Afghanistan is a beautiful country, and only a few decades ago, people in Kabul were singing and dancing to live music and had fun. Kabul was probably much better than European countries. So, what in the world went wrong in Afghanistan?
Afghanistan had cinemas, restaurants and hotels, and people who lived in Kabul four decades ago describes it as romantic and better than Europe. They have high mountains and the weather is often sunny. It`s one of the best countries in Asia.
But something happened. Someone took the country.
In the 1960`s the King and the Queen opened up the country to the world after centuries of isolation. They also enabled women to partisipate in public life. They became feminists without even knowing what it was all about.
In 1964, according to the constitution, women also got the right to wote. Everything was fine and there was no segregation between men and women. Kabul was a modern city. People were dressed like Western people. They were listening to Western music and thought the Western style was the right thing for them.
People were poor but very happy, but then a lot of tourists came in to Kabul. And suddenly, it was time for a «hippy» era. Just like the West. Hippy music. Hippy fitness. A hippy style society. Tourists went to historical places to see Buddah.
But then, something happened.
A Western-style protest movement started in Afghanistan. Students began talking about Revolution. They talked about Communism and women`s rights. They said it should be more equality between men and women. Nor should it be discrimination.
Kabul became more and more like the Western world, but some people didn`t like that. And that was people in Pedesaan were 80 percent of the population live. Afghanistan had a conflict going on.
Pedesaan was way ahead of the modern city Kabul, and people didn`t like the changes. People in Pedesaan was more conservative and people were following tribal traditions and the teachings of Islam.
Women were isolated and could be forced to mirrage with someone they didn`t love. The Muslims were worried about the progress in Kabul. The problem at that time is that people were sleeping. They didn`t see the real problem. And the problem was their own «class difference.»
In the early 70`s, the first Islamic organisation was founded. Their goal was to protect their traditional lifestyle. It was the birth of the political Islamism in Afghanistan. This is the era were people in Afghanistan became divided in two groups.
Left and Right.
Communists on the left side, and Islamists on the right side.
The Islamist movement were blaming Communists, and Communists were blaming Islamists and the problems escalated. No one were able to guide the people and a blamegame started istead of keeping the great value of national unity among the people.
To everybody`s surprise; the communists managed to take power. First in 1973. It was a coup and they overthrow the monarchy. And now, the country became a republic with its first ever president.
Mohammed Daoud Khan became a President of Afghanistan from 1973 to 1978. Mohammed was a cusine of the former King, but in 1978, the communists desided that their time has come and seized power for themselves.
In just one night, they killed Daoud Khan and 23 members of his family. The communists called the bloody take over «april revolution.» (this is the same mindset as the Leninist communist in Soviet when they killed the Romanov family in their communist revolution).
The communist party coup took place in Kabul on April 28, 1978.
The new government tried to form the country into a new communist country thru radical reforms. People in Kabul had red flags and the communists took all oppositions. The communists first target were Muslims. (this is similar to the CCP today).
The communists arrested you if you were praying. You would also go to jail. This time was the most brutal time of the history of the country. Thousands of people was taken and all of the disappeared.
The communists took teachers that talked about religion. Many of them were dropped by a plane. Isamic activists started to build activist groups in 1979 and one of them was a group called Mujahideen (fighters of the holy was).
This revolution is an Islamic revolution, Islamist Party Leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar said. Their goal was to establish a pure Islamic system in Afghanistan. Freedom and liberation of Afghanistan.
In Moscow, former Second Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Leonid Brezhnev was worried. Afghanistan was a nabouring communist state, and a successful Islamic revolution could send a dangerous message to the 50 million Muslims in the USSR.
Brezhnev dicided to send in troops in December 27, 1979. and that was the beginning of a long and expensive war that led to bankruptsy.
10,000 prisoners were released in one day. For some it was hard to find back to their own family members. Afghanistan was under forign occupation.
Afghanistan changed like never before. People were leaving because it was not their country anymore. Others were chanting «allahu akbar» at night, and thousands were protesting on the streets.
The Communists in Soviet Union supported the brutal communist regime in Afghanistan and that wasn`t music for the people. The resistance among the people were growing and they distrubuted papers at night and wrote on the walls; Long live Islam.
In the United States, they were quick to react to the Soviet offensive.
Afghanistan became the new epicenter of the Cold War.
US President Jimmy Carter said in a speech that the Soviet invation was an extremely threat to peace. Carter also said that Soviet now can control much of the world`s oil supply.
Washington started to support Mujahideen with money and weapons.
US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brezezinski appeared to Afghanistan`s religion pride in 1980 when he visited Pakistan. One day, he said, you will take your country back because God is on your side.
The communists had big problems to fight back against the Mujahideen guerillas. The only place the communist had control was in Kabul. The communist government said no to women education. No freedom for women. So, women was used as a political tool. But people didn`t like it at all.
The Mujahdin used terrorist attacks in Kabul to destabilise the society. It was too dangerous to be there, so 3 million went to Pakistan or Iran to join their Muslim brothers. Peshawar near Islamabad in Pakistan became a hotspot of resistance.
