Widespread media reports are claiming that the Taliban is going house-to-house in Kabul executing “enemies” and other regime opponents.
From senior US source: house-to-house executions in Kabul following US mil departure. There are no words for what this administration has done to all of us – Afghan and American. pic.twitter.com/KzbLALKxGy
— Lara Logan (@laralogan) August 30, 2021
Fox News says that some of the reports of door-to-door executions have been confirmed by a military official.
Yahoo News reports that the Taliban is engaged in a manhunt “in search of the ‘traitors’ who helped the British.”
One local Afghan source claims that the fighting is due, in part, to opposing Taliban factions fighting for influence and control. But given what happened when the Taliban first rolled into Kabul, it’s likely the door-to-door executions are the result of the Taliban knowing exactly where regime opponents live.
When Taliban fighters seized control of Kabul two weeks ago, the invading units made a beeline for two critical targets: the headquarters of the National Security Directorate and the Ministry of Communications.
Their aim — recounted by two Afghan officials who had been briefed separately on the raid — was to secure the files of intelligence officers and their informers, and to obtain the means of tracking the telephone numbers of Afghan citizens. That could be disastrous for hundreds of thousands of people who had been working to counter the Taliban threat.
Yesterday, the Taliban rubbed the noses of the U.S. into the dirt by holding a mock military funeral, complete with a U.S. flag-draped coffin.
Some of the crowd hold guns aloft, while others wave Taliban flags or snap the procession on mobile phones. https://t.co/09A2ip7E4u
— Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) September 1, 2021
Of course, we will form the government but let us complete more important tasks such as staging a mock funeral of the US and the NATO first.
Taliban being Taliban. pic.twitter.com/LEuW8Nr4JE
— Sonam Mahajan (@AsYouNotWish) August 31, 2021
The jarring display was one of many celebrations across the country over the departure of US troops that put an end to the nearly 20-year war.
Taliban official Qari Saeed Khosti also declared Aug. 31 “our formal Freedom Day” in an interview with local television station Zhman TV.
“On this day, American occupying forces and NATO forces fled the country,” Khosti said.
During the mock funeral, which took place in the eastern city of Khost, some attendees held their guns in the air while others waved Taliban flags.
The media will probably begin reporting on the “reformed” Taliban, but the fact is, Afghanistan is a far different country today than it was 20 years ago. After 20 years of cultural exchanges, mostly informal, the people of Afghanistan had a taste of what freedom is.
The Taliban will roll those freedoms back at their own peril.
Retired Army Maj. Gen. Vincent Boles told Fox News that the Taliban should not get too comfortable.
“Be careful what you ask for,” Boles said. “Now they have to show they can govern a nation and people that are very different than when they left power. Will the Taliban go forward to the future or pull Afghanistan back to the past? The answer will be in their behavior… behavior is believable.”
And we can’t depend on what the Taliban is doing in the full glare of media publicity in Kabul. Off-camera, the Taliban is showing their true colors.
Last Wednesday, a former translator for a high-ranking U.S. Army Ranger told Fox News the Taliban had started executing allies of the U.S. in public, in provinces away from the media attention of Kabul.
“They are not doing really bad stuff in Kabul right now because there’s a lot of media focus on Kabul, but they already started public execution in other provinces where a lot of media is not available or covering it,” the interpreter said.
Who’s to blame for this bloodbath? Biden says the consequences were unforeseen, that it was inevitable that the U.S. withdrawal would end in chaos.
It’s hard to dispute both of those points. It’s also reasonable to assume that competent leadership would have mitigated the worst of what we saw in the U.S. scramble to leave.