Malalai Joya, an elected member of the parliment of Afghanistan, is fearless. She dares to speak against the forces—both the foreign military (i.e., US) “peace keepers” and the warlords whom the US has supported—that dominate her country. A film documenting her struggle, “Enemies of Happiness,” recently won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and is slated to show at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival and, combined with other efforts to publicize her concerns, will provide her with an international voice, I hope.
Here is an excerpt for a speech she made in Los Angeles (CA, US)
Respected friends, over five years passed since the US-led attack on Afghanistan. Probably many of you are not well aware of the current conditions of my country and expect me to list the positive outcomes of the past years since the US invasion. But I am sorry to tell you that Afghanistan is still chained in the fetters of the fundamentalist warlords and is like an unconscious body taking its last breath.
The US government removed the ultra-reactionary and brutal regime of Taliban, but instead of relying on Afghan people, pushed us from the frying pan into the fire and selected its friends from among the most dirty and infamous criminals of the “Northern Alliance”, which is made up of the sworn enemies of democracy and human rights, and are as dark-minded, evil, and cruel as the Taliban.
The Western media talks about democracy and the liberation of Afghanistan, but the US and its allies are engaged in the warlordization, criminalization and drug-lordization of our wounded land.
Thanks to the starting tip from News Trust, I spent time chasing aspects of this story around the Internet. I’d say we humans need more folks who are willing to speak strongly about how the war machines divert us from peace and justice. From what I can ascertain, Ms. Joya’s campaign is more than worthy. I hope that is it not hijacked by people who want to ride it for some other purposes than those she seems to be pursuing.
Here is a sampling of some of the links I reviewed:
- A profile of Ms. Joya from the BBC.
- The desciption of “Enemies of Happiness” from the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival (be sure and work backwards to see the HRW Web site).
- “The Bravest Woman in Afghanistan”: Malalai Joya Speaks Out Against the Warlord-Controlled Afghan Government & U.S. Military Presence, from Democracy Now!.
- Wikipedia entry (of course could be nearly entirely edited by advocates).
- Nora Bousany’s column about Ms. Joya.
- Znet coverage of the UCLA speech (quoted here).
- A Web site identifying itself as the “Defense Committee for Malalai Joya.”