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  1. #1
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    '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan (OP)


    Salaam

    Another update on the situation in Afghanistan

    Rare interviews with militants shine light on resilient movement that resisted both Obama’s surge and now Trump’s ‘killing terrorists’ strategy

    Squatting on the floor, a brown shawl draped over his shoulders, the Taliban commander and his bodyguard swiped on their phones through attack footage edited to look like video games, with computerised crosshairs hovering over targets. “Allahu Akbar,” they said every time a government Humvee hit a landmine.

    Mullah Abdul Saeed, who met the Guardian in the barren backcountry of Logar province where he leads 150 Taliban militants, has fought foreign soldiers and their Afghan allies since the US-led coalition invaded Afghanistan when he was 14. The Taliban now controls its largest territory since being forced from power, and seems to have no shortage of recruits.

    By prolonging and expanding its military presence in Afghanistan, the US aims to coerce the Taliban to lay down arms, but risks hardening insurgents who have always demanded withdrawal of foreign troops before peace talks.

    In interviews with rank-and-file Taliban fighters in Logar and another of Afghanistan’s embattled provinces, Wardak, the Guardian found a fragmented but resilient movement, united in resistance against foreign intervention.

    Referring to Barack Obama’s surge, Saeed said: “150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us.” And an extra 4,000 US soldiers, as Donald Trump will deploy, “will not change the morale of our mujahideen,” he said. “The Americans were walking in our villages, and we pushed them out.” For the Taliban to consider peace, he said, “foreigners must leave, and the constitution must be changed to sharia.”

    Active Taliban footsoldiers rarely agree to meet western reporters. Men such as Saeed, who spoke without leadership permission, provide valuable insight into a movement that after 16 years in armed opposition remains largely an enigma.

    Arriving on a motorbike kicking up dust, Saeed and his Kalashnikov-carrying bodyguard, Yamin, were aloof at first but warmed as the conversation evolved. Saeed said that as the war has changed, the Taliban have adjusted, too. US soldiers now predominantly train Afghans, and have ramped up airstrikes.

    “It’s true, it has become harder to fight the Americans. But we use suicide bombers, and we will use more of them,” Saeed said. “If the US changes its tactics of fighting, so do we.” That change has meant ever-fiercer attacks, with large truck bombs in populated areas and audacious assaults on military bases.

    In April, Taliban fighters in army uniforms stormed a northern army academy and killed at least 150 soldiers in the biggest assault on the army of the entire war. This month, suicide bombers wiped out a whole army unit, ramming two Humvees packed with explosives into a base in Kandahar.

    As Saeed spoke, three young boys from the civilian family at the house where the interview took place brought tea. They giggled as they listened in on the fighters’ radio. Saeed spoke with a calm, professorial demeanour but his words brimmed with the anger of a man who has spent his adult life fighting a generation-long war, and lost 12 family members doing it.

    Pressed on the record-high number of civilian deaths in the war, he said the Taliban “make mistakes” and try to avoid harming civilians, but added: “If there is an infidel in a flock of sheep, you are permitted to attack that flock of sheep.”

    The Taliban was always outnumbered and technologically outmatched by its foreign adversaries, but is arguably at its strongest since 2001, threatening several provincial capitals. The movement, though, is divided, with some lower-ranking commanders backing rivals of the current chief, Mawlawi Haibatullah, or more radical outfits such as Islamic State. But rifts have not stopped the group from advancing.

    Saeed claimed: “10-15 people join the mujahideen [in Logar] every day, sometimes also policemen,” adding that mistreatment by government and foreign forces helps recruitment.

    “Many Taliban become suicide bombers after prison. Why?” he asked, describing how prison guards torture detainees by applying air pressure, beatings or electric shock to their genitals. After a detainee is released, he said, the shame is too much to bear. Such claims of government torture have been documented by the UN.

    While few in the international community think the war can be won militarily, the US shows little intention of reviving the dormant peace process. “We are not nation-building again. We are killing terrorists,” Trump said when announcing his south Asia strategy. “In the end we will win.” Crucially, Trump has not established criteria for when US troops will be pulled home.

    In a separate interview in the beleaguered Wardak province, Omari, 23, who has six years’ frontline experience, told the Guardian he had considered leaving the insurgency and taking his family to Kabul. “But if the Americans come back to Wardak, I will fight them,” he said. Omari was less cavalier than Saeed about civilian casualties, which he said damaged the Taliban’s standing with ordinary Afghans, who have become more reluctant to shelter them.

    Yet, the two militants did agree on one thing: American soft power is as dangerous as uniformed soldiers, especially as US troops have dwindled in numbers. That belief materialised last year when militants, in a stunningly grisly attack, stormed the American University in Kabul, killing 16 students and staff members. In the capital, many regard the university as one of the pinnacles of post-Taliban Afghanistan.

    Though no group claimed responsibility for the attack, Saeed and Omari agreed the university posed a threat. “We should kill those teachers who change the minds of society,” Saeed said.

