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Posts Tagged ‘loya jirga

MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – 16 Nov 11

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  • Afghanistan (1)  Toronto Star columnist becomes legal rep for teenager wanting student visa to attend school in Canada.
  • Afghanistan (2)  Someone (I’m guessing) in Ottawa is pissed at how ‘terps trying to come to Canada are being handled“Frustration is growing in government ranks that Ottawa is falling down on its vow to help Afghan interpreters and their families find a new life in Canada. “I would say longstanding and growing frustration,” a senior official said this week after the Star highlighted the plight. The target of that frustration is the Citizenship and Immigration department, which critics say is dragging its feet on a Conservative vow to help Afghans who helped the Canadian mission in Kandahar resettle in Canada. “There is a moral obligation to do the right thing here and it’s unfortunate that CIC doesn’t feel this way,” said the official, who asked to remain anonymous ….”
  • Afghanistan (3a)  Canadian Info-Machine officer Commodore Bill Truelove Taliban losing a grip on its troops“The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has said that “the Taliban leadership has lost control of their organization.” During an operational update by representatives from the ISAF headquarters and NATO on Monday, Canadian Commodore Bill Truelove, Deputy Director of the ISAF Communication Directorate, said the Taliban carried out several attacks recently in spite of the Afghan Eid holiday. “Over the past week, the Taliban showed their blatant disregard for this holy celebration through a series of attacks resulting in the deaths of many innocent civilians,” he told reporters in Kabul. Truelove said the attacks occurred after senior Taliban leaders issued specific orders to their troops, directing them to stop killing innocent Afghan civilians. “Still, enemy forces are realizing they are sacrificing their lives for a cause that is not just and under leaders who have no concern for this country or its people,” he added ….”
  • Afghanistan (3b)  Does one Taliban post including alleged security plans for a major meeting (link to copy of post at non-terrorist site) constitute a “propaganda war”?  “Afghanistan’s propaganda wars are becoming almost as intense as the actual fighting, as all sides jockey for position ahead of an anticipated NATO withdrawal in 2014. On Sunday, the Taliban took their psychological operations to a new level when they attempted to derail a loya jirga, or national council, Hamid Karzai, the Afghan President, has called for Wednesday. This will discuss future U.S. troop withdrawals and possible peace talks with 2,000 community and tribal leaders. In addition to the usual threats to assassinate anyone who attends the meeting, the Taliban have published what they claim are highly classified documents detailing security arrangements for the council, scheduled to be held at the Polytechnical University in western Kabul ….”
  • Afghanistan (4)  Senator Pamela Wallin on the training mission“…. Canada has engaged in what is an incredible act of faith, inspired by the knowledge that if we educate and train the next generation of citizens and soldiers we will truly be giving peace – and Afghanistan – a chance.”
  • Afghanistan (5)  “International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo says his office will be releasing a report in the coming weeks that will decide whether to launch a formal investigation into Canada’s treatment of Afghan detainees, among other things. “There are serious allegations of crimes committed by different parties,” he said in an exclusive interview with Postmedia News during a stop at the University of Ottawa on Tuesday. “We are trying to find who is really allegedly responsible for crimes to check if there’s a need for us to investigate or not.” Moreno-Ocampo said his report will not specifically focus on Canada’s treatment of detainees in Afghanistan, but all crimes allegedly committed in that country and seven others. Most allegations, he added, are against the Taliban, but all claims are being looked at ….”
