Romancing Hekmatyar (and other related monsters)

by Joshua Foust on 3/11/2010 · 33 comments

Blake Hounshell is on to something:

There’s been a lot of chatter recently over bringing Hekmatyar and/or Haqqani over on the the government side… There’s no question these are nasty men, but they don’t strike me as particularly worse on human rights issues than say, Abdul Rashid Dostum, Mohammad Qasim Fahim, or any number of petty warlords the United States is working with in Afghanistan. The real question is what their demands are, and whether they’re willing to do things like rat out al Qaeda members hanging out in their areas of control. Gen. Stanley McChrystal and his deputies are smart, practical men who have been given an impossible timetable and are going to do whatever works in order to meet President Obama’s withdrawal timeframe. If that means holding their noses and dealing with a sociopath like Hekmatyar, I’m sure they’ll do it when the price is right.

Right, so we’re down to “victory at any cost” now? Look, no one could really defend either Fahim or Dostum as paragons of virtue (except Bryan Glyn Williams, but that’s a separate issue). In fact, both have behaved pretty atrociously—Fahim for his ties to militias and the drugs trade, Dostum for his habit of thuggery and murdering captured Taliban by the hundred. But here’s the thing: neither holds a candle to Gulbuddin or Jalaluddin.

I like Blake, he’s a nice guy, etc. But waving your hands and saying “meh, same thing” to Hekmatyar and Dostum is something only an ignorant person would do—and even in the articles he links to (more on those in a minute), everyone—the Washington Post, even Bruuuuuuuce Motherfracking Riedel—literally everyone except the McChrystal Team seems cognizant of just what a monumentally bad idea welcoming them into the fold would be. There is no moral equivalence here, because only other Taliban (by this point, though we could make room for Ahmed Shah Massoud, another one of our Afghan monster-heroes) have committed crimes as heinous.

Of course, understanding this requires at least some level of comprehension at what’s happened inside the country. And as we learn from this Robert Kaplan essay (do NOT get me started, especially on the part where he compares Afghanistan to Iraq to the Balkans because, hey, Muslims, right?): General McChrystal and his intel guy Michael Flynn are just not all there.

A deal with the insurgents constitutes another part of a withdrawal strategy. While becoming more organizationally formidable since 9/11, the Taliban have also modified their behavior. Mullah Omar has sent out a directive banning beheadings and unauthorized kidnappings as well as other forms of violent and criminal activity, according to both Al-Jazeera and ISAF officials. “In a way, we’re seeing a kinder, gentler Taliban,” said both Commander Eggers and General Flynn. Moreover, in working with the tribes in the spirit of Churchill’s Malakand Field Force, Flynn, the intelligence chief, went so far as to suggest that the insurgent leaders Jalaluddin Haqqani and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar are both “absolutely salvageable.” “The HIG already have members in Karzai’s government, and it could evolve into a political party, even though Hekmatyar may be providing alQaeda leaders refuge in Kunar. Hekmatyar has reconcilable ambitions. As for the Haqqani network, I can tell you they are tired of fighting, but are not about to give up. They have lucrative business interests to protect: the road traffic from the Afghanistan-Pakistan border to Central Asia.” Lamb, the former SAS commander, added: “Haqqani and Hekmatyar are pragmatists tied to the probability of outcomes. With all the talk of Islamic ideology, this is the land of the deal.”

The mind staggers at hearing such things. Flynn, with all the intelligence he has access to, thinks Hekmatyar and Haqqani are “salvageable” for something beyond the gallows. HiG actually was a political party (the marginally more anodyne Hizb-i-Islami) until it split, twice, over leadership disputes and disagreements over religiosity. This is a man, we learn from Charlie Wilson’s War (the good book, not the uneven movie), who was renowned for skinning people alive when he considered them insufficiently Muslim—to say nothing of his habit of switching sides and murdering every close to him so often he makes Dostum look downright loyal in comparison.

