This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.

 

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The Taliban Leader Wants US Help. What Are They Planning?

Posted by Michael Cavalier – Editor

      The leader of the Taliban, Mullah Mohammed Hassan Akhund, asked the United States to help fund his country’s recovery in his first televised address since taking control of Afghanistan in mid-August. The Taliban said they would like the US to unlock about $10 billion after the Taliban defeated the previous administration in mid-August. However, he offered little insight into what their plans are for the future, aside from maintaining Sharia law and promising to bring peace to Afghanistan.

      Mullah Mohammed Hassan Akhund is a founding member of the Taliban, having previously served as interim leader in 1996 and 2005. He took over in July after former leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed by a U.S airstrike in May 2016 for plotting attacks against American targets in Kabul and Jalalabad earlier that month. What’s His Plan?: Like other terrorist groups looking to gain support, he has promised money to help rebuild Afghanistan. The Taliban also pledges to crack down on corruption within government institutions, which they say has grown rampant since their rule ended in 2001.

      We will not allow corrupt officials to stay next to us any longer… We are fighting these criminals so we can serve our people better, he said during his address. But what do Afghan citizens have to say about it? The insurgents have pledged to improve security, jobs, and healthcare if Afghans back them. But many Afghans still see them as brutal fundamentalists who destroyed schools, hanged women who wore western clothes from lamp posts, and massacred thousands of people when they ruled the country from 1996-2001.

      After killing half a million of his own people, his leadership is highly doubted. He has executed countless others who may pose a threat to him; there are no apologies for crimes against humanity under his leadership. However, now that he holds most of Afghanistan (excepting some minor areas. Americans want to know what kind of leader he will be before they start negotiations with him. I still believe that you can’t negotiate with a terrorist group such as the Taliban.

      A commander cannot easily switch from one side to another. Is Akhund going to call off violence and work towards peace, or is he going to continue terrorism and push a radical agenda into politics? The answers remain unclear after years of conflict between western forces and Afghan leaders—and have been further complicated by Mullah Akhund’s claims that American troops invaded illegally in 2001 on behalf of Israel and its hatred of Islam.

      Several Muslim clerics claim Mullah Akhund is mistaken about geography: it was actually President George Bush who first gave orders for international intervention back in 1994. But America today doesn’t seem too keen on pursuing those old orders: first withdrawing thousands of soldiers and then calling them back to find out how little influence we can really exert over current affairs. International communities across Europe, South America, Asia, and Africa also agree that we can no longer solve these issues using force as we did during the Vietnam War past.

      It still remains unclear just how the US will act. Will President Biden release billions of dollars to the Taliban leader? Will Joe Biden answer this Taliban leader, Mullah Mohammed Hassan Akhund as a weak President? I believe every move he makes will be for political gain, not what’s better for the United States. This should concern all Americans. Will Biden turn loose billions of dollars to a terrorist group (Taliban) and leader who will just make himself a rich man?

God Bless America, God Bless the Veterans