Sunday, 20 September 2009

Mullah Omar remains silent on the big questions

Mullah Mohammad Omar, leader of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, has issued a message for Eid ul-Fitr, which you can find here in its entirety. The message, directed towards Afghans, particularly those who still show loyalty towards the Karzai regime, makes Mullah Omar sound almost like a paragon of reason.
"The rampant corruption in the surrogate Kabul administration, the embezzlement, drug trafficking, the existence of mafia networks, the tyranny and high-handed ness of the warlords, and spread and increase of the centers of obscenity being materialized as per the previously contemplated plans, are part of the colonial ambitious and conspiratorial accords." Ignoring the syntax and hyperbole, Mullah Omar clearly has a point.
He says that a new government will act to help develop the country: "The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has distinctive and useful plans for the future of Afghanistan under the shade of the just social system of Islam after the withdrawal of the foreign forces. They include rehabilitation of social and economic infrastructure, advancement and development of the educational sector, industrialization of the country and development of agriculture."
Not only that, but anyone acting wrongly (see my article about the new Taliban rule book below) will be purged. And what about the usual question raised in relation to women and education? "They have wrongly depicted us as a force being against education and women’s rights. They also accuse us of our being a threat to the countries of the world. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan wants to clear away all these doubts provided a conducive atmosphere is available."
It all sound rather wonderful, but Mullah Omar remains silent about his organisation's relationship with the Pakistan military, its dependence on money and men from Arabia, its drug dealing, its use of small boys to carry out suicide bombings and, most importantly - for many in the West - its relationship with al-Qaeda.
Not that any of that will put off many Afghans. If the perception continues to grow that the West will lose in Afghanistan, many who are now neutral will begin to reconsider their position. We are only just beginning to understand how asymmetric, asymmetric warfare can be.

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