Taliban – like watching a monkey f–k a football.

Too bad. So sad.

“The Taliban has no experience in delivering or maintaining existing state services, such as electricity or water, let alone tackling complex issues like setting macroeconomic policies. The immediate effects of the financial squeeze saw cash liquidity in Afghanistan drop, driving up inflation – including food prices, resulting in immense hardship to the population.

If the Taliban continues to engage in purges of non-Sunnis and implement regressive Sharia laws like public hangings and mutilation, educated Afghans will continue to flee the country, thus provoking a new brain drain. International actors will maintain sanctions on the Taliban and perhaps even intensify them. The new government will also struggle to find jobs for the many now-unemployed soldiers of the Afghan security forces.” SF

Comment: Maybe Leprechaun Joe can give them some of the money we are currently withholding … No? Well then, let the Taliban rot in the Middle Ages where they belong. The Afghans will rot with them? Yes. They should have fought harder for their country. In the meantime the resistance fire can be stoked by people like me and TTG, cheap at the price. And then there is Pakistan … pl

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29 Responses to Taliban – like watching a monkey f–k a football.

  1. Poul says:

    That was to be expected as the old government was heavily subsidized by the West. It was not just the army which received billions also the civilian side got lots of money.

    The Afghan economy would never have been able to support neither the army nor the fancy civilian administration so all of that will disappear.

    The subsidies also were important for the current account aka number of dollars for importing goods. What exports Afghanistan have, including opium, will never support the old trade patterns. So big reductions in the ability to import fuel, food etc.

    • Pat Lang says:

      Poul

      “The Afghan economy would never have been able to support neither the army nor the fancy civilian administration” That has been stated here many times.

  2. jerseycityjoan says:

    I am wondering how the Taliban ran the country the first time? One thing back then was borrow. Wikipedia says that government debt in 2002 as a percentage of GDP was about 350%; in 2017 it was only 7%. But it does seem like their donors do not want to do nation building, only destroying.

    I have looked up some things. The population in 2002 after they left was about 22 million; now it is about 40 million. Actual GDP per person is about $500. They only get about 4% of GDP from remittances. They export about $1 billion a year and import about $6 billion.

    They are truly in a bind. But the Wikipedia article below also mentions that old constant comment about Afghanistan: “Despite holding over $1 trillion in proven untapped mineral deposits, Afghanistan remains one of the least developed countries in the world.”

    You might think everybody is jockeying to get at that $1 trillion underground but are they, and will they get it out this time? I do not know. Will any of the money end up in the national treasure and stay there (not looted) if they do?

    I cannot blame those soldiers for running away. They had been sold out long ago and I saw that much if not most of their equipment had been sold off or given away to insurgents. I would not want my head chopped off either, for nothing.

    It would be an interesting calculation for the US government about whether it might be cheaper on many levels to help the Afghans willing to fight to try to take the country back. The world will not and should not let them starve and we know that much of whatever is done will end up being stolen and used to strengthen the Taliban and Isis.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Afghanistan

    Here is a link about how two Afghanistan American refugee brothers from decades ago have been doing well for themselves. I wonder what they have ever done for their people left behind?

    https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/son-afghanistan-former-defense-minister-172358560.html

    • Leith says:

      JCJ –

      That Hamed Wardak in your Yahoo link was accused of rape two years ago in Manhattan. No charges filed that I know of. So he probably bought off the accuser with some of the millions his father stole from US taxpayers.

  3. Babeltuap says:

    We never would commit to scorching the drug fields and creating a better local source of income. I remember driving through harvested smoking fields of dope. All my Soldiers were getting high in the MRAPs including me. I had to write a report just in case any of us popped hot. Nobody would do the right thing over there.

  4. jim ticehurst says:

    I Suspect the Chinese Take outs…and Diamond dealers will show up pretty Soon..

  5. Aletheia in Athens says:

    One is to think that in a context as that in the West, where people are being prevented from working, and thus earn their living, and accessing basic services, mandatory hijab and education under sex segregation would be the least of your worries…

    Many of our parents were educated under sex segregation mandate, and yet we are some still able to think rationally and critically, oppose tyranny as if there was no tomorrow, and fight for our rights…

    Afghanistan is a young country and thus I very doubt they will submit to tyranny for the foreseable future, as it is being the case of old Europe, especially old Italy, one of the most aging countries ( by median age of its population…) in the world, along with Japan…No wonder they gallope towards gerontocratic dictatorial rule…

    How old this Dragui guy is?

