A remnant of Afghanistan survives in the Panjshir Valley (ref. 1), a natural fortress north-east of Kabul. The Panjshir was once a bastion of Ahmad Shah Massoud, the ethnic Tajik known throughout Afghanistan as “the Lion of Panjshir”. Massoud was a guerrilla fighter that challenged both the Soviets and then the Taliban until he was assassinated in 2001 by Al Qaeda suicide bombers posing as journalists.
The other day, relying on an article from Murdoch’s news.com.au, I mentioned that the vice president of Afghanistan, Amrullah Saleh, and the defence minister, Bismillah Khan, also fled with the president, Ashraf Ghani. That was incorrect. The president has indeed fled, though he went to the UAE rather than Uzbekistan. But not the vice president nor the defence minister.
Both Amrullah Saleh and Bismillah Khan are now in the Panjshir Valley, Afghanistan’s last holdout against the Taliban (ref. 1). The Afghans that control the Panjshir Valley are fighters of Ahmad Massoud, the son of Ahmad Shah Massoud (ref. 1). All three men – Ahmad Massoud and Amrullah Saleh and Bismillah Khan – are ethnic Tajiks and all three have a history with Ahmad Shah Massoud’s Northern Alliance.
Bismillah Khan, who led the Afghan army from 2002 to 2010, and then served as the interior minister of Afghanistan from 2010 to 2012, was long ago a senior commander of the Northern Alliance.
Amrullah Saleh is an Afghan politician and until a few days ago the vice president. He also formerly served as the interior minister of Afghanistan and before that as the head of the National Directorate of Security – Afghanistan’s domestic and foreign intelligence. He has declared himself to be the rightful caretaker president (ref. 2), and he intends to resist the Taliban with the help of Massoud: “I will never, ever and under no circumstances bow to the Talib terrorists… I won’t disappoint millions who listened to me. I will never be under one ceiling with the Taliban. NEVER.” – Saleh tweeted defiantly a few days ago (ref. 2).
Since that tweet, I find it curious that Twitter has shut down Saleh’s account and also all accounts associated with his political party, citing some violation of the guidelines (ref. 3). Even more curious is the fact that Twitter permits the Taliban’s spokesperson and the like to continue to use its platform.
About Ahmad Massoud, apparently, he spent a year at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, and he has a degree in war studies from King’s College London.
This nascent anti-Taliban front is now seeking weapons and supplies to resist the Taliban. Massoud just penned an op-ed piece for the Washington Post, pleading the American public directly for help (ref. 4).
First, it is naive to think that America is a democracy or that the American public can sway public policy. I noticed, Massoud cited Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s trope “a great arsenal of democracy”. In fact, FDR, who was a Freemason, never wanted America to enter WWII. Winston Churchill tried again and again to convince him to enter the war as a belligerent, or at least to supply the UK with mothballed destroyers. America only entered the war because of Pearl Harbour. Regarding Lend-Lease, that was actually a means by which the USA got the British to hand over the wealth and military bases of the British Empire, things America sought ever since “War Plan Red” circa 1930.
Second, never forget that it was America, specifically the Trump Administration, that did a deal in 2020 with the Taliban. Not only did Mike Pompeo meet Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the second in command and one of the founders of the Taliban (ref. 5), but America also made Pakistan free him. Baradar was actually in a Pakistani prison, arrested in 2010 for terrorism, in a joint CIA and Pakistani ISI operation. The Taliban began in 1994 as a madrassa in Kandahar – the “Taliban” means the religious students. Baradar was a cleric and a teacher at that madrassa. Anyway, Mike Pompeo who led the CIA before becoming Secretary of State freed him in 2018, and then met with him in 2020 in an official capacity.
Surely, Ahmad Massoud would do better with the British. The British might agree to help because of Massoud’s time at Sandhurst. Though America’s lackey Boris Johnson is the prime minister, as I say, Ben Wallace, the defence secretary, seems different (ref. 6).
Alternatively, there is France. I noticed, France’s Emmanuel Macron delivered a speech after the fall of Kabul, and he said that the fight against Islamic terrorism would go on (ref. 7). “Our actions will above all be aimed at fighting actively against Islamist terrorism in all its forms.” On translators and women activists now being targeted by the Taliban in Afghanistan, he said, “We will help them as it is the honour of France to be side-by-side with those who share our values.” Macron also said, “We will do everything for Russia… and Europe to cooperate efficiently as our interests are the same.” So, perhaps, France will end up on the correct side of history after all.
I am inclined to think, France’s DGSE is safer and a better option than the UK’s MI6. But maybe I am wrong.
Of course, there’s Russia and China. However, given that Massoud’s father fought against the Soviets, that might be a non-starter.
About Russia and China, notice in the last few weeks both nations have separately held military exercises with Tajikistan. China’s exercise focused on “counter-terrorism” (ref. 8). Russia’s deployed tanks in Tajikistan near the Afghan border (ref. 9).
Can Ahmad Massoud, the new “Lion of Panjshir”, prevail against the Taliban?
A lion which is strongest among beast, and turneth not away for anyProverbs 30:30
To stand a chance, the anti-Taliban front must renounce Islam and the god Allah.
This unfolding world-wide war is no ordinary war. It is fought by humans, by angels, and even by God himself – the one who created all things including life, and who is the LORD of hosts.
Allah is a rebellious angel pretending to be a god. Those Muslims that do not renounce Allah might find themselves bowing down to the Assyrian, the leader of the forthcoming caliphate. Anyone that does yield to the Assyrian and submit to his god will lose everything when the tables turn.
1. Emma Graham-Harrison (19 August 2021), “Panjshir stands strong: Afghanistan’s last holdout against the Taliban”, theguardian.com
2. The Week (17 August 2021), “An anti-Taliban front forming in Panjshir? Ex top spy Saleh, son of Lion of Panjshir meet at citadel”, theweek.in
3. OpIndia (19 August 2021), “Twitter suspends account of Afghan caretaker President Amrullah Saleh’s office, allows Taliban to use its platform”, opindia.com
4. Ahmad Massoud (19 August 2021), “The mujahideen resistance to the Taliban begins now. But we need help.”, washingtonpost.com
5. Kathy Gannon (19 August 2021), “Who is Taliban’s leader in Kabul? Meet Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar”, smh.com.au
6. “Some won’t get back: UK defence secretary chokes up over Afghanistan”, youtube.com/watch?v=kwc3z65xXqU
7. France24 (16 August 2021), “Macron says that Afghanistan must not be sanctuary for terrorism again”, france24.com
8. Lara Zhou (18 August 2021), “China conducts anti-terror drill with Tajikistan, as Afghan spillover worries grip central Asia”, scmp.com
9. “Thousands of Russian, Uzbek & Tajik troops rehearse turning back enemy offensive on Afghan border”, youtube.com/watch?v=O6ROA6aBzcM