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On Fri, 7 Mar 2008 09:10:29 -0800 (PST), Jerry Kraus
The American Government, deciding that instability in Afghanistan is
more dangerous than Soviet control there, decides against supporting
the Afghan Rebels -- the future basis both for the Taliban and for Al-
Qaeda. What would have been the consequences of the American
This might not be to point but the problem is that the US left
Afghanistan without a government once the Russians were tossed out.
WHAT IF the US had stayed, built roads and schools, rebuilt the Afghan
army, etc; There was no Congressional or Presidential will to do this
and so we once again got bit in the ass by our own shortsightedness.
Read Charlie Wilson's War - the movie was silly but the book is dead
on. The Taliban would never have happened. Who knows about Al Qaeda?
FROM 1996 http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/9610/05/taleban/
Who are the Taliban of Afghanistan?
October 5, 1996
Web posted at: 10:45 p.m. EDT (0245 GMT)
From Correspondent Anita Pratap
KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) -- From students to conquerors, the Taliban Islamic
militia have come a long way, and fast.
In just two years, the Taliban have captured more than two-thirds of
Afghanistan from the Mujahedeen warriors who had fought Soviet occupation.
The Taliban's success has much to do with the unpopularity of the Mujahedeen
in recent years.
The Taliban emerged as a reformist force -- honest, fierce and devoutly
Islamic. Most had gone as refugees to Pakistan, where they studied in the
religious schools. The Taliban are widely alleged to be the creation of
Pakistan's military intelligence. Experts say that explains the Taliban's
swift military successes.
They emerged as the new rulers of this war-ravaged nation when they captured
the Afghan capital, Kabul, last month.
Kabul is important because of its strategic location. It is the gateway to
the Indian subcontinent to the south and to central Asian republics to the
Through history, many groups have invaded Kabul, and the latest conquerors,
the Taliban, are set to leave their stamp on the city by imposing a
fundamentalist regime guided by their own interpretation of Islamic law.
They decree amputations and executions for criminals, and impose severe
restrictions on women. They also have banned television, which they see as a
symbol of Western decadence.
Not much is known about the 35-year-old founder of the Taliban, Mullah
Mohammad Umar, a cleric who fought as a Mujahedeen. But his political aims
are clear: He is determined to create his version of an Islamic Afghanistan.
Afghan rebels seize capital, hang former president
September 27, 1996
Web posted at: 11:00 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT)
KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Afghanistan's Taliban militia seized control of
Kabul Friday soon after government forces abandoned the shattered Afghan
capital. In its first action, the Islamic militant group hanged former
President Najibullah and his brother from a tower.
One of the Taliban militia's top leaders in Kabul, Mullah Mohammad Rabbani,
said Najibullah deserved his fate.
"He killed so many Islamic people and was against Islam and his crimes were
so obvious that it had to happen. He was a communist," Rabbani told a news
conference in the presidential palace.
All key government installations appeared to be in Taliban's hands within
hours, including the presidential palace and the ministries of defense,
security and foreign affairs. No government forces were visible on the
The Taliban takeover marks the third time in four years a faction has seized
power. The action followed two days of fighting on the eastern edge of the
capital that left hundreds dead, Red Cross officials said.
Rebels kill 'murderer of our people'
Crowds of Afghans cheered at the sight of Najibullah's beaten and bloated
body hanging outside the presidential palace. The war-weary residents were
apparently hopeful that Friday's takeover would end factional fighting.
Najibullah's communist regime was overthrown in 1992.
"We killed him because he was the murderer of our people," Noor Hakmal, a
Taliban commander, said.
Dangling next to Najibullah was his brother, former security chief Shahpur
The Taliban, which began as a movement of former Islamic seminary students,
now controls two-thirds of the country. The rebels want to impose their
strict version Islamic rule in Afghanistan -- which includes keeping women
mostly in the home, closing girls' schools and imposing harsh criminal
The executions capped the victory of Taliban rebels, who have fought to oust
the regime of Najibullah's successor, President Burhanuddin Rabbani (no
relation to the Taliban leader).
The whereabouts of Rabbani and his top commander, Ahmed Shah Masood, were
not known. However, Afghan diplomats loyal to the Rabbani government told
CNN that the government was relocating at the airbase at Baghram, just north
of Kabul, and will mount a counteroffensive as soon as possible to recapture
His Chances for Re-election
SEPTEMBER 23, 1996
In this exclusive interview with Jim Lehrer, President Clinton discusses
Whitewater, how he defines himself against Bob Dole, his move to the
political center, the Dick Morris affair and his signing of the welfare
reform bill. Jim Lehrer opened the interview with a question about the
November election and the President's double digit lead.
Context of 'September 27, 1996: Victorious Taliban Supported by Pakistan;
Viewed by US, Unocal as Stabilizing Force'
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September 27, 1996: Victorious Taliban Supported by Pakistan; Viewed by US,
Unocal as Stabilizing Force. You can narrow or broaden the context of this
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from : http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a092796kabul
1995-2001: Persian Gulf Elite Go Hunting with Bin Laden in Afghanistan
May 1996: US Seeks Stability in Afghanistan for Unocal Pipeline
Robin Raphel, Deputy Secretary of State for South Asia, speaks to the
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister about Afghanistan. She says that the US
government "now hopes that peace in the region will facilitate US business
interests," such as the proposed Unocal gas pipeline from Turkmenistan
through Afghanistan to Pakistan.
