After almost 20 years of US military presence in Afghanistan, its last troops will leave Afghanistan in a few days. Their «war and pacification effort» is condensed into about $800 billion spent in Afghanistan and more than 2400 military personnel killed in acts of service throughout this period. Germany and Italy have also recently withdrawn their last deployments in the country.
One of the targets of his attack on this Asian country was the overthrow of the Salafi jihadist regime of the Afghan Taliban.
Their radical ideology was studied in some madrasas or Qur’anic schools in Pakistan. Young Afghan Pashtun exiles were studying there. Taliban are the students of these radicalized madrasas. And in Pakistan there are now similar political social movements, such as the Terikh e Taliban Pakistan or the Pakistani Taliban Movement. Who have fraternal relations with the Afghan Taliban.
These, in turn, would have given shelter to al-Qaeda headquarters, in the form of a «safe guerrilla base«, with various locations in Afghanistan. And, with an extensive last «position of withdrawal«, located in the bordering mountains, by the so-called Line of Durand, among both Islamic countries. Their defense was based not only on the fighting form at difficult heights, but also on a capillary network of tunnels. That served as hiding places for the terrorists and that allowed them a hidden and protected communication by their area of deployment.
From the times before the Terrorist Network’s Suicide Attack on the New Yorker Twin Towers Complex to the Pentagon, in Washington, on September 11, 2001. And, in particular, Osama ben Laden and Aymar al-Sawahiri, an Egyptian doctor, who acted as an al-Qaeda’s «executive member«.
The capture and neutralization of these two individuals was another of the main objectives of the US invasion of Afghanistan.
And, having destroyed the weak, limited and poor social political structure created by the Afghan Taliban, the Americans had, as a corollary of their military actions, a third target. Distant, but surely more important and transcendent.
To seriously and actively help to create a «modern Muslim society» in Afghanistan, transcending the regime of regional and local tribes and clans. And, that will be refractory to the radical spells of the modern jihadits.
And finally, with a resilient social tissue that guarantees the rights, duties and freedoms of all citizens in this «modern Muslim society«.
Capriciously and unfortunately, the failure of this last mentioned objective will squander all the efforts, in species and blood, dedicated earlier. And it’s going to put all of us at the difficult and unwanted starting point of 2001.
Social anthropologic particularities of the Pashtuns tribes.
The internal relations of the groups, families and local families groups and clans, are characterized by incorporating into them certain rites, rules, attitudes and taboos. These gather, value and quantify their vital needs, their primary emotions and their beliefs. The Islam is followed in the wide zone we treat. They are all of the sunni branch, that accepts the Koran and the Prophet Sunna. The differences reside in the rigor with which they examine and accept the sources of the Sunna. This assumption forms a part of the social inculturation, strengthening and cohesion of these groups.
These societies agree and are ruled by an authority, more or less respected and obeyed.
The more be perfected and advance towards the exterior the society, the power of this authority will become strong and grow and will spread in influence areas. The smaller and isolated is the group, the authority power will be more moderating and integrating, acting as the first between the «equal ones». In these last cases, the meeting of the active members (men, hunters) of the clan in assemblies, “jurgas” (in its language), etc., has supreme and sanctioning value of the deviant or solvent conducts for the group. Evidently, in these local councils, the prestige and the power of each individual member count, and in them some are «more «equal» than others. These local chiefs or Maliks are like favored negotiators with the different governments, who enjoy a personal more than institutional authority, and whose agreements can be ignored by the adult males, if are not confirmed by the assemblies.
Their code of customs and honor is the Pashtunwali. It establishes to the individual certain rights and demands from him certain social duties towards the family, the clan and the tribe. The basic disputes on women, gold or valid money and lands are in the origin of the durable hatreds in these tribes. And that must be kept up to avenging the perceived affront. The own fragility and weakness of these society demands the appearance of the protective values.
These might be the hospitality, the loyalty, the friendship, the scorn of the strange as unknwon, the revenge of affronts and damages, the individual and collective honor. Each of them protects and enlarges in some measure or shade the small human group. As we will see, the relations are interpersonal, in the areas of the family, the clan and the region. They are projected by the opportunity, the nearness, the exchange of goods and the relation. And become strong with the loyalty, the respect of the accepted procedures and the treatment time. And depending on the accumulation of these elementary successive acts. A stranger can aspire this way to his integration, in a personal manner. And not for the quality or importance of his category or institutional position.
The hospitality takes implicit the reciprocity, when one travels, is alone and is not aggressive. This sometimes is perfected by the endowment of an escort to the traveler through insecure zones. The violation of this «escort» by an assault supposes a serious affront for the clan that provided it. The loyalty between the members of the group, sometimes very unstable, cohesion it. The honor inflates the self esteem and appearance before everybody. The revenge, in absence of a real justice, search to punish and then to repair the damages and affronts real or perceived. The scorn of strange, not adorned with good qualities or menacing the group, seeks to prevent a priori their integration in it, as a passive defense form. The friendship embraces the ties with the equals and within the group. If someone joins these elementary groups, he is object of loyalty and friendship in a personal way. These values would increase by his performance, ways and personal behavior. It would be the case of a native forces chief, accepted by them for the pays, the honor and the status that they offer and project on the regional clans. The acceptance is not with the position, but with the person.
(To be continued)