Archive for August, 2021

What Happened in Afghanistan?

Tuesday, August 31st, 2021

It seems everyone is asking some version of the question “What happened in Afghanistan?” Of course, what happened is exactly what many predicted from the moment the invasion of that country was announced almost twenty years ago.  While not everyone can be expected to understand the reasons why America’s defeat was a foregone conclusion, everyone, surely, must have heard of Afghanistan’s reputation as “the graveyard of empires.” The British council not conquer the land, nor the Soviets.  The notion that an American exceptionalism extended to occupation of a land in which the usual tools of state control (such as last names, forget about Social Security numbers) are in rare use was absurd from the outset. As for the chaotic withdrawal, that was a given.  Other withdrawals have been more chaotic. Not just Vietnam. Remember Dunkirk?

Americans never even have grasped why their government invaded Afghanistan in the first place. It was not about establishing democracy or about women’s rights.  The reason that the U.S. government turned against the Taliban (a movement that they created in collaboration with the Saudis and Pakistanis) had zero to do with the reactionary interpretation of Islamic law they had been taught by the Saudis.  (Actually, the Taliban version is even more harsh than that of their Saudi teachers.  The Saudis have contact with their mothers, sisters and aunties which smooths the rough edged of their ideology.  The original Taliban were students (that’s what the Arabic word talibān means) in orphanages who knew no female relatives.) The reason for the invasion was simply that the Taliban refused to extradite bin Ladin after 9/11, deeming the evidence the U.S. provided of his role in the attack unconvincing. That was it. On this account the invasion should have ended when bin Ladin was assassinated.

The mystery is not why the Taliban defeated the American’s puppet government.  The mystery is how they managed to dislodge the government in a single day.  This, I admit, surprised even me.  In retrospect, however, I understand how it happened.  I knew the government was corrupt, I just didn’t realize how corrupt. Now everyone knows.

So now the question on everyone’s mind is will the Taliban be as oppressive as they were the first time around.  God knows best, but I doubt it.  They are not as naïve as they were the first time out. It noteworthy that violations of their promise of general amnesty have been so few that the warmongers in America have had to resort to trying to blame them for the attack at the Kabul airport by their sworn enemy, ISIS-K. The Taliban intend to rule over a society as divided and therefore (almost) as ungovernable by any of its domestic factions as it is by the foreigners who have tried and failed throughout history. They will either learn to moderate their domestic interventionism to the point at which the people tolerate it or the people will not tolerate it and they too shall join the great empires in the dustbin of history to which the people of Afghanistan have relegated them.

Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, Ph.D.
Minaret of Freedom Institute

News and Analysis 8/31/21

Tuesday, August 31st, 2021

It is possible to teach about 9/11 without triggering anti-Muslim hysteria: include the Muslim immigrants who lost their lives as first responders, discuss the “Muslim ban” and “no-fly lists,” and keep students safe:

Gantz’s “previously undisclosed talks on Sunday with President Mahmoud Abbas” make open the PA’s role as Israel’s enforcer:

Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid says the Americans and not the Taliban are responsible for the area around the Kabul area where the ISIS-K terrorist act took place:

Ahmed’s “family believes the authorities are in cahoots with those responsible for the student’s disappearance”:

One injured demonstrator died from the wounds:

The change will allow many women “to join or return to” the nursing profession:

“The Quran instructs both men and women to observe modesty in their dress and behavior. However, Muslim women’s clothing isn’t entirely about adherence to faith. It has been used in the past – and present – as an assertion of identity”:

News and Analysis 8/29/21

Sunday, August 29th, 2021

“[I]deology is going to have to take a backseat if the Taliban government is to survive” …:

… but Biden’s withdrawal of American diplomats from Kabul guarantees no American influence, at least in the short run:

After rubber-stamping the U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem, opposing the ICC “investigation into Israeli actions, and … [conflating] criticism of Israel with anti-Jewish bigotry,” Biden recommits to apartheid and settler-colonialism:

Biden tows the Israeli line on Iran:

The mainstream media routinely ignores Israeli atrocities, most shamefully the murder of children:

The Taliban and Iran are sectarian enemies, but their common anti-imperialist agenda makes them likely allies:

News and Analysis 8/26/21

Thursday, August 26th, 2021

Palestinian medics reported at least 14 people were wounded, including five who were shot protesting a blockade “that has devastated Gaza’s economy and fueled an unemployment rate that hovers at approximately 50 percent”:

Unclear guidelines and fear of sanctions are stopping tech companies from selling products that would help Iranians access the Internet freely and evade government surveillance:

Jewish settlers “set fire to an olive grove in Burin town south of Nablus” as Palestinians in the West Bank continue to face frequent settler attacks and instances of vandalism:

An American official described conditions for refugees in U.S. custody as “a life-threatening humanitarian disaster.”

