An Open Letter to the Taliban
You purport to speak for Afghans and Afghanistan yet your only questionable legitimacy comes from the barrel of a gun, the slaughter and intimidation of innocents supported by the profits of the opium crop that you protect. You do not answer for the night letters you send, the people you behead, or the villages you hold hostage whose only crime is that they do not agree with your views.
Yet you dare say that we come to kill your innocent. Equally forgetting that the deaths of thousands of innocents committed by your fellow travellers in crime; so conveniently forgetting the slaughters of Bali, Madrid, London and New York. Your words may sound high and mighty, but your actions and deeds betray the truth of what you are, a movement committed to the enslavement and servitude of those whose voice cannot be heard. You revile America, forgetting that it gave you more food, flour and wheat than any other nation while you were in power; what did you do for the Afghan people?
People you have fooled say that Afghanistan was more secure under your rule. However, what is security when it occurs under an institutionalized cabal that "legally" kills, amputates and disfigures those who do not agree with it?
You kill the defenceless and those who come to give hope, simply because they are foreign. You do so not as men, but hiding behind the disguise of women, using women and children to shield you, or using those who have lost the ability to think to carry out your crimes. In doing so, you defile, destroy and distort the very words of your God and his prophet. How can the prophet feel peace in the face of your cowardice? You have killed more Afghan men, women and children by your bombs and attacks than citizens of all other nations combined. Whilst we may have killed innocents by accident, they pale in comparison to the thousands you have killed by design. God may forgive us the loss of those souls; he will never forgive you.
You condone the poppy, protect it, encourage it, tax it and sell it. Yet the damage to your own countrymen is not of importance. A country that could once feed itself now cannot. In the wake of the opium trail there are hundreds of thousands of new addicts in Afghanistan and greater numbers in Pakistan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and all the other republics that border Afghanistan. In your selfish lust for power you do not even respect those who share your religion.
You ignore the voice of the Afghan people as expressed in over three votes which your own intimidations could not suppress. The United Nations supervised those elections, which were more closely watched and safeguarded than any other elections in history. People not only voted with their hands on a ballot, but with their feet by travelling miles for the first opportunity afforded them to at last have a voice in their affairs.
You speak of respect in the community of the world and the community of nations, yet it is you who ordained the destruction of the Bhudda's of Bamiyan. These were not yours to destroy, they were the legacy of humanity and its existence on this planet. However, as always, you turned a deaf ear and a blind eye. You kill doctors, teachers and aid workers, thereby making a mockery of the words "God the merciful and compassionate." Your deeds make you the ultimate apostasy, your actions the ultimate heresy.
Even in the face of such cowardice, lies and betrayal of the Afghan people, the hand of peace has been extended to you time and time again with the simple request that you denounce violence and intimidation. But no, that does not serve your needs, which are amongst the vilest ever seen on this planet.
We are in Afghanistan to give voice and protection to those whose voice cannot be heard, but whose dreams and voices shout at us at every opportunity afforded them, despite your efforts to silence them. If the Afghan people wish us to leave, we will do so. We are not an occupying power. We have never attempted to impose our religious or political values on your nation. We accept Afghanistan as an Islamic republic. We accept that democracy may never be like we practice it and that freedom of speech and religion will not be like ours. However, we do assist the vast majority of Afghans who believe that a girl has a right to go to school, that a village, a district, a province and a nation should allow its people to have a voice in their own affairs.
In the face of your threats, you will find that we are made of sterner stuff, as are the Afghan people who only wish to live lives in some semblance of security. Liberty does not come freely and ours has been a steep price to pay. That gives us no joy, but we pay that price in the fervent belief that to not do so is to consign a nation and a people to a darker fate at your hands and thus we will continue until you are no more.
You do not and never have spoken for the Afghan people. With God's help, you never will.
George Petrolekas, a Canadian Forces Colonel, represented the Chief of the Defence Staff and the Canada to NATO’s Operational Command of the ISAF mission from 2003 to 2007. He assisted every US and NATO/ISAF commander in preparing for their Afghan mission and functioned as a trusted agent for them frequently. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his efforts.
Copyright 2009 by Colonel George Petrolekas. All rights reserved.