Afghanistan Malalai Joya
Nushin Arbabzadah explains in the Guardian why Afghan activist Malalai Joya's celebrated stance is undermined by hypocrisy:
Malalai Joya's article about the US kill team in Afghanistan expressed the disgust of many if not all Afghans, but her categorical rejection of the US intervention in Afghanistan is unfair. After all, without US intervention, Joya would not have been able to own a passport, let alone travel abroad. Equally, without the international community's interference, there would not have been the 2003 Loya Jerga where she first gained international fame. Joya's anti-US military rhetoric resonates with the leftist circles of the west who are her chief audience, and Joya's celebrity status reached a climax recently when she appeared alongside Noam Chomsky in Boston. Back home in Afghanistan, though, she has become irrelevant.
But to understand Joya's contradictory views, we need to look at how her career began and developed. Let's go back to the constitutional Loya Jerga of 2003 when Joya first became famous. At the time, she was an independent voice and had the audacity to make a relevant, but politically explosive comment. She said that the inclusion of war criminals threatened to undermine the assembly's legitimacy with Afghans risking to miss out of a historical chance for justice. Morally, she was absolutely right; but the truth was that, after two decades of violence, it was inevitable that the leaders that had emerged owed their power to war.
The international community had to work with what was there – and what was there was war leaders with dubious human rights records. To exclude them from the assembly was unreasonable because it would have driven them to start a new war front. Including them in the assembly meant that the Taliban remained the sole insurgents while the former mujahedin stopped fighting and began a new government. It was a morally flawed but pragmatic solution. Joya was driven by a burning desire for justice – pragmatism has never been her strength..