Hi everyone, I would like to thank all supporters and anti-war movements around the world who are marking the dark day of occupation of the U.S. and NATO in Afghanistan.
Respected friends — ten years ago the U.S. and NATO invaded my country under the fake banners of women’s rights, human rights, and democracy. But after a decade, Afghanistan still remains the most uncivil, most corrupt, and most war-torn country in the world. The consequences of the so-called war on terror has only been more bloodshed, crimes, barbarism, human rights and women’s rights violations, which has doubled the miseries and sorrows of our people.
During these bloody years, tens of thousands of innocent civilians have been killed by occupation forces and terrorist groups. When Barack Obama took office in 2008, unfortunately his first news for my people was more conflict and more war. It was during Obama’s administration that civilian death tolls increased by 24%. And the result of the surge of troops of Obama’s administration is more massacres, more crimes, violence, destruction, pain, and tragedy. That’s why he has proved himself a warmonger — the second, even more dangerous Bush.
According to the Afghanistan Rights Monitor, in 2010, seven civilians were killed everyday. The U.S. and NATO tell us they will leave Afghanistan by the middle of 2014, but on the other hand they’re talking about permanent U.S. military bases in Afghanistan. They will not leave our country soon. They are there for their own strategic regional and economic interests. That is why they want to change Afghanistan into a military and intelligence base in Asia.
The Western governments not only betray Afghan people, they betray their own people too. They are wasting their taxpayer money and the blood of their soldiers by supporting a war which only safeguards the interests of the big corporations and the criminal Afghan warlord rulers.
I think democracy never comes by military invasion. Democracy without independence and justice is meaningless. It is only the nation who can liberate themselves.
I believe that the only solution to the catastrophic situation of Afghanistan is withdrawal of all of the troops from our country because their presence is making much harder our struggle for justice and peace, by empowering the reactionary, dark-minded terrorist groups who are great obstacles to true democratic-minded elements. If honestly they leave Afghanistan, the backbone of fundamentalist warlords and Taliban will break.
I hope one day Afghanistan also will see a glorious uprising like in Middle East countries. Right now we are witnessing small uprisings in some provinces in Afghanistan like Herat, Kunar, Nangarhar, Mazar-e-Sharif, Farah, Kabul, and many other provinces, which is a big source of hope for the bright future of Afghanistan.
So now I would like to ask all peace-loving justice-seekers, anti-war movements, and democratic-minded intellectuals and individuals around the world to join their hands with democratic-minded people of our country who are able to fight against fundamentalism and occupation. Therefore, my message to you is please empower my people educationally, as I believe education is a key, against ignorance and toward emancipation.
Thank you very much.
Long Live Freedom! Down with Occupation!
Malalai Joya is a former Afghan MP and human rights activist. She is the author of A Woman among Warlords. Joya recorded this message on the tenth anniversary of the war and occupation of Afghanistan.