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Books and Documents

War on Terror

Afghanistan was bombed and invaded because of 9/11. I was there from the start, even before 9/11. On August 20, 2001, I interviewed commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, the “Lion of the Panjshir,” who told me about an “unholy alliance” of the Taliban, al-Qaeda and the ISI (Pakistani intel)....

 

First, the US needs to recognise the Taliban for what it is: A deeply unpopular theocracy with brutal norms of behaviour (particularly against women and girls) that aren’t going to change anytime soon. Instead of using the Ronald Reagan line about the Soviet Union, “trust, but verify”, with the Taliban, Washington must “verify, then trust”....

 

However, the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan made him — like most other learned college-goers of that era — take a detour and join the Taliban under Mullah Omar, the one-eyed emir of the militia who believed God had selected him to prepare pious Muslims for afterlife glory....

 

“If they cannot agree to a ceasefire during these very important peace talks, and would even kill 12 innocent people, then they probably don’t have the power to negotiate a meaningful agreement anyway,” Trump stated. “How many more decades are they willing to fight?”...

 

They have largely shifted from outright coercion to “creeping influence” over Afghans through services and state activities. They are often part of the local “social fabric,” and they view themselves as preparing to govern the country....

 

Trump’s announcement came just before a week of religious and political events that could be targets for further violence. Monday is the anniversary of the death of Ahmad Shah Massoud, the anti-Taliban militia leader who was assassinated in 2001....

The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and Taliban have been very close. In 2010, when Taliban set up a shadow government in Afghanistan’s Northern Province, members of IMU were part of this cabinet...

 

The steady watering-down of American demands is a worrying sign, in their eyes. Whereas America once insisted that the Taliban would need to negotiate directly with the Afghan government on a political settlement for the country...

 

Referring to Trump’s directive, on July 29, 2019, Pompeo disclosed, “That’s my directive from the president of the United States. He’s been unambiguous: end the endless wars, drawdown, reduce.”...

 

"We’re like policemen. We’re not fighting a war. If we wanted to fight a war in Afghanistan and win it, I could win that war in a week. But I don’t want to kill 10 million people. Afghanistan could be wiped off the face of the Earth. I don’t want to go that route.”...

 

The central figure in the narrative is Zarqawi. Born Ahmed Fadil al Nazal al Khalayleh in 1966 in the industrial city of Zarqa—hence his nom de guerre Zarqawi—he was a petty criminal and drug dealer until he was jailed in 1987….

 

With an eye on his re-election prospects, the Trump administration is in haste to reach a peace deal with the Taliban. Reminiscent of the Vietnam negotiations, the US, ostensibly trying to save the remnants of the Kabul regime...

 

The increasing spate of attacks in Afghanistan by the Taliban once again highlights the grim security situation and extremist group’s true intentions, amid the seventh round of peace talks between the United States and the Taliban in Qatar....

 

 “I call it [Afghanistan] the Harvard of terrorists.” Harvard University is the pride of the USA, and wished-for destinations of scholars. Rationale for bracketing it with terrorism evades common sense....

 

The six rounds of peace talks have yielded a tentative “draft agreement” on two issues: first, Taliban’s primary concern with withdrawal of “Foreign Forces”; and second, on assurances that Afghan territory will not become a base for use by international terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda (AQ) and the Islamic State (IS), to hurt the US or any other country....

 
Understanding NATO, Ending War
Understanding NATO, Ending War
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam

‘The US military empire stands on hundreds of years of colonial exploitation and continues to support repressive, exploitative governments that cooperate with global capital’s imperial agenda. Governments that accept external capital investment, whereby a small segment of a country’s elite benefits, do so knowing that capital inevitably requires a return on investment that entails using up resources and people for economic gain….

More uncomfortable still is that the Bush administration used WMDs as a cover, with equal parts fear-mongering and strategic misrepresentation - lying - to exact the desired political effect. Indeed, some US economists consider the notion that the Bush administration deliberately misled the country and the globe into war in Iraq to be a "conspiracy theory", on par with beliefs that President Barack Obama was born outside the US or that the Holocaust did not occur....

The need for a negotiated resolution of the Afghanistan conundrum was also felt by President Barak Obama after the failure of his ‘troop surge’ but he wanted to bulldoze a settlement on the USA terms. The candidate Donald Trump shared the disgust of his predecessor about the US involvement in the unnecessary wars of the Middle East...

 

In the name of the war on terror in countries like Somalia, diplomatic activities, aid, and support for human rights have dwindled in favour of an ever more militarized American stance. ...

 

Mr. Baradar’s release and his subsequent elevation as the chief negotiator have raised hopes that Pakistan’s attitude to the peace process and its military’s antipathy to the Taliban leaders seeking peace has clearly changed...

 

Robert Bowers, a white supremacist stormed into the synagogue during Sabbath and fired upon innocent men, women, and children attending religious services, killing 11 and wounding 5. The shooting took place during a bris, a baby naming ceremony....

 
The War in Afghanistan Continues
Ajit Kumar Singh
The War in Afghanistan Continues
Ajit Kumar Singh

In August 20, 2018, two unnamed Taliban ‘commanders’ responded with the statement that their supreme leader Sheikh-ul-Hadith Maulvi Haibatullah Akhundzada had rejected the offer on the grounds that it too would only help the American-led mission. One of the ‘commanders’ added, “Our leadership feels that they [US] will prolong their stay in Afghanistan if we announced a ceasefire now.” They also asserted that the outfit would persist with their attacks....

 

For starters, Saxton retired almost a decade ago, but the Taliban, despite being “defeated” way back when, didn’t do the same. Today, they contest for or control about 44% of Afghanistan. That country also hosts many more terror groups -- 20 in all -- than it did 12 years ago. “Vicious Iraqi dictator” Saddam Hussein is, of course, still dead and gone, but in 2014, about a third of “the new, democratic Iraq” was overrun by Islamic State militants. The country was only re-liberated in late 2017 and the Islamic State is already making a comeback there this year....

 

Already, with the exit of Hamid Karzai, the strategic comfort that New Delhi had in Kabul stands diminished, and by extension, the kind of intelligence operations New Delhi may have had the option to conduct with deniability. Pakistan’s aim will be to reverse all the gains India has made at great cost over the years in Afghanistan. With strategic depth in Afghanistan that Pakistan has dreamt of becoming a reality, Islamabad will have more room to incubate and move around the various anti-India groupings...

 
Lessons from Iraq
Abdul Sattar

Since people in the West, especially Americans, have failed to rein in their ruling elite, they have opened more fronts to wreak death and destruction. Western-sponsored Jihadis have imposed a war on Syria that killed over 500,000 people, turning 11 million people into refugees and leaving 13.5 million at the mercy of humanitarian assistance. The war also cost $226 billion to the Syrian economy. The policy of the Western ruling elite didn’t just bring destruction to Syria but also affected Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya, Egypt and several parts of the world....

 


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