Afghanistan –Graveyard of Invading Empires Forty Years after Soviet Invasion By Latheef Farook

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Around  2300 years ago Macedonian ruler Alexander the Great who created a vast empire that stretched from Macedonia to Egypt and from Greece to part of India once said; “Afghanistan is one country where you can get in but will never be able to get out “.

Afghans have proved this to the world today.

Late Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, in a drunken stupor, dispatched troops on a December winter day in 1979, and installed a communist Afghan puppet Barbrak Karmal as its leader.

Afghan responded and driven the invaders in 1989 and destroyed Soviet Union itself.

In Moscow’s brutal military offensive, thousands of Afghan men, women, children and the aged, were massacred and maimed, destroying the very fabric of this deeply religious society.

During Soviet occupation US, Britain, other European countries and Saudi Arabia helped   Afghans. Thus it became the war between Soviet Union and US in which    Afghans killed Afghans.

In the wake of Soviet withdrawal came the 9/11 bombings of World Trade Centre in New York and Pentagon, which many openly accused US  and-Israel  of staging,  to justify their planned invasion of Afghanistan. Once again Afghans fought back forcing America presidents   to withdraw and run away.

However Soviet Union and US   massacred Afghans and destroyed their delicate and unique political system, infrastructure, economy tearing apart Afghan society .In the process they

destroyed villages, rural settlements, towns and cities . Afghanistan remains in ruins.

Millions of Afghans ended up in refugee camps in neighbouring Pakistan and Iran to live in appalling conditions. There are more than five million refugees in Pakistan and Iran.

Several reports   pointed out ignorance, isolation, illness, violence, and social upheaval during the past forty years have produced a “lost generation”; failure to provide long term support for Afghanistan risks losing another .A society where the traditional social networking and customs once offered protection has all but disintegrated.

In the midst there came a very disturbing report in October 2020 that blows the lid on the shameful conduct of Australian Special Forces in Afghanistan, accusing   of waging a campaign of torture and murder across the war-torn country, and hiding the evidence.

Afghan villagers sit near the bodies of children who were reported to have been killed during a NATO airstrike in Kunar province on April 7, 2013. (Photo: ReuterThe harm inflicted by decades of war on the people and the country of Afghanistan have been cumulative. Hard statistics are difficult to find, and many of the available data are estimates. During the decade of war following the Soviet invasion in 1979, Afghanistan lost an estimated 1.8 million killed, 1.5 million disabled (among whom were more than 300,000 children), and there were 7.5 million refugees. More than 14,000 villages also were destroy the total number of children killed is not known. But, with a population where close to 50% are under the age of 20, the losses among the children can be reasonably assumed to be proportionate to the age distribution of the population. According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), about 235,000 are displaced. Ariana television reported several times that children were sold for food by their families in the north during the 2007 drought. They have been put to work at young ages, with some 60,000 working on the streets of Kabul in 2009 and denied schooling. Meanwhile, as many as six million Afghan children are acutely vulnerable. They are not attending school. They are searching for work on urban streets and in fields. And they are at risk of exploitation, poor health, severe injury, and needless death. They are the tragic victims of war in a society whose institutional support systems had been weak or nonexistent prior to the outbreak of conflict 30 years ago, and which have been nearly impossible to rebuild since. A society where the traditional social networking and customs once offered protection has all but disintegrated. Peace is the first prerequisite for the long and arduous task of rescuing Afghanistan’s children from this tragic plight.

In the midst there came a very disturbing report in October 2020 that blows the lid on the shameful conduct of Australian Special Forces in Afghanistan, accusing   of waging a campaign of torture and murder across the war-torn country, and hiding the evidence.

When Australia’s elite SAS soldiers would raid villages in Afghanistan, they brought terror and death with them.  The Special Forces “would take the men and boys to  tie them up and torture them. By the time the SAS units left, “the men and boys would be found dead, shot in the head, sometimes blindfolded and throats slit comparing   to the My Lai massacre of the Vietnam War, and to the US’ mistreatment of detainees in Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison.   One informant said “Whatever we do, though, I can tell you the Brits and the US are far, far worse. I’ve watched our young guys stand by and hero worship what they were doing, salivating at how the US were torturing people.

However expressing her hope   Malalai Joya, the youngest and most famous female MP in Afghanistan said’ in her book “Raising My Vice”   that “They may cut down the flower, but they will never stop the coming of the spring”.

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