Sep 20, 2008

Taliban Uses US-made Stinger Anti-Aircraft Guided Missile


… The fear starts when you feel you are someone, specifically when every one of us feels that we are important, for ourselves. But today when we flew from Kabul to Bamyian with a USAID Helicopter, we reached Maidan Shahr, the area that is strongly influenced by Taliban. The helicopter slowly started rising, and the passengers, all journalists, seemed worried. I don’t know, or may be it was only me having fear. Fear of becoming a victim of some guided missile which recently the Taliban are equipped with.

It will not be a surprise to hear that the Taliban are equipped with such a missile. Just a few weeks ago, there was a deadly US helicopter crash caused by a stinger guided missile in southern Afghanistan. As you will remember, our USA friends had equipped the Afghan warriors “Mujahideen” with their latest weapons in the times of the holey invasion of the Soviet Union. And today these guided missiles are used against US forces in Afghanistan.
In 2005, in a report at RTA TV was told how these missiles got out of work in the times of civil war, but recently the ISI had repaired them for the Taliban, in order to target the US aircrafts. If this news is right, NATO forces will have big challenges in the struggle against the Taliban.

However, Pakistani authorities announced that this is a baseless claim by the US. A report published by the Pentagon says that more than 250 Soviet aircrafts have been crashed by these missiles in the time of Soviet Union invasion in Afghanistan.

So... until we didn’t cross the Onai pass, every one of us was in fear. Fear of the possibility that a missile could hit us.

And now I am in Bamyian, where the Buddha Statues where blown up by the extremist Islamists of the Taliban. I am here, invited as a speaker in a two days seminar which is funded and organized by UNAMA and the US embassy to celebrate peace day.
I'll have to analyze, and focus on the impacts and roles of digital media and blogs, in -promised visions of- peace, security and democracy in Afghanistan, over the last 7 years.

Sep 8, 2008

History Turned Its Mirror Upside Down

Today is the seventh year that we celebrate Ahmad Shah Massoud's ceremony. He was a powerful commander for the Jamiat Islami party and the Northern alliance.
Massoud was one of the most famous commanders who fought against the Soviet Union. Later, when the Soviet Union withdrew from Afghanistan, Massoud turned his guns' target to his fellow citizen in order to get power in the country.

Today is a holiday and a respective day for his ceremony. In this ceremony, all the Northern alliance commanders are gathering in the Ghazi stadium to celebrate him and talk about his bravery and resistance against the Soviet Union and the Taliban.

But here in the western part of Kabul where I live, people are busy with their daily works, the shops are open and we can hear the music from each corner as usual as always. There is a reason why people are not interested and rather and thoughtless about this day, because in the time of the civil war they have suffered from this commander who controlled the two strategic mountains: the TV Mountain and Asmayee, in the heart of Kabul. Today, I recall those past days in the years of 1992, 1993, 1994. All things clearly pop up in front of my eyes: Qala shada, Pul Jamhuri, Karte 3, and the river bed where we three had to hide from 12 at noon until the dark night, to escape from shootings, and to escape from the bullets that were raining down on us.

I can't forget that day, when bullets were raining from the TV Mountain and the Asmayee Mountain. That day no one dared to get out of their houses. People who could be seen in the streets, the alleys, and every thinkable place that was visible from the mountains, they were immediately targeted by the soldiers of Ahmad Shah Massoud.

Today, I remembered that same summer day. While I was eating my lunch I heard that my brother was wounded on his way back home. I rushed out onto the street, and ran towards the hospital in Karte 3, but suddenly I got lost in the smoke, caused by the shootings from the mountains. I had to hide myself, in one of the ruined house which was bombed by Ahmad Shah Massoud. What a bizarre day, most peculiar moments I'd ever seen in my life. Today, while I am reminding those days and moments, my hair stands on end.

I do remember that day: I was in Pahlawan Juma's house. Suddenly I heard the horrendous sound of an explosion nearby. With Kabir, the son of Juma who was five years older than me, I ran out of the house. And then I saw Shahnaz, a young daughter, who lived in our neighborhood.

She never liked to talk with illiterate people, had no relation, struggle with twitches in blood.

Shahnaz had graduated from the Medical faculty of Kabul University.
But now, I saw that part of her head has fallen just one meter away from her body.
I remember she was always busy with her big medical books and in that days she was trying to get out, away from Kabul. She never liked to talk with individuals, but with groups, whilst advising what was good for the health and what was harmful.

Her hopes did not last long, and today, I saw her covered with blood. While I was shouting to the elders to help her, and save her, Kabir was vicious as always, and came to me while he was carrying the part of Shahnaz's brain that had fallen on the ground: "Nasim, look at this brain, the human brains are white and soft, it is amazing!"

The missiles were launched from Paghman by Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, the leader of Islamic Union for the Liberation of Afghanistan. Sayyaf is blacklisted in HWR as a criminal, but today this criminal is a Member of Parliament.

West of Kabul, mostly Dasht Barchi was among the daily targets of missiles by Abdul Rasul Sayyaf's group.
My paternal uncle and his small daughter were killed by one those missiles in the middle of the night. He left his heart wounded family, his wife and six children. A long time has passed since that incident, but they are in the same conditions as they were in that time of war.

The massacre of the Hazara in Afshar is one of their masterpieces that shows their skills to kill, which will never be forgotten. They turned the west of Kabul into a ruined area. Thousands of innocent people have been killed.

With great sadness today we are witnessing that history turned its mirror upside down: one of them became a national hero and the other one became a legislator in such an arena where they are just getting fatter day by day, in the name of 'democracy and human rights'.

Today, in remembrance of those days with so many wounds and blood, and for my classmate who was killed on the way to school, I sat in my room and wept. And I found it a miracle that I am alive today.
In HRW: The Battle for Kabul: April 1992 - March 1993
Read Afghan amnesty covers Omar, Hekmatyar here….
Read War crimes immunity bill passes second hurdle here…
Read Afghan warlords in amnesty rally here…
Read war criminals win amnesty vote here…
Read Thousands rally in support of Mujahideen leaders here….
Read story from Kazakh an old Soviet Union officer who joined in holy invasion in Afghanistan here…
Read also in Russian language here…
Neweurasia’s Vitaly Mantrov interviewed (RUS) the veteran of the war in Afghanistan here…
Just after September 11 “The Afghan Trap” read here…