The Taliban’s Choices in Today’s World

Today, the anachronistic Taliban are enjoying the fruits of their many years of sacrifice.

Today they are in heaven. Today they are deified in the Islamic world. Today they are heroes – patriots who achieved the almost impossible: forcing the most powerful country in the world to flee.

Today they are the undisputed leaders of their country.

Today their word is law.

Today, let there be no doubt, they are settling accounts with their compatriot rivals. They are getting revenge.

Today they face the temptation to turn the clock back dozens or even hundreds of years.

Today they are united by a common enemy: the United States of America.

This is the horse they will ride for a long time.

This is the source of their power. This is the reason for their existence.

No, let not the magnitude of their achievement be underestimated. Nor the dynamics of the moral position they secured as a result of the liberation of their homeland from the foreign ‘conqueror’ and its internal collaborators.

These are indeed achievements of historic proportions.

Yes, all this will allow them to ride the horse of power for several years.

Today is their best day. Let them enjoy it because tomorrow they will be forced to make decisions.

Will they want to drag their people back hundreds of years?

Or will they want to make gradual progress?

Today, however, it is not like when they defeated the Soviet Union.

Today is a completely new era. Today their people have the same access to information as any other people.

Today the pictures revealing the living standards of other people are as close as their cell phone.

And so, slowly in the beginning but with increasing speed later the people will demand work, education, human rights, freedom.

And then the Taliban will be forced to either open up their society and their economy or oppress the people, replacing the Americans as the enemy of the people of Afghanistan.

Will they follow the example of Vietnam and slowly open their economies so their tormented people can breathe, or will they follow the example of North Korea?

The messages are currently mixed. They have a lot of work to do to convince their people and the international community that they do not intend to go back to the Middle Ages.

Let them celebrate today. But remember that tomorrow they will need … America.



The recent editorial in the Times of London, in which the paper declares that it now supports the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece, is an important step towards their not-so-distant return.

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