SMALL WARS COUNCIL
Go Back   Small Wars Council > Small Wars Participants & Stakeholders > Adversary / Threat

Adversary / Threat One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. Talk about (or with?) them.

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-08-2007   #1
George L. Singleton
Former Member
 
George L. Singleton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: South of Mason Dixon Line
Posts: 498
Default Typical American's non-involvement/participation in foreign poor nation's daily lives

Stan:

I might add another dated 40 years ago observation.

1. I was a "freak" as Liaison Officer for our Peshawar base, me in Karachi.

2. I took the time and had genuine interest in knowing the educated elite as well as some, but not many, of the poorer, grassroots folks by both having them as my guests in my quarters and at local, native restaurants (where I ended up with two forms of dysentary, amoebic and bacillary, and a total of 7 attacks of both types, combined).

3. Conversely, my USMAAG shared housing buddies and all the State Dept. folks stuck (in Karachi) to behind the walls embassy parties among mainly Europeans and other US State and US business community types.

4. Result is I bluntly knew and know more, understand better, the uneducated, semi-literate, and of course the highly, mainly Sandhurst or Oxford/Cambridge/Harvard/Vasser (Pak gals from rich ruling families), etc. types, to know the mix and blend inside Pakistan, 1963-1965.

5. While some new hotels have been built both in Karachi and Peshawar (viewing K-2, the second highest mountain in the world, and a breathtaking view from any angle) it is my current opinion, and I have one Pakistani friend, age 70, living in Karachi who comes here every summer to Alabama to visit his businessman son, daughter in law, and granddaughter (all now US citizens, but still Muslims of the moderate Aga Khan type/variety), I do not think that Pakistan has progressed much nor changed it's thinking and ways much.

All this said, Pakistan in the interior is terrorist minded and thinking. Only on the coast in Karachi do you find, my view from here in the US, moderates.

The military of Pakistan and the local police and para-military use brute force to keep the people in line, otherwise, you would have constant blood baths and religious extremism would run rampant.

Madrass schools, nationwide, but particularly in Balochistan (Quetta), NWFP (Peshawar, Swat, etc.) is overrun with mad Mullahs creating terrorists, literally, who go in droves across the border into Afghanistan as I write this.

Cheers,
George Singleton

Last edited by George L. Singleton; 02-08-2007 at 02:13 PM.
George L. Singleton is offline  
Old 02-08-2007   #2
Stan
Council Member
 
Stan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Estonia
Posts: 3,817
Default Typical Americans Abroad

Quote:
I was a "freak" as Liaison Officer for our Peshawar base
Hi George !
Not at all a freak. I did the same for nearly 10 years in Sub-Sahara and now 12 years this May in Estonia.

I do however try to stay away from dysentary

My last boss, LTC Odom said it best regarding our (ahem) trips:

"You cannot say something is abnormal if you do not know what is normal, especially in an abnormal place like Zaire."

Regards, Stan
Stan is offline  
Old 02-08-2007   #3
George L. Singleton
Former Member
 
George L. Singleton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: South of Mason Dixon Line
Posts: 498
Default The truth is simple, not complex, your problem to deal with

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
George and 120,

I disagree with both of you. Both of you are trapped in the dillemma of what was the objective of the war. 120, general officers I respect still debate the "hard versus soft approach"; the very debate is tied to the lack of a clear objective for the war.

George,

Simple slogans like all Muslims are liars are essentially worse than useless because they obviate the need for any thinking. As for Baath=Nazism, that is equally simplistic and that very vein of simplistic thinking led Bremer to make simply stupid decisions: disband the Army, purge all Baath.

I would question the statement All Baathists Hate All Jews, especially the statement before Israel became an independent country.

As for service in the Waffen SS or Wehrmacht; that itself is a long list. The Free Officer Movements in the Middle East--Iraq, Syria, Egypt--were more anti-British or anti-French than pro-Nazi. As for contamination by association, consider that Raziel one of the 2 founders of the Stern Gang actually went so far as to initiate contact with the Nazis in the fight to kick the Brits out of Palestine.

