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Max Forte's List: Mujahidin--Taliban

    • Mullah Mohammad Umar, a cleric who fought as a  Mujahedeen
  • Aug 17, 09

    Zbigniew Brzezinski:
    How Jimmy Carter and I Started the Mujahideen

    Interview of Zbigniew Brzezinski Le Nouvel Observateur (France), Jan 15-21, 1998, p. 76*

    • What is most important to the history  of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire?  Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and  the end of the cold war?
  • Aug 17, 09

    The Taliban were a faction of the fundamentalist mujahadeen

    • The US did not utter a single word of criticism when the Taliban occupied the city of Herat and expelled thousands of girls from the schools. At the time, the Clinton administration looked favorably on the Taliban because they hoped to build oil pipelines through Afghanistan. As recently as May of this year, the US gave the Taliban $43 million, supposedly to combat the opium trade.
    • Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Pashtun warlord, former Afghan prime minister, fundamentalist religious fanatic, and homicidal thug, has been much in the news of late
    • the Hezb-i Islami movement, which is Hekmatyar's military arm
    • It's been widely alleged that Hekmatyar, who has been sighted in six Afghan provinces in the last three months, has linked up with Mullah Omar, remnants of the Taliban and al-Qaeda (Boston Globe, February 9). This is plausible, although one must note a history of sour relations between the Taliban and the warlord.

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  • Aug 17, 09

    "a handful of Taliban had fought the Soviet Red Army"

  • Aug 17, 09

    TALIBAN: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia
    by Ahmed Rashid

    • Taliban Governor of Kandahar
    • Mullah Mohammed Hassan Rehmani
    • Hassan, one of the oldest Taliban leaders at over 40 and one of the few who actually fought Soviet troops, was a founder member of the Taliban

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    • The Taliban was formed primarily among displaced Afghans, particularly those who had enrolled as Pakistani seminary students. Indeed, almost every Afghan movement drew upon refugees living in Pakistan, Iran, or other neighboring states
    • The Taliban has its roots in the Afghan jihad fought against the Soviet Union in the 1980s
    • Afghan guerrilla groups used refugee camps as a place to organize, train, and recruit

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    • Anand Gopal is a reporter based in Kabul who has reported from all parts of Afghanistan
    • I have some well-placed Taliban contacts and I was offered a chance to come out and see how the insurgents really operate. Since there is so little about this in public domain, it seemed like an excellent opportunity.
    • Passing from Kabul to the rural countryside where the Taliban holds sway was pretty illuminating: all traces of government presence vanish and instead the streets are filled with gun-toting insurgents. The Taliban rule through fear, but they also have a degree of support in the areas in which they exist. In some cases I saw locals coming up and offering them food or shelter.  

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    • the increased damage to NATO tanks by Taliban forces has come from anti-tank mines provided by the United States to the jihadi movement in Afghanistan in the 1980s.
    • the increased Taliban threat to U.S. and NATO vehicles comes not from any new technology from Iran but from Italian-made mines left over from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency's military assistance to the anti-Soviet jihadists in the 1980s
    • Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) said in an e-mail that Italian-manufactured TC-6 anti-tank mines are "very common" in the Taliban-dominated areas of the country and that they have been modified to increase their lethality in IED attacks

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    • Monday, October 5, 2009
    • The Washington Post reports that the attack that killed eight U.S. soldiers on Saturday in Kamdesh "appeared to be led by a local commander of the Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin insurgent group, which is run by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar."  Similarly, an AP story on the attack calls Nuristan on the rugged northeastern border of Afghanistan and Pakistan home to "wanted terrorist Gulbuddin Hekmatyar." 
    • he was, at one time, America's warlord

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    • February  14, 2003


      Meet Mr. Blowback


      Gulbuddin  Hekmatyar, CIA Op and Homicidal Thug



    • Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Pashtun warlord, former Afghan  prime minister, fundamentalist religious fanatic, and homicidal  thug, has been much in the news of late. The largest battle in  Afghanistan in recent months, in the mountains near Spin Boldak  on January 27, pitted US forces against guerrillas "most  closely aligned with the Hezb-i Islami movement, which  is Hekmatyar's military arm," according to US military spokesman  Colonel Roger King (Daily Times, Pakistan, Feb. 10).
    • The  death of nine minibus passengers in an explosion near Kandahar  January 31 was also attributed to Hezb-i-Islami.

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    • Friday, Oct 9, 2009
    • In an Afghan province known for its hostility to the West, the U.S. is hunting for a fierce Islamic military leader.

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    • Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, originally from Baghlan, is the head and founder of Hezbi Islami. Hekmatyar, who is now in his late forties, first studied at the military academy; then in 1968, he switched to the engineering department of Kabul University.
    • Before becoming a "devout" Muslim and getting into Islamic politics, Hekmatyar spent four years in the PDPA (People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan). The PDPA was the Afghan communist party comprising both Parchami and Khalqi groups.
    • In 1972, Hekmatyar was put in prison for killing a Maoist student. He then fled to Pakistan and founded Hezbi Islami. Historians claim that in 1975, Hekmatyar instigated the anti-Daoud insurrection in Panjshir. Hezb members and Hekmatyar refute his Communist background, and they consider it an insult.

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    • "I have eight Taliban with weapons in a car who say that they want to come to the shrine. What should we do with them?" the policeman asked.


      "Let them come!" the government official replied. "They're probably just coming to enjoy the music. Who are we to stop them?" So they came. And nobody sitting there in the desert seemed the least bit worried.

    • In Kandahar, the Taliban are a fact of life -- not necessarily liked, but present nonetheless. The traditional Pashtun recourse to healthy dollops of pragmatism means that a government official can enjoy live music with a Talib, even while each has full knowledge of who the other is.
    • The government is apparently fighting "the Taliban," this amorphous force that everybody has so much trouble defining, but with whom, at an individual level, there seems to be plenty of room to sit and do business.

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