Malalai Joya is an Afghan politician who has been called "the bravest woman in Afghanistan." As an elected member of the Wolesi Jirga from Farah province, she has publicly denounced the presence of what she considers warlords and war criminals in the parliament.
The daughter of a former medical student who lost a foot while fighting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Malalai Joya was 4 years old when her family fled Afghanistan in 1982 to the refugee camps of Iran and later Pakistan. After the Soviet withdrawal, Malalai Joya returned to Afghanistan in 1998 during the Taliban's reign. As a young woman she worked as a social activist and was named a director of the non-governmental group, Organisation of Promoting Afghan Women's Capabilities (OPAWC) in the western provinces of Herat and Farah
Title of Joya's autobiography "Raising My Voice", which was published in the US/Canada under the title of "A Woman Among Warlords" was published in October 2009
Noam Chomsky writes: "Perhaps the most remarkable feature of this inspiring memoir is that despite the horrors she relates, Malalai Joya leaves us with hope that the tormented people of Afghanistan can take their fate into their own hands if they are released from the grip of foreign powers, and that they can reconstruct a decent society from the wreckage left by decades of intervention and the merciless rule of the Taliban and the warlords who the invaders have imposed upon them."
A former Marine captain with combat experience in Iraq, Matthew Hoh, also served in uniform at the Pentagon, and as a civilian in Iraq and at the State Department. This summer he was the senior US civilian in Zabul province, a Taliban hotbed. In September Hoh became the first US official known to resign in protest over the Afghan war.
His four page letter of resignation explains that he became convinced that our war in that country will not only inevitably fail, but is fueling the very insurgency we are trying to defeat.
He points out that "next fall, the United States' occupation will equal in length the Soviet Union's own physical involvement in Afghanistan."
"I have doubts and reservations about our current strategy and planned future strategy, but my resignation is based not upon how we are pursuing this war, but why and to what end."
The Pentagon’s own 2004 report concluded: "Negative attitudes and the conditions that create them are the underlying sources of threats to America's national security . . . Direct American intervention in the Muslim world has paradoxically elevated the stature of and support for Islamic radicals."
"American families," Hoh said at the end of his letter of resignaton, "must be reassured their dead have sacrificed for a purpose worthy of futures lost, love vanished, and promised dreams unkept. I have lost confidence such assurances can be made any more."