Then we have the Haqqani’s. How Flynn knows the Haqqanis are “tired of fighting,” we don’t know, though we do know they are also “not about to give up” (so just how tired are they, then?). We know that, in addition to their lucrative business interests in the east and southeast that the Haqqani Network is the single most effective—indeed, the only really effective—insurgent group in Afghanistan. Why, just when their power is cresting, and they can essentially dictate affairs in Khost and parts of Paktia, would they give up from sheer fatigue is probably, in MG Flynn’s universe, best left unsaid by the stenographer posing as a journalist for the glossy formerly respected literature magazine. It makes for better copy, I suppose.

Which brings us back to the weird credulity with which pundit and journalists are treating the prospect of negotiation. No one denies that negotiations have to happen at some point, and that those negotiations will be vital to ending the war. But, at the same time, the supposed reality-based pragmatists who argue so earnestly for negotiated settlement—think of Anand Gopal and Spencer Ackerman last year in case you forget how often we want to negotiate our Haqqani problem away—usually admit there are those who cannot be reconciled, and they usually name the leaders of these groups as those who must be killed, rather than negotiated with. How can that not be the case for two of the most viciously partisan, violent, uncompromising men fighting in this war? The mind boggles.

Meanwhile, as we discussed in this space in 2008 (!), declaring negotiations is a dance with a long and storied and utterly failed history in Afghanistan. Indeed, none of the factions in Afghanistan, including Hamid Karzai, have ever approached a given set of negotiations in good faith—not in 2007, not in 2005, and not in 2002. The shining minds out earnest journalists and pundits rely on to tell them about these things don’t seem aware of them, or choose, for reasons I wish I could fathom, to discount them in favor of hope that somehow, for some reason, the exact same people involved would behave differently. It is the political equivalent to wondering why an alcoholic keeps drinking.

So, please, whenever some pea-brained year-tourer in Afghanistan sits down with a reporter and earnestly recounts, with stars in his eyes, how excited he is to think about reconciling Gulbuddin Hekmatyar into the legitimate government of Afghanistan… I mean, can we throw things? We should probably weep instead, especially to think that our own head of intelligence in the country is so astounding, ahistorically, naive.


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– author of 1848 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Joshua Foust is a Fellow at the American Security Project and the author of Afghanistan Journal: Selections from Registan.net. His research focuses primarily on Central and South Asia. Joshua is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a columnist for PBS Need to Know. Joshua appears regularly on the BBC World News, Aljazeera, and international public radio. Joshua's writing has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel, the New York Times, Reuters, and the Christian Science Monitor. Follow him on twitter: @joshuafoust

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{ 33 comments }

Bobby March 12, 2010 at 2:10 am

Good post, but despite what the Coalition might want, I think Hekmatyar’s reconciliation ship has already sailed. In 2003-2004, when the Coalition was first pushing the policy of reconciliation as a means of undercutting popular support for the anti-Coalition militants, Karzai’s government– and more importantly, the delicate support he received from the Jamiat, Junbish, and Wahdat factions– might have had an opportunity to reconcile with HIG leadership. The mujihaideen factions were at that time, somewhat more willing to entertain the notion of bringing Hekmatyar back into the fold, even as they bitterly opposed the real prize (reintegration of mid-level moderate Taliban leadership). But today, mujahideen opposition to Gulbuddin seems far more crystallized than it was in 2004. It aint gonna happen easily, even IF someone believes they could make a deal with Hekmatyar that Hekmatyar would respect (and, given his history, that would be quite a threshhold). His mid-level commanders may be a different story, and they may even reach a silent agreement that lets him find refuge abroad as the rest of his movement is brought into the fold, but I wouldn’t count on that (Hekmatyar is probably too egotistical to consider something like that).

Haqqani might be a different story, but I don’t have the experience to discuss that.

Nobody March 12, 2010 at 3:50 am

I agree with you Josh.

First of all, Haqqani will not join the Afghan government, never has, never will, not gonna happen. It’s not in their DNA.

Second of all, the last time the northerners did a deal with Hekmatyar, he grabbed a big gun and shelled Kabul to bits, and it still hasn’t recovered.

