Taliban say they are No Threat to International Community; Bombing targeted Indian Embassy; Will Afghan Election Fraud Sway Obama

According to this Persian site, the old Taliban of Mulla Omar have issued a communique that holds out a promise and a threat. They said that if the outside Powers want to transform the proud, pious Afghan people into a colony, they were steadfast and ready to fight a very long war against this effort. But they assured the world community that the Taliban do not form a threat to outside countries.

The Guardian broke the story in English and says that the Obama administration’s National Security Council staffers are studying the statement in preparation for Obama’s announcement on Afghanistan policy.

Actually, I think the Taliban have all along been a local Pashtun puritanical movement with no particular international implications. Afghan Taliban have almost never been involved in international terrorist operations in Europe or elsewhere, as Marc Sage showed in his Understanding Terrorist Networks. (Kashmiris are similar– they commit violence in Kashmir about Kashmir but have seldom taken their struggle international). Middle class anti-American Pashtuns such as Najibullah Zazi are a separate and post-Taliban development arising from the US and NATO military presence in Afghanistan.

Moreover, some of the groups called ‘Taliban’ in the West aren’t even actually seminary students or connected to madrasahs, and are just the same warlord groups that used to fight the Soviet Union and get praised for it by the Evangelicals and by Ronald Reagan in the US. Gulbadin Hikmatyar’s Hizb-i Islami and Jalaluddin Haqqani’s network are two of the more important such groups, and they would likely be willing to come in from the cold.

Aljazeera English reports on the massive bombing on Thursday in Kabul, which appears to have targeted the Indian Embassy and killed 17 persons.

CBS has an eyewitness account of the bombing:

Russia Today also reports on the increasing Taliban violence:

Unlike US mass media, the Australian Broadcasting Company is on top of the story of massive voter fraud in the recent presidential elections in Afghanistan. The fraud is further undermining the legitimacy of the government of president Hamid Karzai, and may influence President Barak Obama’s decision on future Afghan policy:

The report is based in part on WaPo’s analysis of leaked voting statistics, such as that in Paktika only 35,000 people voted but Karzai got about 193,000 votes. Nice work if you can get it.

Nasrine Gross broke this story at IC, and provided the following raw data for Kandahar.

Robert Naiman at HuffPo reviews MSM reports, such as that of the WSJ, that the more experienced Afghanistan hands in the Obama administration, such as Barnett Rubin, are arguing against big new troop contingents in that country as opposed to counter-terrorism measures.

Tom Engelhardt wickedly reviews American officials’ complaints about the unreasonable attachment of Pakistan and Afghanistan to their national sovereignty.

And here, the USG Open Source Center translates the statement of a group of tribal leaders in northwest Pakistan, whose touchiness about national sovereignty and objections to US drone attacks in their region has led them to threat reprisals agains the US in Afghanistan if they continue. Many Pakistani politicians, such as those of the Muslim League (Q), and the Pakistani generals, are angry about provisions in the proposed US $7.5 bn. civilian aid package that detract from Pakistani sovereignty. (The military is especially disturbed by the language in the Kerry-Lugar aid law that insists on civilian control of the military; Pakistan has a long tradition of military coups and of military interference in civilian politics).

‘ Pakistan: Tribal Leaders Accuse US of Terrorism, Warn To Attack Kabul, Kandahar
“Stop Drown Attacks Otherwise We Will Join Taliban in War Against NATO, Warning by Taliban” — NNI headline
Khabrain
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Document Type: OSC Translated Text . . .

Miranshah — Spy planes continue flights round the clock. Our houses and pulpits were unsafe. We are patriotic Pakistanis. The United States is indulging in terrorism.

All tribesmen are ready for any action, press conference by tribal leaders. The Kerry-Lugar Bill is tantamount to selling the national integrity. Criticize government.

