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Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: Speedy
Date: August 15, 2021 05:57AM
Taliban enters Kabul, leaving Afghan government on brink of collapse

[www.washingtonpost.com]

KABUL — Taliban forces entered Kabul through the city’s four main gates Sunday morning, according to two Afghan security officials and civilian eyewitness accounts, in a move that could trigger the collapse of the national government and signal a return to power for the Islamist group two decades after the United States invaded Afghanistan.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement that the group’s fighters had been instructed not to push further into the city with force. The militants had made recent gains after negotiating with local leaders. “We want to enter Kabul with peace, and talks are underway” with the government, he said.

Negotiators representing the national government are headed to Doha, Qatar Sunday to discuss an agreement with the Taliban’s political leadership, a senior official close to Afghan president Ashraf Ghani said.

“There is an agreement that there will be a transitional administration for orderly transfer of power,” said acting Interior Minister Abdul Satar Mirzakwal on Sunday. He added that security forces were being deployed across Kabul to ensure order.

The Taliban’s lightning quick advance to the Afghan capital came as helicopters landed at the U.S. Embassy early Sunday and armored diplomatic vehicles were seen leaving the area around the compound, the Associated Press reported. Diplomats scrambled to destroy sensitive documents, sending smoke from the embassy’s roof, the AP said, citing anonymous U.S. military officials.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: Acer
Date: August 15, 2021 08:52AM
I gather they are not actually fighting their way into these cities. They just roll in, and the mayor hands over the key. Maybe some gun-pointing to help him find the key faster.
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: S. Pupp
Date: August 15, 2021 10:14AM
This is what happens when a country tries to force its way of government onto another.
Once you leave, they revert to what they prefer.
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: SteveO
Date: August 15, 2021 10:32AM
Astoundingly quick fall of our Afghanistan partners, including a 300,000 person army and all our equipment, etc. So...twenty years, untold lives lost/broken on all sides, untold treasure loss. Vietnam all over again. We got in bed with the Frenchies there when -- early '50s? I know JFK "officially" sent in advisors, but I'm fairly certain we were there covertly a long time before that.

Will the same thing happen again in 25 years?
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: sekker
Date: August 15, 2021 10:34AM
Afghan President leaves the country.

It's over.

[apnews.com]
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: August 15, 2021 10:57AM
This 'fall' is no surprise. The 'government' and 'army' were always a placeholder. The Taliban have been the face of the resistance against the occupying government (us). The 'traitors' could not surrender fast enough.

Yeah... we were the baddies.
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: August 15, 2021 11:07AM
1) A complete disaster for all parts of Afghanistan society
2) A total catastrophe for women and children and education in the country
3) Spurs on jihadis and other extremist Muslims around the world
4) Guarantees the world's heroin supply will be safe
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: neophyte
Date: August 15, 2021 11:08AM
I hope we have better intelligence gathering/surveillance abilities in place than we had in 2001.

We should also warn the Taliban, in no uncertain terms, that if they decide again to harbor those who wish to attack us, we will strike them fiercely. And I hope we have the fortitude, and weapons, to do so.
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: pdq
Date: August 15, 2021 11:16AM
Quote
Steve G.
1) A complete disaster for all parts of Afghanistan society
2) A total catastrophe for women and children and education in the country
3) Spurs on jihadis and other extremist Muslims around the world
4) Guarantees the world's heroin supply will be safe

Well, actually, didn’t the T’s crack down on the opium production?
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: vision63
Date: August 15, 2021 11:23AM
Quote
neophyte
I hope we have better intelligence gathering/surveillance abilities in place than we had in 2001.

We should also warn the Taliban, in no uncertain terms, that if they decide again to harbor those who wish to attack us, we will strike them fiercely. And I hope we have the fortitude, and weapons, to do so.

They don't care about that. They're gonna do whatever they want. They "need" the conflict.
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: August 15, 2021 11:30AM
Quote
pdq

Well, actually, didn’t the T’s crack down on the opium production?

I read recently (sorry can't remember where) that the Taliban have settled on taxing opium/heroin production as a large revenue source.

(I'll try to get a citation for this...sorry)
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: August 15, 2021 11:36AM
followup from the cited Wikipedia page:

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) 2007 Afghanistan Opium Survey, Afghanistan produced approximately 8,200 metric tonnes of opium – nearly double the estimate of global annual consumption.[59] In an April 25, 2007 op-ed in the Washington Post, Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of UNODC, asked "Does opium defy the laws of economics? Historically, no. In 2001, prices surged tenfold from 2000, to a record high, after the Taliban all but eliminated opium poppy cultivation across the Afghan territory under its control. So why, with last year's bumper crop, is the opposite not occurring? Early estimates suggest that opium cultivation is likely to increase again this year. That should be an added incentive to sell.

