Former king Zahir Shah returns (18 April 2002)
The Dawn of a New Afghanistan (7 December 2001)
Message to Q&A (initiating this section on 7 October 2001: How to thrive in troubled times)
Afghanistan's Way to Peace - End war immediately (8 October)
(Former US President) Reagan promised in 1984 and 1985 what is needed now! (added 4 Nov 2001)
Former King Zahir Shah returns to Afghanistan (added 18 April 2002)
KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN, excerpts) --
The former king of Afghanistan has returned to his home country after 29 years in exile.
.... The former king is regarded by many Afghans as a father figure for the war-ravaged nation, with his return seen as part of the healing process that will bring a sense of normalcy back to Afghanistan. .... Afghan Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah said, "It is, first of all, a sign of returning to the normal situation. It is a sign of normalcy. It is also important in the sense of national unity, which is much needed nowadays in Afghanistan, perhaps more than any other time." .... Shah, who was deposed in 1973 by his cousin, will lead a "Loya Jirga," or grand assembly, for 18 months beginning in June. During that time, the Loya Jirga will decide on the shape of the country's new government.
In a March CNN interview, the 87-year-old former monarch said he wants to bring peace and democracy to his country and is counting the hours until he is able to see his homeland and people again.
"I go back with eagerness. I go back with happiness and joy," he said. "But also I have sadness in my heart, because on the one hand, I am very glad to see once again my people and my homeland. On the other hand, I know the changes that have taken place, the mayhem and the destruction, and that makes it sad." He said in the past he was afraid his return could cause "more bloodshed," but now the climate has changed. "I never wanted to impose myself on the Afghan people. I awaited them to give the signal that they are ready to accept me to go back, and I am ready to go back," the king said.
"I want to spend the last remaining years, the few years that I have left in front of me, at the service of my people and of my country."
Full text: http://www.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/europe/04/17/afghan.king/index.html
Planned date for the Loya Jirga according to other news sources is 6-10 June.
See my own comments below how to re-organize the Afghan economy from ground up by providing micro-credits to Afghan women.
The Dawn of an Esteemed Afghanistan (1 December 2001, drafted in Dutch, slightly revised)
A possible result in the aftermath of the blasphemically named 'War against Terrorism', could be a rapid democratic reshaping of Afghanistan. Until 1973, Afghanistan was a proud and modern nation, with remarkable cultural treasures. Was it because a gigantic petroleum finding was detected then, as rumours go, or was it the strategic position between several important oil fields? Afghanistan suddenly became a plaything at the mercy of the super powers. First, the Sowjet Union invaded the country in 1979. Several United Nations and US proclamations endeavouring for the independence of Afghanistan did not succeed. Only now, it becomes clear that the other super power, the United States, eventually was not interested at all in a swift restoration of might and dignity for the Afhan people.
In the whole region of Asia Minor and the Middle East in the contrary, a growing number of radical and extremistic splinter groups were trained, favored or secretly supported. Saddam Hussein, as well as bin Laden, is a product of the American Secret Services. But why? An explanation is the age-old adagium 'divide and conquer'. Then, suddenly it makes bloody sense why during decades, the most extreme fanatics were helped by the superpowers, and why the moderate, reconciliate, who strife to negociate and unite, are silenced, exiled, disempowered or brought to death. That is why the most terrible excesses of islamitic fundamentalists were portrayed incessantly before the eyes of the world. After all, that was the devised strategy, and almost all did swallow it as the truth, the truth and nothing but the truth. Can you recall the destruction of the world's biggest Buddha monuments, deliberately destroyed by the Taliban? Divide the world in enemies, and conquer. The unknown or unfamiliar will be perceived very easily as threatening. As an additional bonus, the manipulators can simultaniously instigate against the self-staged terror acts, and meanwhile undermine or abandon even constitutional laws, while secretly grabbing or dislocating power and money. This hapened behind the curtains ever since G.W. Bush was made the American president. Hopefully, the rest of the world becomes aware of this nightmare scenario now, and learns from it. A far-reaching and conciliatory conclusion is that those seemingly almighty manipulators in their turn can nothing but fulfil a Divine roleplay anyway.
On the contrary, the experiment to support or foster transformation can be directed exactly to those regions that are hit the hardest by the unscrupulous grabbing of world domination by a small group of despots.
For example, a surprising possibility has emerged promising a fast restoration of a representative democratic people's government for Afghanistan. It builds on a centuries-old successful tradition of Afghani making. I imagine that by creating the necessary conditions for a so-called Loya Jirga, the world will witness a superb model of an optimal people's assembly. (Exactly the opposite what happened in the United States when centuries-old freedoms were undermined or sustained in the aftermath of the 11 September scenario.)
