• "Someone who could bring together various factions of the Taliban and make sure they were following the same line."

    "The Taliban have been saying that their biggest achievement so far in the country is they've been able to provide security to the people of Afghanistan, and attacks like this ... are meant to taint that."

    No one has claimed it. Similar attacks in the past have been claimed by Isil.


  • In Kabul

  • "Because Afghanistan is different" - Fatima Gailani

    "This is not an Afghanistan that came out of a very bitter, ugly civil war of the Mujahedin."

    "It's an Afghanistan of educated people. It's an Afghanistan of men and women seen in important positions. This is an Afghanistan where people can go on radio, television and criticize their governments, the leaders."

    Are they doing that now? "They are doing that now. How long they will continue ... But no one could shut them up. That one thing I know."

    "If anyone is interested in governing Afghanistan, they have to accept the new Afghanistan. Never in the history of Afghanistan was it that way."


  • Maybe UK special forces concealed unlawful killings of Afghan detainees

    Their word for it was 'failing to fix systemic issues.'

  • Lavrov on US adventures over the past 20 years

    "We have seen it in Libya, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. ... Nothing good came out of the four military campaigns I mentioned. ... There has been a surge in terrorism, an unprecedented growth in drug trafficking. Illegal immigrants have been flooding Europe since NATO bombed the Libyan state to dust. ..."

  • Typical Afghanistan news on YT, Sept 11, 2021

    There's a lot of news on the US (and allies) in Afghanistan right now. I think maybe people almost forgot about Afghanistan, they got so used to it, but now with the sudden moves what is left is quite impressive. It's the 20-year anniversary of the World Trade Center event, which many people do not believe the official story. Documents are reported to be soon declassified by Biden.

    Image shows a news story about a base left by the US, and the comments show the general feeling on the events now.

  • Mike Wallace (MEP from Ireland) on Afghanistan, Sept 1 2021 in the European Parliament

    "Do you think we can learn the lessons without telling the truth about the last 20 years? The last 20 year war in Afghanistan is a lie. The Americans lied to their people. The Americans spent over $2.2t dollars, and over $2t of it went to private contractors. They used the war as a way of funneling US taxpayers money to private entities.

    "What did the EU do with our money? Where did it go? How much did the EU spend in Afghanistan in the 20 years? Apart from enriching the families connected to the government, what else did we do with it? How much evidence have you got of the infrastructure you kept talking about?

    "Before the Taliban took over, the number of Afghans living in poverty in Afghanistan has doubled since 2001. A third have no food. Half of them have no drinking water. And two-thirds have no electricity. Before the rise of the Taliban, who grew from US-and-Saudi-funded Mujahedeen, half of Afghan university students were women. 40% of the countries doctors were women. 70% of their teachers were women. 30% of their civil servants were women.

    "Look at the place now. We've helped to destroy it. Are we going to tell the truth about it? Or are we going to pretend, 'Ah, we were really doing loads for womens' rights and we were sorting things out, only things didn't work out right in the end'?

    "Did the EU people know what was going on, or not? And if you didn't know, why didn't you know? And is there anyone going to be held accountable for the amount of EU money that's been spent in that place, and you have nothing to show for it?"

    "La guerra en Afganistán es una mentira": discurso de Mick Wallace en el Parlamento Europeo - YT  
  • Afghanistan new PM

    Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, from Akhund tribe in the south, where many Taliban come from, was one of the founding members of the Taliban and headed the Rahbari shura leadership council.

    Supreme leader will be Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada, reportedly a reclusive person.
  • US collected biometric records on 5m Afghanis

    ... and now those people are at risk due to this very thing, according to some like Margaret Hu, who calls it a lesson in the life-and-death consequences of data collection.

    The US left this data behind, along with iris scans and names.

    Consortium News commented that the US is going after Assange in part because (they allege) Assange endangered lives by revealing names of informants (when he was actually redacting them).

