Editor’s Note: This is a letter to Congress, written by Kadir A. Mohmand, Former Representative for North America of the Afghan Freedom Fighters in the 1980s. He refers to the State Department’s letter to the Afghan freedom fighter villagers. He also addresses the Honorable Alice Wells, U.S. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs U.S. Department of State, regarding the Kabul Peace Conference (which he declares a sham) held on February 28, 2018.
Read, learn, and understand what the Afghan population faces daily. Listen to someone who has lived there, fought for Afghanistan and its principles, and seeks to open the eyes of the citizens of the U.S. who see Afghanistan mentioned in daily news reports, but as is so often the case, are not being given accurate or relevant information about this besieged country. Obama was working at deescalating presence in Afghanistan and now Trump would amp up U.S. participation in Afghanistan’s affairs….After reading this article you will know the real reason why Trump has not followed his predecessor’s policies regarding Afghanistan. Shame on Trump……g
U.S. Congress, Washington D.C. The State Department’s Letter to the Afghan freedom fighters Villagers Is Not Diplomacy. It Is a Joke.
Dear Honorable Congresspersons:
As history has shown, Afghan people cherish their freedom more than their lives. During the recent peace conference on February 28, 2018, the U.S. Department of State released a letter to the parties involved including the Afghan Freedom Fighters Villagers regarding the with preconditions for talks. I believe the current State Department does not know what they are doing – what diplomacy is. The State Department only listens to the war profiteers such as Zalmay Khalilzdad, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, Mohammad Humayun Qayoumi, Anwar ul-Haq Ahady, Yousef Pashtun to set their policy. These war profiteers are only concerned with their financial interests and not those interests of the American or Afghan people. The war profiteers, China and Russia are happy that we continue to make the same mistakes in Afghanistan.
For many years, I have seen the same strategy used by the U.S. government, which is a list of preconditions that the Afghan Freedom Fighters must accept before any peace talks are held. This strategy has been used by Israel for years with Palestinians and has not brought peace. The U.S. administration guided by war profiteers has set preconditions, which it knows the Afghan freedom fighters and the Afghan majority will not accept and/or not be able to meet.
The parties know that the Afghan Freedom Fighters will not come to the peace table with those same preconditions. The Afghan freedom fighters do not want a repeat of the mistakes made during the 1980s. There needs to be initial talks without preconditions. That is the road to true peace. As I have offered many times, I can be the bridge. I only want peace, not profit.
Thus, once again, when peace talks are held and the Afghan freedom fighters do not come to the table, then the parties will blame the failure of the so-called peace talks on the Afghan freedom fighters, while making themselves look like they were sincerely extending an olive branch. This endless circle has been happening these past 17 years. I strongly believe the intention of the U.S. administration is to establish a framework of preconditions or “hurdles” they know the Afghan freedom fighters will not or cannot jump over. The parties will then say we tried to establish peace through talks but the Afghan freedom fighters refused to participate and did not meet the preconditions for talks.
Why is the U.S. reviving farcical peace talks? I strongly believe the U.S. government and the U.S. installed Kabul Administration do not really want peace and stability because the U.S. government wants to have military presence in Afghanistan long term. The U.S. wants an outer defense perimeter in Central Asia and to secure a new supply chain and control of Afghanistan’s minerals especially its Rare Earth Elements (REEs) which are vital to U.S. defense technology.
The U.S. government cannot justify its long-term presence to the U.S. people unless there is a continued Afghan resistance and instability. To keep the Afghan resistance going, the U.S. needs to continue its divide and conquer tactics with Afghans fighting Afghans. Likewise, the U.S. installed Kabul Administration and all of the other war profiteers will not profit if there is peace and stability in Afghanistan.
In the 1980s, I fought the Soviets and the Afghan communists to stop their occupation and the spread of communism. Now, I see that communist China and Russia, with its KGB Putin, are gaining influence in Afghanistan, which greatly concerns me. They are our enemies.