Third of all, negotiations at that level are dumb, and antithetical to the whole idea of incorporating legitimate Pashtun representation into the existing government through Taliban if need be, which was always entitled to representation, but never got it, because a bunch of dimwitted expats and policy wonks with no current experience of the place drew up the last constitution.

Fourth of all, the whole idea of negotiations is pissing off India, which figures it’s been sold down the river to appease Pakistan, a very unreliable bunch, and it’s right. The U.S. is selling out Indian in order to get the hell out of Afg, and there are going to be longterm and unpleasant consequences to that strategy.

Here is a former Indian intelligence analyst on the Taliban talks idea:
“If (the United States) makes a deal with the so-called good Taliban even if they do not give up their medieval ideas, the US will be admitting beforehand that it has lost the ideological battle,” B. Raman writes on his website. “It will not be good for Afghanistan and the other Muslim countries. And it will not be good for India, which has the second largest Muslim community in the world.”

The U.S. is selling out

Turgai March 12, 2010 at 4:44 am

“even if they do not give up their medieval ideas”

Maybe the Hindus could set an example by shedding the Brahmin-dominated caste system that is stil prevalent in their culture and society.

Ian March 12, 2010 at 6:55 am

“It’s not in their DNA.”

Sorry, I have to disagree here. I don’t have any love for the Haqqanis or Hekmatyar. But your assignment of moral culpability is completely arbitrary, based only the concept “if you’re in our tent, you’re moral; anyone outside is [more of] a monster.”

Hekmatyar skinned people alive, or at least did according to the mythographers. Those same mythographers say that Dostum put a bunch of insufficiently vodka-drinking Taliban in a box and suffocated them, or rolled over them with a tank, or something. I elect Josh to be the ultimate arbiter of these crimes.

Also, we neglected to note here that Hekmatyar committed many of his heinous crimes BEFORE the Reagan administration poured millions of dollars into his bank account, via the ISI. That’s why he comes up in Charlie Wilson’s War. He was throwing acid at girls in the 70s, for goodness sake–and yet he was our bastard for years.

Saying the enemy is genetically predisposed to monstrosity is tantamount to admitting your love for eternal war in Afghanistan. At some point, somebody’s gonna have to switch sides, or it’s never going to end.

Joshua Foust March 12, 2010 at 9:30 am

Ian,

I meant to distinguish between two arguments, and it’s my fault for not making this clearer. The first is Blake Hounshell’s moral equivalence between Hekmatyar and, say, Marshal Fahim. As you note, Hekmatyar has been a brutal thug since the 1970s (let’s be a *little* arbitrary and pick 1973, when he relocated Hezb-i Islami to Peshawar after the Daoud government banned it). Fahim has not. Hekmatyar was involved in some of the same brutality Fahim was (remember, this is NOT to excuse them), plus a helluva lot more over a much longer time frame. It’s not necessarily a difference of kind, but of degree. It’s the same reason we assign different moralities to murder, serial murder, and genocide. You can almost look past brutal fighting or even mass civilian slaughter during a war (and let’s be honest – given the heros of European and American wars, you really can). You cannot look past Hekmatyar’s or Haqqani’s gleeful, utterly superfluous brutaltieis and say they’re all morally the same. That minimizes the extremity of their crimes.

The second argument is whether we should realistically expect Hekmatyar or Haqqani, the leaders not the groups themselves, to reconcile. And here’s where I call attention to history, which indicates they cannot be trusted and will sell out whomever they need to remain in power.

I hope that makes a bit more sense.

Ian March 12, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Untwisting the two arguments helps, but you focus on Fahim–whose petty little crime is to facilitate the devastating heroin addictions of people across Europe, if we want to crank up the rhetoric about brutalities–and ignore the real bastards who are in our pay. Pick someone other than Fahim and your argument is weaker.

And fine if you don’t think Hekmatyar will reconcile, but say he does. Are you saying they should turn him down and keep big parts of the country mired in conflict? And, I am fairly sure that once the U.S. is out, Hekmatyar will reconcile himself to try to wrest control of the country from Karzai.

