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US Afghanistan Sanctions Are Starving 1 Million Children To Death

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), one million Afghan children are now at risk of acute malnutrition leading to death if there is no immediate action to secure humanitarian relief. The urgency of the matter proving the lethal nature of US sanctions.

As of early this January, the UN estimates that 9 million Afghans are currently at risk of facing a famine, with almost the entire country considered to be undernourished. On the 23rd of January, Pravaran Mahat, a specialist at UNICEF’s South Asia regional office, stated on a visit to Kabul’s Indira Gandhi Children’s Hospital that “UNICEF estimates that without urgent action, more than one million children [in Afghanistan] can suffer from severe acute malnutrition this year,” adding that hospital workers are overburdened.

The humanitarian situation, as it is often referred to, is ever deteriorating and ordinary Afghan’s are paying the ultimate price. Since the final withdrawal of US government forces from Kabul, following a months long campaign by the Afghan Taliban to remove the US-backed government, an Islamic Emirate was declared in early September by the Taliban leadership. The catastrophic loss by the US military establishment and their Afghan allies (which quickly scrambled to abandon their posts) proved a nation-building effort, costing in excess of 137 billion dollars, a failure. But with many now turning their eyes away from the chaos in Afghanistan, which Westerners would be led to believe has little to do with them anymore, one of the poorest nations on earth has just got a lot poorer.

The problem with the humanitarian virtue signaling of the West, when it comes to Afghanistan, is two fold: firstly, it diminishes the role of the West in causing the current dire circumstances in the advent of  bequeathing the country; and secondly, it seeks to rob the nation’s catastrophe of its stark political character. It should be made clear, the US government is still in Afghanistan, although it doesn’t claim to have boots on the ground. The classic colonialist style presence in a country it occupies is no longer needed when you can target that nation economically.

When the US left Afghanistan, they did so with the blood of thousands on their hands, including from their 11th hour drone strikes targeting civilians as well as hitting them when targeting militants, but more importantly they took the Afghan Central Banks assets with them. How much is the US holding back from the new Taliban government in Kabul you may ask, roughly 10 billion in assets, cutting off the Central Bank and foreign banks from functioning.

Not only this, but even during the US occupation of Afghanistan, between 2001 to 2021, the country still relied on billions in aid from the International Community in order to prevent its complete financial collapse. The US has now cut off the cash flow into Afghanistan from foreign aid donations, essentially strangling the poorest in the country. The issue created is now so serious that the UN’s Secretary-General António Guterres says that, “virtually every man, woman and child in Afghanistan could face acute poverty” if aid is not distributed.

Yet, again it must be noted that the issue here is not only a humanitarian one, this is political. Whilst it should be an absolute priority for aid to reach those in need, the question — as is the case often with other countries such as Yemen and Syria — should not be about how much aid is necessary for the people to stay alive, they must be able to live in dignity and with independence. This is where the Western world and UN consistently fall short, Afghanistan is now ruled by the Taliban, it does not matter how bad their human rights record is, it is on the Afghan people to deal with their country’s internal battles.

Starving an entire nation because you disagree with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is petty, malevolent, and rooted in a clear double-standard. Some pundits have argued that unless the Taliban alter their human rights record they should not receive their country’s finances — that they are entitled to. Some have even argued that the issue the West has is with Islamic fundamentalists or ethnic chauvinists, and a refusal to recognize such a State. Well, these would prove convincing arguments in terms of moral and ideological consistency, if only the West wasn’t actively best friends with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well as the State of Israel, both carrying atrocious human rights records and base their policies largely on either ethnic or religious fundamentalism.

If the Taliban should not be legitimized, nor should Saudi Arabia. If the Afghan people should be starved over their current leadership’s actions, then so too should the Israelis — that is, if the West is going to attempt to maintain moral consistency. Not to suggest these actions are morally conscionable. Of course, this approach is obviously hardline and oppressive in nature, but this is what it would take to eliminate the double-standard.