He speculated, "So where is it? I fear there may be a more sinister explanation for why the bottom has not fallen out of the opium market: major traffickers are withholding significant amounts.

"Drug traffickers have a symbiotic relationship with insurgents and terrorist groups such as the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Instability makes opium cultivation possible; opium buys protection and pays for weapons and foot soldiers, and these in turn create an environment in which drug lords, insurgents and terrorists can operate with impunity.

"Opium is the glue that holds this murky relationship together. If profits fall, these sinister forces have the most to lose. I suspect that the big traffickers are hoarding surplus opium as a hedge against future price shocks and as a source of funding for future terrorist attacks, in Afghanistan or elsewhere."[60]


Speculation on his part? He is an authority. I think we'll have to see the results of the Taliban takeover to be certain.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/15/2021 11:39AM by Steve G..
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: August 15, 2021 11:44AM
Official: Taliban to declare Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
[apnews.com]

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A Taliban official says the group will soon declare the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan from the presidential palace in the capital, Kabul.

That was the name of the country under the Taliban government ousted by U.S.-led forces after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief media.
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: JoeH
Date: August 15, 2021 12:51PM
Quote
SteveO
Astoundingly quick fall of our Afghanistan partners, including a 300,000 person army and all our equipment, etc. So...twenty years, untold lives lost/broken on all sides, untold treasure loss. Vietnam all over again. We got in bed with the Frenchies there when -- early '50s? I know JFK "officially" sent in advisors, but I'm fairly certain we were there covertly a long time before that.

Will the same thing happen again in 25 years?

US involvement started with Truman sending military supplies to support the French. That continued under Eisenhower, and included several hundred military there as advisors. Kennedy sent a few hundred more shortly after becoming President, the big event you are thinking of was sending in about 16,00 more in 1963.

Our involvement in Afghanistan might have gone differently, but the people the Bush administration put in power never had broad support and seemed more interested in padding their bank accounts. All too similar to those supported in the Vietnamese government back in the late '50s and into the '60s.
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: August 15, 2021 01:34PM
It also was not helped by Bush shifting huge resources to Iraq and away from Afghanistan when he began the Saddam adventure.
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: August 15, 2021 01:52PM
Secretary of State Antony Blinken repeated that the administration had little option but to withdraw beginning on May 1 because of a deal made by the Trump administration, which would have resulted in resumed attacks by the Taliban on US and coalition forces amid the militant group’s nationwide offensive.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that while the Pentagon had been planning for “a number of potential outcomes,” the “lack of resistance that the Taliban faced from Afghan forces has been extremely disconcerting.”

“They had all the advantages, they had 20 years of training by our coalition forces, a modern air force, good equipment and weapons,” he said, according to sources on the call. “But you can’t buy will and you can’t purchase leadership. And that’s really what was missing in this situation.”
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: Lux Interior
Date: August 15, 2021 01:53PM
At least it won a new fan for Biden:

[twitter.com]
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: August 15, 2021 01:54PM
Biden this week blamed Trump for leaving the Taliban "in the strongest position militarily since 2001."

“When I came to office, I inherited a deal cut by my predecessor — which he invited the Taliban to discuss at Camp David on the eve of 9/11 of 2019 — that left the Taliban in the strongest position militarily since 2001 and imposed a May 1, 2021 deadline on US forces. Shortly before he left office, he also drew US forces down to a bare minimum of 2,500,” Biden said in a statement
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: August 15, 2021 01:55PM
McCarthy, like many Republican lawmakers at the time, appeared mostly unconcerned with Trump’s withdrawal plan last year.
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: August 15, 2021 02:10PM
Airing a clip of Pompeo last year saying the Taliban would “work alongside us to destroy” Al Qaeda, Wallace pointedly asked the former secretary: “Do you regret giving the Taliban that legitimacy? Do you regret pressing the Afghan government to release 5,000 prisoners, which they did, some of whom are now back on the battlefield fighting with the Taliban?”

Pompeo, for his part, responded by saying “you make peace with your enemies” while also insisting that the Trump administration “never trusted the Taliban.”
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: space-time
Date: August 15, 2021 03:06PM
@#$%& Republicans.
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: Carnos Jax
Date: August 15, 2021 03:09PM
No @#$%&. And on the gun nutters forums, they don’t know any of this. They cluelessly believe it’s a 100% Biden debacle.
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: Carnos Jax
Date: August 15, 2021 03:15PM
All of this ultimately falls at the feet of Bush II, when he decided to unwarrantedly invade Iraq, thus siphoning off the resources to get the job done in Afghanistan.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/15/2021 03:15PM by Carnos Jax.
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: vision63
Date: August 15, 2021 03:25PM
Quote
Carnos Jax
All of this ultimately falls at the feet of Bush II, when he decided to unwarrantedly invade Iraq, thus siphoning off the resources to get the job done in Afghanistan.