Iranian official Hamid Hosseini believes “the new Iranian government will significantly expand cooperation with the Taliban government” and that “Iran can easily double its trade with Afghanistan”:

After two years of struggling to get justice for the death of his wife, Rafiq Shagoo, has no faith in any justice from Indian police force or their colonial regime:

Amendments to the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act ban all aid to states that “were not signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and had nuclear weapons programs” yet Israel has continued to receive billions in aid:

News and Analysis 8/23/2021

Monday, August 23rd, 2021

Pro-Palestine activists staged a protest outside an Israeli arms manufacturer’s plant in the borough of Oldham, UK, as part of their nationwide campaign against one of Israel’s “largest arms manufacturers”:

Mohammed El Halabi was accused of “stealing relief money and giving it to Hamas for their war effort against Israel” yet five years later, the evidence against him looks seriously flawed:

The so-called “forever war” (better used to describe “the expansive American commitment to deploy force across the globe in the name of fighting terrorism”) is by no means ending simply because of America’s incompetent and overdue withdrawal of troops in Afghanistan:

“A lot of people, because they lacked confidence that Kabul would be able to save them, capitulated.” More and more people chose this route, “so there was very little fighting, which is why it suddenly happened so fast”:

“For almost two decades now, billions of dollars in corruption proceeds have been funneled from Afghanistan, a country devastated by four decades of conflict, to Dubai” consequently stunting Afghanistan’s economic and political development:

“It has also been found that activists of Popular Front of India (PFI) and Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) had come to Indore and instigated the youths for such incidents”:

“Earlier, pro-independence group JKLF and socio-religious group Jamaat-e-Islami were banned and their leadership arrested in 2019, ahead of the Centre’s move to end J&K’s special constitutional position in August that year”:

Israeli airstrikes on high-rise buildings in Gaza “left dozens of people homeless and destroyed scores of businesses” according to the HRW, before calling upon Israel to produce evidence to justify the attacks:

Nearly 6,000 cadre of the Haqqani Network, an important faction of the Taliban, have taken control of Afghanistan’s capital city Kabul:

News and Analysis 8/21/21

Saturday, August 21st, 2021

“Groups of armed Afghans attacked the Taliban on Friday, driving Afghanistan’s new rulers out of three northern districts, the first assault against the Islamist militants since they swept into Kabul last week and seized control of the government”:

Israeli troops fired on protesting Palestinians, wounding 24 people including 10 children, says Gaza Health Ministry …

… and Israeli police on Tuesday stormed a ceremony in occupied East Jerusalem held to recognize the achievement of Palestinian students who passed their end of high school exams “claiming it was sponsored by the Palestinian Authority”:

Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist needs public support after facing assault in Texas prison, after “an inmate attacked Dr. Aafia by smashing a coffee mug on her face”:

Mohammad said he was walking to a market to buy Eid clothes when a missile exploded “injuring him in the eyes, eventually leading to complete blindness”:

The Taliban appear closer to forming a government nearly a week after seizing the capital as one of their leaders, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, arrived in Kabul to “begin talks with former President Hamid Karzai and other politicians” …

… as the U.S. leaves behind “hundreds of thousands of assault rifles, thousands of armored vehicles, dozens of aircraft, tanks, artillery, sniper rifles, night-vision goggles and much more” in sophgisticated weaponry for the Taliban’s use:

Hezbolla chief Hassan Nasrallah said Thursday a tanker would set off from Iran “within hours” to bring desperately needed fuel supplies to Lebanon, in defiance of US sanctions …

… and if the initial estimates of gas reserves held in the deposit are accurate, “Iran will be able to supply at least 20% of Europe’s gas needs”:

Pakistan’s interest in Afghanistan has been “almost certainly been to continue countering Indian influence and mitigating spillover into the Pakistani territory” according to a US DIA report…

…yet propaganda based journalists continue to call for sanctions against Pakistan despite the fact that other countries, India included, continue to fund their own proxy wars in the Afghan state:

News and Analysis 8/17/21

Tuesday, August 17th, 2021

U.S. intervention created the corruption in Afghanistan that made the Taliban takeover so easy in the end …

… but will the Taliban do any better than they did last time?

