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Establishment Republicans Want to Give Taliban More Money

By Ralph Lopez - Posted on 05 November 2010

And why wouldn't they?  The war is making everyone rich (except us, who pay the bill.)  Reported practically before the ballots in all the states had been counted:

WASHINGTON: Republican lawmakers who now control the US House of Representatives said on Thursday that they would try to prevent President Barack Obama from withdrawing American troops from Afghanistan as he planned...

Now, thanks to Rep. John Tierney, we know that at least 20% of Pentagon contract funds for overland transportation of military supplies goes to insurgents, as payment for not attacking the truck convoys.  This means up to $400 million a year goes directly to financing the Taliban and its allies, which could include warlords on the U.S. payroll in other ways accustomed to playing both sides.  To put that in context, the Taliban hierarchy's income from opium profits is estimated at about $300 million a year.  This is not small leakage.  If the Pentagon gave the Taliban any more, it should be issued stock.

The name of the Tierney subcommittee's full report is "Warlord, Inc."

Add to this the fact that a huge amount of reconstruction dollars never even reach the country, but are taken back by American contractors in the form of 40% profit margins and ex-patriot "consultant" salaries, and it's a "splendid little war," to quote President McKinley's Secretary of State.

A 2008 report by OXFAM bares the truth about what's really happening to reconstruction dollars going to Afghanistan, the loss of which is blamed, in the official line, on corrupt Karzai government cronies, which is only part of the truth.  OXFAM's watershed "Aid Effectiveness in Afghanistan" tells us:

Afghanistan's biggest donor, USAID, allocates close to half of its funds to five large US contractors in the country and it is clear that substantial amounts of aid continue to be absorbed in corporate profits. According to the US based Centre for Public Integrity, the US government has awarded major contracts in Afghanistan, some worth hundreds of millions of dollars, to, inter alia, KBR, the Louis Berger Group, Chemonics International, Bearing Point and Dyncorp International.  In some large contracts in Afghanistan there are up to five of layers international or national subcontractors, each of which usually takes between 10-20% profit on any given contract but in some cases as much as 50%.

The peerless Ann Jones writes:

Afghans keep asking: "Where did the money go?" American taxpayers should be asking the same question. The official answer is that donor funds are lost to Afghan corruption. But shady Afghans, accustomed to two-bit bribes, are learning how big-bucks corruption really works from the masters of the world.

So it's no mystery why Establishment Republicans would want to misread this week's Tea Party victories as a mandate to keep financing the Taliban. No Taliban, no war.  No war, no hand-over-fist money making for campaign contributors who'll take care of them once they are out of office in one way or the other.  Son we are talking gigantic gobs of cushy jobs, stock options, likker, DC madams forever YEE HAW!!

And so far this has cost you, according to economist Joe Stiglitz, around $50,000 since 2001 for every typical American family.  Did someone say war is a racket?  Of course it's all going on the Chinese credit card until it maxes out.

Could this story get any worse?  Yes.  Not only are we paying for insecurity and hatred due to the civilian casualties, night raids based on faulty information, and drone attacks which leave Afghans begging us to tell them why we are doing this to them, we could easily have the very opposite, real security, a people allied with us in the region who would hunt down Al Qaeda themselves, and a prospering Central Asian economy, for about one-tenth the price.  When politicians intone gravely "we don't do nation-building" they may as well be saying "we don't do things the cheap, smart way that works for national security.  No damned profit."

Three Cups of Tea author Greg Mortensen recently told Nick Kristof of the New York Times:  "The conventional wisdom is that education and development are impossible in insecure parts of Afghanistan that the Taliban control. That view is wrong."  Mortensen says that by consulting tribal elders and insuring most work is done by locals, meaningful development can progress.

Kristof went to Kabul to talk to men in a shanty town on the outskirts and reported:

What intrigues me is that the men don’t seem particularly ideological...These men say that their preference would be to get regular jobs and live in peace. But there are no jobs, and now they are being told that they will be kicked out of their camp. They say the threatened expulsion is the result of a corrupt land deal by tycoons tied to the government of President Hamid Karzai. "If the government forces us out, then we’ll have to go and join the Taliban and fight..."

And the Taliban will have money to hire them.  Yours. Everyone knows the Taliban pays ten bucks a day.  That's called good money in these parts.  You might not like the work, but that's who's hiring.

