Monday, May 4, 2009

The Taliban, America's Child

We all should recognize that American tax dollars helped to create the very Taliban government we are now trying to keep from returning to power. In the late 1970s and early 80s, the CIA was very involved in the training and funding of various fundamentalist Islamic groups in Afghanistan, some of which later became today's brutal Taliban government. In fact, the U.S. government admits to giving the groups at least 6 billion dollars in military aid and weaponry, a staggering sum that would be even larger in today's dollars.

Bin Laden himself received training and weapons from the CIA, and that agency's military and financial assistance helped the Afghan rebels build a set of encampments around the city of Khost. Tragically, those same camps became terrorist training facilities for Bin Laden, who uses some of the same soldiers our military once trained as lieutenants in his sickening terrorist network. Our heroic pilots are now busy bombing the same camps we paid to build, all the while threatened by the same Stinger missiles originally supplied by our CIA. Once again, the stark result of our foreign aid, however well-intentioned, was the arming and training of forces that later become our enemy.

Our funding of Afghan terrorists did not end in the 1980s, however. Millions of American tax dollars continued to pour into Afghanistan. Our government publicly supported the Taliban right up until September 11. In 2001 the U.S. provided $125 million in so-called humanitarian aid to the country, making us the world's single largest donor to Afghanistan. There is little doubt the money went straight to the Taliban, and not to the impoverished, starving residents that make up most of the population. Did the government of the US really expect a government as intolerant and anti-west as the Taliban to use our foreign aid for humane purposes?

Extracted from a piece by Ron Paul

The Taliban (Pashto: طالبان ṭālibān, meaning "students"), also Taleban, is a pro-Wahhabi Sunni Islamist, predominately Pashtun fundamentalist religious and political movement that governed Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001, when its leaders were removed from power by Northern Alliance and NATO forces. It has regrouped and since 2004 revived as a strong insurgency movement fighting a guerrilla war against the current government of Afghanistan, Pakistan, allied NATO forces participating in Operation Enduring Freedom, and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). It operates in Afghanistan and the Frontier Tribal Areas of Pakistan.

The Taliban movement is headed by Mullah Mohammed Omar. Mullah Omar's original commanders were "a mixture of former small-unit military commanders and Madrasah teachers," and the rank and file made up mostly of Afghan refugees who had studied at Islamic religious schools in Pakistan. The overwhelming majority of the Taliban movement were ethnic Pashtuns from southern Afghanistan and western Pakistan, along with a smaller number of volunteers from Islamic countries or regions in North Africa, the Middle East and the former Soviet Union. The Taliban received valuable training, supplies and arms from the Pakistani government, particularly the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and many recruits from Madrasahs for Afghan refugees in Pakistan, primarily ones established by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI).

Although in control of Afghanistan's capital (Kabul) and much or most of the country for five years, the Taliban regime, which called itself the "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan," gained diplomatic recognition from only three states: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

The Taliban implemented one of the "strictest interpretation of Sharia law ever seen in the Muslim world"including the complete ban of education for girl and is widely criticized internationally for its treatment of women.

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