I hate war. I know the suffering that war causes. It is time to end the cycle of war and suffering. It is time for sincere peace talks with the Afghan majority, the Afghan villagers, without preconditions. The U.S. needs to change its war strategy to a peace strategy. The U.S. needs to stop bombarding, terrorizing and massacring the Afghan villagers especially in the Pashtun areas rich with REEs.
Please allow the Afghan Americans, like myself, who are not war profiteers, to be the bridge. I believe the majority of Afghans do not want the U.S. government to occupy and continue to interfere in and control Afghanistan only the war profiteers want it to continue. Also, I believe the majority of Americans do not want this longest and most expensive war and occupation to continue.
I strongly believe that the only route to peace is if the U.S. government holds direct, one- on -one talks with the Afghan Freedom Fighters. As I have informed the Department of State many times, I along with many other educated American Afghans, who are not war profiteers, are willing and able to be at the table to bring peace and reconciliation to honorably end this ugly and dirty war for both sides.
To the Honorable Alice Wells, U.S. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs U.S. Department of State
RE: Upcoming Kabul Peace Conference on February 28, 2018 is a Sham,
Peace Can Only be Achieved with the End of the War and U.S. Occupation.
Afghan Villagers’ Voice Must Be Heard.
Dear Deputy Wells:
The February 28th Peace Conference is just a farce, a continuation of the war and occupation policy. The Afghan villagers (Afghan Freedom Fighters) control more than seventy percent of Afghanistan, have been terrorized by the United States’ war and occupation these past seventeen years. The Afghan villagers want an end to the U.S. war and occupation, that is the only way to peace and justice. The Afghan villagers do not have a voice at any negotiation or conference table. The only voices at the negotiation and conference table have been and will be once again those of the superpowers, regional neighbors of Afghanistan, the selected Afghan administration consisting of war profiteers, war lords, ethnic minority Northern Alliance and communist war criminals.
The U.S. selected Afghan puppet administration does not represent the Afghan villagers. Their voices only represent their own interests. The Afghan villagers (Afghan Freedom Fighters) are defending their land, their families and their vast untapped Rare Earth Elements (REEs) from destruction and exploitation. The Afghan villagers want peace, but there cannot be peace without justice, which requires that first there be an end to the U.S. war and occupation of Afghanistan. The U.S. must accept its loss in Afghanistan.
During these past seventeen (17) years, the U.S. with its war strategy, has terrorized Afghan women and children in the villages. Everyday Afghan women and children, especially the Pashtun, are raped, kidnapped, tortured, bombed, their houses demolished, their Rare Earth Elements and other natural resources exploited, imprisoned for political views, forced into prostitution, and killed. In many spots in Afghanistan, the U.S. especially its CIA, holds Afghan women in secret detention centers. The United States has and is committing war crimes against the Afghan villagers. The majority ethnic group, the Pashtun, who are the natives, who live in areas rich with Rare Earth Elements, are being ethnically cleansed and genocide is occurring. A peace conference is not going to stop this terror. There has to be an end to the U.S. war and occupation, which has been escalated by the Trump Administration.
I hate war. I want true peace and stability in Afghanistan. The Afghan villagers, are the victims of this war. This war continues because of the war profiteers’ greed, the U.S.’s goal to control the vast untapped Rare Earth Elements (REEs) in the Helmand Region, which are needed to secure a supply chain independent of China, and because of its strategic location as the new outer defense perimeter for the United States.
The U.S State Department’s policy under Trump is the main obstacle to true peace in Afghanistan. I believe the U.S. State Department’s policy toward Afghanistan is controlled by the war profiteers and drug traffickers the majority of the selected Afghan administration puppet, who are war profiteers, Afghan communist war criminals and/or war lords. They do not want peace. They want more division and turmoil to justify a continuation of the covert war. The war provides them with enormous personal wealth.
Therefore, the U.S. State Department’s policy of having Afghan government led negotiations, will be a dead end. As I have stated many times, the U.S. government needs to directly talk with the Afghan Freedom Fighters. I believe this route has the greatest chance of bringing true peace in Afghanistan. The middle men need to be initially cut out of the process. The Afghan Freedom Fighters wants to negotiate directly with the U.S. without any foreign countries or war profiteers interfering. They do not want to repeat the mistakes made during the 1980s during the Soviets’ war/ occupation when the negotiations went through Pakistan, who profited enormously from that war. Unfortunately, the public only hears the war profiteers’ perspective.