They got the weapons they needed in Pakistan. And a Sudi also set up a camp there. His name was Osama Bin Laden. He recruited and supported all foriegn fighters from all over the Arab world to join the Afghan jihad. Radical Islam spread in the refugee camp. They started to brainwash the children and they are the one who became Taliban.
The countries that were involved trained conservative people and made monsters to get rid of the USSR. But the biggest problems was to know who the civilians and who the enemies was.
The war in Afghanistan was very expensive for the USSR, and in 1986, Mikhail Gorbachev desiced to withraw his troops. He said; «Counterrevolution and imperialism have turned Afghanistan into a bleeding wound.
We should like, in the nearest future, to withdraw the Soviet troops stationed in Afghanistan.» They took the troops out of Afghanistan in 1989.
People in Afghanistan were so happy. Finally, the USSR are going back home. And the people was feeling free. They won the war.
But, a lot of things happened. It wasn`t over.
The communist government still had control over Kabul, and was the final obstacle to become an Islamic republic. In other words; the war was not yet over. On April 24, 1992, The Mujahideen took control over Kabul.
It was a critical moment were the Mujahideen took over the presidential palace. The dream to become an independent Isamist state was on the way to be fulfilled. But instead, other groups of people started to fight against each other to take back the control. A new civil war started. Everybody was fighting against everybody.
Instead of confronting each other, they used civil women and child as tools in a brutal war. The fighters could have killed each other but they killed civilans instead.
Now, Kabul was stigmatized. Isolated from the rest of the world. Deserted by Westerners. The British embassy was closed. The US embassy was closed. The French embassy was also closed.
«My feeling is that the UN and the Western powers were interested in Afghanistan as long as we fought against the USSR. Against communism. It was a common enemy. Then their interest completely disappeared. They abandoned us,» Mujahideen Commander Ahmad Shah Massoud said back then.
Many different groups of people were fighting against each other but nobody knew why they were fighting. It`s between commanders they said. They attacked civilians and especially woman. They raped them and cut of their breasts.
In 1994, a new force emerged; The Taliban. An Arabic name for «students.» many of them came from Quran-schools. The Taliban promised to restore peace, order and morality. They had massive support from Pakistan. Many of them were grown up in refugee camps in Pakistan.
When Taliban came, they were welcomed by the people in Afghanistan. Finally, someone who wants to restore peace, order and morality. People thought that Taliban will take over the country and everything will be fine again. People supported them.
The Taliban took Kabul on September 27, 1996.
The Taliban changed Afghanistan repidly. The banned alcohol, films and all forms for entertainment. They smashed all Televisions on the streets. The Taliban ended the civil war and made peace.
But, they also took people`s freedom. What is peace without freedom?
Women suffered the most. They were fobidden to study or work. Girls were banned from school. They closed all the schools after the Islamic revolution. It was very sad for the kids, because the couldn`t learn to read and write.
The Taliban send people to the mosque and ban people from going out because these all are Islamic laws. They hunted all the women in Afghanistan. Why are you doing this? Why are you doing that? And so on. If someone say it is extremist, so be it, Taliban said.
Afghanistan became a hotpad for Islamic fundamentalism and it was under the Taliban protection that Osama Bin Laden returned to the country after a long war against the USSR. Osama Bin Laden founded the terrorist network Al-Qaeda to carry out a global jihad.
One of the attacks is said to be September 11. President Bush started a new war in Afghanistan. A few weeks after the attack on twin towers, the British and US soldiers attacked Al Quada leaders and their training camps.
The end of the Taliban regime ended on November 13, 2001.
People in Afghanistan was happy. Now, they are free. Taliban is gone and the United States will bring peace and freedom to Kabul and Afghanistan. Finally. People could go back to school again. Women could start to work again. They were free.
On a NATO command, 52 countries were placed in Afghanistan and in 2003, people voted for a new government. They tried to establish a new democracy. They were working hard to develop a new constitution.
December 17, 2003 – Constitutional Convention.
Millions of dollars were sent to Afghanistan to rebuild the country and establish a new democracy. But the money came into the pockets of the war lords who had, once again, returned to power. Rich people built supermarkets and houses like the one in Europe. Poor people remained poor.
Corruption started to emerge and new conflicts was rising. Corruption to access education, health care, jobs and justice. That alone has huge impact on the election and the politics.
Taliban recruited new members and prepared a new comeback. Despite the escalating violence, 2014 saw the withdrawal of most international coalition troops. Many aid organizations likewise left the country.
In February 2020, the US signed a peace agreement with the Taliban and announced the complete withdrawl of its troops within 14 months. But the Taliban have subsequently taken advantage of the resulting vacuum and the fragility of Afghan democracy to overrun the country.
The future and security of Afghanistan and its women is once again in jeoparady.
In August 2021, the Taliban overruns nearly all major Afghan cities in just 10 days. On 15 August, they enter Kabul. The Afghan government hands over power to the Taliban.
Afghanistan is the land of endless wars. They fought against Alexander the Great, Djengis Khan and Britain. Now, they are fighting against Taliban. 80 percent of the population is depressed. They have lost their hope and dreams. Does it stop here, and what is the next chapter?
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