“What We, the Taliban, Want” NY Times op-ed


"I am confident that, liberated from foreign domination and interference, we together will find a way to build an Islamic system in which all Afghans have equal rights, where the rights of women that are granted by Islam — from the right to education to the right to work — are protected, and where merit is the basis for equal opportunity.

We are also aware of concerns about the potential of Afghanistan being used by disruptive groups to threaten regional and world security. But these concerns are inflated: Reports about foreign groups in Afghanistan are politically motivated exaggerations by the warmongering players on all sides of the war.

It is not in the interest of any Afghan to allow such groups to hijack our country and turn it into a battleground. We have already suffered enough from foreign interventions. We will take all measures in partnership with other Afghans to make sure the new Afghanistan is a bastion of stability and that nobody feels threatened on our soil."  Haqqani


IMO, the publication by the Times of this manifesto was probably a required element of the peace process.  It demonstrates a willingness to publicly subscribe to things the US would like to see in a fig leaf agreement that allows us to withdraw.

Well, pilgrims, we DO need to leave that sad country.  We have done as much damage as we could manage in almost 20 years.  No one should expect us to do more.

Afghanistan is still just a geographical expression with a seat in the UN, a monument to 19th Century Russian and British desire for a buffer zone between their two spheres of control.

All Right!  Accept the fig leaf and get the hell out!  pl


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17 Responses to “What We, the Taliban, Want” NY Times op-ed

  1. Serge says:

    I have very low hopes for this peace deal to bear fruit in the form of US withdrawal, but if it does I will wait on the edge of my seat to see if predictions of a decentralized Taliban collapse into warring pro-ISIS and pro-Al Qaeda factions occurs.

  2. Bob Saccamanno says:

    I fear we’ll be back in within a decade. The Taliban will turn their sights toppling the corrupt regime in Islamabad – transforming history into tragic irony. Then they would have access to the nuclear program. Please explain why I’m wrong. I’m not an expert on that region beyond a CP Kushner sized library on it but it seems to me the roads of influence and power projection paved by the ISI decades ago can run in both directions.

  3. The Beaver says:

    Isn’t Sharuddin Haqqani on the FBI’s most wanted list?
    Who is his messenger to get the Gray Lady as a platform?

  4. turcopolier says:

    The Beaver

  5. turcopolier says:

    Obama withdrew our troops from Iraq. The rise of IS came afterward causing us to re-enter the country. I suppose “Can it happen” is MIC bullshit.

  6. I fear we’ll be back in within a decade. The Taliban will turn their sights toppling the corrupt regime in Islamabad – transforming history into tragic irony.
    It may be corrupt but if it cooperates with China and Russia it could be propped up. No one wants to see Pakistan’s nukes getting into Taliban’s hands. India is also a player there. It is complicated. In the end, the North is primarily Uzbek and Tajik and who knows what that means under new Eurasian arrangements.

  7. “I fear we’ll be back in within a decade. ”
    Maybe, but I remember all the post-Vietnam predictions about dominos.
    We left no forwarding address and they disconnected the phone and we all lived happily ever after.
    If we go, as dumb as Congress is, I doubt they will ever vote another authorization for an adventure in the graveyard of empires.

  8. Peter AU1 says:

    A number of countries have been reduced to geographical expressions in the last two decades.
    Six out of seven.. and Trump fully focused on Wesley Clark’s number seven.

  9. robt willmann says:

    In an article printed in the International Herald Tribune newspaper in 2004, former CIA officer Milt Bearden wrote about the Pashtuns and Jalaluddin Haqqani, the father of Sirajuddin Haqqani–
    “As the CIA officer overseeing the final years of the war against the Soviet occupiers of Afghanistan, I served as a 20th century American version of the British East India Company political agent and quartermaster to these same Waziri Ahmadzai tribesmen as they stymied all Soviet efforts to ‘exert a little authority.’ Their leader then was Jalaluddin Haqqani, a man of uncommon personal courage, and a deeply nuanced understanding of guerilla tactics. Though his current whereabouts are unknown –- some say he died of wounds from a U.S. air attack -– Haqqani has transitioned from America’s best friend during the anti-Soviet war to its worst enemy in the current undertaking in Afghanistan. He is at the top of the list of America’s most wanted, and it is his spirit and the Pashtun code of honor that continue to drive the Ahmadzai tribesmen against whom both the Pakistani Army and American forces are lined up.”
    A couple who had been around the State Department gave me a book for Christmas in 2003 by Milt Bearden and James Risen entitled, “The Main Enemy, The Inside Story of the CIA’s Final Showdown with the KGB”. The epilogue to the book says: “Jalaluddin Haqqani, the fierce mujahideen commander of Paktia Province, reached an accord with the Taliban after their 1994 victory. By the time the United States attacked Afghanistan in 2001, Haqqani was on the U.S. wanted list”.

  10. Morongobill says:

    The Talibs have been on the scene since the time of Churchill, if not longer. I never read about them invading other countries through conquest. Maybe they just want the foreigners out and for the Great Game do be played somewhere else. Afghanistan for the Afghans.
    A simplistic take on things but sometime simple is best.
    We need to get the Hell out of that “Graveyard of Empires.”

  11. turcopolier says:

    Afghanistan was always just a “geographical expression.” What other countries are you referring to? I will discuss them one by one.

  12. J says:

    The most ‘forgotten’ war in Soviet history.

  13. Peter AU1 says:

    Libya – Haftar is slowly putting it back together, but for a long time it has been a geographical area rather than a nation.
    Syria – Syrian government control approx half the land mass, Turkey and US via proxies and presence controlling the rest.
    Yemen – A lead from behind war for the US, Houthi movement uniting some to common cause, the rest of the country controlled by Saudi and UAE.
    Iraq – on and off as a nation. Divided on US since Soleimani killing, weak and or toothless leadership both political and religious.
    Saleh of Yemen I think termed it ‘dancing on the heads of snakes’.
    So many different religious, ethnic and political or ideologic groups in some of the areas marked on a map as countries, that once broken it ius very difficult to put them back together as a nation.

  14. turcopolier says:

    Not a bad list but I would argue that none of these places were ever nation states. they were artificially created states that were multinational nd now they have fallen apart. Surprise!

  15. elaine says:

    Is it of any coincidence that the countries being mentioned are
    Muslim? Nigeria, Africa currently is experiencing a violent schism between the north & south based in great part by religious
    differences, radicalization & general intolerance.
    Presently the U.S. is constructing drone posts in parts of central Africa; to what extent these posts will be staffed is unknown to me.

  16. Peter AU1 says:

    My impression is that most borders in the region a lines on a map delineating territories held by Britain and European powers of the day.
    Russian federation is multi ethnic and multi religion yet can pull together as a nation under the right leadership.
    Middle east MENA seems more susceptible to divide and conquer Saddam in Iraq, Gaddafi in Libya, the Assads in Syria, and for a short time Saleh in Yemen were able to pull their countries into something of a nation state.
    As I see it, Putins biggest asset in putting Russia back together is his ability as a mediator between differing groups.
    Similar in Mena but perhaps more as Saleh termed it ‘dancing on the heads of snakes’.

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