"Something of a catchall term for loosely affiliated insurgents without a singular command structure. Often, the Afghan government favors the phrase 'enemies of the state' (New York Times July 24, 2007)."
"The Taliban is growing and creating new alliances not because its sectarian religious practices have become popular, but because it is the only available umbrella for national liberation," says Pakistani historian and political commentator Tariq Ali. "As the British and the Soviets discovered to their cost in the preceding two centuries, Afghans never like being occupied."
Also see: Afghanistan's Other Government
And today, readers?
"More and more, people here look back to the era of harsh Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001, describing it as a time of security and peace."
Oh, oh, oh!!!! I'm so offended!!!
Oh, AMERICA should LEAVE RIGHT NOW and APOLOGIZE PROFUSELY for all the MURDER and DESTRUCTION they have caused!!!!!
Oh!!!! And btw, 9/11 an INSIDE JOB so NO MATTER WHAT YOU THINK of them, they are INNOCENTS!!! ALL of them!!!!!
"As Crime Increases in Kabul, So Does Nostalgia for Taliban" by Pamela Constable, Washington Post | September 25, 2008
KABUL -- Mirza Kunduzai, 58, a slight man with a short white goatee, had almost reached his house after a day of trading in the capital's open-air currency market when his taxi was forced to stop by six heavily armed men dressed in Afghan National Army uniforms.
For the next week, Kunduzai recounted, he endured one horror after another -- beaten unconscious, hooded and handcuffed, strung up by his wrists and ankles, dumped in a filthy latrine -- while his family frantically tried to raise the kidnappers' astronomical ransom demand of $2 million.
"I was 95 percent sure I was a dead man," Kunduzai said last week. "They said if my family went to the police, they would chop off my fingers and send them to my wife. I begged them to be reasonable. I offered them my house and my farmland back home. Finally, they agreed to settle for $500,000 and released me. I am poor again, but I am thankful to be alive."
While Taliban insurgents stage increasing attacks in the Afghan countryside, equally fast-expanding violent crime -- kidnappings, carjackings, drug-related killings and highway robberies -- is plaguing the capital of 5 million and the vital truck and bus routes that connect the country's major cities. It is making some Afghans nostalgic for the low-crime days before 2001, when the Taliban sternly ruled most of the country.
In the streets and shops of this sprawling city, many residents say they have virtually stopped going out at night. Although Taliban fighters routinely hang and behead people in rural areas, the growth of crime and the lack of justice are the reasons most frequently cited by Afghans who support the reconstituted Islamist militia. More and more, people here look back to the era of harsh Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001, describing it as a time of security and peace.
Mohammed Hussain, 40, was driving one of two passenger buses traveling together on a lonely stretch of highway from Herat to Kabul last week when heavily armed men attacked about 4 a.m. The gang shot at Hussain's fleeing bus, leaving bullet holes in the windows, and stopped the second bus, forcing it off the road and into a village. There they searched every passenger at gunpoint, confiscating money and jewelry.
"I was lucky. I had 57 passengers, including women and children," Hussain said. "The thieves wait for us in the dark, and they have powerful weapons. If we go to the police for help, they are either scared or involved in crime themselves. In the Taliban time, the roads were totally safe. You could drive anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day. Now, you take your life in your hands every time you leave on a trip."
It's what is called "Bush's Liberation" around here.
Oh, what a MASS-MURDERING FAILURE!!
O' Afghanis, I am SO SORRY!!