Best

Tom
Tom:

Thanks for your views.

However, the truth is simple, whereas some folks (you?) want or wish to create complex problems to have complex answers. It is very simple, in large part, due to the huge number of uneducated people there. There is no changing these facts.

As for the Nazi stuff, only because the Peshawar FRONTIER POST for their and my security reasons does not archive letters to the editor of the FP do you not have in front of you dozens of letters radical, pro-Nazi/Hitler Pakistani Muslims in Pakistan and now living in Europe (Germany and Holland in particular) wherein they want the European nations to repeal hate laws passed after WW II which forbid anti-Semitism, open praise and adoration of Nazisms and Hitler, etc.

Those folks, and I mean college educated in Pakistan colleges, in European colleges, and some in US colleges, are unrepentant anti-semites and Jew haters and Nazi lovers.

If you want, but ONLY if this web site for broad view has an e-mail address I can scan a few of my letters of reply to pro-Hitler/Nazi in Pakistan and in Europe, which ran in 2006 in the Peshawar FRONTIER POST so you can read the hate and awful feelings of pro-Nazi Muslims still today...not just Baathists who are severely pro-Nazi in Iraq, but in Pakistan, Afghanistan, the former USSR three "stans", all over Europe.

Cheers,
George Singleton

Last edited by George L. Singleton; 02-08-2007 at 02:29 PM.
George L. Singleton is offline  
Old 02-08-2007   #4
Tom Odom
Council Member
 
Tom Odom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: DeRidder LA
Posts: 3,949
Default

Quote:
There is no changing these facts.
George,

We will have to agree to disagree. Your facts appear to me to be more opinion because they center on Pakistan and are applied to Muslims in general.

The world is largely grey and inherently complex in my opinion and experience.

Best

Tom
Tom Odom is offline  
Old 02-08-2007   #5
marct
Council Member
 
marct's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 3,682
Default

Hi WM,

Quote:
Originally Posted by wm View Post
Some more grist for your mill.
Always fun to talk about and, at the same time, discover more on the limits of this mode of communication .

Quote:
Originally Posted by wm View Post
Your presuppositions are showing here. Where I come from, 'rational' simply means giving reasons for one's position. It does not specify how many or what kind of reasons count as enough. We could define a sliding scale of rationality as follows: to be more or less rational is to justify more or fewer of your beliefs with reasons. That, however is not what I had in mind.
Interesting, and it does appear that we are defining "rational" somewhat differently. Probably not surprising. I would define "rational" as operating within a system of logics and accepted truths, including axiomatic assumptions, that are culture bound. That definition comes out of both Popper and Alfred Schutz

Quote:
Originally Posted by wm View Post
Logic is also not merely mathematical reasoning a la Whitehead, Russell, Quine, Tarski, etc. Nor is it just a Pythagorean harmony of the spheres. Logic is a set of rules for a method of enquiry. In addition to truth functional logic (which need not just be two-valued, as in true or false), we have, among others, epistemic logics, deontic logics, modal logics, and, my personal favorite, interrogative logics. This last is the kind of thing we find in Platonic dialectic/the Socratic Method, Aristotle's Organon, and Hegel's Transcendental Dialectic, to mention some of the big names. I think the most lucid description of it, however is Collingwood's logic of question and answer.
A via negativa definition of logic? Well, I agree with you that "logic is a set of rules for a method of inquiry". Of course, the existence of a method of inquiry requires a desire on the part of some person or group to achieve "answers" to some "question". I would, however, argue that both the question and the method are defined by the culture which asks them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wm View Post
I think this last smacks of the worst sort of relativism, derived from what I take to be the misinterpretation of the work of William Graham Sumner. I also don't drink from the Foucault and Derida post-structuralist Kool-Aid. And I don't necessarily agree with the "language as semiotics" interpretations of folks following in the wake of C.S. Peirce. Some things about who and what we are just are not up for grabs--we are all, after all, members of the same species. As a result we all have some of the same basic needs (although they may not follow Maslow's hierarchy).
Personally, I have never really enjoyed Sumner's work. Nor would I follow the post-modernist thinking either. As for "relativism", yes my own thinking is somewhat relativist - the relativism of Boas, Sapir and Benedict which, ultimately, derives from Wm. Von Humbolt's arguments and is often grossly misunderstood thanks, in part, to the very Kool Aid pedlar's you refer to.

