Thursday, March 08, 2007

Hekmatyar Breaks With Taliban

This dude has switched sides so many times it is hard to keep track.

The warlord has been Prime Minister of Afghanistan (twice), then a Taliban enemy, later a Taliban ally.

He cooperated in the covert CIA war against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Much later he was the (unsuccessful) target of a CIA Predator drone attack after 9/11. IIRC, there is still a price on his head (payable in U.S. dollars).

Now he is shifting alliances again.

Fugitive Afghan rebel leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar told The Associated Press his forces have ended cooperation with the Taliban and suggested that he was open to talks with embattled President Hamid Karzai.

In a video response to questions submitted by AP, Hekmatyar also recounted how U.S. forces nearly caught him on two occasions but he got away.

Hekmatyar, speaking in front of a plain white wall at an undisclosed location, indicated that his group contacted Taliban leaders some time in 2003 and agreed to wage a joint jihad, or holy war, against American troops.

"The jihad went into high gear but later it gradually went down as certain elements among the Taliban rejected the idea of a joint struggle against the aggressor," Hekmatyar said. He said his forces were now mounting only restricted operations, partly because of a lack of resources.

It is unlikely in the extreme, however, that he will mend fences with the U.S.

(Unless we make it worth his while.)


Anonymous Trembling Trevor said...

Good spottin' dude, keepin' tabs that is on the ripplings and rumblings of Hekmatyar and his pragmatic likes of bareback jockeys.

Maybe if Hekmatyar gets the same free passage rights for his heroin as Karzai's brother then he can lend us a hand in mitigating the threat of being completely overrun this spring by virtue of the sheer numbers of Afghanies that now really really really hate our guts and our presence. I guess handing out Krispy Kreme donuts long past their 'eat before' date wasn't how one best fought for the hearts and minds of hungry silk road niggers.

I imagine that Hekmatyar could take a long view on cleaning out all and any foreign presence in Afghanyland and show some temporary tolerance with the U.S. and ISAF - if it fills his coffers with narco windfall.

3/10/2007 11:57 AM  
Blogger Effwit said...

Trembling Trevor:

It is certainly possible that opium-related pecuniary issues featured prominently in Hekmatyar's recent moves.

3/10/2007 4:49 PM  

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