“Massoud, the heritage”, on Histoire TV: what remains of the Afghan “Che”, twenty years after his death?


The Taliban are back in power in Afghanistan. The shadow of Commander Massoud also, in this valley of Panchir, the last bastion of an armed opposition to the new regime, which fell into the hands of the fundamentalists on Monday, September 6. With his documentary Massoud, the legacy, Nicolas jallot tries, him, to identify what remains of the resistance preferred of the Westerners, in this September 9, 20e anniversary of his assassination by Al-Qaida, two days before the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington. And asks the angry question: in this apparent context of the eternal return of the Islamists, can the political, spiritual and emotional heritage of the Massoud icon be anything other than a vain nostalgia, comparable to that which we talks in the West for Che Guevara, to whom he was so often assimilated?

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Death of Commander Massoud, a leading figure in the resistance

Through unpublished interviews, with his son Ahmad (in turn entrenched in the former paternal stronghold, at the head of the National Resistance Front), with French reporters and doctors – the famous French doctors who had created on the spot a hospital and trained Afghan caregivers – and even … with tourists, like Jean-José Puig, who came to Afghanistan to fish for trout in this distant valley, the portrait of a complex man, contrasted, evolving over the years of Infinite War in Afghanistan.

Initially a simple moudjahid soldier, the young Ahmed Chah Massoud took up arms in 1978 against the communist regime installed by the Soviets. At 25, he became a guide for famous photographer Raymond Depardon, who came to follow this guerrilla war of which Massoud quickly established himself as a real “commander”.

Passage in France

In 1989, the Russians left Afghanistan. The government left in place only lasted three years, giving rise to a bloody civil war between the various Islamic parties. The Taliban, aided by Pakistan, conquer city after city without really fighting – exactly what happened in recent months, until the fall of Kabul in mid-August. This is all the news of this documentary. If the Islamic fundamentalists are gaining power so quickly and without resistance, it is because the Afghans were fed up with the abuses of rival militias, the rapes and thefts. In 2001, the people longed for security and an end to corruption. Like today.

Already in 2001, the Afghan people longed for security and an end to corruption.

The documentary also recalls the passage in France of the Lion of Panchir in April 2001. There he delivered a speech in front of the European Parliament, in Strasbourg, warning the West against the rise of terrorism, represented by the Taliban, supported by Al- Qaida and funded by Pakistan. At the head of Jamiat-e-Islami – a “moderate” Islamist party – he warned that the operations of these groups would not be limited to Afghanistan. He is not listened to. And ended up assassinated shortly after, on September 9 of the same year, by two members of Al-Qaida.

Two days later, the collapse of the World Trade Center towers in New York and the attack on the Pentagon by a suicide plane will tip the world into the “war on terror” that Massoud more or less called for. in Strasbourg. The forces of the American coalition invaded Afghanistan where Bin Laden took refuge in October 2001. The Taliban regime collapsed two months later. Forever, we believe. For twenty years only …

Read the testimony of Ghazal Golshiri: “After the fall of Kabul, people were in awe”

Massoud, the legacy, documentary by Nicolas Jallot (Fr., 2021, 90 min). Aired Thursday, September 9 as part ofa special Massoud evening and rebroadcast Saturday, September 11 at 9:40 p.m. on TV story.


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