I was engaged in a discussion amongst some people about the state of affairs in Afghanistan after reports had come out on Sunday about a border skirmish between Taliban and Iranian troops at the border with Iran. This had come after the explosion earlier in the day that would turn out to be the CIA blowing up Ayman al-Zawahiri I had made something of a tongue-in-cheek comment about the Taliban having such a bad day, and that it had seemed to me as though everybody hated them. I mean hell, they’ve been known to have deadly factional clashes amongst themselves. A short time later I received a rather eloquent message from someone who wanted to remain anonymous, and I thought that it warranted being published. This individual is a retired professional with a bachelor’s degree and has experience living and working in the Middle East and Central Asia, having been to a number of countries including Syria.
I had been impressed not only by the response but also by the fact that it had been crafted and sent to me with the utmost confidence in a relatively short period of time, telling me that they knew of what they spoke. They also speak plainly and at times use explicit language that might be offensive to some readers, therefore I highly recommend discretion for anyone proceeding beyond this point. While I have made some minor changes to the formatting and have included photos and illustrations in this piece, I have left the content itself unchanged. I will also state that the contents published herein do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of either myself or Invictus Bellator Media Corporation.
Certainly, they do.
The other “Stans” hate the current Afghan Taliban (the Talibs) regime because it fulfills and supports the grassroots Western fear-driven view of countries with “Crazy Islamic Governments” that they are all trying to distance themselves from. Iran hates them because of what they as a Pashtun-dominated, predominantly Sunni organization, have done to the Shia/Hazaras for decades (such as recent bombings in Western Kabul targeting Hazaras) and because they draw US attention. From the Iranian perspective, who wants another US base in Helmand, close enough for sneaky sneaky JSOC ninjas to do ground incursions into Iran without detection?
Turkey hates them because it’s a short leap of Canadian and US-based Republican/MAGA/Scared Liberal/Green/Democrat/Conservative/People’s Party of Canada faith to draw the conclusions that “Erdogan = Muslim dictator, Taliban=Muslim dictators, therefore Erdogan=Taliban = WHY DO WE GIVE AID TO TURKEY, OMG THE USA HAS A BASE THERE????? OMG CLOSE INCIRLIK, OMG WHY DO WE LET L3 FROM CANADA GIVE CAMERAS TO THE BAKTAYR DRONES…AAHHH TERROR!
And greater scrutiny on Turkey may just draw forward the skeletons of the Ottoman (Turkish) Armenian Genocide of 1915 onwards, and the ongoing long-standing persecution of ethnic Kurds by the Ottoman Empire and modern-day Turkey back into the media cycle. And then there will be questions…. Turkey doesn’t want that.
Russia hates them, well, because. So many books have been written on the subject, no need to mention it again here. That being said, would Russia try to exploit them as a lever against regional competitors? To keep the “Stans” off balance and a convenient buffer for Russia proper as it’s been since the days of the Tsars? To pressure Pakistan? To keep India off-balance? Absolutely. They may hate them… but would not be above using them.
Pakistan hates them because they are shrugging off/ignoring ISI and Pakistani “advice/influence”. These Talibs grew up seeing Pakistan sell them out daily by playing USA vs Pakistan vs Taliban/Afghan Armed Faction chess where the Afghans always lost. If these Taliban are truly devout they have to realize Pakistan’s long-standing duplicity, finally, and say “enough is enough… yes, you let HiG and others hide there for years, but you have been FUCKING US for years”. Pakistan, of course, will not like to be called on its duplicitous bullshit.
The Indians hate them because they are an unstable Islamic fanatic rulership in the region, and just because the Taliban hate the Pakistanis now, doesn’t mean that hate will stay hate, so therefore the Taliban can’t be trusted. This is bolstered by the fact that for religious and propaganda reasons, the Talibs need to hate the Indians on spec just because, so those feelings are mutual. It won’t stop India from making feelers into Afghanistan via aid and influence, to be a thorn in Pakistan’s side; if the Talibs rebuff India’s attempts… more reason to hate them.
