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the Lion of Panjshir

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Author Topic: the Lion of Panjshir  (Read 80 times)
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« on: July 03, 2007, 01:15:03 am »

Massoud in France   

 In April 2001 Ahmed Shah Massoud was invited to attend a meeting of the European Union in Paris and Strasbourg, France.   
 The following is a fictional account of Massoud's speech to the EU based on newspaper accounts I have read. Some of the words are those actually spoken by Massoud in his address.   
    Massoud and Afghanistan's Foreign Minister, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, met with many government officials from around Europe. 
 In Strasbourg, Massoud was brilliant. His remarks were interrupted many times by thunderous, standing ovations. His message was loud and clear.  “The Taliban, along with the Pakistan military and Osama bin Laden are facing the Afghan nation. Very soon you will witness popular uprisings on several fronts, and the Taliban will lose ground. Our enemies claim that our struggle is ethnic in nature, pitting one group against the other, but in the worst conditions inside the country, all ethnic groups are still together and standing next to each other. There are works underway to build a twenty thousand man army, and we will expand the national resistance movement. We consider this our duty - to defend humanity against the scourge of intolerance, violence, and fanaticism. We will build a democratic Islam in which the rights of all citizens, both men and women, are protected and in which all are free to determine their political leadership by ballots, not bullets.
    “The international community must support us in our struggle. They must provide aid to both our internal refugees as well as those refugees who have who have fled the brutality of the Taliban and the war by moving to Pakistan and Iran. There is famine and disease.  My people are starving and dying. We need your help, and I humbly ask you for it.
    “Finally, I have words of caution for you. If the West does not help us eliminate al-Qaeda, if they do not help us rid our land of those terrorists who have invaded it, there will be a tragedy, a horror visited on you that is beyond comprehension or endurance. Help us, and in  doing that, help yourselves.”     
 Ahmed Shah Massoud was fascinated by foreign cultures, peoples, and lands. Whenever he met someone from outside Afghanistan, he would question them in great detail about what they had seen and experienced. He would have loved to travel extensively himself but never felt free to leave Afghanistan which she was in such turmoil. The trip to France was one of his few excursions outside of his own country. Massoud studied French in school and spoke it fluently.

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