This is the first in a series of posts to help Americans get to know some of the most powerful figures in the Afghan government for whom our troops are killing and dying. We’ll get started with Karzai’s running mate in today’s election.
Meet Mohammed Qasim Fahim.
After the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, Fahim became first a defense minister and then vice president of Afghanistan. Prior to that, however, Fahim was a senior commander of the Jamiat-e-Islami militia. Here’s a quick introduction, courtesy of the Times Online:
Mohammad Qasim Fahim, one of two vice-presidential candidates put forward yesterday by Mr Karzai, is notorious for his role in Afghanistan’s civil war of the 1990s.
As a commander of the Jamiat-e-Islami militia, he was named by Human Rights Watch in its 2005 report Blood Stained Hands as a key commander in the Afshar Massacre. About 800 members of the Shia Muslim Hazara minority were killed in a bout of murder, rape and looting in a civilian area of Kabul in September 1992.
More on the Afshar Massacre from Blood Stained Hands:
As the report shows, in the lead-up to the attack, hundreds of people were killed in indiscriminate or intentional attacks on civilian homes, and thousands more were displaced. As documented here, militias murdered scores of civilians in front of their homes during the attack. Hundreds more were abducted and never seen again.
Fahim’s militia was implicated in the above-referenced Human Rights Watch report in war crimes which included:
- deliberate targeting of civilians
- indiscriminate targeting of civilians
- killings of civilians in non-combat situations
- robberies and general criminality
Fahim is a warlord and a war criminal. U.S. policymakers have tasked American troops with killing and dying on his behalf in a misbegotten counterinsurgency campaign. The reason? Well, he didn’t like the Taliban.
Fahim is one of several reasons why the warlord-ridden narco-state government of Afghanistan is not worth another drop of American blood.
Learn more at Rethink Afghanistan.