    Currently, the Taliban seem capable of upholding a slow-burning war, with the help of outside benefactors. After recent US pressure on Pakistan to crack down on militant sanctuaries, some Taliban fighters consider opting for another regional neighbour, Omari said: “Many Taliban want to leave Pakistan for Iran. They don’t trust Pakistan anymore.”

    Pakistan denies harbouring militants, but Saeed admitted receiving assistance from Pakistan, though he denied being under anyone’s thumb. “Having relations is one thing, taking orders is something else,” he said. “Every party, if they want to be stronger, need to talk to other countries. We should talk to Iran, and we should talk to Pakistan. Just like the Afghan government goes to India and China.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/31/150000-americans-couldnt-beat-us-taliban-fighters-defiant-in-afghanistan

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  2. #21
    Junon's Avatar
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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

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    Salaam

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric H View Post
    Greetings and peace be with you Junon;

    I saw a programme on the BBC last night, they said about a 100,000 US troops have committed suicide since returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, that is about 22 every day. I can only think they saw things and did things that did not sit right with them.

    In the spirit of praying for justice for all people,

    Eric
    Yes its the same story replayed over and over.

    From Vietnam



    To Iraq/Afghanistan



    The purpose of war in this day and age.



    Theres an inevitability about it though .

    Last edited by Junon; 10-27-2018 at 01:53 PM.
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  4. #22
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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    Salaam

    Another perspective.

    Blurb

    What has 17 years of US invasion of Afghanistan done to the country and its people?


  5. #23
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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    Salaam

    Another update

    Afghan peace conference: India shares table with Taliban

    India, among other regional nations, is part of the Russia-hosted peace talks in Moscow to end the war in Afghanistan.

    India is participating in a Russia-sponsored peace conference with Taliban in a significant reassessment of its position on talks with the armed group that has waged an armed rebellion since 2001.

    New Delhi has sent former Indian envoys to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Amar Sinha and TCA Raghavan respectively, to attend the conference at the "non-official level".

    "India supports all efforts at peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan that will preserve unity and plurality, and bring security, stability and prosperity to the country," India's foreign ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said.

    "India's consistent policy has been that such efforts should be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, and Afghan-controlled and with participation of the Government of Afghanistan," he said.

    Moscow said it had invited representatives from the United States as well as Iran, China, Pakistan and five former Soviet republics in Central Asia.

    A five-member Taliban delegation led by Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanakzai, head of its political council in Qatar, is also attending the talks in Moscow.

    Foreign policy analyst Manoj Joshi, who represents the Observer Research Foundation, said the talks in Moscow come at a time when the Taliban have steadily fortified their control in the Afghan countryside.

    "Essentially, India has bowed to the inevitable since the US, Russia, China and even the Afghan government have all indicated one way or the other that they are ready to talk with the Taliban," Joshi told Al Jazeera.

    "New Delhi is confident that the host Russians would not do anything which would be against India's interests. Also, in participating in these talks, India takes the view that since the Afghan government, through the High Peace Council, is present, there should be no problem," he added.

    The High Peace Council (HPC) is a government body responsible for reconciliation efforts with the Taliban.

    "Element of seriousness"

    The Russian diplomatic efforts come weeks after newly appointed US special envoy for peace in Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, held talks with the Taliban in Qatar.

    He will visit Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar from November 8 to 20 in an effort to end the 17-year-old war in Afghanistan.

    "There has been a shift in US policy - earlier, even though the previous administration spoke about a negotiated settlement, there was no concrete direction," Zahid Hussain, an Islamabad-based security analyst, told Al Jazeera.

    "For the first time now, the US is talking directly to the Taliban, which is also acceptable to the Taliban, as this was their demand from the outset. There has been some movement.

    "There is an element of seriousness from all sides."
    The US has said it will send a representative from its embassy in Moscow to attend Friday's talks.

    India's participation is a stark departure from its earlier position as it has never engaged in formal talks with the Taliban.



    Reconciliation efforts

    Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has previously proposed talks with the Taliban, saying it could be recognised as a political party if it accepted a ceasefire and accepted the country's constitution.

    The Taliban, which has been fighting the US-led forces since being thrown out of power in 2001, has generally refused to negotiate with the Afghan government.

    "Although the Afghan government is preparing to negotiate, many people are now blaming the government, particularly President Ghani," said Hekmatullah Azamy, acting head of Centre for Conflict and Peace Studies in Kabul.

    "They argue that successful peace talks mean a new interim administration which will be unacceptable to President Ghani," Azamy told Al Jazeera.

    In the meeting on Friday, members of the HPC said they are ready for talks with the Taliban without any preconditions.

    "The future of Taliban is a matter of serious concern for the group - both at the leadership level as well as for its rank and file," Azamy said.

    "Taliban often questions whether they are ready to become a 100 percent political group and whether they can survive mainstream politics.

    "Moreover, would the rank and file follow the leaders or will they join groups like Daesh (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group)."

    Taliban officials have set the withdrawal of all foreign forces, release of prisoners and the lifting of a ban on travel as preconditions for any peace talks.

