Taliban Opposition Ahmad Massoud


June 6, 2013

With the war in Afghanistan far from over and daily attacks on the rise despite plan by the U.S. to pull out end of 2014, some are asking whether U.S. attack on the Taliban, was America’s greatest mistake. Today, many considered the Iraq invasion as unnecessary war, but to say Afghanistan is not a war of necessity, sound unfair to 9/11 victims and many who believe it is a justifiable war. With the turn of events in the war-ridden nation, there are those who think the situation would be different, had the U.S. focus on Al Qaeda and not take action on the Taliban.

It is undeniable there was not a single Taliban among the 19 hijackers of 9/11, most were Saudi nationals but, to understand why the Taliban became a target along with Al Qaeda, one must know what role if any it played in helping the terrorist organization meet its agenda. Weeks after the attacks of 9/11, the United States requested that the Taliban deliver Osama Bin Laden and top Al Qaeda leadership but the Taliban, refused, despite all proofs Al Qaeda, was responsible for the attacks. How Bin Laden and his terror group became trouble for the Taliban has its history, which made it impossible for America to separate both.

The beginning of modern-day terror has its roots in the 1980s Jihad against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Militant Jihadists and Islamists came to Afghanistan and Pakistan from the Middle East and Africa to help drive out Soviet forces in opposition to what they called “invasion of a Muslim nation.” After Soviet forces were expelled, Afghan Arabs got reshaped in their understanding of Jihad.

The Palestinian cleric and former Muslim Brotherhood member Abdullah Azzam, who was instrumental in coordinating the foreign jihadists in Peshawar, instigated the Jihadists movement with his publication titled ‘Join the Caravan.’ His teachings would later pavé way for the arrival of committed and battle hardened Jihadists. The publication encouraged the ideology that every Muslim must wage a Jihad to protect Islam.

Bin Laden arrived in Afghanistan after he was driven out of Sudan in 1996, after the attacks on the CIA station in Khartoum. He arrived to Jalalabad where he met allies from the Era of Soviet invasion who together with him fought to expel the Soviets from Afghanistan. On arrival, Bin Laden did not set up himself in any of the areas controlled by the Taliban and its opposition the Northern Alliance however, when the Taliban captured Kabul in 1996, Jalalabad got annexed and as a result, the Taliban inherited Bin Laden and gave him shelter.

Bin Laden would later establish his standing and organization among the Taliban. He became interested in its ideology of creating an Islāmic state governed by Sharia in Afghanistan and to Bin Laden, the Taliban became a symbol of the dream he had for the Arab world. The group turned against Western ideology and infiltration and moreover, both shared same beliefs and the Taliban, was willing to offer him protection. The events that followed formed the basis for his terror network and the terrorist attacks of 9/11 that led to America and NATO’s invasion of October 2001.

Since the attack of 9/11, Al Qaeda established itself by promoting the belief its purpose is to protect Muslims and Islam from destruction by the West headed by the United States. Through its campaign of terror and intimidation, it is able to spread the ideology that Islam is under attack and therefore, needs protection. The only way to shield Islam from infidels and contamination is by one way dictated in the Holy Quran that is “Jihad.” This is the ideology of terror and it is the basis for why it has become a global campaign.

Had the Taliban surrendered Bin Laden and others who helped plan 9/11 when the U.S. requested, the organization could’ve spared itself from attack. In fact, intelligence showed the Taliban wanted nothing to do with 9/11 knowing what the repercussion would be if the U.S. chose to retaliate. It was also a time when the Taliban was facing allegations of widespread human rights abuses especially of women. The group was at war with the Northern Alliance, a Western and U.S. ally over leadership and control and after assassination of Northern Alliance leader, Ahmad Shah Massoud the attacks of 9/11 took place which necessitated U.S. involvement in the country.

The Taliban would not budge on Bin Laden despite global demand. The group called him a visitor and a Muslim brother in Afghanistan that must be protected according to Islam. The Taliban and Al Qaeda became inseparable and the United States had no choice but to attack both in response to the attacks that killed more than 3,000 U.S. and foreign nationals.

The Taliban’s greatest sin, it sheltered Bin Laden and provided his organization with support that made the attacks of 9/11 successful. Perhaps, U.S. attack on the Taliban could not be a mistake. America’ incursion helped, disrupt the organization nonetheless, its ability to continue attacks in the country. Afghanistan was a war zone before U.S. invasion and with the present situation in the nation, it is clear the problems of Afghanistan can only be solved by Afghans. Though, there are some possible solutions.

The United States must pull its troops out of the country as scheduled. NATO must begin a withdrawal plan as well after training Afghan police and the military. The U.S. need not negotiate with the Taliban since such negotiation would be fruitless. To make peace, the current leadership in Afghanistan must begin negotiation with the Taliban. Peace is unlikely in Afghanistan without a coalition government that includes some members of the Taliban. One way or the other, the Taliban will return and whether it is able to maintain the status quo depends on present leadership and the strong will of Afghan citizens.

Dr. Adeyemi Oshunrinade [E. JD] is the author of ‘Wills Law and Contests,’ ‘Constitutional Law-First Amendment’ and ‘SAVING LOVE’ available at Follow on Twitter @san0670.







Categories: Abdullah Azzam, Afghan Invasion, Afghan Jihad, Afghanistan, Foreign Affairs, Terrorism

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