  • Canadian Forces reservists can face extra hardships after returning from deployments, researchers say. Difficulty finding employment and poor post-mission communications between reservists and military units are major barriers to soldiers reintegrating into civilian life. The findings of a study by Defence Research and Development Canada in Toronto were presented at the second annual Canadian Military and Veteran Health Research Forum in Kingston. The study involved 125 Canadian reserve soldiers who returned from an overseas deployment. The troops were contacted six to eight months after returning and about one-quarter of them took part in the 20-minute electronic survey. The results showed many reservists struggle to find work following their deployments. The lack of work added greatly to their struggle to reintegrate themselves into civilian life, said researcher Donna Pickering Tuesday afternoon ….”  A bit more on the Forum here, and the latest, updated (as of yesterday) CF Info-Machine backgrounder on PTSD here.
  • Another research tidbit from the same conference:  Almost one-quarter of a group of frontline soldiers sent to fight in Afghanistan in 2007 have been diagnosed with mental health problems, according to a new study by the Canadian Forces. The figure shines a light on the psychological risks facing Canada’s battle-hardened veterans not only in CFB Gagetown, where the study was conducted, but at CFB Petawawa in Ontario, CFB Edmonton in Alberta, CFB Valcartier in Quebec and at other major military bases where soldiers have deployed in great numbers over the last few years. The study of 792 members of the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment, found 23.1 per cent of soldiers who served in Kandahar four years ago were now being treated for their mental health problems. One in five of those soldiers have been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, one of the chief health risks to Canadian soldiers after a decade of combat in Afghanistan. The study was presented Tuesday at a military health-care conference (in Kingston) that is bringing together some of the country’s best minds to share the latest research on how to help soldiers with broken minds and bodies ….”
  • After almost five years of legal wrangling, Dennis Manuge says he’s relieved that Canada’s disabled veterans are finally getting their day in court. “How I feel about it is a little bit of relief and absolute faith in the justice system that we are going to begin to have our case (heard),” he said Tuesday. Manuge, of Musquodoboit Harbour, N.S., is the representative plaintiff in a lawsuit against the federal government that alleges it is illegally clawing back the long-term disability insurance benefits of injured veterans. The Federal Court in Halifax will begin hearing arguments Wednesday in the class action, which could potentially affect the benefits of as many as 6,000 injured veterans ….”
  • A reminder:  For the sixth year in a row, friends and families of Canadian troops deployed overseas will be able to send their holiday letters and parcels for free via Canada Post. The program, which started in 2006, has delivered close to 90,000 parcels to members of the Canadian Forces serving overseas in war zones. With capacity limitations on military aircraft carrying supplies to deployed forces, this program is restricted to family and friends of the deployed service men and women serving overseas in war zones. Troops serving on any of the deployed Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships are also included in the program. Canada Post will accept regular parcels free of charge to designated Canadian Forces Bases overseas from October 17, 2011 until January 13, 2012. Lettermail weighing up to 500 grams to deployed troops can be sent free of charge until December 31, 2012.”  More from Canada Post here.
  • Canada’s mission to help Jamaica is wrapping up – safe travels home, folks!  More on OP Jaguar here.
