Ask anyone on the streets of Kabul about the revolutions that in recent years transformed huge parts of Latin America, and the chances are you’ll encounter a blank stare. Perhaps mentioning Cuba could evoke at least some recognition, but definitely not Venezuela, Ecuador or Bolivia. I know because I tried on several occasions, and I failed.
Ask in the marvelous historic city of Herat, with its huge minarets and Italian military contingent, about Western imperialism, or about NATO and its murderous campaigns all over the world, and chances are that your question won’t even be understood.
“Chances are that those Afghan people who can speak English or other Western languages, are now actually working for the Westerners; either for their military, or for their ‘defense’ contractors… or for the embassies, the United Nations,or perhaps some NGO”, explained an Asian reporter who is based in Afghanistan for more than two decades. “These people are not going to rock the boat, dwelling on crimes committed by the West, here and all over the world.”
That appears to be the case.
After more than 15 years of brutal Western occupation, Afghanistan appears to be thoroughly ruined. Not only in terms of its infrastructure and standards of living, and not only when it comes to all basic indicators like life expectancy (15th lowest in the world, according to the WHO, 2015) or education: all those things I expected.
But perhaps even more significantly, the country is destroyed morally and intellectually.
The only resistance the West is facing here, comes from extremist groups and movements such as the Taliban and Daesh (ISIS). All intellectual and artistic struggles against the occupation have been destroyed, contained, bought, or frightened into near absolute silence.
In fact, the occupation’ is not even called ‘occupation’, anymore. Pragmatic, opportunistic definitions are increasingly taking over those once mainstream narratives. As I was informed by a wealthy family on an outing in the Panjshir Valley:
“We are fully dependent on the presence of NATO troops in our country. Only foreigners are offering us well-paid and stable jobs. If they leave, we’d have to follow them; to emigrate to the United States or Europe.”
This is far from the once proud and brave Afghanistan, which managed to defeat British invaders, after that delivering a mortal blow to the Soviet Union.
While in the country, I tried to investigate and to analyze;how on earth did Afghanistan end up on its knees? What force, what strategy was applied to break what appeared to be shatterproof?
It was clear that the West has managed to unleash and to uphold a very complex and tremendously successful indoctrination campaign, enslaving the nation by applying various ‘weapons’, which it has used in all corners of the world.
One of those ‘weapons’ is, of course, ‘education’. For instance the American University of Kabul is literally regurgitating thousands of young sons and daughters of the elites, who are set on staying, after the proper dose of indoctrination and colorful diplomas, permanently loyal to the West. The nation’s curriculum, I was told, has been defined during long meetings at the US Embassy and at the offices of the World Bank.
There is virtually an absolute control of information and media. As in all countries occupied by the West, as well as in all client states, the so-called social media plays a vital role, setting tendencies and directing discussion patterns.