Reading David Rohde. He describes his life as a captive of Taliban. This allowed him to see and analyze it’s captor, now he is writing about it. I have read only some portions and I feel his article will be widely quoted in coming days to describe and evaluate Taliban, especially because Pakistan has started Operation in those areas. What makes these articles important read is that we have so less first hand source of information about Taliban, how they work, what they think, etc… We have so many intellectuals defending or bashing Taliban, most of them have their arguments on what Taliban did at what time, not why Taliban did and Why+What Taliban are doing now. Most of them simplify it too much to just either pursuit of World Dominance to Afghan Freedom fighting.
Not going in detail discussion, I am here quoting a paragraph where he describes the Contradictions of Reasoning
It was a universe filled with contradictions. My captors assailed the West for killing civilians, but they celebrated suicide attacks orchestrated by the Taliban that killed scores of Muslim bystanders. They bitterly denounced missionaries, but they pressed me to convert to their faith. They complained about innocent Muslims being imprisoned by the United States, even as they continued to hold us captive.
He also discussed what this socalled anti-terrorism war is doing
My captors harbored many delusions about Westerners. But I also saw how some of the consequences of Washington’s antiterrorism policies had galvanized the Taliban. Commanders fixated on the deaths of Afghan, Iraqi and Palestinian civilians in military airstrikes, as well as the American detention of Muslim prisoners who had been held for years without being charged. America, Europe and Israel preached democracy, human rights and impartial justice to the Muslim world, they said, but failed to follow those principles themselves.
An interesting insight was how Taliban treated their local captives
Tahir and Asad were held in even lower esteem. The guards incessantly berated both of them for working with foreign journalists and repeatedly threatened to kill them. The dynamic was not new. In an earlier kidnapping involving an Italian journalist and his Afghan colleagues, the Taliban had executed the Afghan driver to press the Italian government to meet their demands.