Winning: Taliban Admits Defeat


June 25, 2007: The Taliban has admitted defeat, in their own unique way. In recent media interviews, Taliban spokesmen announced a shift in emphasis to suicide bombings. The Taliban also admitted that the Americans had infiltrated their high command, which led to the death or capture of several senior Taliban officials, and the capture of many lower ranking ones as well. There have also been some prominent defections recently, which the Taliban spokesmen did not want to talk about.

The Taliban has never been a terrorist organization. They began as a paramilitary operation fifteen years ago, when they were recruited from refugee camps in Pakistan. There, Afghans in religious schools were armed by Pakistani intelligence officers, and persuaded to go back to Afghanistan to end the civil war raging there and establish a religious dictatorship. No terrorism, just brute force by a bunch of gun toting young guys on a mission from God. Once they achieved power, the Taliban quickly demonstrated that they did not have a clue when it came to running a country. They did give al Qaeda, recently run out of Sudan, a refuge. By the late 1990s, they were using a brigade of al Qaeda gunmen as enforcers, to keep increasingly unhappy Afghan tribes in check. Then came September 11, 2001, and it was all over in two months. A few hundred American Special Forces and CIA operatives provided advice, encouragement and smart bombs to help the Afghans drive the Taliban out of power. Fleeing back to Pakistan, the Taliban spent five years rebuilding and soliciting funds from wealthy Islamic conservative Arabs and Pakistanis. Afghan drug gangs also became sponsors, as these guys had got their start when the Taliban were in power. Back then, if you paid the Taliban a "tax" you could produce and ship opium and heroin in Afghanistan. The new Afghan government has been hostile to that arrangement, but the Taliban are eager to restore the good old days.

Terrorism is a step back for the Taliban, and an admission that they have failed, in the last two years, in their effort to march into Afghanistan and take over. Suicide bombing is suicidal in more ways than one. Most of the victims, so far, have been Afghans, and this has turned many likeminded (Islamic conservative) Afghans against the Taliban. But at this point, the Taliban have no choice. They must either step back, or step aside. By choosing to proceed with a terror campaign, they are also selecting extinction.




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