Imposing Human Rights conditions on Afghan Government.

September 15, 2021

Imposing Human Rights conditions on Afghan Government.

By Zamir Awan for the Saker Blog

The US is exerting pressure on the Afghan Government for respecting human rights. Also, the US is lobbying with its allies to exert pressure on Afghanistan and should not recognize their legitimacy unless they meet few demands, among which is Human rights at the top of the list.

What the US was doing in Afghanistan for twenty years? Was it in respect of Human rights? Bombing Marriage parties, funeral ceremonies, Mosques, Shrines, Schools, Hospitals, was respecting Human rights? Dropping Mother of all bombs, extensive use of force, weapons, and ammunition was it the respect of Human rights? Use of dirty tricks, and high-tech weapons and technologies, was in respect to Human rights? The US was maintaining several jails in Afghanistan, was it in respect of Human Rights? Keeping many detention centers, was it in respect of Human rights? Creation of so many torture cells, was it the rest of Human rights? So many investigation centers, was am to protect human rights? The US involved 46 countries to attack Afghanistan was it human rights exercise? Additional 11 countries also supported in war against Afghanistan, was it aimed to protect human rights? Keeping 150,000 troops in Afghanistan (peek time), was it respecting human rights? Killing innocent citizens, children, civilians, women, elder people, was part of the American Human Rights adventure? Use of drones and killing Taxi driver along with his two young children, was it also the respect of Human right? Excessive use of powers, draconian laws, and extrajudicial killings, was part of US policy of Human Rights? How many women were raped, insulted, humiliated, is this American rest to Human rights? Child abuse was a common phenomenon, is this the American way of resting human rights? Shame! Shame! Shame!

The US has no moral authority to talk about Human Rights and put extraordinary conditions on the Afghan Government and irrational excuses to coerce Afghans. The entire world knows, what happened in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and in many other countries, the American role is very much obvious and known to everyone. The US is a partner in extreme violations of Human rights in Palestine and Kashmir. The US is extending extraordinary support to Israel and India, which are notorious for Human rights violations. Yet, if the US is talking about human rights, is beyond our imaginations. A country, who is committing the worst human rights violations, is talking about Human rights, is not matching its actions and words. Even, inside America, what so ever is happening with minorities, immigrants, and black people, is well-known to everyone.

American human rights violations and war crimes in Afghanistan must be trial and fix responsibilities on all individuals involved. Punish them according to respective law according to the degree of crime and level of involvement.

However, in Afghanistan, life is rapidly restoring toward normalcy. 20 years of American illegitimate occupation has ended and the Taliban are restoring peace, stability, and law & order situation, which is improving gradually. Now people feel safer and secure. Government offices are functioning properly. Women are working with full confidence as usual. Girls are getting an education in a routine matter. Taliban government has ensured the safety of all its citizens. People of Afghanistan are happy and have welcomed the Taliban.

Taliban are real representatives of Afghanistan and very much loyal and sincere with their country and enjoy public support and trust. Unlike President Noor Muhamad Turkey, President Hafizullah Amin, President Babrak Karmal, and President Dr. Najeeb, who were traitors and planted by the USSR, and were working on foreign agenda, the Taliban are keeping the Afghan interest at the top. Unlike President Hamid Karzai, and President Ashraf Ghani, who were CIA agents, and puppets, and installed by the US. Both of them were implementing and serving their masters. Taliban are Afghans and serving Afghans only.

If the US demands to include such traitors, it may not be possible, as it is illogical to bring traitors and foreign agents back. Taliban fought for twenty years for freedom and finally defeated the US. Taliban has sacrificed many precious lives, close relatives, suffered jails, tortures, and exiles, and now after victory, they have the right to form their own government. It is their legal and legitimate right, the world must accept this fact and realize it, the sooner the better.

Taliban are true Afghans, they understand their culture, traditions, and tribal society, and they will form a system of government, which suits Afghanistan. There is no need for any dictation from the outside world. Let Afghans lead their country and manage their affairs in the best possible manner, which suits them. Outside interference needs to reach an end. The status of human rights in Afghanistan under Taliban rule is much better than in the last twenty years of American occupation. People feel relaxed and thank the Taliban for providing them dignity, safety, respect, and protection. Under American occupation, no one was sure that if he or she leaves home, and come back safe. Any time anywhere anything can happen, as the US troops were wild and treating Afghans just like sheep and goats, mistreating them, insulting and humiliating them. Especially, the women can be raped, tortured, humiliated by troops. How many young Afghan girls were smuggled and trafficked to America and Europe to work in the sex industry? Can Americans justify it as human rights? Taliban has provided respect and protection to women. Majority of women are very happy with Taliban rule. Exceptions must be there, we may not deny exceptional cases, but vast majority of women are happy and satisfied.

Taliban were freedom fighters and won the long war of twenty years against a superpower and they are competent and equipped with all modern knowledge. They understand how to manage a country and how to run a country. Of course, they are facing huge challenges, but these challenges are created artificially by the US and its allies. Like freezing Afghan assets, using IMF, World Bank, International Financial Institutions, and donors, to coerce Afghans.

The US has planned something else, but what happens is the opposite. The US evacuated its troops from Afghanistan in a haphazard manner to create a vacuum, leading toward civil war. The US deployed around twenty thousand private defense contractors to create unrest and civil war in Afghanistan. The US shifted ISIS-K to Afghanistan, equipped them, funded them, and provided those training, to create unrest and civil war in Afghanistan. But on the ground Taliban has managed very well and avoided any civil war or unrest on the ground. The US is desperate, taking measures to destabilize the new government in Afghanistan.

The US is using various tricks to destabilize Afghanistan, it includes economic measures, human rights excuses, women’s rights, etc. to create unrest. The US is pursuing allies and other countries to exert pressure on Afghanistan to achieve its ill-designs. Pakistan is facing such pressure from the US. Unfortunate!

However, the Taliban performed very well on grounds, and the world has seen and witnessed that the Taliban are capable and honest, kind, gentle, competent. Taliban got international recognition already. The Qatar deputy foreign Minister has already paid an official visit. Many other countries are ready to establish good relations with the new Government as soon as they announce formally.

The Whole region suffered a lot due to the American invasion of Afghanistan for twenty years, and cannot afford any further unrest. All the regional countries with a stable, safe, and prosperous Afghanistan. If few countries like America, want to spoil it, may not succeed.

Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan. (E-mail: awanzamir@yahoo.com).

Taliban seeking vital Chinese investments to rebuild Afghan economy: Video Report

September 13, 2021

Taliban seeking vital Chinese investments to rebuild Afghan economy: Video Report

Original link: http://middleeastobserver.net/taliban-seeking-vital-chinese-investments-to-rebuild-afghan-economy-video-report/https://www.youtube.com/embed/V_wVtjTaiY0?feature=oembed

Description:

News report on the Taliban movement’s efforts to secure vital Chinese investments to rebuild Afghanistan’s economy and infrastructure.https://thesaker.is/taliban-seeking-vital-chinese-investments-to-rebuild-afghan-economy-video-report/

Source: Al Jazeera (YouTube)

(Please help MEO keep producing independent translations for you by contributing a sustainable monthly amount https://www.patreon.com/MiddleEastObserver?fan_landing=true)

Transcript: 

Reporter:

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s reception of leaders of the Taliban movement at the end of July is the first indicator of the nature of future cooperation between the two sides, even before the movement’s entry into the Afghan capital of Kabul in mid-August.

The Taliban has a cooperative relationship with China, which shares a border with Afghanistan that is only 76 kilometers long. The (Taliban) movement says it hopes to secure much-needed economic benefits and Chinese investment in Afghanistan.

The Taliban spokesman noted that China’s assistance will help the movement to revitalize the country’s economy, and added that China is a vital outlet for Afghanistan into the international market, especially because access to foreign markets is hampered by sanctions and the absence of international recognition. Thus, cooperation with China is a timely opportunity for the Taliban movement.

Access to these markets requires a modern transportation network, which prompted the Chinese Sany Group to express its willingness to invest in Afghanistan. The company contributes to establishing what is known as the Belt and Road Initiative, a project (through which) China plans to expand its international trade influence.

China has long sought to include Afghanistan in the China-Pakistan economic corridor, a part of the Belt and Road Initiative, and the Taliban confirmed that it supports this initiative since it serves the development and prosperity of the region.

Another vital challenge for the Taliban movement is the power crisis, an (area) which would form a major investment opportunity, as only 35% of Afghans have access to electricity, and 70% of Afghanistan’s electricity needs are imported from abroad.

As for the rich natural wealth and reserves that Afghanistan enjoys, they seem to be a priority in the joint plans for cooperation, considering that the Taliban confirmed that copper mines in Afghanistan will be back in operation with the help of China.

9/11: A U.S. Deep State Insider Speaks …

September 11, 2021

9/11: A U.S. Deep State Insider Speaks …

An 8 part tweet stream by Pepe Escobar and posted with his permission

Pepe has two requests as follows:

  • Please retweet as much as possible
  • Please alert the Saker community – because at least parts of this thread may be “disappeared”, post-Allende-style, in no time. These are the parts that totally destroy the official narrative.

9/11: A U.S. DEEP STATE INSIDER SPEAKS Old school. Top clearance. Extremely discreet. Attended secret Deep State meetings on 9-11. Tired of all the lies. The following is what’s fit to print without being redacted.

Part 1 THE PHONE CALL. Up next.

“An emergency phone conference was held in the early afternoon of 9/11 based on the fact that WTC Building Number Seven was still standing. Demolitions were engineered to cause the building, as well as the others, to fall into its own footprint. I attended this call.”

Part 2 On WTC7: “No plane hit Building Number Seven.” “The CIA was brought to cover it up. The CIA set up failed asset bin Laden to blame as misdirection, then pulled the plug on Building Number Seven.” “The CIA doctored boarding tapes to show Arabs entering the planes.”

Part 3 On Mullah Omar: “Our CIA Arabists knew that if we blamed Osama, who was innocent of 9-11, Mullah Omar would not give him up in violation of the laws of Islamic hospitality. Mullah Omar requested evidence: then he would turn Osama over. Of course, we did not want that.”

Part 4 On heroin: “The Afghanistan heroin war was justified by 9-11. No one in Afghanistan was involved in 9/11. No member of Islam was involved. We invaded Afghanistan for only one purpose, which was to restart heroin production shut down by a righteous act of Mullah Omar.”

Part 5 On CIA and heroin: “CIA heroin plantations in Afghanistan funded external, clandestine operations and lined some important people’s pockets. That was common practice when the CIA ran the heroin operation in the Golden Triangle.”

Part 6 On MOTIVE: “It was never in the U.S. strategic interest to lay a curse on Islam in the West.” “9-11 was a kind of Gulf of Tonkin false flag operation justifying a war on Islam and the invasion of Iraq, followed by other invasions of Islamic nations.”

Part 7 Afghanistan-Iraq: “The Taliban loved us as they did not know that we lured Russia into Afghanistan. It was idiotic to think that they wanted to hurt their ally on 9-11.” “With Iraq invaded over a new falsity, the neocons created a war of hatred against Islam.”

Part 8 Who’s in charge: “The apex of the U.S. command structure is not the presidency. It’s the Deep State. I use that term even though we did not as it is commonly used.”

9/9 and 9/11, 20 years later

September 09, 2021

9/9 and 9/11, 20 years later

By Pepe Escobar posted with permission and first posted at Asia Times

It’s impossible not to start with the latest tremor in a series of stunning geopolitical earthquakes.

Exactly 20 years after 9/11 and the subsequent onset of the Global War on Terror (GWOT), the Taliban will hold a ceremony in Kabul to celebrate their victory in that misguided Forever War.

Four key exponents of Eurasia integration – China, Russia, Iran and Pakistan – as well as Turkey and Qatar, will be officially represented, witnessing the official return of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. As blowbacks go, this one is nothing short of intergalactic.

Massoud leaving Bazarak in the Panjshir after our interview in August 2001, roughly three weeks before his assassination. Photo: Pepe Escobar

The plot thickens when we have Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid firmly stressing “there is no proof” Osama bin Laden was involved in 9/11. So “there was no justification for war, it was an excuse for war,” he claimed.