Presently, the United States is bombarding the Afghan villages, innocent civilians, using uranium -tipped weaponry, illegal bombs with radioactive materials and other new types of bombs and weaponry. With Russia and Iran still in Syria supporting the criminal dictator, Asad, the United States has lost and cannot defeat him. It cannot win there. The war mongering U.S. generals are moving the troops into Afghanistan and focusing their anger and revenge onto the Afghan villagers, because they along with Trump so desperately want to win. Every day the United States, NATO, its mercenaries, and its selected Afghan administration puppet have shown that they cannot fight the Afghan villagers on the ground.
When the U.S. forces lose the battle on the ground they bombard the Afghan villages. On one day in Kunduz Province, in Chardara District, the U.S. and its cohorts dropped 216 bombs on villagers destroying 46 villages. Please see the attached videos, which have been posted on Facebook by Afghan villagers documenting these crimes. To justify the bombardment of the Afghan villages, the U.S. is spreading propaganda that there are new terrorist groups in Afghanistan without any proof. The only terrorists roaming the Afghan villages are mercenaries/thugs and warlords contracted by the U.S. and its selected Afghan administration.
I am concerned about the United States and Afghanistan. The United States is my homeland and Afghanistan is my motherland. History does repeat itself. In the 19th century, the British superpower lost its wars in Afghanistan. Soon after it lost its status as a global superpower. In the 20th century, the Afghans defeated the Soviets, who were forced to withdraw in 1989. It lost the war and was drained economically by the decade long war. Soon after the Soviet Union fell apart, the Warsaw Pact was demolished and it did not exist. In the 21st century, the United States invaded Afghanistan and has occupied it and waged war for 17 years. It has spent trillions on this war/occupation, but it has not won anything. In fact, the U.S has more debt and is less secure. Only the war profiteers have won and lined their pockets. The United States has borrowed trillions from China and others. China is winning.
Right now, the U.S. must be very careful not to slip down the slope like the former superpowers because China and Russia want to see the United States fail and topple economically. China wants to be the only superpower. Russia wants to be with China and be a superpower again. Afghanistan is a money pit and a war that cannot be won. I believe the solution is that the U.S. must change its policy from a war policy to a peace policy. The war profiteers are pushing for a continuation of the war. To achieve true peace, the U.S. must carefully hold direct negotiations with the Afghan resistance and hold sincere talks to bring true peace. Otherwise, I fear that the U.S. will crumble just like the other superpowers have and there will not be peace in Afghanistan. Both countries will lose. If the United States continues the same course in Afghanistan, China will be the only superpower.
As history has shown, Afghanistan is the graveyard of empires. I believe that may happen to the United States if Americans do not wake up. With President Trump, who appears to be the Russia’s selected puppet, the war will escalate. There is no winning for the U.S., which is exactly what Putin wants. The Trump Administration is not letting the American people know what really is happening in the war which is evidenced in the Pentagon’s refusal to release the Afghanistan’s war data, which has always been done in the past. As a democracy, the people have a right to know. In his State of the Union address, Trump did not talk too much about Afghanistan and Russia because he has everything to hide about these two issues. Our democracy is of the people, by the people and for the people. Trump thinks it is all about him.
After talking with UN officials, on January 29th Trump announced that his administration would not talk with the Taliban. Trump thinks he can win this ugly, illegal war in Afghanistan, which has not been won despite almost 17 years of fighting. Furthermore, he said that the United States would have to finish what it started. What Trump has started since he took office is an escalation of the war and violence. Under his administration more than 4,200 bombs (including the unlawful mother of all bombs) have been dropped on Afghan villagers mainly in Pashtun areas where the vast deposits of Rare Earth Elements (REEs) and other natural resources are located.
