Search This Blog

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Q&A: "Karzai Assigned a Rabbit to Take Care of the Carrot"

Chris Arsenault interviews MALALAI JOYA, author and Afghan parliamentarian

VANCOUVER, Canada, 20 Nov (IPS) - In the aftermath of national elections widely condemned as fraudulent, the United States and its allies are wondering what to do about Afghanistan.

Malalai Joya, an Afghan parliamentarian deemed "the bravest women in Afghanistan" by the BBC, has some unsolicited advice for Gen. Stanley McChrystal and other U.S. commanders. "They must leave my country today, it is much better than tomorrow," she said.

McChrystal is reportedly advising the Barack Obama administration to send 40,000 more troops into Afghanistan, on top of some 68,000 already in the country.

"They say a civil war will happen [if the foreigners leave]," said Joya between sips of green tea, "but nobody talks about today's civil war."

The Afghan conflict claimed 1,000 civilian lives in the first half of 2009, a 24-percent increase from the previous year, according to the Human Rights Unit of the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA). October 2009 was the bloodiest month for U.S. troops during eight years of war.

Joya is the youngest woman ever elected to Afghanistan's parliament. An unflinching critic of both foreign occupation and Taliban-style fundamentalism, she has escaped five separate assassination attempts.

"I'm a little tired," she confessed as we sat down in a hotel restaurant, "but we must be tireless."

Joya spoke with IPS Canada correspondent Chris Arsenault prior to the Vancouver launch of her memoir, "A Woman Among Warlords: the Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice".

IPS: In the West, the standard debate on Afghanistan goes something like this: If foreign troops leave, the Taliban will return to power, girls won't go to school and the country will become a launching pad for extremist attacks around the world. How do you respond to this? MALALAI JOYA: Democracy never comes from war, from the barrel of the gun, from cluster bombs. Liberation never comes from occupation. After the 9/11 tragedy, the U.S. and its allies pushed us from the frying pan into the fire. They replaced the Taliban with Northern Alliance fundamentalists who are a photocopy of the Taliban.

They occupied our country in the name of women's rights, but today the situation for women is as catastrophic as under the Taliban. The only difference is that all these crimes are happening under the name of democracy, freedom, human rights, and women rights. Women's rights can't be donated from abroad or forced at gunpoint. ..............

Access the full article at:

Q&A: "Karzai Assigned a Rabbit to Take Care of the Carrot"

No comments: