Many important persons have opined that the Taliban be given a chance to govern chaos-torn Afghanistan after President Ashraf Ghani fled the landlocked Asian country on Sunday, abandoning the presidential palace to Taliban fighters.
From Nigeria, Islamic human rights organisation, Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, was amongst those who stated this in a chat with The PUNCH on Tuesday.
According to him, the Taliban has learnt its lessons and be allowed to govern Afghanistan in as much as it would not walk the path of extremism and terrorism as it did 20 years ago before its dethronement by US forces.
The Professor of Islamic Eschatology at the Lagos State University also alleged that the United States deceived and used some Afghans to gain ground in the country, achieve its “nationalistic aim” of axing some Taliban leaders including Osama bin Laden and then abandon the locals.
Prof. Ishaq Akintola, accused America of fleeing the country after deceiving Afghans for 20 years.
He said, “America deceived Afghans by using them to dig in in Afghanistan. After invading Afghanistan, America remained there for 20 years with the support of some locals. Now, what have they (Afghans) gained from it?
Website Designing/Management/Social Media – Iyanu Victor
“America has no problem, it is its national interest as far as America is concerned.”
When asked whether he was in support of the takeover of the Taliban in Afghanistan, Akintola said, “Yes, I am in support. And I will explain. The Taliban are Afghanistans; it is their country, it is not America’s. Just as Nigerians have the right to be in their own country. They were driven to the countryside by American invading forces.
“Now, American forces have fled, that is the way to put it because that is exactly what they did. Biden just said America did not come into Afghanistan for nation-building; it is quite insulting and irritating. You fool a whole country for 20 years?
Certified French Tutor in Nigeria with Years of Experience – Ms Blessing Akpan
“While we support the return of the Taliban, we will not support extremism and terrorism in any form.
“When I talk about extremism, I am talking about the rights of women. The Taliban often infringe on the rights of women like denying them the right to education but Islam encourages education and the daughter of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) was a foremost educationist. She related the hadiths of the prophet after his passing. So, if women should not be educated, Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) would not have educated his own daughter.
“The fact that the Taliban discouraged women’s education was a minus for them but I believe they have learnt their lessons because their spokesman yesterday was talking about allowing women to go to school, allowing women to work because Islam encourages education and Islam does not condone idleness and they have the right to work and own properties.”
Phones/Laptops/CCTV Installations – iHouse
‘Ghani was corrupt, had no business remaining in power’
The don also said the ousted civilian president of Afghanistan was corrupt and had no business in government.
“Ghani was corrupt. Ghani and his cabinet were exploiting the Afghanis and America knew that the government was corrupt, yet it was supporting a corrupt government because it was not its skin that was being removed, it looked the other way.
“Ghani had no right remaining president particularly with the allegations of corruption levelled against him.
“What is left is for the Taliban to form a moderate government, an inclusive government that will not marginalise any section of the Afghanistan community. The Taliban must pursue moderation and eschew all acts of terrorism,” Akintola said.
Can the Taliban abandon terrorism, extremism?
When asked whether it was possible for the Taliban to pursue moderation and eschew extremism considering the fact that the militant group has been alleged to sponsor terrorism in some parts of the world including Africa, Akintola retorted, “I see your comments to be speaking from an impression, a past perspective that you hold about them. We are talking about a new Taliban, the future is what we should be looking at. We should give them a chance, in any case, we don’t have a chance; they’ve taken over. So, smearing their image and holding on to the propaganda of the West is not the best.”
Recall that, the Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, who has been accused of having links to terrorist groups, in his sermons in the 2000s prayed for “victory” for Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.
Pantami, who recently said he had denounced his allegiance to the Boko Haram, however, expressed support for the global extremist groups — the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
In one of his sermons in the 2000s, Pantami had prayed, saying, “This jihad is an obligation for every single believer, especially in Nigeria… Oh God, give victory to the Taliban and to al-Qaeda (Allahumma’ nṣur Ṭālibān wa-tanẓīm al Qā‘ida).
