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Don't judge the Taliban after just one year in charge

17 28 38

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has been in existence for one year now, but change has been agonisingly slow; early promises on women's rights are as yet unrealised; and the closure of schools for teenage girls continues to be a running sore for the international community. The country is in dire straits, but blaming the ruling Taliban is simply lazy journalism, agenda-driven bias and opportunistic politics.

After the Afghan National Army (ANA) collapsed twelve months ago, and greedy ministers from what was freely acknowledged as the most corrupt government in the world looted millions as they fled the country, the flow of aid stopped overnight. The US followed this by isolating the Afghan banks from the global financial system and freezing assets worth billions of dollars belonging to the people of Afghanistan.

I doubt if there is a single government or regime in the world which could survive even a few months under the conditions imposed on the Taliban. And yet, somehow, with humanitarian aid now trickling back into the country, to the movement's credit it has managed to stay in control.

It was with some degree of incredulity the other day, therefore, that I read a comment from the Afghanistan-based communication and advocacy coordinator for the International Rescue Committee (IRC). "What's happening right now is that 38 million people are suffering because a few hundred are in power," said Samira Sayed Rahman.

Millions of Afghans are on the brink of starvation, Samira, but not because of those in power in Kabul; far from it. The suffering of the nation is down to one man: Joe Biden. The US President was instrumental in ensuring that Afghanistan's sovereign assets overseas were frozen. Acting as an international bully, the US encouraged other countries to follow Washington's move and sanction Afghanistan; like puppets, they did.

Biden used his executive power in April 2021 when he announced the withdrawal of US troops by 11 September the same year to end the pointless 20-year occupation. That date was hugely symbolic, of course, but he won't use that same executive power to bring an end to the suffering of the Afghan people, as I wrote in MEMO recently.

If we want to spread the blame beyond the White House, then we should also take aim at the rulers of the 193 other countries which make up the member states of the United Nations. Not one of them has had the guts, backbone or integrity to recognise the government in Kabul and alleviate the suffering of the innocent people of Afghanistan.

READ: This runaway Afghan general should push his own off button

Please don't believe for one minute that this has anything to do with girls' education or women's rights. Afghan women were thrown under the bus many........

© Middle East Monitor

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