Two United Front fighters (pictured) north of Kabul
...The first Taliban fighter comes back on the radio. 'I wanted to ask about what happened to your uncle,' he says to Commander Tor. 'Is it true what we heard about him? I'm sorry about that. He was a good guy. A friend for 15 years. Maybe you can be as good a friend as he was to us. He was one of the Mujahideen and we spent our life fighting the Kafars [non-Muslims] together. We will continue our Jihad. Anyway good to talk to you.'
'Take care of yourself.'
Commander Tor and his unit of 52 Northern Alliance guerrillas - drawn from local tribes who have been fighting the Taliban regime in Kabul since 1996 - aim to take care of the troops at the other end of the orchard with the help of four rockets, 22 Kalashnikov and 'unlimited' supplies of ammunition. 'We could do with more supplies but we have enough - we are just waiting for our commanders to tell us to go.'
Just a few kilometres back from the front line, a single rusted yellow earthmover was grinding up and down the desert floor yesterday morning marking out an airstrip - the first clear sign that moves had begun to use northern Afghanistan's rebel-held area as a staging post for a possible US attack on the Taliban.
Past the graveyard of Russian tanks, their rusting innards spilling on to the road, the runway stretches for a kilometre back towards the hills. A perfect location, a fat dusty valley between two mountains, near the town of Guldahar: easy to protect and 20km from the nearest frontline. 'No, we can't say anything, we are not allowed to speak to any journalists,' said an official, turning to follow the earthmover down the valley. He had interrupted the engineer on site who, asked if he was building a military landing strip, replied: 'Inshallah'.
At the cafe on Mamhooda Street in Gabal os Sarog, they know nothing of the airstrip but the mood is confident. Here, an hour's drive from Kabul, they believe that they are living out the last days of the Taliban regime.
The only sound is the hiss of gas lamps and of dozens of hand-held transistor radios tuned to Radio Kabul and the BBC foreign service. All along the street as night falls men are crouched in blackness, heads bent to the radio. The town, without electricity, running water or toilets, is a mud track through the desert with crumbling wooden houses held together by straw and animal dung.
Gabal os Sarog's only qualifications for the twentieth century are transistor radios, old Russian cars and wooden stalls stuffed with out-of-date Iranian cherry juice and banana biscuits. ....
'Their morale is rock bottom,' said Commando, aka Commander Mohamed Zian, a 26-year-old fighter who took up his first Kalashnikov at 13, fighting first the Russians and now the Taliban. He wears a scorpion tattoo on his right hand. 'Hissssss,' he says, pointing to his scorpion - 'That's for the Talibs.'
He is on his way back from the front, his jeep parked beside a metal lorry container packed with explosives ready for detonation if the Taliban attack but there is no sign that they are on the offensive.
'We are waiting for the Americans to strike them and then we will overrun them. My town is Kabul, I'm going back there. Maybe it will be weeks but it could be days.' He drives past the black flag of their dead leader, Ahmad Shah Massoud, assassinated by suicide bombers three weeks ago, fluttering in the desert wind.
Outside Army Post 2, at the frontline town of Carikar, a group of about 30 volunteers set off for the front like a crowd of soccer fans on their way to a sure-win away match. Among them a 15-year-old boy called Salahudine carrying a rocket-propelled grenade and wearing broken plastic shoes. They are led by Abdul Kamel, a 42-year-old veteran of the war against the Soviets....
'The Taliban have left Kabul. They have gone to Logar province to be safe,' says Suib Mir, a 22-year-old computer student. 'It is not the Americans but the people of Kabul rising up against them if America starts bombing.'
und kritische Worte zum Krieg in Afghanistan vom Observerkolumnisten:
A foolish crusad
The British, of all people, should know that talk of defeating terrorism through salutary punishment is hopeless. Our bitter experience with the IRA shows that. The IRA survived and flourished because it enjoyed the active or tacit support of the Catholic population in Northern Ireland, the sympathy of the southern Irish state and financial backing from the greater Irish diaspora. Reprisals, however rational or justified by IRA barbarity, merely had the effect of making matters worse. Just as the IRA enjoyed the support of the wider Irish community, so bin Laden's organisation enjoys support in the wider Muslim world.
That is because, whether we like it or not, both organisations are using a genuine grievance. Peace in Ulster has only become possible now that Britain has started to address nationalist concerns. Anyone who thinks that Arab terrorism can be defeated until the Palestine situation is resolved is dreaming. The thought of the West taking reprisals against bin Laden without demanding major concessions from Israel makes the blood run cold.
Clumsy reprisals will simply inflame Muslim opinion and that is bin Laden's objective. It is clear that his real aim is not the destruction of America but the eviction of the pro-Western regimes in Saudi Arabia and neighbouring countries.
It is not difficult to envisage a series of popular uprisings sweeping aside all moderate Muslim governments. Any attempt by the West to save, say, Saudi Arabia, might be greeted by terrorist reprisals that would make the World Trade Centre atrocity look like an aperitif.
The consequences of such a turn of events are far worse than oil at $100 a barrel and economic depression. A new Middle East power block would have emerged, allying twenty-first century technology with a medieval mind-set. It would have the wealth to buy nuclear weapons and delivery systems to go with them. A new Cold War would have started. But this time, the men with their fingers on the button would have a proven disregard for human life, including their own. This is one possible future if George Bush and Tony Blair miscalculate over the next days and weeks.
In any case, action against Afghanistan and other Muslim powers, while appeasing public sentiment in America, would achieve nothing. The great point about last week's atrocities is that they were inside jobs. The same will apply in the future. Many of the hijackers were educated in the West...
eine detaillierte Landkarte:
und drei sehr interessante Links zu Afghanistan:
http://www.radioafghanistan.com/ mitMusik (müsst Ihr leider kopieren wegen der Fotos)