Also, in a 2019 academic document ‘Debating Boko Haram,’ Pantami had invited muslims, especially “Ahlus Sunna” (Salafis), to be sceptical of politicians and religious leaders calling for peace and understanding but they should retaliate with Jihad.
“This jihad is an obligation for every single believer, especially in Nigeria (hādhā jihād farḍ ‘ayn ‘ala kull Muslim wa-khuṣūṣan fī Nījīriyā),” he added.
Top journal publisher academia.edu published the research in March 2019, several months before Buhari tapped Pantami as a minister.
The speech, which is about 20 minutes long, concluded with the prayer, “Oh God, give victory to the Taliban and to al-Qaeda (Allahumma’ nṣur Ṭālibān wa-tanẓīm alQā‘ida).”
“During his speech, Pantami is in tears, and his voice is often broken by sighs. The genuineness of his emotional response to what was, without doubt, a dramatic episode in the history of violent conflict in Plateau state is obvious,” said the report.
In a second speech, delivered in 2006, Pantami offered his public condolences for the death of the leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, al-Zarqawi.
“May God have mercy on Aḥmad alFāḍil al-Khalayleh, raḥmatullāh’ alayhi. May God forgive his mistakes. He is a human being. He has certainly some mistakes in front of God, so may God forgive his mistakes. Who am I talking about? He is Abū Muṣ‘ab al-Zarqāwī.
“He was born in 1966 of the Christian era, that is forty years ago. […] After some time, he was given responsibility for a camp in Herat. It was the Commander of the Faithful (Amīr almu’minīn) Mollah Omar ‒ may God preserve him ‒ who personally gave him the authority to run this camp.”
The document noted Pantami as further saying, “To this date, in the community of the Prophet we have some awesome people, people of awesome faith, who follow the creed of the Sunna and thanks to whom the enemies of God are unable to find rest in this world.
“They have killed the Shaykh, the martyr Abdallah Yusuf Azzam ‒ may God have mercy on him ‒ but did the struggle end? They went on to strike Chechnya, and they killed many of them: did it end? […] Whenever one goes, another one comes, and he is even more awesome than the first,” Pantami added.
Also, Muaz Magaji, Chairman, Kano State Gas Pipeline Project Delivery and Gas Industrialisation Committee, has celebrated the victory of the Taliban terrorist group in Afghanistan, prayed for by Isa Pantami, minister of communications and digital economy.
Mr Magaji, who was first sacked for celebrating the death of the late Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, and later reappointed to his current position, described unfolding developments in Afghanistan as a win-win.
In a manner not dissimilar from minister of communications and digital economy, Isa Pantami, who openly declared support for the terrorist group, Mr Magaji said the Taliban taking over power in Afghanistan is a “win”.
“It’s a WIN- WIN in Afghanistan today!”
Mr Magaji becomes the second government official among members of the ruling All Progressive Congress party who will openly declare support and endorse a terrorist group.
On Sunday, Taliban militants retook Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital, hijacked power, forcing President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani to flee the country. About two decades after they were driven from Kabul by US troops. Before then, Taliban militants seized about 20 cities in the country following the withdrawal of US troops beginning in early July.
Taliban have broken ‘the shackles of slavery,’ says Pakistan PM Imran Khan
The Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan said that the Taliban are “breaking the chains of slavery,” inviting the wrath of locals trapped in Afghanistan.
His comments came a day after the Taliban took over Kabul and the presidential palace, prompting chaos and fear among the locals who fled to the international airport and several clung to the wheels of the departing US military aircraft.
One disturbing video that was circulated online showed a few men falling to their death as one of the evacuation planes took off.
During a ceremony launching the first phase of the single national curriculum across schools in Pakistan, Mr Khan said that adopting someone else’s culture was worse than actual slavery. He said: “When you adopt someone’s culture you believe it to be superior and you end up becoming a slave to it.”
