The Unites States government has played a crucial role in the development of the complex and volatile political situation that now exists in the Middle East, and they have had a heavy hand in influencing the region since the first world war.
From propping up dictators to funding rebel groups for regime change, the U.S. and their allies have been creating monsters in the Middle East for generations. Western involvement in the region became more pronounced and more militarized during the Cold War, where the western allies and the Soviets fought proxy wars all over the world.
Afghanistan was one of the primary battlegrounds where these proxy wars took place, and at the time, the U.S. military was supplying militants in Afganistan with training and weapons to be used against the Soviets who also had political and strategic interests in the region.
The tactics used by the U.S. government extended far beyond traditional warfare and entered the realm of psychological warfare. From the Cold War period until very recently, the U.S. government spent millions of dollars supplying Afghan schoolchildren with propagandized textbooks that had violent images and militant jihadi teachings. The motive behind this propaganda was to actually radicalize the Afghan children so they would be more willing to fight against the Soviets when they got older.
According to the Washington Post, the textbooks were published in the dominant Afghan languages of Dari and Pashtu and developed in the early 1980’s at a cost of $51 million.
The schoolbooks were even approved by the Taliban because the teachings were not far off from their own worldview.
This propaganda effort was only made public after the U.S. government went to war in Afghanistan in 2002 and it was revealed through the media that the western curriculum being taught in Afghan schools was actually promoting jihad.
At the time, President Bush was forced to respond to the scandal, and he promised that the curriculum would be changed to reflect a more peaceful worldview. Bush promised that 10 million textbooks with updated curriculum would be sent to Afghan schools and he claimed that the new books would teach “respect for human dignity, instead of indoctrinating students with fanaticism and bigotry.”
Chris Brown, head of book revision for AID’s Central Asia Task Force admitted that the textbooks were initially designed as anti-soviet propaganda.
“I think we were perfectly happy to see these books trashing the Soviet Union,” Brown said.
Although, he added the ideas in the textbooks were updated for a new era.
“We turned it from a wartime curriculum to a peacetime curriculum,” he said of the new books.
The textbooks had reportedly portrayed the society in Afghanistan of having a “warrior culture” that was destined to fight a holy war.
Ahmad Fahim Hakim, an Afghan teacher who is very familiar with the books explained that “The pictures [in] the texts are horrendous to school students, but the texts are even much worse.”
Many experts claim that these books are still in use today in Afghan schools, despite efforts from UNICEF to destroy them and replace them with their newer versions.
According to a recent report from the Post, Dana Burde, an assistant professor of international education at New York University, says the Taliban is reprinting and using old U.S.-sponsored jihadist books to influence children in areas where the militants still hold sway. Burde says she found multiple reprinted copies of some of the texts, including a 2011 edition in the Pakistani city of Peshawar.
As images of ISIS beheading their victims dressed in orange jumpsuits are plastered on televisions across the nation, and knowing that the US has been teaching this to children, hot air from the establishment decrying these acts rings hollow.
Any government who would use innocent children as pawns and teach them to become vicious killers, for their own personal gain, is far beyond criminal…it’s downright evil.