  • Haiti’s efforts to restore its disbanded army could deplete resources from more pressing matters in the Caribbean nation, which is still recovering from the massive earthquake that killed hundreds of thousands of people almost two years ago, a Canadian diplomat said Tuesday. John Babcock, a spokesman for Canadian Minister of State of Foreign Affairs Diane Ablonczy, said in an email to The Associated Press that Haiti’s decision to create a second security force is a sovereign right but that its formation “seems premature” because of the difficult living conditions that many Haitians still face following the January 2010 earthquake. “Canada fears that creating a second security force will significantly reduce resources available for Haiti’s other important priorities,” one of them being the need to strengthen Haiti’s national police department, Babcock wrote. Haitian President Michel Martelly is moving ahead with a plan to restore the national army that was disbanded in 1995, and recruiting an initial force of 500 troops would cost an estimated $25 million. Babcock said Tuesday Canada wouldn’t help pay for a second security force, echoing sentiments of foreign diplomats who told Martelly in October they wouldn’t fund the force ….”  Here’s a bit of what Canada’s done for Haiti’s police force, as well as the official line on our relations with Haiti.
  • Way Up North  More on how expensive it could be to keep troops in the north (again with no disclosure of “obtained” documents).
  • At least one Canadian Press reporter is not personally averse to the idea of sharing documents obtained through Access to Information Act requests, even if his employer doesn’t seem to be using available technology to make that happen yet – one can hope….
  • F-35 Tug o’ War  “U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has warned the F-35 project will be scrapped if a congressional “super committee” doesn’t come up with a credible plan to reduce the U.S. federal deficit by next week. Opposition parties in Ottawa jumped on the comments Tuesday, accusing the federal government of continuing to bury its head in the sand as the stealth fighter program suffers ever-increasing amounts of turbulence. But the government again stood firm, saying Panetta’s comments were in response to internal U.S. politics while expressing fresh confidence in the controversial military jet being delivered to Canada on time and on budget ….”  More on Canada continuing to stand behind its decision here, and how it could cost way more if the U.S. cancels here.
  • As the nuclear crisis over Iran heats up, Canada is veering toward a dangerous place. Israel is again contemplating a military attack on Iran to prevent its developing atomic weapons. This time it’s not clear that U.S. President Barack Obama can forestall the Jewish state …. In the past, Canada would have happily stayed on the sidelines …. Under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, however, Canada has taken a more militant approach to international affairs. His support for Israel has been rock-hard. He has also shown himself willing to deploy Canada’s small but effective military in combat operations the government deems politically useful …. In short, both sides now see the nuclear issue as life or death. The question for nations like Canada is not which country we like more but which alternative is worse. Is it better to let Iran follow in the footsteps of the U.S., France, Britain, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea by acquiring nuclear weapons? Or is better to unleash another Mideast war?”
  • A bit of Canadian aviation history will become a bit of a British monument honouring Bomber Command (PDF).  “A Royal Canadian Air Force C-17 Transport (landed) in Lethbridge, Alberta on Remembrance Day to pick up 800 pounds of aluminum that was once part of a wartime RCAF Halifax Bomber. The metal will become part of a £6,000,000 Bomber Command Memorial currently under construction in Green Park, London. The aluminum is being provided by the Bomber Command Museum of Canada to draw attention to the fact that 10,000 of the over 55,000 airmen lost with Bomber Command during World War II were Canadians. Halifax Bomber LW682 was part of 426 “Thunderbird” Squadron RCAF. It was shot down in 1944 and crashed into a swamp in Belgium. The seven Canadians and one Briton aboard were killed. The bodies of three of the Canadian airmen, missing in action and entombed in the Halifax bomber, were recovered in 1997 and given a full military funeral in Gerarrdsbergen, Belgium. The recovered parts of the Halifax were all saved and brought to Canada. Some of the parts were used in the restoration of the Halifax currently on display at Trenton, Ontario. The unusable aluminum was saved due to the rarity and heritage of this RCAF metal and was then melted down into ingots to be used into the future for Air Force Memorials, plaques, and statues by the Bomber Command Museum of Canada ….”
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TALIBAN PROPAGANDA WATCH – 040400UTC Nov 11