One of the greatest problems I have seen recently is the idea that "relativism" must be taken as an absolute. I totally disagree with that position, and with the misreading of Boas that has supported it. As with you, I do hold that all humans have certain basic needs, although I tend to use Malinowski's system (e.g. A Scientific Theory of Culture and The Dynamics of Culture Change) rather than Maslow.

Malinowski was drawing large parts of his ideas out of Korzybski's Science and Sanity, which, given its limitations, provided what I consider to be a fairly good background. We do, however, know a lot more, now, about how the brain functions and, as a result, I have become increasingly influenced by evolutionary psychologists such as Jerome Barkow and, in particular, his conception of human universals. I have also found that Alan Fiske's work on Relational Models to be quite useful.

All of this is a rather round about way of saying that the extreme relativist position and the extreme universalist position are equally wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wm View Post
We probably best know ourselves by knowing others around us.
This last is a long way around getting to the point that others mentioned. We can best train ourselves for operations in another cultural milieu by training ourselves in another cultural milieu.
Actually, I agree with you .

Marc
__________________
Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
Senior Research Fellow,
The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
Carleton University
http://marctyrrell.com/
marct is offline  
Old 02-08-2007   #6
Merv Benson
Council Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Washington, Texas
Posts: 305
Default A culture of dishonesty

I recall that when the US was retaliating for the attacks on our African embassies, bin Laden was on his Satellite phone telling the BBC that he had nothing to do with it. Shortly after 9-11 he denied having anything to do with the attacks then later admitted he did and the evidence is conclusive that he was responsible for the embassy bombings. The ease with which he lies to advance his interest and deceive his victims may just be a reflection of his religious bigotry, since we know little of his conversations with the fidels. Deceit also appears to be common in the statements of al Qaeda in its propaganda videos. Hezballah's Nazrallah spins like a top. Again I do not know about his interactions with his allies. I would think that there would have to be some level of trust in those communications in order to maintain the relationship. But, it is clear that these guys will not let the truth get in the way of achieving their objectives. I suspect that those who do not have a relationship with these people say things that may or may not be true depending who they fear most at the time. That seems to be the experience of some officers who have had to deal with them in Iraq, anyway.

I can think of numerous reports based on statements given by some one at a hospital describing all those killed or injured in a firefight with US troops, as civilians, when at best they didn't have a clue since the enemy does not wear a uniform or carry ID.

That being said, we do have to try and have a relationship with some of these people and work to establish trust. Getting to the honest answer probably requires some work.

I think that one of the problems in dealing with this culture is the low level of emotional maturity. Tantrums over cartoons is one indicator. Deceit is another. I once heard someone argue to Dr. Laura that a child would not lie. She quickly responded that children lie all the the time if they think it will help them avoid the consequences of their acts. It does take maturity to accept consequences.

Last edited by Merv Benson; 02-08-2007 at 05:09 PM.
Merv Benson is offline  
Old 02-08-2007   #7
George L. Singleton
Former Member
 
George L. Singleton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: South of Mason Dixon Line
Posts: 498
Default The core fulcrum for war on terrorism is Pakistan & Afghanistan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
George,

We will have to agree to disagree. Your facts appear to me to be more opinion because they center on Pakistan and are applied to Muslims in general.

The world is largely grey and inherently complex in my opinion and experience.