Bangladesh hates the Taliban for causing the current refugee flood (think of Jordanian, Lebanese and Syrian feelings, reflected in their domestic policies towards Palestinian refugees that keep them impoverished, stateless and unable to own property) and because Western people (American Dems/Republicans and Euro Brexiteers and Greens, plus pretty much all Canadians with a limited view of the world) will look at a map and be like “OMFG Bangladesh is like 3cm away from Afghanistan on a map, so they might be ISLAMIC RADICALS THAT CRUSH HUMAN RIGHTS AND PERSECUTE LBGTQS++ PEOPLE and NOT EMBRACE GREEN ENERGY and MIGHT BE TERRORISTS so we CANNNOT GIVE THEM AID” so Bangladesh gets painted with the same brush and guess what no US/Western Aid Dollars for it. Plus the Talib recruits from Bangladesh and takes leave there while the Bangladeshi security service look the other way while pocketing the requisite bribe money proceeds.
China hates them because again, instability, the Talibs likely are not willing to follow directions from Beijing, may not let China exploit their resources, and are generally a regional pain in the ass that could give the USA another “Foot in the Door” into the region, and just after they finally left after 20 years!
The Gulf States.
The Gulf States hate the Talibs because FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT’S HOLY WILL YOU STOP WITH THIS JIHAD ALREADY YOU ARE FUCKING UP OUR OIL SALES AND IT’S EXHAUSTING TRYING TO PRETEND TO BE FRIENDS WITH THE USA AND KEEPING UP THE CHARADE OF THAT WHILE YOU FUCK THE USA OFF IN PUBLIC AND THEN CALL US YOUR FRIENDS… AT SOME POINT THEY MAY START NOTICING!!! The Gulf States, of course, particularly their more virulent and fundamentalist Wahabbist elements, want all Westerners dead or converted to Islam, but they don’t want that stated in public because it’s bad for business and hampers the cash flow. No cash, hard to buy a new Lamborghini… Again, closeness to Talibs, such as the Taliban offices in Qatar, makes them suspect in the eyes of concerned citizens from Des Moines Iowa, Tyrell, Texas, and Cleveland.
In the Great White North, no one in Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver or Toronto cares, nor does anyone in Red Deer, Iqaluit, Saint John or Revelstoke. Not that Canada’s thoughts or any lip service pontification by Canadian politicians would matter, because the Gulf States love current Canadian policies that hamstring Canada’s own domestic energy industry, essentially giving the Gulf States a ready, hungry energy market on a platter that they need make NO political concessions to access! Money talks… So they DON’T want the Talibs messing with cash flow!
NK hates the Talibs because they are subhumans who believe in the fairytale of Imaginary SkyGod which is anathema to the True Realism of Communism and the understanding that the Family Kim are the TRUE GODS. Plus, they are not orderly and are a chaotic society so worthy only of contempt. While not as morally corrupt as what the USA has done to their Brothers in the South, they still must be destroyed to ensure purity and order in the world. Plus, they may have much-needed resources, that NK will be unable to access under the Talib regime.
SK hates them because the US hates them and the last thing the SK wants are more fanatics on the doorstep, giving them another problem to deal with when “they know who the real enemy is” – ie The North and possibly China. They also hate the Talibs because they know that at some point the USA will get interested in quelling Afghan Terror again, which will draw attention, US Aid and diplomatic resolve away from supporting SK against NK and others, reducing their regional importance and making them stand more on their own vice relying on Big USA Brother whose attention is drawn away.
Also, Talibs in power and a failed Afghan state are not going to buy Samsung and LG appliances, Hyundai cars, trucks and equipment, Doosan excavators, paving machines and heavy equipment, which limits economic development and expansion, therefore it’s best they go so that the Afghan market can open up and benefit South Korea’s economy.
