News Update: Why did the Taliban attack who they did last Friday in Kabul, Afghanistan in the bloodbath that claimed the lives of 21 people? The five international servants (country head of International Monetary and four United Nations officials) were targeted because they were calling for reforms to eliminate kleptocracy in Afghanistan and were ready to embark on measures to eliminate the tentacles of institutional corruption.
The Taliban are publicly known as the bad guys in this story, but there are two more groups: the Afghan ISI spies in government who provide as a buffer to the shadowy Afghan mafia group who tipped of the Taliban to attack La Traverna du Liban last Friday and they are the main culprits inciting the war in Afghanistan.
Since my last update, I have learned the unfortunate news that two Professors from the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) where I taught last year are among the dead. They were also strategically targeted to drive away the people who can promote social change in Afghanistan. From what I know, the shadowy mafia group blocks the rise of Afghan civil society and disables the potential for a burgeoning capitalist and working class to emerge. They have been consciously driving out competent, qualified, and professional educators out of Afghanistan for years since these dignified types are hard to manipulate and flip into a culture of corruption as they were engrained with notions of meritocracy over entitlement and know that discrimination and exclusion in the marketplace weakens business morale, stifles job growth, prevents trickle-down economics, destroys the economy and fabric of society and makes government irrelevant. Unfortunately, the campaign to rid Afghanistan of its best and brightest Professors continues as the shadowy mafia group is replacing them with mercenary Professors who can demoralize their students. Unfortunately, even the most talented and highly skilled of my former students are desperate for work and unable to start a business or be awarded donor aid due to barriers put up by the shadowy mafia group. Hundreds of disconnected and disenchanted Afghan graduates from across the country have reached out to me in desperation that they cannot find work and ready to exit the country. That would be another generation of brain drain in a country that is run on a shoestring.
Even before last Friday’s attack, it was difficult to attract and retain talented educators to Afghanistan but now with the slaughtering of two Professors it will be more difficult to do so. The trend in recent years has been to replace high-caliber educators with local, malleable, and subservient individuals who will not properly train students but instead will keep them at a low level with poor standards. The process is simple: impose psychological warfare to ensure that the silent majority never poses a threat to the extractive system that benefits only a privileged clique.
Last spring an AUAF administrator said in a staff “task force” meeting that while the university is USAID funded, the Afghan government could storm the campus any minute and nationalize the university into a full-fledged Afghan institution. Today, AUAF is neither internationally accredited nor does the Afghan Ministry of Higher Education issues diplomas since it doesn’t recognize any private university operating in Afghanistan. Do you see how the puzzle all comes together? The nationalization of AUAF would spell the end of the American attempt to be a cauldron of knowledge and to project the image and soft power that it is serving as a force for good in Afghanistan. That would be a shame for the people of Afghanistan and the United States but a triumph for the narco-mafia-terror nexus.
Beyond the problems of higher educational system in Afghanistan there is a much deep-rooted macro-level crisis? Afghanistan is currently experiencing a youth bulge and needs to produce millions of jobs that weren’t created and millions more for a burgeoning population. Afghanistan’s Ministry of Economy estimates that about 500,000 jobs are needed to be created for those who enter the job market each year but cannot find any meaningful work or start a business since the shadowy mafia group controls everything and do not serve the public interest.
In addition to the new jobs Afghanistan needs to create for the general growth of the population, the economy also needs to replace the 500,000 direct and indirect jobs that will disappear by 2015 with the drawdown of US and NATO forces. Right now, the majority of the population is unemployed and the people who were to take the lead to fix this problem were executed last Friday.
The International Labor Organization report, released last year, offered several grim statistics: nearly half of Afghans don't have enough to eat; 18 percent of children under 15 years old are working; and 82 percent of Afghans are illiterate.
If you hear any Afghan bureaucrat or journalist deflect Afghanistan’s unemployment issue by laying blame on too many young students getting advanced degrees for scarce jobs, then your job is to call them out on their propaganda and scapegoat tactics. You should ask them why nothing is being done to curtail corruption and to create sustainable development economy with the multi-million and multi-billion contracts that have being awarded to the mafia group who continue to embezzle, extort, and racketeer while the Afghan masses are repressed.
Unlike the shadowy mafia group, most civilized countries in the world prefer to govern over an educated population than to rule over an illiterate population who can be recruited into the Taliban.
The responsibility for the troubles of Afghanistan rests on the inept government and the individual benefactors of foreign aid who have received tens of billions of dollars in contracts to develop the country’s private sector but instead have extracted Afghanistan’s riches (minerals, marbles, and gemstones, and other goods) and smuggled the nation’s wealth to Pakistan and other countries where they are used to create jobs and add to the GDP of foreign countries. This leaves the unemployed Afghan masses with absolutely nothing and the crumbling economy of Afghanistan left in shambles. We should hold the Afghan government and the shadowy mafia group accountable. With the countless billions that have made its way to Afghanistan, why have they not created factories and national industries to employ millions of skilled labor instead of only siphoning off all the aid money and profits to offshore bank accounts and simultaneously sell out the country to foreigners?