What are the Taliban telling us about Kandahar?

Over the past several weeks, the Taliban’s info-machine has been busy sharing in detail what they want us to see happening in Kandahar. Here are the longer pieces that have been posted to the Voice of Jihad English-language site since Oct. 27:

What are they trying to say?

1. ‘Lots of civilians arrested, displaced, with property destroyed’:

Failing to win the support of the people, the invaders resorted to the indiscriminate carpet bombings of the people’s lands and the mass murders of the innocent civilians. All this has caused the displacement of thousands of families from their lands and villages.1

It is true that the enemy has arrested many innocent people, the majority of whom are . still suffering in prisons. These people have been arrested by government intelligence services as well as by various local militias. Many of them have been arrested due to personal or tribal rivalries. These incidents require a thorough investigation because many of these innocent arrestee’s have often been tortured to death without any legal process. 2

More than 20 houses were destroyed in Tarko Kala village alone. Arghandab is also covered with pomegranate trees and since this was the time of harvest, the civilians also faced a huge economic burden as their fields and trees were completely destroyed. The reason why civilians were not killed is because they had either already fled their homes or were forced by the repeated enemy warnings to vacate the district.3

2. ‘It’s ISAF that’s causing the civilian casualties, not the Taliban’:

For the past nine months the Americans have been attempting their utmost to achieve some sort of military or political gain in Afghanistan. They employed all the propaganda tools at their disposal to turn the people away from the Mujahideen. However, failing to win the support of the people, the invaders resorted to the indiscriminate carpet bombings of the people’s lands and the mass murders of the innocent civilians. 1

The enemy always seeks to stay and move in our population centres so that if Mujahideen attack them, any resulting civilian damage would be blamed on the Mujahideen. As much as we want to attack the enemy, we know that they want to use our people as human shields for their protection and therefore we abstain from confronting them in these areas..2

3. ‘Cruise missiles! Everywhere!’:

The enemy started a campaign of heavy bombardment using cruise missiles and other means at night in Khasro’s Tarko Kala village and other places for 3 days. 3

The enemy was real frustrated due to the constant attacks by Mujahideen on the main highway which immensely disrupted the movement of their military and logistical convoys and therefore started the huge push towards Sang-e-Sar, Pashmool and Sanzari areas by bringing hundreds of tanks, foot soldiers bombing the areas by Jets, cruise missiles etc. 5

4. ‘Honest, we didn’t lose THAT many fellow Taliban!’:

Only 2 of our Mujahideen brothers have been Martyred in these operations but the enemy has suffered major losses due to the deadly IED explosions. 3

So far 10 Mujahideen have been Martyred which includes a group’s leader and he was not Martyred in Zhiri but rather in Reag district by a night raid. In contrast, the enemy has suffered immense casualties as you might also have heard from the media.4

I swear by Allah that so far only 5 of our Mujahideen have been Martyred, 3 have been injured and none have been captured but the prison of Kandahar has been filled by civilians.5

5. ‘How’s that mid-term thing going for you, Barack?’:

Their failure in the Kandahar operations was also the main reason behind Obama’s supporters, the Democrats, defeat in the mid-term elections. Also due to their failures in the Kandahar operations, Obama’s approval ratings in America have sunk to 46% while the myth of America’s military superiority has been shattered globally. 1

Bottom line

The latest Taliban statements amount to a more textured way of (again) saying ‘we’re winning,’ probably to keep up pressure for NATO/US to pack their bags and leave.

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  • David says:

    What does the American government have to say about Kandahar? What have they provided the American media with to pass along to the public?
    When Marja started, there seemed to be a fair amount of media coverage. Kandahar stands in stark contrast to that. There was a lot of discussion about the lead up to the operation, but no follow up of any worth.

  • MILNEWS.ca says:

    David: Don’t know where you may be looking, but there’s no shortage of both official coverage of the fight in Kandahar (try here for example ), not to mention MSM coverage (try here for a start). Enjoy! Tony

  • Mike. says:

    Checked out Shahamat.info. I like how one article was written by ‘Administrator’. Not a very good journalistic organization, to be sure. And the constant editorializing! Everyone is ‘cowardly’, etc. It’s really unprofessional, even for a shadow government. I wonder what their diplomatic cables are like (for officials who can read and write, that is).
    Even so, it would be an interesting exercise to see if there is any shred of truth to the articles – based on mentions of villages, etc. I’d be interested if these were 100% manufactured or just 90%. Do they have any sources? Or are they just a rag tag, seat of the pants propaganda organization? (of just 2 it seems by the article list).

  • Steve says:

    The part about the civilian homes being blown up us true, I read it in a news report and the thing that disgusts me the most is how a US official (can’t remember name or rank) said it’s a good thing civillian homes are being destroyed because then the civilians will have no choice but to go to the government and register damages to claim compensation. I find that absolutely disgusting. We call the Taliban barbaric for blowing up schools…. what does that make us? It’s like we are literally handing alqaeda and Taliban new recruits on a silver platter!

  • MILNEWS.ca says:

    Mike: I’m guessing there’s people in the government who are doing JUST the analysis you’re talking about.
    Based on Canadian fatalities, although the Taliban’s claims of responsibility come out at the same time as Canadian deaths, citing the correct spots, they’ve tended to exaggerate the number of troops killed. In reports of Canadian deaths, the Taliban claims run about 14 for every Canadian killed – more on that here.
    Let’s also not forget that there may also be cases where ISAF announces some deaths, and the Taliban may be more than eager to jump on board the “taking credit” band wagon by claiming responsibility. Have to find the reference, but I read somewhere recently that sometimes, reporters call Taliban spokespersons about attacks, and the Talibs say, “Oh yeah, we slayed the crusaders”, without giving more detail, suggesting they first heard of it from the reporter’s call.
    My guess: the attacks may have happened when and where the Taliban claims, but either the scale of attack or the number of casualties is cranked up by the Taliban Info-machine.

  • Charu says:

    @Steve, the Taliban booby-trap these civilian houses, which become death holes for the dispossessed civilians to return to. It is safer to blow them up and compensate the civilians to rebuild. I’m sure that they are aware who made their homes unlivable in the first place.

  • ArneFufkin says:

    @Steve: I, for one, would like to see you provide some verifiable link to the news report and the alleged official’s comments that you cite.
    I find it hard to believe your representation.


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