The #Taliban has already moved aggressively against the #media in Afghanistan, and of course has moved most aggressively against female journalists and presenters.
Great wide-ranging interview with @RobertClark87, who fought in #Afghanistan, on the irresponsible way this has all been handled, the renewed terrorist threats already visible, and #Pakistan, "the elephant in the room".
Anas Haqqani is a flagrant example of the fact the #Taliban is inseparable from #Al_Qaeda: the same people occupy command and control roles in the "two" organisations, which are in reality one fluid network that answers to #Pakistan.
#Biden here is adopting a standard trope from the Trumpian Right in defending the decision to abandon #Afghanistan. It's a very convenient way to frame the issue - and, of course, a wilfully false one.
The #Taliban beating people in the streets of Kabul for carrying #Afghanistan's national flag.
#Biden administration spokesman says #US troops will not leave the airport, and when asked if the #Taliban is an enemy, comes over all existential, saying, "The thing we're working against right now is time and space".
Given the concessions the #US has made to the #Taliban - namely the whole country - this is utterly pathetic.

"Case of kidnapped American Mark Frerichs will weigh on Taliban's legitimacy -U.S. official"…
#Biden's "reflexive response to the crisis [has been] to deflect blame and reject criticism", whihc "has tarnished ... a carefully-honed image of competence, and ... belie[d] the empathy that is his chief political characteristic."…
#pt: "Attempting to contain the fallout of the US' harried exit, Biden has often tried to have it both ways. He declared 'the buck stops with me,' yet he also shifted blame to his predecessor and to an Afghan government and military unwilling to stand up to the Taliban."
#pt: "an official said Biden's deputy national security adviser Jonathan Finer had chaired 11 meetings on SIVs between April 13 and August 6."

Eleven meetings in four months is not exactly prioritising preventing a massacre of the people who helped us.
#Taliban really making a point of harassing people who display #Afghanistan's national flag.
"The symbolic significance of an army of zealots humbling the world's sole superpower is hard to exaggerate. In the Pakistani army it will strengthen the hand of those who view Afghanistan ... as the fulfillment of a religious project" - @dhume…
#pt: "'Pakistan is a country-sized suicide bomber,' @Sarah_Chayes says. 'The message Islamabad sends is that if you get too close to us we’re going to blow ourselves up.' The world will likely get that instability anyway."
For more on #Pakistan as the definition of the problem in #Afghanistan:…
#Britain's special forces have been retrieving Afghans and others who have places on the evacuation flights. It is a race against the #Taliban, which is blocking the roads with their checkpoints - and hunting down the people who worked with us.…
#Sudan's Popular Congress Party, the local manifestation of the Muslim Brotherhood established by Hassan al-Turabi, welcomes the #Taliban's victory, joining HAMAS, HTS, and many others, including non-Islamists like Oman's grand mufti.…
The #Taliban continues its hunt for those who tried to build a different #Afghanistan over the last twenty years.
It's what makes this all even worse: it was entirely needless
Unfortunately, things not really improving in Kabul
Consistent reporting from a wide array of sources, independent of each other and with differing or conflicting incentives/agendas, makes the same point: a widespread #Taliban campaign is ongoing to hunt down people they have publicly promised amnesty to
Anti-Taliban forces retake areas of Baghlan province, neighbouring Panjshir, where #Afghanistan's resistance is headquartered.
Helpful to have some concrete numbers for how many people have been evacuated from Kabul. Numbers for those who still need evacuation is much less clear.
"A coercive approach earlier on against #Pakistan might have enabled a different outcome in #Afghanistan; we will never know because we did not try. The least that can be done now … is to treat Pakistan as the rogue regime it truly is". Latest @Telegraph…
Thread 👇🏼. Bottom line: the remaining anti-Taliban forces headquartered in #Panjshir cannot hold off if and when the #Taliban come for them.
#Taliban media output/control has been well-executed, which is not as impressive as it sounds since the group is a department of a state (#Pakistan), rather than an insurgent group.
Thousands of people at the largest mosque in Kabul pledge allegiance to the #Taliban in a ceremony overseen by Khalil Haqqani, a senior Taliban commander and simultaneously a senior operative of #Al_Qaeda's presence in Afghanistan…
#Syria's Muslim Brotherhood congratulates the #Taliban on its victory in Afghanistan
Perfectly said on all points by Rory Stewart
This was just after Biden said there was no Al-Qaeda presence in Afghanistan ...
This is very simply a lie, to be added to the other whopper just before it, claiming Al-Qaeda is "gone" in Afghanistan
A horrible situation, with insult added to it by ongoing "debate" over whether the Taliban is the same as last time
In context, this is pretty extraordinary: after Trump, the British Parliament was willing to forgive an American President a great deal and on foreign policy the trendlines in Britain all favour withdrawal
This is pretty interesting, albeit not exactly revelatory: the Taliban are people, too, and they are quite prepared to sacrifice large numbers of themselves over a great deal of time just to kill a few of us.…
23 #US Embassy staffers signed a cable, dated 13 July, sent in the classified dissent channel, saying that the #Taliban advances could lead to a rapid collapse of #Afghanistan's state and also called for US officials to speak out about jihadist atrocities…
The 13 July dissent cable makes further nonsense of this, albeit we already knew it was nonsense since there had been outside analysts warning for many months that #Biden's manner of withdrawal was going to lead to disaster sooner rather than later
This is from April, for example. If I could see the Afghan government was crumbling at that time, then anyone who wanted to could have done. Just underlines the ideological zeal of this administration, determined to execute this disastrous policy.

