Thursday, 4 May 2017

The Mujahideen, The Taliban, and The USA

Right. This has reached the point where I'm getting so damn sick of countering this damned myth that I'm going to make a statement once and for all, and leave that for everyone to refer to.

I am only going to say this once, so bloody pay attention.

What myth? This myth, repeated ad nauseam by people who should know better:

"America created the Taliban to fight against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, after the USSR sent in troops."

No, they bloody well didn't.

The people the Americans armed and trained in Afghanistan, starting six months before the Soviet intervention, were the Mujahideen. They were disparate groups of fundamentalist warlords, not only Pashtun but Uzbek and Tajik as well, and supported by huge numbers of imported jihadis.... mostly Arabs, who would go on to form al Qaeda.

The Mujahideen captured Kabul in 1991 and immediately broke up into feuding gangs, massacring each other while they weren't raping, robbing, and murdering the civilian population. By 1993, trade and movement in Afghanistan had almost ceased, with extortionist Mujahideen roadblocks everywhere. At this point some villagers in Spin Boldak approached one Mullah Omar, a former Mujahid who'd retired to being a local mosque preacher, and asked his help in getting rid of a particularly corrupt local gang of Mujahideen thugs who had put up roadblocks preventing movement of goods. Omar, using borrowed vehicles and a handful of volunteers, attacked and destroyed the roadblock. This made him a hero in the locality and raised demands that he do more. Money and recruits poured in. 

Omar then put together a military force, primarily comprising religious students ("Taliban") and moved North. His first major battle was against a notorious rapist Mujahid warlord.... whom the Taliban hanged from the barrel of a tank. Pakistan, which began hoping for an Afghanistan under their control, recruited volunteers – including former Mujahideen – from among the sprawling refugee camps and sent them north, along with, it is said, Pakistani troops in disguise. This may or may not be true, but it is certainly true that the Taliban began receiving Pakistani help at this time, and that this would not have happened without American permission.

Strengthened and victorious, the Taliban moved on Kabul, taking the city two years later. Along the way they were greeted with relief by Afghans who welcomed them as saviours from the brutal rule of the Mujahideen warlords, just as ISIS would be initially welcomed in parts of Iraq after the misrule of the American-imposed puppet government there. Once in Kabul, a small detachment of Taliban invaded the diplomatic compound, dragged out the former president of Afghanistan, Dr Najibullah, and his brother, castrated and hanged them from a lamppost. Almost the entire world was shocked, and condemned this, with one notable exception: the United States of America.

In fact, there is no doubt that America was more than happy with the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan at this time; it wasn't until Mullah Omar signed over pipeline rights to BRIDAS of Argentina instead of UNOCAL in 1998 that Bill Clinton’s administration suddenly discovered that the Taliban oppressed women.

So these were the Taliban. At the time when they ruled Afghanistan, they were entirely Pashtun, though now Uzbeks, Tajiks, and even Hazara - who are Shia and whom the Taliban had once massacred in huge numbers - have joined the Taliban in response to the effects of the American occupation.

Do you get the idea? Not only did the Taliban not exist during the Soviet intervention.... so America could not have armed them.... the Taliban came into existence to fight the Mujahideen whom the Americans did arm. That America created the conditions that allowed the Taliban to come into existence, and, initially, all but cheered them on, makes no difference to that fundamental fact. 

Is this clear now?!?


  1. Many thanks for this history. I hadn't seen this anywhere else.

    Before, I had no idea what Asia was like, so, when I read all about it in the New York Times, I believed that was the TRVTH.

    Times change. If you're in a cave, and your textbooks all say the sky is mauve, you believe it. If you make it out of the cave during the day, you probably won't think that what you're seeing is mauve.

    So now I know that the New York Times posts lots of fake news, saying they have proof when they have absolutely no idea.


  2. Good stuff, Bill. I recall the history and believe it or not, the USA mainstream back in the 90s actually only told about 1/3 as big a lie concerning the Taliban; I actually can recall reporting on the 'student movement' as heroes taking on the warlords. Of course there was no responsibility taken for the warlords (at all) and it wasn't long (as you note) before the Taliban were the new boogieman. One other aspect should be recalled; when the Taliban shut down the poppy farming, suddenly the CIA freaked out as completely as a junkie forced into severe withdrawals .. it wasn't only UNOCAL.


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