Evidently, the Western regimes such as its superpower [the United States] have no problem with human rights abusers, racist, misogynistic, homophobic, religious fundamentalist governments, because their closest allies in the Middle East are rooted in such trends. So in reality, the reason for Afghanistan’s isolation is to do with the West’s political opposition to the Taliban, not pertaining to human rights. It’s about power and pressuring the Taliban to bow before them. The US government has not left Afghanistan; it will not allow the Taliban to act independently and will not give away the key trade access that Afghanistan can supply, as well as its numerous reserves of rare-earth minerals, oil, and gas.

Afghanistan is an asset to the West and it will not permit China to sink its teeth into the goldmine which is Afghanistan. So if this means killing millions, as Madeline Albright once said on the starving to death of 500,000 Iraqi children due to US sanctions “the price is worth it”. This is a political crisis and needs a political solution as well as a humanitarian one. Without the acceptance of this fact, Afghanistan’s people can only expect hell on earth ahead of them — which is in fact exactly what US sanctions are designed to create. 

Robert Inlakesh
Robert Inlakesh
Robert Inlakesh is a documentary filmmaker, journalist, writer, Middle-East analyst & news correspondent for The Last American Vagabond.

7 Replies to “US Afghanistan Sanctions Are Starving 1 Million Children To Death

  1. This is terrible. Sadly it seems that very few people care about these crimes against humanity, which is really what “sanctions” amount to. No different than Iraq, Yemen, Syria, etc. I think most people are unaware of or don’t want to see these things, not unlike the sweatshop manufacturing that produces all of the brand name items that we covet so deeply here in the west. This ignorance, the turning a blind eye to the suffering of our fellow humans around the world, the out of sight out of mind mindset runs so deep in most people (imo). I often hear people talking about the “old normal”, but don’t think the “new normal” is that much worse from a psychological standpoint, people are still asleep at the wheel and sleepwalking through their lives, going through the motions like they always have been. I think the “old normal” was the real problem. I really hope that the mass awakening we are seeing as a result of these tyrannical covid policies, the outright police states that are forming, the mandates, etc, wake people up to all of it. Things don’t have to be this way, positive change is possible, we just have to take the reigns of power back from those corrupt, and in my opinion evil men and women that have seized those reigns while we were sleeping.

    You write great articles Robert, covering super important topics that are not discussed or seen nearly enough by most of us. Just look at how many comments your articles get, the interest in these issues just seems to be lacking in most people and it breaks my heart. Keep up the good work brother and thank you for the good work that you do.

    1. Why is this, They have no axe to grind in this situation as it seems to me that they are having issues with the Taliban.

  2. January 17, 1961, by President Eisenhower:
    “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-Industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”
    Eisenhower’s farewell address – Wikipedia › Eisenhower’s_farewell_address

    This was a warning to the US and the world and no-one has paid attention, we have had many warnings about these corrupt systems but have missed the sharp point. Canada and US are under the control of the Military Industrial Complex. This is where the take over of all our rights, etc right now is being supported and controlled by. It is not the president, etc. especially public health they are controlled by the Military Industrial Complex. They have managed to take over all that we know and thought was good and true. All the so called front covers are delusions, they are only a cover up for the real truth. The shadow governments runs deep. If one really wants to dive deep into the abyss, start here. Right now we are only seeing the top end of the delusion created, even those who think they are awake still have to face a reality that will shock and surprise many of us because we still do not see or know the truth of this darkness around all of use but we will.

  3. I didn’t even know there were “sanctions” against Afghanistan until reading this. So, they leave HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS worth of weaponry there intentionally (US military did not lose the “war”), but now cutoff food and medicine to the civilians? Exactly what I would expect from the current administration, which is busy destroying the USA while simultaneously helping to foment destruction and death worldwide.

  4. Title is mispelled! It’s U.N. Slackitude that’s starving the people. It’s the CIA drug cartel that’s starving the people. Le them eat their beloved poppy for nutrition.

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