James Carafano January 17, 2012 at 9:26 pm
The relationship between the Taliban and al-Qaeda was one of the hot topics of Monday night’s (1/16/2012) presidential debate. Candidate Ron Paul downplayed the dangers of the Taliban, declaring the “Taliban used to be our allies when we were fighting the Russians… The al-Qaeda wants to come here to kill us. The Taliban just says we don’t want foreigners.”
The Taliban came on the scene in Afghanistan in 1994, several years after the Soviets departed. Taliban (which translates to “students”) were made up mainly of Afghan refugees who had grown up in Pakistan during Soviet rule in Afghanistan and attended Deobandi religious schools, where they learned a strict, puritanical form of Islam. While some of the current Taliban may have previously fought on the same side of the U.S. during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s, it is inaccurate to say the Taliban as a movement was ever an ally of the United States.
Osama bin Laden’s arrival in Afghanistan in 1996, after he was expelled from Sudan, allowed the terrorist leader to forge a relationship with the like-minded Afghan Islamist movement. The bond that developed between Taliban leader Mullah Omar and bin Laden became so powerful that the Taliban refused to break ties to al-Qaeda and hand over bin Laden shortly after the 9/11 attacks. The Taliban leadership refused to give up support for bin Laden, even though they were undoubtedly aware that their refusal to cooperate with the U.S. would lead to the invasion of Afghanistan.
Not only did the Taliban provide physical protection to the world’s most wanted terrorist, the organization repressed Afghan women and terrorized the country’s minority communities during their rule (1996 – 2001).
Though Paul says the Taliban’s top priority is to expel “foreigners” from Afghanistan, it is more accurate that they seek to expel those who do not share their radical brand of Islamist terrorism and hatred of America. And it remains that the real issue is whether the Taliban has severed ties to al-Qaeda and other terrorists seeking to harm the United States. Without a clear sign that the Taliban have broken their links with international terrorists and are ready to participate in a normal political process, a Taliban return to power in Afghanistan would not only bring despair to the Afghan people, it would herald the revival of al-Qaeda … READ MORE
THIS man is spot on through 60-65% of the issues but the other stuff (cited above) is downright SCARY! What about his leadership skills? What about his “political career” that has endured DECADES – I thought we were looking for a NON-politician … ? I thought we were looking for FRESH, innovative but practical ideas … What about all the racist, anti-Semitic thoughts in his newsletters published over decades with HIS name. Somethings can be overlooked as insignificant, but I don’t think this is one of those things. Just sayin …