It is time to remember that Afghan men are also suffering in this war | Asia

With the world watching the Taliban take control of Afghanistan and the United States withdrawing its troops from the country, the West’s main concern seems to be the fate of Afghan women.

“The return of the Taliban is the best for women,” says Atlantic. “Afghan women fear retaliation against Taliban,” The New York Times reported. “Afghanistan: Why there is so much fear for women” is the headline in a Sky News article.

These issues not only make white people think about the rights of Afghan women, but also mean that women’s rights are protected under American rule in Afghanistan.

While the plight of Afghan women is being used to clean up the US invasion of Afghanistan, men and boys have never been mentioned in the “victims” talks in the war, and instead, there is a decline in their humanity.

Maya Mikdashi – in her article, Can Palestinian Men Be Persecuted? – explored the differences between men and women during the Israeli war in Gaza in 2014 and the emphasis on women and children in discussing the victims. He described how the method achieved most of the cosmetics, two of which are the most common: often Arab men are dangerous). “The role of Palestinian men as victims, he said, has always remained positive.

Similarly, Afghan men have not been selected as victims of war. At least in the West, it is open to suspicion that they may be deprived, fear of violating their human rights and human rights, or may be viewed as refugees in need of mercy. Their experiences are often overlooked and almost never explained. Google’s simple search for “Afghan men” clearly shows that they are represented in Western search papers, reports and social networking sites as perpetrators of recent violence.

To better understand what causes an Afghan person to become demonized, however, we must look at why America and the West are interested in “rescuing” Afghan women.

Shortly after George W Bush declared the so-called “war of attrition”, the plight of Afghan women under the leadership of the Taliban became a major issue in the United States. First Lady Laura Bush, speaking on the radio, condemned the “massive oppression of women in Afghanistan” and said “the fight against terrorism is a violation of women’s rights and dignity”. Time magazine also published a report on Afghanistan’s oppression of women. During the UN Women’s Day celebrations on March 8, 2002, Laura Bush made another statement declaring that the war in Afghanistan “is helping Afghan women return to life.”

U.S. agencies have used feminine language to refer to Afghanistan, not because they truly care about Afghan women, but because they believe that this approach could help them support their invasion.

Journalists played a key role in establishing a US war in Afghanistan. After 9/11 and the outbreak of the “war on terror”, as well as numerous reports of abuses and stigma against women in Afghanistan, media outlets began photographing Afghan women wearing burkas-inspired Taliban uniforms and photographing them in protest. and photos from the earliest times when their clothes were not answered by men. It is well known that Afghan women are oppressed and want to be liberated, gender was brought to the forefront of global politics, and all Muslim men were known to be oppressors of women and enemies of Western civilization. Suddenly, the US war in Afghanistan was recognized as a feminist movement in the eyes of the American people and the rest of the world.

And very few changes in the last 20 years.

Now, pictures of Afghan women taken in the last 20 years are being broadcast on television and published by media outlets to describe how “free and safe” they were under American rule and what they will lose under Taliban rule.

Except, yes, Afghan women have not been “rescued” by the military. The US and its NATO allies did not protect Afghan women from oppression and violence, they only perpetrated various forms of violence. The economic and political turmoil that resulted from the uprising, as well as the night raids, drone attacks, and violent fighting in the Taliban further exacerbated the problems that women face in Afghanistan during this time.

The US and its allies undoubtedly provided new opportunities and much-needed support for some Afghan women during their time in the country. However, their efforts focus mainly on another group of Afghan women whose suffering is closely linked to their violent and brutal stories of Afghan men.

For example, in a recent Al Jazeera article, Sahar Ghumkor and Anila Daulatzai described how, after being defeated by the US, Afghan women quickly realized that they would qualify as US aid if their suffering was caused only by Taliban and Taliban. They also quoted an Afghan woman as saying: “We have learned that if you tell them that the Taliban have killed your husbands, you will get help. We are useless if we tell them that the Soviets killed our husbands, or if our husbands died in the 1990s.

Indeed, the US has taken note of the various hardships and difficulties experienced by Afghan women during the 40 years of war that ravaged their country. They are only interested in the experiences of Afghan women who are relevant to their issues and support their “feminist” intervention.

And Afghan men, despite being severely persecuted by the Taliban, and no one else, have been ignored by the US. In the eyes of the whites, Afghan men were not persecuted anymore – they were 9/11 criminals, al-Qaeda fighters, Taliban members, and dictators who could only control their people.

The belief that every Afghan person is a threat has had serious consequences.

Many American troops deployed to Afghanistan, such as political leaders and their spies, did not try to distinguish between the common Afghan people and the Taliban militants. As a result, they constantly turned their weapons to the bodies of innocent Muslims.

Americans torture, imprison illegally, and kill civilians in Afghanistan. For example, many Afghan men have been arrested and tortured in “dark places” at the Bagram shrine north of Kabul, without charge.

Mullah Habibullah and taxi driver Dilawar were just two of the innocent victims of the American war on terror in Afghanistan.

Habibullah died on December 4, 2002, in Bagram from a lung infection with a serious leg injury – he was arrested and strangled and beaten repeatedly. The soldiers who killed him tried to justify his actions, saying they “did not listen”.

Dilawar, 22, died in Bagram on December 10, 2002. At the time of his death, he weighed just 50 pounds[55 kg]. Although he was not charged with any crime, he was chained to the roof of his room and left for dead for four days. During his brief detention, his legs were beaten again. He survived five days as a prisoner.

Since 2001, thousands of innocent Afghan men like Dilawar and Habibullah have been killed – some by the US, some by the Taliban. However, these men are not seen as victims of the US invasion or as people worthy of Western sympathy – in the eyes of many Western viewers, it is not a threat but a threat that has been eliminated.

According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, between January 2004 and February 2020, the US committed at least 13,072 terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, killing 4126 to 10,076 people. 300 to 909 of those killed believe they were civilians.

It is impossible to know the exact number of innocent Afghans, especially Afghan men, who were killed in the US drone war in Afghanistan because the successive US authorities did everything they could to hide this number.

According to the New York Times he explained in 2012, for example, Obama’s administration counted “all men of military age [killed] we are going on strike as fighters … unless there are other intellectuals who have proven them innocent. ”

“Crime officials,” reports the Times, “say the process is one of the simplest: the people in the notorious terrorist, or those found in the Qaeda-led group, may not be doing well.”

In other words, undocumented Afghan men were often killed by the US, with impunity, because they were men living in an area where the US wanted to “save and prosper”.

Of course, not all men who died in Afghanistan during the 20 years of the US uprising were treated the same way. U.S. soldiers who lost their lives in Afghanistan were treated as heroes who died for their country, democracy, human rights – although the soldiers they sent are known to be committing atrocities against innocent Afghan people.

Now that the US is leaving Afghanistan, it is time for the international community to change its attitude towards the men affected by this and its negative consequences.

Like Afghan women and children, Afghan men have also endured decades of constant wars, repressive regimes, and drone-free attacks. We cannot continue to see them all as misguided idiots and security threats – they are people who need help and compassion.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Al Jazeera.

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