Tuesday, October 18, 2005

mastermind or puppet?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-5352146,00.html

I'm pretty confident this article offers a mischaracterization of the subject in question's relationship to the Taliban. The heads of the Taliban came from Pakistan and were ethnic pashtuns, generally from the afghani/pakistani border area they've been calling 'warizistan'... (yeah.. sounds like they're ready to create their own country of death). I remember talking to a pretty well informed pakistani lady back in 1998 about the Taliban, and was asking her why Pakistan was supporting them. She said it was considered by most of Pakistan (the more reasonable areas like Lahore) that the Taliban was being expelled from Pakistan. A lot of them were Afghan refugees who'd stayed in Pakistan since the end of soviet occupation... but a great many of them were soviet-occupation era war orphans. So.. Afghani problems... meet Afghanistan... don't let the door hit ya on the way out...

There were a great many people who, like the vichy regime in france, attempted to collaborate with the taliban. That's generally what happens when you are under occupation. If someone steps up, promises that your people wont cause trouble and will pay their 'taxes', they'll have some tendency to leave you alone. Bamiyan province is not part of the pashtun region... they're shia... It's just incredibly unlikely that this guy was anything other than what he says... a puppet head.

We do need to get rid of all the remenants of Al Qaeda, and their harboring cohorts, the taliban... but if we arrested this guy, it would probably be most like the proverbial baby-bathwater thing. Perhaps this guy should be arrested, but he would have to be arrested for collaborating, not calling the shots.

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