But this is not enough. A radically new approach is necessary in the field of economics as well.
Here is the draft:When today (6 December 2001), in Germany a new future is devised for Afghanistan, the United Nations Donor Conference intends to make available respectable sums for the restoration of a devastated nation. However, it could be adapted in a way, that will change the present situation radically to the better. - The proposal is to reserve a large amount for microcredits (tiny sums that are lent to manageable conditions), offered to all the women of Afghanistan. In this way, self-determination and dignity can be achieved in a fast way. The altruistic motivation is backed by overwhelming experiences which proof that microcredits work. Not accidentally, women are the preferrable choice, they are used to manage a household with sometimes many children and relatives, often with almost no means.
- As an additional possibility, these microcredits can be backed or expanded with new money systems like LETS (Local Exchange Trading Systems, a network that consists worldwide of some 3000 local trading groups), UNILETS (an overarching LETS via the UN), Time-money currencies, UN-Income, or similar.
(An estimate of such a microcredit: the equivalent of US$ 250 to start with.)
For more background information and links, see other economics (LETS / UNILETS / TimeMoney / Terra, UN-Income, etc.).
Almost three decades of hell can be transformed swiftly in such a way. The 6 million Afghan refugees can play a formidable part in supporting the process. It is advisable to avoid that big amounts can be ammassed by individuals or particular groups, the best guarantee that the patriarchalistic drugs production and war industry won't profit from the revival. Large monies however are needed to rebuild and maintain an infrastructure. The former King, Zahir Shah, was one of the only regents who demonstratively provided the best for his people. That explains the very wide support throughout all tribes and groups, at least 80% of the Afghans. He is not interested in power, but is the best person to constitute or preside a temporary assembly, which should consist also many of the more than 600 delegates in preparatory meetings for a Loya Jirga, held in 1997/1998/1999/2000. (See below.) Some speed is advised. Several of the participants meanwhile were murdered or have perished.
(to be continued.)
A message sent on 7 October 2001 (8 October local timezone) to 'Today's Q&A with Neale Donald Walsch'
In the wake of the terrible news today - headlined: America strikes back! - i got an idea. Could we collectively start a research in what brings comfort, hope, dignity, inspiration, trust, connection, cooperation, uniting actions, forgiveness, care, even joy in troubled times like this? Are there opportunities, simple easily adaptable ways to balance the mass media's frenzy to hate and disregard our intrinsic unity? To give but one example that flashes my mind: Maybe it is a perfect moment to lovingly clean the office, the house that has been neglected for too long.
After having done a research on unity and the consequences of unity (documented via - this - website http://www.planetwork.org) i will initiate a new section on ways to survive or even thrive in an environment drenched with (self)destruction. For that reason i even will occasionally follow the news and re-create the different stages of intended mass reaction. The spirit of unity will allow to re-connect parts remained unconscious, build bridges where an abyss shows up, stimulate breakthroughs in perilous situations, initiate dialogues with feared aspects of the one, and exercise to stay calm in the middle of a turmoil.
In this way, crisis turns into an opportunity.
top (Monday 8 October 2001)
Way to Peace?
When i participated in the State of the World Forum a year ago in New York, i came across a presentation on Afghanistan. Although i did not pay too close attention then, i nevertheless was handed a video tape and a beautiful leaflet.
Today 8 Oct, when searching inspiration in the face of America's unleashed war against Afghanistan, i remembered this tape, and i took the time to view it. It is called: 'A New Hope for Afghanistan - Loya Jirga, A Plan for Peace'. In it i learned that in 1998, there was a conference in Bonn (Germany) where 200 representants of each part and every tribe in Afghanistan (with the exception of the Taliban who was invited as well and is still encouraged to join) had a truly historic gathering. They came to a call of the former King Zahir Shah (he presided Afghanistan from 1933-1973) to establish a legitimate, representative government according to the will of the Afghan people. Consecutive meetings were held in Rome in 1999 and in Cyprus in 2000, another decisive one is announced to be in Rome this year.
(This introduction is cited from their website:)LOYA JIRGA or "Grand Assembly" is the traditional method Afghans have used throughout history to solve their political crises. It is the ONLY political process honored and accepted by all the ethnic and religious groups of Afghanistan as the legitimate method to select a representative government that will be recognized and followed by all Afghans.
