Sat Aug 21st, 2021 at 11:58:08 AM EST
Keeping defeat under wraps? Why so unprepared and telling the world of the Taliban surprise with a straight face. The reality of facts on the ground, Kabul, Jalalabad, Kandahar, Herat and Kunduz have become household names to the global community for the past twenty years. Yesterday Joe Biden lowered his tone, showed some humility and even a whiff of empathy for non-American citizens. The President in the White House staged act with General Austin, VP Kamala Harris and Secr. Antony Blinken to explain, in an adapted version, the situation of US Forces liberating tens of thousands fleeing their country because of some sort of regime change. The world watches in anguish knowing not everyone will manage to escape the Taliban and their version of strict Shari'a Law.
Members of a Taliban delegation, led by chief negotiator Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (center, front), leave after peace talks with senior Afghan politicians in Moscow on May 30, 2019.
New Round Of Afghan Peace Talks Held Amid Deadly Attacks | RFERL |
Joe Biden presents himself as leader of the Free World and stands out above any criticism. In his rhetoric he still paints an unrealistic picture and outright non-truths. Within the hour members of his NSC team contradicted their boss in hearings on the Hill.
Biden Unmasked, Dismisses Criticism Allies
US omits Macron's plea for `moral responsibility' from record of Afghanistan call
The White House's readout of a call between Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron on the crisis in Afghanistan leaves out an impassioned plea from the French president that the US and its allies have a "moral responsibility" to evacuate Afghan allies.
Readout of President Joe Biden Call with President Emmanuel Macron of France | Aug. 19, 2021 |
President Joe Biden and President Emmanuel Macron of France spoke today about developments in Afghanistan. They lauded the tireless efforts of their personnel working closely together in Kabul on the evacuation of their citizens, the brave Afghans who have stood by us and our NATO partners, and other vulnerable Afghan nationals. They underscored the importance of continued close coordination among allies and democratic partners on Afghanistan, including through multilateral fora, on the provision of humanitarian assistance and support for refugees. They welcomed the virtual G7 leaders' meeting next week to help coordinate these efforts and discuss a common approach.
Build Back a Better America
Tens of thousands of international citizens and Afghans who collaborated with US and Nato forces remained stranded in Kabul on Friday, as governments grappled with an overwhelming backlog of visas and Taliban checkpoints which were preventing people safely reaching the airport.
The urgency of the evacuation of Afghans allied with US and Nato forces, and western media organizations, has been compounded by recent reports of Taliban fighters going door-to-door looking for those who had worked with the previous regime and threatening them.
The Biden administration has faced bipartisan criticism over the haste of the withdrawal and the huge backlog in processing special visas for Afghan citizens who assisted US forces.
The French president's plea comes amid criticism that he pandered to the far right in a speech earlier this week, after he said France should have a robust plan to "anticipate and protect itself from a wave of migrants" from Afghanistan.
The comments, made in a televised address, came hours after desperate Afghans trying to flee the country were filmed clinging to the wheels of a plane and falling to the ground.
But he added that "dealing with those fleeing the Taliban would need an organised and fair international effort" and that "Europe alone cannot assume the consequences of the current situation".
Austin contradicts Biden, says Americans have been 'beaten' by the Taliban | Politico |
During the briefing call, Austin called the reports of Taliban beatings "unacceptable," but did not elaborate on efforts to ensure Americans' safe passage to Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan's capital city. He specifically declined to "rule in or out" the possibility of U.S. troops moving beyond the airport to help Americans and others get to safety.
"We're also aware that some people, including Americans, have been harassed and even beaten by the Taliban," Austin said on the call, according to multiple sources. "This is unacceptable and [we] made it clear to the designated Taliban leader."
Austin added that "with the exception of those cases, we continue to see Americans and appropriately credentialed Afghans continue to move through."
Carefully worded in agreement with the goal of the day ... united in withdrawal and chaos?
Delay caused by full capacity transit hub in Doha, Qatar
Taliban and Al Qaeda are One, no one can deny this fact. The Taliban is more widespread and militarily stronger by beating US Forces and recovering all supplies of the Afghan National Forces. The graveyard of empires, the Soviet Union and Great Britain had bitten in the dust of an arid and inhospitable mountainous country.
