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Understanding the Taliban

Louis Lingg writes: "Pakistani site dawn.com has posted an essay by Kaiser Bengali: Understanding the Taliban.

An excerpt: 'Even by nineteenth century standards, the Taliban are an anachronism. It is, however, necessary to see where they have come from and how the
Taliban phenomenon has come about. The US decision to engage the Soviet Union in Afghanistan by mobilizing the Islamic clergy in
Afghanistan and Pakistan ordained death and destruction for millions of Afghans. Millions more streamed as refugees into neighbouring
countries. Amongst them were hundreds of thousands of orphans.

These orphans were collected in scores of madrassahs in Afghan refugee camps and in Pakistani cities run by the same clergy. These orphans
grew up through childhood, adolescence and youth in an environment completely devoid of women. They have never known the love and care
of mothers and elder sisters. They have never seen the benign smiles of grandmothers or aunts. They have never played with younger sisters
or female cousins.

These products of the madrassahs - the Taliban - are thus a unique breed of men. Their harshness towards women, towards their opponents
and, indeed, towards themselves should be seen in this context. They are the byproducts of the human destruction wreaked by the US-USSR
clash in Afghanistan. They are certainly not men who will be cowed down by the American display of its awesome firepower.'"