He added: “You take over the other culture and become psychologically subservient. When that happens, please remember, it is worse than actual slavery. It is harder to throw off the chains of cultural enslavement.”
Mr Khan said of the Taliban in Afghanistan: “What is happening in Afghanistan now, they have broken the shackles of slavery.”
Two days ago, the former president of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani fled the country as the Taliban took over the capital. There was massive uncertainty in Kabul and other parts of the country with hundreds trying to flee the country.
Human remains were found in the wheel well of a US Air Force plane that departed from Kabul airport on Monday.
A picture of hundreds of desperate Afghan civilians crammed into a US Air Force cargo plane went viral online.
Activists were outraged that US military dogs and their handlers belonging to the US forces were evacuated even as thousands stormed the airport in an attempt to flee the Taliban regime. Pentagon officials confirmed US troops killed two armed men after they reportedly fired on US forces amid the mayhem.
The Afghan airspace has been closed for any commercial flights.
Meanwhile, one user commented on Mr Khan’s comments: “Playboy of yore years… this man has the cheek to talk about culture.”
Another commented: “Prime minister of Pakistan needs to go back to school to learn about Afghanistan’s history… misinformed I must say.”
China said on Monday that it is ready to develop “friendly relations” with the Taliban a day after the group completed its military takeover of the South Asian nation, AFP reported.
Reuters, quoting two anonymous sources, reported on Tuesday that Turkey has dropped plans to take over Kabul airport after US forces withdrawal from Afghanistan but is “ready to provide support if the Taliban request it.”
Who are the Taliban?
Sunday’s takeover of Kabul saw the civilian government led by President Ghani fleeing the country, saying that the Taliban have won, adding that he left to avoid bloodshed.
Formed in 1994, the Taliban were made up of ex-Afghan resistance fighters, known collectively as the Mujahedeen, who fought the invading Soviet forces in the 1980s. They imposed their interpretation of Islamic law on the country and resisted foreign influence.
The Taliban first captured Kabul in 1996 and the Sunni Islamist organization mandated women to wear head-to-toe coverings, women were also not allowed to study or work and were forbidden from travelling alone. TV, music and non-Islamic holidays were also banned.
That changed after September 11, 2001, when 19 men hijacked four commercial planes in the US, crashing two into the World Trade Center towers, one into the Pentagon, and another, destined for Washington, into a field in Pennsylvania. More than 2,700 people were killed in the attacks.
The attack was orchestrated by al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who operated from inside of Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. Less than a month after the attack, US and allied forces invaded Afghanistan, aiming to stop the Taliban from providing a safe-haven to al Qaeda — and to stop al Qaeda from using Afghanistan as a base of operations for terrorist activities.
In the two decades since they were ousted from power, the Taliban have been waging an insurgency against the allied forces and the US-backed Afghan government.
Who are the leaders?
The Taliban are led by Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada, a senior religious cleric from the Taliban’s founding generation.
He was named as the Taliban’s leader in 2016 after the group’s previous leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour was killed in a US airstrike in Pakistan.
At the time, Thomas Ruttig of the Afghanistan Analysts’ Network said the new Taliban leader might be able to “integrate the younger and more militant generation.”
Another key player is Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban co-founder, who was released in 2013 after being captured in 2010 in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city. Baradar heads the group’s political committee, and recently met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
US mission in Afghanistan was to get 9/11 attackers, not nation-building – Biden
In the 20 years since they were ousted from power, the Taliban, now led by Mawlawi Akhundzada, waged an insurgency against the allied forces and the US-backed Afghan government.
Speaking on Monday, incumbent US President Joe Biden said he stood by his decision to withdraw American forces from Afghanistan, adding that the troops cannot be dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight themselves.
Biden also stressed that the objective of the US under the then government of President George Bush had been fulfilled.