Joshua Foust March 12, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Ian, I focus on Fahim because Blake Hounshell said Fahim is the same, morally, as Hekmatyar. No one forces people in Europe to become heroin addicts; the people who were brutalized by Hekmatyar and Haqqani had no say in the matter.

No, if Hekmatyar wants to reconcile, fine. He has a pattern of only doing so to gain some space when he’s down and out, but whatever. I see no indication of that happening yet. Why should we believe that things have changed?

Nobody March 12, 2010 at 9:05 am

Please don’t put words my my mouth.

When I say it’s not in Haqqani’s DNA to sign up to the central government, I’m referring to that extended family’s well-established, very determined independent. They see themselves as entirely autonomous.

And I certainly don’t view the Pakistanis or Pakistan themselves as medieval, far from it. But I DO agree that cutting off peoples heads and hands, making women walk around entirely hidden in an ugly blue rug, and refusing to encourage literacy and independent, secular thought qualifies as medieval.

Ian March 12, 2010 at 1:07 pm

You make it sound like your second paragraph here doesn’t apply to many of our current allies. Google up the opinions of the head of the Afghan Supreme Court, Shinwari, to see what sweetie-pie modernists we currently support.

Dafydd March 12, 2010 at 10:52 am

Aha, they’ve banned “unauthorized kidnappings” so “In a way, we’re seeing a kinder, gentler Taliban,”. Should I laugh or cry at this?

Coupled with a mention of Churchill that makes everything OK.

I have a rule of thumb, as soon as someone invokes the memory of Churchill, they are about to do something REALLY bad.

Farhad March 12, 2010 at 6:35 pm

Let’s be clear on this basic fact that Hekmayat, Haqqani and Mullah Omar are proxies of Pakistan. They can easily switch sides but so far, they are the main game for Pakistan to pursue its interests in Afghanistan.

When Pakistan stops its support, these guys will have to find another patron.

Hekmatyar says he will join the government if the all foreign troops leave. He made the same demand during the USSR-IslamistAfghan/US/Pakistan war, after the USSR troops left, it took 3 years until the secular Kabul government fell, thanks to the CIA and ISI and Afghanistan fell into the pits of chaos. The first time in its 5,000 years of history it was called an “Islamic” republic.

The likes of these other warlords, like Fahim and Dostum, have their indirect patrons, the US. If the US was serious about getting rid of these criminals, it would have, but it doesn’t want to because it doesn’t care and/or doesn’t want to create a situation.

There is no serious accountability on the US/NATO to tackle these challenges. And there is no partnership building with those Afghan leaders that have clean records and want to direct Afghanistan into the positive direction for the betterment of Afghans the West.
But that has always been the case with the US foreign policy with Afghanistan for the past century.

Let’s not forget that these monsters were created and funded by the US to give the USSR their Vietnam in Afghanistan. And the US is in the same bear trap it created.

For now, warlords and criminals will be free to do what they want, and the Afghans still are waiting for justice.

As John Kerry stated recently on a visit form Afghanistan, “not all warlords are bad.”

Afghanvoice March 12, 2010 at 6:59 pm

Americans must be really stupid not to realize Pakistan is helping the insurgents.

But Afghans know better, right? Pakistan is helping the resistance right under the nose of NATO. And NATO is blind and def.

I wish Afghans would lay off the pipe and quit believing in conspiracy theories.

Farhad March 12, 2010 at 7:19 pm

I didn’t state or suggest that US/NATO is stupid or def or dump. US/NATO and the whole world knows the facts that Pakistan is playing a double game for Pakistan’s interest in the region. But US/NATO can’t afford to do anything about it for whatever reason.

My statements are not conspiracy theories but based on documented facts– facts that people haven’t seen or don’t care to see.

Please stop using the racist tone by hushing Afghans and calling them “conspiracy theories” because their analysis based on recorded facts about their homeland doesn’t fit your viewpoints.

And lastly, please properly counter an argument in a civil manner.

Afghanvoice March 12, 2010 at 7:36 pm

If you know all the facts, then Americans must be stupid not to know those facts, right?