Only a few days after 9/11, Osama bin Laden, never publicity-shy, released a statement to Al Jazeera: “I would like to assure the world that I did not plan the recent attacks, which seems to have been planned by people for personal reasons (…) I have been living in the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and following its leaders’ rules. The current leader does not allow me to exercise such operations.”

On September 28, Osama bin Laden was interviewed by the Urdu newspaper Karachi Ummat. I remember it well, as I was commuting non-stop between Islamabad and Peshawar, and my colleague Saleem Shahzad, in Karachi, called it to my attention.

Saudi-born alleged terror mastermind Osama bin Laden in a video taken ‘recently’ at a secret site in Afghanistan. This was aired by Al Jazeera on October 7, 2001, the day the US launched retaliatory bombing of terrorist camps, airbases and air defense installations in the first stage of its campaign against the Taliban regime for sheltering bin Laden. Photo: AFP / Al Jazeera screen grab

This is an approximate translation by the CIA-linked Foreign Broadcast Information Service: “I have already said that I am not involved in the 11 September attacks in the United States. As a Muslim, I try my best to avoid telling a lie. Neither I had any knowledge of these attacks nor I consider the killing of innocent women, children and other humans as an appreciable act. Islam strictly forbids causing harm to innocent women, children and other people.

“I have already said that we are against the American system, not against its people, whereas in these attacks, the common American people have been killed. The United States should try to trace the perpetrators of these attacks within itself; the people who are a part of the US system, but are dissenting against it.

“Or those who are working for some other system; persons who want to make the present century as a century of conflict between Islam and Christianity so that their own civilization, nation, country or ideology could survive. Then there are intelligence agencies in the US, which require billions of dollars worth of funds from the Congress and the government every year (…) They need an enemy.”

This was the last time Osama bin Laden went public, substantially, about his alleged role in 9/11. Afterward, he vanished, and seemingly forever by early December 2001 in Tora Bora: I was there, and revisited the full context years later.

And yet, like an Islamic James Bond, Osama kept performing the miracle of dying another day, over and over again, starting in – where else – Tora Bora in mid-December, as reported by the Pakistani Observer and then Fox News.

So 9/11 remained a riddle inside an enigma. And what about 9/9, which might have been the prologue to 9/11?

Arriving in the Panjshir valley in one of Massoud’s Soviet helicopters in August 2001. Photo: Pepe Escobar  

A green light from a blind sheikh

“The commander has been shot.”

The terse email, on 9/9, offered no details. Contacting the Panjshir was impossible – sat-phone reception is spotty. Only the next day it was possible to establish Ahmad Shah Massoud, the legendary Lion of the Panjshir, had been assassinated – by two al-Qaeda jihadis posing as a camera crew.

In our Asia Times interview with Massoud, by August 20, he had told me he was fighting a triad: al-Qaeda, the Taliban and the Pakistani ISI. After the interview, he left in a Land Cruiser and then went by helicopter to Kwaja-Bahauddin, where he would finish the details of a counter-offensive against the Taliban.

This was his second-to-last interview before the assassination and arguably the last images – shot by photographer Jason Florio and with my mini-DV camera – of Massoud alive.

One year after the assassination, I was back in the Panjshir for an on-site investigation, relying only on local sources and confirmation on some details from Peshawar. The investigation is featured in the first part of my Asia Times e-book Forever Wars.

The conclusion was that the green light for the fake camera crew to meet Massoud came via a letter sponsored by CIA crypto-asset warlord Abdul Rasul Sayyaf – as a “gift” to al-Qaeda.

In December 2020, inestimable Canadian diplomat Peter Dale Scott, author among others of the seminal The Road to 9/11 (2007), and Aaron Good, editor at CovertAction magazine, published a remarkable investigation about the killing of Massoud, following a different trail and relying mostly on American sources.

They established that arguably more than Sayyaf, the mastermind of the killing was notorious Egyptian blind sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, then serving a life sentence in a US federal prison for his involvement in the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993.

Among other nuggets, Dale Scott and Good also confirmed what former Pakistani foreign minister Niaz Naik had told Pakistani media already in 2001: the Americans had everything in place to attack Afghanistan way before 9/11.

In Naik’s words: “We asked them [the American delegates], when do you think you will attack Afghanistan? … And they said, before the snow falls in Kabul. That means September, October, something like that.”

As many of us established over the years after 9/11, everything was about the US imposing itself as the undisputed ruler of the New Great Game in Central Asia. Peter Dale Scott now notes, “the two US invasions of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003 were both grounded in pretexts that were doubtful to begin with and more discredited as years go by.

“Underlying both wars was America’s perceived need to control the fossil fuel economic system that was the underpinning for the US petrodollar.”

Deceased Taliban founder Mullah Mohammed Omar in a file photo. Photo: Wikimedia

Massoud versus Mullah Omar

Mullah Omar did welcome Jihad Inc to Afghanistan in the late 1990s: not only the al-Qaeda Arabs but also Uzbeks, Chechens, Indonesians, Yemenis – some of them I met in Massoud’s riverside prison in the Panjshir in August 2001.

The Taliban at the time did provide them with bases – and some encouraging rhetoric – but deeply ethnocentric as they were, never manifested any interest in global jihad, in the mold of the “Declaration of Jihad” issued by Osama in 1996.

The official Taliban position was that jihad was their guests’ business, and that had nothing to do with the Taliban and Afghanistan. There were virtually no Afghans in Jihad Inc. Very few Afghans speak Arabic. They were not seduced by the spin on martyrdom and a paradise full of virgins: they preferred to be a ghazi – a living victor in a jihad.

Mullah Omar could not possibly send Osama bin Laden packing because of Pashtunwali – the Pashtun code of honor – where the notion of hospitality is sacred. When 9/11 happened, Mullah Omar once again refused American threats as well as Pakistani pleas. He then called a tribal jirga of 300 top mullahs to ratify his position.

Their verdict was quite nuanced: he had to protect his guest, of course, but a guest should not cause him problems. Thus Osama would have to leave, voluntarily.

The Taliban also pursued a parallel track, asking the Americans for evidence of Osama’s culpability. None was provided. The decision to bomb and invade had already been taken.

That would have never been possible with Massoud alive. A classic intellectual warrior, he was a certified Afghan nationalist and pop hero – because of his spectacular military feats in the anti-USSR jihad and his non-stop fight against the Taliban.

Jihadis captured by Massoud’s forces in a riverside prison in the Panjshir in August 2001. Photo: Pepe Escobar

When the PDPA socialist government in Afghanistan collapsed three years after the end of the jihad, in 1992, Massoud could easily have become a prime minister or an absolute ruler in the old Turco-Persian style.

But then he made a terrible mistake: afraid of an ethnic conflagration, he let the mujahideen gang based in Peshawar have too much power, and that led to the civil war of 1992-1995 – complete with the merciless bombing of Kabul by virtually every faction – that paved the way for the emergence of the “law and order” Taliban.

So in the end he was a much more effective military commander than politician. An example is what happened in 1996, when the Taliban made their move to conquer Kabul, attacking from eastern Afghanistan.

Massoud was caught completely unprepared, but he still managed to retreat to the Panjshir without a major battle and without losing his troops – quite a feat – while severely smashing the Taliban that went after him.

He established a line of defense in the Shomali plain north of Kabul. That was the frontline I visited a few weeks before 9/11, on the way to Bagram, which was a – virtually empty and degraded – Northern Alliance airbase at the time.

All of the above is a sorry contrast to the role of Masoud Jr, who’s in theory the leader of the “resistance” against Taliban 2.0 in the Panjshir, now completely smashed.

Masoud Jr has zero experience either as a military commander or politician, and although praised in Paris by President Macron or publishing an op-ed in Western mainstream media, made the terrible mistake of being led by CIA asset Amrullah Saleh, who as the former head of the National Directory of Security (NDS), supervised the de facto Afghan death squads.

Masoud Jr could have easily carved a role for himself in a Taliban 2.0 government. But he blew it, refusing serious negotiations with a delegation of 40 Islamic clerics sent to the Panjshir, and demanding at least 30% of posts in the government.

In the end, Saleh fled by helicopter – he may be now in Tashkent – and Masoud Jr as it stands is holed up somewhere in the northern Panjshir.

In this file photo taken on September 11, 2001, a hijacked commercial aircraft approaches the twin towers of the World Trade Center shortly before crashing into the landmark skyscraper in New York. Photo: AFP / Seth McAllister

The 9/11 propaganda machine is about to reach fever pitch this Saturday – now profiting from the narrative twist of the “terrorist” Taliban back in power, something perfect to snuff out the utter humiliation of the Empire of Chaos.

The Deep State is going no holds barred to protect the official narrative – which exhibits more holes than the dark side of the moon.

This is a geopolitical Ouroboros for the ages. 9/11 used to be the foundation myth of the 21st century – but not anymore. It has been displaced by blowback: the imperial debacle allowing for the return of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to the exact position it was 20 years ago.

We may now know that the Taliban had nothing to do with 9/11. We may now know that Osama bin Laden, in an Afghan cave, may not have been the master perpetrator of 9/11. We may now know that the assassination of Massoud was a prelude to 9/11, but in a twisted way: to facilitate a pre-planned invasion of Afghanistan.

And yet, like with the assassination of JFK, we may never know the full contours of the whole riddle inside an enigma. As Fitzgerald immortalized, “so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past,” probing like mad this philosophical and existential Ground Zero, never ceasing from asking the ultimate question: Cui Bono?


Ed Note:  Pepe Escobar started a new Twitter Stream:  https://twitter.com/RealPepeEscobar

 

Marking the twentieth anniversary of “9/11”

Marking the twentieth anniversary of “9/11”

September 08, 2021

By Zamir Awan for the Saker Blog

President Joe Biden, smartly announced that the US troops will withdraw from Afghanistan by 11 September 2021, marking the twentieth Anniversary of the staged drama of “9/11”. He deviated from the actual deal reached between President Trump and the Taliban in February 2020, which was to complete evacuation before May 2021. President Joe Biden has the right to become a hero and get credit by linking withdrawal with “9/11”. Because he was part of scriptwriting the drama “9/11”. Without going into details, of 9/11, many reports are available describing it as a pre-planned play only.

The US was keeping its eyes on the natural resources and oil wealth of the Muslim world. He needed an excuse to impose a war on Muslim World to achieve its economic and political objectives. President Bush used “9/11” as a false flag operation, and without investigating or compiling any concrete pieces of evidence, he announce the launch of the Crusade against the Muslim world. Maybe it was written in the script already, and he have to perform accordingly. Although, it was never proved that Afghanistan was involved in “9/11”.

A massive media campaign was launched, the unholy media, played a dirty role and spread fake news, fabricated stories, and distorted stories of Muslims. Media is merely a tool for Western powers to malign any country, nation, or individual. Ugly media is one sale or for money ready to serve them, The unholy media, keeping ethics and their conscious out and looking after materialistic gains only. Projected Muslims as terrorists, barbaric, uncivilized, etc.

The BBC broke the news of Weapons of Mass destruction, and after destroying Iraq, they found nothing, and BBC accepted that the news of Weapons of Mass destruction was wrong, Prime Minister of the UK have to apologize later on. Similar tactics were used to destroy Libya. Again, it was BBC, reported, the use of Chemical weapons by Syrian Governments, which could not be verified later on, but the war in Syria has killed millions of innocent people, made millions homeless, economic loss worth hundreds of billions were caused to a poor country like Syria.

Afghanistan was attacked, and the Taliban were pushed out. Two-decades war, caused two trillion dollars, few thousand American lives, but millions of Afghans innocent citizens were killed, made homeless. Marriage parties were bombed, funerals were bombed, mother all bombs were used, schools were destroyed, hospitals were destroyed, Mosques were destroyed, agriculture, businesses were damaged. The whole society was made suffering.

The US and its close allies were beneficiaries of wars and looted the oil wealth of many Muslim countries. The net losers were the Muslim world, millions were killed, millions were injured, arrested, tortured, made homeless. The economies of Muslim countries were destroyed, Agriculture destroyed, image distorted.

