seriously curtailed. Any new step by an Afghan is rejected in their view on the ground that its unfamiliar and not in line with Islam. The islam of fundamentalists is a static faith; their faith will never accept innovative television programs because television is a threat to their authority and better television is even serious threat.

Why are we silent, and by ‘we’ I mean all of us: people of Afghanistan, millions of Afghans watch these soap operas and they love it. they need to stand up for something they like and challenge the authority of the criminal fundamentalists. We know that these criminals should be put behind bars not on a chair to govern our lives again. Their actions once again remind us that they never went through a period of self-reflection after their atrocities. The fundamentalists should not dictate to the entire Afghan society the rule of the game, they have had enough control. The rule of law should replace the arbitrary interpretation of their Islam.

These fundamentalists call for the murder of an innocent person for reading a piece and we know that not only democratic society but any humane society condemns the murder of a person for freedom of thought.

But I know that the mass (all and any Afghan) will remain quiet because We are a society caught in a mental cramp of cognitive dissonance, and we will be for a long time. The whole society fall victim to this type of Islam. Nobody can raise their voice because that would be considered unislamic, the mantra of the criminal fundamentalists has worked so well that Afghans are fearful of natural pursuit of life and watching what makes them happy.

grow at the top of a mountain

You cannot make a young girl marry an old man;
As you cannot have bumper harvests from what you grow at the top of a mountain.
more photo see Basir Seerat

Apr 20, 2008

When Nasim Fekrat was took photo

When Nasim Fekrat was took photo, it was great time to get this kind of photo from Nasim’Fekrat.
Nasim Fekrat is a photographer with a creative idea and great see to understand now arts addition. more Photo Basir Seerat


Check this out

Apr 15, 2008

A wanderful photo from the bonker Camel fighting in Mazar Sharif . more photo story HERE.

Afghan blogging: a new feature of Afghanistan

From: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan

KABUL--The first workshop of blogging with participation of tens of Afghan bloggers was held in Kabul by the Afghan Pen Log.

Nasim Fekrat, the in-charge of the Afghan Pen Log says that in this two-day workshop, Afghan bloggers from all over Afghanistan were participated.

Mr. Fekrat said that the goal of holding of this workshop is expanding and improving the work of blogging in Afghanistan. He believes this workshop is an effort to establishing the culture of virtual environment of the Internet in the country.

Through a last few years, blogging has been remarkably expanded. Nasim estimated that more than 20 thousand Afghans are blogging.
Afghan blogging is mainly common among youths and university students.

Personal dairy

What is a Weblog? Nasim thinks, “Weblog is personal dairy in which you can put text, photo, video, voice, etc… on the whole, a comprehensive multimedia.”
Afghan blogging is mainly about political, social, cultural, and critical issues.

Nasim believes that Afghan blogging would introduce a new feature of Afghanistan in the world.
“Afghan bloggers try to introduce a different feature of Afghanistan. Today’s Afghanistan is not the Afghanistan in five years ago or twenty years ago,” he says.

Masuma Ibrahimi, an Afghan blogger and one of the organizers of the workshop says that he mainly shares her viewpoints and experiences of living in Afghanistan with her audience.

“I reflect what I see of Afghanistan as an Afghan girl, to the people inside and outside Afghanistan,” she says.
Masuma says that her blogging is mostly “similar to dairies of an Afghan girl who lives, works, sees, hears, and faces things in Afghanistan.”

Apr 14, 2008

Apr 10, 2008

when i am shoting ....

When a photographer decide to shot some thing in Afghanistan actually photographer are going to shot some known able to see. The photographer should understand what is not important for anther people that they not seen before to faced then again that.

For more photo BASIR SEERAT.

For The First Time: Blogging Workshop in Kabul

From Afghan LORD

For the first time in Afghanistan, a two days Blogging workshop was organized by the Afghan Association of Blog Writers. The participants were an Afghan journalist, a University teacher, a poet and writers from different provinces and of various ethnic backgrounds.

The main goals of this workshop are better access of journalists to weblogs and other digital media. Since Afghan print and internet media are of a very low quality, blogs could help the Afghan print media and become a milestone in the media situation in Afghanistan.

This was just the first blogging workshop in Afghanistan. The plan is to continue with more workshops in different parts of Afghanistan, including Herat, Mazar-e- Sharif, Jalalabad, Kandahar, Bamyan and Daikundi.

Cultural activities in cyberspace, theories of blogging, detailed similarities and differences between web sites and weblogs, and the techniques of making a blog were discussed in these two workshop days. And at the end, each of the participants independently opened their new weblog in cyberspace.

