[pjw] INFO: Zaher Wahab's wrap-up as he leaves Afghanistan for Oregon (part 1)

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Tue Sep 24 13:27:32 EDT 2019

Supporters of peace and justice

Below is the first half of a message we got from Zaher Wahab this morning, 
what he called his "last Postcard from Kabul" as he prepares to come back 
to Oregon after 5 years of full time life in Afghanistan (and nearly 18 
years total traveling back and forth).

He will be back in the states before our Friday October 4 rally "Why Won't 
the US Military Leave Afghanistan?" but probably won't be doing any 
appearances or talks until a few weeks later.

As a reminder here's the link to our October 4 event:


We sponsored talks by Zaher in 2014


and 2017


I've cleaned up a few typos in Zaher's message but left it otherwise intact.

--dan h.
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2019 04:46:43
From: Zaher Wahab Subject: Last Postcard from Kabul

September 2019 Anniversaries:

18th anniversary of the Sep 11 Al Qaeda attack on the US

18th anniversary of the US attack on and invasion of Afghanistan

18th anniversary of Ahmad Shah Masoud's assas[s]ination by Arab 'journalists'

18th anniversary of the 'New Era' in Afghanistan

18th year of my involvement with the Afghan system of higher education


Eurocentrism, American exceptionalism and an imperial mind-set assume, 
indeed compel and demand, that the entire human race must, forever, know 
about '9/11'. No doubt this was a major crime, but there are other 
significant 9/11s (Ch[i]li)-and Afghanistan- which are hardly ever 
mentioned. Osama Bin Ladin and some of his Al-Qeda followers were not an 
Afghan creation, but Saudi-American-Pakistani agents who were invited by 
then Afghan [P]res. B Rabani and flown by Ariana Airline from Sudan to 
Jalalabad in the Summer of 1996. Bin Ladin had lived in Pakistan and 
worked closely with the Afghan mujahideen (the CIA, Mukhabarat, and ISI 
[Pakistan spy agency] mercenaries) against the then leftist PDPA regime in 

There were no Afghans among the 19 terrorists who attacked three locations 
in the US on Sep. 11; 17 were Saudis and two other Arabs. They planned the 
attack in Spain, Germany and Arizona; they took flying lessons in the US, 
and they used high- jacked American civilian planes in kamikazi fashion 
attacks on US soil. The Afghans had nothing to do with the 9/11 crime, but 
still, they have been subjected to and endured the most heinous collective 
punishment in recent history. It is said that some in the US government 
knew of the plot, but failed to act.

When after 9/11, Washington demanded of Taliban to turn Bin Ladin over to 
the US, the Taliban refused, saying there was no extradition treaty 
between the US and Afghanistan. The Taliban also tried to avoid any 
confrontation with the US, and proposed that Bin Ladin could be tried by a 
neutral third party. The Bush administration, including the very same Dr. 
Khalilzad, 'the peace maker', refused the Taliban offer to negotiate, and 
the US launched the attack on and invasion of Afghanistan on Oct. 7, 2001.

The attack was preceded by US/CIA special forces descending on Panjshair 
and distributing bags of money to the Northern Alliance leadership who 
helped the invaders. The December 2001 Bon[n] conference was engineered by 
Lakhder Brahimi, Khalilzad, and the European Union which deliberately 
excluded the Taliban from the proceedings. Brahimi now says that was a 
fatal mistake. The Afghan attendees voted twice for Mr. Satar Seerat to be 
the interim president of Afghanistan, but again it was Khalilzad who 
engineered the crowning of Mr. H. Karzai as interim head of state. And 
when the Loya Girga in Kabul, overwhelmingly voted for former king Zahir 
Shah to be the constitutional head of state, again Khalilzad sabotaged the 
people's decision. It should be pointed out that for decades, Kalilzad the 
opportunist, has been dreaming and scheming about becoming Afghanistan's 
president, hence his complete turn around and talking to the Taliban in 
Doha endlessly. He belongs in the Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and C. Rice camp. He 
is the Afghan Ahmad Shalabi [the Iraqi who was positioned by the US to 
take power in post-invasion Iraq]. Pres[ident] Trump's impulsive decision 
to cancel the 'peace' talks must be a huge disappointment for Khalilzad.

