Afghanistan Falls to Taliban as Americans and Brits Made ‘Cut and Run’
15 Aug 2021 – (EP) Taliban militants have entered Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul and forced the United States to evacuate diplomats from its embassy by helicopter.
The hard-line Islamist group has surged through the country following the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, with military outposts, towns and major cities falling under their control.
The US President Joe Biden told Afghanistans after abandoning them, “If they want victory, they have to fight for it.” In American politics-speak, this is called tough love. Without the love.
Political commentators are saying that Afghanistan will be seen as Joe Biden’s defeat. And it may come back to haunt him.
“The American public will not be in a forgiving mood if al-Qaida rises again following US withdrawal and the Taliban advance,” a Western analysist said.
However, opinion polls suggest his abrupt Afghan withdrawal has majority public support. That doesn’t mean Americans will remain indifferent as the carnage and misery mount.
Who are the Taliban?
The Taliban, which means “students” in the Pashto language, have been waging an insurgency against the Western-backed government in Kabul since they were ousted from power in 2001.
The group was formed by “mujahideen” fighters who fought Soviet forces in the 1980s with the backing of the CIA.
What is the group’s history in Afghanistan?
Emerging in 1994 as one of several factions fighting a civil war, the Taliban gained control of much of the country by 1996 and imposed its own strict version of Sharia, or Islamic law.
The group has been accused of brutally enforcing Sharia, with public executions for those convicted of murder or adultery and amputation for those found guilty of theft. Men had to grow their beards and women had to wear the burka, which covers their whole body.
But after sheltering Osama bin Laden and key al Qaeda figures in the wake of the 11 September 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre, the Taliban would fall after a US-led military coalition launched an offensive on 7 October 2001.
Despite being ousted from power, the Taliban would continue a guerrilla war against the Western-backed governments and US-led forces in the country.
What do they want for Afghanistan?
The fundamentalist group wishes to restore Sharia to Afghanistan and those unable to leave the country will have to adapt to a way of life they have not seen in two decades.
When they last ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, women could not work, girls were not allowed to attend school and women had to cover their face and be accompanied by a male relative if they wanted to venture out of their homes. Music, TV and cinema were banned.
The group has said it will end mixed-gender education and return Islamic law to a central place in society.
How are the Taliban funded?
The group are able to raise funds through several sources, including the opium and drugs trade.
In areas they control they have taxed farms and other businesses, while the group has also received funding from supporters.
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