Trump perpetuates and escalates war because he does not know what war is. He does not understand the ugliness war causes. He only knows greed and the art of bragging. How could Trump know war? He is a coward, who did everything he could to run away from war and dodge the draft and not fight in the Vietnam War. He does not send his children to war. Trump sends them to Africa to shoot endangered species.
Trump rants about others killing people left and right including women and children. During the past 17 years, Afghan villagers, many women and children, have been killed left and right in their villages, while sleeping, playing, eating, praying, attending weddings, studying etc. by the U.S. forces, its Afghan administration forces, its paid war criminals and warlords like Rashid Dostum and other paid thugs, and its mercenaries/private contractors. Since Trump took office he has escalated this cowardly killing. Trump’s lust for the REE’s is the reason the violence is perpetuated and escalated.
Only after Trump learned from the Pentagon about Afghanistan’s rare earth elements (REEs), deposits worth trillions, did he decide to stay in Afghanistan- a war the U.S. has lost. Now, while the U.S. under the Trump Administration and NATO escalate the war against and the massacring of Afghan/Pashtun villagers in Helmand and other mainly Pashtun areas where the super majority of the Rare Earth Elements (REEs) are located, the UN holds a meeting on January 19, 2018 to talk about the future of Afghanistan and peace. The UN, the superpowers, Afghanistan’s greedy Central Asian neighbors and the Afghan puppets and other war profiteers talk about peace and security, because they want a piece of the REE pie.
They all want to exploit the Afghan/Pashtun villagers’ REEs and other mineral wealth. The only roadblock to this successful exploitation is the Afghan Pashtun villagers in the Helmand Province, where almost all of the vast untapped REEs worth trillions are located. They are fighting to defend their homeland, their families and their mineral wealth from being exploited by superpowers, greedy neighbors, other war profiteers and northern alliance warlords.
The Afghan Pashtun villagers are the native, indigenous people of Afghanistan. It is there is their land especially the REE rich Helmand Province. It’s all about control over and exploitation of these REEs. To do so, it’s all about the U.S., NATO and its puppets eliminating the road block by massacring and relocating the Afghan. Pashtun villagers. The UN needs to stop blaming the Afghan Pashtun villagers. They are the victims. That is not “fake” news…….
At one of his recent media events in 2017, Trump himself boldly stated that he wanted the United States to “exploit” the REEs. Before the Pentagon kept the existence of the vast deposits of REES in Afghanistan under the radar. As the past year has shown, Trump cannot help himself. When he was briefed about the REEs worth trillions, his inability to keep quiet and his greed took over. He had to state that he wanted to exploit them in the media. His friends, Michael N. Silver of American Elements, a company that specializes in mining REEs and his adviser, billionaire friend, Stephen A. Feinberg of Dyncorp will benefit from this exploitation. Probably Trump and his family will too.
The vast untapped deposits of REEs are located on the Afghan/Pashtun villagers’ land mostly in Helmand Province and other Pashtun areas throughout Afghanistan. The Afghan/Pashtun villagers are fighting to defend their land that is being taken from them for control over the REEs. It is really not about terrorism. It is really about exploiting the Afghan’s REEs! I believe the Afghan Villagers are not terrorizing the United States, but the United States is terrorizing the Afghan villagers. The United States has lost the war but it continues to massacre the Afghan villagers, mainly Pashtun, in their villages in Helmand Province where the vast untapped deposits are located. The Afghan Pashtun villagers are the only resistance and road block to the United States and other war profiteers’ exploitation and theft of the Afghan Pashtun villagers’ Rare Earth Elements.