    BTW, Lebanon, RT reports, is currently in full electric blackout, which will last some days…in the middle of fuel shortage..
    Yet, in case we could be impeled to think this is the cronic issue with that ME country, The Economist warns us in advance, as usual, about what the new normal will be, “the shortage economy”…

    https://www.economist.com/weeklyedition/2021-10-09

  6. Aletheia in Athens says:

    Taking into account the current state of affairs in the world, one would say that countries under Sharia Law will have their inconveniences but also their advantages….

    As religious rule, as thus opposed to anything contrary to God´s design/mandates, their population will remain human, and thus, able to develop and survive by adaptation to environment, whatever shape it gets, as they have done through the ages…

    Pay attention to this elites conference announced for 23rd October at The Vatican…of all places….

    https://twitter.com/BarruntaM/status/1446730104009379841/photo/1

    • Pat Lang says:

      A in A

      You are aware of the extremely fragmented variety of theories of sharia or are you actually a Muslim and therefore rooted in the belief that your version of sharia is the only reflection of God’s will? I, for one, an extremely unimpressed with the stultifying effect that the application of pietist notions of sharia had on Sunni dominated cultures after the fall of the mu’tazila in what, the 8th century CE.

      • Aletheia in Athens says:

        Not an expert on Sharia in any way, on the contrary, quite ignirant on the matter, I just was guessing the Taliban would anytime allow, ofr example, their population being inyected with genic therapies…for bad…or good…
        At current stage of these therapies´development, under full experimentation state on humans in the West by force, just a favourable outcome for the Taliban and Afghan population in this regard…

        Just I read about coming DNA Covid-19 vaccine being launched in India…of all places…

        Not a muslim, but an European, from the resistance to technosanitary regime…

        • Pat Lang says:

          A in A

          Your IP reflects presence in the Basque country of Spain. I suspect that you are just the latest manifestation of the Spanish group that has infested us here from time to time while seeking to disguise yourselves.

          • Aletheia in Athens says:

            Whom am I, or am not is the least important.
            I jusy try to help the people out there, and through that, help myself in this war on the people, amongst whom I am.
            I am also trying to convey the situation in Europe, for those not aware in the US.

            Yours is one of the few, if not the only one, sites which allow critical comments on the pandemic management and goals, and some other issues of actuality, although you still have some censure. Yours also seems to have a quite informed commentariat able of critial thinking.

            I do not claim being an expert on anything, you can just get what of useful you could find of what I post as yo uhave done os far.

        • Pat Lang says:

          A in A

          “Not an expert on Sharia in any way, on the contrary, quite ignirant on the matter, ” Always glad to have comments based on ignorance.

    • jerseycityjoan says:

      I think it a mistake to assume the human race can adapt to anything. What proof do we have of that? Afghanistan is about as poor and traditional a society as you can find and it cannot feed itself.

      In our day people are found in small numbers in all kinds of hostile environments. But humans could not have lived in many places at different points in the world’s history. And of course the changes to come with continued warming and climate change due to man are new phenomena.

      Do not have blind faith that we will survive as a species. We do not know what might happen or what God intends.

      • Pat Lang says:

        jersey city

        It is a basic belief of the left that humans are endlessly maleable.

      • Aletheia in Athens says:

        You can live with few basics, as ever has been throughout human history, a piece of land and pasture to grow some goats, hens, and some vegetables, plus a source of water and wood for heating/cooking, with a river near you even better to diversify protein source.
        In fact, it is possible we will have to survive this way in a not so distant future, as the german governmetn add so clearly shows, that is my point with respect the Afghans, since they live in their majority this way in the country side due lack of major development in the country. In the world of “build back better” they enjoy some advantage since already accustomed and thus trained in living this way…

        Of course, that is not possible in a city, or, if you allow creepy individuals like Bill Gates hoard every piece of fertile land in the country…

        • fredw says:

          “You can live with few basics, as ever has been throughout human history, a piece of land and pasture to grow some goats, hens, and some vegetables, plus a source of water and wood for heating/cooking, with a river near you even better to diversify protein source.”

          In addition to all the political hoopla, they are in a drought. None of the things you cite are available in droughts. Most likely, without outside help there will be mass starvation. The Taliban are about the worst guardians they could have in such a situation.

      • Aletheia in Athens says:

        “Do not have blind faith that we will survive as a species”.

        I have never expressed such a faith, in fact, witnessing how at least half the population willingly submitted to brainwashing and enslavement through genic experimental meds, so as to have a “pass” to travel, I have reached my least point of hope so far for humanity and its survival.