    India had earlier refused to support a 2007 initiative of former Afghan president Hamid Karzai to engage the "good Taliban" in the peace process.

    "Some make a distinction between 'good Taliban' and 'bad Taliban' - I don't, because I've seen the Taliban, they have only one cult - the cult of violence," then foreign minister of India Pranab Mukherjee had said.

    The Taliban has inflicted a heavy toll on Afghan security forces in renewed attacks in recent weeks. At least 20 army soldiers were killed at a border outpost in western Afghanistan on Tuesday.

    More than 17 years after the US-led forces invaded the country and removed the Taliban, the war is intensifying. In recent months, violence has continued with mounting casualties on both sides.

    There have been several attempts in recent years to broker a settlement between the western-backed government in Kabul and the Taliban without much success.

    "India's representatives are attending the talks in Moscow as part of efforts to bring peace and stability to the region. It's not switching tack but evolving assessment of ground realities," said a ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmaker in New Delhi on condition of anonymity.

    "All efforts towards making peace, whether the US-led talks or Russia-led talks, will help. We will be there to observe," he added.

    According to Azamy, India is one of the important stakeholders enjoying friendly ties with Kabul. He says it is vital for New Delhi to be a part of peace talks, especially with the Taliban involved.

    "Without India's involvement, the outcome of peace talks could upset them or make them feel insecure. They want to be engaged and aware of the developments," he said.

    India has forged a close partnership with Kabul since the fall of the Taliban. It has engaged in infrastructure and welfare projects in the war-torn country worth millions of dollars earning goodwill from Afghans.

    It has also provided training to Afghan military personnel as well as donating military hardware as part of its policy to deepen military ties.

    "By attending the Taliban talks, India can get a voice in the outcome of the peace process, where it has none at present. It will try to coordinate with the Afghan government which it supports strongly," analyst Joshi told Al Jazeera.

    "Simultaneously, the process enables it to build ties with the Taliban, even if somewhat late in the day. India cannot ignore the fact that ground realities ensure that the Taliban will be in the Afghan governing structure in some form or the other."

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/11/sri-lanka-president-dissolves-parliament-deepening-crisis-181109170918447.html

  6. #24
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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    Taliban is a Russian-Iranian project and it is clear they are being used the people who murder our brothers and sisters in Syria are the same ones who support the "heroic" Tribalistic-Nationalist Taliban Movement that is based in the "Muslim" Brotherhood stronghold of Qatar which we all know is a Trojan horse for the Safawi Rafida. The Taliban is a movement written in lies and designed to divide.
    '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan


    يا قافلة الخير
    "The Persian aggression against Iraq was a result of the arrogant, racialist and evil attitudes of the ruling clique in Iran."
    -Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid at-Tikriti -
    العراق جمجمة العرب ورمح الله في الأرض



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  8. #25
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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    Salaam

    Another update

    Go the hell home already

    The ranking commander in Afghanistan has publicly conceded that the Afghan war cannot be won.

    The Afghanistan war cannot be won militarily and peace will only be achieved through a political resolution with the Taliban, the newly-appointed American general in charge of US and NATO operations has conceded.

    In his first interview since taking command of NATO’s Resolute Support mission in September, Gen. Austin Scott Miller provided NBC News with a surprisingly candid assessment of the seemingly never-ending conflict, which began with the US invasion of Afghanistan in October, 2001.

    “This is not going to be won militarily. This is going to a political solution," Miller said. He mused that the Taliban is also tired of fighting and may be interested in starting to “work through the political piece” of the 17-year-old war.

    But it’s not clear if the Taliban is open to negotiations. Last month, a top Taliban commander told RT, in a rare interview, that the group’s leaders had no desire to negotiate with the Americans.


    https://www.rt.com/usa/442939-miller...-lost-taliban/


    Congratulations, it only took 17 years for the U.S. military to discover why Afghanistan is called "the graveyard of empires". That's some fine military intelligence at work there. Go the hell home. The invasion was bad enough, but the decision to try and occupy Afghanistan was reprehensibly stupid. No more wars without formal Congressional declaration.

    http://voxday.blogspot.com/2018/11/g...e-already.html

  9. #26
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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    Afghanistan 2020 Iran's puppet under the "Islamic" Emirate's rule IRGC is going to run the place, sick!
    '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan


    يا قافلة الخير
    "The Persian aggression against Iraq was a result of the arrogant, racialist and evil attitudes of the ruling clique in Iran."
    -Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid at-Tikriti -
    العراق جمجمة العرب ورمح الله في الأرض



  10. #27
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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    Salaam

    Oh dear, now China is getting interested in intervening in Afghanistan.

    Blurb

    Afghanistan has been a place of turmoil for decades. America and Russia have both had their turns in seeking their interests in the region. Now the rising Chinese power has it's turn. But what does China want in Afghanistan?


  11. #28
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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    Salaam

    Another update



    Taliban greets Pentagon's withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan with cries of victory

    "The 17-year long struggle and sacrifices of thousands of our people finally yielded fruit," said a senior commander in Helmand.


