On the eve of the 10-year anniversary of Sept. 11, the Taliban have issued a defiant statement saying the US does not have the “stamina” or the “weapon of belief” to remain in the fight in Afghanistan. The Taliban also claimed that unlike the West, it possessed “endless stamina for a long war.”
The Taliban press release is titled “Statement of the Islamic Emirate on the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11” and was released today on the Voice of Jihad website in English and other languages.
In the statement, the Taliban maintained that the Sept. 11 attacks on the US constituted “an event in which they [Afghans] had no role whatsoever” and that the US was “using this as a pretext” for “American colonialism.”
The Taliban also claimed that they had called “for an impartial investigation into the event but, contrarily, the Americans and their coalition partners, far from positively responding to this rationale demand of the Islamic Emirate, are sending cruise missiles, poisonous and depleted uranium embedded weapons instead.”
The statement termed the Sept. 11 attack “an ambiguous and murky event,” implying it is unclear if al Qaeda even carried it out.
In reality, in the wake of the attacks the US demanded that the Taliban turn over top al Qaeda leaders, including Osama bin Laden, who were based in Afghanistan and jointly ran camps and fought alongside with the Taliban against the Northern Alliance. In a videotape released just after the attack, bin Laden admitted that he helped plan it and that the results far exceeded his expectations. But the Taliban leadership refused to turn over bin Laden and other al Qaeda leaders, which prompted the US invasion.
Today’s statement claimed that the Taliban, after 10 years of fighting, have “dealt such a jaw-breaking blow at the American tyrants that it was absolutely beyond their calculations and predictions. They are now biting their fingers of grief and worry.”
The Taliban mocked Western military superiority, and said the Taliban are “armed with the weapon of belief and have infatuation with protecting their honor and dignity.”
“Such weapon is neither available in the arsenal of America nor in the warehouse of her Allies,” the statement said. “Likewise, the enemy has no deterrent to confront this weapon.”
“We believe the weapon of belief will ultimately overcome over that of the material prowess, if God willing.”
The Taliban said they were prepared to wage a “long war” against the US.
“The Afghans have an endless stamina for a long war and, perceivably through a country-wise uprising, will send the Americans to the dustbin of the history like they did send other empires of the past to such a destination,” the statement said.
The Taliban statement of resolve comes just two months after the US and other Western countries announced they will begin drawing down significant numbers of forces. The US alone will withdraw 33,000 troops by July 2012, and thousands of other NATO troops will also be withdrawn. NATO is counting on a strategy of negotiating with the Taliban along with standing up Afghan security forces to provide security. But the Taliban have denied direct negotiations, except in the case of contacts for prisoner exchanges.
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