Clear lines in the hindu kush: there are heroes and traitors

Clear lines in the hindu kush: there are heroes and betrayers

U.S. President Trump on a visit to Afghanistan, to his right "Guest", Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, 29. November 2019. Image: U.S. Department of Defense/general public domain

Afghanistan after Trump visit: talking about a puppet regime and talking to the Taliban

It was the middle of the night when Donald Trump landed at the U.S. Air Force base at Bagram near Kabul with virtually no notice. Plotzz he was there, and for the very first time in his entire term in office. While most Afghans were asleep, one man in particular was pleased: Afghanistan’s current President Ashraf Ghani, whom Trump had so far refused to meet at all. Ghani went to Bagram and stood between Trump and the assembled U.S. soldiers.

There was neither a minister nor an Afghan soldier or security guard standing next to him. Ghani was alone, and he sang Trump’s praises in a way that even pro-government commentators judged not just ingratiating, but total concession, indeed, total submission.

Patriots and puppets

Most Afghans will certainly not forget this scenario, because most people in the Hindu Kush draw very clear lines, especially when it comes to learning history. There are heroes and traitors. Patriots and Puppets. It doesn’t just sound black and female, it actually is. However, it will not change.

Already since 2014, the Ghani administration has fully surrendered to the masters in Washington, while massively participating in the killing of its own civilian population. Shortly after Ghani appointed president in 2014 – not elected! – He signed a controversial Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the Americans that meant a continuation of the war and impunity for U.S. soldiers.

Over the course of Ghani’s tenure, U.S. military bombing and related civilian casualties have reached a peak. The entire state apparatus supports the "War on Terror" the Americans and believes that the war in the country cannot be ended by talking, but only by continuing brutal military operations.

Civilian victims, including numerous children, are regularly dehumanized in this context and considered to be "Terrorists" or "Adolescent militants" stamped. Examples of this can now be found almost daily.

Not everyone is happy with these developments. "We turned an entire village into Taliban supporters, and that is understandable", says a government official who wished to remain anonymous. He is referring to a military operation that took place in Wardak province last October and cost the lives of only civilians. "I work for the government, but it must realize that the conflict cannot be solved in this way", he says in a confidential interview.

Afghan president as guest of guest Trump

Ghani’s recent speech to Trump in Bagram is also criticized. "The president has become the guest of his guest, in his own country. He has clearly subordinated himself, reinforcing the narrative that he is merely a puppet. Why should the Taliban negotiate with him now?", says Ershad Ahmadi, former deputy minister of Afghanistan.

In front of the assembled soldiers, Ghani said, among other things, what a great and successful president Trump is and congratulated him on the killing of the IS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. The fact that the US war against IS in Iraq and Syria cost thousands of civilian lives was not worth mentioning.

The question of negotiating with the Taliban is now actually on the table once again. Trump announced in Bagram that he would resume talks after declaring them dead via Twitter in September. Whether the Taliban will respond remains to be seen.

It is ironic that the extremists, who were supposed to be driven out and destroyed years ago, are now – after a war lasting almost twenty years – more credible than Washington and its Kabul governors.

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