Tribal leaders and elders, Malik Jalal Manzarkhel, Malik Inayat Khan Dawar, Malik Muhammad, Nawaz Muhammadkhel, and Malik Faridullah, have unanimously decided in a big jirga (assembly of tribal elders) that if the United States does not stop attacks in the tribal areas then they will open a new front against the United States and NATO in Afghanistan.

Malik Jalal Khan said that the United States, in collusion with its Pakistani agents, had started a big war against Islam, the Muslims, and the tribesmen. He further said that it had fired guided missiles on innocent women, children, and old people.

He said that if the United States did not change this strategy then youth from the tribal areas would be voluntarily allowed to join the Taliban. He said the United States and NATO would be retaliated in Kabul and Kandahar.

Jalal Khan Wazir also threatened that revenge of the blood of innocent Taliban and drone attacks would be given in Afghanistan through suicide attacks to that the tribal areas could be saved. During the press conference Malik Jalal threatened that if the drone attacks and the US interference in the tribal areas did not stop, then Kabul and Kandahar would be attacked, after consultation with the tribal elders from both sides of the border, by providing military and manpower support to the Taliban.

The tribal leaders, while criticizing Pakistan, said that the drone aircraft hover round the clock over the tribal areas on Pakistan’s behest, and they added that their homes and places of worship were unsafe from the drones.

(Description of Source: Islamabad Khabrain in Urdu  News, a sensationalist daily, published by Liberty Papers Ltd., generally critical of Pakistan People’s Party; known for its access to government and military sources of information. The same group owns The Post in English, Naya Akhbar in Urdu and Channel 5 TV. Circulation of 30,000)

Riz Khan at Aljazeerah English reviews the first 8 years of the Afghanistan war:

End/ (Not Continued)

5 Responses

  1. This statement was posted to the Taliban's web site and online forums used by transnational jihadis and their supporters a few days ago.

  2. ref: US forces abandon isolated Afghan FOB after devastating attack : “The pullout from the Kamdesh outpost near the Pakistani border is likely to embolden insurgent fighters in the region. The FOB was largely burned down during the firefight. The Taliban swiftly claimed "victory" for forcing the coalition to leave and said they had raised their flag above the town. The U.S. bombarded the outpost with airstrikes after leaving, as well as the local police headquarters. "This means they are not coming back," Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said. "This is another victory for Taliban. We have control of another district in eastern Afghanistan." The withdrawal, however, had been planned well before the Oct. 3 battle and is part of a wider strategy outlined by the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, who has said for months he plans to shut down such isolated strongholds to focus on more heavily populated areas in an effort to "protect civilians".” McChrystal: "Right. It's not really a defeat ~ I've been planning to surrender all my FOB's for some time now ~ I just haven't gotten around to it (been busy with My Mission, you know, which is to get more troops). Why do General Petraeus and I urgently need more troops? Oh, well, things are all f****d up over here; um, no, it's not really a rescue operation ~ I wouldn't call it that, no. We, I mean to say they – the Afghan people {cough, cough} will be a lot more safer after I abandon all my FOBases and put my troops behind, um, I mean among all these civilians." Thank-you, Generals Petraeus and McChrystal ~ don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way OUT.

  3. The Taliban says they are no threat to the international community. But when they were in power ten years ago, they provided a base and haven to a terrorist organization that definitely was a threat. Will they commit to not doing it again, and can and will they hold to that commitment?

  4. Were the Taliban leaders taken for a ride by Bin Laden? Did they really agree with his stated objective of making Afghanistan the site of Armageddon? 9/11 was after all a very lucky stroke – his previous attempts had not done much – and they may have judged the risk of harboring Bin Laden to be small. There is no reason to think they would be crazy enough to go through the whole thing again.

  5. One thing that bothers me about the innocuous Taliban theme is that Ahmed Rasheed does not believe it. He seems to feel that letting them get the upper hand in Afghanistan could lead to the spread of such militancy throughout the region. And he is no hallucinating neocon.

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