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NOTE:  Do NOT click on a link to the Taliban’s or other terrorist web pages if you don’t want the webmasters to see your computer’s IP number. This material is from web pages and forums carrying statements attributed to the Taliban, Taliban spokespersons or supporters of the Taliban, or analysis thereof. Posting of this material neither confirms nor endorses any of its content – it is shared for information only. When material translated into English is not available, Google Translate is used to translate the original  – this is only a machine translation, NOT an official one.


The recent American casualties in Kabul and the upcoming bogus Jirga!! – Screen capture of full statement at Scribd.com

Monday, 31 October 2011 18:12

A powerful martyrdom attack took place 3 days ago in Kabul city’s Darul Amaan area targeting the trainers and mentors of ANA of Kabul administration which resulted in the death of 25 American invaders while several others were severely wounded. American sources also confirmed this figure and put the death toll at 13 in the initials hours of the attack, later correcting that number to 18 killed.

Americans received this heavy blow while there are still two weeks left before the congregation of the bogus Loya Jirga (National Assembly) to be held in Kabul city, from which it wants to gain the approval and vote of confidence of the Jirga’s hired members on the supposed Strategic Partnership, the main point of it being the long term presence of Americans in Afghanistan.

Everyone understands that this spectacle of Loya Jirga and the agreements signed therein on Strategic Partnership hold no diplomatic quiddity and legal value. This action only lays the groundwork for the continuation of American occupation and paves the way for an American lordship over the national, economical, cultural political and social values of Afghans and props up Afghanistan as a threat for the region and neighbors.

America has not achieved anything in the past ten years of its barbarism and military pressure while all of its tactics have been rendered useless one after the other. Now it wants to bring something to hand with its political and dramatic plots, Loya Jirga embodying a part of that drama.

The Afghan people have been a witnesses to America’s behavior towards our religion, culture, independence and national inviolables. How many of our weak Afghans, women, children and elders have been martyred in the blind aerial bombardments and raids and how many others have been tortured in the black prisons. And the Afghans have also seen the degree of advancement in their economy and their fare share of security and stability in the past ten years!!

American has been shaken economically and its people have been forced to take to the streets due to destitution and financial woes. So what can American afford to give out and bestow on the Afghans in such a shriveled state!!?

The Muslim Afghan nation has a firm belief that the occupiers are in a state of collapse and desertion. The moral of its soldiers has dwindled. The effectiveness of its war machine and technological tactics has been diminished. They have lost all trust in the army and security apparatus of Kabul regime and on the other hand are facing the blows of effective Mujahideen onslaughts every other day, a clear sample of which was the attack the other day. All of these point out that the invaders have lost their nerves and if this condition continues in the same manner and the strikes of Mujahideen continue with such power and effectiveness than America will, with the help of Allah, furl its colonial net to a great degree in a few months and will turn its back on the agreements signed in the fraudulent Jirgas which is only being performed to keep the minds busy!!

We believe that as long as the occupying troops are in Afghanistan and as long as they don’t accept the realities and start withdrawing as soon as possible; no other tactic will work in their favor and this is an indisputable fact that their exit will only benefit the whole region and the whole world.


TALIBAN PROPAGANDA WATCH (RC South) – 030115UTC Jun 10

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NOTE: This material is from web pages and forums carrying statements attributed to the Taliban, Taliban spokespersons or supporters of the Taliban, or analysis thereof. Posting of this material neither confirms nor endorses any of its content – it is shared for information only. When material translated into English is not available, Google Translate is used to translate the original  – this is only a machine translation, NOT an official one.


5 NATO cowardly troops killed or wounded in Kandahar

Wednesday, 02 June 2010 19:44 Qari Yousuf Ahmadi
KANDHAR, June 02 – About three NATO invaders were killed and two injured Tuesday, 11: pm local time, when a roadside bomb tore through their foot patrol in Arghandab district of Kandahar province. A trained dog of the enemy is said to have been killed in the bombing.

Three puppet police killed in Kandahar

Wednesday, 02 June 2010 19:44 Qari Yousuf Ahmadi
KANDAHAR, June 01 – A motorcycle bomb attack in Kandahar city killed three cowardly policemen of the minion regime Tuesday, 9: pm local time, Mujahideen officials said.  According to the report from the province, the motorbike was parked outside the police post and detonated through remotely-controlled devices damaging also the building of the post besides causing the enemy fatalities and casualties.

Enemy vehicle blown up in Kandahar

Wednesday, 02 June 2010 19:42 Qari Yousuf Ahmadi
KANDAHAR, June 02 – A blast in Kandahar’s Maiwand district hit and caused a vehicle of the army of puppet regime to be smashed into pieces Wednesday (June 02), killing about 5 enemy minions.

