KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Two Afghan officials say President Ashraf Ghani has left the country.
The officials, one from former President Hamid Karzai’s office and another an aide on the Afghan security council, told The Associated Press that Ghani left Sunday. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to brief journalists.
Ghani left along with his National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib and a second close associate. It wasn’t immediately clear where they went.
Meanwhile, the Taliban said it would further enter Kabul on Sunday night after spending hours on the city’s outskirts.Seir, Ahmad, Rahim Faiez, Tameem Akhgar, Jon Gambrell. “Officials: Afghan president has left the country.” AP, August 15, 2021.
While ordinary Afghani cower within or flee their presence, the Taliban appear to have just won their chance to further fail and horrify Afghanistan.
The Taliban were born when Mullah Omar took revenge on a tank crew and its commander for the rape of two village girls. The crew were killed and the commander as well by hanging him from his own tank barrel. Omar then fled with his band to recruit an army of resistance to the then Soviet invasion.
Most who have followed Afghanistan from the Cold War forward know that story and the subsequent arming of the mujaheddin, the defeat of the Soviet Army, the mirroring CIA retreat from the theater, and the final bankrupting of Soviet Union and the opening of the gangway for the lawless of Russia for 1992. At the time, I believe — unless corrected — the mujaheddin were left with their ideologies and weapons and a broken nation that would then be subdued by arms, but in an interesting turnabout, that loose energy would fall to Russian encouragement. The situation would be analogous to clearing a house of burglars only to leave one’s own gun out on the dining room table.
Ayman al-Zawahiri appears to have been by mutual intent detained in Russia at the end of 1996 and released to travel to Afghanistan in 1997. By 1998, he and Osama Bin Laden would have a deal plus funding plus manpower motivated against the west and would three years later deliver “9/11“. For the big recap of the narrative that followed, see Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). “The U.S. War in Afghanistan: 1999-2021. Here’s the copy at the end of that piece —
April 14, 2021
Biden Decides on Complete U.S. Withdrawal by 9/11
President Biden announces that the United States will not meet the deadline set under the U.S.-Taliban agreement to withdraw all troops by May 1 and instead releases a plan for a full withdrawal by September 11, 2021. “It’s time to end America’s longest war,” he says. The remaining 3,500 troops in Afghanistan will be withdrawn regardless of whether progress is made in intra-Afghan peace talks or the Taliban reduces its attacks on Afghan security forces and citizens. NATO troops in Afghanistan will also leave. Biden says Washington will continue to assist Afghan security forces and support the peace process. The Taliban says it will not participate in “any conference” on Afghanistan’s future until all foreign troops leave.
What have the Afghani People to look forward to under Taliban rule?
Compelled affirmation of archaic attitudes and beliefs enforced by continuous surveillance, intimidation, and violence — Afghanistan has just been returned to the status of a medieval theocracy;
Feudal-medieval conflict as religious principles fail to resolve personal, tribal, state, and international disputes or temper the criminality and greed that have corrupted not only the politics of the state but have seen the most unsavory of receipts fill the Taliban’s own war chest.
Afghanistan’s women will be diminished as persons, conservative or modern, and again mastered by a patriarchy infamous for its cruelties and most unbalanced and terrifying “guidance” as laid out by Islamic law.
Coren, Anna, Sandi Sidhu, Tim Lister, and Abdul Basir Bina. “Taliban fighters execute 22 Afghan commandos as they try to surrender.” CNN, July 14, 2021.
Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). “The U.S. War in Afghanistan: 1999-2021.
Felbab-Brown, Vanda. “Drugs, security, and counternarcotics policies in Afghanistan.” Brookings, October 29, 2020.
Goodhand, Jonathan. “What the Taliban’s advance in Afghanistan means for the global drug trade.” Scroll.In, August 13, 2021.
Haider, Mobarak. Taliban: The Tip of a Holy Iceberg. Create Space Independent Publishing Platform, May 16, 2010.
Mohamed, Hamza and Ramy Allahoum. “President Ashraf Ghani leaves Afghanistan: Live”. Al Jazeera, August 15, 2021.
Sanger, David E. and Helene Cooper. “Taliban Sweep in Afghanistan Follows Years of U.S. Miscalculations.” The New York Times, August 15, 2021.
Schindler, John. “Exploring Al Qaeda’s Murky Connection to Russian Intelligence.” Business Insider, June 10, 2014.
Shamoun, Sam. “Compel them or Not?” Answering Islam, n.d.
Shamoun, Sam. “Fighting All People Until They Do What?” Answering Islam. n.d.
Ward, Alexander, Paul McLeary, Lara Seligman, David Cohen. “Taliban seize power amid chaos in Kabul.” Politico, August 15, 2021.