Australia hates the Talibs because they know that due to the recently-consummated Pacific Defence BroMance (that Canada was excluded from, and rightly because Canada, despite rhetoric, is a non-lifter in the Pacific and inept, less lip service, in all aspects of Defence) they will get sucked into the USA’s next intervention there, so they are like “Oh Crikey like Vietnam again… and Iraq… and Afghanistan, fuck that shyte mate, we got to think about the Indonesians, sort the Solomon Islands out and get rid of these fackin migrants”. So they just don’t relish the thought of getting involved in that Afghan quagmire (some may describe it as a shower of shit) again, which they will if the USA goes in.
Plus, Australians killing Muslims in Afghanistan gives their greatest regional rival, Indonesia (the reason why Australia bought F-111 fighter-bombers, so they could fly them over Jakarta as needed and maybe influence the Indonesians with some High Explosive bombs If needed), a great source of diplomatic and regional influence ammunition to use against “Australian White Christian Commonwealth Colonizer Aggression” on the world stage, therefore opening Australia up to terror attacks from like-minded Western-influence-hating groups all over.
Singapore… like AC/DC says, Money Talks. Sucking interest into a worthless desert in SouthWest Asia draws attention from the Pacific Commons where Singapore’s economy needs the attention, US dollars, oil tanker transit money, wharfage fees, brokerage fees and the umbrella of security that US Carrier Battle Groups interested in playing Maritime Chess with China provide to Singapore. Carriers in the Indian Ocean flying air strikes into Afghanistan are less helpful.
Ukraine and the Caspian Region… They are the latest members (with Syria’s rebels) of the “hey the Russians and Russian Proxies attacked us too and keep doing bad things, help us”. Drawing attention and money from them back into Afghanistan is a bad thing when they are looking for arms and reconstruction money. Now, Ukraine, everyone can agree, is in a terrible situation. However, as seen in Afghanistan, particularly the disastrous Western (ie USA) withdrawal from Afghanistan, and how many countries, including Canada as one of the worst culprits, have, to be clear, fucked over their Afghan former employees, military and police proxies and refugees, thoughts/prayers and Strongest Possible Condemnation and Support today mean NOTHING for tomorrow, and I’m sure Ukraine realizes this. Right now, Ukraine is the flavour of the day. It won’t last. If the penny drops and attentions pivot back to the “urgent need to defeat the Taliban”, Ukraine will become a bullet point on a briefing slide.
So in the long game, once Russia declares defeat and shows itself as well and truly finished, and/or collapses, will divide attention away from Ukraine’s need for reconstruction money, aid, etc, particularly if the West turns to a Mission of Mercy/Reconstruction (ie the 2024 version of the Marshall Plan) to reconstruct a collapsed and unstable nuclear-armed Russia. Concurrently, if the Talibs continue with their ways, the hungry-for-weapons-release Western Military Machine that didn’t get to drop a lot of ordnance in Ukraine will want to get Back Into The War Business and send its sons and daughters back into the Hindu Kush. This will be bad for Ukraine – they could get squeezed out and forgotten if the attention is divided between “Build Back Better” for Russia and “defeat Terrorist, Human Rights Abusing Dictators in Afghanistan”. We all know how that goes.
Well, Israel has, for its entire existence, posited itself to the West (after being rebuffed by the Soviet Union in the 1950s) as the “friend” that says “Hey, we need to be your primary for you to everything to give to us, we are the true front line against Islamic terror that keeps you safe”. But the Talibs might consider giving Hamas, PLO, PFLP, Hezbollah (although they are filthy Shia unbelievers that the Talib would love to exterminate, to White People, they are all stinky scary bearded guys that beat women and want to blow themselves up), Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other GoodTime Fun Guys a run for their money.
