US Interventionism: The Taliban’s Rule in Afghanistan and Its Eventual Demise
Just last week, the world was shocked when the MOAB, or the “mother of all bombs” (a large yield bomb GBU-43/B Massive Ordinance Air Blast), was dropped somewhere in eastern Afghanistan, destroying multiple tunnels the Taliban and ISIS have been using to get around.
On April 13, 2017, the skies flashed brightly with white light over the Spin Ghar mountains as a US cargo plane dropped the largest nonnuclear bomb ever to be used in combat. With the bomb’s reportedly hefty price tag, many people are left wondering why our government is spending so much money on a war in an entirely different continent.
In the previous posts, we learned about the inception of ISIS and al-Qaeda and the Islamism that has been terrorizing the world for the past three decades. Many people think that those three are all the same and that all of them are related to Taliban, but sadly, although they do have some connections, they are not the same. The Taliban is a different monster altogether.
After the Soviet Union left Afghanistan in 1989, while Osama bin Laden was creating al-Qaeda, Afghanistan was embroiled in a vicious civil war lead by former jihadi warlords who decided they wanted to seize power for themselves. This lasted seven years all the way into 1996, and the former progressive Afghanistan in the seventies was systematically blown into rubble. It was during this time that the Taliban, a Sunni Islamic fundamentalist political movement, began its jihad that would keep Afghanistan in its grip until the United States invaded in October 2001 with Operation Enduring Freedom, which liberated the people.
But the reason the Taliban is so threatening to Americans is its alliance with al-Qaeda. It was in Afghanistan where Osama bin Laden hid, and it was the Taliban that hid him. And under the Taliban, the sharia law was implemented in Afghanistan strictly and began to ban many activities that were unlawful, including employment, education, and sports for women, movies, television, videos, music, dancing, photographs, sporting events, leisure, and even beard trimming. It was a very stifling environment for the normally peace-loving Afghan people, which is why it wasn’t a surprise when they welcomed the United States interfering and removing the Taliban.
Since then, Afghanistan has been peaceful, but weeds grow back in fertile soil, and so there is a current resurgence of the Taliban after American troops were taken out of the country. Although ISIS and the Taliban are at odds with each other, as well as against the current Afghan government, caught in middle of the crossfire are the civilians. When will their quest for power end? Is the Taliban a lesser evil than ISIS, or are they just as bad? Will the Afghan people ever know peace?
Time will tell, but for now, we can only watch from afar as more lives are lost in this war of ideologies.
Masi, Alessandria. 2016. “Taliban’s Differences from ISIS Are the Key to Its Success in Afghanistan.” International Business Times. Last modified April 20, 2016. http://www.ibtimes.com/talibans-differences-isis-are-key-its-success-afghanistan-2356690.