Us invaders under siege in Zhari, Kandahar

Wednesday, 02 June 2010 19:41 Qari Yousuf Ahmadi
KANDAHAR, June 01 – A number of the American terrorist soldiers, airdropped by the helicopters Tuesday into Zhari district of the province so as to carry out operation against Mujahideen, came under Mujahideen attack which caused the invaders to be caught in a deserted compound in the area. There were clashes between Mujahideen and US invading troops who continuously tried to break the siege and get out of the surrounded compound but were unable to flee the area, in the mean time, a massive detonation occurred in the surrounded compound, most likely to have caused the enemy further losses.

Three tanks of US terrorists blown up in Helmand

Wednesday, 02 June 2010 06:59 Qari Yousuf Ahmadi
HELMAND, jun. 01 – A roadside bomb blast hit and eliminated one of the US cowardly invaders tanks in Nowzad district of Helmand in the morning hours of June 01, 201(0). Likewise, two of the enemy’s armored tanks were struck and destroyed in bombings elsewhere in Nowzad yesterday killing almost all the US invaders including some of their trained dogs, the report said, adding that soon after the incident the dead and wounded were evacuated by the helicopters from the site

Two tanks of British cowardly invaders destroyed in Helmand

Wednesday, 02 June 2010 19:41 Qari Yousuf Ahmadi
HELMAND, June 02 – About 2 British terrorist troops were killed or injured Tuesday (June 01) when two of their tanks got hit and destroyed in separate bombings in the morning and afternoon hours of the day, in Gerishk district of Helmand. In another news from Helmand province, Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan killed two NATO invaders in an encounter.

Mujahideen kill 5 soldiers of puppet ANA

Wednesday, 02 June 2010 07:05 Qari Yousuf Ahmadi
HELMAND, June 01 – Mujajhideen of the Islamic Emirate, in an ambush attack on the foot soldiers of minion ANA in Musa Kala district of Helmand, killed all five minions, seizing their weapons on Monday (May 31).

Muajhideen clash US terrorists in Marjah

Wednesday, 02 June 2010 19:47 Qari Yousuf Ahmadi
MARJAH, June 02 – Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate, in a 2-hour long fighting with US cowardly invaders in the district of Marjah, killed five invaders besides wounding two on Tuesday (June 01). Meantime, the enemy reinforcements which arrived to back up the enemy came under Mujahideen attack causing the enemy further losses, local Mujahideen said. A Mujahid is said to have been wounded but has been reported to be in stable condition now.

Five puppet soldiers killed in Zabul
Wednesday, 02 June 2010 19:45 Zabihullah Mujahid
ZABUL, June 02 – Some five cowardly soldiers of the minion army got killed Tuesday, 3: pm local time in the bombing that hit and destroyed their vehicle in Zubul’s Sweri district.


Heavy fighting ongoing near hall of Loya Jirga (grand council)

Wednesday, 02 June 2010 19:51 Zabihullah Mujahid
KABUL, June 02 – The fighting broke out after a group of four martyr attackers the of Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate, armed with with explosive-filled vests and heavy and small arms, attacked the meeting hall of Loya Jirga ( grand peace council) in Afshar area of Kabul city, on Wednesday. All four brave Mujahideen, after breaking through the police security barrier, engaged in fighting with Afghan puppet army and police, which is intensely ongoing, the details of which will be released soon.


UN Official Says Some Taliban Should Be Pulled from Sanctions List

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Remember this tidbit (and this one) from a former Taliban ambassador to the United Nations about one way to open the doors to talking?

The first important thing is to lift the sanctions on the leaders of the armed opposition. They are blacklisted and multimillion-dollar rewards are offered for some leaders of the opposition. They have not been recognized as a legitimate part of the political process. But no such step has been taken place so far.  So it is not logical to invite a person who has a bounty of millions of dollars [on him for his capture and] ask him to give up his sanctuary and attend this Loya Jirga.

Well, it appears at least one senior U.N. official may be buying it – this, via the New York Times:

The leader of the United Nations mission here called on Afghan officials to seek the removal of at least some senior Taliban leaders from the United Nations’ list of terrorists, as a first step toward opening direct negotiations with the insurgent group.