    News that the White House had ordered the Pentagon to draw up plans for a troop withdrawal from Afghanistan provoked widespread criticism that the move would kneecap efforts to broker a peace deal to end America's longest war.

    But there was one group on Friday celebrating the reports — the Taliban.

    Senior members told NBC News the news was a clear indication they were on the verge of victory.

    “The 17-year-long struggle and sacrifices of thousands of our people finally yielded fruit," said a senior Taliban commander from Afghanistan’s Helmand province. "We proved it to the entire world that we defeated the self-proclaimed world’s lone super power."

    “We are close to our destination," added the commander, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the group's leadership had prohibited members from talking to the media about current events. He added that all field commanders had also been told to intensify training efforts to capture four strategic provinces in the run up to the next round of talks between the U.S. and Taliban, which are expected in January.

    A Taliban leader in eastern Kunar province, Maulvi Sher Mohammad, said news of withdrawals should serve as a lesson to Americans.

    “The U.S. people and particularly its rulers should think about what they achieved by invading Afghanistan and by causing so many losses to the citizens of Afghanistan and wasting their own resources on this long war,” he said.

    The Pentagon declined to comment on the Taliban's claims.

    So far, the U.S.'s military campaign, along with billions in aid, have not succeeded in driving out the Taliban and other militants or making the country safe.

    In 2017, Afghanistan overtook Iraq to become the deadliest country for terrorism, with one-quarter of all such deaths worldwide happening there. And the number of civilians killed in the country reached a record in the first half of this year, with a surge in suicide attacks claimed by the Islamic State group, according to the United Nations.

    Despite years of fighting, only around 65 percent of the Afghan population lives in areas under government control.

    The U.S. plans for a withdrawal were due shortly after the new year, according to two defense officials and a person briefed on the matter. They cautioned that no decision has been made, but President Donald Trump wants to see options.

    The White House has asked the Pentagon to look into multiple options, including a complete withdrawal, the officials said.

    The Taliban sheltered 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden and was toppled soon after the 2001 attacks. Since then, the militants have been trying to unseat the U.S.-backed government in Kabul and reimpose their strict version of Shariah. Successes on the battlefield coupled with a recent intensifying efforts to reach a peace deal led by U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad have boosted the movement's confidence and power.

    Khalilzad, a former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Afghanistan and the United Nations, has stressed he is "in a hurry" to secure an agreement, a sign of how eager the White House is to withdraw the 15,000 American troops remaining in the country.

    But reducing the U.S. footprint in Afghanistan would mean fewer U.S. air bases, and American firepower will be “less responsive and less available” for Afghan troops fighting Taliban militants, said Jason Campbell, a former senior Defense Department official and now a policy researcher at the RAND Corp. think tank.

    Plans to scale back the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan comes after Washington pressed NATO allies this year to keep troops in the country, and some governments — including Britain — agreed to expand their contributions following an appeal from Defense Secretary James Mattis, who resigned on Thursday.

    The news shocked and confused NATO allies and the Afghan government, at a moment when the United States is engaged in a major diplomatic push to try to launch peace negotiations.

    “The abruptness of this I think really hurts our credibility,” Campbell said.

    For Khalilzad, the move deprives him of his most effective point of leverage before negotiations even have begun in earnest, experts and former officials said.

    “It will have a devastating effect on peace negotiations,” said Seth Jones, a former adviser to the U.S. military now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank.

    “The challenge now the U.S. faces is how is it going to get the Taliban to reach an agreement if they can wait and expect a better outcome in the future if the U.S. continues to withdraw its forces?”

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/taliban-greets-pentagon-s-withdrawal-troops-afghanistan-cries-victory-n950811?cid=sm_npd_nn_tw_ma

  12. #29
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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    Salaam

    Trumps opinion.

    Blurb

    U.S. President Donald Trump has criticized U.S. generals for not defeating the Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan after 19 years of involvement. Speaking to reporters at a Cabinet meeting Wednesday, Trump said the generals were given "all the money they wanted" and "didn't do such a great job in Afghanistan." The president questioned justification for the expense in a country thousands of miles away from the United States. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.







    A critical view

    Last edited by Junon; 01-05-2019 at 11:15 PM.

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  14. #30
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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    Salaam

    Another update. They could of did this in 2001, better late than never.




    Taliban appoints new political leader to join U.S.-Taliban peace talks


    A co-founder of the Taliban was appointed as the leader of its political office in Qatar on Thursday to strengthen its hand in peace talks with the United States as they try to establish a mechanism to end the 17-year Afghan war.

    Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was released from a prison in Pakistan in October last year has been authorised to lead the political team and take decisions, two Taliban sources in Afghanistan said.

    The Taliban issued a statement to announce Baradar’s appointment and a reshuffle in their team to put senior leaders into key positions as the talks with U.S. officials gain momentum.

    “This step has been taken to strengthen and properly handle the ongoing negotiations process with the United States,” the Taliban said in statement.

    U.S. special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad’s meeting with the Taliban representatives, which was originally due to run over two days, entered its fourth day on Thursday.