And the war and the non-reconstruction will roll merrily along while them good old boys in Washington par-TAY with all the likker and wimmin money can bah.

Who your reconstruction dollars are NOT reaching

"This is the tip of the iceberg," Tierney said in an interview with CBS News. "There are other contracts over there, whether they are cell phone contracts or base security, and if you're paying the wrong people to do that and fuelling corruption, then it's not really going to speak well for the reason we sent our men and women there and the reason they're sacrificing their lives".

That's a sort of fine recognition, but there's a problem with it. This war was never launched or commanded for the reasons we were given. So Rep. Tierney et al need to wake up to this fact. What he's saying is fine, if the war was launched for the reasons we were given, but it wasn't. It's based on lies of the Bush Jr-Cheney administration and troops need to understand that they have not truly been fighting to defend the US against anything. They have not been risking and sacrificing their lives and mental states for any honorable reason whatsoever. Many thought they were, but they were duped, and that duping is a damn hellbent crime of Washington elites, et al.

Rep. Tierney's subcommittee should be renamed to, f.e., "War-is-a-Racket, Inc.", or using the title of David Swanson'ss new book, "War is a Lie, Inc.". It's not to say that dollars, a heck of a lot of them, aren't going to the wrong hands, but that's part of the racket. Rackets usually aren't holy enterprises!

Re. high profit margins:

40% profit margins are sick, ridiculous. With the amount of money involved, the profit margins should be easily and very reduceable. Anyone who is going to make 40% profit from multi-million dollar war contracts is going to want and push for war and continuing war. A $1mn contract pays $400,000 profit; a $4mn contact pays $1mn profit; a $10mn contract pays $4mn profit. This is racketeering.

Is it all really profit though? If 40% or so is actually profit, then soldiers should start fighting against their "masters". And, either way, this war is [criminal] and commanded by hellbent political (and military, speaking of commanders) fools. They might get monetarily rich, but they are fools. They can't make this world a decent one to live in; they make it hell. And they and/or their future generations will get "payback" one bad way or another bad way. They are mass murderers and destroyers, and that kind of conduct can [never] lead to a good future.

Re. Taliban and heroin $$:

As for the Taliban making an estimated $300mn per year from the heroin trade, I wonder how much of this western claim is true. Are people saying this while meaning that all Afghan resistance forces or groups, which include the Taliban, but who aren't the only people in these forces? How much are the other Afghan resistance groups, as well as Afghan bandits, taking? And what real proof is there for the real Taliban profiting from the heroin trade after they were the ones who eradicated [most] poppy cultivation until this western racket war was launched?

It's very possible that the real Taliban started to take money from the heroin trade in order to fund their resistance, but many westerners have often written of Afghan resistance as if they're all of the Taliban and they aren't. And the real Taliban evidently don't have sophisticated weaponry, so how is their supposed $300mn net dollars per year being spent when they don't have any super-weapons and apparently don't have a rich diet, et cetera?

Afghan mujahideen aren't all Taliban. And if I recall correctly, then the leader or leaders of the other groups in Afghan resistance are known to be involved with heroin production and trafficking, so profit. It's also possible that some leading Taliban take this money and use it for funding resistance, but that evidently would not be much. The fighting Taliban evidently don't have much for weapons, nothing that'd cost millions of dollars; based on what I've read about their attacks anyway. If some of the heroin profits are being used to fund Taliban resistance, then I wonder how, because it definitely doesn't seem to be obvious, at all.

Western claims are always to be questioned when they're from "msm" media, as well as many "alternative" media. They present claims, but often without proof that backs up the claims. We can have proof that the claims come from Washington war elites, but their words regularly are lies and distortions.

American elites, the CIA, chiefs of big banks, et cetera, are profiting from the drug trade, as they have always done, and it's the US that is responsible for the skyrocketed increase of poppy cultivation in Afghanistan.

A 2008 report by OXFAM bares the truth about what's really happening to reconstruction dollars going to Afghanistan, the loss of which is blamed, in the official line, on corrupt Karzai government cronies, which is only part of the truth.

Definitely, "only part of the truth". Washington is equally and also more guilty. USAID is a bogus agency. It mostly serves for racket, covering up "black" covert ops, and so on. There is nothing good about this agency. It only serves to mask crimes of the US.

And so far this has cost you, according to economist Joe Stiglitz, around $50,000 since 2001 for every typical American family. Did someone say war is a racket?