Best

Tom
Dear Tom:

I believe the world knows that bin Laden and al Qaida formed up in later stages in Peshawar, Paksitan, then moved over and into Afghanistan. From there they masterminded 9/11.

The reason I focus on Pakistan is that area remains the seat of organized Taliban and al Qaida terrorism, aided and abetted by the Wahabbi Sunni Islamics and their big bucks out of Saudi.

Of course there are other places and types of Muslims. Among places where I have been, some as late as 2006 are: Libya (Tripoli)Egypt; Turkey, (Istanbul,Trapazon, and Insurlick); Greece; lran (several cities and towns); Afghanistan (Kabul); Saudi Arabia (Daharan in particular);India; etc. Lebanon and Beruit were a great and peaceful place under the last King when I was there in 1965, you see some of my travels are very dated!

Here is a website you could read and get a better understanding of the tribal, introspective, "only view themselves of recent date to be Islamics, formerly were Buddists, etc." ....khyberwatch.com

Let me note this is a pro-independence 'Pakhtuniastan" site which geographic area lies across the Duran Line in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, and part of one of the ex-USSR "Stans". President Kharzi of Afghanistan is a Pakhtun and an ex-Taliban cabinet member, in fact. Yes, I have been in Kabul, as noted above, but under their last King, 1964, eons ago.

Then there are Pakhtuns and other tribes all seeking an independent nation of Balochistan, as I mentioned earlier today. These are Google verifiable facts, not mere opinions. Pakistan's Army has a hot fight every week inside Balochistan, which is where what little oil and gas exists for all of Pakistan.

Your coordial nature is appreciated. If you are current active duty, contractor, or otherwise involved in the war on terrorism and in Iraq, you may want to expand your readings on line to at least include khyberwatch.com. It is very germaine. Too, I recommend you read and write to the letters column of the Peshawar FRONTIER POST. Their non-publicized e-mail address is found on the Internet at:The Frontier Post.com
Key word is "The" as many out of date old FP websites no longer work.

Cheers,
George

PS - You might also Google any/most of the Israeli Internet sites using as a search line: George Singleton. They are picking up many of my Peshawar FRONTIER POST letters to ed and running them in Israeli media, particularly on various Israeli websites. A few Palestinian websites have picked up same FP letters but run them with a different "slant" to favor their point of view. Lying and distortion are a never ending struggle with Muslims boardly and specifically, when it comes to the broader war on terrorism, in my experience. GS.

Last edited by George L. Singleton; 02-08-2007 at 05:16 PM.
George L. Singleton is offline  
Old 02-08-2007   #8
George L. Singleton
Former Member
 
George L. Singleton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: South of Mason Dixon Line
Posts: 498
Default Modern history of Taliban/al Qaida

Copied from khyberwatch.com

#1 10-13-2006, 05:09 PM
MandoKhail
Moderator Join Date: May 2006
Location: At home
Posts: 1,650

