Thu Apr 15th, 2021 at 06:45:29 PM EST
We Got him!
Total violent deaths in Iraq 288,000 ... and counting.
Total death toll in AfPak region (unknown) ... and counting.
We saw, we came, he died.
Civil War in Libya, Tuareg fight for Independent Azawad (Mali). Maghreb countries and transport Libyan arms to Boko Haram in Nigeria.
More people died from terrorism than ever before--and mostly in these five countries - 2014
After the torment of Israeli Government and lobby groups encouraging Islamophobia and the screwed up mess created by the U.S., U.K. and NATO allies invading Iraq in March 2003 and supporting mujahideen (Islamists) into Syria..
Taliban Ready to Force an Islamic State
Remarks by President Biden on the Way Forward in Afghanistan
THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon. I'm speaking to you today from the Roosevelt -- the Treaty Room in the White House. The same spot where, on October of 2001, President George W. Bush informed our nation that the United States military had begun strikes on terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. It was just weeks -- just weeks after the terrorist attack on our nation that killed 2,977 innocent souls; that turned Lower Manhattan into a disaster area, destroyed parts of the Pentagon, and made hallowed ground of a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and sparked an American promise that we would "never forget."
We went to Afghanistan in 2001 to root out al Qaeda, to prevent future terrorist attacks against the United States planned from Afghanistan. Our objective was clear. The cause was just. Our NATO Allies and partners rallied beside us. And I supported that military action, along with overwhelming majority of the members of Congress.
More than seven years later, in 2008, weeks before we swore the oath of office -- President Obama and I were about to swear -- President Obama asked me to travel to Afghanistan and report back on the state of the war in Afghanistan. I flew to Afghanistan, to the Kunar Valley -- a rugged, mountainous region on the border with Pakistan. What I saw on that trip reinforced my conviction that only the Afghans have the right and responsibility to lead their country, and that more and endless American military force could not create or sustain a durable Afghan government.
I believed that our presence in Afghanistan should be focused on the reason we went in the first place: to ensure Afghanistan would not be used as a base from which to attack our homeland again. We did that. We accomplished that objective.
One doesn't need to travel anywhere to a rugged, mountainous country whether it's Afghanistan, Pakistan. Kashmir or to Iran and Nagorno-Karabakh for that matter. Heed the lessons from a long history of colonization and oppression. Lessons the Western world has never quite gotten around to, for their detriment and others.
TAPI Pipeline, 30 Years in the Making
Ahead of inauguration of work for the TAPI project, Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in his speech described the essential Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline project as a "corridor of development" and stressed for regional cooperation.
Among hundreds of guests attending the ceremony were President of Turkmenistan Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, Prime Minister of Pakistan Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and India's Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar.
Driving to Taliban-controlled territory doesn't take long. Around 30 minutes from the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif, passing large craters left by roadside bombs, we meet our host: Haji Hekmat, the Taliban's shadow mayor in Balkh district.
Perfumed and in a black turban, he's a veteran member of the group, having first joined the militants in the 1990s when they ruled over the majority of the country.
The Taliban have arranged a display of force for us. Lined up on either side of the street are heavily armed men, one carrying a rocket propelled grenade launcher, another an M4 assault rifle captured from US forces. Balkh was once one of the more stable parts of the country; now it's become one of the most violent.
Baryalai, a local military commander with a ferocious reputation, points down the road, "the government forces are just there by the main market, but they can't leave their bases. This territory belongs to the mujahideen".
The Taliban Takes on Islamic State: Insurgents Vie for Control of Northern Afghanistan | Jamestown - Aug. 2018 |
Fierce fighting between the Taliban and Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K), the Afghan chapter of IS, have seen hundreds of militants killed in Jowzjan and Faryab provinces, two provinces in northern Afghanistan considered to be IS-K strongholds. About 300 militants were killed in two weeks of clashes between IS-K and the Taliban, which began on July 25 in the Darzab district of Jowzjan. It was the Taliban's third major offensive against their rivals, and saw about 200 IS-K fighters hand themselves over to government forces rather than face the Taliban. Video footage from August 1, released by the government, showed IS-K fighters demanding protection in return for their surrender (Khabarnama, August 2).
From the diaries ...
Young Qasem Soleimani with NA Panjshir commanders 90s Afghanistan
Saudi Arabia sending its own Islamists into Afghanistan to fight the Soviet invaders ... with support of the CIA ... a devout son from Yemen, Osama Bin Laden enters the AfPak war theater. The Taliban destroyed the regime installed in Kabul. In the 90s, Enron gives Taliban millions in bribes in effort to get Afghan Pipeline built.