Trump sees the escalation of the war, which targets the villagers in Helmand, as the only way for the United States to control and exploit the Earth Elements (REEs) such as lithium, worth trillions, which are vital to defense systems and technology. It allows the United States to build its strategic stockpile of REEs. In a Pentagon internal memorandum, the Pentagon called Afghanistan “the Saudi Arabia of Lithium”. REEs such as Scandium, Yttrium and fifteen lanthanides are key ingredients in a number of military applications such as guided missiles, lasers, radar systems, night field equipment, battlefield communications, guidance and control systems for Tomahawk Cruise missiles, smart bombs, predator unmanned aircraft etc.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is establishing a strategic stockpile of these REEs as it has an insufficient supply to meet its demand. China has mined REEs in its country and has dominance as the main supplier of REEs that are of strategic importance to the U.S. military. China controls 90% of the world’s supply. According to petroleumnews.com (03/31/2013), U.S. Senators Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski, and Representative Mike Coffman, stated that “’clearly rare earth supply limitations present a serious vulnerability to our national security…”
The U.S. DOD provided Congress with a written report on its REE demand and stockpile requirements. The United States was looking for a new supply chain for REEs. Based on information I have received, I strongly believe the United States knew about the REEs deposits in the Helmand Province even before the tragic events of 9/11 and before it chose to invade and occupy Afghanistan long term. Soon after its invasion in October 2001, the United States dropped down geologists into the REE deposits in Helmand with special operation forces.
The U.S. has used special aircraft with special technology to look at the subsurface geological strata to map out the location of REE deposits in Afghanistan. The DOD has a special division to address REEs. Afghan villages located near the vast REE deposits are bombed and destroyed. The Pashtun villagers are forced to relocate or are killed. They are wrongly labeled “terrorists” because they resist the destruction of their homes and villages and the stealing of their minerals.
I believe the U.S. and its Afghan puppet government are committing war crimes. They are terrorizing the Afghans in these areas. In September 2012, when I met with Amb. Hugo Llorens, second in charge of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, he talked about the REE deposits. He thought because of my engineering background I would be interested in obtaining a contract to be involved in the REE mining. I am not a war profiteer. I would not profit from war and the blood of my Afghan brothers.
It is all about Afghanistan being the United States’ new supply chain for REEs! It is not about nation building. It is not about terrorism! It is not about helping the Afghan people! A former State Department employee, who worked on the ground in Afghanistan, told me in an e-mail that the U.S. government does not care about Afghans. Of course, REEs are never discussed at the hearings of the armed services committees or the recent UN meeting or at the peace conferences. Why has the U.S. been so secretive about the REEs in Afghanistan? It is much easier for the U.S. strategically to steal and stockpile the REEs. I strongly believe when it kills the Afghan Pashtun villagers to achieve this goal the U.S. has to make it look like the killing of the villagers was to stop terrorism.
The U.S. war in Afghanistan to exploit REEs is illegal. The United States’ invasion and occupation of Afghanistan violates the UN Charter and international law. First, the United Nations’ Charter is a treaty which was ratified by the United States. As a ratified treaty it became part of US law. Therefore, the US must comply with the UN Charter. Article 2 (4) of the Charter, bans the use of armed force against another country except under two circumstances. It reads, “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.” This article has also become part of the international customary law.
The U.S. war is illegal from its inception. Under the UN Charter, there are two exceptions to the ban on the use of armed force. First, a country can use armed force against another country in self-defense as provided for in Article 51. Second, a country can use armed force when the UN Security Council approves such force to maintain or restore international peace and security. Neither of those exceptions were met before the United States invaded Afghanistan and began waging war.
The United States’ war in Afghanistan is beyond the scope of self-defense allowed by Article 51. Self-defense can only legally take place when an armed attack takes place against a state. The Afghan government in 2001, the Taliban, did not attack the United States on 9/11. Nineteen individuals, 15 from Saudi Arabia, attacked the United States. The State of Afghanistan did not attack the United States. A non-state actor, Al Qaeda allegedly did. That is a fact. No evidence has ever been produced by the United States to the contrary. Propaganda, speculation and expert opinions in the media do not constitute credible and relevant evidence.
The use of armed force against Afghanistan (and not simply against alleged al Qaeda targets in Afghanistan) could not and cannot be justified by the right of self-defense against an armed attack, because the armed attack could not and cannot be attributed to Afghanistan. In 2001, the State of Afghanistan, governed by the Taliban, had no overall control over Osama Bin Laden or his followers, “Al Qaeda”. The U.S. could not and cannot attribute the armed attack of September 11, 2001 to the State of Afghanistan by simply alleging that the Taliban harbored Al Qaeda or was a mere safe haven.