And that is NO GOOD for Israel. The world needs to focus, from the Israeli perspective, on the Greatest Threat to Israel, ensure it’s also seen as Greatest Threat to the USA, to ensure that free F35s, Iron Dome rockets, M109s, F16s, F15s, HIMARS, MLRS, communications intercept, digital surveillance and satellite intelligence keep flowing unhindered into Israel. Therefore, a Talib government that can actually govern and is coherent is a HUGE THREAT to Israel’s place in the world and its position as the “world’s greatest Victim that USA and Germany and Europe need to fund and cater to”. Better for them if the Afghans are just another collection of starving barefooted Muslims, like Palestinians but thankfully with no land claims in the West Bank to have to deal with. The Afghans? Fuck ’em says Chaim from Ramat Gan, Dorit from Azur, and Shlomo from Ashdod… we are the Chosen People and the USA and World need to keep showing that by giving us money and weapons.
Better for Israel to have a hostile terrorist Syria on their flank to tug at the Park Slope heartstrings and bank accounts in NYC than have to take action themselves, action which isn’t Cordon and Search operations on Palestinian villages and shooting kids throwing rocks which, as seen in the 2006 Hezbollah/Israel Rocket War facing an armed and determined enemy, they kind of suck at.
So from the Israeli perspective, having the West crush the Talibs and keep Afghanistan a stone age puppet state, but Free of ISLAMIC TERROR, plus keeping a hostile but ineffective Syria on the doorstep to enhance the Victim Culture that keeps Western money flowing and gives Israel carte blanche for assassination, murder, atrocities and use of heavy weapons in densely populated areas in Gaza and the West Bank and Ramallah and Bethlehem and Nazareth and Beit Jinn to “stop Palestinian Terrorists” without too much oversight is the best option. Therefore… need to hate the Taliban!
Syria. Under the radar now, Assad is like “yeah everybody leave me alone, I’ll continue to gas my own population and fly my Russian-supplied gunships to rocket urban areas where the “terrorists” are when I FEEL LIKE IT.” Sucks for Assad if Russia collapses and Turkey gets tired of Syria’s shit and takes the gloves off. But likely it won’t happen, the USA will keep Turkey on the leash. However, if the Talibs get sporty and aggressive, someone like the Toms (Ricks or L. Friedman) or a place like the Centre for a New American Security think tank will start talking again about the “New Axis Of Evil” and you bet they’ll line up Syria with the Taliban government again, to justify and demand crossing “red lines”… and Tomahawks will fly…
So Syria will get hit with the splatter of Western hand-wringing “OMFG The Taliban are EVIL and DANGEROUS”, of course, players like Israel will feed that because why have half the Golan Heights when you can have all of it…. plus everything else up to the Litani River in the North and the Euphrates in the East (ie the State That Will No Longer Exist That Was Once Called Syria) as the Greater Eretz Israel, if given permission (plus significant continuing military aid) to do so, in order to ensure “Security” against “Terror”. While extremely unlikely to happen, the culturally-ingrained Baath Party suspicion of Israel’s desire to occupy and destroy Syria colours a lot of thinking as it has since the days of Assad Senior and his struggle to rule, hence, not wanting the undue attention that the Talibs can bring to the region and the convenient “Axis of Evil” regrouping popping up again. It would be best for all in that region if the whole “Syria/Talib” issue is not linked and causes bloodshed. In conclusion…
Whew. I’m done.. for now. But that’s the world as I see it in real-person terms, not couched in the flowery and obtuse Nadsat-speak favoured by International Relations experts. To me, it does not really serve any of the players to have the Talibs be effective in governing, whether they are a terror-focused government or not. Like neighbourhood kids who want to keep a vacant lot in the hood to play in, find dead things in, drink stolen beers, light fires, in short a place where no one really cares too much what happens, that’s what the World and Region want for Afghanistan. A vacant lot is best for all because it doesn’t mess with the established order of things, or cause the upset that the 20+ years in Afghanistan before caused to the flow of aid, arms and attention to those “long-standing” players in the game who feel they deserve the attention of Rich Western Countries vice them wasting money dropping Hellfires on illiterate 15-year-olds putting bombs in the road.
Food for thought…. have a happy day, comrades!