In an interview, Kai Eide, the United Nations special representative, also implored the American military to speed its review of the roughly 750 detainees in its military prisons here — another principal grievance of Taliban leaders. Until recently, the Americans were holding those prisoners at a makeshift detention center at Bagram Air Base and refusing to release their names.

Together, Mr. Eide said he hoped that the two steps would eventually open the way to face-to-face talks between Afghan officials and Taliban leaders, many of whom are hiding in Pakistan. The two sides have been at an impasse for years over almost every fundamental issue, including the issue of talking itself ….

We hear echos of the former ambassador’s rationale later in the NYT story:

“This would allow the Taliban to appear in public,” said Arsalan Rahmani, a former deputy minister with the Taliban who now lives in the Afghan capital, Kabul. “It would allow the possibility of starting negotiations in a third country.”

You might remember Rahmani as someone else who’s been talking like a “moderate Taliban”.

Who could be pulled from the list?

Mr. Eide said he did not believe that senior Taliban leaders like Mullah Omar should be removed from the list. It was Mullah Omar, after all, who provided sanctuary to Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, which launched the Sept. 11 attacks.

But some second-tier Taliban should be taken from the list, he said. Those leaders are not necessarily associated with terrorist acts but might be able to speak for the movement, he said, and might be willing to reciprocate a good-will gesture.

The Taliban willing to “reciprocate a good-will gesture”?  Here’s an excerpt from the Taliban’s latest editorial on their Voice of Jihad English-language web page (links available here):

The aim is to pave the way for uneducated, ignorant and unaware stooges to remain at the helms of power thanks to multi-faceted support of imperialism. Then the Western powers bind their surrogates by various agreements at the expense of national, cultural and religious values and vital interests of the nation. They take hold of all strategic assets of a country including telecommunication, dams, transportation, mines etc. After that, colonialism tends to plunder the wealth and natural resources with both hands. Similarly, the invading powers distribute national wealth among members of society unfairly and unequally, giving a lion share to their flunkeys and hirelings.

Yeah, this is messaging coming from a group willing to work with the Karzai government and ISAF – NOT!

Afghanistan Opening the Door to Reconciliation with (Some) Taliban?

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Remember this, where we heard a former Taliban ambassador to the UN quoted saying this about one way to ensure bringing the Taliban to a loya jirga?

The first important thing is to lift the sanctions on the leaders of the armed opposition. They are blacklisted and multimillion-dollar rewards are offered for some leaders of the opposition. They have not been recognized as a legitimate part of the political process. But no such step has been taken place so far.  So it is not logical to invite a person who has a bounty of millions of dollars [on him for his capture and] ask him to give up his sanctuary and attend this Loya Jirga. He might get captured the next day and end up in Guantanamo Bay [prison]. Who will guarantee their safety?

Well, according to the New York Times and the German DPA news agency, Afghanistan’s United Nations envoy is asking the Security Council to “lift sanctions on elements of the Taliban that renounce violence and agree to support the government”.

It’ll be interesting to see:

1)  who Afghanistan, claiming they’re now willing to play nice-nice, asks to have removed from the the black list maintained by the United Nations Security Council’s Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee; and

2)  what the Taliban’s response will be, even though the most recent interview with the Taliban’s second-in-command Mullah Baradar (h/t to Juan Cole at the Informed Comment blog) suggests the Taliban’s centre still toes a harder line about talking to Karzai’s team in Kabul.

More on Baradar’s latest statement soon…

TALIBAN PROPAGANDA WATCH: Omar on Unity, Threatening the West (maybe), and What He Doesn’t Say

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A bit more to offer on this week’s “Eid Mubarak” message from Mullah Omar (PDF of official English & Arabic at non-terrorist site).  I’ve seen different English versions out there, so I’m going to base my read on the official English version at the Taliban’s own site.

“Colonial Watch” Count

Words whose root is “colony” pop up 14 times in this statement.  For an approximately 3100 word statement, we’re seeing a “colonial-esque” expression every 220 words – not quite as densely “colonized” as another recent statement (6 mentions in 560 words, or once every 87 words).