Yet have to leave humiliated. The US is claiming, the safe evacuation of its troops, as its victory, and the Joe Biden administration is trying to get credit. Actually, it was the part of the peace deal, that the Taliban will allow and facilitate the safe exit with face-saving to all US troops. Taliban are responsible people and stick to their words, and did allow safe exit. It is no credit to US-Administration, but credit goes to the Taliban.

In fact, the Taliban has not harmed anyone and pardoned everyone with an open heart. Since 15 August, from peaceful recapture of Kabul to safe evacuation, law and order situation in Afghanistan, the world has witnessed, something different from the narrative which bias Western media was propagating. Taliban are behaving gently, kindly, modestly, and much more maturely, wisely, and smartly.

They have been announcing one by one important figure with their responsibilities in the new set-up. They were vigilant, and watching the response of the international community. They were engaged in diplomatic and political activities and coordinating with the international community. Now the stage has come where they are more confident and already got international recognition informally and are in a position to announce new Government.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid on Tuesday announced 33 members of the “acting” government, saying that it will be led by Mohammad Hasan Akhund while the group’s co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar will be the deputy Afghan leader.

Key figures in the interim govt include Prime Minister, Mohammad Hasan Akhund. Deputy Prime Minister, Abdul Ghani Baradar. Interior Minister, Sirjauddin Haqqani. Foreign Minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi. Deputy Foreign Minister, Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai. Defence Minister, Mullah Yaqoob. Army Chief, Fasihuddin Badakhshani.

Finance Minister, Mullah Hidayatullah. Information Minister, Zabihullah Mujahid. Taliban’s deputy leader Sirajuddin Haqqani will be the acting interior minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi will be the acting foreign minister, political chief Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai will be the acting deputy foreign minister and Mullah Yaqoob will be the acting defense minister, he announced during a press conference in Kabul.

Mujahid himself will be the information minister, Fasihuddin Badakhshani will be the army chief, and Mullah Hidayatullah will be the finance minister.

The heads of various other ministries will be appointed soon, Mujahid added.

“All groups have been represented in the cabinet,” he said. The Taliban spokesperson said Afghanistan had “gained freedom”, stressing that “only the will of Afghans” will be applicable in the country. “After today, no one will be able to interfere in Afghanistan,” he emphasized. Mujahid said that the Taliban had been in contact with various countries and their envoys had visited Afghanistan. In response to a question, the spokesperson said the country will now be called the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

Mujahid said there was no fighting in Panjshir, the last holdout of anti-Taliban forces in the country and the only province the Taliban had not seized during their blitz across Afghanistan last month. Separately, in a written statement, Acting Prime Minister Mohammad Hasan Akhund congratulated Afghans for the “withdrawal of all foreign forces, end of the occupation and complete liberation of the country”.

A caretaker and “committed” cabinet had been announced which will start working at the earliest, he said, adding that the leaders will “work hard towards upholding Islamic rules and Sharia (Islamic law) in the country, protecting the country’s highest interests, securing Afghanistan’s borders, and ensuring lasting peace, prosperity, and development”.

All governance and life in the country will henceforth be in accordance with Islamic law, Akhund said.

“We want to have a peaceful, prosperous, and self-reliant Afghanistan, for which we will strive to eliminate all causes of war and strife in the country, and [for] our countrymen to live in complete security and comfort.”

He also emphasized that the interim government will take “serious and effective steps” to protect human rights as well as the rights of minorities and underprivileged groups within the framework of the demands of Islam.

“All Afghans, without distinction or exception, will have the right to live with dignity and peace in their own country. Their lives, property, and honor will be protected.”

Terming education “one of the most important requirements”, the Taliban leader said it will be the government’s duty to provide a healthy and safe environment to all citizens to study religion and modern sciences.

“We will pave the way for the country’s development in the field of education and build our country with knowledge and understanding,” he added.

He pointed out that the country had been suffering from war and economic crises for the last four decades. “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan will use all its resources for economic strength, prosperity, and development on top of strengthening security,” he assured.

Talking further about his government’s plans, Akhund said: “It will manage domestic revenue properly and transparently, provide special opportunities for international investment and various sectors of trade [and] will work to fight unemployment effectively. Our ultimate goal will be to get our country back on its feet as quickly as possible, and efficiently perform reconstruction and rehabilitation work in our war-torn country.”

He added that the interim government would reach out to Afghan businessmen, investors, and sensible citizens to ask for their support and help in ending poverty and strengthening the country’s economy.

Talking about the media, he said the government would work towards its freedom, functioning, and improvement in quality. “We consider it our duty to take into account the sacred precepts of Islam, the national interest of the country, and impartiality in our broadcasts,” he added.

Furthermore, the Taliban wanted to have “strong and healthy” relations with all countries based on mutual respect, he said.

“We are committed to all international laws and treaties, resolutions and commitments that are not in conflict with Islamic law and the country’s national values,” Akhund stressed.

Akhund said he wanted to give Afghanistan’s neighbors, the region, and the world the message that Afghan soil would not be used against any other country, stressing that there was “no concern”.

“We assure all foreign diplomats, embassies, consulates, humanitarian organizations, and investors in the country that they will not face any problem. The Islamic Emirate is doing its best for its complete security and safety. Their presence is a need of our country, so they should carry out their work with peace of mind.”

Akhund emphasized that “no one should be worried about the future.” He said the country needed the support of its people and assured skilled people, including doctors, engineers, scholars, professors, and scientists that they would be valued.

No one was allowed to destroy, waste, or take possession of the public treasury, including military vehicles, weapons, ammunition, government buildings, and national property, he said.

The Taliban who swept to power last month has been expected to announce a government since the United States-led evacuation was completed at the end of August. They have promised an “inclusive” government that represents Afghanistan’s complex ethnic makeup, though women are unlikely to be included at the top levels. As they transition from insurgency group to governing power, the Taliban have a series of major issues to address, including looming financial and humanitarian crises.

The caretaker Government is all-inclusive, all ethnic groups, religious factions, minorities, Women, etc were given representation. Of course Traitors, CIA agents, Foreign implants, and disloyal with Afghanistan, will be not considered in political setup. Either they belong to Hamid Karzai, or Ashraf Ghani groups, or Dr.Najeeb, Hafizullah Amin, Babrak Karmal, or Noor Muhammad Turkey group, will be out of new government. Both groups were foreign agents, either baked by USSR or the US, are not to be considered for any political role in the future of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan has a long history, its uniques tribal society, traditions, and culture, the Western world can not understand their psychic and should not impose any democratic demands. The West should fulfill its moral obligation by paying them the war compensation so that reconstruction of Afghanistan can be made possible. The US spent Two Trillion Dollars to destroy Afghanistan, it is expected only a percentage of this amount should pay for rebuilding Afghanistan.

It is expected that the Taliban will formally announce their Government on September 11, 2021, marking the twentieth anniversary of “9/11”.

Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan. (E-mail: awanzamir@yahoo.com).

Afghanistan: US defeat stems from its ruinous response to 9/11 attacks

6 September 2021 10:08 UTC 

Peter Oborne

Osama bin Laden outwitted George W Bush by dragging America into its unwinnable ‘war on terror’. If the US had reacted more rationally, the world today would look very differently

US President George W Bush being informed by his chief of staff, Andrew Card, of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York during a visit to a Florida school, 11 September 2001 (AFP)

Today George W Bush lives a comfortable life in his adoptive home state of Texas. He has reinvented himself as a painter.

Osama bin Laden was shot dead by US special forces and reportedly buried at sea.

But the two men will always be remembered for the same reason: Osama bin Laden’s attack on the United States on 11 September 2001 – and Bush’s ruinous response. The memories of these terrible events are still raw, though some of the facts remain disputed. 

Looking back with the perspective of 20 years, we can judge which man came closest to realising his objectives.

It was not George W Bush. With the Taliban back in charge in Afghanistan, the neoconservative project in ruins and the United States in headlong retreat from its global ambitions, Bush has a claim to be, by some distance, the most disastrous president in his country’s history.

Morally abject figure

Bin Laden is a morally abject figure, a preacher of death and hatred. Yet he outwitted Bush, the leader of the western world, the trustee of all its values, the beneficiary of its intellectual and scientific vitality. 

Before 9/11, bin Laden could command at most a few thousand followers: a sandal-wearing tribal militia whose most powerful military weapons were machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. But, paradoxically, that gave it an advantage against the most powerful and well-equipped armed forces the world has ever known. Two decades since 9/11: The human toll of the ‘war on terror’

Bin Laden induced the United States to commit itself to an open-ended asymmetric war against him and any other group of terrorists America deemed to be his allies. He wanted the US to invade Muslim countries so that jihad could bleed America’s military in prolonged guerrilla warfare. Only that way could the US, like the Soviet Union before it, be defeated.

This forced the US into committing colossal military resources for limited and impermanent gains. Above all, it imposed a steady flow of US casualties in faraway countries largely unknown to the American population, with no prospect of an end that would allow their loved ones to come home. 

Those armed forces have been defeated. Not just once, but twice. First in Iraq, then in Afghanistan. They have not lost any conventional battle – but they failed, totally, to achieve their objectives.

Historians and analysts have not yet even begun to grasp the meaning and consequence of 9/11 and its aftermath. US military thinkers and their British equivalents are in open denial. 

Superficial parallel

The first important point to grasp is that bin Laden himself did not defeat them. After the destruction of the Twin Towers, the al-Qaeda leader was either in hiding or on the run. His lines of communications were broken, while by the end of 2001 his organisation could count on no more than a few dozen fighters. 

9/11 crash
A hijacked plane approaches the World Trade Center in New York, 11 September 2001 (AFP)

Meanwhile, the world was on the side of the United States, including candlelit vigils in Tehran. 

George W Bush rejected these offers, a mistake brought about by a misunderstanding of the meaning of 9/11. Bush interpreted it as an act of war equivalent to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941.

It was a superficial parallel. For while Pearl Harbor and 9/11 were both unforeseen by intelligence agencies and came from the air, Pearl Harbor was an act of conventional war, launched by Japan, an organised state, and as such demanded a conventional military response.

Bin Laden played the United States president with the proficiency of a highly skilled judoka, whose objective is to use the weight of his opponent to defeat him

The attack on the Twin Towers, for all its horror, was a terrorist atrocity, by what modern jargon describes as a “non-state actor”. The US president could and should have dealt with it by hunting down bin Laden and his murderous associates using counterterrorism methods – those which ultimately secured his death. 

He chose not to do so, launching instead his “war on terror”, an abstract, undefined and open-ended concept which played mightily into the hands of al-Qaeda. The “war on terror” gave an immediate boost in domestic politics for an undistinguished, underachieving presidency. Bush’s popularity ratings soared and his administration, with suspicious promptitude, was able to introduce a raft of tough security legislation, which it passed with minimal resistance. But it was a military and foreign policy disaster. 

Bush was not alone in his error. In the UK, Prime Minister Tony Blair shared his analysis (and so did the media: even the Guardian’s headline the following day read “A declaration of war”). But this formulation laid open the question: who was the US fighting against? 

Remember, no national government had supported the attack; not even the Taliban in Afghanistan supported bin Laden’s plan for international jihad. Bin Laden played the United States president with the proficiency of a highly skilled judoka, whose objective is to use the weight of his opponent to defeat him.

‘Head of the snake’

To quote Professor Fawaz Gerges, historian of al-Qaeda: “Bin Laden and his inner circle developed a strategic vision that involved forcing the United States to fight the war on bin Laden’s terms and lash out angrily against the Muslim world at large. As a small elitist vanguard, they could neither challenge American power nor survive direct confrontation with it. The only way to level the playing field lay in asymmetric warfare, one that ignited a greater clash between America and the world of Islam.”

