“They come with all your life in a backpack made in five minutes“, says Second Lieutenant Andrés who receives the Afghan refugees when they arrive at the Torrejón de Ardoz Base in Madrid. Kabul is an 8-hour flight and 6,280 km away. Nothing more. If they call this world the global village, Afghanistan is almost the neighborhood next door, the truly poor neighborhood rich in resources and desire, broken today like few others, which shows us the face of the tragedy carved and foreseen by a close neighbor whom we can see through the information windows. Now it is their turn to go out with their lives in a hastily loaded backpack under the flames.
Connoisseurs of our language, you will soon see that here there are countless anecdotes of triviality. Of a political leader who accuses the Spanish government of reacting late and badly while grilling a steak without embers or fire, but dressed as a waiter to criticize it. A screeching clash of everyday lives.
They are part of the group that has been able to escape. In Afghanistan 35 million people remain. Many of them, and undoubtedly all women, are in grave danger and remain imprisoned by the terror that surrounds them from various sides. There is no possibility of removing them all. The problem is within. And, as always, something beyond.
This Thursday the bombs took the lives of at least 82 Afghans and 13 US Marines. The gate to the Kabul airport flight was laden with mines and death. Of wounds of all kinds that will take time to heal. We should be aware of proximity, common problems, germs, even if they seem so distant and different.
The attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon in the US on September 11, 2001 did turn the history of our civilization around. In power there, George W. Bush, a self-conscious son, seconded by the fearsome Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, devoid of all scruples. The world began to trade rights for presumed security. Changing enemies to continue to spread fear, the threat of Islamist terrorism was growing unknown. Particularly bloody were the attacks on March 11, 2004 in Madrid, Paris (2015) at the Bataclan theater, Nice in 2016 or Barcelona in 2017. By then we already had a lot of data. Who wanted to know.
“How ISIS arises, how it is financed, who turns a blind eye”, published by Olga Rodriguez in elDiario.es on November 16, 2015. Specifying: “ISIS was born in the heat of the occupation and fragmentation of Iraq. The dismantling of the Iraqi armed forces by the US contributed to its strengthening. And the Syrian war was key to its growth. ” Added a second installment with a video of “How extremist Islamism was fostered to the detriment of secular Arab organizations“, an essential point.
The British Chilcot report, on the participation of Great Britain in the illegal invasion of Iraq, confirmed that this was the start of ISIS or Daesh and that it was not founded on certain reasons. 2.5 million words filled the study. There was nothing similar in Spain, and there was for the 11M attacks as a consequence of that invasion, loaded with tricks.
The origin was not in Afghanistan, but in Saudi Arabia, the country with a western bull for its oil reserves and some other things. After the Nice attacks, Iñigo Sáenz de Ugarte said that the French president, then François Hollande, had traveled to Saudi Arabia “to sell military fighters worth 6,000 million euros, in addition to many other civil contracts.” And he added: “If ISIS is the absolute evil, it seems that that does not prevent doing business with the architects of that evil in case of obtaining economic benefits.” And that was done by other countries, including ours, and they have continued to do so. Hollande, like Biden now, indignantly proclaim that they will “make the perpetrators pay” for their guilt. To all? Terrorism is much more likely to be stopped at its source than after spreading death, but it is less profitable for some pockets, for the control of society, and the involutionary ideological reinforcement.
It was known of the attacks in Kabul this week, the secret services of several countries had warned of that certain possibility. The authorship is attributed to the ISIS-K franchise, the extremely radical Afghan branch of the Islamic State that already proclaimed its Caliphate in 2014. It has between 500 and 1,500 fighters. Although they share ideology, they rival the Taliban and reject the pact signed by them with the United States in 2020. And it is particularly virulent with Shiites, 15% of the population with whom he literally rages, as Angeles Espinosa reported in El País in 2018.
Afghanistan is thus a powder keg in which ISIS-K, AlQaeda, other minor groups and the Taliban now in power operate, but without having control or their rivals. Certainly not from ISIS, with AlQaeda they get along much better. They opened the prison doors to release terrorists. AND The US, on its way out, left them an arsenal of the most modern weapons: 2,000 American-made armored vehicles, 30-40 aircraft and an untold number of small arms. For the first time they even have airplanes.
Time is running out, Spain has closed the exit operation, although it says it will look for other ways: Australia, for example, too. Millions of Afghans stay there. The new Taliban regime has made it a priority to ban music in public, again. His restrictive interpretation of Islam understands that it does not fit in his religion. Not the cinema, not the theater. Not culture in any of its manifestations. Nor educate girls. Nor that women go out alone without a man.
In its previous stage they even destroyed significant monuments of the artistic heritage. The two giant buddhas of Bamiyan sculpted 1500 years ago. And they erase women from advertisements and facades. Like the Spanish Taliban with the feminist mural of the Barrio de la Concepción in Madrid.
That is why we must be aware that the tragedy of Afghanistan is happening in our neighborhood. And it is triggered when roots and springs of clear involution are maintained. You can never look the other way, but much less when the evidence is so clear.
An Afghan immigrant in Germany left another chilling phrase for consciences: “The image of my son seduced by the Taliban terrifies me“A look of admiration. Many of the current Taliban were not born in the 90s and journalists observe that same expression in them. It was not a question of westernizing Afghanistan from the occupation and corrupt practices. So many millions of dollars later, from the damage irreparable of hopes and truncated lives, fundamentalist violence in all its manifestations rules in Afghanistan and with multiple shadows of worse futures if possible.
The backpack with a lifetime, half empty and limp on the shoulder. The baby, boy or girl, embraces the parental protection, regretted, certainly. The sad look of the man, head a point defeated, bewilderment, fatigue, loneliness.
Any day, at this rate, in any part of the not so global village, many of those who today believe that this happens far away could follow the same path.