    The Taliban reportedly have control of US biometric devices – a lesson in life-and-death consequences of data privacy  
  • The more the Taliban become pragmatic, the more they're going to lose people, and that's what ISIS is counting on - Kamran Bokhari

    Taliban are now gearing into pragmatism because they have to govern.

    This is a fluidic battle space ... hardliners can become disillusioned very easily if Taliban start to make compromises on ideology.

    We saw this in Syria. There were multiple groups that were not ISIS but they lost a lot of fighters to ISIS over the years.

    There are always going to be people who sympathize with this project. - Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

  • $9b in Afghan reserves held outside US

    Afghanistan is highly dependent on US and other countries. If the government meets what US and others want it to meet, US might release these foreign currency reserves. Some say they don't even have funds to pay government workers there.

    A lot of Afghani investors are also currently out of the country.

  • A former aide of Osama Bin Laden, Muhammad Amin-ul-Haq, has reportedly returned to his native Nangarhar province for the first time in 20 years after the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan.

    "He served as head of Bin Laden’s security in Tora Bora following the 2001 US-led invasion." - TRT

  • Rocket strike near Kabul airport and reports of children dead

    A car was destroyed. No one officially claimed responsibility for the reported rocket attacks. People reported hearing gunfire afterwards. The report that 3 children died is from Afghan officials and also some people on the ground there said it.

  • Afghanistan Questions

    1. Zahir Shah made moves toward (Western style) civil rights, women in workplace, democracy, etc. Does that represent a significant strain in Afghani thought or culture (toward liberalization) or an outlier?

    2. Zahir Shah was not able (or willing) to return to the country after the coup (until 2002 under US occupation). What does that mean for opposition parties in Afghanistan?

    3. Will Afghan's strength against invasion forces (decentralized, strong belief) (Soviets couldn't negotiate/bargain with Mujahedeen, and had to fight with dozens of separate militias with distinct tactics and strategies) be tempered with modernization?

  • Lots of reporting on who profited from the Afghan war

    Lockheed, General Dynamics, Ratheon, Northrop Grumman are reported on, since their stocks are up between a few hundred and a thousand (10x) percent since 2001, and most have military or ex-military on their boards.

    However, 10x over 20 years doesn't seem like such a big deal. Tech stocks are up more than that, and probably lots of regular stocks. Amazon is up 1700% since 2011, not 2001. Facebook and Apple are up 10x from their IPOs, too, from 2012 and 2011.

  • Two bombs at Kabul Airport

    Two spots just outside the airport, one at an entrance and another at the Baron hotel. A dozen US troops reportedly were killed and some civilians, I think.

    Biden: "For those who carried out this attack, as well as anyone who wishes American harm, know this: We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay."

    Biden is reportedly Catholic, though, so these words might sound a little strange.

    Some are saying Taliban, whose role it was as the government (for the past less than 2 weeks) to secure the airport, and now they're being questioned whether they're able to carry out that role, as if anyone can prevent that sort of attack.

    A Taliban spokesman said, "Killing innocent civilians is an act of terrorism that has to be condemned by the entire world. And as soon as the airport situation is figured out, and the foreign forces leave, hopefully we will not have such attacks anymore. It is--again--it is because of the presence of foreign forces that such attacks take place."

    Western countries have evac'ed over 100k people in the past little while.

    As a response to the the ariport bombing attacks, the US reported using a drone strike to kill some IS-K notables in another region. IS-K reportedly claimed responsibility for the airport bombing attacks. (Taliban said the US should have them before the US did this drone strike.)

    The US wouldn't identify who the IS-K dead were by name, only saying they were planning future attacks. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby:

    "I am not gonna talk about specific capabilities ISIS might have lost in this strike. They lost a planner and they lost a facilitator and they got one wounded. And the fact that two of these individuals are no longer walkin' on the face of the earth, that's a good thing. It's a good thing for the people of Afghanistan and it's a good thing for our troops and our forces at that airfield and I think I'm just gonna leave it there."

    Many people immediately raised doubts about these events, since they give such a convenient pretext for anything the US may want to do (including changing evac plans). We wait and see whether US will allow Afghanistan to have peace or a chance to try to have their country.