To an astonishing extent, bin Laden caused all this to happen. His underlying objective was always to drive American forces out of Muslim countries, in particular his native Saudi Arabia, the land of the two holy places, Mecca and Medina. (That has still not been achieved, though with America exposed as an unreliable ally in headlong retreat, it is a more likely outcome than ever before.)

bin laden rally, Pakistan
Protesters flash victory signs during a rally in support of Osama bin Laden in Lahore, Pakistan, on 21 September 2001 (AFP)

While other jihadis wanted to fight the “near enemy” – US-sponsored client regimes across the Muslim world – bin Laden’s special insight was the strategic utility of striking “at the head of the snake” and thus provoking the United States into a violent and irrational response which would poison its relationships with Muslim states and communities and make all of his Muslim opponents look like collaborators with the enemy. 

Chaos and carnage

Bin Laden knew also that he and his followers could prevail in the struggle simply by remaining in being and forcing the US to accept more casualties and costs than its population would be ready to endure. 

The course of events suggests that bin Laden may have understood the United States rather more clearly than Bush. He induced the US president to do exactly what he wanted, plunging much of the Muslim world into a period of chaos and carnage, from which it has yet to emerge, and creating the conditions for al-Qaeda and other terror groups to prosper.

For the neocons as for al-Qaeda, there was no middle way. The world was divided into two opposing forces: Islam and the West – and only one could emerge victorious

The neoconservatives who directed Bush’s response to 9/11 and al-Qaeda mirrored each other. They were both revivalist movements at odds with what they saw as a corrupt modernity seeking inspiration in the Salaf – the ancients. They both despised due process and the rule of law. They preferred violence to diplomacy.

For the neocons as for al-Qaeda, there was no middle way. The world was divided into two opposing forces: Islam and the West – and only one could emerge victorious. Both saw themselves as the ultimate good fighting the ultimate evil. Both despised moderate Muslims as much as western liberals. 

Al-Qaeda and the neocons thus shared the false interpretation of Islam as a religion of violence and the same demented belief in an irreconcilable clash of civilisations between Muslims and the West. 

Between them, they plunged much of the world into a death spiral. Muslims have suffered far worse in terms of lives lost. But America’s reputation across the world as a force for good has been destroyed, while the country now faces military defeat and a deep moral crisis from which it may not recover.

Had George W Bush acted rationally, Osama bin Laden would be despised as another terrorist – and no more. Thanks to Bush, he became a terrorist who changed world history, and a model for other terrorists across the world.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.Peter ObornePeter Oborne won best commentary/blogging in 2017 and was named freelancer of the year in 2016 at the Online Media Awards for articles he wrote for Middle East Eye. He was also named as British Press Awards Columnist of the Year in 2013. He resigned as chief political columnist of the Daily Telegraph in 2015. His latest book, The Assault on Truth, was published in February 2021. His previous books include The Triumph of the Political Class, The Rise of Political Lying, and Why the West is Wrong about Nuclear Iran.

On Propaganda and Failed Narratives: New Understanding of Afghanistan is a Must

September 02nd, 2021

US Afghanistan Feature photo
US-Western propaganda, which has afflicted our collective understanding of Afghanistan for twenty years and counting, has been so overpowering to the point that we are left without the slightest understanding of the dynamics that led to the Taliban’s swift takeover.

By Ramzy Baroud

Source

For twenty years, two dominant narratives have shaped our view of the illegal US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, and neither one of these narratives would readily accept the use of such terms as ‘illegal’, ‘invasion’ and ‘occupation.’

The framing of the US ‘military intervention’ in Afghanistan, starting on October 7, 2001, as the official start of what was dubbed as a global ‘war on terror’ was left almost entirely to US government strategists. Former President, George W. Bush, his Vice President, Dick Cheney, his Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld and an army of spokespersons, neoconservative ‘intellectuals’, journalists and so on, championed the military option as a way to rid Afghanistan of its terrorists, make the world a safe place and, as a bonus, bring democracy to Afghanistan and free its oppressed women.

For that crowd, the US war in an already war-torn and extremely impoverished country was a just cause, maybe violent at times, but ultimately humanistic.

Another narrative, also a western one, challenged the gung-ho approach used by the Bush administration, argued that democracy cannot be imposed by force, reminded Washington of Bill Clinton’s multilateral approach to international politics, warned against the ‘cut and run’ style of foreign policymaking, whether in Afghanistan, Iraq or elsewhere.

Although both narratives may have seemed at odds, at times, in actuality they accepted the basic premise that the United States is capable of being a moral force in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Whether those who may refer to themselves as ‘antiwar’ realize this or not, they, too, subscribe to the same notion of American exceptionalism and ‘Manifest Destiny’ that Washington continues to assign to itself.

The main difference between both of these narratives is that of methodology and approach and not whether the US has the right to ‘intervene’ in the affairs of another country, whether to ‘eradicate terrorism’ or to supposedly help a victim population, incapable of helping themselves and desperate for a western savior.

However, the humiliating defeat suffered by the US in Afghanistan should inspire a whole new way of thinking, one that challenges all Western narratives, without exception, in Afghanistan and throughout the world.

Obviously, the US has failed in Afghanistan, not only militarily and politically – let alone in terms of ‘state-building’ and every other way – the US-Western narratives on Afghanistan were, themselves, a failure. Mainstream media, which for two decades have reported on the country with a palpable sense of moral urgency, now seem befuddled. US ‘experts’ are as confused as ordinary people regarding the hasty retreat from Kabul, the bloody mayhem at the airport or why the US was in Afghanistan in the first place.

Meanwhile, the ‘humanistic interventionists’ are more concerned with Washington’s ‘betrayal’ of the Afghan people, ‘leaving them to their fate’, as if the Afghans are irrational beings with no agency of their own, or as if the Afghan people have called on the Americans to invade their country or have ‘elected’ American generals as their democratic representatives.

The US-Western propaganda, which has afflicted our collective understanding of Afghanistan for twenty years and counting, has been so overpowering to the point that we are left without the slightest understanding of the dynamics that led to the Taliban’s swift takeover of the country. The latter group is presented in the media as if entirely alien to the socio-economic fabric of Afghanistan. This is why the Taliban’s ultimate victory seemed, not only shocking but extremely confusing as well.

For twenty years, the very little we knew about the Taliban has been communicated to us through Western media analyses and military intelligence assessments. With the Taliban’s viewpoint completely removed from any political discourse pertaining to Afghanistan, an alternative Afghan national narrative was carefully constructed by the US and its NATO partners. These were the ‘good Afghans’, we were told, ones who dress up in Western-style clothes, speak English, attend international conferences and, supposedly, respect women. These were also the Afghans who welcomed the US occupation of their country, as they benefited greatly from Washington’s generosity.

If those ‘good Afghans’ truly represented Afghan society, why did their army of 300,000 men drop their weapons and flee the country, along with their President, without a serious fight? And if the 75,000 poorly-armed and, at times, malnourished Taliban seemed to merely represent themselves, why then did they manage to defeat formidable enemies in a matter of days?

There can be no argument that an inferior military power, like that of the Taliban, could have possibly persisted, and ultimately won, such a brutal war over the course of many years, without substantial grassroots support pouring in from the Afghan people in large swathes of the country. The majority of the Taliban recruits who have entered Kabul on August 15 were either children, or were not even born, when the US invaded their country, all those years ago. What compelled them to carry arms? To fight a seemingly unwinnable war? To kill and be killed? And why did they not join the more lucrative business of working for the Americans, like many others have?

We are just beginning to understand the Taliban narrative, as their spokespersons are slowly communicating a political discourse that is almost entirely unfamiliar to most of us. A discourse that we were not allowed to hear, interact with, or understand.

Now that the US and its NATO allies are leaving Afghanistan, unable to justify or even explain why their supposed humanitarian mission led to such an embarrassing defeat, the Afghan people are left with the challenge of weaving their own national narrative, one that must transcend the Taliban and their enemies to include all Afghans, regardless of their politics or ideology.

Afghanistan is now in urgent need of a government that truly represents the people of that country. It must grant rights to education, to minorities and to political dissidents, not to acquire a Western nod of approval, but because the Afghan people deserve to be respected, cared for and treated as equals. This is the true national narrative of Afghanistan that must be nurtured outside the confines of the self-serving Western mischaracterization of Afghanistan and her people.

آفاق استراتيجية واشنطن في المنطقة على ضوء تراجع النفوذ الأميركي

حسن حردان

يرى الكثير من المحللين والمراقبين في المنطقة والعالم أنّ الهروب الأميركي المذلّ من أفغانستان، سوف يعجل بخروج أميركا من المنطقة، لمصلحة تركيزها على الشرق الأقصى في مواجهة تنامي النفوذ الصيني في شرق آسيا والعالم…

وإذا كان من المنتظر ان يعقب الخروج الأميركي من أفغانستان، انسحاب أميركا من سورية ومن ثم العراق، لا سيما بعد توارد أنباء تفكيك واشنطن ثلاث قواعد عسكرية لها في شمال شرق سورية من ناحية، وتواتر عمليات المقاومة الوطنية العراقية والسورية ضدّ أرتال القوات الأميركية في العراق والقاعدة الأميركية في ريف دير الزور من ناحية ثانية…

فإنّ من الطبيعي أن يُطرح السؤال الكبير، حول مستقبل النفوذ الاستعماري الأميركي في باقي دول المنطقة، وأمن كيان الاحتلال الصهيوني، خصوصاً أنّ الانسحاب من سورية والعراق سوف يؤدّي إلى تداعيات سلبية على الدول الموالية لواشنطن وعلى أمن ووجود الكيان الصهيوني…

هل انّ واشنطن سوف تنسحب من كامل دول المنطقة، وتترك كيان العدو الصهيوني يواجه تداعيات هذا الانسحاب والتبدّل الذي سيحدثه في موازين القوى لمصلحة حلف المقاومة الذي أصبح يحاصر كيان الاحتلال؟

الجواب الأكيد هو أنّ واشنطن لن تنسحب نهائياً من المنطقة، لعدة أسباب:

السبب الأول، حاجتها لحماية مصالحها الاستعمارية المتمثلة بالنفط والغاز، وهي تشكل أساس وجودها العسكري والأمني، وطالما انّ هناك نفطاً وغازاً يشكلان شريان الاقتصاد العالمي وعصب هذا الاقتصاد فإنّ أميركا ستبقي على جزء من قواتها وقواعدها لحراسة هذه المصالح.

السبب الثاني حماية خطوط إمداد النفط والغاز التي تعبر المضائق والبحار من الخليج ومروراً بمضيق هرمز ومضيق باب المندب، وقناة السويس، ووصولاً إلى الدول الصناعية الكبرى.

السبب الثالث، حماية أمن ووجود كيان الاحتلال الصهيوني الذي يشكل ركيزة أميركا الاستعمارية الأساسية في قلب الوطن العربي، فهذا الكيان زرع من قبل الاستعمار لأجل تقسيم وتجزئة الوطن العربي، وضمان استمرار نهب الشركات الأميركية الغربية للنفط والغاز في العالم العربي.

لكن تراجع الحضور العسكري الأميركي وتنامي قوة حلف المقاومة، سيحدث خللاً في موازين القوى، يجبر أميركا على اعتماد سياسات لتحديد خسائرها والحدّ من تراجع نفوذها، طالما أنها لم تعد قادر على شنّ حروب عسكرية مكلفة لها وتتجاوز قدراتها…

ولهذا يتوقع ان تلجأ واشنطن إلى وضع استراتيجية تقوم على البراغماتية هدفها الحدّ من تراجع نفوذها، وحماية مصالحها، وقوام هذه الاستراتيجية المتوقعة ما يلي:

أولاً، العودة إلى الاتفاق النووي من دون ايّ تعديل، ورفع العقوبات عن إيران، بعد أن تستنفذ واشنطن محاولات إدخال تعديلات على الاتفاق واستثناء بعض العقوبات، لكن من دون جدوى…

ثانياً، دفع الدول الحليفة والموالية لأميركا لتجاوز خلافاتها وتوحيد صفوفها بما يجعلها قادرة على مواجهة حلف المقاومة بعد تراجع النفوذ الأميركي.. وهو ما بدأت المباشرة به هذه الدول بإيعاز أميركي.