    It was not clear whether the talks were to continue on Friday, or how soon Baradar could join the talks.

    “Baradar will soon fly to Qatar. He has been given the new position because the U.S. wanted senior Taliban leadership to participate in peace talks,” a senior Taliban official said.

    Baradar, who coordinated the insurgent group’s military operations in southern Afghanistan, was arrested in 2010 by a team from Pakistan’s military-controlled intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence, and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

    His release, according to security experts, was part of high-level negotiations led by Khalilzad with the Taliban.

    Diplomatic efforts to end the United State’s longest running conflict intensified last year after the appointment of the Afghan-born Khalilzad to lead direct talks with the Taliban.

    He has held at least four meetings with the Taliban representatives. But there has been no let up in the violence.

    And abiding fears about how Afghan government forces would withstand the Taliban threat without U.S. military support have been heightened by reports that U.S. President Donald Trump wants to bring home almost half of the 14,000 U.S. troops deployed in Afghanistan.

    “POSITIVE PROGRESS”


    But the unexpected extension of peace talks was a positive sign, according to two senior Taliban leaders in Afghanistan who have been kept informed of the progress made in Qatar.

    During the first two days, the talks focussed on a roadmap for the withdrawal of the foreign forces and a guarantee that Afghanistan would not be used for hostile acts against the United States and its allies, according to one of Taliban leaders.

    “The mechanism for a ceasefire and ways to enter into an intra-Afghan dialogue were the two other big topics that were supposed to be discussed on Thursday,” he told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    A third source based in the Gulf, who has close ties to the Taliban representatives, said the decision to extend the meeting in the Qatari capital Doha came after “positive progress” during the first two days.

    Members of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council (AHPC), a body which oversees peace efforts but does not represent the government said they were hoping for positive news.

    “When talks take a long time it means the discussion is in a sensitive and important stage, and the participants are getting close to a positive result,” said Sayed Ehsan Taheri, the spokesman for AHPC in Kabul.

    The Taliban who are fighting to oust foreign troops have repeatedly rejected the offer to hold direct talks with President Ashraf Ghani’s government, which they consider an illegitimate foreign-imposed regime.

    The U.S. and regional powers insist that the peace process should be “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned”.

    Newly appointed Baradar will also hold the additional post of third deputy of Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, the leader of Taliban and work with Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, a veteran Taliban official who has been running the group’s political office in Qatar since 2015 and has participated in the latest rounds of peace talks.

    “Stanekzai was given the responsibility but he was not powerful to make all decisions,” said a second Taliban official on conditions of anonymity.

    https://in.reuters.com/article/pakis...-idINKCN1PJ16Y

  15. #31
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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    Salaam

    Another update

    Taliban talks with the US proving fruitful – Perspective!


    Glad to see the American Administration is opting for jaw-jaw instead of war-war as news is filtering through about talks between Uncle Sam and the Afghan Taliban are making “significant progress”.

    The talks are aimed at bringing an end to this 17-year-old war which should never ever have happened.

    I was contemplating life and the universe in a Taliban prison cell in Kabul on the night the US and Britain dropped more than 50 cruise missiles on the Afghan capital.

    You can feel a cruise missile from 20 miles away, I can still hear it when I close my eyes, but I got a real flavour of the panic and fear experienced by Afghans living in Kabul that night on October 7 2001.

    When I was released on humanitarian grounds I annoyed many people by criticising the war and predicting the Taliban would never stop fighting for their country.

    I gleaned this in just 11 days of being held prisoner by these scary looking men with their large black turbans and massive, bushy beards.

    Sadly it has taken the US and its Allies slightly longer and I don’t even want to think about the cost in Afghan civilian lives as well as the military on all sides.

    This war should never have happened and was nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction to the horrific events of 9/11.

    The good news is that after six days of talks in Qatar there seems to be some light at the end of this very long tunnel with talks being described as much “more productive than they have been in the past”.

    Apparently, there’s even a draft agreement on the table which calls for a withdrawal of foreign forces in return for assurances that al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS) group will not be allowed to use Afghanistan as a base.

    During my last encounter with senior members of the Taliban shurah, they were very keen to tell me: “This war was not of our making and we tried every way to prevent it but the US was determined.”

    At least the smoke signals today are much more encouraging. Afghanistan is a great country with great people and hospitality far beyond anything I’ve encountered anywhere in the world.

    They deserve peace in their lives for them and their children.

    https://wtxnews.com/2019/01/27/talib...l-perspective/
    | Likes happymuslim liked this post

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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    As a Muslim I support Taliban. They are very different from the rabid salafist movements. Taliban are politically pragmatic and have links with Russia, Iran and maybe even China. This shows they are not restricted to dumb childish idea of heroic politics.

    Recently due to ISIS attacks on Taliban, I've heard they've adopted a bit of nationalism as well. Taliban are on the right track.

    They still have to reform a lot if they want to become proper rulers, and relax the harsh regulations of Deobandi sect and achieve a balance between conservativeness and progress.

