War In Afghanistan || How The World Is Glossing Over Afghanistan
Hardly a day goes by without someone from Afghanistan and reporting on the situation on the ground full of fear and horror. As bad as it has been in a long time, that is a phrase that is often used. Cruel and gloomy, these are also frequent words from Afghan friends, acquaintances and people. All over the country there is fighting and killing, they say. There are battles in all regions, thousands of people are on the run, many are heading for Europe. Afghanistan is closer than ever to peace.
The entry of international troops into Afghanistan under the leadership of the USA after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 may be viewed critically — the withdrawal at this point in time is tantamount to a catastrophe. It is a surrender to the Taliban , which they wanted to defeat and drive out at the time because they had housed those responsible for the attacks — the Al-Qaeda terror network — and were their siblings in spirit.
A translator from Herat that his hometown is completely surrounded by the Taliban. It is only a matter of time before they take the second largest city in the country after the capital Kabul. “May Allah then be with us and protect us from these people,” writes the man. It doesn’t look any better in other cities, many towns have already been taken. In the north, in the previous area of activity of the Bundeswehr, largely ruled by the Taliban, says a former hotel owner in Kunduz, who is now packing his things and wants to make his way to Turkey to get to safety. Afghan troops, who hold out in encircled places across the country, can hardly count on outside help. In the past four weeks, more than 1,000 Afghan soldiers have fled to neighboring Tajikistan to avoid being massacred.
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Corpses are on public display
While the Taliban in Qatar are promising at the negotiating table these days that they will bring about peace and “solve problems through dialogue” when they are back in power, and assure all sorts of countries — the US , China, Pakistan, Iran — of they do not pose a threat to the international community, and at the same time do not hesitate long in Afghanistan to show their true colors.
A few days ago they publicly shot police officers to demonstrate what they thought of the current government under President Ashraf Ghani and its institutions, namely nothing. After a skirmish with soldiers, they publicly executed their prisoners. This week, Nazar Mohammad, a Kandahar comedian known in Afghanistan under the name Khasha Zwan, was kidnapped and later murdered by the Taliban — they filmed the moment of his kidnapping and posted the video online. In the Malistan region, writes a friend, the Taliban murdered two brothers and turned up the next day at the grieving family to eat their fill at the memorial service. Contacts from several places tell me that the Taliban are wandering the streets and reprimanding men whose beards are not long enough.
An Afghan diplomat lists what the Taliban were doing in the areas they ruled these days: “Arbitrary executions, the bodies are on public display. The hands and feet of young people who are out at night are chopped off. Women are whipped and stoned, just like that . Displacement of more than 270,000 civilians from their homes. Destruction of schools and hospitals, power and radio masts, roads and bridges.” They are not interested in the fact that this approach harms the country — they are only interested in demonstrating power, spreading fear and intimidating the people. “Nobody should dare to say that they are against the Taliban.”
So it is only a matter of time before the Taliban win place after place and finally take power across the country. That may happen this year, maybe not until the next. Kandahar, the city in which the Taliban first appeared in 1994 with their leader Mullah Omar, is also surrounded and probably taken in the next few weeks. That would be symbolic, as would the capture of Tora Bora, where the caves are where Osama bin Laden was hiding when the international troops invaded in 2001, and from where he fled to Pakistan.
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Nevertheless, almost the entire world acts as if the development in Afghanistan were inevitable, somehow the desire of the Afghan people and therefore accepted. This is fueled by some Afghans, some of them living in Afghanistan and some in western countries themselves, who claim, especially on social media, that the Taliban are “an essential part of the Afghan people” and that those who disagree have either not understood Afghanistan or have not have no idea about democracy and maintain a “western, colonialist view” of their country. Individual freedom and liberalism are “Western concepts” and should not be applied to Afghan society; one should “not impose a western lifestyle on Afghans”. That human rights apply universally,
The US has lost interest
But the international community accepts the Taliban and the arguments used to justify them — for different reasons.
The USA has lost the war in Afghanistan, but above all its interest in Afghanistan, because: For the time being, there is no longer any danger for it from there. Interest began to crumble back in 2011 after American units killed Osama bin Laden. The goal of eliminating the mastermind behind the terror of September 11th was achieved. The deployment of US soldiers in Afghanistan, around 2,500 of whom lost their lives, as well as the deployment of billions of US dollars, became increasingly difficult to justify. America would only get involved again if the Taliban posed a threat to the United States or its interests.
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The USA had already lost interest once — and thus created the basis for the Taliban. In the 1980s, after the Red Army invaded Afghanistan in December 1979, the United States provided the Pakistani military dictator General Zia ul-Haq with money and weapons so that he could train and arm warriors and infiltrate Afghanistan to fight the Soviets. The plan worked: the Russians lost the war and withdrew from Afghanistan ten years later, in 1989. The Americans no longer cared about the region or the fighters — and part of these so-called mujahideen emerged into the Taliban, which conquered Kabul in 1996 and took power in Afghanistan for the first time.
China, the powerful neighbor to the north, only has its strategic advantages in mind. China did not participate militarily, although it should have an interest in stability and security in the region. But Afghanistan is rich in raw materials that China needs for its production. China’s economic involvement in Afghanistan in recent years is therefore remarkable. The fact that those who have been left with the military are withdrawing is viewed critically: The US has “violated its responsibility and obligations by its hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan,” said the Chinese Foreign Ministry. “The US is leaving behind disorder and turmoil for the Afghan people and neighboring countries.”
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But they promptly come to terms with the future rulers — and court the Taliban. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi invited a nine-member Taliban delegation this week and assured them that they are ready to work with a Taliban government, provided that it is committed to the goal of peace and is “inclusive,” giving Afghans a say in politics one that is not close to the Taliban.
Neighboring Pakistan has been playing a dangerous double game for decades: On the one hand, it is fighting the Taliban in its own country, who, in view of the military successes of their Afghan brothers, have announced that they will again conquer regions of Pakistan along the border with Afghanistan and “make them independent”. Pakistan has suffered hundreds of Taliban attacks in the past few years, with thousands dead. On the other hand, Pakistan allows the Taliban to take control of areas in Pakistan and disempower the state there. Pakistan has also regularly supported the Taliban in Afghanistan, in the hope that they will represent Pakistani interests there — in contrast to various warlords who have received support from India and are by no means more pleasant than the Taliban.
Pakistan denies supporting the Taliban, but has announced that it will of course accept an Afghan government with the participation of the Taliban. Its highest decision-making body, the Quetta Shura, is named after the Pakistani city where it met for years. The government in Islamabad has already agreed to open the border with the shadow governor of the Taliban in Kandahar province.
Everyone, whether Germany or the USA or China or Pakistan, fits the talk that the recapture of Afghanistan by the Taliban is inevitable and, moreover, desired by the Afghans and therefore to be accepted and not so bad at all. So you can go on doing business, deporting yourself, shirking responsibility, waging proxy wars. But if you look at Afghanistan these days, you will see that the story, the Afghans couldn’t help but want the Taliban back in power, is one thing above all.
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Originally published at https://zaviews.blogspot.com.