Multiple Unity,  Stability Pleas

There were several different calls for an end to infighting and divisiveness of various kinds:

Implement the injunctions of Allah practically and fully;  constantly strive for unity among your ranks and keep away from discord and friction.

Make the most of experience, consultation and proven tactics in the military operations and other affairs of Jihad so that you will block the door of differences, complaints and losses.

The ( former) communists formed tribal and unscrupulous groups under the name of tribal militia at a time when they were on the verge of defeat. The aim was to provoke internal conflicts, biases, racial differences and resultantly revenge themselves on (our) Mujahid people. The Americans and their allies too want to repeat the same failed experience.

The economic assistance, the mercenaries, the overt and covert ploys of the wicked companies have paved the way for( execution of these plans) and have set off hatred, discrimination and rivalries in the region.

I advise you to fully abide by the sacred rules of Islam in order to achieve the magnanimity and grandeur of Islam. Help (your) oppressed Muslim brothers and use your wisdom, sagacity and sobriety in the cause of Jihad and confrontation with the tyrant aggressors, particularly, the chiefs of the Jihadic movements should ponder over all aspects during performance of affairs of Jihad; avoid disunity and splintering among your ranks and be heedful to the conspiracies being engineered to malign Mujahideen.

The Americans and its allies have been hammering out plans overtly and covertly to destabilize the Islamic world and provoke differences in the Islamic countries.

While it’s clear Mullah Omar is blaming NATO/the West for engineering the rifts (real or perceived), it makes one wonder exactly how worried he might be about infighting with this many mentions.

“It Wasn’t Us, It Was Them!”

The theme of NATO causing the deaths of civilians, even in crowded market bombings pops up:

The cunning enemy wants to attack people’s congestion places like religious centers, mosques and other similar places in order to malign Mujahideen. They also launch sanguinary attacks under the name of martyrdom-seeking operations to mar the good name of Mujahiden.

Nothing new here, just more of the same.

Negotiations:  What Omar Says (and Doesn’t Say?)

On negotiations, the statement basically says any such talks are for NATO’s benefit, not Afghanistan’s:

Those who have occupied our country and taken our people as hostage, want to use the stratagem of negotiation like they used the drama of elections for some time in order to achieve their colonialist objectives. The invaders do not want negotiation aimed at granting independence to Afghanistan and ending their invasion but they want negotiation which will prolong their evil process of colonization and occupation. However, the people of Afghanistan will not agree to negotiation which prolongs and legitimatizes the invaders military presence in our beloved country. Afghanistan is our home. No one will ever be ready to negotiate with any one else about ownership of one’s home –still more to give share in administration and control of the home and himself ends up becoming homeless, powerless and servant in his own home.

The foreigners have occupied the land of the Afghans by dent of (military) might and savagery. If they want solution of the issue, they should put an end to the occupation of Afghanistan. The invading Americans want Mujahideen to surrender under the pretext of the negotiation. This is some thing impossible.

Some, including the Long War Journal, the Associated Press and Voice of America, see this as (continued) evidence that the Taliban don’t want to talk to Karzai.

Others, like Kandahar-based writer/journalist Alex Strick van Linschoten (co-editor of soon-to-be released memoirs of senior former Taliban official Abdul Salam Zaeef), see what’s NOT written – via Twitter here, here and here:

(Omar) didn’t rule out (talks), strictly speaking.  He said things need to change before he’d talk, but he doesn’t close the door completely, i.e. it’s implied but he doesn’t actively rule them out.

In spite of this, as well as other messaging outliers like the former Taliban U.N. rep laying out conditions for participation in a loya jirga, for now I’m going to keep reading Mullah Omar’s latest statement as further support for the “OFFICIALLY, no talking until the foreign troops are gone” message track we’ve seen elsewhere.

Future Threat to U.S., the West?