Intresting letter fm F post
Karzai a positive Pashtun
George L. Singleton USA GSingle556@aol.com
The era of disinformation and the equivalent of the Hitler "big lie" technique are underway in a growing series of letters from some recent letter writers. "Name calling" is senseless and I will not deal with that. Rather, let's look at just some hard facts that are publicly known and cannot be successfully lied about. 1. Former Afghan King Habiullah Khan proclaimed, “I am from the tribe of Benjamin.” This tribe is of our common religious heritage and is a good, positive statement. Remember, we are a civil, not a religious society in America. We practice absolute separation of church and state, despite liers using the term "Crusaders or Crusade", which is pure bunk. 2. Taliban feminist or feminism as I have used the term of late in this good newspaper means, to me, harsh, mean hearted, unkind, and supporting of terrible and criminal actions by Taliban who falsely claim to act "in the name of religion" as if their faith "drives them to murder and mayhem" inflicted on innocent, reasonable other Muslims and those of other faith systems. 3. The following quotes can be found on the Internet and are a few of the many accurate and true images and facts of and about the radical, heretical Taliban thugs and murderers: http://www.infoplease.com/spot/taliban.html "The Taliban ("Students of Islamic Knowledge Movem-ent") ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001. They came to power during Afghanistan's long civil war. Although they managed to hold 90% of the country's territory, their policies—including their treatment of women and support of terrorists—ostracized them from the world community. The Taliban was ousted from power in December 2001 by the U.S. military and Afghani opposition forces in response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the U.S." "In late 1994, a group of well-trained Taliban were chosen by Pakistan to protect a convoy trying to open a trade route from Pakistan to Central Asia. They proved an able force, fighting off rival mujahideen and warlords. The Taliban then went on to take the city of Kandahar, beginning a surprising advance that ended with their capture of Kabul in September 1996." "Many Afghans, weary of conflict and anarchy, were relieved to see corrupt and often brutal warlords replaced by the devout Taliban, who had some success in eliminating corruption, restoring peace, and allowing commerce to resume. The Taliban, under the direction of Mullah Muhammad Omar, brought about this order through the institution of a very strict interpretation of Sharia, or Islamic law. Public executions and punishments (such as floggings) became regular events at Afghan soccer stadiums. Frivolous activities, like kite-flying, were outlawed. In order to root out "non-Islamic" influence, television, music, and the Internet were banned. Men were required to wear beards, and subjected to beatings if they didn't." "Most shocking to the West was the Taliban's treatment of women. When the Taliban took Kabul, they immediately forbade girls to go to school. Moreover, women were barred from working outside the home, precipitating a crisis in healthcare and education. Women were also prohibited from leaving their home without a male relative—those that did so risked being beaten, even shot, by officers of the "ministry for the protection of virtue and prevention of vice." A woman caught wearing fingernail polish may have had her fingertips chopped off. All this, according to the Taliban, was to safeguard women and their honor." "In contrast to their strict beliefs, the Taliban profited from smuggling operations (primarily electronics) and opium cultivation. Eventually they bowed to international pressure and cracked down on cultivation and by July 2000 were able to claim that they had cut world opium production by two-thirds. Unfortunately, the crackdown on opium also abruptly deprived thousands of Afgh-ans of their only source of income which opium growing and trade is recorded in history back to the time of the Egyptian pharaohs. Although the Taliban managed to re-unite most of Afghanistan, they were unable to end the civil war. Nor did they improve the conditions in cities, where access to food, clean water, and employment actually declined during their rule. A continuing drought and a very harsh winter (2000–2001) brought famine and increased the flow of refugees to Pakistan." "Most of the Taliban's leaders were educated in Pakistan, in refugee camps where they had fled with millions of other Afghans after the Soviet invasion. Pakistan's Jami'at-e 'Ulema-e Islam (JUI) political party provided welfare services, education, and military training for refugees in many of these camps. They also established religious schools in the Deobandi tradition. The Deobandi tradition originated as a reform movement in British India with the aim of rejuvenating Islamic society in a