ثالثاً، العمل على إقناع المسؤولين «الإسرائيليين» لأجل العودة لإحياء المفاوضات مع السلطة الفلسطينية على أساس حلّ الدولتين باعتبار ذلك هو الضمانة الإستراتيجية لتحقيق أمن واستقرار الكيان «الإسرائيلي» على المدى البعيد، لأنّ البديل عن ذلك مواجهة الكيان الصهيوني مقاومة فلسطينية تزداد قوة وقدرة وعزيمة، مدعومة من حلف المقاومة الخارج منتصراً من مواجهة حروب أميركا المباشرة وغير المباشرة…

Zakharova: Russia to Mull Recognizing Taliban as Afghanistan’s Authority

 September 2, 2021

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen

The Russian Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Maria Zakharova voiced Russia’s concern over “growing social and economic tension in Afghanistan,” urging the international community to help.

Visual search query image
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova

Russia condemned the latest US raid, which resulted in civilian casualties, in the Afghan capital of Kabul, and asserted that it’s in search of a way to offer humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova noted during a press conference she held today, that “the final chord of the international coalition’s military presence was another incident resulting in the death of civilians in a strike by a US drone, which caused the collapse of a home and the death of nine people, including six children. We strongly condemn such indiscriminate use of force.”

Zakharova also described the result of NATO’s mission in Afghanistan as a failure and a disaster, clarifying that “the problems of terrorism, drug trafficking, and low living standards of the local population have not been resolved,” rather, they deteriorated.

Zakharova also considered that the situation throughout these years did not get any better or more stable, rather NATO left behind what is evident in footage broadcast all around the world.

“We are particularly concerned about the growing social and economic tension in Afghanistan, which is associated with the suspension of financial and technical assistance from traditional Western donors. There is still uncertainty about the resumption of work of state institutions and banks,” she said.

She also added that Kabul and other major cities are witnessing dissatisfaction towards “Taliban” policies in light of rising prices, calling on the international community to “take effective measures to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan,” also saying that Russia is mulling the possibility of “delivering Russian humanitarian aid to Kabul.”

Zakharova also expressed that Russia is in favor of the formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan, noting that there are signs that the “Taliban” is ready to develop its relationship with the international community.

Asked whether Russia will recognize the “Taliban” as Afghanistan’s legitimate authority, the Spokesperson said that the question will be put on the agenda after the formation of an inclusive government in the country.

Bin Salman Is Said To Have Played Role in Kabul Airport Attack

September 2, 2021 

Bin Salman Is Said To Have Played Role in Kabul Airport Attack

By Staff, Agencies

A Saudi opposition figure, Abdul Rahmad Suhaimi, has spoken of the role of crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman [MBS] in supporting Daesh [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group] elements during the attack on Kabul airport.

According to the opponent, sources close to the Saudi government in Bin Salman’s offices and ministries have confirmed the Saudi Crown Prince’s support for the Daesh terrorist group in the attack on Kabul Airport.

As Suhaimi described, MBS has sought to show the Taliban is incapable of ensuring Afghan people’s security and prove that under the Taliban Afghanistan will be a hub of terrorism.

Two suicide bombers and gunmen attacked crowds of Afghans flocking to Kabul Airport on Thursday, August 26.

A “complex attack” on Thursday at the airport in Afghanistan’s capital caused a number of US and civilian casualties, the Pentagon said.

Several US service members were also killed in the attack.

US Global Wars Cost 900k Lives, $8 Trillion Over Two Decades

 September 2, 2021

US Global Wars Cost 900k Lives, $8 Trillion Over Two Decades

By Staff, Agencies

The US so-called war on terror has taken almost one million lives across the globe and cost the country $8 trillion, over the past two decades, says a new report.

A report issued by Costs of War Project at Brown University, at end of the disastrous US withdrawal from Afghanistan, estimated 897,000 to 929,000 people have lost their lives as a direct result of war, whether by bombs, bullets or fire, in some 80 countries.

“The war has been long and complex and horrific and unsuccessful… and the war continues in over 80 countries,” said co-director of Costs of War, Catherine Lutz on Wednesday.

The death toll, includes US military members, allied fighters, opposition fighters, civilians, journalists and humanitarian aid workers, the report said.

The figure, however, does not include the many indirect deaths the war has caused by way of disease, displacement and loss of access to food or clean drinking water.

“The deaths we tallied are likely a vast undercount of the true toll these wars have taken on human life,” said Neta Crawford, another co-founder of the project.

The project also revealed that the wars have cost the US an estimated $8 trillion in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Syria.

Of the $8 trillion, $2.3 trillion is attributed to the Afghanistan/Pakistan war zone.

“The Pentagon and the US military have now absorbed the great majority of the federal discretionary budget, and most people don’t know that,” said Lutz.

“Our task, now and in future years, is to educate the public on the ways in which we fund those wars and the scale of that funding,” she added.

Another researcher of the project, Stephanie Savell said, “Twenty years from now, we’ll still be reckoning with the high societal costs of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars – long after US forces are gone.”

US Global Wars Cost 900k Lives, $8 Trillion Over Two Decades
Source: Costs of War Project – Brown University

The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 as part of the so-called war on terror. While the invasion ended the Taliban’s rule in the country back then, it is now ended with the return of the group to power.

On August 31, the picture of US Army general Chris Donahue appeared on the news as the last US soldier to leave Afghanistan. US media outlets had headlines indicating that the US war in Afghanistan was finally over.

US President Joe Biden also addressed the nation, and defended his decision to withdraw, saying, “I was not going to extend this forever war, and I was not extending a forever exit” and “It’s time to end the war in Afghanistan.”

For the first time in 20 years now, there is no US military presence in Afghanistan, but observers say no troops on the ground does not mean that the US war in the country is over.

They said the withdrawal simply means that one method of waging war in Afghanistan is no longer occurring.

Why the current hysteria?

Why the current hysteria?

September 01, 2021

by Andrei for the Saker Blog

The current mass hysteria about what just happened in Kabul and the rest of Afghanistan is not dying down.

Why is that so?

I believe that what is happening is this: if we compare the people of the USA to the passengers on the Titanic, we could say that our passengers were listening to the still playing orchestra until their feet got soaked in ice cold water, at which point denial is not an option.

For folks in Zone A, the events in Afghanistan quite literally, unthinkable.  So while some of us saw the writing on the wall already years, if not decades ago, those who lived, mentally, in Zone A what is happening now is impossible.  Impossible but happening.

The nature of what the events in Kabul showed is such, that those living in the mental Zone A cannot accept them.  But neither can they deny it anymore.

  • The Empire died in January 8th 2020
  • The USA (at least as we knew them) died on January 6th 2021

Unthinkable!  Absolutely unthinkable!  My ankles are in ice water, but the Titanic cannot sink!  It’s too big to fail.

If hope dies last, than delusions die just before it.

There is a good chance now “Biden” will not finish his term.  If, and that’s still an “if” (never say never) Kamala Harris replaces Biden, the internal negative reaction inside the USA will be huge.  Bliken looks to me like a tailor with the facial expression “I am so sorry that suit does not sit well on you” – so he is out.  The DefSec is a clown who should resign anyway (responsibility of command).

In the US ruling classes we are now beyond any kind of plan making, this is a “run for your life” kind of situation, and that means “each man for himself”.

Hence the current hysterics.

After them, most US Americans will enter some variant of the five stages of grief before, inevitably, realizing the truth and getting the energy and courage to get back again.

Until then, expect more hysterics and infighting.

Cheers

As ‘Israelis’ Watch Afghanistan, they Remember Lebanon

September 2, 2021

As ‘Israelis’ Watch Afghanistan, they Remember Lebanon

By Staff, New Lines

In a commentary following the humiliating US defeat and withdrawal from Afghanistan, Neri Zilber wrote for New Lines that senior ‘Israeli’ military officers have looked on at the chaotic and speedy events with a glimmer of recognition.

“Those now leading the ‘Israeli’ military came of age as young soldiers and junior officers during the Zionist entity’s own ill-fated foreign expedition in southern Lebanon during the 1980s and 1990s: A bloody, inconclusive guerrilla war — “‘Israel’s’ Vietnam” it came to be known — that culminated in an equally shambolic withdrawal in May 2000, after two decades of fighting” said Zilber.

While ‘Israel’ isn’t the US, and Lebanon isn’t Afghanistan, the common themes that run through both sets of wars are jarring, especially in the way a Western democracy tries to end a military campaign and how it manages [or not] the fate of local allies who fought alongside it.

“‘Israel’ left Lebanon with its tail between its legs,” Brig. Gen. Eli Amitai, one of the last Zionist commanders in southern Lebanon, told the author. “This wasn’t a withdrawal — it was a house of cards, like dominoes falling.”

The Zionist occupiers started their misadventure in Lebanon. Later on, Hezbollah began firing rockets into northern ‘Israeli’-occupied territories, causing fatalities among Zionist occupiers places in the so-called Security Zone at some two dozen a year. Increasingly, the impression inside the Zionist community was that this was a campaign with no end and with no discernible objective.

The withdrawal started becoming popular and the political tide was shifting.

By early 2000 Hezbollah increased its resistance operations on the Zionist military inside Lebanon.

In the ensuing weeks, the Zionist military began thinning the number of its forces inside the so-called ‘Security Zone’ and handing off outposts to its militia in Lebanon, the so-called ‘South Lebanon Army’ [SLA].

As resistance operations stepped up, then Zionist Prime Minister Ehud Barak was left with no choice: He ordered the military to move up the withdrawal, starting immediately. The last of the Zionist military’s positions was blown up, and soldiers evacuated May 23-24.

Closing the gate behind him, the last ‘Israeli’ soldier to leave Lebanon was the Zionist commander for the ‘Security Zone’, Benny Gantz, the ‘Israeli’ entity’s current war minister. A 20-year scheme of war and occupation was undone in four days.

The question remains, however, whether a dramatically “better” way could have been found. The real lesson of the Zionist regime’s experience in Lebanon is likely that the decision itself to withdraw unleashes its own dynamics.

The hasty withdrawal [“with its tail between its legs”] from Lebanon emboldened Hezbollah and decreased ‘Israeli’ deterrence vis-à-vis its enemies.

Meanwhile, watching events unfold in Kabul over the past two weeks, Zionist officials are less concerned about what it says about the US commitment to the Zionist entity and other close allies. “I’m not sure it’ll have a major impact on us directly and on how the US does things here,” one senior ‘Israeli’ government official told the author when queried regarding Afghanistan. Yet there is concern in some ‘Israeli’ quarters that a similar dynamic will play out among America’s enemies as happened after the Lebanon withdrawal.

“Everyone is looking at these pictures,” a senior IDF official told me.

As Tel Aviv found out the hard way, even after you rightfully end a war, the war never really ends.

الأميركي ومعادلة «الخسارة الممكن إلحاقها بحزب الله هي أن ندعه يربح»!


أيلول 2 2021

 ناصر قنديل

وصل الأميركيون بعد عشرين عاماً إلى قناعة في أفغانستان أن إلحاق الهزيمة بحركة طالبان مستحيل، طالما بقي الأميركيون قوة احتلال في أفغانستان، وبقيت الحكومة التي يرعونها وينفقون عليها المليارات مجرد حكومة عميلة غارقة في الفساد، وأن الإصرار على هزيمة طالبان سيعني منحها فرصة الانتصار الكامل لأنها تستثمر على صفتها المتنامية كقوة مقاومة للاحتلال والحكومة العميلة التي نصبها على أفغانستان، وأن الخسارة الواقعية التي يمكنهم إلحاقها بطالبان تتوقف على أن يتقبلوا هزيمتهم أمامها، وتجرع مرارة كأس الانسحاب من دون شروط، فتنال طالبان هدف الوصول الى الحكم، وتنأى واشنطن بنفسها عن الخسارة الأكبر، وتتقبل التعامل عن بعد مع أفغانستان وهي ترى كيف ستنفتح عليها الصين وروسيا وإيران، وكيف تتبلور صورة جديدة لشمال شرقي آسيا، لم تكن واشنطن ترغب برؤيتها لكنها أقل الخسائر.