The world's famous weblogs, the best Persian blogs and the world most popular blogs were introduced to the group and the factors that make a weblog better were among the issues that were explained to the participants.
The participants were technically taught how to open a blog, managing, browsing, linking, ways of writing and the skill of making a framework for the blog.

The Persian blog providers such as 'PersainBlog' and 'Blogfa' were introduced. Afghans yet were familiar with 'PersianBlog' and 'Blogfa' as service providers, now this workshop helped them to learn about other powerful service providers like 'Blogger' and 'Word press'. All of the participants then built their blogs on Blogger.

Blogging is a new phenomenon in Afghanistan, and only a few people make professional use of it. Therefore holding such workshops for the first time by the Afghan Association of Blog Writers can speed up this process and facilitate the work of Afghan bloggers.

Blogging is new in Afghanistan and today most of students and youth start to use it. Even though there are many obstacles for accessing the internet, the Afghan youth refer more and more to this than before, and the number of Afghan bloggers dramatically grows by the day.
Around twenty thousand Afghan blogs have yet been created in cyberspace by Afghans inside and outside the country, and using different service providers.

Afghan bloggers have already faced many challenges and difficulties. The two Persian service providers 'Persianblog' and 'Blogfa' have recently been filtered by 'Afghan Telecom', the private Afghan Telecommunication Company.

Some people believe that this work of Afghan Telecom occurs in following the anti–Farsi/Dari efforts and thus deleting the Farsi/Dari words from the city billboards by Abdul Karim Khuram, Information and the Minister of Culture.
They claim that this is a bare break of the subscribers' rights and should seriously be condemned.

The electricity and internet are complementary of each other. But unfortunately, after seven years of the Karzai newly born administration and the presence of the International community, Kabul citizens still don’t have access to electricity. Internet was supposed to become nationally accessible, but it doesn’t. There are many Net-Cafés in Kabul, but because they are so expensive, a large number of the interested youth can not use them.

More about Blogging Workshop:

1) Afghanistan: First blogging workshop in Kabul

2) Blogging workshop in picture

3) Promoting Blogging in Afghanistan B.B.C

4) For the first time Blogging in Afghanistan- Radio Zamaneh

5) An Initiative which is going to change Aghanistan+Pictures

6) How Blogging Workshop was held?

7) They’re blogging in Kabul!- CIPE Development Blog

8) Tactic: Organizing a blogging workshop - DigitActive.org

Blogging Workshop in Italian Blogs

1) Soldi spesi bene - Meri

2) Nasim e i bloggers di Kabul - Pino Scaccia's blog

3) Nasim Fekrat, un workshop sul blogging a Kabul - Pipistro

4) BlogFriends

5) BarBlog


7) Tre Puntini

8) Zomberos


10) Per la prima volta un blogging workshop a Kabul, Afghanistan- WIKIO

Apr 9, 2008

Blogging workshop in picture

During workshop

From Left: Masuma Ibrahimi and Masuma Maqsudi

From left: Faridulla, Amin Merzadah, Nasim Fekrat

From left: Halim Surosh, Mukhtar Pedra, Yonus Entezar, Basir Seerat

Nasim Fekrat during teaching

All Participants in Blogging workshop which was held in Kabul on April 3-4, in association
During workshop

Masuma Maqsudi and Masuma Ibrahimi

Afghanistan: First blogging workshop in Kabul

From Global Voice Online
ByHamid Tehrani

The Afghan Association of Blog Writers (Afghan Penlog) overcame financial difficulty and obstacles like electricity shortages to organize the first blogging workshop in their history. The workshop was held in Kabul on April 3-4, in association with Nasim Fekrat and Masoumeh Ebrahimi [Fa], two active Afghan bloggers.

Afghan blogging workshop
Twelve journalists, teachers and writers learned how to start a text blog, a video blog, a photo blog, and useful tips, like how to use RSS feeds.

At the end of the workshop, several blogs were created in Dari, Pashtou and English.

Fekrat said, “I am receiving lots of inquiries from Kabul University students and journalists who want to learn blogging, but financial problems remain a main obstacle.” Fekrat is already thinking of organizing a second workshop because there is more to share and teach.

Nasim Fekrat at the Afghan blogging workshop
Nasim Fekrat helps lead the workshop.

Nasim Fekrat says [Fa]:

This experience has been very useful. I learned a lot. Most of the people who participated in this workshop were journalists, academics, writers and others who can help revitalize our culture and intellect in Afghanistan's bored society. Organizing such a workshop has been one of my goals for a long time. Finally, thanks to Geomap and Masoumeh Ebrahimi it became a reality.

Afghan blogging workshop
More photos can be found on Civil Movement of Afghanistan along with a report.

Manzarra who learned to blog in this workshop writes about using the internet to advance free speech and freedom of the press .

