Open Letter From:

Dr.Rahmat Zirakyar (Independent Scholar), California, USA

M.Tariq Bazger, Editor & Publisher of DAWAT, Norway 

August 28, 2008 

History tells us that counter-insurgency is rarely successful.  From the experience of the 18th century American insurgents fighting the British, to the Japanese, the Spanish and Greek civil wars, Yugoslavia’s partisan fighters against Nazi Germany, the French and American experience in Vietnam and Algeria, and the most recent Soviet experience in Afghanistan, we can learn that there are no military solutions to insurgency. 

Professor Robert Pape of the University of Chicago has compiled vast empirical data confirming that insurgents all have but one motive for their opposition to invasion and occupation.  Their duty, as they see it, is to drive foreign troops from what they consider their homeland.  This is, and will be forever more what drives resistance to occupation no matter the stated justification.  Occupation forces talk of democracy, they talk of free elections only to negate the results if the winner is not someone they can mold to their dictate. Loyalists are bought and sold, one’s political enemies are named and sold to the occupiers as terrorists as we witnessed with the unscrupulous Northern Alliance bounty hunters in Afghanistan. 

But the most severe problem is the wanton disregard for civilian casualties, often called “collateral damage.”  Since October of 2001, the University of New Hampshire and the Bloomberg School of Medicine have compiled Afghan civilian casualties.  The number now exceeds 100,000.  Most have resulted from aerial bombardment based on the word of individuals who have divided loyalties and or a score to settle with a particular village or person.  The blitzkrieg now ongoing along the colonial frontier (1893) dividing Pashtuns between Afghanistan and Pakistan is bordering on genocide.  The indigent Pashtuns are helpless against marauding U.S. and NATO forces who have brought the most terrible of weapons i.e., napalm, thermobaric bombs, fuel-air explosives, and white phosphorous to bear against a community which is principally civilian.  Not only are these weapons proscribed by international protocol for use in conventional warfare but are absolutely taboo proximate to civilian population’s centers.  The deployment of such weapons constitutes a war crime under the Geneva Conventions. 

Afghanistan would not, could not, and did not attack America.  Its invasion is contrary to Article 51 of Geneva Conventions. America’s war on Afghanistan constitutes a “War of Aggression” under the Nuremberg Standard. What has transpires is the American disregard for international law.  We have seen this Mongol Khan style of warfare before in history. Those practitioners have lost their moral compass and will not be remembered kindly by future historians. America must realize that opposition to its imperial hubris does not mean that those who resist are al-Qaeda or even Taliban but ordinary people who have had members of their respective families murdered from 30,000 feet for no apparent reasons other than being in a neighborhood or gathering where there is suspected insurgents activity.  A majority of times the occupiers are decidedly wrong.  To win hearts and minds we must cease from killing each others children.  When a child, woman or innocent man is killed, do the hollow word of President Bush about bringing democracy and freedom to Afghanistan have any meaning?  Of course not!  For each innocent killed, many, many more  will rise to oppose those who kill indiscriminately. 

The war on terror is a fraud, which is predicated on an unquenchable thirst and appetite for oil and natural gas by corporate America, and to expand its arms market with unconscionable, profligate sales.  One cannot wage a war on a tactic.  This is to enrich Lockheed-Martin, Raytheon, General Electric, Martin-Marietta etc., and the best U.S Congress that military-industrial complex special-interest money can buy.  Even if the war on terror is good for America and for bringing the bad guy to justice or bringing justice to him, does it really work?  Both sides’ children are caught in the vicious circle of violence and violence against violence. 

The solution to Afghanistan, the “Graveyard of Empires”, is for the occupiers to depart as soon as possible.  The Afghan people have the right to determine their own future.  America must realize that all Pashtuns are not Taliban, and that all Taliban are not al-Qaeda.  Afghans are tired of being nothing more than fodder for the corporate goliath.   Empires come and go.  All have coveted the territory and treasure of others.  All have shed the blood of innocents and all have been relegated to the dustbin of history.  America must “recognize that simply putting more troops is not the entire solution,” as former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski warns, July 2008. A bigger U.S. military footprint– coupled with more and more civilian casualties- will cause major sections of  the Afghan society  to see Americans as invaders, as they saw the

“limited Soviet military contingents for a limited time” (1979-1989)! For the sake of humanity the Afghan community calls on the United States to talk to Afghan resistance, to seek diplomatic solutions to the issue before Afghanistan, and in so doing reclaim its special identity as a nation of law and the “cradle of liberty.” 

Sincerely Yours, 

Dr. Rahmat  Zirakyar (Independent Scholar), California, U.S.A., zirakyar1234@yahoo.com 

M. Tariq Bazger, Editor and Publisher of DAWAT, Afghan Int. Newspaper in Norway