    Why would IS-K want to do it? Would they want US to not leave? Do they fear Taliban will be hard on them if Taliban are left to control the country?

  • $2t is how much US spent on Afghanistan war

    $300m per day for 20 years.

    $800b in direct warfighting costs. $85b to train the Afghan army. $750m per year for Afghan army salaries.

    This money was borrowed as loans, reportedly. Cha-ching for those banks. "This country is unconquerable, you say? so we can just fight it indefinitely?" Thanks, taxpayers, we'll service those loans.

  • Zabiullah Mujahid, Taliban Spokesman, government of IAEA, in a TRT interview on One on One

    "We had considered appearing in front of the media if we survived, but we thought we'd be killed before our struggle ended, because we were under a lot of threats. For example, I had a phone, and there were American drones above me, ready to drop bombs. I faced many such dangers. So, we never imagined we would survive this long. I always believed we would succeed in our struggle and one day, rid Kabul and all of Afghanistan from the occupation forces. Afghanistan is only for Afghans. We always believed in this. But I never thought I'd live to see that day. I think God for keeping me alive, but I pray for him to fulfill my wish of martyrdom one day. For now, I think we have been given a chance to serve the people, to fulfill all the promises we made to Afghans, and to keep our word to them. We will work hard to find a way to solve people's problems, anywhere, anytime. We have to answer to God and the people."

    "I guess I had always thought I would be martyred in this war. I never thought I would live to see the revolution suceed. Because as I said before I was always in danger. I couldn't even switch my phone on for an hour because the Americans can easily track anyone on a cellular network and capture or kill them. I thought I'd be martyred that way. It was a very difficult position to be in but I was not afraid. I always wanted to be counted amongst the martyrs. But God had different plans for me. This is also one of his blessings, that he wants me to do good. And I hope we can achieve our goals. We always pray for martyrdom."

    "No one wants to live under the transgressions of an occupying force."

    "If we are terrorists why have we not killed anyone [in the 10 days since entering Kabul]? There is no terrorism here as you can see."

    "We were fighting against foreign occupiers and their puppet regime."

    "The Americans started this war. They attacked us, and got what they deserved. The Americans failed in their mission. The world has seen how they left Afghanistan in a failed state. The situation is not good for the United States. The United States destroyed its reputation in the eyes of the world. THe United States showed its real face to the world. We also saw what they did in Guantanamo and Bagram prisons. They claim to be defenders of human rights, but the world has seen the reality of these tall claims. We saw how the United States conducted itself during war. We have witnessed their reality first-hand."

    "How could they [the Americans] have controlled Afghanistan when they can't even control the airport?"

    "The Americans want Afghans to be dispossessed in refugee camps without a clear future. Thousands of people have been forced to leave without a clear future. Families are being torn apart. Fathers and sons separated."

    "This is a huge issue and hindrance for Afghanistan. Doctors, engineers, teachers, and scholars [fled Afghanistan]. They are the cream of Afghan society. Afghanistan has been in war for a long time. So we have very few skilled professionals. Our motherland needs these skilled professionals."

    "The British want Americans to fail. They want more war. Americans have made the most sacrifices compared to their allies. British political leaders want the war to continue. We remember British leader Tony Blair encouraging Americans to go to war with the Afghans in 2001, and left the Americans alone. ... War benefits no one, but if they want war, they will get war."

    "As I said before, Afghans will not submit to pressure by any country [regarding sanctions]. ... I think Afghanistan should form a diplomatic relation with the US. It's good to listen to one another and work out our differences to find solutions. They bombed us for 20 years. They kept putting our people in agony. Stop this cruelty. Our people have lost patience. We can solve our differences in a diplomatic way. There is no other way except this."

    "Over time, we observed how systems in different Afghan cities operate. We have returned with this knowledge to improve things."

    "... all those opposed to us--the police, the army, and others, have been safe. ... We have enemies here we fought for 20 years, but no one has been touched."

