The Taliban has published an open letter to the American people, calling on them to demand an end the conflict in Afghanistan and to reject “the inexperienced policies of president Trump and his war-monger advisors”.
Zabihullah Mujahid, spokesman for the Taliban, released copies of the 10-page document on Wednesday in several languages, detailing insurgent gains and so-called failures of the “illegitimate” US-led invasion, now in its 17th year.
The authors write that they hope Americans “will read this letter prudently and will evaluate the future of American forces and your profit and loss inside Afghanistan in light of the prevailing realities”.
They point out the continuing insurgency, and the costs incurred, plus the increase of drug production. They also emphasise the loss of life.
And, the authors argue, “it is not the duty of America to draft laws and suggest systems for other countries”.
They claim that the war in Afghanistan, launched in 2001 “under the influence of misleading propaganda by your officials”, has now lost international support and should be brought to a negotiated conclusion.
The letter says: “The American people! You proclaim to be a developed and civilized nation of the world. Since the imposed government in Afghanistan is established by you therefore we leave it to your judgment to decide – according to your logic and conscience – whether the present system and its pertinent changes, insecurity, chaos and 87 per cent increase in narcotics are reforms or crimes against humanity?
“Your authorities proclaim that tens of billions of dollars have been spent on various reconstruction projects in Afghanistan. Of course this is the same money which is collected from you as taxes and revenues, but here it has been distributed among thieves and murderers.”
The government of Ashraf Ghani is described as “a band of usurpers, looters, mafia warlords and drug-dealers”, while the Taliban present themselves as the legitimate rulers of the country.
They continue: “No matter what title or justification is presented by your undiscerning authorities for the war in Afghanistan, the reality is that tens of thousands of helpless Afghans including women and children were martyred by your forces, hundreds of thousands were injured and thousands more were incarcerated in Guantanamo, Bagram and various other secret jails…
“The Afghan masses feel pity for the whole American nation because they are being sacrificed and are losing respect through the world with each passing day solely due the war-mongering policies of a few war-mongering officials.”
They conclude that “it is not too late for the American people to understand that the Islamic Emirate – as representative of its people – can solve its problems with every side through healthy politics and dialogue.”
The letter’s release comes as the US steps up airstrikes in support of anti-insurgent ground and air operations by Afghan forces, under Mr Trump’s new war strategy.
Mr Trump’s generals hope to break the military stalemate with the Taliban, and push insurgents to the negotiating table. During a visit this week to eastern Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, who commands the US and Nato’s Resolute Support mission in the country, said the intensified offensive is yielding results.
And he blamed the recent surge in Taliban attacks on the Islamists’ growing desperation.
“The success of the Afghan operations around the country, supported by Resolute Support and US forces, have caused the enemy high casualties everywhere,” he said.
“This has caused them to stop their attempts to seize provincial capitals, to stop trying to cease districts.”
The American general asserted a recent wave of Taliban suicide bombings against Afghan civilians stemmed from insurgent battlefield setbacks and losses.
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