And if they do know that Pakistan is playing a double game why can’t you dig-up some “well documented facts” to explain why America helplessly stands by and watches how Pakistanis are double-crossing the entire NATO?

Don’t get too exited. I am an Afghan myself.

Toryalay Shirzay March 12, 2010 at 8:56 pm

Right on Farhad,your analysis of situation in Afghanistan is quite correct.When it comes to the complexities and nuances of Afghanistan,Pakistan,Islam and central Asia,the Americans including the US government are insufficiently informed for reasons of lack of importance and interest to them.This is why many of them but not all of them behave like buffoons when dealing with this region.The darling hero of the West who is referred to as the vanguard of freedom in the world,Reagan, relentlessly recruited hundreds of thousands of Islamic and Arabic thugs to come to Afghanistan and rain death and destruction upon the cities and villages.This is the legacy of our freedom loving Americans in Afghanistan.Also they have unleashed Islamic fascism the world over which will haunt them for a long time to come should they be foolish enough to withdraw from the AFPAK theater before the complete defeat of all islamic fascist groups whether they come from the hills of Afghanistan-Pakistan or the deserts of Arabia.
And Joshua is correct to point out none of the Afghan islamic fascist leaders to be trusted,never.These thugs are all to be eliminated if the US/NATO wish not to see their soldiers sent home in body bags.It is that serious.

Turgai Sangar March 13, 2010 at 4:41 am

Do you think Soviet Socialism has a brilliant track record in Afghanistan?

“These thugs are all to be eliminated”

Speaking of rapacious and destructive thugs to be eliminated, does that includes Dostum too?

Afghanvoice Sangar March 13, 2010 at 7:52 am

You gotta love Afghans. The inventors of Communism don’t believe in it anymore. But Afghans like Turyalay still do. Hahaha

Nobody March 13, 2010 at 2:51 am

I think it’s more worthwhile to focus on the individual motivations of these individuals and their groups, because like it or not, they’re the power brokers, and those idiosyncracies are going to determine the future.

Ultimately what’s going to happen here is that the Americans will leave and the civil war will expand. It’s already there, but it’s been subsumed by the West’s monumentally, breathtakingly, incomprehensibly stupid and amazingly idiotic engagement in Afghanistan.

Question is how you control the civil war, or more correctly from the US point of view, how you can “spin” i/e LIE about it so that you frame this departure as something other than defeat and this ludicrous word “reconciliation” as something other then surrender.

They want a New York Times story that excuses their departure (exhibit A Helene Cooper, front page, March 13), when really, to be frank, there is no excuse. There was no excuse for Iraq, and there is no excuse for Afghanistan. It was the wrong strategy, always was, always will be, so why make it bigger? Gazillions of people have to die because the Yanks are cross, and want to play with guns somewhere other than their back yard? Go back home and bother somebody else.

Unfortunately, this is now India’s problem to manage. Thank You Very Much America. And unfortunately, Pakistan’s quite legitimate grievances are about to find expression in Afghanistan. Thank You Very Much America. Let us all hope that the very sophisticated and clever people who run both of those countries manage to find a way past their differences. Which, of course, have now been inflamed yet further. Thank You Very Much America.

So Hekmatyar is important. He’s the only one of the loonies likely to sign up for Karzai, who in my view, has demonstrated almost superhuman persistence. But I question whether he’s the Big Nasty a unified Afghanistan is going to require to survive past the American departure.

There was a big conspiracy theory a few months ago that Holbrooke’s agenda was to bust up Afg, because the Yanks wanted the resources in Balochistan, which is brimming over with good stuff like oil and gas and gold and copper and you name it. This was the root cause of the dispute between Kai Eide – who, funnily enough, backed Karzai, as any sensible person concerned for the best interests of Afg tends to – and his weasely little deputy, Galbraith, Holbrooke’s protege, who it turned out had his hand in the till in Kurdistan to the tune of $100 million.

