Fall of republic in Afghanistan & its impacts on people's collective beliefs
After fall of the republic in Afghanistan, the focus has been more on the material and tangible consequences of this event rather than the mental and psychological ones. But the impacts of fall of the republic on the Afghan collective beliefs have been very thought-provoking and influential. The development may even have indirect impacts on the collective beliefs of the regional countries. The beliefs that had become the basis of republican order can no longer be easily recovered and propagated among the masses of Afghans. One of the important reasons behind this, is lack of firm faith of the republican agents in the ideals of the republic. The founders and followers of an intellectual system always impose the worst damages on the body of that system. A system that falls in such a way cannot not easily be recovered in the same generation.
By: Abdul Rahim Kamel
Fall of the republic in Afghanistan was not just the fall of a political structure. The republic in Afghanistan was created based on a set of intellectual beliefs, and following the fall of it, the collective beliefs also collapsed.
When a system collapses and fundamental political developments occur, the material damages may soon be repaired, but the lost beliefs may take a long time to be repaired.
After fall of the republic in Afghanistan, the focus has been more on its material and tangible consequences rather than the mental and psychological ones. This comes as the consequences of fall of the republic on the collective psyche have been very thought-provoking and influential. The consequences of fall of the republic in Afghanistan may even have indirect impacts on the collective beliefs of the regional countries. The beliefs on which the republican order was established cannot be easily recovered and propagated among the masses of the Afghan people. One of the important reasons behind this issue is the lack of firm faith of the republicanism’s agents in the ideals of republic. The founders and followers of an intellectual system always impose the worst damages on the body of that system.
A system that falls in such a way cannot not be easily recovered in the same generation.
The revival of the Emirate in Afghanistan could be a thought-provoking sign for all the scholars. Following the collapse of the Emirate in Kabul, the Taliban were displaced but did not disappear. The reality is that every political movement would be destroyed following the collapse of its base and structure, but the Taliban did not; because the group was not a political movement but an ideology. Ideologies do not disappear after the collapse of their political power, but became more active and dynamic.
The fate of the republican system in Afghanistan, however, was not and will not be the same as that of the Emirate.
After this introduction, I would like to mention the consequences of fall of the republic on collective beliefs. These consequences are more understandable for those who have lived in the heart of Afghanistan's social reality and now are directly connected to the situation. Some of the important consequences of fall of the republic on the collective beliefs of the Afghan people can be summarized as follows:
Collective distrust in the US policies
The US policy was tied to the republican system in Afghanistan. Billions of the US dollars were spent in Afghanistan and thousands of the Afghan soldiers were killed in this way. The Afghan soldiers, which were mostly from the young generation, fought and sincerely sacrificed their lives on the battlefield.
The Afghan masses could never believe that US is spending this money as part of a dirty political game, and that it would one day ignore all these sacrifices.
For the people of Afghanistan, it was never imaginable that the United States, as the leader of liberal values, would finally appear in front of the media and clearly state that it had chosen Afghanistan only as a battlefield, and that the fate of millions of Afghans has never been an issue for Washington.
Even when the former Soviet Union withdrew its forces from Afghanistan, it announced that the military occupation of Afghanistan was aimed at promoting the Marxist values and eliminating class divisions in the territory of Soviet Union.
The public opinion in Afghanistan sees fall of the republic as the result of an immoral and inhumane game by the United States. Therefore, it can be said that one of the important consequences of fall of the republic in Afghanistan is the complete distrust of the Afghan people in the US regional policies. Moreover, it is likely that the regional nations have also become suspicious towards the US policies and its deceptive human rights slogans.
I believe that the United States has not suffered less than the people of Afghanistan. If one day the United States wants to gain a credible position among the nations of the region, it must spend more money than now. Absolute distrust and collective hatred of nations towards a superpower would seriously damage its prestige and challenge its growing influence in the field of international relations.
In another sense, the US inhumane game in Afghanistan postponed the NATO's expansionist goals in the east.
Disbelief in western liberal values
After monarchy, communism, and political Islam, the Afghan people came to the conclusion that the western liberal values might be the best option for Afghanistan's stability and salvation. It must be noted that absolutism about any system of thought is wrong. Liberalism also has positive and constructive principles and rules, but unfortunately, liberalism in Afghanistan began with American leadership and strategy. The agents of this system tried to completely humiliate the religious and national norms of Afghanistan and throw them away. This created a kind of alignment between the masses in remote villages and the Taliban supporters and missionaries. Gradually, the Afghan people also became suspicious about the real intentions of the United States in implementing the civil values as well as the activities of western civil institutions.
The incomplete implementation of democracy in Afghanistan even did not succeed in consolidating the basic foundations of the country. For twenty years, the parliament, the electoral system, the judiciary, and the security and administrative institutions of Afghanistan never managed to create a real and effective mechanism that can be useful for the people of Afghanistan. Even if the Emirate system agrees with these institutions, there is currently no agreement about these institutions among the people. The Afghans currently do not want to hear a series of names such as parliament, election commission and republic, and feel a kind of hatred towards them. This kind of the consequences and the feeling of collective deception that has created among the Afghan people will not be easily repaired, even if the situation changes.
Disbelief in civic institutions and activities
The activities of media, civil society organizations and women were increased unprecedentedly over the past twenty years. Hundreds of entities as well as civil organizations were active in the field of women, girls, media, human rights and youth in Afghanistan. Millions of dollars of foreign donations were spent through these institutions and, in some cases, were wasted.
Following the fall of remote districts in Afghanistan to the Taliban, the agents of these institutions became the main customers of the Afghan banks, foreign embassies, currency exchanges, travel agencies and Afghan airports.
After the fall of Afghanistan, all of these agents and their families and those who benefited from the funds of these institutions, quickly left Afghanistan. Now, even Afghanistan's most powerful TV channel, which has been unrivaled in recent years, broadcasts most of its news and political programs by a single reporter. Those who follow this issue will find out more.
The regional media call these civil agents as the Afghan citizens who have left alone their country in a bad situation. But this is not the case. The majority of these individuals were educated persons and civil activists who either had dual citizenship and come from abroad or had acquired the citizenship of foreign countries over the recent years. They never considered themselves and their families as Afghans, and were used to transfer their income to their home countries. In the months following the fall of Kabul, the Afghan people came to the conclusion that they were dealing with a bunch of people who were working as civil activists in Afghanistan but had no allegiance to their homeland at all.
In the public conversations of the people of Kabul, we sometimes see that the citizens of the city consider these Afghan civil activists as the foreign nationals who are serving the interests of other countries. Of course, this public perception cannot be generalized to all the Afghans as well as all the civil society activists. However, what can be said as a fact is that the majority of the leaders, managers and employees of the republic government were the people with "dual citizenship" or "immigrants."
If we compare the government to a tank, then the civil institutions would be the rocks and bushes which make its path towards attacking the people uneven. However, the project-oriented activities of the civil organizations in Afghanistan and their mass escape from the country have hurt the collective psyche of the Afghan people.
The inhumane approach of US towards the collective destiny of the Afghan people has irreparably damaged the prestige and foreign policy of the United States. It has also raised a great deal of doubt among the Afghans and regional nations towards the western liberal values.
All these issues ended with the destruction of all public assets of the Afghan people and countless human sacrifices, but their consequences and effects will remain in the collective psyche of the Afghan people.