Hailing Red Armies

In 1978 the fortunes of the poorest and most oppressed of Afghanistan seemed to be looking up. In April the so-called “Saur Revolution” – essentially a military coup, with tacit support from the Kabul-based coalition of a nascent middle class, students, and government bureaucrats – toppled the regime of Mohammed Daoud Khan. Replacing him was Nur Muhammad Taraki, leader of the left-nationalist, Stalinist People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA). Afghanistan was renamed the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, its government dominated by the PDPA’s Revolutionary Council. With their vision of curbing semi-feudal and patriarch relations, the PDPA regime introduced a number…
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