According to the Bloomberg article jimstaro provided a link for, Joseph Stiglitz had said in 2008, if not earlier, that the war on Iraq, alone, would cost Americans $3TN, and I don't know if it's stated in that Bloomberg piece, but I read one back then, or earlier, and think it was actually by him. It would've probably been at and he said $3TN for the US, alone, but possibly $6TN, total; to the US and other countries. Or maybe he had written $5TN, as is stated in the title for the Bloomberg piece, but which isn't found or repeated in the body of the article. I'm pretty sure that he had said $6TN though, for [total].

I just tried a Web search of CD to try to find the article and the search turned up the link for the following recent article.

"The True Cost of the Iraq War: $3 Trillion and Beyond"
by Joseph E. Stiglitz and Linda J. Bilmes, Wa. Post, Sept. 5th, 2010

Writing in these pages (linked) in early 2008, we put the total cost to the United States of the Iraq war at $3 trillion. ...

But today, as the United States ends combat in Iraq, (linked) it appears that our $3 trillion estimate (which accounted for both government expenses and the war's broader impact on the U.S. economy) was, if anything, too low. For example, the cost of diagnosing, treating and compensating disabled veterans has proved higher than we expected.

Moreover, two years on, it has become clear to us that our estimate did not capture what may have been the conflict's most sobering expenses: those in the category of "might have beens," or what economists call opportunity costs. ...



..., we spent at least four times as much money in Iraq as in Afghanistan.

It is hard to believe that we would be embroiled in a bloody conflict in Afghanistan today if we had devoted the resources there that we instead deployed in Iraq. A troop surge in 2003 -- before the warlords and the Taliban reestablished control -- would have been much more effective than a surge in 2010. (linked)


When the United States went to war in Iraq, the price of oil was less than $25 a barrel, and futures markets expected it to remain around that level. With the war, prices started to soar, reaching $140 a barrel by 2008. ...

In calculating our $3 trillion estimate two years ago, we blamed the war for a $5-per-barrel oil price increase. We now believe that a more realistic (if still conservative) estimate of the war's impact on prices works out to at least $10 per barrel. ...

Federal debt


The financial crisis

The global financial crisis was due, at least in part, to the war. ...


It's a lot of blablabla. The two co-authors don't even recognize that the damn war on Afghanistan was never justifiable, that it has always been criminal and unjustifiable! I'm not really surprised after having just learned that Joseph Stiglitz was in the highly corrupt Clinton administration; but the above recent article is [sickening] and someone really needs to put an end to the highly bogus Nobel institution or whatever the stupid contraption is called.

Some deserving people received awards from the Nobel contraption committee or whatever they're called, but some truly deserving people were refused and if I recall correctly, then Kathy Kelly is one of those very deserving people who were not given a merited award or recognition. The Nobel whatever-contraption committee has given awards to many hellish criminals, and Joseph Stiglitz isn't even bright enough to recognize that the war on Afghanistan has always been and continues to be entirely criminal.

Nobel was supposed to have died, so it's time to bury the Nobel enterprise along with him. It's very toxic.

Joseph Stiglitz uses the argument of the cost of the war on Iraq to promote the criminal war on Afghanistan. The man's a war [criminal]! He's [sick].

How many more of these criminal imperialist, et cetera, elites are we supposed to respect?

The financial, economic costs of these wars are very high, but the criminality of these wars is more important to recognize. Would it be fine to commit such crimes if the cost to us was little? Absolutely not! They would still need to be strongly and totally opposed. The economic costs are only useful, potentially, and only for trying to persuade war supporters to stop supporting these supreme international crimes. The costs hurt me, but more important is that these wars are totally criminal.

Could this story get any worse? Yes. Not only are we paying for insecurity and hatred due to the civilian casualties, night raids based on faulty information, and drone attacks which leave Afghans begging us to tell them why we are doing this to them, we could easily have the very opposite, real security, a people allied with us in the region who would hunt down Al Qaeda themselves, and a prospering Central Asian economy, for about one-tenth the price.

Al Qaeda is not really the problem, and 9/11 did not happen as Washington's "official story" was fabricated to try to mislead us into dumbly believing. Whatever there is for any real AQ, their actions and plots against the West and proxies of the West are only due to the West's crimes and the West's corruption of their governments. AQ needs to wake up, religiously, but the West is much more criminal and never has any legitimate bases; while AQ actually does have [some] legitimate bases. I don't think fondly of AQ, but it does have at least one, two or three legitimate bases, and whenver anyone has any legitimate bases, then I don't want to ignore them. They have to be taken into careful consideration even if we perceive injustices from the same group of people. What's legitimate is that and what's unjust is that. I don't want to pretend that a person or group can't have both just and unjust bases.

