January 6, 2009:
The Taliban are their own worst enemy. Despite the pressure from the Pakistani army along the Afghan border, some Taliban leaders are demanding that tribes hand over young women to be wives for Taliban fighters. This is very unpopular with the tribes, and was one of the major complaints that led to tribes going to war with al Qaeda groups. In addition to burning down schools for girls and killing those who teach girls, the Taliban are also ordering women to stay away from markets, or working outside the home, unless they have a male escort from their family. These are the same attitudes that turned the Sunni Arab tribes against al Qaeda in Iraq, and is doing the same thing among the Pushtun tribes on both sides of the Afghan border.
While many Pushtuns admire the Taliban for shutting down the banditry and crime in general, they don't care for the lifestyle police and Taliban support for the drug gangs. The drug lords live as they please, and pay the Taliban to help keep government police, troops and officials out. But, as happened in the late 1990s, the Taliban quickly use up any goodwill they might gain with their law and order actions. In fact, that's how the Taliban made themselves so unpopular in the late 1990s, that they quickly lost support of most tribal chiefs once the U.S. provided smart bomb support for the northern tribes that were still fighting the Taliban.