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When The Taliban Were The Good Guys

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

Unless you are of a certain vintage or a student of modern history, you will probably not have realised this, but at one time, the Taliban, or their precursors, were on “our side”.

The word Taleban – spelt thus – appeared in the London Times for the first time on February 11, 1995. The article on page 12 reported that the Afghan student movement – which is what it was originally – had captured Maidan Shahr, a provincial capital. The Taliban’s origins can be traced to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. On December 24,  1979, the Soviet Army invaded, meeting with little resistance; a Soviet puppet regime was installed. This resulted in a counter-insurgency with the Mujahideen – which means roughly jihadists, a word that is a lot more popular and has acquired a sinister tone. There was also a mass exodus, mainly to Pakistan.

The British Communist Party claimed the Soviets had been invited in, but no intelligent person was deceived by such rhetoric. Unsurprisingly, the invasion also increased tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States. Afghan fighters even visited the President. In 1987, the Mujahideen leader Mohammad Yunus Khalis was granted an audience with Ronald Reagan in the Oval Office.

The invasion of Afghanistan was the Kremlin’s Vietnam, vastly unpopular with ordinary Russians, but of course few in positions of power will ever admit they are wrong. In May 1988, the Soviets began withdrawing from the country, but when Mikhail Gorbachev became leader in March 1985, he instituted his own, quiet  revolution, which included improving relations with the West, and which resulted eventually in the destruction of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, and the collapse of the Soviet Union two years later.

The Soviets began withdrawing from Afghanistan in May 1988 and finished the following February. This created a power vacuum which resulted in a civil war that lasted from 1992 to 1996. This power vacuum was eventually filled by the American occupation, and has now been filled again by the Taliban, which was founded in 1994 by Mullah Omar who had fought heroically with the Mujahideen against the Soviets being wounded no fewer than four times. Omar was accused of complicity in the 9/11 attacks, albeit after the fact. The American Government put a ten million dollar reward on his head, but he died from natural causes in hiding in 2013.

Leaving aside the Mediaeval brand of Islam practised by the Taliban, the important question is how did these at one time heroes become our enemies, and would they have taken this path if the West hadn’t gone mad after the day the world changed?

As Donald Trump pointed out way back in 2016, the United States spent countless billions of dollars destroying the infrastructure of distant lands, yet couldn’t build a border wall to keep its own citizens safe. While homelessness is burgeoning in what some claim is still the richest country on Earth, untold sums of money were and still are being squandered on making people hate us.

The Biden non-plan of withdrawal from Afghanistan is a total disaster, but after getting out every single American and considering asylum applications for those who served the American occupation faithfully, America should get out. If the Taliban do commit atrocities against their own people, if they do violate human rights and civil liberties, let the United Nations or Pakistan sort it out, better still, China. If Xi Jinping and his gang really are determined to surpass America as the number one superpower, let them do so at the same price: spending billions on foreign aid and occupations. And being hated for it.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

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Julie
Julie
August 23, 2021

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Last edited 9 months ago by Julie
Caty
Caty
Reply to  Julie
August 23, 2021

The British Communist Party claimed the Soviets had been invited in, but no intelligent person was deceived by such rhetoric. Unsurprisingly, the invasion also increased tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States. Afghan fighters even visited the President. In 1987, the Mujahideen leader Mohammad Yunus Khalis was granted an audience with Ronald Reagan in the Oval Office. The invasion of Afghanistan was the Kremlin’s Vietnam, vastly unpopular with ordinary Russians, but of course few in positions of power will ever admit they are wrong. In May 1988, the Soviets began withdrawing from the country, but when Mikhail Gorbachev… Read more »

Bob Valdez
Bob Valdez
August 23, 2021

Utter rubbish.

Sean
Sean
August 23, 2021

The Soviet army did not invade Afghanistan. It was there at the invitation of the Afghan government.

jdd
jdd
August 23, 2021

Dark Man’s history is a bit sketchy. US involvement in support of Islamic jihadists preceded the Soviet invasion. The funding of radical Islamic groups had begun earlier in the later 1970’s through Pakistan’s ISI which then funneled funds to the insurgents. That was being done with the explicit intention of inducing the Soviets into what Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter’s controller, said was to “give the USSR its Vietnam” and to “make the Soviets bleed for as much and as long as possible.” The US went into full and open support for the mujahideen following the Soviet invasion on Dec. 24,… Read more »

dcastle
dcastle
Reply to  jdd
August 23, 2021

That is pretty much the way I remember it. The Taliban were welcomed as heroes for killing drug manufacturers and there was no USG concern for women losing their status.
Thank you.

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DeloresOwens
August 23, 2021

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Last edited 8 months ago by DeloresOwens
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August 24, 2021

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Last edited 8 months ago by Enge1976

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