“We went to Afghanistan almost 20 years ago with clear goals: get those who attacked us on Sept. 11, 2001, and make sure Al Qaeda could not use Afghanistan as a base from which to attack us again. We did that. We severely degraded Al Qaeda and Afghanistan. We never gave up the hunt for Osama bin Laden and we got him,” he stated at a presidential address on Monday.
Full transcript of United States President, Joe Biden’s remarks on Afghanistan
I want to speak today to the unfolding situation in Afghanistan, the developments that have taken place in the last week and the steps we’re taking to address the rapidly evolving events.
My national security team and I have been closely monitoring the situation on the ground in Afghanistan and moving quickly to execute the plans we had put in place to respond to every contingency, including the rapid collapse we’re seeing now.
I’ll speak more in a moment about the specific steps we’re taking. But I want to remind everyone how we got here and what America’s interests are in Afghanistan.
We went to Afghanistan almost 20 years ago with clear goals: get those who attacked us on Sept. 11, 2001, and make sure Al Qaeda could not use Afghanistan as a base from which to attack us again. We did that. We severely degraded Al Qaeda and Afghanistan. We never gave up the hunt for Osama bin Laden and we got him.
That was a decade ago. Our mission in Afghanistan was never supposed to have been nation-building. It was never supposed to be creating a unified, centralized democracy. Our only vital national interest in Afghanistan remains today what it has always been: preventing a terrorist attack on the American homeland.
I’ve argued for many years that our mission should be narrowly focused on counterterrorism, not counterinsurgency or nation-building. That’s why I opposed the surge when it was proposed in 2009 when I was vice president. And that’s why as president I’m adamant we focus on the threats we face today, in 2021, not yesterday’s threats.
Today a terrorist threat has metastasized well beyond Afghanistan. Al Shabab in Somalia, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Al Nusra in Syria, ISIS attempting to create a caliphate in Syria and Iraq and establishing affiliates in multiple countries in Africa and Asia. These threats warrant our attention and our resources. We conduct effective counterterrorism missions against terrorist groups in multiple countries where we don’t have permanent military presence. If necessary, we’ll do the same in Afghanistan. We’ve developed counterterrorism over-the-horizon capability that will allow us to keep our eyes firmly fixed on the direct threats to the United States in the region, and act quickly and decisively if needed.
When I came into office, I inherited a deal that President Trump negotiated with the Taliban. Under his agreement, U.S. forces would be out of Afghanistan by May 1, 2021, just a little over three months after I took office. U.S. forces had already drawn down during the Trump administration from roughly 15,500 American forces to 2,500 troops in country. And the Taliban was at its strongest militarily since 2001.
The choice I had to make as your president was either to follow through on that agreement or be prepared to go back to fighting the Taliban in the middle of the spring fighting season. There would have been no cease-fire after May 1. There was no agreement protecting our forces after May 1. There was no status quo of stability without American casualties after May 1. There was only a cold reality of either following through on the agreement to withdraw our forces or escalating the conflict and sending thousands more American troops back into combat in Afghanistan and lurching into the third decade of conflict.
I stand squarely behind my decision. After 20 years, I’ve learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw U.S. forces. That’s why we’re still there. We were clear about the risks. We planned for every contingency. But I always promised the American people that I will be straight with you.
The truth is, this did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated. So what’s happened? Afghanistan political leaders gave up and fled the country. The Afghan military collapsed, sometimes without trying to fight. If anything, the developments of the past week reinforced that ending U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan now was the right decision.
American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves. We spent over a trillion dollars. We trained and equipped an Afghan military force of some 300,000 strong. Incredibly well equipped. A force larger in size than the militaries of many of our NATO allies. We gave them every tool they could need. We paid their salaries, provided for the maintenance of their air force, something the Taliban doesn’t have. Taliban does not have an air force. We provided close air support. We gave them every chance to determine their own future. What we could not provide them was the will to fight for that future.
There are some very brave and capable Afghan special forces units and soldiers. But if Afghanistan is unable to mount any real resistance to the Taliban now, there is no chance that one year — one more year, five more years or 20 more years — that U.S. military boots on the ground would have made any difference.