The way to establish peace and stability in Afghanistan will be achieved through new, honorable leadership that is selected by the will of the Afghan people through a Loya Jirga.
History of Loya Jirga
The word "Jirga," meaning a circle of people, is used in Afghanistan for various kinds of consultative gatherings. Tribal and local jirgas are held often to settle everyday disputes among individuals or tribes. A Loya Jirga, or a Grand Assembly refers to a national gathering in which matters of national scale and importance are discussed and settled. This traditional method stems from both pre-Islamic local practices and the Islamic/Arab concept of "shura," or consultation.
In another part of the website, i read that the US Congress submitted a resolution on October 12 (legislative day, SEPTEMBER 22), 2000 by Mr. BROWNBACK (R-KS) co-sponsored by Mr. TORRICELLI (D-NJ), which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.
And another News bit:
Islamabad, March 31, (2001?) IRNA -- Pakistani press on Saturday quoted an unnamed Afghan news agency as saying that the Rome-based former king of Afghanistan, Mohammad Zahir Shah would soon announce formation of an Afghan government in exile. The report said the announcement to this effect would be made at conference in Geneva, on April 18, which would be participated by members of the Rome Process, Cyprus Process and the Bonn Process. All the three processes had so far been making separate efforts for solution of the Afghan problem, with all emphasizing on convening of a Loya Jirga or a grand national council. The report says that the United States has already announced to donate an amount of $350 million for the new set-up.
It is time to concert in unison this hidden fact urgently via the United Nations (or support it), restate it in the US Congress, and demand clearly an immediate stop of the attacks on Afghanistan, leading to an end of twenty years of atrocities.
Dear reader, do you participate, too? When you sign in at the personal section of the loyajirga.com website (a very simple process), you can voice your comments, and are encouraged to send a letter to the UN, the EU parliament, the US Senate or the US Congress, or a national government / representative..
Some speed is advised, Abdul Haq who is featured in the video was murdered last week (around 26 October 2001). An article giving more background appeared in the Christian Science Monitor: http://www.csmonitor.com/cgi-bin/getasciiarchive?script/2001/11/02/p1s4.txt
An article of 8 October 2001: http://www.time.com/time/asia/news/magazine/0,9754,176987,00.html
A new proposition surfaced when i imagined the Afghans under the timely guidance of the former King Zahir Shah, one of the last century's only rulers in Afghanistan who was good to his people. 6 million refugees, the largest refugee nation on Earth, will be more than willing to contribute for the rebuilding of Afghanistan, and the UN should base a large portion of their structure plans on this potential. As always, a main part of refugees consists of the intelligentsia, the sensitive, the reformers and the free spirits. In a democratic setting, an invaluable asset.
(added 4 November 2001) While watching closely to the Loya Jirga video mentioned above, i could spot an astonishing fact. A side remark stated that 21 March (1984 and) 1985 was declared Afghanistan Day by the former US President Ronald Reagan. Intensive search in archives indeed brought these documents to light:Proclamation 5165 -- Afghanistan Day, 1984
March 20, 1984
By the President of the United States of America
For much of the world spring is now beginning. It is a time of new life, renewal, freshness, and hope.
For the people of Afghanistan, March 21 is the traditional celebration of the New Year, the beginning of the cycle of life. It is a period of rejoicing and celebration for life's regeneration as a gift of God.
But today, for most of the people of Afghanistan, the March 21 New Year brings only the renewal of fighting, destruction, and death. For more than four years, the armed forces of the Soviet Union have occupied Afghanistan. More than 100,000 Soviet soldiers now occupy that beleaguered country. The overwhelming majority of the Afghan people are struggling against the Soviet occupation troops and the puppet regime headed by Babrak Karmal. It is a regime that is maintained only by Soviet force.
Afghan resistance to Marxist rule grew dramatically after the Soviet invasion, and it has now spread throughout the country. A solution to the Afghanistan problem must begin with the removal of the Soviet troops. A negotiated political settlement can be achieved if the Soviet Union agrees to withdraw its military forces of occupation.
The goal of United States policy remains clear and consistent. We seek the removal of Soviet military forces so that the Afghan people can live freely in their own country and are able to choose their own way of life and government.
Hope, it is said, springs eternal. We continue to hope that a negotiated settlement can be found, a settlement which fulfills the conditions spelled out five times in resolutions resoundingly endorsed by the General Assembly of the United Nations.