    "Amrullah Saleh [a politician who claimed the office of acting president when president Ghani fled] also says he wants to fight, but like his predecessor, he can't afford to go to war. He will fail. Anyone would. He should not risk the lives of ordinary Afghans. The people of Afghanistan don't want war. ..."

    "We have maintained that we want good relations with Turkey [the only Islamic NATO member] so they could share their immense experience with us, and similarly, if they could provide economic support, we would welcome it."

    "Pakistan's role in Afghanistan is that of a good neighbor. ... We do not stand by the asuumption that Pakistan has stood with us, or given us an ideology and support. This news is just not correct, and has been part of a propaganda for 20 years. It will be proven that Pakistan is our neighbor, nothing more. We want good relations with them. ... because they are our neighbors."

    "They have frozen our funds [$10b of Afghan reserves] despite the current situation. We request the United States to release our national funds and give Afghanistan the money it desperately needs. I say the general situation will get better."


    The same day Western news was plastered with 'an explosion at Kabul airport.' Reports have it 13 are dead, including 4 US servicemen (the first to die in the country in a while). The Biden Whitehouse called it a 'complex attack.' Experts say it will now be more difficult to withdraw by Aug 31 [the deadline, but news has for a week or more been asking whether that could be extended, seeming like the US wants to but the Taliban says no] and also more difficult to engage in some retaliatory military action 'against terrorist targets on the ground.' At least that is the line many Western media are publishing. I don't see how that makes sense. Why does Biden need to militarily respond to an attack on their occupation force after 20 years of fighting? IS claimed they did it, and Taliban condemned it.


    So Afghanistan now has a government that has been working very hard for 20 years, thinking about and testing ideas in their minds, living under constant possibility of death and accepting it, and believing in their goal, which they have been considering and refining, pondering questions of actions.

    Will they be allowed by the US and others to do whatever they intend to do?

    YT: Zabiullah Mujahid, Taliban Spokesman  
  • Australian whistleblower's house attacked

    ... reportedly they smashed her windows in, and when she called local police they took 40 minutes to arrive, because when she called a second time while waiting she was told they were already there (they were at a different address).

    'Captain Louise' served in Afghanistan 2012-2013. She blew the whistle on a patrol who killed a group of farmers (10 civilians, goes the report) after the patrol commander accidentally shot one and they decided they couldn't leave witnesses.


    News reporting on this reference another story, from 2020, in which an Australian intelligence officer who said he had evidence of crimes in Afghanistan was found dead at a Canberra headquarters.

  • Putin's criticism of Western policy towards fleeing Afghanis

    The West wants to relocate them to Afghanistan's neighboring countries. He said it was a security issue that directly affects Russia.

    'So, it's possible to send them to these other countries, our neighbors, without visas, but they don't want to take them in themselves without visas? It's a humiliating approach to this issue.'

  • Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

    ... is how the Taliban refer to their conquest

    Movement in the city: Cars drive around, people walk around (you could assume life as usual is continuing). Taliban ride around in pickup trucks with large guns. They say there is a general amnesty, everyone is forgiven, even militants and the Afghan army. Large military evacuations take place in big planes overhead. Taliban around the airfield area have reportedly announced a ban on Afghans from entering that area.

  • Afghanistan and Vietnam, Assange 'endless war'

    Many over the past week or two since the Taliban's swift occupation of Kabul have looked at the saddening images of Afghanis attempting to board and hold onto fleeing US transport planes, some falling to their death, and comparing it to the US withdrawal from Vietnam, which produced similar scenes on the day of departure.

    'There are parallels in that it is the most extraordinary humiliation of the West. And the imagery is the same. But the total difference is the Americans were forced to leave South Vietnam. They were hemorrhaging lives. It was an incredibly toxic political issue. There were hundreds of thousands of people in the streets, demonstrating, demanding withdrawal. And it was one of the most costly interventions the Americans did. And they couldn't fight the North Vietnamese army. This is ... totally different. 2500 soldiers. Almost no casualties. Almost no cost. And a little bit of air support. They weren't driven out of the country. They could've remained indefinitely.' - British MP Rory Stewart, who has been involved in Afghanistan for decades

    I think people are a bit surprised and confused at the moment, given how quickly it seems to have happened (despite the months-long process), and are thinking about what it means for their assessment of America.

