With the humiliating defeat of Uncle Sam and the cowardly departure of the Afghan President, the Taliban is going to announce an interim government shortly. It has been a swift and relatively peaceful takeover of control by the Taliban and nobody needs to fear retaliation or revenge in this regard. No need to evacuate embassy staff or other foreigners from Afghanistan either. The Taliban spokesman has issued the following guaranty:
"We assure all diplomats, embassies, consulates, and charitable workers, whether they are international or national that not only no problem will be created for them on the part of IEA but a secure environment will be provided to them, Inshallah."
Background image is courtesy of AP, modified by me.
Is liberation the right word? Afghan women were hiding indoors as the Taliban came in to Kabul, fearful what violent misogynistic horror they will bring. Remember the Taliban killing girls and mothers for having an education? Monstrous and inexcusable. Cultural difference is one thing, shooting a girl in the head for having an education is almost universally unacceptable. This isn’t a defense of US intervention in Afghanistan, just pointing out that much of Afghanistan and much of the world views, including the Islamic world, view the Taliban as, well frankly evil. Liberation is so the wrong word. Using the word ‘liberation’ almost implies support for them taking over.
You could say ‘it is none of our business’. Personally I believe in a common humanity. That means calling out evil and helping people in the face of evil. ‘For evil to triumph, it takes good people to do nothing’ (that does not automatically mean support for military interventions).
I largely agree with you and I'm no fan of radical Islam either. The title was solely meant to be the liberation from the 20-year long occupation by the US and NATO forces. It's also important to note that the Taliban has been demonised by the corporate media to a sometimes extreme extent. Some of the horrible crimes we have heard of have been conducted by individual fighters, and was not approved by the Taliban leadership. I took some notes from the press conference the other day:
- We had legitimate right to liberate the country.
- Pardoning all who have fought against us.
- We want no external or internal enemies.
- Strong Islamic and inclusive government.
- Assures security in Kabul.
- Assures embassies of security.
- We want no chaos or inconvenience in Kabul.
- Assures security for all neighbouring countries.
- Assures international community that no country will be harmed from Afghan soil.
- Rights for women within framework of Sharia. Education, working etc allowed.
- Will build infrastructure for Afghan economy.
- Asks international community to contribute.
- Assures media activity. Can continue to report, but nothing against Islamic values.
Whether they will stick to these promises or not; the future will soon tell. It's also important to note that the Taliban belongs to the largest tribal or ethnic group in Afghanistan — the Pashtun (about 60 million people), so in an upcoming referendum or election they will stand quite strong.
Rights for women within framework of Sharia... that is an interesting one. It is almost loaded with what it does not say. I think the Pashtun point is moot, as the Taliban ideology is not an Afghan one. I think the conference was totally aimed at a foreign audience It was PR. Being old enough to remember Afghanistan from the Soviet days, and watching the misery of Afghanistan over 30 odd years, trust me, the media did not have to do much exaggerating. I am very fearful for what happens next, it would be a miracle if this was a new dawn, but based on the reality of their 25 year existence and reports now of the Taliban arresting opponents and going door to door for reprisals and threatening families of their wanted. If those points are true, and they have come from different sources, that is points 2 and 3 broken straight away within days. Leopards don't change their spots.
I have read about those reprisals too, but since they come from unverified sources, I'll take them with a grain of salt. We can only wait and see what the future Afghanistan will be like. Internal unity will be extremely hard to achieve. The Afghan tribal maze is like a jigsaw puzzle. What the Taliban may realistically achieve is a loose confederation of tribes and ethnic groups under a Taliban emir. But at least they are now free from any foreign intervention and control.
Am I reading you correctly you are putting more weight on the Taliban's press conference than everything else we know about the Taliban, now and in the past? Reports continue from the UN, human rights groups and from sources in Pakistan, I'll give more credence to that than anything from the Taliban. I don't think there is any doubt, and based on the Taliban's history and ideology, it can only rule through fear and violence. I think anyone honestly looking at them will see, fear and violence is who they are to the core.
You've got to put weight on what the rulers of the country say and what they do, but that doesn't mean that I sympathize with the Taliban. I think you can compare the current situation in Afghanistan to the Islamic revolution in Iran back in the late 70s. There will be strict Sharia laws, but apart from that, life will go on in much the same way as it did before. Except for one important thing: Afghanistan is no longer occupied by western military forces.
You have also got to look at what the Taliban did during their period in power, what they did in the areas they controlled post-2001, what they do in Taliban controlled areas in Pakistan, and what their ideology is about... and that has far more weight than what they are saying now to the international community, far more weight than a PR exercise. It will be worse than just 'strict sharia laws', their history and ideology is about violent oppression. As I mentioned before, it is not even an Afghan but a foreign ideology if you like. You may not sympathize with the Taliban, that is welcome to hear. Understating who they are though can be indirect sympathizing, excusing or legitimizing.
So, what do you want to do about it? Another military invasion of the Graveyard of Empires? Or should we just nuke the whole country back to the Stone Age? I'm curious, because it sounds like you're having a magic solution up your sleeve that nobody else have thought of.
Why are you trying to make the horrible monsters that seized control of a country look like decent human beings? These very same leaders allow for raped women to be executed by stoning while calling them whores, murder innocent people who only helped people communicate, and are causing thousands of people to flee in terror.
By the way, if the Afghani President didn't flee they likely would have strung him up.
People in the Middle East live in a different culture with different ethics and moral values than ours. You've got to accept that whether you like it or not. And at least the Taliban has earned my respect for being able to defeat the biggest state-sponsored terrorist organisation in the world and liberated their country after 20 years of illegal occupation. Whatever happens after that, is entirely up to the Afghan people and nobody else should interfere in these matters.
Afghanistan is truly the 'Graveyard of Empires' and now Uncle Sam has learned that lesson too.
If you don’t respect the US for causing chaos, why respect Taliban car bombs in markets, beheading prisoners and taking girls as sex slaves?
Afghanistan has many conservative aspects (actually, it also had a reputation as a diverse and open society, at least until the Soviet invasion), but the Taliban is not Afghan culture, it is a relatively recently created ideology of oppression and violence. Which is why many Afghans are scared right now. If you are glad the US has been ‘defeated’, fine, but the Taliban do not believe in a common diverse humanity and I cannot see a reason to respect that.
This isn't about the people of Afghanistan having different ethics or morals, this is about a group of religious radicals that willingly target innocent civilians. The fact that you're willing to defend horrible monsters that try to destroy nations and ruin the lives of innocent people speaks widely about your own morals. Also, "biggest state-sponsored terrorist organization" the United States military provides peace for dozens of countries that are incapable of defending themselves from larger, expansionist neighbors. Also, a religious hegemon just toppled a democratic government and will enforce their agenda upon people who did not choose them as leaders.
You're entitled to your opinion, but I don't share your admiration for the American war machine. No other nation has brought more chaos, destruction and mayhem to other countries than the US in modern time. Sorry to disagree, but I think you need to take your own moral up for a serious revision.