colonial state, and remained prevalent in Pakistan after the partition from India. The Deobandi schools in Afghan refugee camps, however, are often run by inexperienced and semi-literate mullahs. In addition, funds and scholarships provided by Saudi Arabia during the occupation brought the schools' curricula closer to the conservative Wahhabi tradition. Ties between the Taliban and these schools remain strong: when the Taliban were defeated in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif one of Pakistan's largest religious schools shut down for a month and sent thousands of students to Afghanistan as reinforcements." "While the Taliban present themselves as a reform movement, they have been criticized by Islamic scholars as being poorly educated in Islamic law and history, with scholarly writing and debate. Their implementation of Islamic law seems to be a combination of Wahhabi orthodoxy and tribal custom (i.e., the all-covering burka made mandatory for all Afghan women)." "While the Taliban are made up mostly of Sunni Muslim Pashtuns (also referred to as Pathans), the Northern Alliance includes Tajiks, Ha-zara, Uzbeks, and Turkmen. The Hazara, and some other smaller ethnic groups, are Shiites. The Ismaili community, which suffered in Taliban-occupied areas, also supports the Northern Alliance. Although the Taliban called for a negotiated end to the civil war, they continued to mount new offensives. In September 2001, the leader of the Northern Alliance, Commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, died from wounds suffered in a suicide bombing, allegedly carried out by al-Qaeda, a terrorist organization with close ties to the Taliban." "The Taliban regime faced international scrutiny and condemnation for its policies. Only Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates recognized the Taliban as Afghanistan's legitimate government. After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the U.S., Saudi Arabia and the UAE cut diplomatic ties with the Taliban. The Taliban allowed terrorist organizations to run training camps in their territory and, from 1994 to at least 2001, provided refuge for Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda organization. The relationship between the Taliban and bin Laden is close, even familial—bin Laden fought with the mujahideen, has financed the Taliban, and has reportedly married one of his daughters to Mullah Muhammad Omar. The United Nations Security Council passed two resolutions, UNSCR 1267 (1999) and 1333 (2000), demanding that the Taliban cease their support for terrorism and hand over bin Laden for trial. The Taliban recognized the need for international ties but wavered between cooperation—they claimed to have drastically cut opium production in July 2000—and defiance—they pointedly ignored international pleas not to destroy the 2000-year-old Buddhist statues of Bamian. However, they made no effort to curb terrorist activity within Afghanistan, a policy that ultimately led to their undoing." "Even after their ouster, the Taliban's brand of radicalism threatens to destabilize other countries in the region including Iran, China, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan. The Taliban's relationship with Pakistan is especially problematic. A high percentage of the Taliban are ethnic Pashtuns; Pashtuns are a sizable community in Pakistan and dominate the Pakistani military. Public support for the Taliban runs very high in the Pashtun North-West Frontier province where pro-Taliban groups have held uprisings and sought to emulate Taliban practices by performing public executions and oppressing women." "In September, 2001, the U.S. placed significant pressure on the Taliban to turn over bin Laden and al-Qaeda in response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. On October 7, after the Taliban refused to give up bin Laden, the US began bombing Taliban military sites and aiding the Northern Alliance. By November 21, the Taliban had lost Kabul and by December 9 had been completely routed. An interim government was agreed upon by representatives of Afghanis-tan's various factions during talks held in Bonn, Germany. On December 22, 2001, Hamid Karzai, an Afghan tribal leader, was sworn in as interim chairman of the government. Karzai initially supported the Taliban and is respected by many former Taliban leaders. In January 2002, the Taliban recognized the interim government." "In 2003, after the United States shifted its military efforts to fighting the war in Iraq, attacks on American-led forces intensified as the Taliban and al-Qaeda began to regroup. President Hamid Karzai's hold on power remained tenuous, as entrenched warlords continued to exert regional control. Remarkably, however, Afghanistan's first democratic presidential elections in Oct. 2004 were a success. Ten million Afghans, more than a third of the country, registered to vote, including more than 40% of eligible women.