    The war was supposed to be so direly necessary, an existential threat, the most expensive overseas base ever, and, although very few US soldiers died (none in the past 18 months), suddenly it was just of no importance to the West, according to some critics.

    Many have also been referencing and republishing an old Assange interview in which he said the Americans never wanted the war to be won, but instead wanted an endless war to wash money out of the tax base in the US and Europe and through Afghanistan and back into the hands of the transnational security elite, etc. These voices also point to the recent Biden speech in which he 'reaffirmed his support for war' in saying they were pulling out of Afghanistan but were going to still be fighting other fights, and mentioned Somalia, Yemen, and Syria.

    I don't know but it sort of feels like it might have been a real turning point in American history. And also for the West by extension, as everyone was politically on that side of things and so their actions reflect on all the Western countries, I guess.

    The next time America wants to go to war, whatever reason it gives, who will believe them? What credibility or store of trust do they have left? With Afghanistan, is it a case where the people who wanted the war, whether for money profit or political cause or whatever other reason, got their way, but at the expense of America's last shreds of integrity? Will they find any allies to join them? nevermind the response of non-allies. Or perhaps the question is what new reason will it come up? The Soviets, the spread of Communism, the War on Drugs, Terrorism, ...

    Is the time in which America had the chance to lead the world (which started with its military heroism against aggressors and its creation of ideas like legal human and civil rights and national treaty alliances) over? And if it is over, is it because of a deeper issue, that perhaps it was impossible for it to be positive in a general sense, due to the accommodation within the system of individuals or small groups who wanted to abuse all others for whatever profit, and perhaps the idea of attempting leadership was seen as futile by those close enough to the center, and perhaps those who saw it in some sense wanted its end?

    On the other hand, this total loss of credibility of the US gov may finally embolden politicians at the state and local levels, as well as organizations like the National Guard, to take positions against them. or to take positions just generally more in favor of the general welfare and good, and to try to make some headway towards a nation with some integrity again. Afghanistan may come to serve as the example used why you must never let your government, even under the auspices of the greatest threats it wants to say, pass laws and treat citizens and nations in the way that has become common there in the past 20 years.

    Good follows evil. Evil has the ability to appear to us as good, which is why we participate in it, but once time passes it plays itself out and we see the fools we've been. It's said that in medieval days the greatest attribute a man could possess was a good memory. Perhaps a memory to be able to recall to the level of persuasion of ourselves and others a great number of these pairs.

    Another possibility is that the work is done. Not Afghanistan, but the general existential and political threats that perhaps existed in the 90s or 2000s with developing Islamic nations seem neutralized now. Iraq and Afghanistan and other nations, which alternatively could have risen to more power and organization, are now put in a place where they're not really seen as a military or political threat to the West or anyone else.

    Many people think there was a deal made between the Taliban and the US government, otherwise things wouldn't be going the way they're going.

  • Taliban's future plans and update from them

    Abdul Qahar Balkhi, from the Taliban’s Cultural Commission, in the Taliban’s first official interview since it took control of Kabul a week ago (talking to AJ):

    On government formation

    "The consultations are ongoing, and of course it is going to be an inclusive system.

    "The talks include whether the capital will remain in Kabul or move to [the group’s birthplace] Kandahar.

    On the chaos at Kabul airport

    Balkhi: We are in talks and we have a relationship, a working relationship, with the Americans about the security arrangement.

    The outside checkposts are in our control, and inside is under the control of the US forces, and we are in constant contact with one another.

    On the lack of trust between people in Kabul and the Taliban

    Balkhi: It is very unfortunate for people to be rushing to the airport the way they are at the moment.