Well, Holbrooke may be thoroughly despised in these parts (“South Asians are not the junkyard dogs of the Balkans, Mr. Holbrooke”: M.K. Bhadrakumar) but if people don’t start dealing with reality – i/e unpleasant power brokers, whoever they may be, no matter how much blood is on their hands – and instead start obsessing about how things SHOULD be, yet more tragedy will be heaped upon the heads of the dwindling Afghan population.

By the way, did you that the life expectancy in Afghanistan is falling? Two years ago it was 44. Now it’s 42 and change. Thank You Very Much America.

Turgai Sangar March 13, 2010 at 4:59 am

“Ultimately what’s going to happen here is that the Americans will leave and the civil war will expand.”

Unless the Taliban take over again.

Either case, Afghanistan is the living, tragic example of the fact that the Muslim Ummah has nothing to expect from the world powers and its local proxies.

http://www.khilafah.com/index.php/the-khilafah/khilafah/3331-87-years-since-the-khilafah-was-destroyed

Afghanvoice Sangar March 13, 2010 at 7:49 am

Turgai,

Are you a member of Hizb ut Tahrir? Come over to Afghanvoice forum. Let’s have a debate there about HUT.

ws

Turgai March 14, 2010 at 6:17 am

No not a member. A regular reader of HT’s publications, yes. The restauration of global Khilafah might be, well, somewhat ambitious. Yet I think that a lot of HT’s analysis makes sense. This is also why I put a link to HT sources every once in a while.

You mean this forum: http://www.afghanvoice.com/forum/ ?

Turgai March 14, 2010 at 6:41 am

BTW for another example of a country in the wider Muslim Ummah that has been completely wrecked (not by war but socially) and sold out in the framework of great power jockeying is Kyrgyzstan.

Toryalay Shirzay March 13, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Afghanvoice sanger, It is obvious from your blog that you are an islamic apologist through and through and that you are hopelessly infected with the islamic virus(this is an information virus which attacks the mind much like a biological virus which attacks the body).This is why you are spewing and spreading islamic poison on the internet.Islam was created by the arabs to spread and enhance their conquests around the world by the their sword and military might as they did in Afghanistan and central Asia.This is why it is a deep shame for any Afghan or central Asian to continue to accept these arab colonial ideas,names,customs and habits.
For the record,i am an independent minded person who will never accept any label or ideologies.
Another fact that readers need to bear in mind is that when the arabs invaded Afstan 1400 years ago, they not only took alot of women and children into slavery,but they also raped many women and a lot of arabs settled here.These arabs and arab bastards to day continue to impose arabic ideas,names and customs on Afghans through death threats.Afghanistan will be much better off if these wicked arabs and their bastards left for arabia and take their fialse books ,filthy customs and their mosques with them to arabia where they belong and shove them!
We Afghans are not arabs;we have our own civilization,our own customs and our own religion and names.We are tired and sick of this arab religion,names,abusive customs;enough of this islamic filth and lies.

Afghanvoice March 13, 2010 at 8:33 pm

Hilarious. Toryalay you must have a horrible life.

Turgai March 14, 2010 at 6:23 am

“For the record,i am an independent minded person who will never accept any label or ideologies.”

Maybe, but then one who ruminates the puberal rants on Faith Freedom International and de facto serves as a poster boy and a pawn for the Islam haters and neocolonialists. The sad thing is that the very people who use you will eventually dump you.

Akbar Khan II March 13, 2010 at 8:58 pm

Toryalay Shirzay,

You state that you are an independant man who “will never accept any label or ideology”, but then you label yourself as an Afghan and you say that “we Afghans have our own religion.”

First, if you Afghans have your own religion, what is it? Second, if your an Afghan having your own religion then that religion is your ideology! You are contradicting yourself!

Finally, you are just mad because your commie penis is so small that you piss on your balls.

Turgai March 14, 2010 at 8:06 am

Yes I’d be curious to what this own religion is: Zoroastrism, Graeco-Buddhism?

