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Once Upon A Time in Afghanistan:

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by P. Aaron, Oct 6, 2012.


  1. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Yep. It was actually the US-incited war with Russia in the 1980's that drove Afghanistan into a more primitive condition.

    Here's a thematically related photo that's made the rounds recently, of Iranian women in the 1970's just before the revolution there:

    120209_iran11.
     
  3. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    How did America force The USSR to invade Afghanistan?
     
  4. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    By baiting them. The cold war was still on, and Afghanistan was a key strategic territory that all other countries had to pass through for trade and materials transportation. Russia wanted to control the region, but they did not have a motivation to attack, since they held a lot of influence there already. Russia brought a lot of money to the area, and improved roads, built hospitals, etc. The CIA spent a couple of years fostering, educating, and funding the resistance, the Mujahedin, to have enough hatred of the Russians and enough guerilla military capability to make strikes against them. Faced with guerilla fighting, Russia was forced into a position of either letting go of this valuable resource, or take it by force. They chose force, which is exactly what the CIA wanted, because then we could "save the day" by providing the Mujahedin with Stinger missiles that could take down the Russian helicopters, making us the new heroes of the region.

    After we "won" our objective of driving out the Russians, we abandoned our support of the region, and the locals (now well-armed and angry at all invaders) started to develop a fierce hatred of American imperialism, and they were free to incubate that to the levels we see today.
     
  5. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Really wanted to showcase an Afghanistan that was forgotten and not turn this into a CIA created problem. According to a quick read of Wikipedia, the CIA isn't even mentioned until well after the '79 Soviet invasion...which was requested by a faction of Afghanistan's gov't which was Soviet friendly. Much of the Mujahedin was created in part prior to US involvment by many Afghani regulars who deserted the military and joined a rebellion against the Soviet involment.

    The Iranians equppied and supported the Mujahedin as much if not even more than the CIA did. In fact, when the US joined allied with the Mujahedin, they received substantial support from the Saudi's (which is what upset bin Laden), Egypt, Britain, & any other country that disliked the Soviets, which, there were quite a few. Yeah, it was bloody, tragic, & it wrecked things.

    All I was doing here was linking to some pictures collected by an Afghani ex-pat to abolish a notion that Afghanistan was some G-d forsaken backwater.
     
  6. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Those pics are great. Thanks for sharing what you found. I admit, I just assumed that the whole region has always looked like it does now.

    -Mike
     
  7. fmoore200

    fmoore200

    Mar 22, 2011
    NYC
    The one in the green skirt is pretty hot...
     
  8. Tituscrow

    Tituscrow Banned

    Feb 14, 2011
    NW England
    I love old B&W photos anyway, but in the context of the current political climate, these are particularly poignant.

    Great link, thanks for sharing :)

    Oh, and if the first few posts are an indication of an imminent lockdown, glad I got in when I did.
     
  9. bassistjoe93

    bassistjoe93 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2011
    What a cool insight into past life there. I, like I imagine most Americans would, thought that it was much the same 50 years ago as it is today.
     
  10. pflash4001

    pflash4001

    Dec 2, 2011
    If you haven't read it, pick up Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner. It describes Afghanistan before the collapse into what it is today. There were parts of that book that had me sitting on my couch weeping openly. It is definitely not what I had in mind when hearing the word Afghanistan.
     
  11. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    the soviet invasion of afghanistan happened at the end of 1979, at the behest of the current "revolutionary" marxist/socialist government of the country (the PDPA) that had just staged a coup-d'etat during the saur revolution of 1978. they were very unpopular due to their practices and approach - they needed no help from the cia to incite the people against them - but rather needed soviet help maintaining power due to, among a lot of other things, insitituting an atheist state, putting mosques off limits for years, and of course imprisoning and killing tens of thousands of dissenters during their rule, as well as effectively becoming a soviet puppet (examine the PDPA flag).

    the PDPA actually made numerous efforts to protect women's rights, making numerous proclamations about women's equallity and laws forbidding traditional misogyinistic practices like forced marriage. ironically, this also decreased their popularity in the rural regions, where these practices were the most firmly entrenched.
     
  12. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    JT dropping some knowledge on the TBOT peepz.

    -Mike
     
  13. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    "US-incited war?" We're talking 1979 here, under the Carter administration, not 1963 under Kennedy. That's a lovely bit of conspiracy fantasizing but there's no reality to it.

    The pictures are poignant, but don't get carried away. You could easily go to Afghanistan today and take pictures of people in modern clothes using computers and cell phones and sitting in nice western-style offices. If those were the ONLY pictures of the country you saw, you'd assume that it was a prosperous, modern, technological country. The problem of a picture is that it provides a focused snapshot, not a general survey. The press very much decides which pictures are worth showing to the public and which are not, and that decision depends on the story they want to tell about the place.

    I very much doubt that people in rural Afghan villages were listening to that radio station or having their babies born in that hospital in 1960.
     
  14. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    there wasn't much westernization there but still, it's surprising that there were developed regions to that extent.

    There's a smidge of biographical data about the person who assembled the photographs at the link. There's also cool time-capsules of other eras.

    It's a shame how it's come to what it has.
     
  15. +1 That theory is utter nonsense. The Soviet Union didn't
    need any baiting from the U.S. to invade other countries.
    This is just another "blame America first" conspiracy theory.
    Probably peddled by NPR.

    I also reject the theory that Afghanistan went sour after we
    "abandoned" them. This was a theme pressed by the movie
    "Charlie Wilson's War" which was so biased and lacking in
    facts that it couldn't admit that it was Ronald Reagan who
    first suggested and ultimately approved giving stinger missiles
    to the Afghans to fight the Soviets.
     
  16. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Wanted to avoid any finger pointing...politics. Though, it isn't always easy. But, the pictures...!
    My dad served in the Navy until '58. He told me that in his 'alternative' world (that didn't have kids) he wanted to live in Beruit. Well, back then anyway.
     
  17. nickbass79

    nickbass79

    Nov 11, 2009
    North Carolina
    Actually, if you want to know why Afghanistan went to crap, talk to the old northern alliance guys. I have, many times. It was their "friendly" neighbor and a power grab by the different tribes that weren't unified by the tribal monarchy they were governed by for so long. The Russians killed the monarchy first when they invaded, which was their SOP during the Cold War.
    The kings and queens palaces in Kabul are pretty impressive, too bad they were shot to hell. The kings shrine, they built a few years ago is very nice too.
     
  18. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    That's for me :D
     
  19. 1958Bassman

    1958Bassman

    Oct 20, 2007
    Iran-Contra Affair ring a bell?
     
  20. matante

    matante

    Nov 3, 2003
    Los Angeles
    I'm sorry but this thread just reminds me of so many ignorant Americans who are shocked when they see pictures of modern office buildings in Mexico City, Tehran, Lagos, or anywhere outside the US or western Europe.

    Any large city anywhere in the world is going to have some modern buildings, nice restaurants, people with money, etc... If you don't know that you need to wake up.
     

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