It is pretty well accepted that the Taliban are some terrorist morons. Not too many people can argue that they are freedom fighters – anymore.
A while ago, this argument could be made. Citizens of a nation rising against an occupation. It even made sense to us then. The precursors were poor citizens under occupation by the Red Menace. My enemy’s enemy, right?
You have to give them credit. At the beginning they said they intended to pursue a nation based on the Quran and Sharia law. They never once hid the fact that they were ultra-conservative. They never showed any indication that they desired NATO membership. All they ever expressed was their desire to establish a singular government.
So we supplied them. We trained them. We built a command structure for them – then they won. We were happy, and we left. We left all the toys we gave them. We left them with tactics, but we left.
Then they began on their own.
They disbanded all rival militias. The Soviets did not install communism or established a structure they could use. What the Soviets left was hundreds of individual militias. The militias are analogous to the old militia system we used to secure our free nation. The Taliban are military federalists. They eliminated rival militias by intimidation, destruction and absorption.
Sometimes when all the patterns are the same, it is hard to tell whether we are talking about Iraq or Afghanistan, or the Soviets or Americans.
In Afghanistan, the Soviets just left. They did not re-deploy. Their weapon caches remained. Bases remained. The Taliban, of course, took the freebies.
In summary, the Soviets invaded a country intending to build a nation. The locals were more than the Soviets had bargained for, and they got locked into a quagmire. Aid from the U.S. poured in and the Soviets got beat back because we provided the material and training necessary to support the freedom fighters of Afghanistan. Ask Charlie Wilson.
Now they want the U.S. out. They are once again fighting for the right to self-determination. The reasons they are terrorists: acid facials, mass executions leaving one survivor to spread fear, oppression. This is terrorism.
Let us say moderate Muslims hate the Taliban for any of the above reasons, and then they see the United States support the Taliban and establish the Taliban. Would it be an unrealistic assessment for the moderate Muslims to see the U.S. as supporting terrorists?
Khan, a political science and history junior, can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org