That's kinda too easy. He was definitely a big factor. It ain't all on him though.
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: Carnos Jax
Date: August 15, 2021 03:53PM
I think you and I have fundamental differences on this (as we’ve discussed in the past). And just to be clear I don’t mean him solely, but rather him and key members of his administration (and maybe not even him). I just can’t imagine how the current situation would’ve been better had we not diverted over $1 trillion or two worth of resources into Iraq. It went against my better judgment of our military.
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: August 15, 2021 04:06PM
Trump wanted the US out in May 2021.
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: August 15, 2021 04:13PM
Trump had Pakistan release the "New Taliban President" in 2018. Then they release 5000 Taliban prisoners without any input from the Afghani Government

Office of the Spokesperson

The below is attributable to Principal Deputy Spokesperson Cale Brown:

Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo met today with Taliban Political Deputy and Head of the Political Office Mullah Beradar and members of the Taliban negotiating team in Doha, Qatar, on the historic occasion of the start of peace negotiations. Secretary Pompeo urged the Taliban to seize this opportunity to forge a political settlement?and reach a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire.
[af.usembassy.gov]
Sept 12, 2020



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/15/2021 04:14PM by Steve G..
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: vision63
Date: August 15, 2021 04:46PM
Quote
Carnos Jax
I think you and I have fundamental differences on this (as we’ve discussed in the past). And just to be clear I don’t mean him solely, but rather him and key members of his administration (and maybe not even him). I just can’t imagine how the current situation would’ve been better had we not diverted over $1 trillion or two worth of resources into Iraq. It went against my better judgment of our military.

Well, war is a hard thing to accomplish. So many variables.
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: August 15, 2021 04:52PM
Quote
Carnos Jax
All of this ultimately falls at the feet of Bush II, when he decided to unwarrantedly invade Iraq, thus siphoning off the resources to get the job done in Afghanistan.

What job?

What activities called for an invasion of any country in 2001?

The attackers were not government-backed (and any government funds siphoned off for their operation appeared to have come from the Saudis). Bin Laden financed most of it from his own wealth.

We could have paid off local criminal (government) organizations to squeal on Bin Laden and had him inside of 6 months with few lives lost and almost no political turmoil. We could have kept his family here and frozen their assets when we grounded flights so that they weren't out there supporting him while he hid.

The military industrial complex always goes for "shock and awe" and then makes gobs of money on the cleanup when it's (inevitably) massively botched.



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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: August 15, 2021 05:07PM
In 2001, the U.S. demanded the Taliban turn over Osama bin Laden. The Taliban refused. Bush takes action.
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: August 15, 2021 05:17PM
Quote
Steve G.
In 2001, the U.S. demanded the Taliban turn over Osama bin Laden. The Taliban refused. Bush takes action.

...By invading Afghanistan and Iraq. Yeah, that'll show those Saudi/Kuwaiti/Sudanese terrorists.

Oh, and where was Bin Laden actually hiding? Pakistan.



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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: pdq
Date: August 15, 2021 05:41PM
Another painful (and very expensive!) lesson.

I'm sorry to see Biden taking the blame for his 7 months of this 20 year debacle, but it does seem like it was inevitable.

PS - I've gotta give Bush 2 some props for not whining about his dream of an Afghan democracy not coming true.
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: August 15, 2021 06:02PM
Quote
Sarcany
Quote
Steve G.
In 2001, the U.S. demanded the Taliban turn over Osama bin Laden. The Taliban refused. Bush takes action.

...By invading Afghanistan and Iraq. Yeah, that'll show those Saudi/Kuwaiti/Sudanese terrorists.

Oh, and where was Bin Laden actually hiding? Pakistan.

By all reports I've read, bin Laden and al Qaeda was firmly established and working closely w/ the Taliban. He fled only after the U.S. invaded.
The role of the Pakistanis and more specifically the Pakistan Intelligence services have been crucial players all along.
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: Carnos Jax
Date: August 15, 2021 06:12PM
Quote
Sarcany
Quote
Carnos Jax
All of this ultimately falls at the feet of Bush II, when he decided to unwarrantedly invade Iraq, thus siphoning off the resources to get the job done in Afghanistan.

What job?

What activities called for an invasion of any country in 2001?

The attackers were not government-backed (and any government funds siphoned off for their operation appeared to have come from the Saudis). Bin Laden financed most of it from his own wealth.