Turgai March 14, 2010 at 8:09 am

And btw, Toryalai: a religion or ideology that has been imposed manu militari (like Communism in the Baltics or Central Europe for instance) can not hold for over fourteen centuries. Besides, have you never though that pre-Islamic society in Khorassan and Turkistan/Eurasia was not rosy as well e.g. the suffocating caste system etc…

Akbar Khan II March 14, 2010 at 8:46 am

I agree.

Islam and Afghanistan are inseparable, the reason our forefathers accepted Islam was because most of it principles were inline with our way of life. i.e Pashtunwali

Toryalay Shirzay March 14, 2010 at 10:41 pm

Turgai, check out this book so you get a better understanding of how islam came to central Asia: ” tHE ARAB CONQUEST OF CENTRAL ASIA” BY H.A.R.GIBB,1923,London. We have our own civilization and culture and we have no need for a dark,anti -liberty traditions and religion of the arabs.For complete discussion of the details of this arab-islamic ideas and traditions,read:” Why i am not a muslim” by Ibn Warraq who comes from an islamic background.
The indisputable fact of history is that massive arab armies invaded Afghanistan and central Asia and destroyed our indigenous culture,religion,and civilization and imposed their religion,customs ,names, and traditions on our people through the sword;whoever resisted were murdered and their women and children taken into slavery and abuse.This is completely contrary to Pashtunwali and no honorable Pashtun would accept this arab-islamic bestiality as the same as Pushtunwali.
The reason islam lasted for 1400 years in our land has to do with the ultra brutality of islam as it mandates off with your head if you disagree with any of tenets .Also islamic power is such that it does not allow its fearful followers to read the true history of islam,no critical book on islam is allowed there,so the vast majority are not aware and not properly informed about the history of islam.And keep in mind islam is imposed and enforced by extreme fear coming from imposition of death sentence on whoever disagreed with islam.And this is why islam is truely a fascist religion that is abusive to all including the arabs themselves not to mention nonarabs.This is why Afghans and others will never find liberty,happiness and prosperity until they overthrow this colonial religion of the arabs including their wicked customs,names,and habits.

Akbar Khan II March 15, 2010 at 4:04 am

Toryalay,

Do you even know what fascism means or you just like blabbering like your Marxist-leninist relatives? Fascism is derived from the latin word “Fas” which means “divine law”!

Everything about Islam is revolutionary, from solemnly caring for the destitute to dealing with half way crooks like you. What religion do you have but Marxism? which is funnily enough a Jewish invention! Take your bull crap back to politburo, honourable Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks are making history while you are sat on your lazy athiest arse conducting armchair generalship.

AfPak Policy Institute March 24, 2010 at 9:03 am

These talks aim to formalize what was been the case already informally for years. Many HIG people are or have been in the Kabul administration on ministerial ranks and lower. Getting the top man inside the tent would indeed be a logical step, but I feel you can separate the two here: Talking with the HIG can be done without involving Hekmatyar and without inclusion of Hekmatyar into the government. Hekmatyar will not bring any more new bodies to the political-security apparatus nor will it reduce the Taliban-Haqqani networks attacks on the state and populous.

The recent arrests by the ISI of Taliban members who turns out were the most likely to talk to the International Community and become part of the Afghan government, coupled by this recent HIG political activity —- makes me belief that the ISI trading the TB horse for the HIG horse in the Afghan body politic. They did the reverse during the mid-1990s.
Indeed more and more it seems that people are intent on repeating history primarily the 1990s. We all remember the last time there was a grand coalition, with Gulbuddin sitting inside the tent. History since the seventies shows a man who follows but one agenda, which is his own to the detriment of anything else. I do not see him playing second fiddle to any one and contrary to some of the leaders of the other oppositional parties, totally empty of consideration for human life. Perhaps conditions have changed and if the International Forces do not withdraw, then there could be an equalization affect.

Justaguy March 24, 2010 at 11:24 am

Akbar Khan II,
Just because something calls itself ‘divine law’, it doesn’t logically follow that it IS ‘divine’. Not to understand this simple distinction and fallacy is certainly naive. It is the childish mistake and arrogant (very human) claim made by all religions, all governments, all ‘isms’.

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