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Is Russia 'Helping' the Taliban? No, But Let's Say 'Yes'

According to our friends at the Daily Beast and Business Insider, "Russia is collaborating with the Taliban, woe is us". Not quite.


This post first appeared on Russia Insider


Just when you thought the media couldn't get any more cancerous, they hit you with this:

Please. Just stop.
Please. Just stop.

 

You are not hallucinating: This is an actual news article, claiming that Russia is in bed with the Taliban, which is super, super bad because — wait for it — the Taliban are basically now al Qaeda. We thought al Qaeda affiliates such as al Nusra were "moderate"?

And how exactly is Russia collaborating with the Taliban? Are they sending them weapons to fight Afghan and American forces? Did Moscow "accidentally" bomb an American base in Afghanistan, leading to military gains for the Taliban? Oh no. The Kremlin is guilty of something far worse:

According to Reuters, Zakharova added that China, Pakistan, and Russia agreed upon a “flexible approach to remove certain [Taliban] figures from [United Nations] sanctions lists as part of efforts to foster a peaceful dialogue between Kabul and the Taliban movement.”

Oh, no. Russia, along with China and Pakistan, wants to foster peaceful dialogue and end a 15+ year conflict in their region? The humanity!

As we wrote back in December:

Never mind that US green-lighted its allies Pakistan and Saudi Arabia installing and then recognizing the Taleban in Afghanistan in the 1990s in the first place, while Russia continued to back the so-called 'Northern Alliance' against them. Now it's Russia's fault that after 15 years of American occupation things are so bad there is now even Islamic State presence in Afghanistan. (Or as good ole Walker Bush would put it is giving "moral comfort to terrorists".)

And just to be clear US has always presented its strategy for Afghanistan as one where enemy will be weakened and then talks will be held with the "moderate Taleban" to conclude a peace. There is no need for Russia to legitimize the Taleban because the Americans (and many Pashtun tribesmen) have already done so.

In fact just three months ago the US has concluded a peace deal that brings Gulbuddin Hekmatyar -- an acid-throwing Islamist since the 1970s -- into the Afghan government. Reviled in Kabul for shelling it mercilessly in 1994 he is a much bloodier figure than any of the Taleban leaders and the movement he heads is nowadays far less popular than the Taleban, whom after all control up to one third of Afghanistan, and that is only during the day, at night their reach expands further.

But it gets worse. As Business Insider reported just hours ago:

No words. None.
No words. None.

So the United States created, trained, funded and armed the Mujahideen to fight the Soviets, and now Russia is "returning the favor" by ... sharing intelligence with the Taliban about terrorist groups operating in the region? Is this Murder Your Brain Cells Day? (We thought that special holiday fell on the last Thursday of November? I guess we murdered too many brain cells reading that Daily Beast atrocity...)

So is Russia "helping" the Taliban?

No. But let's say "yes".

 

 


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