Shrapnel From Afghanistan I

Afghan Shrapnel

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Historic Shrapnel #1

The campaign against the Kafirs, an ancient society that still maintained its pagan religion in mountainous eastern Afghanistan, was fought mostly for symbolic reasons.  Abdur Rahman, the amir of Afghanistan, had been portraying himself as a paragon of Islamic leadership, and the opportunity to engage in a war against true (and relatively powerless) infidels was too good to pass up.  He also feared that if he did not assert his direct control there, the British or Russians might do so.  A winter campaign in 1895 when the region was snowbound led to a quick victory.  Unlike the incitement to violence in the Hazara campaign, the amir prohibited the enslavement of prisoners or the pillaging of property.  The mass conversion of the region went quickly, and the region was renamed Nuristan, which means “Land of Light”…

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Historic Shrapnel #2

During the 1960s, the economic and social development of Afghanistan accel-erated at the fastest pace that the country had every known as it opened itself more to the outside world, ending the severe isolation first imposed by Abdur Rahman…

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Afghan Shrapnel 2

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excerpts from the book

Afghanistan

A Cultural and Political History

by Thomas Barfield

2010

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Hit By US -  Nareng Afghanistan - 4 yrs ago

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Historic Shrapnel #3

Also, in the 1960s, Kabul University became a particular hotbed of political radicalism, spreading among the disaffected.  Advanced educational opportunities drew talented youths from the countryside; they were introduced to new ideas, new opportunities, and each other at the university.  After graduation, they stayed in the capital whether or not they found employment because it was the country’s primary city, overshadowing everywhere else.  Radical politics flourished in Kabul with secret societies formed to seek the overthrow of Afghanistan’s social and political order.  At opposite ends of the spectrum, the two most important actors were the Islamists and the Communists, who often clashed violently on campus and in the streets of Kabul…

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Historic Shrapnel #4

The Soviets assumed that they could begin withdrawing their troops after a few months when order was restored.  Instead, the intervention marked the beginning of a decade-long occupation that would result in the death of one million Afghans, the flight of four million refugees to Pakistan and Iran, and the displacement of millions of others internally…

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Historic Shrapnel #5

The United States had financed a war to bloody the Soviets, and achieved that result.  The Saudis had paid for a war to expel an infidel occupier, who was now gone.  Only Pakistan saw benefits from further fighting because it desperately wanted to dominate Afghanistan’s postwar government…

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Historic Shrapnel #6

Chaos in the south led to the rise of the Taliban in 1994, a religious movement led by clerics from Qandahar that pledged to restore order in the name of Islam…

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Historic Shrapnel #7

The Taliban seized Kabul in 1996 and by 1999 controlled all of Afghanistan, except the northeast…

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Historic Shrapnel #8

The Taliban granted training bases to various international jihadists groups with whom they shared common values, such as Osama bin Ladin’s al Qaeda.  The cost of this cooperation proved fatal when al Qaeda operatives attacked New York and Washington, DC, on September 11, 200l.  Before the year was out, the United States and its coalition allies expelled the Taliban from Afghanistan, and helped establish a new government in Kabul…

Afghan Shrapnel

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