The Israeli apartheid regime’s colonial justice system continues to side with settlers as they reject another Palestinian petition that was done “in response to the illegal Avyatar outpost”:

The 11-day assault on Gaza may be over, but “unexploded bombs” are still killing those who survived the initial Israeli bombardment, humanitarian organizations and engineering teams say:

The following study questions the efficacy of US and European sanctions on Syria concluding that “the current model of sanctions is suboptimal, with a high likelihood that sanction targets can use evasive strategies to avoid any actual harm”:

To only win back the support of US Jews Israel must behaves in a manner “that is consistent with their moral frame of reference” meaning that “it would have to end its military occupation, dismantle its apartheid regime and reverse its racist laws”:

Similar to the tactics they employed during Vietnam, U.S officials continuously lied  “to justify the U.S’s endless occupation of the country” as well as to “concoct a pleasing fairy tale about why the prior twenty years were not an utter waste”:

News and Analysis 8/14/21

Saturday, August 14th, 2021

Pakistan serves as a scapegoat for the United States as they exit Afghanistan, ending a 20 year war that “created a political order that prioritized its counterterrorism agenda over the Afghan people”:

In the past 13 days, the Israeli apartheid regime has illegally “demolished, seized or forced people to demolish 57 Palestinian-owned structures across the West Bank” according to a report released by the United Nations:

The Israeli army Friday attacked Palestinian worshipers with sound bombs “after they performed Friday prayers at Ibrahimi Mosque” in the center of Hebron city in the occupied West Bank:

Four generations of Hanna Alshaikh’s family have been living in exile from their village “after being made refugees during the Israeli war of 1967”:

Israel’s colonialist regime continues its illegal expansion “into the West Bank and Nablus” as Palestinians are evicted and brutalized by Israeli forces:

The number of millionaires in Iran has exploded despite the country suffering under U.S. sanctions and the Covid-19 pandemic:


News and Analysis 8/11/21

Wednesday, August 11th, 2021

“[P]rominent civil rights, Jewish, and faith-based organizations and leaders today strongly denounced flagrant anti-Muslim animus targeting Dilawar Syed and his historic nomination for deputy administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)”:

After decades of lying through omission,  a more honest American discussion of Israel’s nuclear arsenal “could breathe new life into the distant dream of a nuclear-free Middle East”:

“Under the smokescreen of electoral redistricting, New Delhi is using gerrymandering to politically neuter the region’s Muslim majority”:

Elected officials, Republicans and Democrats alike, who have taken up Israel’s directive to punish Ben and Jerry’s are “exhibiting their pro-Israel bona fides” at the expense of all of our First Amendment rights:

It is becoming impossible for American Jews to “reconcile their liberal values with support for a state accused of committing crimes against humanity” by imposing an apartheid regime on Palestine …

… is that the explanation for Israel’s unusual decision to grant building permits to some Palestinian West Bank residents?

Shaikh Abdul Aziz was killed by Indian forces on this day while leading mammoth march to Azad Kashmir in 2008 against the economic blockade of the Kashmir valley by “the extremist Hindus of Jammu”:

“Researchers attribute the high suicide attempt rate to two factors: religious discrimination and community stigma — both of which, they say, prevent Muslim American communities from seeking mental health services”:

A Palestinian woman was hospitalized after being shot in her “lower body” near the northern West Bank city of Nablus:

Afghan officials say 3 more provincial capitals fall to Taliban amid US withdrawal as the “insurgents now hold 9 out of 34 provincial capitals”:

News and Analysis (8/9/21)

Monday, August 9th, 2021

Palestinian poet Darren Tatour exposes the horrors she faced after being imprisoned for her poems in 2015 …

… while the winner of the UN’s 2012 Humanitarian Hero Award languished in an Israeli jail though Israel, having “no proof to back their charges” keep “offering him release of jail in return for his acceptance of guilt”:

“Many Iranians, hundreds of thousands of whom have signed a petition opposing the new measures, have reason to worry: E-commerce through Instagram has opened doors even as the coronavirus has kept others closed”:

The IDF continues its policy of murder:

Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s secularization of social mores has been accompanied by repression “of all political rights, including freedom of expression, media, and assembly”:

A recent report reveals that Israel illegally arrested and imprisoned Palestinians in remote detention centers:

Since the Code of Hamurabi the world has taken step after step towards the establishment of freedom and equality through the rule of law. Now India has taken a huge slide backwards in Kashmir:

The Taliban continue their rapid expansion, seizing two more provincial capitals including “the strategically important city of Kunduz and Taleqan”: