With the USSR invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, to bolster a weak Communist leadership a Jihad was called to expel the Soviets. A Jihad can have several forms. This form was used to battle an enemy of Islam, Russia.
Those that answer the call of Jihad are Mujahideen. It was the Mujahideen who Great Britain, China and the USA armed. One Mujahideen fighter was Osama Bin Laden chief exporter of Western terrorism.
Another was Hamid Karzai. Karzai was elected president of Afghanistan. Remember the purple fingers of first time voters in 2004? Incidentally the airport with all the chaos we saw on the news was named after Karzai.
An even bigger player was Ahmad Masood, a legendary fighter swept in after Russian withdrawal and tried to stabilize the fragile government.
In 1988 Bin Laden and 15 other groups formed Al Qeada (the base). They wanted to continue Jihad.
Many warlords and former Afghanistan military members formed a group in roughly 1992. They promoted end of fighting, traditional Islamic values and stability. They called themselves The Taliban. One of their first acts was to publicly execute president Najibullah.
Masood and Karzai fled with their forces and took to the mountains and northern valleys. They called themselves the Northern Alliance.
With the Taliban in charge, Al Qeada was free to export terror across the globe.
A switch in tactics from the near enemy to the far enemy was taking place at this time
The assassination of Anwar Sadat is a example of the near enemy. The Killing of Leon Klinghoffer on the cruise ship Achille Lauro is an example of the far enemy. The far enemy tactic has been more effective and generally adopted by terror groups.
The Taliban turned brutal as they purged, TV, music, books, amusement parks and anything with western influences.
The purge of any religion except Islam was especially harsh.
Death of the Buddhas. In March 2001 the Taliban destroyed two giant Buddhas at Bayiman. These were carved into cliffs in 544 AD. It’s considered one of the most horrific cultural crimes ever committed. Imagine our Mt. Rushmore destroyed, it’s that epic.
Did the Taliban know about 9/11?
On 9 September 2001 Ahmad Masood, the Northern Alliance leader was to give an interview. The camera crew were suicide bombers, the equipment was blown up killing Masood. This was intended no doubt to fracture the Northern Alliance.
The Alliance held together. Americans were in Afghanistan in October 2001. They began a high tempo, low intensity conflict. Karzai using his connections and tribal lineage also pushed on the Taliban.
The Taliban and Bin Laden were soon on the run. It was the successful beginning of a twenty year conflict.
Next week, where we went wrong, when we started to loose.
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