The Taliban Tiers of Evil; Analysis

The Mirror (London, England), July 14, 2009 | Go to article overview

The Taliban Tiers of Evil; Analysis


Byline: CHRIS HUGHES

THE Taliban is a catch-all phrase for fighters in Afghanistan - anyone trying to kill our troops.

In Helmand, anyone carrying a gun or a bomb who isn't in Nato or the Afghan Security Forces is Taliban. The truth is far more complicated with three tiers of varying threats to combat.

Taliban in Pashtu means "student" of a Sunni fundamentalist religious-political movement.

But the Taliban's twisted view of the Koran led to corruption and a violent quasi-Islamic society.

Originating from Pakistan, the Taliban governed Afghanistan for five years from 1996 to 2001 when - after 9/11 - they were toppled.

Before then, women had stopped studying and become murderously-oppressed, second- class citizens. They had to wear the burka head cover in a society governed by extreme Islamic fascism.

They were totally subjugated, never speaking and killed for erring from their laws.

But the Taliban's violent and oppressive military-style units had men also living in fear of the gun, knife and the noose. And members of both sexes who were even suspected of straying from the strictly enforced rules were beheaded, shot or hanged in public.

In world terms, most Taliban are parochial and don't care what happens outside Afghanistan.

They have the nationalistic aim of ousting western influence, returning their country to their rule and, unlike their global jihadist brothers in al-Qaeda, concentrate their violence on home soil.

The Taliban fall into three categories: Tier One Talibs, Tier Two and Tier Three.

TIER THREE are known as "five dollar Talibs" (poverty-stricken locals who need the money).

These street-corner mercenaries carry an AK47 or a bomb for a few dollars and a bonus for the kids if they kill a Brit. So they are not ideologically-driven. They go to battle because it's all they know and they'll be paid and fed in exchange.

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