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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Taliban take Kabul

by our Asian Affairs correspondent

TALIBAN FORCES have taken over Afghanistan following the seizure of the capital, Kabul, on Sunday. The Afghan president has fled the country and thousands of others rushed to Kabul’s international airport in desperate, but largely futile, attempts to board aircraft leaving the country.

US President Joe Biden, who accelerated the evacuation drawn up by the previous Trump administration, told the public that American forces should not have to die in a war that Afghan troops were not willing to fight themselves. But Amrullah Saleg, the former deputy president, has launched a new resistance movement in the Panjshir valley that is controlled by the powerful Massoud clan.

The American occupation that began in 2001 has ended in a rout, with American troops scrambling to evacuate thousands of US diplomats and their local agents from the US embassy in Kabul.

The sectarian Muslim Taliban militia now controls virtually all the country following deals with the northern and western warlords that gave them seats in a Taliban-led “transitional government”, which it is believed will also include former president Hamid Karzai.

Ashraf Ghani, the venal puppet president that even Karzai branded a “traitor” in 2017, packed his bags and fled to the airport in a helicopter and a convoy of cars stashed with cash. He’s now believed to be living in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where money talks wherever it comes from.

shutters down

Meanwhile, the shutters of the imperialist embassies are coming down as the Western diplomatic corps leaves town, along with the chosen few allowed to board American military transports. Even the US army’s guard dogs and their food were flown out of the capital’s airport.

Others were not so lucky. Thousands of collaborators and those simply fearful of the return of Taliban ‘justice’ tried to storm the few remaining flights from the airport, which is still under US control. Some died after attempting to cling onto an aeroplane ferrying the chosen few out of the country. At least two were seen falling as the jet climbed into the sky. Others were shot as US troops cleared the runway and tried to restore some semblance of order in the passenger terminal buildings.

Despite reports of round-ups in the capital, the Taliban leaders say there will be no reprisals against former members of the Afghan army and supporters of the puppet regime.

The Taliban say the rights of women in Afghanistan will be respected and that women will be allowed to continue working “within the framework of Islamic law”. But others say that Taliban militiamen are already telling women students to go back home and ordering companies to sack any female employees to make way for male workers.

When the Taliban were last in power only three countries, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, recognised their Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Their second “Emirate” may do better. Taliban envoys have been busy trying to win international acceptance over the last few months. The Pakistanis have long recognised the Taliban movement. Bangladesh, China, Russia and Saudi Arabia may now soon join them if the new Afghan government accepts international norms of conduct.

The fall of Kabul is seen by many as a sweeping defeat for US imperialism. But not all Muslims share that view. One of them is Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of the Chechen Republic in the Russian Federation and a staunch support of President Putin. He says the Taliban are ultimately controlled by Washington and their victory is “another American scam against Muslims”.

“America has come up with another scam against Muslims. They said they would never get out of [Afghanistan], and now they’ve abandoned everyone and run away” and the Chechen leader, who is a devout Muslim, says the Taliban cannot be trusted.