  17. #33
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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    Salaam

    Another update.

    Blurb

    After 18 years of occupying Afghanistan the US administration seems to be on the verge of withdrawing. Watch to find out why.



    Some comment.

    Freespirit

    Let's not delude ourselves. USA has not lost the war. They would have you believe it. They succeeded in what they set out to do. They bombed all the Muslim countries to the middle ages. They ensured that the war broke social cohesion so that these countries cannot function as political entities and the resulting chaos will help them to loot all the resources of these countries.

    It is naive and simplistic to believe they have lost the war. Afghanistan was a leading country in the world for dry fruits. US military destroyed trees that were hundreds of years old and made it barren to create a market for Californian almonds. Today world over Californian almonds are sold and nobody remembers Afghan dry fruits. This is a small example of how the US destroyed the economies of the middle East countries and Afghanistan. The resultant chaos tore the social fabric of Afghanistan. It was a country that had 80% graduates among it's women. They were all pushed into illiteracy. Same with other countries.

    This is modern day imperialism. Sucking the resources dry of a country. The people of USA should rise up and stop their government from looting other countries to feed it's people. It is cannibalistic. Why should one people live in luxury at the cost of others just to maintain their way of life as Bush once declared when he attacked Afghanistan. Where does that make you civilized and modern as the Westerners claim and believe.

    They think their behavior and way of life is fit to be emulated by the world. Is it true? They need to introspect. This will be the questions they will have to answer when they stand before the Creator on the day of judgement. Then will they have an answer? Everyone including the whites have to die and leave behind their stolen wealth and the others on whom they have preyed will leave behind their miseries. Then will the accounting begin.


    There are few winners in war plenty of losers.
    | Likes bint e aisha liked this post

  18. #34
    Junon's Avatar
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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    Salaam

    More on the peace talks.











    Showing captured vehicles.



    How international diplomay works

    Last edited by Junon; 02-08-2019 at 08:35 PM.

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  20. #35
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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    Salaam

    Like to share.

    Blurb

    ... They were bombing and decimating the population for reasons only known to the USA and its Allies. The poor Taliban had no idea why America wished to invade Afghanistan. They had heard of this as a 'mishap' but had no idea of the enormity of the tragedy. They did not know of the complexity of the buildings and people jumping out of towers 100 stories high, as they did not have tv's nor did they know a tower when they were told about it..."

    Be inspired, as yvonne ridley, a passionate british journalist, describes the story of how she was held captive by taliban soldiers in afghanistan. intimidated by their presence, she persisted with great fighting zeal to return home to her awaiting family. sit with her in interrogations, war torn afghan jail facilities and then shed tears of sorrow and joy as this touching story unfolds. join her as she challenges taliban soldiers and falsely labeled "terrorists"; only to later fall in love with their character, morality, respect and way of life. indulge yourself in an untainted depiction of the true story of afghanistan and the real war on terror - in the eyes of a western born journalist who was in search of the truth, and found it, in islam... "in the hands of the taliban."



  21. #36
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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    Salaam

    Another update

    Pakistan Resumes Cross-Durand Line Shelling: Residents

    Local officials said the rockets shelling by Pakistan is a clear violation of international laws.

    Some residents of Nangarhar on Sunday claimed that the rocket shelling by Pakistan’s military still continues sporadically despite repeated calls by local officials to stop the “aggression”.

    According to a letter sent to the United Nations by the Afghan government on February 23, the cross-Durand Line violations date back to 2012 but have increased in frequency since 2017.

    During the 2012 to 2017 period, 28,849 artillery shells were fired into Afghanistan by Pakistan resulting in the death of at least 82 people and injuring 187 others, the letter reads.

    Since 1st January 2018, the number of violations by Pakistan in Afghanistan stands at 161 which include firing 6,025 artillery shells into Afghan territory.

    The Nangarhar residents said many villages in Goshta and Lal Pur districts have been hit by rockets from the other side of the Durand Line.

    Nazar Jan, a resident of Lal Pur district, said he moved his family to a safer place as according to him, the rocket shelling from Pakistan are threatening their lives.

    “They (Pakistani military) came to us from Pakistan and asked almost 3,000 to 4,000 families to leave the area. They (Pakistani military) said they are taking the area. They made the remarks and then started shelling on us,” said Nazar Jan.

    “There is no place for people to live in the area as all houses have been destroyed by the shelling. The rocket shelling (by Pakistani military) continues every day,” said Dost Mohammad Mohmand, a resident of Lal Pur district said.

    Lal Pur’s District Governor Nematullah Nawrozi confirmed the rockets shelling on the bordering areas in the province and said it is a clear violation of Afghanistan’s sovereignty.

    “This is a clear violation of international laws. Pakistan has done this violation in the past and is still doing it,” Nawrozi said.

    In the letter to the UN Security Council, the Afghan government raised the issue of “consistent violations of Afghanistan’s territory” by Pakistani forces and has called on the UN to initiate “necessary measures to address the matter at hand in an effective manner”.

    https://www.tolonews.com/afghanistan...ling-residents



    Bad news.

