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Does Team America cover up Taliban negotation attempts?

February 16, 2010

As Team America continues the war on Afghanistan with more killing in Operation Moshtarak, it is necessary to continue asking if this really necessary? 

Channel 4 today report on the Taliban military commander Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Pakistan, or elsewhere as has been suggested.  It has also been suggested that this particular commander could have been a major player in negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban:

Baradar was, we’ve been told, living with his family in Karachi for some time before the arrest. But what he’d been doing before that raises the most questions.

It’s been suggested that he was one of the Taliban who met with western officials to discuss the prospect of peace talks in Saudi Arabia earlier.

It’s also been suggested he fell out with Mullah Omar – the cleric who is essentially the Taliban’s figurehead, although it’s not clear how physically able he is to lead it on a day to day basis.

Our reporter has told us that Omar went as far as to appoint the Taliban shadow governor of Kandahar province, Mullah Hasan, as Baradar’s replacement.

The key to Baradar’s falling out with Omar was, we’re told, his belief that the war against Nato was bringing unnecessary suffering to the Afghan people, and that talks were needed.

A Taliban commander close to Baradar said, on condition of anonymity: “He wanted to start talks with both the Afghan government and foreign forces for settlement of the Afghan conflict which the rest of the leadership didn’t accept. That led his expulsion”.

Maybe Baradar was turned in, or weakened, or simply hung out to dry and picked up by the Pakistanis under American pressure?

But so many other questions beg to be answered.  More

Indeed, there are many questions here and another relevant question has been discussed by Truthout regarding the Taliban’s negotations with Team America following 9/11:

Washington  – Evidence now available from various sources, including recently declassified U.S. State Department documents, shows that the Taliban regime led by Mullah Mohammad Omar imposed strict isolation on Osama bin Laden after 1998 to prevent him from carrying out any plots against the United States.

The evidence contradicts the claims by top officials of the Barack Obama administration that Mullah Omar was complicit in Osama bin Laden’s involvement in the al Qaeda plot to carry out the terrorist attacks in the United States on Sep. 11, 2001. It also bolsters the credibility of Taliban statements in recent months asserting that it has no interest in al Qaeda’s global jihadist aims.

A primary source on the relationship between bin Laden and Mullah Omar before 9/11 is a detailed personal account provided by Egyptian jihadist Abu’l Walid al-Masri published on Arabic-language jihadist websites in 1997.

Al-Masri had a unique knowledge of the subject, because he worked closely with both bin Laden and the Taliban during the period. He was a member of bin Laden’s Arab entourage in Afghanistan, but became much more sympathetic to the Afghan cause than bin Laden and other al Qaeda officials from 1998 through 2001.

The first published English-language report on al-Masri’s account, however, was an article in the January issue of the CTC Sentinal, the journal of the Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) at West Point, by Vahid Brown, a fellow at the CTC.

Mullah Omar’s willingness to allow bin Laden to remain in Afghanistan was conditioned from the beginning, according to al-Masri’s account, on two prohibitions on his activities: bin Laden was forbidden to talk to the media without the consent of the Taliban regime or to make plans to attack U.S. targets.

Former Taliban Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil told IPS in an interview that the regime “put bin Laden in Kandahar to control him better.” Kandahar remained the Taliban political headquarters after the organisation’s seizure of power in 1996.  More

Malaya Joya condemed Team America’s latest act of agression on her country:

“It is ridiculous,” said Malalai Joya, an elected member of the Afghan parliament. “On the one hand they call on Mullah Omar to join the puppet regime. On another hand they launch this attack in which defenceless and poor people will be the prime victims. Like before, they will be killed in the Nato bombings and used as human shields by the Taliban. Helmand’s people have suffered for years and thousands of innocent people have been killed so far.” Her fears were confirmed when Nato reported yesterday that a rocket that missed its target had killed 12 civilians at a house in Marjah.

Dismissing Allied claims that Nato forces won’t abandon Afghan civilians after the surge, she said: “They have launched such offensives a number of times in the past, but each time after clearing the area, they leave it and [the] Taliban retake it. This is just a military manoeuvre and removal of Taliban is not the prime objective.” More

 There is always a better way than war – unless of course you are part of the political and military machine that profits massively from waging war.  Everybody else suffers.  As Eve Ensler writes in her latest book:

Questions, doubt, ambiguity, and dissent
have somehow become very unmasculine.
Authoritarian maniacs are
premiers, czars, and presidents.
Each town they bomb
each human they kill
is done for “humanitarian” purposes.

The Iraq war cost nearly $3 trillion.
I can’t even count that high
but I know
that money could have
would have
ended poverty in general
which would have cancelled terrorism.
How come we have money to kill
but no money to feed or hear?
How come we have money to destroy
but no money for art and schools?

The fundamentalists now have
billion-dollar private armies.
The Taliban is back
but never went away.
Women are burned, raped, bludgeoned, sold,
starved, and buried alive
and still don’t know they are the majority.

Quoted from a longer piece entitled You Tell Me How To Be A Girl in 2010 from I am an Emotional Creature, Eve Ensler, 2010

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 17, 2010 19:19

    Juan Cole has some stuff worth reading too
    http://www.juancole.com/2010/02/mullah-baradar-no-2-man-in-old-taliban.html

    Intriguing bit-
    But when you hurt stock prices and harm government revenues, you rather draw the attention to yourself of the country’s elite and their security forces, since you have mightily inconvenienced them. As long as the Old Taliban were mainly bothering the government of Hamid Karzai over the border in Afghanistan, the ISI might have been able to turn a blind eye to them. But if they were going to cause billions of dollars of damage to Karachi, which they did this winter, that is intolerable.

  2. February 17, 2010 19:26

    Thanks. Interesting too that there are four main seperate groups to what we call the Taliban in Afghanistan.

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