Monday, March 20, 2006


But I Thought We'd Kicked The Taliban Out Of Afghanistan!

Actually, anyone who's been even casually following events in Afghanistan knows that we really didn't, and that our puppet Karzai is little more than the mayor of Kabul, if that. But in case it wasn't quite clear before, this pretty much confirms that they and/or their like-minded allies still rule:

KABUL, Afghanistan Mar 19, 2006 (AP)— An Afghan man is being prosecuted in a Kabul court and could be sentenced to death on a charge of converting from Islam to Christianity, a crime under this country's Islamic laws, a judge said Sunday. The trial is believed to be the first of its kind in Afghanistan and highlights a struggle between religious conservatives and reformists over what shape Islam should take here four years after the ouster of the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban regime. The defendant, 41-yer-old Abdul Rahman, was arrested last month after his family accused him of becoming a Christian, Judge Ansarullah Mawlavezada told The Associated Press in an interview. Rahman was charged with rejecting Islam and his trial started Thursday. During the one-day hearing, the defendant confessed that he converted from Islam to Christianity 16 years ago while working as a medical aid worker for an international Christian group helping Afghan refugees in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, Mawlavezada said. "We are not against any particular religion in the world. But in Afghanistan, this sort of thing is against the law," the judge said. "It is an attack on Islam." Mawlavezada said he would rule on the case within two months. Afghanistan's constitution is based on Shariah law, which is interpreted by many Muslims to require that any Muslim who rejects Islam be sentenced to death, said Ahmad Fahim Hakim, deputy chairman of the state-sponsored Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. Repeated attempts to interview Rahman in detention were barred. The prosecutor, Abdul Wasi, said he had offered to drop the charges if Rahman converted back to Islam, but he refused. "He would have been forgiven if he changed back. But he said he was a Christian and would always remain one," Wasi told AP. "We are Muslims and becoming a Christian is against our laws. He must get the death penalty."
Bill Clinton has gone on record saying that his failure to act in Rwanda was the greatest mistake of his presidency. That may be so, but I'd put the continuance of the Reagan-Bush policy of aiding the Taliban against the Russian-backed government of the 1980s and early 1990s as #2 or #3. Though he has plenty of company in that mistake, as Republicans like Dana Rohrabacher can attest if they ever chose to be honest with themselves and with America.

You can take the Taliban out of the country but once the Saudi style fundamentalists have done their damage it will be hard to get back to Sufism.

It would appear that freedom of religon isn't in the cards for these countries. Not in our lifetimes. You wonder what the women of Afghanistan would choose if you gave them a choice of the various governments they have had over the past thirty years. I suspect that I would have chosen the Soviet occupation. In five years I'll bet that many women in Iraq look back at the years under Saddam H. with something like fond memories.

What a nightmare.

Back up the truck!


Carter-Reagan-Bush provided aid to the mujahedeen, who were freelancers. The Taliban was set up in 1995 by Pakistan.

Now, the money came from somewhere. Pakistan was then a pariah, wading deeper and deeper into an ocean of debt to finance its military buildup. But to date, evidence is that the money came from the Gulf dictatorships. Nor is there evidence of the US providing training or supplies.

Now, maybe Clinton did. If I'm wrong on this, I really want to know. But my understanding is that the Administration basically walled off Pakistan (and, as a consequence, Afghanistan) over the nuclear issue. If aid was coming in, it was covert, perhaps even without presidential authorization.
The record is murky, Charles.

I myself remember a 60 Minutes piece from a decade ago in which it was alleged that Clinton backed the Taliban at the behest of Benazir Bhutto, but haven't found any links online to back up my memory. (This polemic-disguised-as-a-book-review in The Hindu states that Bhutto had indeed talked Clinton into quietly backing the Taliban, but as India hates Pakistan with the fury of a thousand blue-giant stars, this should be taken with several grains of salt.)

Dana Rohrabacher -- whose word is not exactly trustworthy -- says that Clinton was actively helping the Taliban. The WP disputes that claim.

This site claims that the Taliban have been around since the early 1990s, but they seem to mix hard fact with speculation in a nearly seamless weave.
Well, if the Washington Post denies it, it must be true.

On the date of the Taliban, Rainwater says they emerged as a significant force in the closing days of 1994. I think it's true that there were fundamentalist precursors and that the name may have emerged as early as 1993, but what we know as the Taliban was basically shipped pre-assembled into Afghanistan by the ISI.

There may also be a point that Clinton *preferred* the Taliban over the Northern Alliance. The Northern Alliance, which the US used to install the mayor of Kabul, committed horrible, vicious deeds.

Of course, then the Taliban committed its own horrible, vicious deeds, so it got to be a tossup. The CIA station chief, who seems to be a pretty reasonable guy, wanted to do business with the NA pre-9/11 and was frustrated that the Clinton Admin didn't want to dance.

As for Dana Rohrabacher in WorldNetDaily *after 9/11* when blaming Clinton was the GOP's first priority after looting the Treasury, thanks for the best laugh of the day.
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