After May 18, 1996-September 1996: Bin Laden Quickly Alligns With the
Taliban After Arrival in Afghanistan
Bin Laden arrives in Afghanistan on May 18, 1996 after being expelled from
Sudan (see May 18, 1996). Initially, bin Laden stays in an area not
controlled by the Taliban, who are fighting for control of the country. But
by the end of September 1996, the Taliban conquer the capital of Kabul and
gain control over most of the the country (see September 27, 1996). Bin
Laden then becomes the guest of the Taliban. The Taliban, bin Laden, and
their mutual ally Gulbuddin Hekmatyar then call for a jihad against Ahmed
Shah Massoud, who retains control over a small area along Afghanistan's
northern border. As bin Laden establishes a new safe base and political
ties, he issues a public fatwa, or religious decree, authorizing attacks on
Western military targets in the Arabian Peninsula (see August 1996).
Mid-1996-October 2001: Ariana Airlines Becomes Transport Arm of Al-Qaeda
August 1996: Bin Laden Calls for Attack on Western Targets in Arabia
September 27, 1996: Victorious Taliban Supported by Pakistan; Viewed by US,
Unocal as Stabilizing Force
September 30, 1996: CIA Reports Taliban Are Keeping Bin Laden's Training
Camps Open, Closing Some Other Camps
Late 1996: Bin Laden Influences Election in Pakistan
Not long after bin Laden moves back to Afghanistan (see After May 18,
1996-September 1996), he tries to influence an election in Pakistan. Benazir
Bhutto, Prime Minister of Pakistan, is running for reelection against Nawaz
Sharif, who had been prime minister earlier in the 1990s. (Bin Laden
apparently helped Sharif win in 1990 (see October 1990).) "According to
Pakistani and British intelligence sources, bin Laden traveled into Pakistan
to renew old acquaintances within the ISI, and also allegedly met or talked
with" Sharif. Sharif wins the election. Bhutto will later claim that bin
Laden used a variety of means to ensure her defeat and undermine her. She
will mention one instance where bin Laden allegedly gave $10 million to some
of her opponents. Journalist Simon Reeve will later point out that while
Bhutto claims could seem self-serving, "her claims are supported by other
Pakistani and Western intelligence sources."
Late 1996: ISI Returns Afghanistan Training Camps to Bin Laden and
Subsidizes Their Costs
When bin Laden moved from Sudan to Afghanistan (see May 18, 1996), he was
forced to leave most of his personal fortune behind. Additionally, most of
his training camps were in Sudan and those camps had to be left behind as
well. But after the Taliban conquers most of Afghanistan and forms an
alliance with bin Laden (see After May 18, 1996-September 1996), the
Pakistani ISI persuades the Taliban to return to bin Laden the Afghanistan
training camps that he controlled in the early 1990s before his move to
Sudan. The ISI subsidizes the cost of the camps, allowing bin Laden to
profit from the fees paid by those attending them. The ISI also uses the
camps to train militants who want to fight against Indian forces in Kashmir.
[Wright, 2006, pp. 250] In 2001, a Defense Intelligence Agency agent will
write about the al-Badr II camp at Zhawar Kili. "Positioned on the border
between Afghanistan and Pakistan, it was built by Pakistan contractors
funded by the Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), and
protected under the patronage of a local and influential Jadran tribal
leader, Jalalludin ((Haqani))," the agent writes. "However, the real host in
that facility was the Pakistani ISI. If this was later to be bin Laden's
base, then serious questions are raised by the early relationship between
bin Laden and Pakistan's ISI."
THE CLINCHER ?????
October 1998: Military Analyst Goes Where Spies Fail to Go, but Her Efforts
Julie Sirrs, a military analyst for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA),
travels to Afghanistan. Fluent in local languages and knowledgeable about
the culture, she had made a previous undercover trip there in October 1997.
She is surprised that the CIA was not interested in sending in agents after
the failed missile attack on bin Laden in August 1998, so she returns at
Traveling undercover, she meets with Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah
Massoud. She sees a terrorist training center in Taliban-controlled
territory. Sirrs claims, "The Taliban's brutal regime was being kept in
power significantly by bin Laden's money, plus the narcotics trade, while
[Massoud's] resistance was surviving on a shoestring. With even a little aid
to the Afghan resistance, we could have pushed the Taliban out of power. But
there was great reluctance by the State Department and the CIA to undertake
She partly blames the interest of the US government and the oil company
Unocal to see the Taliban achieve political stability to enable a
trans-Afghanistan pipeline (see May 1996) (see September 27, 1996). She
claims, "Massoud told me he had proof that Unocal had provided money that
helped the Taliban take Kabul." She also states, "The State Department didn't
want to have anything to do with Afghan resistance, or even, politically, to
reveal that there was any viable option to the Taliban." After two weeks,
she returns with a treasure trove of maps, photographs, and interviews. [ABC
News, 2/18/2002; New York Observer, 3/11/2004]
By interviewing captured al-Qaeda operatives, she learns that the official
Afghanistan airline, Ariana Airlines, is being used to ferry weapons and
drugs, and learns that bin Laden goes hunting with "rich Saudis and top
Taliban officials" (see Mid-1996-October 2001) (see 1995-2001).
ALL ABOVE [and more ] NOTED FROM