        Nor I hold any hope in mass movements either, for not say in political parties and unions, all sold to the Big Pharma and governments, no mind how corrupt they are…

        In front of the full perversion and hijacking of everything related with the genuine left, I start feeling ever more like a kinda libertarian, finding that what I look for is for my governemtn to leave me alone without interfering in my life or charging me way too much.

        I do not trust any left formation, or union for that matter, any more unless there is a revolution which turns everything upside down and the new leaders show their value by fighting at the front line.
        I am done with subsidized unions, parties, and above all with the so called “euroleft”.

      • Aletheia in Athens says:

        An example on how you asure the survival of your population…

        https://tass.com/society/1347581

        Something none of our governments is doing, less even asuring energy supply in european cities…

        https://mundo.sputniknews.com/20211009/un-gran-proveedor-de-electricidad-en-alemania-corta-el-suministro-a-regiones-enteras-1116938598.html

        It was warning the citizenry through tv adds and getting without electric supply… in the verge of central Europe winter….

        At this stage, taking out the guillotines is not enough…

  7. walrus says:

    “Nature abhors a vacuum”. If we quit the field or apply a set of sanctions like we have done to Iran, etc. we have only ourselves to blame for what follows. The Taliban may be vile but I seem to recall prior to 9/11 they were suppressing the opium production and heroin trade in return for about $50million per year unless I’m mistaken.

    The Afghans are a resourceful people. They are handy with firearms and explosives and fiercely independent too. Do we really want the place to deteriorate into a thieves kitchen again? Do we want them exporting high quality, low cost heroin to the West again? Do we want the Afghan Government to become a client state of Russia and/or China? Yes I know I’m making the “better inside the tent” argument but I think it’s better to have some say in the place rather than none.

    • Poul says:

      Walrus, the problem is not sanctions but the economic house of cards that was built by the US & co.

      Whether the Taliban have the administrative skills or not are irrelevant. Afghanistan’s official exports are around $700-800 mio. plus unofficial exports of heroin of around $1-2 billion. The trade deficit is around $6-7 billion and were financed by the various foreign subsidies the army and civilian administration.

      Is it realistic to expect the West to throw that kind of money at the Taliban? Or Iran becoming a sugar daddy for the Taliban.

      Not in my book. That means the import of fuel, food and other necessities will collapse with the cities taking the brunt of the reduction in quality of life. There is no power if you can’t buy the fuel for the generators.

    • different clue says:

      The ChinaGov and RussiaGov both disapprove of jihaddery. If Afghanistan became a client state of Russia or especially China, Taliban-hosted and Taliban-pursued jihaddery would be contained and maybe even suppressed. The China and Russia governments might even help eachother do it, as might the counter-jihadi governments of the Central Asiastans.

      If that is so, then why is Afghanistan becoming a Russian or especially Chinese client state a bad thing?

  8. Yeah, Right says:

    ” In the meantime the resistance fire can be stoked by people like me and TTG, cheap at the price.”

    To what end?

    Meddling for the sake of meddling is not exactly a grand strategy, irrespective of how cheap it is. What greater strategic goal is met by continuing to meddle in the internal affairs of Afghanistan?

    And if those strategic goals can’t be articulated clearly, then why bother?

    • Pat Lang says:

      Yeah, right
      To f–k up the jihsdis world wide.

      • Yeah, Right says:

        OK, I can understand the sentiment.

        But are the Taliban jihadists, or are they merely intolerant religious fundamentalists?

        I mean, honestly, if the intention was to f–k up the jihsdis world wide then I’d be setting my sights on the House of Saud rather than the Taliban.

        The latter appear more concerned with being the sad little kings of their own sad little world. It’s the Saudis who appear determined to export their intolerance around the world.

        • Pat Lang says:

          Yeah, Right

          Yes, the Taliban are jihadis and allies and enablers of jihadis. I lived in SA for 3 long years. I would be happy to screw them up.

  9. Condottiere says:

    We have much more to gain by stoking the Afghan resistance fire in against China (& Russia, Iran, Pakistan) than the Taliban.

  10. Wunduk says:

    Walrus – the Taliban banned poppy cultivation in 2000 to jack up prices for the 2001 trade (from $45 to close to $400 per kg in peaks, but on average it brought it up to at least $120), but never banned the trade. The harvest was always worth more then $120 million, sot he package offered to them was never attractive enough.

