Project for the New American Century

Owen Byrne 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.

Owen

http://www.salon.com/news/wire/2003/04/07/taliban/index.html

> Taliban reviving structure in Afghanistan
>
> - - - - - - - - - - - -
> *By KATHY GANNON*
>
> print 
> <http://www.salon.com/news/wire/2003/04/07/taliban/print.html>e-mail 
> <http://www.salon.com/news/wire/2003/04/07/taliban/email.html>
>
> 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 
> business."
>
> 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 
> instructions."
>
> 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 
> return."
>
> 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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