Taliban at the gates of Kabul, Taliban in Kabul? No, the Taliban have been back in the presidential palace since 15 August 2021. “The war is over,” a Taliban spokesman announced immediately. The US puppet Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, equipped with a US passport, has fled. The thoroughly corrupt puppet regime, made up of American and Euro-Afghans in a coalition with compliant warlords, has capitulated. The Taliban, driven out by the USA and NATO in 2001, have taken power again in the Hindu Kush. This is the biggest defeat of the USA after its historic disaster in Vietnam. It is also a defeat for the self-proclaimed “international community” consisting of NATO countries. As a result of their intervention and as a parting gift, these Western powers have handed over a Taliban regime to the Afghans.
In the last four weeks, as the Taliban have advanced, the Afghan National Army (ANA) and the newly formed People’s Militias have, for the most part, surrendered without a fight. The ANA soldiers, who were supposed to be well trained and equipped by NATO countries, no longer saw the point of sacrificing themselves for a regime that was deployed and controlled from abroad. The ANA soldiers and also the officers of the lower and middle ranks have in some cases not received their pay for up to six months. The 4.1 billion US dollars a year that flowed into Kabul from abroad to supply and finance the ANA ended up in the pockets of the upper administrators and officers.
The Taliban of today are not the Taliban of 1996 or 2001, when they were led by the so-called village mullahs (clerics). The current Taliban leaders have graduated from Pakistani theological colleges. They have learnt not only military combat strategy but also diplomacy and politics. They made a treaty commitment to the US to withdraw its army from Afghanistan in February 2020 in the Qatari capital Doha. That was the treaty surrender of a superpower. Now the Taliban want to rule Afghanistan. They know that even the Afghanistan of today is not the Afghanistan of 1996. A new generation has emerged, open and partly educated, that wants to live differently. The Taliban will have to take this into account if they want to rule the Hindu Kush in the long term. The signals in this regard point in that direction. When they took Kunduz a week ago, women from there told me that nothing had been done to them. In Kabul, they now check the cars, give the drivers a pass if they don't find any weapons, and then let them drive on. The shops are only partially open. People are going shopping without being harmed, as I heard directly from Kabul today, 16 August.
Since the surrender of the Kabul administration, government and senior administration officials, as well as American and Euro-Afghans, have been trying to leave the country. So have those people who have dollars. At Kabul airport, thousands of people are waiting for a chance to take off.
The Taliban have issued a statement that they need these professionals, they should stay in the country and help with the reconstruction. Those who worked with the foreign enemies and infidels should only regret it. Even before the capture of Kabul, Taliban delegations held talks in Moscow, Tehran and Beijing. They let it be known that no danger would emanate from Afghan soil for its neighbours. The Taliban want international recognition and all-round cooperation, especially on the economic level, to rebuild the country. China wants the southern route of its “Silk Road” to pass through Afghanistan. Both the Taliban and Afghanistan’s neighbours have a great interest in a stable Afghanistan. Now, that the foreign powers are gone and the corrupt administration has capitulated, there is hope for a peaceful country in the Hindu Kush. This is also the first and most important thing that the absolute majority of Afghans want. After 20 years of civil war and 20 years of NATO war, the Afghan peoples only long for peace! Let us wish and grant this for them. •
(Translation Current Concerns)
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