This is one of the questions reportedly being pondered by all sorts of government officials in considering next steps in Afghanistan.  On the one hand, we see another reinforcement of “we’re here to be friendly to our neighbours” message:

We only want establishment of an Islamic system in our country which will protect rights of all individuals of this nation both men and women—a system depending on its own feet,  fully independent, its internal and external policy  being based on this Islamic principle: not harming others and not allowing others to harm us.

This builds on previous statements (here and here, for example) as part of  the Taliban, in the words of the Institute for the Study of War’s Jeffrey Dressler, “aggressively attempting to rebrand their image and feed talking points to those in favor of de-escalation.”

On the other hand, though, we also see this:

We consider the whole region as a common home against colonialism and, as a responsible force, want to play our role in stability and peace of the region in future.

Hmmmm….

The statement on the Taliban’s web page about the Fort Hood shooting mentions this:

This is a natural reaction and resentment against the brutalities, atrocities, bombardment and tortures  of prisoners at the hand of  the American soldiers  in these two Muslim countries. The American army has killed hundred of thousands of miserable Afghans and Iraqis during the past eight years as a result of an unjustified and arrogant  wars.

In the Taliban’s statement following the attack on UNAMA’s residence in Kabul, we see this:

If we have a glimpse at events in Palestine, Iraq and other issues and  the bloodbath now going on at the  level  of the Ummah, we will readily know that  how callously and brutally the invading colonialists kill common Muslims collectively  and invade Islamic lands flagrantly.

So, do these last two quotes mean that as long as the Taliban see the U.S. as a threat in Iraq or the Middle East, they’ll still be “colonialist” enough to consider the bad guy?  If that’s the case, using the region as a base for any anti-US/anti-colonial could be seen as OK.

There are yet other signals out there muddying the waters as well, such as the guy calling himself a Taliban commander saying “If the Americans leave, then we will not concern ourselves with them any longer …. we will never again allow our country to be used in the same way as it was used against America in the past.”

My two cents – I’m happy to leave deeper analysis to the professionals who don’t need Google Translator to do the work.

TALIBAN PROPAGANDA WATCH: Negotiations? No. Loya Jirga? Maybe, IF…

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Some interesting material to be gleaned from a brief Q&A between Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and former Taliban representative to the U.N. Abdul Hakim Mujahid.

The biggest key message from the interview:  can’t even consider a Loya Jirga of all the players before you remove some of the bad guys off the black list maintained by the United Nations Security Council’s Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee:

The first important thing is to lift the sanctions on the leaders of the armed opposition. They are blacklisted and multimillion-dollar rewards are offered for some leaders of the opposition. They have not been recognized as a legitimate part of the political process. But no such step has been taken place so far.  So it is not logical to invite a person who has a bounty of millions of dollars [on him for his capture and] ask him to give up his sanctuary and attend this Loya Jirga. He might get captured the next day and end up in Guantanamo Bay [prison]. Who will guarantee their safety?

Most recently, the official line from the Taliban Info-machine has been “no negoptiation until foreign troops are outta here.” What interesting in this latest RFE/RL interview is that, if the quote is word-for-word correct, there appears to be a lower standard for participating in a Loya Jirga…

Nobody would believe such talk unless foreign troops in Afghanistan act honestly, announce clear and transparent plans for addressing the issue, and announce there is clear platform about the presence of foreign troops.

This atmosphere will only go away when the foreign forces — the UN, the United States, and the United Kingdom — get rid of contradictions in their policies. Their policies are now riddled with contradictions. Sometimes they say we [will] not negotiate with the hard-liners fighting against us but have no problems talking to the moderates.

Also, as another pre-condition for Loya Jirga participation, the interviewee wants to involve NATO more, at least in agreeing on an approach with the Afghan government:

First of all, the government of Afghanistan should come to an agreement with the foreign troops based in Afghanistan in forming a unified strategy.

Interesting how the Taliban’s big bosses and central spokespersons paint in black and white, while the peripheral flacks at least SEEM to be able to paint in a few shades of grey.