This Saturday thousands will march against the war in Afghanistan. This week we're posting extracts from The Case for Withdrawal published by Verso. This is the first of two extracts by Afghan MP Malalai Joya.

Malalai Joya, CounterFire, November 15, 2010

Malalai Joya in Parliament
Malalai Joya inside Afghan parliament.

This Saturday thousands will march against the war in Afghanistan. This week we're posting extracts from The Case for Withdrawal published by Verso. This is the second of two extracts by Afghan MP Malalai Joya.

My people are caught now between two powerful enemies, and they are being crushed. From the sky, the bombs of the occupation forces are falling, killing civilians. And on the ground, there is the Taliban, and also these warlords. So we have three kinds of enemies. But the withdrawal of one enemy—these US occupation forces whose government sends them to war, and also supports the corrupt mafia system of Hamid Karzai with more money and men—will make it much easier to fight the enemies that are left.

I promise I will never be tired as long as war is in Afghanistan as well as in other countries—what is going on in Iraq, in Burma, in Pakistan, in Palestine. The list can be longer. No nation can bring liberation to another nation. These are nations that can liberate themselves. The nations that pose themselves as liberators to others will lead them into slavery. What we have experienced in Afghanistan and in Iraq prove this point.

If the US and its allies let us have a little bit of space and peace, then we know what to do with our destiny. The people of Afghanistan don’t want occupation. They need honest support, they need educational support, they need your powerful voice—which means, first of all, international solidarity against the warmongers of your government.

Regarding Barack Obama and the Nobel Peace Prize, they are giving the Peace Prize to the president of war—who is waging war in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and in Pakistan, and is also supporting the criminal regime of Israel and what is going on today in Palestine. Many heroes and heroines are risking their lives and doing a lot for peace, but nobody knows their name. Th ey must be nominated for the prize. I think the question for Obama is, aft er nine months, what did he do for peace that he received this Nobel Peace Prize?

And in such a disastrous situation, they are talking about so-called democratic elections. I think you would agree with us that an election under the shadow of guns, warlordism, drug-lordism, awful corruption, and occupation forces has no legitimacy at all. There’s a famous saying that it’s not important who’s voting, it’s important who is counting. That’s our problem. Some democrats ran for the election in Afghanistan, but all the ballot boxes are in the hands of mafi a. They betrayed the vote of my people.

Before the results of the election, people in my country said to each other that the result will be like the same donkey—I don’t mean to be insulting to donkeys—but with a new saddle. Everyone knows that the winner of the election will be picked by the White House.

There’s a huge difference between the presidential election and the parliamentary and provincial elections. For the parliamentary election, we have some chance for democrats to run, and that is my message to my people. If a few of us are allowed, it’s good to be in these national bodies to be a small voice of our people. As I experienced, in this parliament, I said it was worse than animals—that it’s like a zoo. These criminals told me that I must apologize for this comment. I said that I must apologize to the animals that I insult.

Don’t misunderstand—in our parliament, we have a few democrats, men and women. Unfortunately you can count them very quickly, but it’s good to be the voice of the people. But for the presidential election, we have one choice—the person who will be the next puppet.

Excerpts from The Case for Withdrawal, ed. Nick Turse (Verso 2010).