Last edited by George L. Singleton; 02-08-2007 at 07:51 PM.
George L. Singleton is offline  
Old 02-09-2007   #9
George L. Singleton
Former Member
 
George L. Singleton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: South of Mason Dixon Line
Posts: 498
Default Modern history of Taliban/al Qaida

Copied from khyberwatch.com
#1 10-13-2006, 05:09 PM
MandoKhail
Posts: 1,650
Intresting letter fm Frontier Post
Karzai a positive Pashtun
George L. Singleton USA GSingle556@aol.com
The era of disinformation and the equivalent of the Hitler "big lie" technique are underway in a growing series of letters from some recent letter writers. "Name calling" is senseless and I will not deal with that. Rather, let's look at just some hard facts that are publicly known and cannot be successfully lied about. 1. Former Afghan King Habiullah Khan proclaimed, “I am from the tribe of Benjamin.” This tribe is of our common religious heritage and is a good, positive statement. Remember, we are a civil, not a religious society in America. We practice absolute separation of church and state, despite liers using the term "Crusaders or Crusade", which is pure bunk. 2. Taliban feminist or feminism as I have used the term of late in this good newspaper means, to me, harsh, mean hearted, unkind, and supporting of terrible and criminal actions by Taliban who falsely claim to act "in the name of religion" as if their faith "drives them to murder and mayhem" inflicted on innocent, reasonable other Muslims and those of other faith systems. 3. The following quotes can be found on the Internet and are a few of the many accurate and true images and facts of and about the radical, heretical Taliban thugs and murderers: http://www.infoplease.com/spot/taliban.html "The Taliban ("Students of Islamic Knowledge Movem-ent") ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001. They came to power during Afghanistan's long civil war. Although they managed to hold 90% of the country's territory, their policies—including their treatment of women and support of terrorists—ostracized them from the world community. The Taliban was ousted from power in December 2001 by the U.S. military and Afghani opposition forces in response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the U.S." "In late 1994, a group of well-trained Taliban were chosen by Pakistan to protect a convoy trying to open a trade route from Pakistan to Central Asia. They proved an able force, fighting off rival mujahideen and warlords. The Taliban then went on to take the city of Kandahar, beginning a surprising advance that ended with their capture of Kabul in September 1996." "Many Afghans, weary of conflict and anarchy, were relieved to see corrupt and often brutal warlords replaced by the devout Taliban, who had some success in eliminating corruption, restoring peace, and allowing commerce to resume. The Taliban, under the direction of Mullah Muhammad Omar, brought about this order through the institution of a very strict interpretation of Sharia, or Islamic law. Public executions and punishments (such as floggings) became regular events at Afghan soccer stadiums. Frivolous activities, like kite-flying, were outlawed. In order to root out "non-Islamic" influence, television, music, and the Internet were banned. Men were required to wear beards, and subjected to beatings if they didn't." "Most shocking to the West was the Taliban's treatment of women. When the Taliban took Kabul, they immediately forbade girls to go to school. Moreover, women were barred from working outside the home, precipitating a crisis in healthcare and education. Women were also prohibited from leaving their home without a male relative—those that did so risked being beaten, even shot, by officers of the "ministry for the protection of virtue and prevention of vice." A woman caught wearing fingernail polish may have had her fingertips chopped off. All this, according to the Taliban, was to safeguard women and their honor." "In contrast to their strict beliefs, the Taliban profited from smuggling operations (primarily electronics) and opium cultivation. Eventually they bowed to international pressure and cracked down on cultivation and by July 2000 were able to claim that they had cut world opium production by two-thirds. Unfortunately, the crackdown on opium also abruptly deprived thousands of Afgh-ans of their only source of income which opium growing and trade is recorded in history back to the time of the Egyptian pharaohs. Although the Taliban managed to re-unite most of Afghanistan, they were unable to end the civil war. Nor did they improve the conditions in cities, where access to food, clean water, and employment actually declined during their rule. A continuing drought and a very harsh winter (2000–2001) brought famine and increased the flow of refugees to Pakistan." "Most of the Taliban's leaders were educated in Pakistan, in refugee camps where they had fled with millions of other Afghans after the Soviet invasion. Pakistan's Jami'at-e 'Ulema-e Islam (JUI) political party provided welfare services, education, and military training for refugees in many of these camps. They also established religious schools in the Deobandi tradition. The Deobandi tradition originated as a reform movement in British India with the aim of rejuvenating