As late advisor Holbrooke had concluded: Afghanistan and Pakistan need to be tackled as one. The US and allies leave this part of the world in a worse shape and bleak future. Joe Biden counts the cost in US dollars and American lives. In reality, the lives lost and destroyed are a hundredfold. In America's 21st Century to be, each and every US president has failed the global community in leadership. AmericaFirst!
Trump and Pompeo were negotiating in Doha with Taliban leaders with history of major terror attacks and blood on their hands. The United States offered the head of Afghan Ashraf Ghani on a silver platter. As any mobster would whisper in your ear: "I'll Make You an Offer You Can't Refuse."
Role Doha partners in negotiations Mullah Baradar, Abdullah Abdullah and Hamid Karzai
Who is Taliban co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar?
Pakistan military confirms arrest of top Taliban commander Baradar | France24 - Feb. 17, 2010 |
Pakistan confirmed the arrest of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, said to be the Taliban second-in-command, whose removal could deal a heavy blow to the militia's eight-year war in Afghanistan.
The military released a short statement confirming Baradar had been arrested, but made no mention of US reports that he was captured several days ago in Pakistan's financial capital Karachi in a joint operation with US spies.
"At the conclusion of detailed identification procedure, it has been confirmed that one of the persons arrested happens to be Mullah Baradar," said military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas.
"Place of arrest and operational details cannot be released due to security reasons," he added. Speaking to AFP, Abbas declined to say more.
Analysts have said his arrest could signal a watershed in Washington's bid to persuade Pakistan to move aggressively against Islamist militants operating on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistani border.
Confirmation of Baradar's detention came just hours before US President Barack Obama was to meet his war cabinet to discuss Afghanistan and a major offensive on a key Taliban bastion that has run into stiff resistance.
Obama was to meet in the White House's Situation Room with Vice President Joe Biden, Defence Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, General David Petraeus, head of US Central Command, and top officials.
General Stanley McChrystal, the senior US commander in Afghanistan, and Karl Eikenberry, the US ambassador to Kabul, were to join the meeting via video conference, the White House said.
The New York Times and other media, citing unnamed officials in the United States and Pakistan, said Baradar had been detained in Pakistan's sprawling port city of Karachi "several days ago" and was being interrogated.
The White House refused to confirm the reports, but said it welcomed better cooperation between the United States and Pakistan.
"We've seen an increase in Pakistani pushback on extremists in their own country, which I think is beneficial not simply for us," Obama's spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters.
US officials had long complained that Islamabad's spy service was failing to crack down on Afghan Taliban but had recently refrained from public criticism while Washington doled out billions in military and civilian aid.
Baradar is the most important Taliban leader to be captured since the 2001 US-led offensive that ousted the Afghan militia from power after the September 11 attacks on the United States.
His arrest emerged as 15,000 US, NATO and Afghan troops staged a major assault against the Taliban bastion of Marjah in southern Afghanistan, key to Washington's new strategy for turning around the troubled war.
Taliban's Abdul Ghani Baradar is undisputed victor of a 20-year war | The Guardian - Aug. 15, 2021 |
Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban leader freed from a Pakistani jail on the request of the US less than three years ago, has emerged as an undisputed victor of the 20-year war.
While Haibatullah Akhundzada is the Taliban's overall leader, Baradar is its political chief and its most public face. He was said to be on his way from his office in Doha to Kabul on Sunday evening. In a televised statement on the fall of Kabul, he said the Taliban's real test was only just beginning and that they had to serve the nation.
Baradar's return to power embodies Afghanistan's inability to escape the bloody shackles of its past. The story of his adult life is the story of the country's unceasing, pitiless conflict.
Born in Uruzgan province in 1968, he fought in the Afghan mujahideen against the Soviets in the 1980s. After the Russians withdrew in 1989 and the country fell into civil war between rival warlords three years later, Baradar set up a madrassa in Kandahar with his former commander and reputed brother in law, Mohammad Omar. Together, the two mullahs founded the Taliban, a movement spearheaded by young Islamic scholars dedicated to the religious purification of the country and the creation of an emirate.