    Last edited by Junon; 03-10-2019 at 09:09 PM.

  22. #37
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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    Salaam

    'American exceptionalism in action'.



    US to cut off visas over ICC Afghanistan probes

    Pompeo says move aims to protect American military from ‘unjust prosecutions’


    The US will revoke or deny visas to anyone connected with International Criminal Court probes into alleged US military abuses in Afghanistan, secretary of state Mike Pompeo said on Friday.

    The US has long seen the ICC, which is based in the Netherlands, as a threat to its sovereignty. Mr Pompeo said on Friday that the US feared the ICC could be used to carry out “politically motivated” prosecutions of American citizens.

    The new visa restrictions will be placed on people who “take or have taken action to request, or further investigate” US military behaviour. They were designed to deter investigations into the US and US allies, including Israel, “without the allies’ consent”.

    In 2017 the ICC — which was established in 2002 to prosecute war criminals — asked judges for permission to investigate alleged war crimes carried out in Afghanistan.

    American and allied military personnel would be protected from “living in fear of unjust prosecution for actions taken to defend our great nation”, Mr Pompeo said. Any members of the US military found to be involved in wrongdoing would be tried in the US military courts, he added.

    John Bolton, US national security adviser, has previously threatened to revoke the visas of ICC personnel if it pursued charges against members of the US military over alleged crimes in Afghanistan, and said that the ICC was a threat to American national security interests.

    “We will not co-operate with the ICC. We will provide no assistance to the ICC,” said Mr Bolton in September. “We will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us.”

    Mr Pompeo said on Friday that the US would be prepared to take additional measures against the ICC if it did not “change course”, including issuing economic sanctions.

    The move by the US administration drew criticism from human rights groups. Rob Berschinski, senior vice-president for policy at Human Rights First and a former US state department official, said it was “appropriate to be sceptical of such a move”.

    “Unfortunately, the Trump administration appears more concerned with demonising the ICC than with bringing war criminals to justice,” said Mr Berschinski. “Sanctioning ICC prosecutors will both undermine the legitimacy of US sanctions and provide cover to war criminals eager to delegitimise the court.”

    Richard Dicker, a director at Human Rights Watch, said the visa ban was a “blatant attempt to bully judges”, while blocking scrutiny of US actions.

    https://www.ft.com/content/8148d628-...8-96a37d002cd3
    Last edited by Junon; 03-18-2019 at 11:14 AM.

  23. #38
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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    well done
    '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan


  24. #39
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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    Salaam

    Like to share



    Comment.



    Blurb

    Just out of high school, at the age of 18, Miles Lagoze enlisted in the Marine Corps. He was deployed to Afghanistan where he served as Combat Camera — his unit's official videographer, tasked with shooting and editing footage for the Corps’ recruiting purposes and historical initiatives.

    But upon discharging, Lagoze took all the footage he and his fellow cameramen shot, and he assembled quite simply the very documentary the Corps does not want you to see. COMBAT OBSCURA is a groundbreaking look at daily life in a war zone as told by the Marines themselves. More than a mere compilation of violence, the edit ingeniously repurposes the original footage to reveal the intensity and paradoxes of an ambiguous war from an unvarnished perspective.




    the more things change, the more they stay the same

    Last edited by Junon; 03-22-2019 at 11:59 AM.

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    Re: '150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

    Salaam

    If anyone could be considered 'backwards,' its this clown prince.





    EXCLUSIVE: UAE’s bin Zayed ‘proposed killing Taliban leaders’

    Abu Dhabi’s crown prince told Mike Pompeo that US withdrawal risked Afghanistan falling back into the hands of the ‘bearded bad guys’, source tells MEE


    Mohammed bin Zayed, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, offered to set up a covert assassination programme targeting senior Taliban leaders during a meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier this year, Middle East Eye has learnt.

    Bin Zayed made the offer during Pompeo’s visit to the United Arab Emirates on 12 January amid disagreements between the pair over the progress of peace talks between US and Taliban negotiators.

    According to a source with detailed knowledge of the meeting, bin Zayed told Pompeo that Washington risked allowing Afghanistan to fall back into the hands of the “backward, bearded bad guys” and proposed hiring mercenaries to kill Taliban leaders to weaken the group’s negotiating position.

    Pompeo was visibly taken aback by the offer, but said nothing, the source said.

    The United Arab Emirates has previously supported US efforts to broker a peace deal with the Taliban, and hosted a first round of face-to-face negotiations between the two sides on 20 December last year in Abu Dhabi.

    But bin Zayed is understood to have been frustrated that subsequent rounds of talks were moved to Doha, the capital of Qatar, at the Taliban’s insistence.

    According to MEE’s source, bin Zayed also warned Pompeo that withdrawing American forces from Afghanistan risked turning back the clock to 2001, prior to the US-led invasion that overthrew the Taliban government in Kabul.

    The US hopes that a negotiated deal with the Taliban, which continues to battle Afghan government and international forces, could allow it to start withdrawing some of its 14,000 troops still in the country before the end of 2019.