We could have paid off local criminal (government) organizations to squeal on Bin Laden and had him inside of 6 months with few lives lost and almost no political turmoil. We could have kept his family here and frozen their assets when we grounded flights so that they weren't out there supporting him while he hid.

The military industrial complex always goes for "shock and awe" and then makes gobs of money on the cleanup when it's (inevitably) massively botched.

Mostly agree with you here….if only I didn’t think we could’ve engaged in nation building there (probably a naive belief).
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: August 15, 2021 06:35PM
“We had a very good conversation with the leader of the Taliban today, and they’re looking to get this ended, and we’re looking to get it ended. I think we all have a very common interest,” Trump said. “We had, actually, a very good talk with the leader of the Taliban.”
MARCH 3, 2020

[apnews.com]
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump confirmed Tuesday that he spoke on the phone to a Taliban leader, making him the first U.S. president believed to have ever spoken directly with the militant group responsible for the deaths of thousands of U.S. troops in nearly 19 years of fighting in Afghanistan.

Trump said the United States has a shared interest with the Taliban, which harbored al-Qaida before the 9/11 attacks.

“We had a very good conversation with the leader of the Taliban today, and they’re looking to get this ended, and we’re looking to get it ended. I think we all have a very common interest,” Trump said. “We had, actually, a very good talk with the leader of the Taliban.”

The United States and the Taliban signed an agreement last Saturday calling for the withdrawal of American troops, allowing Trump to make progress on a key campaign pledge to extract the U.S. from what he calls “endless wars” and paving the way for all-Afghan talks to begin on Tuesday.
Related Stories:


Trump suggested the phone call, which the Taliban said lasted 35 minutes, was not his first. Asked if Tuesday was his first conversation with a leader of the Taliban, Trump said, “I don’t want to say that.”

Earlier, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid tweeted that the president had spoken on the phone with Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, a co-founder of the Taliban and head of their political office in Qatar.

“The relationship is very good that I have with the mullah,” Trump said. “We had a good long conversation today and, you know, they want to cease the violence. They’d like to cease violence also.”

Trump said it’s still unclear what the Afghans will do when and if they sit with the Taliban and attempt to draft a peaceful political future for the nation. “The country really has to get it ended. We’ve been there for 20 years. Other presidents have tried and they were unsuccessful,” he said.
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: $tevie
Date: August 15, 2021 07:54PM
This Fresh Air from March is interesting to listen to, knowing now what we didn't know then.

[www.npr.org]
Quote

The Trump White House agreed to a May 1 troop withdrawal. New Yorker writer Dexter Filkins says Biden must now decide whether to honor a deal that included the Taliban but not the Afghan government.



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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: August 15, 2021 08:12PM
bulletins from another universe

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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: bfd
Date: August 15, 2021 10:45PM
Quote
Steve G.
“We had a very good conversation with the leader of the Taliban today, and they’re looking to get this ended, and we’re looking to get it ended. I think we all have a very common interest,” Trump said. “We had, actually, a very good talk with the leader of the Taliban.”
MARCH 3, 2020
[/b]

Unfortunately, it wasn't a perfect conversation … all bets should've been off at that point.
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: DeusxMac
Date: August 16, 2021 09:21AM
Quote
Steve G.
1) A complete disaster for all parts of Afghanistan society

Well, not for the Islamist fundamentalists of Afghani society, nor the Mullahs, nor the Madrasas, nor...
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: August 16, 2021 11:28AM
after making the 'agreement' without the Afghan government and reducing the troop level to 1500, maybe the Taliban will give trump the Big Parade he's always wanted. (he loves winning)
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Re: Taliban enter Kabul
Posted by: davester
Date: August 16, 2021 05:17PM
Quote
JoeH
Quote
SteveO
Astoundingly quick fall of our Afghanistan partners, including a 300,000 person army and all our equipment, etc. So...twenty years, untold lives lost/broken on all sides, untold treasure loss. Vietnam all over again. We got in bed with the Frenchies there when -- early '50s? I know JFK "officially" sent in advisors, but I'm fairly certain we were there covertly a long time before that.

Will the same thing happen again in 25 years?

US involvement started with Truman sending military supplies to support the French. That continued under Eisenhower, and included several hundred military there as advisors. Kennedy sent a few hundred more shortly after becoming President, the big event you are thinking of was sending in about 16,00 more in 1963.

Our involvement in Afghanistan might have gone differently, but the people the Bush administration put in power never had broad support and seemed more interested in padding their bank accounts. All too similar to those supported in the Vietnamese government back in the late '50s and into the '60s.

...and let's not forget the puppet government the US installed in Iran. Of course that went so much better than Vietnam and Afghanistan.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/16/2021 05:18PM by davester.
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