Ideal messengers

WikiLeaks recently obtained and published a leaked CIA report (pdf) on influencing European populations to maintain support for the war in Afghanistan that includes such gems as:

Afghan women could serve as ideal messengers in humanizing the ISAF role in combating the Taliban because of women’s ability to speak personally and credibly about their experiences under the Taliban, their aspirations for the future, and their fears of a Taliban victory. Outreach initiatives that create media opportunities for Afghan women to share their stories with French, German, and other European women could help to overcome pervasive skepticism among women in Western Europe toward the ISAF mission.

What makes this even more awful than it is on its face is that conditions have not improved for women under the occupation.  Indeed, the Karzai government is currently looking at bringing Gulbuddin Hekmatyar into the government.  RAWA, an Afghan feminist organization that predates the 1979 Soviet invasion/Islamist insurgency offers this description of his past:

Hekmatyar’s fighters killed tens of thousands by deliberately shelling Kabul. They kidnapped, tortured, raped and killed countless civilians in ways so gruesome that many Afghans, especially Kabul residents, flinch at the mention of Hekmatyar’s name to this day. (An Afghan refugee once described to me Hezb-i-Islami fighters entertaining themselves by pouring hot oil on a freshly decapitated body to make it flail involuntarily.) When Hekmatyar was done with Afghanistan’s capital city, it looked like Hiroshima, and it will still be recovering decades from now.

He does, however, have a friendly past with U.S. and Pakistani intelligence services.

Written by dm