The creation of Al Qaeda can be attributed to the U.S. In the 1980s, when the brave Afghans were fighting against the Soviet Union and the puppet Afghan communist government, the United States trained Osama Bin Laden and other Arabs in Texas. Then the United States brought these Arabs to Afghanistan and trained them along with others in CIA training camps in Paktia Province, Afghanistan. I have firsthand knowledge because I was fighting in Afghanistan at that time against the Soviet invaders. I saw these CIA camps and Arabs, which the Afghans did not want or need in Afghanistan.
The United States had overall control over these CIA training camps for these Arabs, who eventually attacked the United States on September 11, 2001. The armed attack can be attributed to and imputed to the United States’ action of training Osama Bin Laden and his followers in CIA training camps. Instead, the United States decided to scapegoat the State of Afghanistan, and invade, occupy and wage a war against it for these past 17 years.
Furthermore, there was no imminent threat that Afghanistan would attack the US or another UN member country. Self- defense can only be used to repel an attack. Immediately after the tragic events of 9/11, the attacks stopped. There was no imminent threat to attack the US by the Afghan government before or after 9/11.
In addition, the UN Charter and well established international customary law, provide that self-defense would warrant only measures, which are proportionate to the armed attack and necessary to respond to it. It must not entail retaliatory or punitive actions. The US war tactics in Afghanistan are retaliatory, punitive and illegal. In and of itself, the use of cluster bombs, drones, uranium tipped weapons is a disproportionate use of force and unnecessary force. The US’s illegal use of self-defense is collectively punishing an entire nation. It is in violation of the UN Charter and international law. The right to Self-Defense set forth under Article 51 cannot be legally used against Afghanistan because the Afghan government allegedly refused to extradite Bin Laden.
Extradition matters are resolved through peaceful measures in courts and not through the use of armed force with massive cluster bombs, drones, uranium tipped weapons etc., which have killed thousands of innocent Afghans during the past seventeen years. This illegal war and continual killing of innocent Afghan villagers violates the UN Charter and international law. It is not legal self-defense under the UN Charter, international law or any law. The recent use of the “Mother of all bombs” in the Achin District of Afghanistan was a war crime committed by the United States under the Trump Administration. It was a disproportionate use of force. Civilians were targeted and killed even though the United States and its puppet Afghan administration and the UN covered up the war crime. NO media was allowed in that area to report on civilian deaths.
With Trump’s escalation of the war and targeting of the Afghan villagers in Helmand to gain control over the REEs, I strongly believe that the spring will bring more violence with new and more sophisticated weapons on all sides. I have been in war. I hate war. Trump has not been in war. Trump wants to obliterate the roadblock to the U. S’s exploitation of the Afghans’ REEs. Trump is killing the Afghan Pashtun villagers-the “roadblock”.
The situation is not getting better in Afghanistan. It is more violent and less secure. The U.S. has lost the war in Afghanistan. U.S. soldiers and diplomats must fly in helicopters for very short distances from the U.S. compounds to places like the airport. These soldiers and diplomats and the U.S. -selected Afghan Administration hide behind 20- foot concrete walls that surround their compounds, palaces, and government buildings. There is no winning. The U.S. war policy only perpetuates more violence. I believe a true peace strategy is the key, but that cannot occur until the U.S. stops waging war in Afghanistan and the U.S. sits down with the Afghan Pashtun villagers, the freedom fighters, to negotiate true peace, which must include the issue of the exploitation of REEs and how the Afghan villagers will receive a piece of the REE “pie”.
As an American Afghan, a U.S. citizen, I want to see peace between my homeland and motherland. I believe to bring peace, there must be justice first for the Afghan villagers. To do so, requires an end to the U.S. war and occupation of Afghanistan. I am willing to serve as the bridge in any true peace negotiations, which must include the Afghan villagers.
Sincerely, Kadir A. Mohmand