Vince Dhimos has answered a question at Quora. Following is a translation of the question and the answer.
WHAT IS THE BEST OUTCOME FOR AFGHANISTAN AFTER THE US/UN LEAVES?
When the Russians entered Afghanistan, they were supporting a secular government that rejected Shariah law and the abuse of women and minorities that had been common in the country up to that time. Whenever the Russians got involved in a Muslim country, they supported secularism of the kind Westerners also support in their own countries. But strangely, when the US gets involved in a Muslim country, it supports radicalism of the kind that brings suffering to the people – of the kind that no Western country would accept at home. This is best illustrated by the unwholesome relationship between the US and Saudi, a country that has traditionally supported terrorists and their invasion of other more-peaceful countries like Syria, Iran and Iraq.
The trouble in Afghanistan started when the regime change specialist Zbigniew Brzezinski persuaded Jimmy Carter to have the CIA infiltrate Afghanistan and incite the radical Islamists to rise up against the Russians. The problem with that kind of policy and that kind of short-sighted thinking is that it is based solely on countering an opponent and not on achieving a worthwhile long-term goal that helps the people of the invaded nation. Which is why the US failed so colossally. It did nothing to help the peaceful population and instead promoted the violent factions.
I suppose the naive Carter thought that in the long run, the US could tame these radicals and bring them into the Western sphere of influence, ie, make them appreciate western values and a peaceful lifestyle. But neither Carter nor Brzezinski knew much at all about the culture of the Afghans, their history or their aspirations and they didn’t really care because they were totally focused on defeating the Russians, whom they understood even less than they did the Afghans.
But interacting with countries without any knowledge of their culture and history is a recipe for failure and that is what the US has attained in Afghanistan, where it has been mired down since 2001, ie, about 18 years as we write, and with no end in sight.
To clarify, while the goal of the Russians had been to help establish a secular government for the good of the Afghan people – ie, a positive goal, the US was oblivious to the needs and wants of the people. Its only goal was a negative one, ie, overcoming the Russians, and not because the Russians were harming the Afghans, because they weren’t, but because Russophobic Neocons like Brzezinski thought the Russians were wrong just because they were Russians, not because they were communists. Amazingly, this mentality still prevails in Washington today, and it is more obvious than ever because there is no “communist threat” to use as a pretext for its negative actions, and because of its full focus on negativism, the US is not a suitable agent for peace and has no intention of bringing peace and prosperity to Afghanistan – or any other country for that matter. (Witness the mess that the US meddling in the Maidan coup has left in Ukraine, which, thanks to the US, is now, according to IMF statistics, the poorest country in Europe and in a state of constant civil war!)
So let’s get down to the bottom line. Since the US, after 18 years of warfare, with no end in sight, has done absolutely nothing to bring peace and prosperity to Afghanistan, the first thing that needs to happen in the country is to end the US presence there, permanently.
And since the Russians were achieving positive things such as eliminating Shariah law and the abuses against women and minorities that are commonplace in regions dominated by Muslim radicals, the Russians must immediately be placed in a position to negotiate peace between the different factions. After all, the Russians, in association with the Syrians, Iranians and Turks, managed to forge a coalition in Syria that was capable of holding negotiations between the opposing factions and is now leading to a peaceful settlement – despite the criminal US sanctions on the downtrodden Syrian people that irrationally prevent reconstruction and humanitarian aid.
Thus the Russians are willing and able to do what the West refuses to do to restore peace and prosperity to Syria and they are therefore the best suited for a peace keeping and arbitration role in Afghanistan as well.
And while westerners are brainwashed into thinking that Iran is the villain of the Middle East and Asia, the reality is quite the opposite. Iran has been accepting Afghan refugees for decades and now harbours about a million of them, along with another 1.5 million non-refugee Afghans. Why? A very important reason is that the main two official languages, Pashto and Dari, spoken in Afghanistan are both Iranian languages and Dari is mutually intelligible with the Iranian Farsi. Therefore, Iran must not be ignored as a partner in the negotiations between the opposing factions in Afghanistan.