The agony of Afghanistan

New reports of fighting in Afghanistan and Secretary Haig's attack at the United Nations on the continuing Soviet presence in that country serve as reminders that a cruel war is still in process there. It is truly a war of national liberation, pitting Afghan freedom fighters (when will the media stop calling them ''rebels''?) against Soviet occupiers.

The face of Soviet imperialism is indeed cruel. There should be no mistake about that. Here are excerpts from letters this writer has received from Afghans who have recently fled their homeland:

One, a woman, writes:

''In Afghanistan every night was spent in anguish and without sleep. My husband and son had been carried away, so my daughter-in-law and daughter and I would spend the nights together alone - weeping.

''At no time has history borne witness to such cruelty. What transpires in Afghanistan today is nothing but the streaming of blood. There is not a single family that is left untouched by the slaughter.

''The heavy and light weapons reaching this country pour in like a flood, and they are carried in on gigantic Soviet planes. At night the troops pillage shops and houses.

''There are no young people left in Afghanistan. Every home is turned into a mourning place. Let me relate to you some of the doings of this bloodthirsty regime. One person was buried alive. Another was put in a coffin, and then the coffin was nailed tight and tarred from the outside. A third was thrown out of an airplane over the mountains. A fourth was placed in a sack and cast into the river. A fifth was electrocuted. And a sixth was clubbed to death. As I give you these accounts, my eyes are filled with tears wondering as to the means by which they disposed of my husband and son.''

The other, a former high official:

''Since as you may already guess I will never accept the present situation in our motherland, no matter where I am I shall help the Afghan people to liberate themselves and their homeland from the clutches of the greedy bear and its hirelings. The Afghan people have decided to free themselves from the dirty paws of this beast who thinks and feels that anything inside its stomach is at peace and anything outside doesn't have a right to live.

''It is the duty of all conscientious humans to stop the world witnessing one of the worst tragedies of humanity - the extermination of a freedom-loving people by one of the hideous superpowers of all times.''

These letters were written by two of the more than two million Afghans who have fled, mostly to live in refugee camps in Pakistan. Some of the Western-educated Afghans have reached Western Europe and the United States, where they are beginning to rebuild their lives. Many Afghans reenter their country from Pakistan to join their compatriots in fighting the Soviets and the puppet regime of ''President'' Babrak Karmal.

All these Afghans need America's help. Those who reach US shores need jobs and counseling on the intricacies of American life. Those in Pakistan need humanitarian assistance, which is being provided through the United Nations and by private agencies. Those who are fighting need weapons which the US should help them obtain. It is not just a question of supporting them because they are fighting for their country's independence; they are also the front line of resistance to Soviet imperialism, protecting US interests in that region.

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.