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.
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.
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
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)
End/ (Not Continued)