Unfortunately, Washington has [no] just bases.

When AQ attacked a couple of American facilities in Africa during the Clinton years, and I think to recall that these were both US embassies, AQ had a real reason for doing this, if AQ was really responsible anyway. And take careful note that AQ did not then attack ordinary, civilian Americans. The attacks were on US embassies and people who worked there were not ordinary American citizens, civilians. They weren't the war-making, et cetera, US elites, but were nevertheless working and employed by the latter, so they weren't ordinary civilian Americans. They ideally would not have been harmed, but they were working for the worst criminal state on this planet, so these people should've sought better jobs.

Anyone who works for imperialist, hegemonic, and so on, rulers needs to understand that he or she immediately makes themselves so-called legitimate targets. Anyone who works in such offices should be intelligent enough to realize that they're actually working for a criminal government, and anyone who does not realize this is dreaming and should not be there. They should then not be targeted, victims of ignorance, but no one working in such offices should be this ignorant of reality.

War is bad. Wage criminal wars and racket against humanity, and then don't whine when there's some "payback". Don't want payback? Stop the root crimes. If we don't do that, then we have nothing to whine about. Don't whine about symptoms. Instead, solve the root problems.

Osama bin Laden expressed sympathy with the Americans who died due to the attacks on the WTC Towers on 9/11 because most were ordinary, perhaps well-paid, but nevertheless mostly ordinary Americans, as well as foreigners; and most of them were not known to be working for the government, and most were not employed in any way indicating that there was any association with the government. Attacking the Pentagon would've been strategically symbolic, but AQ wasn't against so-called American freedom and citizens. AQ was against US crimes against Islam.

OBL was angry because of the political corruption of the government of Saudi Arabia, which is highly due to US elites. And he probably also was angry due to the crimes against Palestinians; and maybe for other righteous reasons. But he clearly denied responsibility for the 9/11 attacks and clearly expressed sympathy for the families who lost loved ones in the attacks on the WTC Towers.

And if AQ was at all really responsible for the 9/11 attacks, any part of them, then it'd be the Pentagon, and possibly the shot-down flight 93, shot down over a Pa. farm field, which, in theory anyway, might've otherwise made it to DC and possibly hit the White House; to give us a belated 4th of July, Independence Day, say. But why choose a part of the Pentagon that was known to be in construction or reconstruction and where there were relatively few people, Pentagoners? Maybe it's because AQ wanted to minimize casualties. But it wasn't a strategic part to hit. It would've been much more strategic to hit a part where the high officials, plenty of them, especially the top ones, were officed.

AQ is a US invention, covertly, but OBL apparently became very angry because of the imperialists, and so on, of the US corrupting the Saudi government, and he probably, if not surely, was also angry due to the US supporting and protecting Israel in its long and unending history of extreme crimes against Palestinians. He might've also been angry because of other crimes of the US against Islam. None of us can fault him for being angry about these crimes; if he was really angry about them.

It's the US-lead West that's the real criminal in all of this. We can't expect to sit back and expect for peoples to calmly take our crimes against them. We are the crime leaders and when some people of some of the victim populations seriously react, then we call them terrorists and launch wars of aggression. We're the ones who are f*cked up. I don't like Sharia Law or anything of the like, but the US has no grounds for preaching about this, either. Western governments are much worse.

And experts have said that there are less than 100 AQ members in Afghanistan; and there surely aren't many more in Pakistan. And AQ in Iraq likely is an invention of political and military elites of the US.

Readers don't have to believe me any more than I have to believe anyone else; but we need to [question], to critically question, and I don't trust most westerners on topics that they are not first-hand witnesses to. We repeat claims Washington passes on to us through "msm" media, corporate as well as so-called alternative, and we get a lot of bogusness. Some of it is obviously bogus, immediately evident, and some requires more reading and learning. The West covers up a lot of its hell and so-called "alternative" media contribute a lot to this. Many so-called humanitarian organizations also do this, wittingly and not. These organizations can be truly humanitarian in some contexts, while aiding cover-ups of extreme Western crimes in other contexts, and the latter seems to happen a lot with respect to Africa. And it also happened with respect to Haiti, the Feb. 29th, 2004 act-of-war coup d'etat that the US lead there, and much of what happened afterwards, including [today].

