Further U.S. Hostility Against The Taliban Is Not In Its Best Interest

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    • #442642
      Passionate Progressive
      • Total Posts: 3,844

      The evacuation flights for civilians were supposed to end today. That was to leave time for the several thousand military on the ground to wrap up their mission before the August 31 end date. The Taliban have insisted on that final date.

      Whoever has sent in the suicide bomber wanted to interrupt that process. Your guess who that was is as good as mine.


      The U.S. should by the way lift its block on that Afghan money. It is in its best interest to have good relations with the Taliban. The German chancellor Merkel recognized that. She announced that Germany will continue to support Afghanistan even under Taliban rule. It is the right thing to do because Afghanistan is still a dirt poor country, because there are people in need and because it is in ‘western’ interest to keep Afghanistan peaceful and united. An unruly Afghanistan under financial pressure is way more likely to create trouble abroad – be it as shelter for global militants or as a source of huge refugee streams.

      Withholding money does not create long term leverage. Leverage is to use money to reward good behavior. The Taliban have so far behaved very well. They protected the airport from again being overrun. All of Kabul except for the airport is living a normal life. People are back at work, the banks have reopened.


      The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.....Martin Luther King '63

      It takes all the technical proficiency our system can provide to make up for the woeful lack of popular support and political savvy of most of the regimes that the West has thus far sought to prop up.........Bernard Fall

    • #442699
      • Total Posts: 10,623


      That ISKP is the enemy of both the US and the Taliban is crystal clear. It derives its ideology from the hardline “Salafi-jidahist” doctrines, influenced by Gulf-style Wahabi strands of Muslim observance and the globalised vision of men such as Osama bin Laden. Its ultimate aim is a caliphate stretching across the Islamic world – a single “nation of Islam” within which individual nations are dissolved. One of the insults hurled by ISKP members at the Taliban, who they already consider “apostates” for their (relative) moderation and negotiations with the west, is that they are also nationalists.

      The Taliban have never hidden their belief in the nation state, though it is undoubtedly often tinted with a degree of ethnic and sectarian chauvinism. Nor have the Taliban ever been linked directly to any terrorist attack beyond Afghanistan’s frontiers. They do not seek to establish a caliphate either. The state they have been fighting for is an “emirate”, a much less ambitious proposal than the unified Islamic superpower sought by IS.

      As ISKP has regained strength over the past year, bolstered by a $20m (£15m) donation from the IS leadership in Iraq, its attacks have included an assassination campaign against mid-level Taliban officials. The bombing of Kabul airport was aimed as much at undermining the claim of the new rulers of Afghanistan to a monopoly of violence, as at the US. Unsurprisingly, the people who know most about ISKP on the ground – who have the names of its commanders, can run down its finance networks or even simply detain the arms dealers from which it has been buying significant amounts of weaponry in recent weeks – are the Taliban.

      Meanwhile, the Taliban have clearly indicated their desire for international recognition, or at least acceptance. Quite how much their leaders are prepared to compromise core beliefs to achieve this is as yet unclear but, in practical terms, cooperation with the US in the battle against a mutual enemy is certainly possible. This might be no more than the secret sharing of intelligence. A Taliban tipoff for a US drone strike on a top ISKP commander would seem a mutually beneficial arrangement, for example. Security officials 7,000 miles away from Kabul would probably leave others to ponder the moral and ethical questions raised by such deals with an abhorrent regime.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #442716
      • Total Posts: 1,371


      If you give a man enough rope, it will be six inches too short. This is not the nature of rope- it is the nature of man.

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