Skip to comments.Taliban, Clinton, Saudi Involvement - All laid out in a book published in 2000 (from USMC.MIL site)
Posted on 01/31/2003 2:49:24 PM PST by chance33_98
D. Kabul 1996: Commander of the Faithful
· 4 April 1996 Omar appeared on rooftop wrapped in the Cloak of the Prophet Mohammed. Omar thus assumed the right to lead not just all Afghans but all Muslims. No Afghan had adopted the title since 1834.
· Clinton Administration was sympathetic to the Taliban as they were in line with Washingtons anti-Iran policy and were important for the success of any southern pipeline from Central Asia that would avoid Iran. Bhutto sent several emissaries to urge the US to intervene more publicly on the side of the Taliban and Pakistan, but Washington resisted.
· Sept 1996 Taliban took Kabul and tortured, castrated, and hung President Najibullah. Despite enormous losses in taking Kabul, Taliban prestige had never been higher. The cost of the victory however was the deepening ethnic and sectarian divide that was clearly dividing the country and polarizing the region.
2. Book Summary:
· Vast majority of Taliban never fought the Soviets and were young Koranic students, drawn from hundreds of madrassas in Pakistani refugee camps.
· Came rapidly to the forefront in 1994.
· The Pashtun Taliban has brought the question of inter-ethnic relations to the forefront.
· Understanding the Taliban is difficult because of the secrecy that surrounds their political structure, their leadership and the decision-making process. They do not issue press releases, policy statements or hold regular press conferences. With the ban on photography and television, nobody knows what the leaders look like. (Recent events have provided some new insights).
· Iran, Turkey, India, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan have backed anti-Taliban Northern Alliance. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have backed the Taliban.
· Competition between Western oil companies and regional states has become the new Great Game.
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Until the Africa bombings and despite US pressure to end their support for the Taliban, the Saudis continued to fund the Taliban and were silent on the need to extradite OBL. The truth about the Saudi silence was even more complicated. The Saudis preferred to leave OBL alone in Afghanistan because his trial by the Americans could expose the deep relationship that OBL continued to have with sympathetic members of the Royal Family and elements within Saudi intelligence, which could prove deeply embarrassing.
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The Clinton Administration was desperately looking for a diversion as it wallowed through the Monica Lewinsky affair and needed an all-purpose, simple explanation for unexplained terrorist acts. OBL became the center of what was promulgated by Washington as a global conspiracy against the US. What Washington was not prepared to admit was that the Afghan jihad, with the support of the CIA, had spawned dozens of fundamentalist movements across the Muslim world which were led by militants who had grievances, not so much against the Americans, but their own corrupt, incompetent regimes. As early as 19992-93 Egyptian and Algerian leaders at the highest level had advised Washington to re-engage diplomatically in Afghanistan in order to bring about peace so as to end the presence of the Arab-Afghans. Washington ignored the warnings and continued to ignore Afghanistan even as the civil war there escalated.
Taliban, Ahmed Rashid
(2000, Yale Univ Press, New Haven, CT)
[ISBN 0-300-08902-3]; 216 pages
As we say on FR - Interesting...
If war continues in Afghanistan, Pakistan will face a Taliban-style Islamic revolution, which will further destabilize the entire region. Iran will remain on the periphery of the world community and its western borders will continue to be wracked by instability. The CARs will not be able to deliver their energy and mineral exports by the shortest routes and as their economies crash, they will face an Islamic upsurge and instability.
Also worth noting: Submitted by: LtCol Noel Williams, PP&O, Strategic Initiatives Group
For me it is not about blaming America, it is an examination of our policies and particulary those of the Clinton times.
To say the US has made mistakes is not wrong, to say we are to blame for the things that occured (like 9/11) is just plain stupid. I am all for understanding that region of the world and how we can better model policy which suits our needs - and the best way to do that is look at what has not worked. We need stability there, whitewashing the past will not help us in the future.
A main aim in posting this for me was all those lurkers who make clinton out to be a saint and whine about Bush and oil. They blame 9/11 on bush, terrorism on bush, etc. By their own arguments they should be able to see here that 8 years of Clinton ravaged our foreign policy, Give Bush a chance to undo the damage.