The Zeitgeist Politics

Global Politics with a focus on The Middle East

Jalaluddin Haqqani rails against the US and Bush-era “fires”

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Have just finished reading the Jalaluddin Haqqani interview that was linked to on Jihadica. (Urdu readers can find the whole interview here. ) While it doesn’t offer anything new – there’s lots of railing and ranting against the US’ highhandedness and dominance over the world, and praise of mujahideen – there are some interesting questions that were posed to him.

My translation is rather rough so please excuse any errors. Also, these are Haqqani’s terms – these would not be the terms I would use.

On the comparison b/w the Soviet and US invasions, Haqqani says that during the Soviet war the credit was mostly given to American Stinger missiles and weapons, but in the US invasion its been the fighters who have managed to do it on their own.

On the US plans to send more troops to Afghanistan: “I have said this before and am saying it again, that in the Afghanistan problem the US rulers are comparable to a gambler, who at the gambling table ends up losing everything after getting all warmed up.”

On the plan to negotiate with the Taliban: “Yes! After eight years Americans have realized that their current policy for Afghanistan is not favourable, and it needs to be changed. There will be different stages to this:

  1. An increase in troops
  2. Spreading discord between different tribes/groups
  3. Talking to the mujahideen in Afghanistan

Haqqani says the first two have already been acted on and that the US will use the talks as a cover for the following

  • Spreading distrust among the mujahideen. By distrust he says that the talks will be a propaganda tool that will be given extensive media coverage and every element of the discussions will be disclosed to give a feeling that talks are happening
  • Starting talks would give Karzai’s puppet government a legal standing.
  • If the talks fail, the US would hold the Taliban responsible and say they want to continue the war.
  • The Taliban wanted to talk to the US eight years ago, but they didn’t want to and chose to invade instead. Now after a war that has killed thousands, destroyed villages, and further destroyed an already destroyed Afghanistan, and spending billions of dollars, they still don’t understand that military force is not the solution to everything.

On AfPak

Q: South Afghanistan borders Pakistan. The Karzai government spreads propoganda that the planning for jihad activities in this area is actually done in Pakistan and that you are in control of foreign fighters?

A: The Karzai government’s basis is of 27 occupying countries. They baselessly propagandize, in response to which I only say this that if in reality the planning of activities in southern Afghanistan are being done in a neighbouring country, then where is the planning of activities in the northern and main regions being done? In the central zone of the country there have been country-level military operations. That is where the most occupiers are killed, but those are not affiliated to a certain country. In the same way in the country’s northern zone Qunduz, Baghlan, Balkh, Badakshan and Jozjan are very far away from the country’s south, so where are the activities on foreign occupiers and their allies being planned on there?

In reality, if support from neighbouring country to Afghanistan can be called a victory, then the Karzai government – which has the military and political support of 37 countries, including neighbouring ones – would rule over Afghanistan. Yes! In the bordering areas, some religious youngsters have a spirit for jihad, whose fathers and grandfathers fought side by side with their Afghan brothers to fight against British and Russian occupiers. Some were martyred here while others were victors. That same spirit is still prevalent today against American occupation amongst brave people. We appreciate their support in the jihad and expect them to fulfill their jihad duties.

On Obama

Q: In America, the Democrats have come to power under Obama. What effect will this have on the war in Afghanistan?

A: “….The American public trusted Obama, and voted him into power. Hence Obama should save his country from the fire that Bush had shoved it in.”


Written by Saba Imtiaz

November 21, 2009 at 6:50 am

One Response

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  1. […] an interview with Taliban commander Jalaluddin Haqqani. You can read some of the excerpts here, including the quote of the week: “….The American public trusted Obama, and voted him […]

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