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World Responds to Biden’s Executive Order on the Afghan Financial Reserves: ‘Theft and Murder’

Feb. 12, 2022 (EIRNS)—Shah Mehrabi, a member of the Board of the Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB) central bank, responded angrily to President Biden’s announcement that the U.S. was stealing half the $7 billion belonging to the Afghan people, while diverting the other half from the central bank, where it belongs, supposedly to meet humanitarian needs without going through the government or the central bank. “All of the foreign exchange reserves that are in the U.S. and Europe belong to the Afghan people,” said Dr. Mehrabi. “The decision to release only part of the funds will continue to hurt the millions of Afghan children, women, and families who are suffering one of the worst humanitarian and economic crises around the world.”

The Afghan central bank itself issued a statement, explaining that the role of DAB was to maintain the stability and value of the nation’s currency, and that therefore the bank

“considers the latest decision of U.S.A. on blocking FX (foreign exchange) reserves and allocating them to irrelevant purposes, [an] injustice to the people of Afghanistan. [The bank] will never accept if the FX reserves of Afghanistan is paid under the name of compensation or humanitarian assistance to others and wants the reversal of the decision and release of all FX reserves of Afghanistan.”

They note that the value of the national currency, the afghani, will collapse if they are denied their FX.

There were demonstrations in Kabul, condemning Biden’s order, demanding the return of the money as well as financial compensation for the tens of thousands of Afghans killed during the last 20 years of war in Afghanistan.

The Intercept published a report under the title: “Biden’s Decision On Frozen Afghanistan Money Is Tantamount To Mass Murder.” They describe the horrendous condition of the women and children facing death by starvation. One Democratic foreign policy aide told The Intercept that the policy “effectively amounts to mass murder,” that Biden “has had warnings from the UN Secretary General, the International Rescue Committee, and the Red Cross, with a unanimous consensus that the liquidity of the central bank is of paramount of importance and no amount of aid can compensate for the destruction of the Afghanistan’s financial system and the whole macro economy.”

They then quote a number of Members of Congress who voted to deny the country their money. “Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), a veteran of America’s war in Iraq, denied hearing about the many reports indicating that humanitarian assistance alone will prove insufficient in aiding Afghans. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WE) pointed to the Taliban’s prior refusal to allow women and girls to attend school and work to justify Biden’s policies. They quote Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) in the Congressional hearing with International Rescue Committee leader David Miliband, pointing to the Taliban’s historic marginalization of women to justify maintaining America’s destructive economic policies. Miliband then presented what he described as the prevailing question among Afghan women in his organization: “How on Earth does the West think they are helping our prospects when we can’t feed our families?”

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) responded to a question about the devastation wrought by sanctions and frozen assets with a question of her own: “We’re still talking about Afghanistan?”

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