    Poul – yes Afghanistan has become expensive to run thanks to multilateral state-building. I would argue too expensive for the Taliban.

    Over the last ten years the Taliban have built up the exploitation of mineral resources in Afghanistan, and managed to seize in many places the terrain deemed irrelevant by “population centric warfare” – this has made the commanders behind this approach rich and powerful and explains the rise of Mullah Yaqub against the network of former Amir al-Mu’minin Mullah Akhtar Mansur (retired by DoD dronee in 2016 when returning from Iran to Pakistan).

    Current Finance Minister Mullah Hidayatullah a.k.a. Gul AGha Ishakzai was designated a narco kingpin back in the days but he also exploited minerals. Already by 2018 most mineral deposits that could be exploited without advanced technology were worked by contractors paying royalties to the Taliban. Add to this the customs revenue and the Taliban can likely fund their military (58-100,000) from this, all the more as they worked part time as poppy harvesters and guards for labs and transports. In total the Taliban might make $300 million to $1.6 billion, of which $464 million would come from the minerals and $460 from narcotics cultivation via the ‘ushr’ (tithe) levied locally. The large difference in the overall revenue estimate is due to the lack of clarity how far up the revenue goes as lower tier Taliban are quite good at ensuring local revenue is serving local expenses first.

    Clearly this figure, even with added customs revenue cannot be stretched to fund the 500,000 civil servants (in a 40 million population), despite immediately revising the salary scale downward and starting to fire people that seem insufficiently enthusiastic. So the previous donors of the Afghan State (US, EU, Japan) are called upon to support the salaries. But can they pay for the administration of a medieval theocracy?

    Maybe China, Central Asian states and Qatar would foot part of the bill to maintain order and secure transit routes, but Afghanistan will be a competitor with Pakistan for charitable donations, and we are looking at a regular $10 billion / year subsidy.

    Taliban of course will wail that the frozen Government reserves (about $9 billion) be returned and blame failures on the lack of access. But as Poul signalled above: the costs are way too high now, even if they would have the reserves. While the annual $10 billion paid primarily for the military, this money trickled down to the village level.

    Also, Afghanistan received annually remittances upwards of $788 million, which now is also going to be channeled to other purposes, as people pay to get their people out of the country.

    No matter what funding is made available to the Taliban, a lot of urban Afghans will vote with their feet and get out, as they did the previous time when the Taliban were in charge. No perspective in sight. The current draught is more severe than the four year draught 1996-2000 and will also push a lot of rural Afghans to migrate. The water tables are simply collapsing.

    So Pakistan and Iran will get a fair share of new poor transplants. Some of that will translate into increased leverage for Turkey against the EU, but I doubt a repeat of 2015. Turkey might also get a lot of new residents without a lot of cash from the EU.

    And lastly, the problem of Taliban Governance and why I had to laugh when reading this title is largely that the Taliban seem not really interested to run a government compared to run a madrasa prep school for jihad. All discussions even right now are about universal conscription, establishing eight army corps (one more than previously in the ANA), institutionalizing permanent suicide attacker structures in the Taliban military and picking fights with anyone, including with the Salafists.

    As described to me, the running of a government gets scant attention by Taliban leaders and the current Prime Minister Mullah Hasan Akhund issued his decree number 5 on 27 September, 21 days after assuming his office. A lot of the central administration is done via phone calls or verbal orders. Key government officials remain committed to argue and write about the Sahih of al-Bukhari or issues of amr bi’l ma’ruf. While capable on bottom-line accounting for personal ends or their mahaz / madrasa, they cannot be bothered to look at the daily exchange rate or a more complex budget.

    There might be source bias in the scathing descriptions of incompetence, but the reporting is unanimous from sources of widely diverging worldviews that I am quite confident to conclude that the Taliban Islamic Emirate is not entirely of this world and they knew they needed to avoid getting trapped by governing a state. Khuday mehraban dey (God is merciful)!

    • Leith says:

      Wunduk –

      Thanks for the insight. Never ceases to amaze me that many in the West seem to think the Taliban are saints when it comes to Opium. Whether or not Omar’s ban in the year 2000 was legit or a scam, the Taliban still made millions off of the trade during the six years they were in power before that.

      And the West should note that most opium poppy production is in Helmand and Kandahar Provinces, which are Taliban heartland. And Hashish production is peak in those two Taliban provinces also. Taliban sharia judges may tend to be harsh on Afghan users but they have no compunctions about its use outside of their borders.

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