في التعامل مع حزب الله تبدو الصورة أشد تعقيداً، لارتباط موازين قوة حزب الله بأمن كيان الاحتلال الذي يحتل مكانة أولى في السياسات الأميركية تجاه المنطقة، لكن ذلك لا يخفي الارتباك الأميركي أمام كيفية التعامل مع حزب الله، بعدما صارت الحرب شبه مستحيلة، في ظل قناعة أميركية «إسرائيلية» بأنّ ما لدى حزب الله كاف، في حال اندلاع حرب، لتشكيل تهديد وجودي على كيان الاحتلال، وبذلك تحوّل الرهان على اتباع سياسة تدفع بلبنان نحو الانهيار عبر إيقاف تجاوب الصناديق المالية الدولية التي تحركها القرارات الأميركية مع طلبات التمويل اللبنانية، بعدما أدمن النظام المالي اللبناني عليها وصار مهدّداً بالسقوط بمجرد توقفها، وعبر إيقاف كلّ طريق تمويل جانبي كانت تؤمنه دول الخليج، بما في ذلك حركة السياح الخليجيين والودائع الخليجية نحو لبنان، وكان الرهان أن يقود الانهيار إلى القول لحزب الله إن لبنان سيسقط على رأسه، وإن سلاحه سيفقد قيمته، وإنّ التسليم بجعل هذا السلاح ودوائر تأثيره في موازين القوى مع كيان الاحتلال، موضوعاً للتفاوض هو أقلّ الخسائر لتجنب السقوط الكبير.

قالت التجربة الواقعية إن هذا الطريق تحوّل بالنسبة لحزب الله من تحد إلى فرصة من بوابة سفن المحروقات الإيرانية، وهي فرصة مزدوجة، فمن جهة تقول هذه السفن كما قرأ «الإسرائيليون» إنّ حزب الله يتميّز عن الآخرين في الداخل والخارج بأنه لا يكتفي بالأقوال، بل يملك أفعالاً تخفف المعاناة ولو لم تشكل حلاً كاملاً للأزمة، ومن جهة موازية تقول مسيرة السفن إنّ مدى الردع الذي بناه حزب الله على البر يتحوّل على مدى بحري واسع ممتد من موانئ إيران عبر المضائق والبحار إلى الساحل اللبناني، لأنّ أيّ اعتراض لمسار السفن عسكرياً سيؤدي إلى الحرب التي يسعى الأميركي و»الإسرائيلي» إلى تفاديها، وبات واضحاً أن المزيد سينتج المزيد المعاكس، وأن الإصرار على جعل حزب الله يخسر ينتج العكس ويجعله يربح أكثر، كما هو توصيف تجربة ما بعد القرار 1701، الذي بدلاً من أن ينتهي بتقييد قوة حزب الله، نجح حزب الله بمضاعفة قوته في ظل هذا القرار، وحال الرهان على الحرب على سورية وتأثيرها في قوة حزب الله في المنطقة، بحيث تحولت هذه الحرب إلى مصدر لتنامي قوة حزب الله الإقليمية بعدما كان الرهان على جعلها مصدراً لاستنزافه وتشتيت قواه، ولم يعد خافياً أن النقاش الأميركي حول لبنان قد بدأ، وعلامات البداية بما قالته السفيرة الأميركية في بيروت عن نوايا وتوجهات لإعادة النظر بمنظومة العقوبات التي يفرضها قانون قيصر على العلاقات اللبنانية- السورية، لتسهيل استجرار الغاز المصري والكهرباء الأردنية، من جهة، ومن جهة مقابلة ما قاله السيناتور الأميركي كريس ميرفي، والذي يشغل رئيس اللجنة الفرعية للعلاقات الخارجية في مجلس الشيوخ، قبيل زيارة وفد من الكونغرس برئاسته إلى بيروت، “أن الولايات المتحدة يجب أن تخفض أولوية الردع الإيراني وتحث المملكة العربية السعودية على «التصالح» مع نفوذ حزب الله في لبنان”. وهذا النوع من السياسات يعني صرف النظر عن الرهان السابق على إسقاط لبنان أملاً بأن يسقط على رأس حزب الله، تسليم بالقلق من أنّ لبنان يتجه بسبب هذه السياسات للسقوط في حضن حزب الله، كما قال “الإسرائيليون”.

تستشعر أميركا أنها تدخل مرحلة جديدة في العالم، ليست فيها فرضيات الربح، بل المفاضلة بين خسارة أعلى وخسارة أدنى، وأن مقابلها أعداء وخصوم دخلوا مرحلة تصبح فيها كل سياسة أميركية تجاههم هي فرصة ربح، وعليها أن تختار بين منحهم فرصة الربح الأعلى أو الربح الأدنى، وبعدما كانت معادلة رابح رابح تعني في الماضي الربح المتبادل لطرفي الصراع عبر التسويات، صارت معادلة رابح رابح تصح في حال خصوم واشنطن، الذين سيربحون مهما كانت عليه الحال في السياسات الأميركية، وفي حالة حزب الله تبدو الأمور شديدة الوضوح، ويبدو أن أفضل فرص إلحاق «الخسارة» بحزب الله هي بتركه يربح من دون مواجهة، فإذا كانت النظرية التي تفسر طلب الاستقالة من الرئيس السابق سعد الحريري قبل سنتين، هي ترك حزب الله يواجه الأزمة وجهاً لوجه، ليدق الباب متوسلاً طلباً للتفاوض، تبدو النظرية السائدة أميركياً اليوم هي تسريع قيام حكومة يبذل حزب الله جهوده لولادتها وتركه يربح بولادتها، بما تعني من زوال لمرحلة الضغوط الشديدة على لبنان، أملاً بأن تحول دون إطلاق يد حزب الله في تقديم نموذج مختلف يظهر للبنانيين إمكانية تقديم حلول، قد تكون الاستثمارات الصينية وجهتها النهائية.

Kabul Is Not Saigon : Afghanistan: Drug Trade and Belt and Road

AUGUST 31, 2021

By Peter Koenig for The Saker Blog

All flags are on half-mast in the US of A. The cause are the 13 American soldiers killed in this huge suicide bombing outside Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, on Thursday, 26 August.

As it stands, at least 150 people – Afghans, including at least 30 Taliban – plus 13 American military – were killed and at least 1,300 injured, according to the Afghan Health Ministry.

The Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the bombing via Amaq Media, the official Islamic State (ISIS) news agency. The perpetrators, the message says, were members of the ISIS-Khorasan, or ISIS-K.

As reported by RT, US military leaders knew “hours in advance” that a “mass casualty event” was planned at Kabul airport. However, accounts from the troops in harm’s way suggest that nothing was done to protect them or the airport. See this https://www.rt.com/usa/533462-pentagon-knew-kabul-suicide-bombing/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Email .

Rt further reports, “The bombing provoked the US into launching two drone strikes, one targeting an alleged “planner” and “facilitator” with the group responsible, and another supposedly wiping out “multiple” would-be suicide bombers but reportedly annihilating a family and children alongside them.

Why was nothing done to prevent this bloody, atrocious attack? – In fact, the Pentagon announced just yesterday that another massive attack was likely, meaning they have information that another mass-killing may take place?

In the meantime, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) confirmed that the last three US military transport planes have departed the Hamid Karzai Airport just ahead of the August 31, 2021, deadline, officially ending the American withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“The war is over. America’s last troops have just left Kabul airport,” RT’s Murad Gazdiev tweeted from Kabul, adding that the war lasted “19 years, 10 months and 25 days.

What he didn’t say is that the monetary cost of the war was at least 3 trillion dollars, that about 241,000 people have been killed in the Afghanistan and Pakistan war zone since 2001. More than 71,000 of those killed have been civilians. These figures include (through April 2021) 2,448 American service members; 3,846 U.S. contractors, and some 66,000 Afghan national military and police. See this https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/costs/human/civilians/afghan .
—-
Twenty years of war – and only ten days to defeat the US military.

Really? – Is this really the end of the US involvement in Afghanistan? Too many strange events and occurrences are pointing in a different direction.

Let’s have a closer look. The Islamic State – ISIS claims responsibility. As we know by now and since quite a while, ISIS is a creation of the CIA. The sophistication of the attack, the Pentagon non-interference, despite their prior knowledge, might, just might – indicate that this attack may have been a well-coordinated “false flag”?

Who benefits? Cui Bono?

On August 19, 2021, the Washington Post, referring to President Trump’s Peace Agreement with Taliban in Doha, Qatar, in February 2020, reports – “As President Donald Trump’s administration signed a peace deal with the Taliban in February 2020, he optimistically proclaimed that “we think we’ll be successful in the end.” His secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, asserted that the administration was “seizing the best opportunity for peace in a generation.”


“Eighteen months later, President Joe Biden is pointing to the agreement signed in Doha, Qatar, as he tries to deflect blame for the Taliban overrunning Afghanistan in a blitz. He says it bound him to withdraw U.S. troops, setting the stage for the chaos engulfing the country.”

“But Biden can go only so far in claiming the agreement boxed him in. It had an escape clause: The U.S. could have withdrawn from the accord if Afghan peace talks failed. They did, but Biden chose to stay in it, although he delayed the complete pullout from May to September.”
See full story: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/was-biden-handcuffed-by-trumps-taliban-deal-in-doha/2021/08/19/a7ee1a50-00a2-11ec-87e0-7e07bd9ce270_story.html

So, again who benefits from such an atrociously deadly attack, like the one of 26 August at Kabul Airport?

President Biden, though unjustified, can and does blame President Trump for the chaos he left behind by negotiating this “irresponsible” Peace Deal. Why “irresponsible”?  Wasn’t it time after 20 years without apparent “success” – whatever that means, or may have meant at some point in time – to end this senseless bloodshed and destruction of a sovereign Afghan society – let alone the killing of hundreds of thousands of people, most of them civilians?

It seems that Mr. Trump may have done the right thing. Peace over war should always win, on the ground as well as in the minds of people, and foremost of politicians. However, there are several reasons, why Peace is not welcome. And chaos and destruction and death as demonstrated by the 26 August suicide attack, and who knows, maybe more to follow, might justify sending back US troops?

There are several other irons in the fire about which hardly anybody talks and the bought anti-Trump and pro-Biden mainstream media are silent.

The Heroin Trade

There is a multi-multi-billion, perhaps up to a trillion-dollar heroin trade at stake, for the US and for the US and European pharma-industry – the huge and deadly opioid-market.

As reported by Michel Chossudovsky on 21 August 2021, One of the key strategic objectives of the 2001 war on Afghanistan was to restore the opium trade following the Taliban government’s successful 2000-2001 drug eradication program which led to a 94% collapse in opium production. This program was supported by the United Nations. (For details, see below)
In the course of the last 19 years following the US-NATO October 2001 invasion, there has been a surge in Afghan opium production. In turn the number of heroin addicts in the US has increased dramatically. Is there a relationship?

There were 189,000 heroin users in the US in 2001, before the US-NATO invasion of Afghanistan.

By 2016 that number went up to 4,500,000 (2.5 million heroin addicts and 2 million casual users).

In 2020, at the height of the covid crisis, deaths from opioids and drug addiction increased threefold.
It’s Big Money for Big Pharma.”
See the full report https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-spoils-of-war-afghanistan-s-multibillion-dollar-heroin-trade/91

The Chinese Belt and Road Initiative

Both, China and Russia have already indicated that they would help the new Taliban regime to gain stability – and to develop towards a newly independent, sovereign state. Afghanistan’s border with China, only about 70 km wide, but it forms a crucial connection to China’s western most Province, the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. It is a vital pivot for China’s Belt and Road, or “One Belt One Road” – OBOR – also called the New Silk Road.

While transit routes already go through Pakistan to the Indian Ocean, an OBOR rail and road transit through Afghanistan would connect China directly with Iran, facilitating among other trade, hydrocarbon transport from Iran to China. OBOR would also be an effective development instrument for war destroyed Afghanistan – a reconstruction and economic development scheme for Afghanistan could bring Afghanistan back to a respected nation state – even through the Taliban.