Here’s what I believe to my core: It is wrong to order American troops to step up when Afghanistan’s own armed forces would not. The political leaders of Afghanistan were unable to come together for the good of their people, unable to negotiate for the future of their country when the chips were down. They would never have done so while U.S. troops remained in Afghanistan bearing the brunt of the fighting for them. And our true strategic competitors, China and Russia, would love nothing more than the United States to continue to funnel billions of dollars in resources and attention into stabilizing Afghanistan indefinitely.
When I hosted President Ghani and Chairman Abdullah at the White House in June, and again when I spoke by phone to Ghani in July, we had very frank conversations. We talked about how Afghanistan should prepare to fight their civil wars after the U.S. military departed. To clean up the corruption in government so the government could function for the Afghan people. We talked extensively about the need for Afghan leaders to unite politically. They failed to do any of that. I also urged them to engage in diplomacy, to seek a political settlement with the Taliban. This advice was flatly refused. Mr. Ghani insisted the Afghan forces would fight, but obviously he was wrong.
So I’m left again to ask of those who argue that we should stay: How many more generations of America’s daughters and sons would you have me send to fight Afghanistan’s civil war when Afghan troops will not? How many more lives, American lives, is it worth, how many endless rows of headstones at Arlington National Cemetery? I’m clear on my answer: I will not repeat the mistakes we’ve made in the past. The mistake of staying and fighting indefinitely in a conflict that is not in the national interest of the United States, of doubling down on a civil war in a foreign country, of attempting to remake a country through the endless military deployments of U.S. forces. Those are the mistakes we cannot continue to repeat because we have significant vital interest in the world that we cannot afford to ignore.
I also want to acknowledge how painful this is to so many of us. The scenes that we’re seeing in Afghanistan, they’re gut-wrenching, particularly for our veterans, our diplomats, humanitarian workers — for anyone who has spent time on the ground working to support the Afghan people. For those who have lost loved ones in Afghanistan, and for Americans who have fought and served our country in Afghanistan, this is deeply, deeply personal. It is for me as well.
I’ve worked on these issues as long as anyone. I’ve been throughout Afghanistan during this war, while the war was going on, from Kabul to Kandahar, to the Kunar Valley. I’ve travelled there on four different occasions. I’ve met with the people. I’ve spoken with the leaders. I spent time with our troops, and I came to understand firsthand what was and was not possible in Afghanistan. So now we’re focused on what is possible.
We will continue to support the Afghan people. We will lead with our diplomacy, our international influence and our humanitarian aid. We’ll continue to push for regional diplomacy and engagement to prevent violence and instability. We’ll continue to speak out for the basic rights of the Afghan people, of women and girls, just as we speak out all over the world.
I’ve been clear, the human rights must be the centre of our foreign policy, not the periphery. But the way to do it is not through endless military deployments. It’s with our diplomacy, our economic tools and rallying the world to join us.
Let me lay out the current mission in Afghanistan: I was asked to authorize, and I did, 6,000 U.S. troops to deploy to Afghanistan for the purpose of assisting in the departure of U.S. and allied civilian personnel from Afghanistan, and to evacuate our Afghan allies and vulnerable Afghans to safety outside of Afghanistan. Our troops are working to secure the airfield and ensure continued operation on both the civilian and military flights. We’re taking over air traffic control. We have safely shut down our embassy and transferred our diplomats. Our diplomatic presence is now consolidated at the airport as well.
Over the coming days we intend to transport out thousands of American citizens who have been living and working in Afghanistan. We’ll also continue to support the safe departure of civilian personnel — the civilian personnel of our allies who are still serving in Afghanistan. Operation Allies Refuge, which I announced back in July, has already moved 2,000 Afghans who are eligible for special immigration visas and their families to the United States. In the coming days, the U.S. military will provide assistance to move more S.I.V.-eligible Afghans and their families out of Afghanistan.
