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What Afghans think

Published Dec 9, 2009 3:35 PM

It’s not often that a commercial publication in the United States allows an Afghan to speak freely about the benefits of life under the progressive government overthrown by Washington two decades ago. However, the Queens Chronicle broke the silence when it published “View from Afghanistan—A Queens man’s view of living in wartorn country” on Oct. 29.

While the Queens Chronicle may be overshadowed by larger New York newspapers, it serves a borough of the city with 2.3 million people, nearly half of whom are immigrants.

Here’s an excerpt from what Rameen Moshref Javid wrote about Kabul, where he now lives:

“Growing up in Afghanistan as a child and then in the United States as an adult, we were always [taught] to hate the Communists—a feeling that came naturally. Much to my shock and horror, when I returned to Kabul after 18 years abroad in 2002, I saw many pictures of Dr. Mohammed Najibullah, the former Afghan Communist president who was hanged from a traffic pole in Kabul by the Taliban in September 1996 when they took over the city.

“While Afghanistan never had much wealth in its entire history, Afghans still pine for the Communist era. When in disbelief I ask why, they all agree there was a discipline back then; there was national identity and nationalism; there was a respect for the individual and for the law; and no one was above the law, not even the president, who only owned a five-room apartment in the Soviet-built district.

“People admired Najibullah’s leadership, his government, the qualified and civilized public servants, the social justice and equality and the civic culture that everyone enjoyed almost equally.”

The CIA spent billions on a war to destroy that government. Now Washington is fighting a much costlier war there giving different excuses, but it still can’t “pacify” the Afghan people.