I don't care about AQ. I care about the crimes of western governments and elites! They [are] the big problem. Stop their crimes and then we won't have any need to worry about groups like AQ that the US covertly created. If I have a battle, then it definitely is not against AQ; it is against my hellbent corrupt government and society. (I'm a dual citizen and what I just said is true of both western governments.) I'm not going to be a Western follower for the West doesn't do much of any good, and it does a hell of a lot of hell all over this planet.

If our world became almost entirely perfect, with only AQ being an/the imperfection, then I would then want to specifically get this problem straightened out. However, and for now, it's not AQ that we have any need to waste any time with. It's the extremely criminal governments and elites of the West that we need to stop.

AQ is a [consequence] of our crimes. We need to stop our crimes on this world, rather than trying to remedy symptoms or consequences of our crimes. If we don't take this approach, then it's like saying that we support our hellbent crimes against humanity, but refuse to allow any "negative feedback", say. To hell with that sort of view. Stop our criminality, instead. We [deserve] payback and it's our fault. Like it or lump it, we are the leading criminals, so no American whining against even AQ is right. AQ is not the problem. Our government is!

Stop the crimes against humanity and give humanity a real chance! The western elites don't care for this paradigm, at all, but we have to care and truly so.

9/11? Look to Washington for the most guilty people! The Taliban definitely were not responsible and it's not likely, at all, that AQ could have committed these attacks. There might've been some dumb, suckered Saudi patsies who were used, and they, according to Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer and Michael Springman(n/nn?), were treated as terrorists by the State Dept, et cetera; but the State Dept, and et cetera, made sure these characters got to the US, and got residential addresses and driver's licenses using their real names, but no one noticed, or everyone was ordered like Mike Springman was and which was to shut up and obey. The State Dept, CIA, possibly FBI, DoJ, and Congress all told him that he was too junior, that he didn't know what he was doing, and that he was to obey. Look for the videos at Youtube with these two whistleblowers.

If the elites in the US didn't want the attacks to happen, then the 9/11-attack planes would've been stopped long before they struck. These planes were flown very far off course and intercepters normally intervene very promptly. I don't know what the distance is, but a plane that's 15mi. off course will be intercepted, an interceptor will go up to try find out what's wrong; but some, if not all, of the 9/11-attack planes flew much further off course without any interceptors going up. There were very odd, definitely questionable war "games", exercises going on that morning and these were for supposedly responding to attacks like those that happened on 9/11, but no interceptors went up. There apparently were some interceptor or interceptor-capable pilots up in the air who could've acted, but were ordered to not do so. While the war exercises included many planes, there were still plenty available, but none were used to try to intercept. One or more E-4B planes were witnessed very near the WTC Towers and the Pentagon when the attacks happened and these planes are "Pentagon-in-the-sky" planes, painted to resist heat or radiation from nuclear explosions, and highly equipped, electronically; including the cability for remotely taking over and controlling other aircraft. Plenty of people witnessed these planes, and some "msm" news media caught these planes on video recordings, but there's no mention of these planes in the "official story".

There's a lot to 9/11 that many people surely still aren't aware of.

9/11 is an inside job one way or another. But take what readers can learn at or through (not to be confused with .org, for that Web site has plenty of bogus content and/or links) and the editor's other related Web sites, Web sites that he recommends, as well as what's learned with videos of or with Lt. Col. Shaffer, Michael Springman, and, I guess, also Sibel Edmonds have said. Then think about all of this information very carefully.

Lt. Col. Shaffer doesn't, or didn't for a time anyway, say that 9/11 was an inside job, but what he testified about in a hearing before either the House or Senate tells us of inside job workings. The same is true for what Mike Springman said, regardless of whether he also or didn't also say that he believed that 9/11 was an inside job. Sibel Edmonds possibly also never said that 9/11 was an inside job. But if we take what they did say and combine it with important information acquired at, f.e., then we begin to [see] inside job alright. Add the fact that Washington was forewarned by many intelligence agencies, including in May 2001, but I've also read of a forewarning from January 2001; and have additionally read that plots against the US for its crimes were also begun before 2001.

The US or West definitely does understandably have potentially many foes, but the foes are only foes because of our crimes, and our crimes are much worse than their crimes.

