US Does Not Consider Taliban Terrorists
--Even As The Taliban Attacks US, Canadian, And British Forces,
Organization Is Left Off Terrorist List In 'Political' Decision--
Courtesy of: The Christian Science Monitor
By Tom Regan
May 2, 2006
When the US State Department issued its annual Country Report On Terrorism  last Friday, it listed numerous state-sponsors of terrorism, like Iran, and groups it considers Foreign Terrorists Organizations , like Hamas, Al Qaeda, and Hizbullah. Conspiciously absent from the lists, however, was the Taliban.
In an article entitled "Terrorism's Dubious 'A' List," the non-partisan Council On Foreign Relations (CFR) reports that the religious extremist organization has never been listed  as a terrorist group by the US, Britain, the EU, Canada, Australia, or any of the coalition partners,
despite the fact that during its six year rule in Afghanistan, it ptovided safe haven for Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda, and currently is staging terrorist attacks against coalition forces and waging a national campaign of intimidation and fear.
The new report did designate the Pakistan-Afghan border region as a terrorist "haven," however,
In a CFR Q&A on the Taliban, Christopher Langdon, a defense expert at the Institute For International Strategic Studies, describes the group as "An insurgent organization" that will periodically "Use terrorism to carry out its operations" .
According to Kathy Gannon, the former Associate Press bureau chief for Pakistan and Afghanistan, these [Taliban] have at times aligned themselves with Al Qaeda fighters and with Mujahedeen (holy warriors) led by the anti-government warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.
During the Soviet occupation, Hekmatyar received more support from US
and Pakistani agents than any other fighter.
"The Afghan Taliban is better organized today than it was in 2001," says Gannon, "They have more recruits [and they] have been able to take advantage of the lawlessness, the criminal gangs, and the corruption in the government."
Langton says Taliban forces "Have largely recovered from their initial defeat," and are proving a savvy enemy for coalition forces.
Taliban fighters have become encouraged by the domestic opposition some NATO nations face as they deploy in former Taliban strongholds previously patrolled by US forces, he says.
"They are very adept at reading these signals and seeing where the weaknesses lies."
...The steadily worsening situation in Southern Afghanistan is not the work of some ineffable Al Qaeda nebula. It is the result of the real depredations of the corrupt and predatory government officials whom the United States ushered into power in 2001, supposedly to help fight Al Qaeda.
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