    Because we have announced a general amnesty for everyone in the security forces from the senior to the junior level… this fear, this hysteria that has taken place is unfounded.

    On the swift takeover of Kabul

    Balkhi: The developments were so fast that all people were taken by surprise.

    When we entered Kabul, and it was not planned because we announced initially that we do not want to enter Kabul, and we want to reach a political solution before entering Kabul and making a joint and inclusive government. But what happened was that the security forces left, abandoned their places, and we were forced to ask our forces to enter and take over security.

    On governance and women’s rights

    Balkhi: The point of intra-Afghan talks was precisely that we come to an agreement about what those rights actually entail.

    Islamic law is known to everyone and there are no ambiguities about the rights of women, the rights of men, not only women but also the rights of men and children. And right now we’re in a situation that hopefully during the consultations there will be clarifications about what those rights are.

    On the reported targeted killings and harassment of government and civil society figures

    Balkhi: O
    On the chaos at Kabul airportur foremost priority is the discipline in our own ranks, and not enforcing laws on others but enforcing it on ourselves first and then giving it an example for the rest of society to follow suit. So we’re the first ones and our members, if they are involved in such things, [they] will be the first to be prosecuted.
    On the group being labelled ‘terrorists’

    Balkhi: I don’t think people believe we are terrorists. I think it’s just “the war on terror”, it was just a term coined by the United States and anyone [who did] not fall in line were labelled terrorists.


    What a difference it makes to hear a non-aggressive man speak English. It's the first time I've heard anything other than Taliban elders speaking with subtitles underneath. While they may have sounded a bit rough or stern, perhaps part of that was simply a rougher, sterner way of just speaking normally there.

    Although some wondered if it was just a charm offensive, not representative of the Taliban.

    AJ English on YT: Taliban official reveals more about the group’s vision for the future
  • Women, girls and minorities

    This seems to be the mantra used by mass media, voicing the US gov side of the Afghan issue.

    The Taliban has said their government won't be like a Western democracy but will protect everyone's rights, but critics doubt this given the Taliban's record for ...

    Is this because Western govs can't really say they protect rights anymore? and really just have a few things they really hold up (some say unfairly positively prejudice in favor of)? Those three things.
  • Afghanistan questions

    Will there be a civil war or will Taliban go for a political settlement between the two longstanding groups (Taliban's Sharia followers VS liberal, marxist, democratic, more secular Islamist 'Afghan government' -- both groups nationalist)?

    Will Taliban attack across the Durand line into Pakistan (in Balochinstan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa), who they see as playing both sides for years (being a middle man and getting $$ for American involvement in Afghanistan against the Soviets while training Islamist fighters (Mujaheddin) and sheltering Taliban leaders after 911). Is there any chance of a Pakistan-Taliban reunion after their contentious history?

    Will Kabul become part of the Belt and Road (India does not want that)

    How will India deal with the strict Sunni Taliban? It's expected it will be difficult, despite longstanding good relations between the two

    How will China, Pakistan, India and Afghanistan fight among each other in the relative chaos after the US withdraws?

    What conflict will US enter/initiate next to continue their narrative as global savior, etc.?

    How will Taliban pursue their goal of an Islamic state?

    How many will leave as refugees?

    Will Taliban really be more lenient as they seem to be saying, and not seek revenge for those they used to compete against? Will they really allow women more rights? Right now many people are too afraid to even leave their houses, while others are out on the streets taking photos and shaking hands with Taliban (moreso young people).

    How will any Taliban possibly take over positions such as governorships, etc., without any training, although they are currently taking lots of photos in these offices? (On the other hand, Afghans hate their now-fled president and their old government for its corruption and incompetence).

    Which countries will (which one could) recognize Taliban when it means they will go into the blacklist of the FATF? Will even China to it?

    How much support does Taliban really have in villages (it's thought they have lots in rural areas) and cities? They offer security, will they be able to provide it meaningfully? Will anyone try to disrupt their ability to deliver this to people.

    Did the governments involved already come to an agreement before the withdrawal?