    Bin Zayed suggested instead organising and funding what he described as a “Blackwater-style” operation to “wage an assassination campaign against the first-line leadership of the Taliban” in order to prevent it from achieving its chief political demands, the source said.

    Mercenary army

    Blackwater was the private security firm founded by Erik Prince which was hired by the CIA in 2004 to run covert operations involving the locating and killing of al-Qaeda operatives.

    US officials acknowledged the existence of the programme in 2009 but said that no operations were ever conducted.

    Blackwater gained notoriety over its activities in Iraq where several of its contractors opened fire on unarmed civilians in Baghdad in 2007, killing 14 people and injuring 17 others.

    Prince later settled in Abu Dhabi and was subsequently hired by bin Zayed to build a mercenary army in the UAE to confront potential worker or pro-democracy uprisings.

    An 800-member battalion of foreign troops was brought into the UAE, the New York Times reported in 2011.

    The UAE also sent foreign mercenaries to fight as part of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, where it ran an assassination programme targeting leaders of Al-Islah, the local branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    In October last year, Abraham Golan, a Hungarian-Israeli security contractor, revealed details about the assassination programme to BuzzFeed News.

    The UAE hired former special forces soldiers to carry out the missions, Buzzfeed reported.

    “I was running it. We did it. It was sanctioned by the UAE within the coalition,” Golan said.

    Al-Islah said in August last year that nine of its leaders had been murdered since 2015. They are among at least 27 clerics killed, often in drive-by shootings, in the southern city of Aden and surrounding areas by unidentified militias in the same period.

    A member of the group told MEE in October that he believed bin Zayed was behind the killings.

    'Killing and talking'

    “I believe that Mohammed bin Zayed convinced [Saudi Crown Prince] Mohammed bin Salman to fight the Muslim Brotherhood in Yemen,” said Al-Islah's Mohammed Abdulwadood. “The latter approves all UAE steps in Yemen.”

    Bin Zayed has nonetheless maintained close contacts with Al-Islah leaders, who he hosted for talks in Abu Dhabi in November.

    MEE’s source described bin Zayed's proposal to target Taliban leaders even as peace talks were ongoing as a replica of the one deployed against Al-Islah leaders in Yemen.

    “It’s the same tactic: killing and talking,” he said.

    Taliban officials are understood to be aware of bin Zayed's proposal to assassinate the group’s top leadership.

    But a Taliban spokesperson in Doha told MEE that he could not comment on the authenticity of the claim.

    “Any threat and blackmailing whatsoever and from anywhere will eliminate the present chance for peace and will create irreparable mistrust,” he said.

    The government of the UAE has been publicly supportive of US negotiations with the Taliban, with the official WAM news agency reporting after December’s talks that further rounds would also take place in Abu Dhabi “to complete the Afghanistan reconciliation process”.

    But the next two rounds of negotiations - a six-day meeting in January described by Pompeo on Twitter as “encouraging”, and further talks over 16 days in February and March - were moved to Doha, where the Taliban has maintained a political office since 2013.

    Pompeo is said to have pushed back despite bin Zayed’s displeasure, telling him that the move had happened at the request of the Taliban, and that the US side was less interested in the venue than in achieving a ceasefire.

    The US negotiating team is headed by Zalmay Khalilzad, who wrote on Twitter following the end of the last round of talks on 12 March that “the conditions for peace have improved”.



    “It’s clear all sides want to end the war. Despite ups and downs, we kept things on track and made real strides,” Khalilzad wrote.

    ‘Chaos follows’

    Bin Zayed was also upset at US President Donald Trump’s announcement in December that he would pull all 2,000 US troops out of Syria, MEE’s source said.

    At the time of his meeting with the crown prince, Pompeo and John Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser, were taking part in a nine-nation tour of the region to reassure allies jittery at the prospect of a sudden US withdrawal from Syria.

    Two days earlier, in a keynote speech in Cairo, Pompeo had vowed to “expel every last Iranian boot” from Syria.

    But his speech, framed as an assault on Barack Obama’s Middle East policies, was also read as an implicit row back of Trump’s announcement in December that all US troops would leave Syria in 30 days. The announcement prompted a clash with Turkey and the resignation of Jim Mattis, Trump’s defence secretary.

    Pompeo declared in Cairo that “when America retreats, chaos follows.”

    Bin Zayed reinforced the same message to Pompeo. He told the US secretary of state: “You are leaving Syria to be under Iranian and Turkish influence and that will bring everyone back. They will act against your acts and our interests.”

    Bin Zayed held out a carrot. He said that if the US changed its mind, the United Arab Emirates would be prepared to fund the cost of keeping US troops in Syria from its own budget.

    The State Department declined to comment when contacted by MEE. MEE also asked the UAE government to comment but had not received a response at the time of publication.

    https://middleeasteye.net/news/exclu...aliban-leaders

    Deeper into the rabbit hole.

    Last edited by Junon; 03-23-2019 at 12:01 AM.


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