Malalai Joya: From the start, the US came in with a dirty agenda.

Najuan Daadleh, Peace X Peace, May 16, 2011

Malalai Joya press conference in Kabul

Malalai Joya served as a female Parliamentarian in Afghanistan from 2005 until early 2007, when she was dismissed for publicly denouncing the presence of war criminals in the parliament. She recently published a book entitled “A Woman Among Warlords” and came to the United States on a speaking tour.

Connection Point Project Manager Najuan Daadleh met to talk with Malalai at Union Station in Washington DC. Below is what Malalai had to say…

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My name is Malalai Joya and I am a human rights activist. In Afghanistan, democratic minded activists face many challenges, risks, and obstacles. The only difference between me and other Afghan activists is that I have fame. We are all fighting against a puppet mafia regime and against an occupation; we are fighting for justice, peace, democracy, women’s rights, and human rights in our country.

Right now, I believe that it is important to raise the political awareness of the Afghan people, especially women. Women are a large part of the population and most of them are not educated. I think it is very important to talk with women about their rights; they should know about their identity.

One part of my work is to come to conferences in the US —as I am here now— and bring the messages of the Afghan people. Part of that message is that not only is a military war taking place in Afghanistan, there is also a war of propaganda. Mainstream media is a mouthpiece for strong politicians and it puts dust in the eyes of the good people around the world. I try to counter this by informing the good people of the US about the wrongdoing of their government and talking to them about the mentalities of the Islamic fundamentalists, Taliban, and warlords. I also ask for international solidarity.

During this visit to the US I gained hope for the future and I built trust for the young generation of Afghan politics and politicians. I was happy that I had the honor, on behalf of my people, to meet professor Noam Chomsky. Today I have an appointment with Robert Dreyfuss, the author of the book “Devil`s Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam.” He is an extraordinary American man who exposed the CIA policy not only in Afghanistan but countless other countries as well.

I also met some soldiers and families who lost their sons or daughters serving in my country. I told them “Please take your sorrows to the streets. Condolences are not enough. Raise your voice more strongly against the occupation and this brutal war in Afghanistan.”

When I speak, I call the democratic-minded women and men of Afghanistan “secret heros and heroines.” I explain that they have limited chances to come to the USA, which is why I accept as many invitations as I can. I want to bring their messages and expose the propaganda machine—the corporate media that hides reality from the eyes of good people.

Malalai Joya at University of Calgary
Malalai Joya at University of Calgary

In March the U.S. government denied giving me a visa and I believe they did this for political reasons. When I’ve come to the US and other Western countries in the past, I’ve exposed the treacherous policies of war-makers. I’ve spoken to justice-loving people about the billions of dollars of taxpayer money that goes into the pockets of warlords, drug lords, and the Taliban. I’ve talked about the bombardments and massacres by the occupation forces. I think that this time the White House couldn’t bear this so they denied my visa.

A few years ago, the puppet regime expelled me from parliament and imposed a ban on my travel. This time it is the US government that wants to block my voice.

Western governments are bombing and killing innocent civilians of my country, most of them women and children. We need good democratic-minded people to put pressure on their governments because these governments are making tall claims of women’s rights and human rights in Afghanistan that are not true.

During the ten years of occupation they have killed thousands of innocent civilians and shamelessly decreased this number in mainstream media by calling them insurgents and terrorists. By doing this they are putting salt in the injured hearts of my people. And this not only betrays Afghan people but also American people too. They are wasting billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money and the blood of their soldiers. They tell them that they are fighting against the Taliban yet at the same they invite Mulah Omar, a terrorist man, to join the puppet mafia regime.

From the start, the US came in with a dirty agenda. When Afghanistan is controlled, the US can more easily control China, Russia, Iran, etc and they can have access to the gas and oil of the central Asian republics. With the presence of the Taliban and warlords in Afghanistan, they keep the situation in danger and then they have an excuse to justify their occupation.

I believe that rather than bringing a few soldiers to court for their misconduct in Afghanistan the US needs to bring Robert Gates and General David Petraeus to the court for ordering the troops and for bombing and killing of civilians. Obama’s administration should also be questioned because his foreign policy is even more dangerous than Bush’s was. The worst massacres have taken place under Obama’s administration. Official reports indicate that there has been a 24% increase in civilian deaths since he came into power.

And the US has continued to misuse the miseries of the women of Afghanistan. Nobody is addressing why the situation for women is like hell. In most of the provinces there is rape, domestic violence, acid attacks, burning and poisoning of girls at schools, forced marriages, sexual abuse and many other miseries. The incidents of these miseries are increasing. Even TIME magazine reports on what’s happening to women but they never tell you that it’s also been happening to women under occupation.

We have a famous saying in Afghanistan that when you compromise with the killers you share the crime with them. There are many, many examples of this in Afghanistan. And now that there will be negotiations with the Taliban the situation will only be bloodier and more disastrous. The people of Afghanistan are smashed between three powerful enemies: warlords, Taliban, and the occupation. To fight them all is not easy. That is why we want the occupation to end—when they leave we will be able to fight the two internal enemies.

I don’t think any nation can donate liberation to another nation; only a nation can liberate itself. I don’t fear the threats I face; I fear remaining silent on these injustices.

I am just one person and just one small drop in the ocean. But this one small drop is my responsibility. I am sure there are many other “Malalais” that are braver than me. There are many others that I cannot even compare myself to and nobody knows about them. My voice is their voice as well, the small voice of the voiceless.