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More from @KyleWOrton

15 Sep
In Sept. 1971, the KGB's Oleg Lyalin defected from the London Embassy and told the British government about the really alarming (and some quite bizarre) "special actions" the Soviets had been planning on the West, precipitating the mass expulsion Soviet spies in Operation FOOT.
The interesting thing is that this meant the West was quite well aware, from near the beginning of Andropov's renewed campaign, that Soviet terrorism was a very real phenomenon, and yet down to the end most in the West considered it a "conspiracy theory"
The KGB recruitment of Wadi Haddad of the PFLP in 1970 was the turning point: his Palestinian group was given weapons that even Eastern Bloc states hadn't received and given tasks as various as kidnapping CIA officers and assassinating Soviet defectors.
Read 7 tweets
15 Sep
#Pakistan's claim to be a victim of terrorism rests on groups like #TTP ("Pakistani Taliban"), but it was the Army/ISI who created the jihadist emirate in North Waziristan where this group was formed, with the active and ongoing assistance of the ISI's loyal Haqqani Network. ImageImage
#pt: "The Foutainhead of Jihad", pp. 164-5.
The #Haqqani-run enclave in North Waziristan, operating with the full backing of #Pakistan's ISI, not only nurtured the #TTP the Pakistanis would later portray as a mortal foe, it of course supported the "Afghan" #Taliban and was where #Al_Qaeda organised many post-9/11 plots. ImageImage
Read 9 tweets
14 Sep
#IS established itself in "Af-Pak" by building off the Afghan Salafist community that took root in eastern areas via the Arab presence there beginning many decades ago. The Salafis had some second thoughts, but the #Taliban is now pressuring them, too.…
#pt: The Taliban made an approach to IS-Centre in 2015 to ask that ISKP not be used to open another jihadist front, since this would distract from the war with the West. No dice. IS didn't even bother to reply.
#pt: The original Pakistani, mostly TTP, leadership of #ISKP was killed off quite quickly and replaced with Afghan Salafis. The current leader, though, Dr. Shahab al-Muhajir, seems to be a former Haqqani Network operative, and has peeled away other parts of that network.
Read 4 tweets
13 Sep
The lengths the #KGB went to in trying to destroy #Solzhenitsyn even after he had been expelled from the Soviet Union are extraordinary, and not entirely irrational: they understood the danger he posed to them.

<Mini thread drawn from "The Sword and the Shield", pp. 312, 317-21>
Andropov first tried to expel Solzhenitsyn in autumn 1971, but Brezhnev listened to interior minister Nikolai Shchelokov, who said the great writer should be co-opted rather than persecuted. Andropov did not forget this, and later witch-hunted Shchelokov until he killed himself.
In late 1973, after Solzhenitsyn and Sakharov wrote an open letter that encouraged Congress to override the Nixon-Kissinger administration by passing Jackson-Vanik that linked Soviet trade privileges to human rights, Brezhnev said the KGB should have cracked down from the start.
Read 9 tweets
9 Sep
#Pakistan's ruler from 1999 to 2008, General Pervez Musharraf, wrote in his memoir: "It is true that we had assisted in the rise of the #Taliban after the Soviet Union withdrew from #Afghanistan" (p. 202). Image
Even after #Pakistan's General Musharraf disparages the "obscurantist" nature of the #Taliban and the "peace of the graveyard" they brought, he writes: "Nevertheless, we still supported them, for geostrategic reasons", to minimise Indian influence in #Afghanistan (p. 203).
Musharraf tries to create a narrative where #Pakistan was not engaged with the #Taliban at inception, even though the Saudis and UAE were (p. 201-11), which is absurd, and that the ISI had lost its "leverage" over the Taliban after it came to power (pp. 203, 209), equally absurd.
Read 9 tweets
5 Sep
"Though Mr. Biden reversed other Trump policies, he was inclined to go through with the Afghan [withdrawal] ... The military argued for keeping 2,500 troops ... Bagram air base was central to the military's plans" for drones and special forces.…
On 8 May, "The Pentagon wanted a discussion on an emergency evacuation of the embassy and how to plan to remove Afghans at risk, but White House officials asked that those issues be removed from the agenda"

Again, Biden cannot say he didn't know. Biden chose to leave the Afghans
Even Jake Sullivan thought closing Bagram Airbase was a bad idea, and in June there was a pause for four days. But Biden insisted on doing all this with 650 troops in Kabul, so the Pentagon could only protect either Bagram or HKIA, and Biden went with the latter.
Read 7 tweets

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