Since Oct. 7, 2001, the US/NATO have been relentless in waging an unjust, 
illegal, and immoral war on Afghanistan, using and testing the most 
powerful and vicious 'full spectrum' war technology and techniques, 
ranging from 'the mother of all bombs' to death-squads. Although there has 
been some attempt at 'nation-building' here, the overall damage done to 
Afghanistan may take a full century to repair. As I get ready to depart 
for Oregon, here is a summary of where things are.

The War:

Clearly, not only has the 'war on terrorism' failed miserably, but as is 
abundantly clear, terrorism has in fact exploded globally, including white 
terrorism in the US itself. As I type this, there was a massive explosion 
at a political rally by candidate/[P]resident Ghani in Charikar, killing 
at least 26 and wounding countless. An hour later there was another 
explosion near the US embassy and the defence ministry in Kabul's green 
zone, killing 24 and wounding many.

Armed opposition controls half of Afghanistan, and more so at night 
including roads, schools, clinics, the tax system, etc. The armed 
opposition can and do hit with deadly force and success anywhere in the 
country, including Kabul's 'green zone.' An estimated 100 Afghan National 
Security Forces are killed daily. About 4000 civilians are killed yearly. 
The ministry of public health just said that in the last 12 months, 3300 
civilians were killed (40) two nights ago by US-ANSF bombing at a wedding 
in Helmand, and about 20,000 injured.

Due to nation-wide violence and uncertainty, we the expats at AUAF in 
Kabul are under full lockdown for the entire month of September. In 
addition to the Taliban, there are now 18 different insurgent/terrorist 
groups including Daesh (ISI[S]) fighting the foreigners and their puppet 
Afghan government. The US/NATO forces and its Afghan proxy the ANSF, have 
escalated the war leading to numerous military and civilian casualties.

There are attacks and counter attacks everywhere-cities, towns, and 
villages. No one is, or feels safe or secure anywhere. Civilians all over 
the country are caught between the armed opposition, government forces, 
and the Resolute Support forces and CIA trained #02 death squads, and are 
either directly killed by 'mistake' or become 'collateral' casualties.

Many have called for war crime investigations. There is a world wide 
understanding and admission that the 'war on terror' has boomeranged, that 
the US has lost the war in Afghanistan, and that there is no military 
solution to the Afghan situation, hence the cancelled US-Taliban 
negotiations in Doha. The forty year turmoil in Afghanistan has wreaked 
havoc on everything in this country.


Realizing the US war on Afghanistan was a failure and a mistake, 
apparently, the Obama administration tried to engage the Taliban in 2010, 
and for pragmatic political reasons, those attempts have been intensified 
over the last year in the so-called Doha talks. Some things should be 
pointed out though. Pres. Trump's decision to engage the Taliban is 
essentially based on electioneering and US economics. This is why the 
talks were entirely secret and just between the US and the Taliban with 
the complete exclusion of the US-installed and supported Afghan government 
and others. The talks were mostly about the American troop withdrawal and 
not about peace in war-torn Afghanistan. They were called 'peace talks' 
after the Afghans protested for being excluded and delegitimised.

The US chief negotiator Dr. Z. Khalilzad, a reactionary Afghan-American, 
is exactly the man who excluded the Taliban from the Bon[n] Conference in 
December 2001 and has been trying very hard to stay in the limelight, some 
day install himself as head of state in Afghanistan, or snatch an 
undeserved Noble Peace Prize. Some here call him 'our Ahmad Shalabi'. No 
one, including Trump, the US Congress, or the Afghans know exactly what he 
has been saying/talking about with the Taliban. Hence his subpoena by 
Congress last Thursday. Khalilzad says he and the Taliban have been 
talking about: US troop withdrawal, a guarantee by the Taliban that they 
will not allow anyone to launch terrorist attacks from Afghanistan, 
intra-Afghan dialogue, and a cease fire.

No question that the Afghan problem has become extremely costly, violent, 
and complex, and while some in and outside of Afghanistan want it solved, 
there are forces who want to continue the carnage. These include the US 
military-industrial complex, American warlords, the ev[a]ngelists, the 
Afghan-international drugs, weapons, human and other mafias, certain 
ethnic groups in Afghanistan, Afghanistan's near and abroad neighbors, the 
poor and unemployed Afghans, and so [on].