We’re also expanding refugee access to cover other vulnerable Afghans who work for our embassy. U.S. nongovernmental organizations and Afghans who otherwise are a great risk in U.S. news agencies — I know there are concerns about why we did not begin evacuating Afghan civilians sooner. Part of the answer is some of the Afghans did not want to leave earlier, still hopeful for their country. And part of it because the Afghan government and its supporters discouraged us from organizing a mass exodus to avoid triggering, as they said, a crisis of confidence.
American troops are performing this mission as professionally and as effectively as they always do. But it is not without risks. As we carry out this departure, we have made it clear to the Taliban: If they attack our personnel or disrupt our operation, the U.S. presence will be swift, and the response will be swift and forceful. We will defend our people with devastating force if necessary. Our current military mission is short on time, limited in scope and focused in its objectives: Get our people and our allies as safely and quickly as possible. And once we have completed this mission, we will conclude our military withdrawal. We will end America’s longest war after 20 long years of bloodshed.
The events we’re seeing now are sadly proof that no amount of military force would ever deliver a stable, united, secure Afghanistan, as known in history as the graveyard of empires. What’s happening now could just as easily happen five years ago or 15 years in the future. We have to be honest, our mission in Afghanistan made many missteps over the past two decades.
I’m now the fourth American president to preside over war in Afghanistan. Two Democrats and two Republicans. I will not pass this responsibility on to a fifth president. I will not mislead the American people by claiming that just a little more time in Afghanistan will make all the difference. Nor will I shrink from my share of responsibility for where we are today and how we must move forward from here. I am president of the United States of America, and the buck stops with me.
I’m deeply saddened by the facts we now face. But I do not regret my decision to end America’s war-fighting in Afghanistan and maintain a laser focus on our counterterrorism mission, there and other parts of the world. Our mission to degrade the terrorist threat of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and kill Osama bin Laden was a success. Our decades-long effort to overcome centuries of history and permanently change and remake Afghanistan was not, and I wrote and believed it never could be.
I cannot and will not ask our troops to fight on endlessly in another country’s civil war, taking casualties, suffering life-shattering injuries, leaving families broken by grief and loss. This is not in our national security interest. It is not what the American people want. It is not what our troops who have sacrificed so much over the past two decades deserve. I made a commitment to the American people when I ran for president that I would bring America’s military involvement in Afghanistan to an end. While it’s been hard and messy and, yes, far from perfect, I’ve honoured that commitment.
More importantly, I made a commitment to the brave men and women who serve this nation that I wasn’t going to ask them to continue to risk their lives in a military action that should’ve ended long ago. Our leader did that in Vietnam when I got here as a young man. I will not do it in Afghanistan.
I know my decision will be criticized. But I would rather take all that criticism than pass this decision on to another president of the United States, yet another one, a fifth one. Because it’s the right one, it’s the right decision for our people. The right one for our brave service members who risked their lives serving our nation. And it’s the right one for America.
Thank you. May God protect our troops, our diplomats and all brave Americans serving in harm’s way.
Already, US officials have admitted that they miscalculated the speed at which the Taliban were able to advance across the country, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying of Afghanistan’s national security forces: “The fact of the matter is we’ve seen that that force has been unable to defend the country … and that has happened more quickly than we anticipated.”
The Taliban’s swift success has prompted questions over how the insurgent group was able to gain control so soon after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan — and, after almost 20 years of conflict in the US’ longest running war, what the Taliban want.
What did the Taliban agree to with Trump?
In 2017, the Taliban issued an open letter to the newly elected US President Donald Trump, calling on him to withdraw US forces from Afghanistan.
After years of negotiations, the Taliban and the Trump administration finally signed a peace deal in 2020. The US agreed to withdraw troops and release some 5,000 Taliban prisoners, while the Taliban agreed to take steps to prevent any group or individual, including al Qaeda, from using Afghanistan to threaten the security of the US or its allies.