These resolutions, passed by the overwhelming majority of the world's nations, call for the immediate withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan; reaffirm the right of the Afghan people to determine their own form of government and to choose their economic, political, and social system; reiterate that the preservation of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence, and nonaligned character of Afghanistan is essential for a peaceful solution of the problem; and call for the creation of the conditions which would enable the Afghan refugees to return voluntarily to their homes in safety and honor.
We stand in admiration of the indomitable will and courage of the Afghan people who continue their resistance to tyranny. All freedom-loving people around the globe should be inspired by the Afghan people's struggle to be free and the heavy sacrifices they bear for liberty.
Afghanistan Day will serve to recall the fundamental principles involved when a people struggles for the freedom to determine its own future and the right to be free of foreign interference. Let us therefore resolve to pay tribute to the brave Afghan people by observing March 21, 1984 as Afghanistan Day. Let us pledge our continuing admiration for their cause and for their perseverance, and lend our support to the Afghan refugees in Pakistan.
Let us redouble our determination to help find a negotiated settlement that will enable the Afghan people to again welcome spring without the suffering brought by war, but with celebration and joy.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim March 21, 1984, as Afghanistan Day.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 20th day of March, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eighth.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 3:02 p.m., March 20, 1984]
And the one for 1985 reads as follows:Proclamation 5309 -- Afghanistan Day, 1985
March 21, 1985
By the President of the United States of America
In a time of prosperity, we do not think of hunger and hardship. In a time of peace, we do not think of suffering and war. In a time when our families are together and healthy, we do not think of the pain we would feel if they were pulled apart. Yet, for the people of Afghanistan, it is impossible to escape such thoughts, because terror, hardship, and suffering have become an everyday way of life ever since the Soviet Union brutally invaded and occupied their country over five years ago.
March 21 is the start of a New Year for the Afghan people. It is traditionally a holiday when they bring their families together to celebrate life's new beginnings and to rejoice and give thanks for God's many gifts.
But in Afghanistan today it may be hard to remember the days when their country had peace, when there was enough food to eat, and when their homes were safe, for the overwhelming majority of Afghans are engaged in a fierce struggle to end the Soviet occupation of their country and the rule of the puppet regime headed by Babrak Karmal.
The year 1984 was an especially hard one for the Afghans. The Soviets have become frustrated with their inability to crush the spirit of the Afghan Freedom Fighters and are increasingly turning their military might against the civilian population of the country, forcing hundreds of thousands more innocent people into exile away from their homeland.
Reports of Soviet atrocities and human rights violations are increasingly gaining the attention of the world's public. Respected organizations such as the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Amnesty International, and Helsinki Watch have recently released studies detailing the terror that the Soviets and the Karmal regime regularly inflict on the people of Afghanistan. Karmal's tenuous, and brutal, hold on power continues only because his rule is supported by more than 100,000 Soviet occupation troops.
All Americans are outraged by this growing Soviet brutality against the proud and freedom-loving people of Afghanistan. Moreover, the entire world community has condemned the outside occupation of Afghanistan. Six times, in fact, the UN General Assembly has passed strong resolutions -- supported by the overwhelming majority of the world's nations -- which have:
-- called for the immediate withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan;
-- reaffirmed the right of the Afghan people to determine their own form of government and choose their economic, political, and social systems;
-- reiterated that the preservation of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence, and nonaligned character of Afghanistan is essential for a peaceful solution of the problem; and
-- called for the creation of conditions that would enable the Afghan refugees to return voluntarily to their homes in safety and honor.
All Americans are united on the goal of freedom for Afghanistan. I ask the American people, at the time when we are blessed with prosperity and security, to remember the Afghan struggle against tyranny and the rule of government-by-terror. We stand in admiration of the indomitable courage of the Afghan people who are an inspiration to all freedom-loving nations around the globe.
Afghanistan Day will serve to recall the fundamental principles involved when people struggle for the freedom to determine their own future and the right to govern themselves without foreign interference. Let us, therefore, resolve to pay tribute to the brave Afghan people by observing March 21, 1985, as Afghanistan Day. Let us pledge our continuing admiration for their cause and their perseverance and continue to do everything we can to provide humanitarian support to the brave Afghan people, including the millions of Afghan refugees who have been forced to flee their own country.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim March 21, 1985, as Afghanistan Day.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-first day of March, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and ninth.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 12:32 p.m., March 22, 1985]
US citizens (and all other): What are you (we) waiting for? By merely drawing the attention to this never fulfilled promise, you could demand an immediate stop of the war, and use the saved expenses for REAL fooddroppings under the guidance of the United Nations (food program), with participation of the European Union and helpful organizations.
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