Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Hamid the Talib

You may recall that on February 27, 2006 I posted about Ted Rall's mistaken claim in a cartoon that the 9/11 Commission says there's no proof of a passenger revolt on flight 93 -- and that they never entered the cockpit. The report of the 9/11 Commission said just the opposite.

You may be surprised when you read that Afghan President Hamid Karzai was a Taliban official in 1997. I sure was, when I read it in Ted Rall's 3-27-06 cartoon.

The guy is famous, but he actually has replied to several of my emails. He replied to my question about the 9/11 Commission Report. "Check it out. It's in there," he wrote. I did. It wasn't.

I blogged about his error later and emailed him the post. Dead silence. He must think I am really Ann Coulter, that loathsome wart.

So this time, rather than blog about it later if he's wrong (or right!), I'll let you see the sausage being made. Last night I emailed him:

OK, it's facts time again. Your 3-27-06 cartoon depicts Hamid Karzai as a "Taliban official 1997." I tried to verify this, but found contrary indications. Wikipedia, for example, says:

"After the Taliban drove Rabbani out of Kabul in 1996, Karzai refused to serve as their U.N. ambassador. In 1997, Karzai joined many of his family members in United States, from where he worked to reinstate Zahir Shah. His father was assassinated, presumably by Taliban agents, July 14, 1999, and Karzai swore revenge against the Taliban by working to help overthrow it."

I some how think that if Karzai had worked for the Taliban, I would have heard of it. Your source, please?

He replied:

Don't believe everything you read on Wikipedia. It's updated by literally anyone who wants to, which causes the politic entries to be tainted with bias. The fact that Karzai worked for the Taliban is well-documented; I could find it again if I wasn't in the middle of trying to get out my next book.

Some research by RusticateGirl turns up a link that says:

In 1994, Karzai joined the Taliban and helped push warlords out of Kabul, but his alliance with the movement was short-lived. "He left the Taliban movement due to the foreign interference in Afghanistan's affairs," Abdul-Malik, a close aide of Karzai and his brother-in- law, told Al-Ahram Weekly from Quetta. "He does not want to be a part of any regime or any institution," Malik said. After his falling out with the hard- line religious movement, Karzai headed for Quetta in 1997 to join his father and younger brother Ahmed Wali Karzai. In Quetta he set up an office to launch a struggle for the Loya Jirga while strengthening his ties with his tribe.

And she found another, which says:

As late as September 2000, Karzai told the Atlantic Monthly: “The Taliban were good, honest people. They were connected to the madrassas in Quetta and Peshawar, and were my friends from the jihad against the Soviets.

(Karzai) close relationship with the Taliban continued for a number of years. He met with Mullah Omar on a number of occasions and in 1996 was offered the post of the Taliban’s UN representative, which he politely declined.

But these aren't very MSM sources, I think. Searching on the quote "The Taliban were good, honest people," didn't turn up an Atlantic Monthly link for me, but it did produce a link to England's The Independent:

When the Taliban emerged to challenge the mujahedin, Mr Karzai sided with them. "The Taliban were good, honest people," he says. "I had no reservations about helping them. It was only in September of 1994 that others began to appear at the meetings – silent ones I did not recognise, people who took over the Taliban movement."

When the Taliban offered him the post of ambassador to the United Nations in 1996, he refused, going into exile in Quetta, in western Pakistan, and keeping open house to anyone who came to visit.

So if Wikipedia is right that "In 1997, Karzai joined many of his family members in United States," it is possible that in some part of 1997 he was still working with the Taliban. So Rall may be right on his facts. Huh! I didn't know Karzai ever worked with or for the Taliban. Go figure.

On another note, I think we now have proof that the claims that Bush has "protected" the mainland US from terror attacks over the last four years are just taking credit for good luck. The US is naked:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Four years after the September 11 attacks, investigators were able to easily enter the United States with enough radioactive material to make two so-called dirty bombs, according to a report on a government undercover investigation obtained on Monday.

Two teams made simultaneous entries at the U.S.-Mexican border and the border with Canada carrying radioactive material in their vehicles in December 2005, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in the report on its investigation.

Left grip is 23 pounds (22, 23, 21), right grip is 68 pounds (62, 68, 67), inhale volume is TK mL.
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