But that didn’t bring about peace.
Violence in Afghanistan grew to its highest levels in two decades. The Taliban increased their control of wider swaths of the country — and by June of this year, contested or controlled an estimated 50% to 70% of Afghan territory outside of urban centers, according to a United Nations Security Council report.
The report warned that an emboldened Taliban posed a severe and expanding threat to the government of Afghanistan. The report argued that the Taliban leadership had no interest in the peace process and appeared to be focused on strengthening its military position to give it leverage in negotiations — or, if necessary, in using armed force.
“The Taliban’s messaging remains uncompromising, and it shows no sign of reducing the level of violence in Afghanistan to facilitate peace negotiations with the Government of Afghanistan and other Afghan stakeholders,” the report said.
What Trump has to say
“What Joe Biden has done with Afghanistan is legendary. It will go down as one of the greatest defeats in American history! – August 15, 2021.”
Then on 16th Aug., 2021, he said,
“It is time for Joe Biden to resign in disgrace for what he has allowed to happen to Afghanistan, along with the tremendous surge in COVID, the Border catastrophe, the destruction of energy independence, and our crippled economy. It shouldn’t be a big deal, because he wasn’t elected legitimately in the first place!
“First Joe Biden surrendered to COVID and it has come roaring back. Then he surrendered to the Taliban, who has quickly overtaken Afghanistan and destroyed confidence in American power and influence. The outcome in Afghanistan, including the withdrawal, would have been totally different if the Trump Administration had been in charge. Who or what will Joe Biden surrender to next? Someone should ask him, if they can find him.
“Can anyone even imagine taking out our Military before evacuating civilians and others who have been good to our Country and who should be allowed to seek refuge? In addition, these people left topflight and highly sophisticated equipment. Who can believe such incompetence? Under my Administration, all civilians and equipment would have been removed.
“Afghanistan is the most embarrassing military outcome in the history of the United States. It didn’t have to be that way!
Could the US have known that the Taliban would return?
Just last month, senior officials in the Biden administration believed it could take months before the civilian government in Kabul fell, CNN reports.
Now lawmakers are pressing the Biden administration for answers and demanding information on how US intelligence could have so badly misjudged the situation on the ground.
Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has called the situation an “unmitigated disaster of epic proportions,” while Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said “everyone saw this coming” except the President, who “publicly and confidently dismissed these threats just a few weeks ago.”
American officials have expressed dismay at the now fallen US-backed Afghan government’s inability to protect key cities and regions from the Taliban, despite laying out a strategy for doing so during his communications with Biden and other senior US leaders.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the “lack of resistance that the Taliban faced from Afghan forces has been extremely disconcerting.”
“They had all the advantages, they had 20 years of training by our coalition forces, a modern air force, good equipment and weapons,” he said, according to sources on the call where he made the comments. “But you can’t buy will and you can’t purchase leadership. And that’s really what was missing in this situation.”
What do the Taliban want?
The Taliban have tried to present themselves as different from the past — they have claimed to be committed to the peace process, an inclusive government, and willing to maintain some rights for women.
Taliban spokesman Sohail Shaheen said women would still be allowed to continue their education from primary to higher education — a break from the rules during the Taliban’s past rule between 1996 and 2001. Shaheen also said diplomats, journalists and non-profits could continue operating in the country.
“That is our commitment, to provide a secure environment and they can carry out their activities for the people of Afghanistan,” he said.
But many observers worry that a return to Taliban rule is a return to the Afghanistan of two decades ago, when women’s rights were severely restricted. Antonio Guterres, the United Nations secretary-general, said in a tweet that hundreds of thousands were being forced to flee amid reports of serious human rights violations.
“International humanitarian law and human rights, especially the hard-won gains of women and girls, must be preserved,” he said.
Amin Saikal, the author of “Modern Afghanistan: A History of Struggle and Survival,” said the Taliban did not want Afghanistan to become a pariah state, and wanted to continue receiving international aid. But, Saikal said: “As far as their ideological commitment is concerned, they have not really changed.”