Furthermore, Afghanistan might be prepared for becoming an active member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), one of the world’s most significant political, economic and strategic defense organization. In addition to China and Russia and the Central Asian former Soviet Republics, India and Pakistan are already full members, while Iran, Malaysia and Mongolia are, so far, in observer and associate status.

SCO covers almost half of the world population and controls some 30% of the world’s GDP. Afghanistan would be in a solid and guiding association as an SCO member. Afghanistan’s socioeconomic development and improvement of war-damaged people’s standard of living, could benefit enormously.

Washington however dislikes OBOR with a passion. They see it as Chinese expansionism and competition. It is actually neither. China has in her thousands of years of history never had expansionist trends, or ambitions, and always respected other countries’ sovereignty. OBOR, an ingenious idea of President Xi Jinping, is patterned according to the ancient Silk Road, a trading route of 2100 years ago connecting Asia with Europe and the Middle East.

OBOR is an instrument to help develop and connect the world, while respecting each nation state’s independence and sovereignty.
——

The hugely profitable Heroin Trade and the further development of China’s OBOR – and particularly bringing Afghanistan under the wings of the east through association with the SCO – would spoil America’s multi-multibillion heroin trade, as well as another Middle East country would orient itself to the east – and away from the fangs of the ever weakening and crumbling Anglo-US empire.

Hence, commanding US-created ISIS to sow chaos and death in Afghanistan, blaming the Taliban, might be a good reason for Biden to bring back US troops – to fight a new kind war – fighting for the continuing highly profitable heroin trade and, simultaneously, fighting against OBOR. On top of it all, it would suit the Biden’s and his globalist agenda’s image – and standing in a totally misinformed world.


Peter Koenig is a geopolitical analyst and a former Senior Economist at the World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO), where he has worked for over 30 years on water and environment around the world. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for online journals and is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed; and  co-author of Cynthia McKinney’s book “When China Sneezes: From the Coronavirus Lockdown to the Global Politico-Economic Crisis” (Clarity Press – November 1, 2020)

Peter Koenig is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He is also a a non-resident Sr. Fellow of the Chongyang Institute of Renmin University, Beijing.

Anderson: US retreat from Afghanistan will flow on to Iraq, Syria and Yemen

September 1, 2021

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Quick update on the Kabul situation

August 30, 2021

The Saker

Quick update on the Kabul situation

Since I wrote my overview about the causes and implication of the Kabul disaster things have not improved in the last.

It is clear that the “Biden” administration has tried very hard to do some damage control, but that only made things even worse (just think of Biden’s talks to the nation).  It is also clear that there is no way the US can evacuate all its citizens, nevermind former employees, before the Taliban deadline expires.  Besides, the Taliban have already sealed off the airport and do not let any Afghan nationals enter anymore.

One sentence spoken by a Russian analyst about what Biden called the “American heroes” struck me as particularly well suited to the current chaos: “soldiers have to become heroes when their commanders make a major mistake“.  This is almost always true, with some exceptions, of course.

Then there is the not so heroic “retaliation” promised by Biden.  Apparently, so say local TV, a US attack drone did kill a local ISIS fighter already driving a car with explosives towards the airport.  That strike, in downtown Kabul, also destroyed 2 homes and killed three families, 12 civilians including 7 kids (ages 2 to 10)!  That will *not* help anything or convince anyone to take US threats seriously.  Remember the Takfiri slogan “we love death more than you love life“?  But the hatred will only increase following this latest atrocity.

By September 1st, in 2 days from now, the situation of the many tens of thousands of collaborators, employee, local aides, etc. and their families will become extremely dangerous unless some major power intervenes and puts pressure on the Taliban.  Possible, but not very likely.

I need to mention one hypothesis: that the ISIS-K suicide bombers might have had accomplices inside the Taliban.  If we consider Taliban as one unitary uniform movement, this hypothesis makes no sense.  But if we see the Taliban as a loosely federated movement of different entities and tribes, then this makes a lot more sense.  Keep in mind that five of the current Taliban “ministers” are former GITMO residents with all that implies…

As for the Taliban, they appear to be truly trying to first restore some order to Kabul.  They are also trying hard to explain what they intend to do.  It sure looks like the new Taliban are a notch up from the old one.  That does not mean that I like them, or approve, just that this is what I am observing now.

For example, the Taliban have promised a general amnesty to all those who collaborated with the US, but that only means that orders to shoot are less likely to come from the top.  But the local gun-toting Taliban foot-“soldiers” (I use this term very generously) will, as always, do whatever the hell they want, locally and away from cellphone cameras.

The Saker

Enduring Terror Forever: from al-Qaeda to ISIS-K

August 30, 2021

Enduring Terror Forever: from al-Qaeda to ISIS-K

by Pepe Escobar and first posted at AsiaTimes

It was 20 years ago today. Asia Times published Get Osama! Now! Or Else…The rest is history.

Retrospectively, this sounds like news from another galaxy. Before Planet 9/11. Before GWOT (Global War on Terror). Before the Forever Wars. Before the social network era. Before the Russia-China strategic partnership. Before the Dronification of State Violence. Before techno-feudalism.

Allow me to get a little personal. I was back in Peshawar – the Islamic Rome, capital of the tribal areas – 20 years ago after a dizzying loop around Pakistan, tribal territory, a botched smuggling op to Kunar, biding time in Tajikistan, arriving by Soviet helicopter in the Panjshir valley, a harrowing road trip to Faizabad, and a UN flight that took ages to arrive.

In the Panjshir, I had finally met “the Lion”, commander Masoud, then plotting a counter-offensive against the Taliban. He told me he was fighting a triad: the Taliban, al-Qaeda and the Pakistani ISI. Less than three weeks later he was assassinated – by two al-Qaeda ops disguised as a camera crew, two days before 9/11.

No one, 20 years ago, could possibly imagine the subsequent slings and arrows of outrageous – terror – fortune. Two decades, $2.3 trillion and at least 240,000 Afghan deaths later, the Taliban are back where they were: ruling Afghanistan. Masoud Jr in theory leads a “resistance” in the Panjshir – actually a CIA ops channeled through CIA asset Amrullah Saleh, former Afghan Vice-President.

Al-Qaeda is a harmless skeleton, even rehabilitated in Syria as “moderate rebels; the new bogeyman in town is ISIS-K, a spin-off of the Islamic State in “Syraq”.

After negotiating a stunning package deal with the Taliban, the Empire of Chaos is concluding a humiliating evacuation from the land it bombed into democracy and submitted for two decades. Once again the US was de facto expelled by a peasant guerrilla army, this time mostly consisting of Pashtuns, descendants of the White Huns – a nomad confederation – as well as the Sakas, nomadic Iranic peoples of the Eurasian steppes.

The CIA shadow army

ISIS-K, the new viper’s nest, opens multiple Pandora boxes that may lead to the new incarnation of the Forever Wars. ISIS-K has claimed responsibility for the horrific Kabul suicide bombing.

ISIS-K is apparently led by one ghostly emir Shahab al-Mujahir (no photo, no biography details), supposed to be an urban warfare expert who previously worked as a mere mid-level commander for the Haqqani network.

In 2020 media-savvy ISIS-K released one of his audio messages in Pashto. Yet he may not be Pashtun, but actually from some latitude in the Middle East, and not fluent in the language.

Even CENTCOM commander Gen Mackenzie has admitted that the US military are sharing intel on ISIS-K with the Taliban – or rather vice-versa: Taliban spokesman Zahibullah Mujahid in Kabul stressed that they warned the Americans in the first place about an imminent threat to the airport.

The Pentagon-Taliban collaboration is by now established. The perennial CIA shadow wars are a completely different ball game.

I have shown in this in-depth investigation how the top priority for the Taliban is to target the ramifications of the CIA shadow army in Afghanistan, deployed via the Khost Protection Force (KPF) and inside the National Directorate of Security (NDS).

The CIA army, as I explain, was a two-headed hydra. Older units harked back to 2001 and were very close to the CIA. The most powerful was the KPF, based at the CIA’s Camp Chapman in Khost, which operated totally outside Afghan law, not to mention budget.

The other head of the hydra were the NDS’s own Afghan Special Forces: four main units, each operating in its own regional area. The NDS was funded by the CIA and for all practical purposes, operatives were trained and weaponized by the CIA.

So the NDS was a de facto CIA proxy. And here we have the direct connection to Saleh, who was trained by the CIA in the US when the Taliban was in power in the late 1990s. Afterwards, Saleh became the head of the NDS – which happened to work very closely with RAW, Indian intel. Now he’s a “resistance leader” in the Panjshir.

My investigation was confirmed right away by the deployment of Task Force Pineapple last week, an operation carried out by CIA/Special Forces to extract the last sensitive intel assets from Kabul who were being chased by the Taliban.

In parallel, serious questions are piling up regarding the Kabul suicide bombing and the immediate MQ-9 Reaper response targeting an “ISIS-K planner” in eastern Afghanistan.

This page has been carefully tracking prime information regarding what could be described as the Abbey Gate Massacre, not surprisingly buried by Western mainstream media.

The You Tube channel Kabul Lovers, for instance, is engaging in street-level journalism that puts to shame every multi-million dollar TV network. A military officer who examined the bodies of many of the bombing victims at Kabul Emergency Hospital claimed that most were not victims of the suicide bombing: “All victims were killed by American bullets, except maybe 20 people out of 100.” The full, original report, in Dari, is here.

Scott Ritter, for his part, has emphasized the need of “perspective” on the claimed drone strike against ISIS-K “from an actual drone expert like Daniel Hale, but they put him in jail for telling the truth about how bad our drone program actually is when it comes to killing the right people.”

By now it’s established that contrary to Pentagon claims, the drone strike hit a random house in Jalalabad, not a moving vehicle, and there was “collateral damage”: at least 3 civilians.

And the civilian death toll of a subsequent missile strike on another alleged “ISIS-K planner” in a car in Kabul is already at 9 – including 6 children.

The Syria-Afghanistan rat line

The much-lauded Pentagon offensive against ISIS in “Syraq” has been derided all across the Axis of Resistance as a massive farce.

Over the years, we have had exposés coming from Moscow; Tehran; Damascus; Hezbollah; and some of the People’s Mobilization Units (PMUs) in Iraq.

Hezbollah’s secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah has repeatedly asserted how “the US have been using helicopters to save ISIS terrorists from complete annihilation in Iraq/Syria and transporting them to Afghanistan to keep them as insurgents in Central Asia against Russia, China and Iran.”

The extremely well informed Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, has pointed out that Russia had received the same information from local tribal leaders. Even former President Hamid Karzai – now a key negotiator forming the next Taliban-led government in Kabul – has branded ISIS-K a “tool” of the United States.

It’s important to remember that ISIS-K has become much more powerful in Afghanistan since 2020 because of what I describe as a shadowy transportation ratline from Idlib in Syria to Kunar and Nangarhar in eastern Afghanistan.

Of course there is no smoking gun – yet: but what we do have is a serious working hypothesis that ISIS-K may be just another CIA shadow army, in collaboration with the NDS.

All that, if confirmed, would point to a dark future: the continuation of the Forever Wars by other means – and tactics. Yet never underestimate the counter-power of those no-nonsense descendants of White Huns and Sakas.

This is what a dying empire looks like

August 30, 2021

This is what a dying empire looks like

By Aram Mirzaei for the Saker blog

These past weeks in Afghanistan have been what some would call a shit storm, in lack of better words. What is unfolding in front of our eyes is truly both a tragedy of great proportions and a spectacle of some sort I guess. After 20 years of occupation, Washington and its obedient dogs are not just retreating, they are fleeing in panic from Afghanistan. The US backed regime, just like all such puppet regimes, was fragile, corrupt and had no popular support whatsoever. This is why it collapsed after a few weeks since the start of the Taliban offensive. It was a collapse that shocked not just the Western imperialists and their propaganda tools, but even the Taliban themselves were surprised. The NATO trained and supplied Afghan Army either fled the battlefield or surrendered, often without even offering any kind of resistance.