Islamic society in a colonial state, and remained prevalent in Pakistan after the partition from India. The Deobandi schools in Afghan refugee camps, however, are often run by inexperienced and semi-literate mullahs. In addition, funds and scholarships provided by Saudi Arabia during the occupation brought the schools' curricula closer to the conservative Wahhabi tradition. Ties between the Taliban and these schools remain strong: when the Taliban were defeated in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif one of Pakistan's largest religious schools shut down for a month and sent thousands of students to Afghanistan as reinforcements." "While the Taliban present themselves as a reform movement, they have been criticized by Islamic scholars as being poorly educated in Islamic law and history, with scholarly writing and debate. Their implementation of Islamic law seems to be a combination of Wahhabi orthodoxy and tribal custom (i.e., the all-covering burka made mandatory for all Afghan women)." "While the Taliban are made up mostly of Sunni Muslim Pashtuns (also referred to as Pathans), the Northern Alliance includes Tajiks, Ha-zara, Uzbeks, and Turkmen. The Hazara, and some other smaller ethnic groups, are Shiites. The Ismaili community, which suffered in Taliban-occupied areas, also supports the Northern Alliance. Although the Taliban called for a negotiated end to the civil war, they continued to mount new offensives. In September 2001, the leader of the Northern Alliance, Commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, died from wounds suffered in a suicide bombing, allegedly carried out by al-Qaeda, a terrorist organization with close ties to the Taliban." "The Taliban regime faced international scrutiny and condemnation for its policies. Only Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates recognized the Taliban as Afghanistan's legitimate government. After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the U.S., Saudi Arabia and the UAE cut diplomatic ties with the Taliban. The Taliban allowed terrorist organizations to run training camps in their territory and, from 1994 to at least 2001, provided refuge for Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda organization. The relationship between the Taliban and bin Laden is close, even familial—bin Laden fought with the mujahideen, has financed the Taliban, and has reportedly married one of his daughters to Mullah Muhammad Omar. The United Nations Security Council passed two resolutions, UNSCR 1267 (1999) and 1333 (2000), demanding that the Taliban cease their support for terrorism and hand over bin Laden for trial. The Taliban recognized the need for international ties but wavered between cooperation—they claimed to have drastically cut opium production in July 2000—and defiance—they pointedly ignored international pleas not to destroy the 2000-year-old Buddhist statues of Bamian. However, they made no effort to curb terrorist activity within Afghanistan, a policy that ultimately led to their undoing." "Even after their ouster, the Taliban's brand of radicalism threatens to destabilize other countries in the region including Iran, China, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan. The Taliban's relationship with Pakistan is especially problematic. A high percentage of the Taliban are ethnic Pashtuns; Pashtuns are a sizable community in Pakistan and dominate the Pakistani military. Public support for the Taliban runs very high in the Pashtun North-West Frontier province where pro-Taliban groups have held uprisings and sought to emulate Taliban practices by performing public executions and oppressing women." "In September, 2001, the U.S. placed significant pressure on the Taliban to turn over bin Laden and al-Qaeda in response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. On October 7, after the Taliban refused to give up bin Laden, the US began bombing Taliban military sites and aiding the Northern Alliance. By November 21, the Taliban had lost Kabul and by December 9 had been completely routed. An interim government was agreed upon by representatives of Afghanis-tan's various factions during talks held in Bonn, Germany. On December 22, 2001, Hamid Karzai, an Afghan tribal leader, was sworn in as interim chairman of the government. Karzai initially supported the Taliban and is respected by many former Taliban leaders. In January 2002, the Taliban recognized the interim government." "In 2003, after the United States shifted its military efforts to fighting the war in Iraq, attacks on American-led forces intensified as the Taliban and al-Qaeda began to regroup. President Hamid Karzai's hold on power remained tenuous, as entrenched warlords continued to exert regional control. Remarkably, however, Afghanistan's first democratic presidential elections in Oct. 2004 were a success. Ten million Afghans, more than a third of the country, registered to vote, including more than 40% of eligible women.
George L. Singleton is offline  
Closed Thread

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 04:49 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9. ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Registered Users are solely responsible for their messages.
Operated by, and site design © 2005-2009, Small Wars Foundation