Mokhtar Pedram, a journalist, shares [Fa] his experience with us:

I was scared to come to the world of internet and blogging… Maybe it was a technical barrier. But this one and half day workshop changed my perception… It wouldn't be true to say that all my problems with the internet were solved in these two days, but I did decide to start my blog, which proves just how effective this workshop has been.

Safeh says [Fa] blogging is a new thing in Afghanistan and that academics and teachers have only just discovered it.

Zartosht writes [Fa] that such workshops may be the most important step for journalism in Afghanistan.

Apr 5, 2008

Afghanistan: NATO's Most Critical MissionM. Ashraf Haidari

Afghanistan: NATO's Most Critical MissionM. Ashraf Haidari

M. Ashraf Haidari

When citizens of NATO allies look at the record of failure of military interventions in Afghanistan over the past century-and-a-half, they may be tempted to ask: “What chance of success does NATO have?” People should realize, however, that comparing the present-day stabilization mission to past military adventures is not appropriate.

Past foreign involvements in Afghanistan—including those of the British and Russian Empires in the 19th century, and, more recently, the Soviet Union in the late 20th century—were motivated by imperial and ideological competition. Those powers were not striving to build a stable, democratic and self-reliant society. And they certainly signed nothing like the Afghanistan Compact.

Today, more than 40 nations are working together to stabilize Afghanistan and consolidate its new democracy. This truly international endeavor enjoys the overwhelming support of Afghans, who constitute an important strategic asset in the fight to contain terrorism. Thus, it is clear that NATO is in Afghanistan for different reasons altogether, including the national security of its member states. One cannot deny the real security risk NATO allies will face if Afghanistan’s stabilization efforts fail and the country once more becomes the domain of terrorists, criminals, and drug traffickers, as it was under the Taliban.
We know from 9/11 and other terrorist attacks that threats to global security are increasingly transnational in nature. Non-state actors are more dangerous today than state actors were during the Cold War when security threats primarily came from interstate hostilities centered on the ideological differences between the members of the Warsaw Pact and NATO.

Third World proxy conflicts characterized the Cold War between the two ideological blocs for more than four decades, and Afghanistan featured as one of the main Cold War theaters from 1979 to 1989. However, with the breakdown of the Soviet Union and the collapse of Communism at the end of the 80s, NATO’s Cold War role ended.
The 9/11 terrorist attacks were a rude reminder to NATO members that despite the demise of Communism, there were still many threats posed to the West by radical forces, threats that represented a dark side of the new world order shaped by globalization, and posed a direct challenge to NATO itself.

It is generally agreed that premature disengagement from countries like Afghanistan, and a failure to recognize the rising threat of international terrorism, eventually contributed to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States.
Securing Afghanistan is now one of NATO’s most important post-Cold War tasks—its raison d'être in a way—which must be strongly reaffirmed in the Bucharest Summit this week. A firm commitment by the NATO allies to bolstering their troop levels by 7,500 additional forces without functional and territorial restrictions, commonly known as “caveats,” is critical to fighting and defeating the resurgent Taliban in the south and east of Afghanistan.
In addition, NATO allies and other participating states must firmly commit to providing more military and police trainers to build the Afghan national security forces to reach the targeted goals of 80,000 soldiers for the Afghan National Army (ANA) and 82,000 officers for the Afghan National Police (ANP) by the end of 2009. To meet these training requirements, Afghanistan needs more than 70 Operational Mentoring and Liaison Teams (OMLTs)—each comprising 16-20 men—to train ANA units, and 2,300 police trainers, including force protection, to implement the district police development program currently underway.

In the meantime, NATO allies must firmly commit to the long-term implementation of the Afghanistan National Development Strategy, which in many ways resembles the Marshall Plan in vision and scope. NATO allies understand that Europe could not have rebuilt on its own in the aftermath of the Second World War, under the increasing threat posed by the former Soviet Union, without external aid. Thanks in large measure to the Marshall Plan, war-ravaged Europe was able to rebuild rapidly, and today it is hard to believe that the previous century’s two devastating world wars were fought primarily on European soil.
The success of the Marshall Plan in Europe in the 20th Century is an excellent reminder for the NATO allies in the 21st century that when nations come to each other’s aid with firm and full commitment, no force—no matter how formidable—can prevent their victory if they stand together until the job is done.

Afghans just celebrated their New Year (1387), which will be a pivotal year in the fight against terrorism. A resolute NATO, armed with requisite security and development resources, will be certain to secure Afghanistan and the entire region. Afghans look forward to finding a strong and determined partner in the NATO alliance in the year ahead, a partner who can help finish the job started by the international community seven years ago.
M. Ashraf Haidari is the Political Counselor of the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, DC. His email is haidari@embassyofafghanistan.org