To some of us observers, this didn’t come as a surprise at all. Those of us who have been following the war in Afghanistan for the past 2 decades are well aware of the problems that the so called Afghan armed forces have had. Rampant corruption, criminal incompetence, and drug abuse have plagued this army for as long as it has existed in its current form. It is a well-known fact that a large percentage of the Afghan armed forces were drug abusers, often getting high on heroin or opium while on duty. Furthermore, the corruption from top to bottom was unprecedented. Many police chiefs were outright rapists and pedophiles who would kidnap children to rape and kill, instead of fighting crime, and the level of turncoats who would sell arms and supplies to the Taliban was so high that most Afghan bases stood without any kind of heavy equipment or even fuel when faced against the Taliban onslaught. If you don’t believe me, then check this video: 

To say the least, morale among these soldiers and officers was at rock bottom. And why would this be a surprise? All the good fighting men had joined the Taliban or been killed in the past years. The only people left were drug abusers and opportunists. I quote a former US soldier in Afghanistan:

“By and large the Afghan National Army is recruited from the dregs of society. The good soldiers went off and joined the Taliban.

I don’t mean that lightly. I have fought the Taliban and trained and been on joint operations with ANA. The Taliban are tough, brave, well-disciplined soldiers, and frankly, I respect them. If I had been born in Afghanistan rather than America and raised with Afghan morals I likely would have joined their ranks.”

Billions of dollars were poured in by the occupying NATO powers, to prop up warlords and criminals across Afghanistan, not to create a stable society, but to buy their temporary silence and loyalty, and this is the result after twenty years. The Taliban just had to wait patiently for the occupiers to one day leave, and they even warned the NATO regimes of this inevitable reality when they said many years ago: “You have the watches, but we have the time”. Alas, the arrogant and self-worshipping West, drunk with their own imaginations of superiority based on the number of cool US warships and awesome Navy Seal gear, could not, and still cannot understand why they lost in Afghanistan.

The sheer arrogance and incompetence of those in charge over at Washington is astonishing to watch. US intelligence had at first calculated that the Kabul regime would survive months or even years, this was later revised into 30-90 days and finally, it fell in less than two weeks after the Taliban began attacking provincial capitals across the country. Kabul itself fell in less than a day! Washington’s “guy” in Kabul fled the country, reportedly taking with him millions or billions of dollars in cash to the UAE while the Taliban waltzed into the presidential palace- the same palace where Ashraf Ghani had held a speech only 48 hours earlier, vowing to “resists and push back the Taliban onslaught”.

Which takes us to the reality of today. Over the past two weeks, NATO countries and their friends have been evacuating their troops, citizens, and Afghan collaborationists in a chaotic and shameful manner reminiscent of the fall of Saigon in 1975. This is while White House fool Joe Biden and his clown Secretary of State Anthony Blinken claimed that this wouldn’t be another “Saigon moment”. Tragic scenes have since played out at Kabul airport, where people have been flocking in hopes of catching a plane to flee the country. Men who have been holding onto the side or landing gears of planes, only to fall off mid sky after take-off, stampedes and people throwing their babies off fences to US soldiers standing guard on the other side. Thousands, if not tens of thousands have been left behind as NATO forces have prioritized the evacuations of their dogs, cats, and beer kegs.

One can only help but wonder how such “sophisticated” countries with the best military forces in the galaxy can be so pathetically disorganized in their evacuations, especially since they knew they were leaving several months ago. As if the Afghan people’s misery wasn’t enough, Daesh has entered the scene now as well, and allegedly conducted a heinous terrorist attack outside the airport, killing well over 200 people in the mayhem, including 13 US soldiers. The scenes from Kabul airport on that day were the pinnacle of the misery and death that the Western imperialists have brought upon the Afghans. I say this because it is the US that has brought Daesh into Afghanistan and I believe there are several suspicious things to mention with regards to the terrorist attack of last week.

Firstly, why is it that every time that the US is withdrawing or looking to leave a conflict zone, a Daesh terrorist attack suddenly occurs against its forces. The same happened in Syria 2019, when a Daesh terrorist blew himself up in the town of Manbij, killing US troops, just as former president Donald Trump had announced his intention to withdraw US troops out of Syria. Why is Daesh, a supposed “enemy” of the US, trying its hardest to make the US continue its occupation of these countries?

Secondly, isn’t it interesting that both British and French intelligence allegedly had knowledge about an imminent terrorist attack, several hours before it took place and didn’t do anything to stop it? Isn’t it also interesting that the US who hasn’t conducted a single strike on Daesh in Afghanistan by the way, suddenly knew exactly who was behind the bombings and “took them out” with pinpoint accuracy only a day after the bombings? And thirdly, isn’t it also interesting how the Pentagon refused to even release the names and identities of the supposed “planner and facilitator” that were killed, with spokesman John Kirby holding a mock press conference and refusing to answer any question whatsoever from the multiple journalists in place?

Well, I won’t go into further speculation but I find this terrorist attack to have been plotted in one way or another by Washington itself, in order to save face in some way. Perhaps they hoped that the focus won’t be on the evacuation disaster but rather on the “strength” they showed in “confronting terrorism” even now when they are leaving.

Elsewhere, the US seems to be plotting for another civil war in Afghanistan as former Vice president Amrullah Saleh and Ahmad Massoud, the son of Ahmad Shah Massoud, the famous Mujahid during the Soviet-Afghan War are amassing forces in the still unconquered Panjshir province, to the east of Kabul. It is worrying that they are seemingly stupid enough, to think they actually stand a chance against the Taliban and are both pleading and hoping for Western support. Apparently, they didn’t learn a damn thing from Ashraf Ghani’s mistakes, or any other puppet that put their faith in the West’s “benevolence”. But no matter what Washington is plotting, they cannot escape the fact that this defeat has been humiliating for them and more humiliation is to come. Their days in Iraq and Syria are also numbered. The scenes at Kabul airport won’t just disappear so lightly as they tell the tale of a failure and a disaster that will have consequences for many years to come.

General Allen of the US occupation forces in Afghanistan once declared, drunk by his own arrogance, in the belief that they had succeeded in Afghanistan that “This is victory, this is what winning looks like”. I would like to revise that phrase into – this is what a dying empire looks like.

The ‘Great Reset’ in Microcosm: ‘Data Driven Defeat’ in Afghanistan

August 30, 2021

Alastair Crooke

There is little mystery as to why the Taliban took over Kabul so quicklyAlastair Crooke writes.

Nation-building in Afghanistan arrived in 2001. Western interventions into the old Eastern bloc in the 1980s and early 1990s had been spectacularly effective in destroying the old social and institutional order; but equally spectacular in failing to replace imploded societies with fresh institutions.  The threat from ‘failed states’ became the new mantra, and Afghanistan – in the wake of the destruction wrought post-9/11 – therefore necessitated external intervention.  Weak and failed states were the spawning ground for terrorism and its threat to the ‘global order’, it was said. It was in Afghanistan that a new liberal world vision was to be stood-up.

At another level, the war in Afghanistan became another sort of crucible. In very real terms, Afghanistan turned into a testbed for every single innovation in technocratic project management – with each innovation heralded as precursor to our wider future. Funds poured in: Buildings were thrown up, and an army of globalised technocrats arrived to oversee the process.  Big data, AI and the utilization of ever expanding sets of technical and statistical metrics, were to topple old ‘stodgy’ ideas.  Military sociology in the form of Human Terrain Teams and other innovative creations, were unleashed to bring order to chaos. Here, the full force of the entire NGO world, the brightest minds of that international government-in-waiting, were given a playground with nearly infinite resources at their disposal.

This was to be a showcase for technical managerialism. It presumed that a properly technical, and scientific way of understanding war and nation-building would be able to mobilize reason and progress to accomplish what everyone else could not, and so create a post-modern society, out of a complex tribal one, with its own storied history.

The ‘new’ arrived, as it were, in a succession of NGO boxes marked ‘pop-up modernity’.  The 18th century British statesman Edmund Burke, of course, had already warned in Reflections on the Revolution in France, as he witnessed the Jacobins tearing down their old order: “that it is with infinite caution” that anyone should pull down or replace structures that have served society well over the ages.  But this managerial technocracy had little time for old ‘stodgy’ ideas.

But, what last week’s fall of the western instituted regime so clearly revealed is that today’s managerial class, consumed by the notion of technocracy as the only means of effecting functional rule birthed instead, something thoroughly rotten – “data-driven defeat”, as one U.S. Afghan veteran described it – so rotten, that it collapsed in a matter of days. On the extended blunders of the “system” in Afghanistan, he writes:

“A retired Navy SEAL who served in the White House under both Bush and Obama reflected,[that]  “collectively the system is incapable of taking a step back to question basic assumptions.” That “system” is best understood, not simply as a military or foreign policy body, but as a euphemism for the habits and institutions of an American ruling class that has exhibited an almost limitless collective capacity for deflecting the costs of failure.

“This class in general, and the people in charge of the war in Afghanistan in particular, believed in informational and management solutions to existential problems. They elevated data points and sta­tistical indices to avoid choosing prudent goals and organizing the proper strategies to achieve them. They believed in their own provi­dential destiny and that of people like them to rule, regardless of their failures”.

Whatever was not corrupt before America arrived, became corrupt in the maelstrom of that $2 Trillion of American money showered on the project. American soldiers, arms manufacturers, globalised technocrats, governance experts, aid workers, peacekeepers, counter-insurgency theorists and lawyers – all made their fortunes.

The flaw was that Afghanistan as a liberal progressive vision was a hoax in the first place: Afghanistan was invaded, and occupied, because of its geography. It was the ideal platform from which to perturb Central Asia, and thus unsettle Russia and China.

No one was truly committed because there was really no longer any Afghanistan to commit to. Whomsoever could steal from the Americans did so. The Ghani regime collapsed in a matter of days, because it was ‘never there’ to begin with: A Potemkin Village, whose role lay in perpetuating a fiction, or rather the myth of America’s Grand Vision of itself as the shaper and guardian of ‘our’ global future.

The true gravity for America and Europe of the present psychological ‘moment’ is not only that nation-building, as a project intended to stand up liberal values been revealed as having ‘achieved nothing’, but Afghanistan débacle has underlined the limitations to technical managerialism in way that is impossible to miss.

The gravity of America’s present psychological ‘moment’ – the implosion of Kabul – was well articulated when Robert Kagan argued earlier, that the ‘global values’ project (however tenuous its basis in reality) nonetheless has become essential to preserving ‘democracy’ at home:  For, he suggests, an America that retreats from global hegemony, would no longer possess the domestic group solidarity to preserve America as ‘idea’, at home, either.

What Kagan is saying here is important – It may constitute the true cost of the Afghanistan débacle. Every élite class advances various claims about its own legitimacy, without which a stable political order is impossible. Legitimating myths can take many forms and may change over time, but once they become exhausted, or lose their credibility – when people no longer believe in the narrative, or the claims which underpin that political ‘idea’ – then it is ‘game over’.

Swedish intellectual, Malcolm Kyeyune writes that we may be “witnessing the catastrophic end of this metaphysical power of legitimacy that has shielded the managerial ruling class for decades”:

“Anyone even briefly familiar with the historical record knows just how much of a Pandora’s box such a loss of legitimacy represents. The signs visibly have been multiplying over many years. When Michael Gove said, “I think the people in this country have had enough of experts” in a debate about the merits of Brexit, he probably traced the contours of something much bigger than anyone really knew at the time. Back then, the acute phase of the delegitimization of the managerial class was only just beginning. Now, with Afghanistan, it is impossible to miss”.

There is therefore, little mystery as to why the Taliban took over Kabul so quickly. Not only did the project per se lack legitimacy for Afghans, but that aura of claimed expertise, of technological inevitability that has protected the élite managerial class, has been exposed by the sheer dysfunctionality on display, as the West frantically flees Kabul. And it is precisely how it has ended that has really drawn back the curtain, and shown the world the rot festering beneath.

When the legitimating claim is used up, and people no longer believe in the concepts or claims that underpin a particular system or claim to rule, the extinction of that particular élite, Kyeyune writes, becomes a foregone conclusion.

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