    India com: If Taliban Kills me, Will Consider it my 'Seva'
  • Material worth of Afghanistan

    More than $3t of minerals (other, older report $1t), one province, Ghanzi, has $1t lithium deposit (largest in world). Estimates.

    China will fill the vacuum left by the US withdrawal. China has already said they will recognize the Taliban as the official government.

    Some have pointed out there may be a fundamental difference in the ability/willingness of China (versus the US) to deal with Afghanistan, considering possible human rights issues.

    Afghanistan's eastern arm borders Xinjiang. What will be the Taliban's response to that region? While they are fellow Muslims, many have raised a point that many of the groups, Taliban or otherwise, may be to a significant degree interested in political warmongering for control of wealth/resources. Others have raised the point that China may attempt to do it's familiar debt-trap diplomacy (if that is really a thing).

    Right now about 85% of the processing of Afghanistan's rare earth minerals is owned by China, who got ahead of the US decades ago (US playing catchup in this) when they saw the future in this business. Will China do like they did and do in Congo, where they give the local government a big cut while they extract the minerals and ship them to China for processing. This might solve the Taliban's supposed challenges in making money off their mineral wealth due to lack of infrastructure (and perhaps political sanctions?). A Taliban protectorate for Chinese mining zones has been suggested.

    Afghanistan is highly dependent on foreign aid and that is expected to remain the case. IMF funds reserved for the country are expected to remain so.

    Will some moralizing nations refuse to accept rare earth minerals from countries whose policies (human rights, aggressive threats) they disapprove of, as was done in South Africa?

  • Some Afghanis are fleeing to cities to escape new Taliban law

    'If they don't kill us today, they'll kill us tomorrow,' a husband told a wife who worked as a teacher for years before being promoted to principal, after death threats began. She worked at a government-run school in an increasingly Taliban-controlled town. Schools are attacked by rockets and suicide bombers sometimes. The Taliban have their own schools. The couple moved to the city where Taliban holds no real sway, although some of her sons remained in the town.

    A typical punishment for women: public whippings for an unmarried woman talking on the phone with a man. A married woman who did something similar could be hanged.

    A local government head sitting at a local trial said to France24: 'Today, just like yesterday, all Taliban decisions must be in harmony with Islamic law. Whether it be stoning to death, decapitation, or mutilation of the hand, these are strong principles of Islam. They're strong principles of Sharia. And we will never change thm until judgement day.'

  • Tajikistan holds nationwide military drills in face of emergent Taliban

    #Afghanistan #Taliban #Tajikistan
  • Last US troops leave Bagram Airfield in the night

    ... without telling the new Afghan commander.

    The base, about an hour away from Kabul, has made headlines over the years for horrible accounts of the US forces there torturing Afghanis, sometimes to death.

    The Afghan soldiers now guarding the base have said they look to the government and the village to support them with resources. 'the Americans destroyed everything here.' Much of the supplies (boots, exercise machines - The Americans took their sophisticated modern military tools) left by the troops has made it's way to scrapyards and second-hand shops.

    Some have said they are glad the Americans left, that now Afghanistan can have peace, which the Americans didn't bring.

  • Afghanistan after America

    Now it's the Afghan govt versus the Taliban, which is reported to be retaking ground, on the offensive. Since Biden announced the US's complete withdrawal a couple months ago, Taliban took about 1/4 (127, 10 of those again retaken by the Afghan military) of the districts of Afghanistan, where they are implementing Sharia and blocking media.

    Last US troops leave Sept 1 (the last 650 that remain, contra to the Doha agreement, after most of the 4000-strong force left), and then we'll really see what Taliban will do.

    "This land belongs to you and us," said an Afghan soldier, "The Russians were here and they left. Then the Americans came and now they have left. This country is ours, and we will protect it even without pay or equipment."

    Reports are that the Taliban aren't willing to go sit at the negotiating table, where Afghan govt negotiators are waiting.

    There are lineups at passport offices, people wanting to leave, remembering the 90s.
  • Taliban taking new ground, reportedly