Fuelled by religious fervour, widespread hatred of the warlords and substantial support from Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, the Taliban swept to power in 1996 after a series of stunning conquests of provincial capitals that took the world by surprise, just as the movement has done in recent weeks. Baradar, Mullah Omar's deputy who was widely believed to be a highly effective strategist, was a key architect of those victories.
Baradar played a succession of military and administrative roles in the five-year Taliban regime, and by the time it was ousted by the US and its Afghan allies, he was deputy minister of defence.
During the Taliban's 20-year exile, Baradar had the reputation of being a potent military leader and a subtle political operator. Western diplomats came to view him as on the wing of the Quetta Shura - the Taliban's regrouped leadership in exile - that was most resistant to ISI control, and most amenable to political contacts with Kabul.
From my diary in 2012 ...
Pakistan Government Crisis Deepens vs. Military | Jan. 2012 |
Army warns PM Gilani over his criticism of military
ISLAMABAD (AFP/France24) - Pakistan's army warned of "grievous consequences" for the country over criticism by the prime minister that has ramped up tensions between the military and civilian leadership.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani immediately sacked the top bureaucrat in the defence ministry over the row, with the government saying the official had been the cause of the "misunderstanding" with the military.
Afghanistan overrun by Taliban in a matter of weeks ...
Why is Pakistan seeing a surge in Taliban support? | DW News - July 17, 2021 |
Videos of Pakistani citizens holding Taliban flags and chanting Islamist slogans at rallies to show support for the Afghan insurgents have been circulating on social media. This comes amid rapid Taliban advances in Afghanistan ahead of the complete withdrawal of US troops by September.
Islamic clerics in various parts of the country are also soliciting support for the Afghan Taliban and calling for donations.
Many locals and witnesses in the city of Quetta and district of Pishin of Balochistan province told DW that there had been an increased pro-Taliban activity in their areas.
"The Taliban enjoy local support in our area, but the rallies are not possible without support from state authorities," a resident told DW on condition of anonymity. "Initially, the clerics were asking for donations for the Afghan Taliban at mosques; now they are coming door-to-door to generate funds for the 'Afghan jihad,'" he said.
Mohsin Dawar, a progressive opposition lawmaker from Pakistan's northwestern tribal areas, said that "the Taliban continue to roam freely in different parts of Pakistan, including Quetta."
The Taliban are making gains as US pulls out of Afghanistan - and showing off a treasure trove of armoury and ammunitions | Sky News - July 6, 2021 |
After occupying border crossings, the Taliban overran district capitals in a matter of weeks ...
Hunting down enemies of the Islamic Emirate of Taliban in Afghanistan
Afghanistan: Taliban responsible for brutal massacre of Hazara men - new investigation | Amnesty Int'l |
Taliban fighters massacred nine ethnic Hazara men after taking control of Afghanistan's Ghazni province last month, Amnesty International said today.
On-the-ground researchers spoke to eyewitnesses who gave harrowing accounts of the killings, which took place between 4-6 July in the village of Mundarakht, Malistan district. Six of the men were shot and three were tortured to death, including one man who was strangled with his own scarf and had his arm muscles sliced off.
The brutal killings likely represent a tiny fraction of the total death toll inflicted by the Taliban to date, as the group have cut mobile phone service in many of the areas they have recently captured, controlling which photographs and videos are then shared from these regions.
Earlier comments about Hazara population in Central Afghanistan ...
Dr. Sima Samar is Shi'a Hazara ...
First indication of possible genocide of Hazara people.
The response to deadliest attack on America since Pearl Harbor started in October 2001 to topple Mullah Omar who refused to hand-over Osama Bin Laden. America and George Bush were in no mood to negotiate the surrender of Al Qaeda leader ...
Twenty years and four presidents later ...
Afghanistan Independence Day | Taliban Fighters March Through Kandahar In Uniform |
It will be a bitter-sweet day of remembrance on September 11 in New York and Washington DC.