Image from NY Times.
In the last few days over a hundred civilians have been killed and 300 injured. Survivors of these attacks posted on the social media "we are alive but Kabul is dead." Afghan government and officials have been quick to point fingers at Pakistan, a hackneyed excuse with little or no substance. The big problem is that while Taliban bombings receive wide coverage, the real underlying cause does not.
US bombing of Afghanistan has intensified and risen 7 times since the implementation of Trump's Afghan policies in mid 2017 with no media attention despite huge destruction, civilian deaths and injuries. Only a fool wouldn't expect a backlash at some point. In December of 2017 US military announced "the gloves are off" and carried out 455 air strikes that month. That's an average of 15 per day. In comparison, there were a total of only 65 air strikes during the entire year 2016.
The outcome? Stated in a recent BBC report, practically Talibans now control nearly 70% of Afghanistan. They control 14 Afghan districts which is 4% of the country and are actively present in at least 263 districts that include 66% of Afghanistan. Daesh has arrived in the country but has a very small base near the Afghan-Pakistan border. Their power and influence is nowhere comparable with the Afghan Talibans. That's the scenario 16 years after the US invasion of Afghanistan, and now thanks to Donald Trump for helping to make it infinitely worse.
Talibans say they want friendly relations with the world and their enemies are only those who invade Afghanistan. According to Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid at Reuters, their attacks are intended as a message to the US administration over its decision on increasing air strikes and sending many more American troops to be stationed in Afghanistan.
The Taliban mindset considers itself to be the legitimate government of Afghanistan, toppled by the Americans in preference to a US-friendly government. Whoever maybe right or wrong is not the issue here. The Afghan people, who never asked for this, are suffering like never before and that's the painful issue. While countries of the EU are kicking out Afghan refugees and sending them back home, Donald Trump's forces are bombing Afghanistan like maniacs. According to the findings of Stop the War Coalition, the number of displaced Afghans within their country who have fled their homes has risen to 1.3 million. Trapped in poverty and starvation, they aren't receiving any assistance from the Afghan government.
It's about time for crooks like Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah to focus on humanity and finish playing puppet-politics.
The issue here is that the inside story is not the same as the one in Syria where 95% of proxy fighters have been foreigners (non-Syrians) belonging to the international AQ network. Needless to say, in that case the government is fully entitled to fight them; rather that's the only choice the government has. The scenario in Afghanistan is wholly different. The pashtoons are the predominant indigenous community of Afghanistan and they're working on their own. They cannot be ostracized permanently as part of the governmental system. At some point they will have to be inducted into the power-sharing fold. There's no other option. Again needless to say, unfortunately the Taliban ideology is decadently misguided. But that will have to be handled officially and carefully within the different Afghan communities with thoughtful agreements of give-and-take. Inviting foreign forces to carpet bomb village after village is sprinkling petrol on fire.