In response to the articles in Part I on Afghanistan: “Unity Bid by Afghan Rebel Factions Dissolves in Chaos” (Feb. 11); “Afghan Women Fear for Rights in the Future,” and “U.S. Will Press for Ouster of Najibullah Government” (Feb. 12):
After reading the above articles I am appalled that my President and my government are going to continue to give military aid to a rebel coalition of seven diverse groups in Afghanistan, some of which are horribly oppressive to women.
The new power vacuum left by the Soviet pullout will undoubtedly be filled by one or more of the seven groups that have heretofore been allied mainly in their resistance against the Soviets. If the two extremist fundamentalist Islamic groups within the coalition emerge as most powerful then Afghanistan will be on the fast track to becoming another Islamic republic in the same pattern as Iran under Khomeini. This leaves moderates and almost all women up the creek of despair.
I, for one, do not want my hard-earned tax money to go for military aid to rebel groups in Afghanistan who do not believe in rights for women. If George Bush insists on giving military aid to these oppressive rebels, then at least he could attach strings on such aid, e.g., either they respect the rights of women, or no aid. I’m sure those rebels want those American Stingers and other killing devices desperately enough and would even be willing to treat women as fellow human beings in order to get them.