Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tribal Trouble

Gwynne Dyer's sources for an understanding of the Taliban seem to be Pushtun. She believes that the Taliban are a force because the Pushtuns of Afghanistan have been shut out of the system. Certainly the Taliban are an essentially Pushtun movement but it seems to me it is not merely an ethnic movement, as it has been supported and even trained by Al Qaeda elements, whose agendas are more universal than Pushtun sovereignty. Below is a summary of Dyer's article; Since we cannot be on the ground it is worth at least listening to what she has to say. RLC

Egypt Today
By Gwynne Dyer

"Fighting with the Taliban will not cease until Afghanistan's largest minority, the Pashtun, are welcomed into the leadership fold"
"Washington had the wit to make Hamid Karzai, a Pashtun from a clan that never had much to do with the Taliban, its puppet president in Kabul, but this didn't carry through. Instead they froze out the prominent Pashtun political and religious leaders who had had dealings with the Taliban — which was, of course, almost all of them."
"The United States had so closely identified the Taliban with Al-Qaeda (even though bin Laden probably never told the Taliban leadership what he was planning) that it would not talk to Pashtun leaders who had been linked to the Taliban. Six years after the `invasion that
wasn't,' the Pashtuns are still largely frozen out. That is why the Taliban are coming back."
"Afghanistan has usually been run by regional and tribal warlords with little central control; nothing new there. But now it is also a country where the biggest minority has been largely excluded from power by foreign invaders who sided with the smaller minorities and then blocked the process of accommodation by which the various Afghan ethnic groups normally make power-sharing deals."

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