They took power in order to stop the lawlessness and anarchy that followed the end of the Russian war. Even today, there are people who say: "There wasn't such lawlessness under the Taliban." And they may be right. There were not many non-government bandits robbing people, beating them, and killing them. The government made sure of that. They don't want competition, when it comes to robbing, raping, killing, and harassing their people. So all "lawlessness" was done by Taliban-approved thugs.
They had total power. Then they lost it.
They lost it through stupidity.
The Taliban could do anything they wanted. They could tell Afghans what to do, right down to how to dress, what to eat, what they can and cannot do for entertainment (almost everything was banned). They had people on the streets (religious police) who had the power to beat women (each of whom was required to wear in public what amounted to a tent) for showing so much as a bare ankle or smiling (although how they could know that, I don't know). Singing was out. Laughing, ditto. Television and television sets were banned. Television repairmen could go to jail for six months for practicing their trade. A woman could not go out in public, unless she was accompanied by a male member of her family. Forget sex, unless it was with her husband or unless it was government-approved. The Taliban could sell Afghan women into slavery or as sex slaves for their soldiers.
The Taliban dictated the religious beliefs of an entire nation, imprisoning eight people from other countries who, they claimed, tried to teach Christianity. How they figured to make people believe the way they wanted them to believe, I can't understand. I guess they were satisfied if the people just looked like they were "believers." It's the power.
They could tell women that they could not work, anywhere. They could tell women that each of them must be completely dependent upon members of her family for her very sustenance. If a woman didn't have a family, she was left to starve. A woman could be taken to the local soccer stadium and have her brains blown out on the sand for taking her children to the doctor while not being accompanied by a male member of her family.
The Taliban did absolutely nothing to rebuild the country after the many years of war. When asked why they didn't rebuild, they said that they had other priorities. Consequently, for five years, a formerly vibrant country lived as if in the "Dark Ages," eating (if they ate at all) raw grain products and whatever they could grow on whatever plot of land they could find to grow it on. But if the Taliban found them, they would be punished for trying to survive and their crop would be stolen--er, uh, confiscated.
The Taliban lowered the standard of living in Afghanistan to standards not seen in hundreds of years, simply by neglect. Only a small number of pregnancies would result in a birth. Of those born, a small percentage would not live beyond 4 years. Of those who lived longer, many were killed by government bandits, sometimes while the Taliban "soldiers" were raping and killing their mothers. Or they would be killed in "collateral damage" while the Taliban tried to put down the rebels who opposed them, rebels who could do nothing except harass the Taliban, until the rebels started getting massive help from the United States.
The Taliban had it made. Then they flubbed, big time.
The Taliban supplied, financed, and provided training facilities for the Al-Qa'ida terrorists, who subsequently did one of stupidest things they could do. They attacked the United States. They attacked the country that made it possible for the Afghans to push Russia out of their country. They attacked the country that supplied the military hardware that allowed them to come back out of their caves after being beaten, and actually win against a major world power. The terrorists turned against and attacked the U.S.A., the country that was responsible for the big Afghan victory they claim was theirs alone. They attacked the country whose help alone was responsible for their victory over Russia, whose weapons they still used to stay in power.
Right after Osama bin Laden was appointed commander of the Taliiban military, he had his ignorant thugs hijack four American-owned planes and fly three of them into major landmark buildings, killing thousands of innocent American men, women, and children, killing people who had done them no harm and were only going about their business. Then, when the United States demanded that the Taliban government turn bin Laden over for punishment, its leaders refused. They continued to refuse as the bombs began to drop on their country.
They continued to refuse as target after target was taken out, literally without opposition from them. As military target after military target was destroyed, their infrastructure dismantled, they still refused and continued to spout stupid threats they had to know they could not carry out. After about a month of such terrible bombing, they could could no longer run the country and had to flee for their lives. One after the other, their sanctuaries fell and they were forced to flee again.
All this time, they were telling the world how they were going to destroy us. How we were killing innocent people. Never mind that their first "sucker-punch" attack killed nothing but innocent people. Then they got a bright idea. They started herding innocent Afghans into areas they knew we were going to bomb. When it became necessary for them to hide, they started hiding among the people, living in their homes with them, locating their police stations and other government installations among them and openly parking their military and government vehicles among them, hoping we would bomb there and give them civilian bodies to parade before CNN cameras.
As their dreams began to be destroyed, they continued to make stupid comments in the press. Everytime they would tell the press something, it would be disproved and more of them would be killed. They told us they were just waiting for troops to be put on the ground--then they would do away with us. So troops on the ground finally attacked them, and within days, they were finished. They started running to new locations, and those locations were attacked. Then they ran again. As this is written, they are all but totally defeated, hanging on by their fingernails in one last city, only because they have been given three days to make up their minds to surrender.
And, of course, right in the middle of that, a high-ranking Taliban official tells the press: "It's high time the Americans forgot about the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Innocent people in Afghanistan are dying, and that's what's important now." That's a paraphrase, but its basically what he said. Another in a long line of really stupid remarks. These people aren't playing with a full deck. Does he really think that we will ever forget that terrorists sponsored, trained, housed, and financed by his government targeted and killed thousands of our citizens during during peacetime? Does he really think that the inevitable deaths of a small number of innocents in war will be compared with that by people of intelligence? That this would stop us from destroying their rule and, yes, themselves?
The way to stop terrorism is to "root it out" at its source in its "nest." To take away its financing, eliminate the place where the terrorists can go in safety to rest and plan new attrocities. To destroy its training facilities and kill its leaders. Some innocent people are going to die in war. That's a given. But unlike the Taliban and their terrorists, we strive to minimize those innocent deaths, rather than target innocents for death. Osama bin Laden was heard to say: "We do not have to differentiate between military or civilian. As far as we are concerned, they are all targets, and this is what the fatwah says." We will do what it takes to destroy those terrorists, and any others that arise in the future. The day of terrorists running around killing people without significant opposition is over. If new terrorists arise after these die, they will be dealt with while they are still small. They will never again be allowed to grow to the point where they can do something like what Al-Qa'ida did in New York and Washington, DC. They will be engaged and destroyed, immediately.
They had it made, and they messed it up. We won't be asleep the next time.
This is what you can expect from power seekers when they gain total power. They "go off the deep end" in exercising that power and oppress many people, until they go too far and are removed. In the meantime, many people die, are beaten, raped, and murdered. Think about that.
War & Peace in the Real World
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Islamist Terrorist Attacks on the U.S.A.
Terrorism & U.S. Homeland Security
Osama bin Laden & the Islamist Declaration of War
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American Government 1
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