Project for the New American Century
owen at permafrost.net
Mon Apr 7 14:34:20 PDT 2003
>Leveling the threat was the real reason. I'm sure most have noticed
>that a lot of terrorist infrastructure is biting the dust.
Another oxymoron - "terrorist infrastructure." On the other hand - some
would say that US army occupation is the best
"infrastructure" a terrorist could want.
> Taliban reviving structure in Afghanistan
> - - - - - - - - - - - -
> *By KATHY GANNON*
> April 7, 2003 | KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) -- Before executing the
> International Red Cross worker, the Taliban gunmen made a satellite
> telephone call to their superior for instructions: Kill him?
> Kill him, the order came back, and Ricardo Munguia, whose body was
> found with 20 bullet wounds last month, became the first foreign aid
> worker to die in Afghanistan since the Taliban's ouster from power 18
> months ago.
> The manner of his death suggests the Taliban is not only determined to
> remain a force in this country, but is reorganizing and reviving its
> command structure.
> There is little to stop them. The soldiers and police who were
> supposed to be the bedrock of a stable postwar Afghanistan have gone
> unpaid for months and are drifting away.
> At a time when the United States is promising a reconstructed
> democratic postwar Iraq, many Afghans are remembering hearing similar
> promises not long ago.
> Instead, what they see is thieving warlords, murder on the roads, and
> a resurgence of Taliban vigilantism.
> "It's like I am seeing the same movie twice and no one is trying to
> fix the problem," said Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of Afghanistan's
> president and his representative in southern Kandahar. "What was
> promised to Afghans with the collapse of the Taliban was a new life of
> hope and change. But what was delivered? Nothing. Everyone is back in
> Karzai said reconstruction has been painfully slow - a canal repaired,
> a piece of city road paved, a small school rebuilt.
> "There have been no significant changes for people," he said. "People
> are tired of seeing small, small projects. I don't know what to say to
> people anymore."
> When the Taliban ruled they forcibly conscripted young men. "Today I
> can say 'we don't take your sons away by force to fight at the front
> line,'" Karzai remarked. "But that's about all I can say."
> From safe havens in neighboring Pakistan, aided by militant Muslim
> groups there, the Taliban launched their revival to coincide with the
> war in Iraq and capitalize on Muslim anger over the U.S. invasion, say
> Afghan officials.
> Karzai said the Taliban are allied with rebel commander Gulbuddin
> Hekmatyar, supported by Pakistan and financed by militant Arabs.
> The attacks have targeted foreigners and the threats have been
> directed toward Afghans working for international organizations.
> Abdul Salam is a military commander for the government. Last month he
> was stopped at a Taliban checkpoint in the Shah Wali Kot district of
> Kandahar and became a witness to the killing of Munguia, a 39-year-old
> water engineer from El Salvador.
> After stopping Munguia and his three-vehicle convoy, gunmen made a
> phone call to Mullah Dadullah, a powerful former Taliban commander who
> happens to have an artificial leg provided by the Red Cross.
> Mimicking a telephone receiver by cupping a hand on his ear, Salam
> recalled the gunmen's side of the conversation.
> "I heard him say Mullah Dadullah," he said. "I heard him ask for
> When the conversation ended the Taliban moved quickly, Salam said.
> They shoved Munguia behind one of the vehicles, siphoned gasoline from
> the tanks and used it to set the vehicles on fire.
> Munguia was standing nearby. One Taliban raised his Kalashnikov rifle
> and fired at Manguia.
> Then they told the others: "You are working with kafirs (unbelievers).
> You are slaves of Karzai and Karzai is a slave to America."
> "This time we will let you go because you are Afghan," Salam
> remembered them saying, "but if we find you again and you are still
> working for the government we will kill you."
> In the latest killing in southern Afghanistan, gunmen on Thursday shot
> to death Haji Gilani, a close Karzai ally, in southern Uruzgan
> province. Gilani was one of the first people to shelter Karzai when he
> secretly entered Afghanistan to foment a rebellion against the Taliban
> in late 2001.
> International workers in Kandahar don't feel safe anymore and some
> have been moved from the Kandahar region to safer areas, said John
> Oerum, southwest security officer for the United Nations. But Oerum is
> trying to find a way to stay in southern Afghanistan. To abandon it
> would be to let the rebel forces win, he says.
> The Red Cross, with 150 foreign workers in Afghanistan, have suspended
> operations indefinitely.
> Today most Afghans say their National Army seems a distant dream while
> the U.S.-led coalition continues to feed and finance warlords for
> their help in hunting for Taliban and al-Qaida fighters.
> Karzai, the president's brother, says: "We have to pay more attention
> at the district level, build the administration. We know who these
> Taliban are, but we don't have the people to report them when they
> Khan Mohammed, commander of Kandahar's 2nd Corps, says his soldiers
> haven't been paid in seven months, and his fighting force has
> dwindled. The Kandahar police chief, Mohammed Akram, said he wants 50
> extra police in each district where the Taliban have a stronghold. But
> he says his police haven't been paid in months and hundreds have just
> gone home.
> "There is no real administration all over Afghanistan, no army, no
> police," said Mohammed. "The people do not want the Taliban, but we
> have to unite and build, but we are not."
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