That's the problem. Stopping the West's crimes is primordial. It does not serve us any good to blame AQ, or other parties. It is our crimes that form the root and we need to extinguish this root. We've been doing this for a very, very long time. It's long past due time to stop. If we don't, then we at least should not waste time whining about AQ, et cetera. Doing that is just more of our hypocrisy, and hegemony. We need to stop the Western elites' crimes against humanity. It's priority no. 1.

"War is a LIE", by David Swanson.

"War is a RACKET", by former Major General Smedeley Butler.

We have to give up the AQ excuse. It will never justify our criminality; it never can, and the US created this database of then useful mujahideens, from whom a group thereof eventually formed the Taliban, who never attacked the US, not in the US anyway. If they attacked the US anywhere else, then the question is what the hell the US was doing there to begin with. The US is not and never has been a benign country. It's always been malignant; and even if that's not unique to the US, this is certainly no excuse for crimes against humanity.

Forget AQ and stop Washington! If we don't make that priority #1, then we will be far from resolving the serious issues presently affecting this world. AQ is a consequence, consequences are like symptoms, and we don't remedy problems by working on symptoms. We need to get to the cause, and we majorly are the cause of many extreme problems presently affecting humanity, worldwide. If we don't do this, then we have nothing to cry about.

We, the US elites, and their allies, including proxies, are the big problem. We are the leaders in criminality against humanity. AQ, if it is at all against the West's crimes, is [reactionary] and not provocateur. If we aggress others, if we cause oppression, et cetera, then we are the cause and others then have the right to react.

Americans elect corrupt political representatives and then want to pretend that others wanting or acting to react to our crimes against them are wrong. It's hellbent nonsense! These voters should have their so-called right to vote removed. People without real conscience have no natural righ to vote. Or if we're to say that they do, then other citizens have the right to act against this, but we'd be hunted down.

"War is a Racket".

"War is a Lie".

I don't buy any of it.

Not necessarily associated with any current Taliban making up the Taliban resistance against the West's invasion and war, anyway.

Now, thanks to Rep. John Tierney (D-MA), who won his re-election handily, we know that at least 20% of Pentagon contract funds for overland transportation of military supplies goes to insurgents, as payment for not attacking the truck convoys.

The latter part of that sentence is linked to a article of November 2009 and it says the following.


Welcome to the wartime contracting bazaar in Afghanistan. It is a virtual carnival of improbable characters and shady connections, with former CIA officials and ex–military officers joining hands with former Taliban and mujahideen to collect US government funds in the name of the war effort.

They're family and associated with the also former Taliban who's been made President of the puppet government in Kabul, Hamid Karzai, who left the Taliban to work for Chevron.

These people are no longer real Taliban; not the fighting, resisting ones of today anyway. RAWA also and explicitly says that they're "former" members, and refers to some others who are also former Taliban. But Americans regularly write of these criminals as if they're still Taliban. It's a regular problem with many Americans or westerners. Former Taliban means [former]; and that means no longer.

But the person for the company NCL says that "insurgents" are paid to allow supply trucks through "insurgent"-controlled territory. If these "insurgents" include fighting Taliban, then they definitely and clearly have faulty leadership and should decide whether they're really against the western aggression, or not. If they aren't, then they are extremely guilty for the western bombings and killings of Afghans, and they should then change to openly support the criminal West in order to bring this war to an end.

They'd be guilty of human rights abuses anyway due to archaic and wrongful religious law(s), but if they did not accept bribes for allowing and, therefore, aiding western war of aggression, then they'd just need to wake up about religious rules that never were right and should be obsoleted. If they work with the western leadership, however, then they are guilty of being part of supreme international crime against Afghans, and treason.

But I wonder how many of the fighting Taliban are aware of this treachorous aspect of their resistance. How many of them are suckered; like US citizens who have served and are serving in this war were suckered into doing this? Maybe it's like with western troops; [most] have been suckered and those still serving and enlisting are also deceived, while some might just be nutcases who like to commit violence, hypocrisy, and so on.

Or is it really fighting Taliban who've been paid to allow enemy supply trucks through, passage? Might it be only other "insurgent" groups of Afghans who aren't of the fighting, resisting Taliban?

Maybe it's some of all of the Afghan fighting groups, but how can we really know?

One thing that's evidently certain, however, is that "former Taliban" aren't present Taliban. Otherwise, they would not be referred to as "former".


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