There is tons of money to be made out of human suffering. And many 
thoughtful observers believe that regardless of peace treaties, there will 
be no peace in the country for a while. And all this dishonest talk of 
'Afghan owned' this and that is nonsense. This is an occupied country and 
the country's destiny is in other peoples' hand and the Afghans own little 
or nothing. No human or other rights. The question is why diplomacy was 
rejected early on and who if anyone will be held responsible for the 
astronomical human and material costs and the crimes committed?


Afghan politics, the government, and the entire political culture have 
always been ethnicized. The country was founded by Ahmad Shah Abdali, from 
the dominant Pashtoon ethnic group, who have dominated the political 
system and government structure whether it was a monarchy, a 
constitutional monarchy, a republican, a leftist regime, the Taliban or 
the current 'democratically' elected presidential system. It must be said 
though that the Pashtoons may be the privileged dominant group in name, 
but the vast majority have been left out of any planned progress in the 

Other ethnic groups have had to acquies[c]e grudgingly to this 
arrangement. But since 2001, this power structure order has been 
challenged both in and outside the political system, and the Pashtoons 
have had to accommodate the other major ethnic groups and share power. But 
this power sharing has created enormous tensions, and has affected, 
deformed, perverted and corrupted the notions of power, politics and the 
political process deeply.

It has produced a dysfunctional kleptocracy/plutocracy. There is now a 
week left for the presidential election[,] and there are 15 candidates. 
The front runners are the incumbent A. Ghani-a Pashtoon and Abdull[a]h the 
current CEO-a Tajik. A great deal of horse-trading, wheeling and dealing, 
promises, maneuvers, even cash have been deployed to put the various 
tickets together. All presidential candidates have tried to be 'inclusive' 
and choose 'leaders' of other groups as running mates so to get support 
from various ethnicities. In fact, nascent political parties, movements, 
and groups are all invariably ethnic based, the dominant ones being 
Pashtoon and Tajik.

Even the candidates' dress symbolizes, project, and signify who they are 
and whom they are trying to mobilise; and so Mr. Ghani wears a national 
dress including the turban, largely a Pashtoon attire. While Abdullah the 
sheik 'model' wears expensive brand name western suits. All 15 candidates 
have assembled their tickets from the various token ethnic groups with not 
even a handful of women, thus hoping to attract those groups' votes. 
So-called ethnic leaders and/or strong men are the same warlords from the 
anti Soviet /PDAPA jihad in the 80s- thanks to the CIA-Mukhabarat-ISI 

All elections including on university campuses, in the last 18 years have 
riddled with fraud, deceit, manipulation, etc. These mujahideen have 
assembled/stole enormous amounts of money, power and privileges and still 
hold society hostage[.] If and when old, their sons are automatically 
anointed as their replacement. It is all in the family. There is very 
little ethnic crossover for any reason.

The political c[a]mpaign now is particularly vicious between Ghani and 
Abdullah, both partners in the J. Kerry-made so-called National Unity 
Government in 2014. There is enormous tension, anxiety, uncertainty, and 
hostility in the country, some predicting and fearing another civil war 
between North and South, Pashtoons and the Others.

Yesterday, about 40 politicians and prominent Afghans at former [P]res. 
Karzai's home called for postponing the election; because they think it 
could plunge the country into a deep and serious crisis. As a sign of 
things, we the expats at AUAF have been put under complete lockdown for 
all of September. There may be competent, committed, and decent 
individuals in the government, but the system as a whole is ineffective, 
inefficient, incompetent, corrupt, indifferent, insensitive, 
self-absorbed, and out of touch. It is a classic living example of 'the 
rentier state'. It seems unable and unwilling to perform anything we 
expect of a government, from regulating traffic to protecting the 
country's terr[i]torail integrity; security to healthcare; employment to 
clean air.

Even now, 75% of the government budget comes from foreign aid. The current 
government has little to no legitimacy in the eyes of the people, who are 
left like orphans to fend for themselves. Groups and individuals scream, 
yell, demonstrate, strike, protest, block, sit-in, petition, etc, but the 
teflon government shows little to no response. I wonder when and whether 
the Afghan spring may arrive to install a government of, by, and for the 
people. It must be pointed out that the West has been directly complicit 
in this state of affairs and must accept responsibility.

[to be continued in part 2 tomorrow...]


*Zaher Wahab, Ph.D.*
Professor of Education
Director of MAELE
American University of Afghanistan

More information about the pjw-list mailing list