Afghan MPs Predict “Very Big War”

It seems that what NATO is stirring up with their show of force isn’t going to be good for the people of Afghanistan or for the overall situation in the Middle East.

Afghan MPs Predict “Very Big War”

Civilian deaths, corruption, occupying troops leading to “jihad” against foreigners, say leaders

by Chris Sands

Ahmad Shah Khan Achekzai, MP for Kandahar, where Canadian troops are operating, says foreign troops are “acting against Islam and they are attacking innocent people”. © 2006 Chris Sands


KABUL, AFGHANISTAN–As a former senior Taliban commander and associate of Osama bin Laden, Mullah Abdul Salam Rocketi was a shining example of the warlords who seemed to be rejecting violence and embracing Afghanistan’s new democracy.But the MP for the southern province of Zabul now typifies the anger and despair raging through this blood-soaked country.

In a series of interviews with The Dominion, a number of Afghan politicians said a mass uprising against NATO-led forces will soon begin, driving out the foreign troops and igniting a civil war.

“When the Taliban came along I gave everything to them because I wanted the country to improve and the people to be safe,” said Rocketi. “Then when the current government came along I gave everything to them because I thought they would make the country better. But I regret that.

“Everything is gone now, we have nothing. I regret it not because I am no longer with the Taliban, but because this government does not have the power to improve our country.

“It’s getting worse and worse and worse. I don’t have any hope. But whatever is happening now, the people can’t complain. If they make a noise the local governor will say they are Taliban or Al-Qaeda and get them sent to Bagram.”

Rocketi – whose name derives from his famed ability with a Rocket-Propelled Grenade launcher – said pressure is building as his country slips backwards.

“I know, I am sure, that soon a very big war will start between the foreigners and the population,” he explained.

The parliamentary elections of September 18, 2005, were hailed as a key event in Afghanistan’s transition from a war-torn nation ruled by Islamic extremists to a peaceful and moderate democracy.

However, the Taliban-led insurgency has grown rapidly during the last year and MPs believe the rebellion is an accurate reflection of public anger.

While all militants are usually portrayed as isolated radicals, the reality is not so simple. Fierce anti-American and anti-NATO rhetoric can be heard almost everywhere in this country now. Even moderates who support the presence of foreign troops are predicting catastrophe.

With his well pressed suit and smart tie, Mohammad Hashem Watanwall, MP for the southern province of Uruzgan, would look perfectly at home in the House of Commons. But his vision of the future is bleak.

“When the current government came along I gave everything to them because I thought they would make the country better. But I regret that.” — Mullah Abdul Salam Rocketi, MP for Zabul. © 2006 Chris Sands

“There is a big fire under the earth. It’s like a volcano and soon it will explode,” he warned. “It will explode if everything continues like now; the corruption, the bad security, the bombing of civilians by coalition forces. Soon it will explode and people will stand up in the name of jihad and martyrdom if there are no big changes.”Now in parliament the MPs are saying ‘Forget about Pakistan and the Taliban, why are the foreigners here?’

“They are saying a thousand headed dragon is here and it’s the foreign armies. Just imagine, if the MPs are saying that in an official place what will a simple person in a village be saying?”

He added: “Now in parliament they say if you kill a foreigner, a non Muslim, and then you yourself are killed you will become a martyr and go straight to paradise. They see no difference between the military or civilians.”

The insurgency that overpowered Soviet troops and Kabul’s puppet Communist regime began with small rebel movements. It developed into a nationwide struggle during which Mujahideen battled against the Russians, local government forces and each other.

That occupation ended in 1989, but peace remained elusive and between 1992 and 1996 a brutal civil war raged between Afghanistan’s different ethnic groups and political factions.

Watanwall predicted any new full-scale jihad would have the same result. “Of course some tribes will fight each other,” he said. “They will say you are Pashtun, I am Tajik, I am Tajik you are Hazara, you are Shia I am Pashtun. The civil war will start because of differences of skin, differences of language, differences of religion.”

“Hazaras say they don’t have enough positions in the government, Uzbeks say that, Tajiks say that, even Pashtuns say that and they have Karzai as president. Now it’s ideological and with words but soon it will turn to violence.

“I believe if the international forces and the government don’t take any strong steps then soon it will start and it could get as bad as Iraq.”

Ahmad Shah Khan Achekzai is MP for Kandahar, where Canadian troops are based. He joined Rocketi in demanding that Pashtuns – the ethnic group from which the Taliban draw their core support – be given more positions in government. He also launched into a tirade against the foreign troops.

“The population hates the government, hates the Americans and hates their friends because they are all liars,” he said.

“Soon the jihad will start, that’s right. The Americans and the coalition came to Afghanistan by way of the United Nations, but when they go into people’s houses and search them it’s unacceptable. They are acting against Islam and they are attacking innocent people.

“There will be jihad, I am 100 per cent sure. It’s against our culture, it’s against Islam – if they want to come to our houses they need permission.”

Then, almost as an afterthought, he added: “If the jihad starts, of course I will join it – it’s natural.”


5 thoughts on “Afghan MPs Predict “Very Big War”

  1. So do you think this is better for the Afghan people? Taliban killing their own people so as to control them:
    (ps please tell me how Jack, Gilles and Dion will ‘talk’ to the Taliban)

    ”Taliban execute 26 male Afghans
    Brian Hutchinson, CanWest News Service
    Tuesday, December 19, 2006
    PANJWAII DISTRICT, Afghanistan –
    As many as 26 local Afghan men were executed by the Taliban yesterday and their headless bodies put on public display around a local village, in a morbid attempt to dissuade other civilians here from assisting NATO and Afghan national security forces operating in the area, coalition sources have told CanWest News Service…”

  2. As soon as I heard about NATOs latest operation I was shocked at the utter stupidity of the men in charge of our mission overseas. I remember the one man saying that they were hoping the Taliban would pack up and run due to their show of force. Have these guys learned nothing from dealing with these lunatics?

  3. We can’t win the hearts & minds of a people by a “show of force”. The Taliban are nasty, so are the Northern Alliance – people don’t know where to turn. If we present a positive option we’ll have a chance.

    Only a psychopath thinks you can bomb someone into loving you!

  4. For the young left wing pacifists:

    Must I remind you that there were those in Canada, although much less numerous, who objected to Canada going to war against Hitler’s Nazis, including Tommy Douglas and the leader of the predecessors of todays NDP the CCF, whose leader disgraced himself by actualy voting in parliament agains a bill wherby Canada should and did of course go to war, and helped immensely in the defeat of that horrific regime of that era, Hitlers Nazis.

    Surely you do not agree with the disgraceful comments coming from NDP MP Jean Crowders Nanaimo riding who proposed a resolution calling our soldiers in Afghan ‘terrorists”, I apuked when I heard that.

    For those among you who disagree with me, I ask you: Are you so incredibly lacking in good jusdgement to suggest that it would be a better world with both the Taliban and the Nazis in power today?

    Wet Coaster

  5. RedJenny, you make a good point.

    Wet coaster, methinks you are living in a wet dream of bad logic. Tommy Douglas was a dedicated pacifist, under surveillance by the RCMP for more than 30 years, and still managed to change the world as we know it. Can you even imagine a world at peace? Or are you so caught up in those tired old notions of might is right that you have killed off the creative part of your brain?

    Sharon, are you paid to hound progressives?

    Charlie, I can’t help but wonder if NATO, PMS and the military industrial complex in general want the mother of all wars to break out in the middle east.

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