Mohammad Najibullah: Final years and execution (Wikipedia)
Not long before Kabul's fall, Najibullah appealed to the UN for amnesty, which he was granted. But his attempt to flee to the airport was thwarted by troops of Abdul Rashid Dostum - once loyal to him, but now allied with Ahmad Shah Massoud - who controlled the airport. At the UN compound in Kabul, while waiting for the UN to negotiate his safe passage to India, he engaged himself in translating Peter Hopkirk's book The Great Game into his mother tongue Pashto. India was at a difficult position in deciding to allow Najibullah political asylum and safely escort him out of the country.
In September 1996, when the Taliban were about to enter Kabul, Massoud offered Najibullah an opportunity to flee the capital. Najibullah refused. The reasons as to why he refused remain unclear. Massoud himself has claimed that Najibullah feared that "if he fled with the Tajiks, he would be for ever damned in the eyes of his fellow Pashtuns."
Najibullah was at the UN compound when the Taliban soldiers came for him on the evening of 26 September 1996. The Taliban abducted him from UN custody and tortured him to death, and then dragged his dead body behind a truck through the streets of Kabul. His brother, Shahpur Ahmadzai, was given the same treatment. Najibullah and Shahpur's bodies were hanged from a traffic light pole outside the Argentine presidential palace the next day in order to show the public that a new era had begun.
Endgame: Afghanistan A Playground of Empires by Oui @BooMan - June 2013
Riding the 'talking to the Taliban' train, with the brakes jammed
(France24) - Shortly after the talks-suspension announcement, we were subjected to a media-friendly fuss over flags and names and other minutiae. Karzai, quite understandably, objected to the Taliban office in Doha being called the "Political Office of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan" and the hoisting of the old Taliban flag on the faux Gulf palace structure.
The offending flags and plaques have since been brought down because the US is good at arm-twisting design concessions from offending parties. The crux of the problem however remains and so, in the next few days and weeks, expect more "scrambling to save the talks" headlines followed by on-again off-again updates.
USA, Qatar, Pakistan play ball on the 'playground of empires'
Paris to honor Afghan hero with plaque | Anadolu Agency - Feb. 4, 2021 |
Twenty years after his assassination, France will honor the memory of Afghan hero and military commander Ahmad Shah Massoud with a plaque in the city of Paris.
The Council of Paris unanimously voted to install a plaque in the 8th arrondissement in homage to Massoud, Arnaud Ngatcha, deputy of Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and in charge of international relations, said on Twitter.
Paris is the first city in the world to honor the peace veteran who fought for the freedom of Afghanistan and against the Taliban's obscurantism.
The proposal to commemorate Massoud in Paris, regarded as the "Lion of Panjshir" for waging a guerilla campaign against the Soviets, the Taliban and Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda.
Bernard-Henri Levy met Massoud in Afghanistan in the 1980s and delivered the first radio transmitters to help the Afghan resistance fighting against the Soviet occupation build a radio station called Radio Kaboul Libre or Radio Free Kabul. [Participating in Afghan jihad similar to the task of British journalist Sikorski - MI6/CIA]
A fluent French speaker, Massoud studied in Afghanistan's only French high school and received limited support from the government, politicians and businessmen in France.
In April 2001, Massoud made his first visit to Europe, travelling to Strasbourg, France, where he was received at the European Parliament at the invitation of French politician Nicole Fontaine.
In his speech, he gave a clear warning about Bin Laden and al-Qaeda five months before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the US. Massoud was reportedly assassinated by members of the Taliban and al-Qaeda on Sept 9, 2001, two days before the attacks.
In the early 1980s, Pakistan President Zia-ul-Haq told the ISI to establish contact with the Mossad, a move that would trigger a conflict in Afghanistan.
Pakistan and Israel became partners in Operation Cyclone - the American program to arm and finance anti-Soviet militants in Afghanistan. The ISI from Pakistan, UK's MI6, Israel's Mossad and the CIA ran the operation for a decade. Israel supplied Soviet-made weaponry to the militants in Afghanistan.
Pakistan played the role of the intermediary as the ISI gave weapons, funds and financial support to the militants despite the close cooperation for Afghanistan the bilateral relationship has remained riddled with hostilities.
The death of Daniel Pearl has added to the mistrust. The American-Israeli journalist was killed by Pakistani terrorists allegedly with the backing of the ISI. According to a report from the Time magazine, the terrorists believed that Pearl was an Israeli Mossad agent who was operating in Pakistan.
Further reading ...