I went to school at UNO and worked in the library that held the Afghanistan collection. I’ve seen the collection and even moved it several times. I had no idea about this awful project, in which my alma mater was a prime player. I feel a little sad about that.
These books were “gifts” and “aid” from US for Afghans during Soviet invasion, since then they tried to brainwash us as they were circulating “psychological war” on our youth and up until Taliban government these books were taught even during civil war. In refugee camps which were controlled by UN inspectors still these books were taught to us Afghans and I still remember those days, you will feel the pain only if you remember it.
Published in the dominant Afghan languages of Dari and Pashtu, the textbooks were developed in the early 1980s under an AID grant to the University of Nebraska-Omaha and its Center for Afghanistan Studies. The agency spent $51 million on the university’s education programs in Afghanistan from 1984 to 1994.
During that time of Soviet occupation, regional military leaders in Afghanistan helped the U.S. smuggle books into the country. They demanded that the primers contain anti-Soviet passages. Children were taught to count with illustrations showing tanks, missiles and land mines, agency officials said. They acknowledged that at the time it also suited U.S. interests to stoke hatred of foreign invaders.
- If out of 10 atheists, 5 are killed by 1 Muslim, 5 would be left.
- 5 guns + 5 guns = 10 guns
- 15 bullets – 10 bullets = 5 bullets, etc.
“The primers, which were filled with talk of jihad and featured drawings of guns, bullets, soldiers and mines, have served since then [i.e., since the violent destruction of the Afghan secular government in the early 1990s] as the Afghan school system’s core curriculum. Even the Taliban used the American-produced books…”
– Washington Post, 23 March 2002
Nobody with normal intelligence could expect to distribute millions of violent Islamist schoolbooks without influencing school children towards violent Islamism. Therefore one would assume that the unnamed US officials who, we are told, are distressed at these “unintended consequences” must previously have been unaware of the Islamist content of the schoolbooks.
But surely someone was aware. The US government can’t write, edit, print and ship millions of violent, Muslim fundamentalist primers into Afghanistan without high officials in the US government approving those primers.