Why were the Taliban so strong against the Afghan forces?
Over the past two decades, the US spent more than a trillion dollars in Afghanistan. It trained Afghan soldiers and police and provided them with modern equipment.
As of February, the Afghan forces numbered 308,000 personnel, according to a United Nations Security Council report released in June — well above the estimated number of armed Taliban fighters, which ranged from 58,000 to 100,000.
Ultimately, though, the Afghan forces proved to be no match for the Taliban.
Carter Malkasian, a former senior adviser to the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, who is also the author of “The American War in Afghanistan: A History,” said the Afghan forces sometimes lacked coordination and suffered from poor morale. The more defeats they had, the worse their morale became, and the more emboldened the Taliban were.
“Afghan forces, for a long period of time, have had problems with morale and also their willingness to fight the Taliban,” he said. “The Taliban can paint themselves as those who are resisting and fighting occupation, which is something that is kind of near and dear to what it means to be Afghan. Whereas that’s a much harder thing for the government to claim, or the military forces fighting for the government.”
Taliban spokesman Shaheen said they weren’t surprised by their successful military offensive.
“Because we have roots among the people, because it was a popular uprising of the people, because we knew that we had been saying this for the last 20 years,” he said. “But no one believed us. And now when they saw, and they were taken by surprise because before that they didn’t believe.”
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
The Taliban renamed Afghanistan the ‘Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’ after its fighters swept into the capital, Kabul, a bustling metropolis of six million that has turned into a male-dominated city without police or traffic controls.
Scores of Afghans ran alongside a US military plane as it taxied on the runway and several clung to the side as the jet took off with Senior US military officials confirming to Aljazeera that the chaos left seven dead, as well as several who fell from the flight. Hundreds of people poured onto the tarmac at Kabul’s international airport, desperately seeking a route out of Afghanistan on Monday after the Taliban’s sudden seizure of power sparked a chaotic Western withdrawal and brought to a crashing end the United States’ two-decade mission in the country.
Ghani speaks from hideout
Ashiraf Ghani finally reacted to his outstimg from the Presidential Palace on Sunday, August 15, 2021 after the invasion of the Islamic Extremists, Talibans.
Ghani has put out his first statement after he fled Kabul on Sunday. Defending his stance to leave the country, Ghani said that he has resigned to prevent bloodshed in the county.
He left as the insurgents closed in on the capital, before ultimately entering the city and taking over the presidential palace, sealing a nationwide military victory in just 10 days.
“The Taliban have won with the judgement of their swords and guns, and are now responsible for the honour, property and self-preservation of their countrymen,” Ghani said in a statement posted to Facebook, his first since fleeing.
“They are now facing a new historical test. Either they will preserve the name and honour of Afghanistan or they will give priority to other places and networks,” he added, saying he left to prevent a “flood of bloodshed”.
Ghani did not say where he had travelled to, but leading Afghan media group Tolo news suggested he had gone to Tajikistan.
Also, Ashraf Ghani reportedly fled with 4 cars and a helicopter filled with cash.
“Four cars were full of money, they tried to stuff another part of the money into a helicopter, but not all of it fit. And some of the money was left lying on the tarmac,” Nikita Ishchenko, a spokesman for the Russian Embassy in Kabul, was quoted as saying by RIA news agency.
Ischenko confirmed his comments to a global news wire, citing “witnesses” as the source of his information, Al Jazeera reported.
Afghanistan Defence Minister Bismillah Mohammadi said in a tweet, in an apparent reference to Ghani and his associates, that they “tied our hands behind our backs and sold the homeland, damn the rich man and his gang.”
Senior Afghan leader and Head of the High Council for National Reconciliation, Abdullah Abdullah, had said in a video clip that Ghani has left Afghanistan.
He said that Ghani left the people of Afghanistan in mess and misery and he will be judged by the nation.