By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
It has been a cold cold winter for Afghanistan and I’m afraid it’s only getting colder. As the temperature drops below freezing and the snow continues to fall, this tiny war-torn nation that has already seen so many different shades of hell faces yet another humanitarian crisis of epic proportions. With their post-occupation economy in shambles, millions of desperate Afghans are facing the terrifying possibility of starving to death if they don’t freeze first. According to the World Health Organization, over one million Afghan children may die this winter as a result of malnutrition if drastic steps aren’t taken to avert this famine and according to the World Food Program, 23 million people, which accounts for more than half the Afghan population, are facing extreme levels of hunger. Afghans are increasingly finding themselves choosing between food and fuel- freezing or starvation. Many have even been reduced to selling their own daughters into early marriage just to stay alive.
The western media covers this crisis, when they cover it at all, with a strange sense of awe at the plight of the Afghan people and an occasional interlude of tisk-tisking the Taliban government for overseeing it. But any simpleton with more than a year’s worth of memory can tell you that this is not a homegrown problem. The Afghans are not starving because of Taliban malfeasance. The Afghans are starving because America and its loyal western flunkies are starving them. I think the Red Cross put it best when they boldly accused the US government of holding millions of people hostage.
After devastating an already thoroughly devastated nation with twenty years of feckless war, annihilating anything that even remotely resembled an institution in our path and developing a corrupt Afghan plutocracy designed to be almost completely dependent on foreign aid, the US is cutting off Afghanistan like an infected limb, freezing $10 billion dollars of their central bank’s own holdings in the US and doubling down on sanctions as we slash nearly all humanitarian aid. All this coming from a nation that supposedly cared so damn much about the plight of Afghan women that we were willing to stay forever to murder their fathers and husbands in the name of imperial feminism. Now Afghanistan’s daughters are being starved of more than just knowledge and don’t believe for a second that this is some sort of cruel coincidence. The entire population of Afghanistan is being collectively punished for daring to kick our asses in an illegal occupation.
For two decades, the mightiest empire the world has ever seen dumped every bomb in its arsenal into those mountains and we didn’t even make a dent in the Pashtun’s resolve. America of all places should have seen this coming from a mile away. After all, we used these same wily sheep herding peasants to bleed the Soviet Union dry in the eighties. I don’t know what convinced those same mandarins that they would fare any better but imperial optimism springs eternal until its shattered by a people whose culture is defined by not being ruled by anyone or anything but their own traditions. Thus, the Taliban, a ragtag band of illiterate mountain zealots, spent twenty years attempting to teach the New World Order a harsh lesson by beating our pink asses like a goddamn drum.