Various world leaders have given their somewhat tepid reactions to US President Obama’s proposal to increase US troops in Afghanistan by 30,000 and then start withdrawing all troops by July 2011. No formal reaction has come from Mullah Omar, head of the Taliban. Let me try to get into his head and compose a message to his fellow Talibanis.
“Allah O Akbar. We have excellent news. The mother of all US retreats will soon begin in Afghanistan. Forget about the temporary surge in troops promised by Obama: he is merely playing to the infidel gallery at home, saving face before retreating. After a vain show of force for 18 months, infidel troops will start leaving, and should be out of our sacred soil by 2012. So, we should be able to take over in 2013, inshallah, aided by our Pakistani brothers.
“Will the infidels really leave in 2011? Republicans led by John McCain oppose any deadline for withdrawal. Defence secretary Robert Gates says US troops will be withdrawn in 2011 only after reviewing the situation to ensure that the insurrection has been contained, and that the Afghan army can handle the situation on its own.
“We understand these political compulsions. Obama cannot afford to just cut and run. But we also know that he hates the idea of being waist-deep in unending war during the presidential election of 2012, risking a repetition of Lyndon Johnson’s fate in 1968. What Obama needs is a fig leaf to justify full withdrawal.
“We must supply that fig leaf. Comrades, some of you will not be happy with this approach. You sense that the Americans are weak and cowardly, and therefore, want to go on the offensive. Let me confess that my blood also boils with the desire to attack. Yet, we must remember what our strengths are, and not give way to temptation.
“Our strength lies in the immense depth of our faith, in our willingness to fight without end to cleanse our land of the infidel. We do not have the most arms, but we have the most stamina and moral strength. We should use these strengths, and not fall into the trap of precipitate action.
“Far from going on the offensive, we should go back into our shells in the next 18 months. We should deceive the enemy into believing that he is succeeding, and that we are on the run. We should reduce our attacks, and withdraw altogether from some difficult areas. This will strengthen Obama’s hand, and make it politically easy for him to withdraw his troops. The infidels are vain and arrogant, and will easily be deceived into thinking they are winning.
“We should make it easy for them to leave in 2011. They will hand over military responsibility to the pathetic Afghan army, from which one in every four recruits has been deserting. Many in the army are already our sympathizers, and will cross over to our side when the day of reckoning comes.
“Afghan President Hamid Karzai says he is willing to negotiate with the Taliban. Even some Americans are in favour of this. I wonder if we should pretend to talk to this miserable American puppet. The Americans will leave even without negotiations. But it’s worth recalling that in Vietnam, Le Duc Tho negotiated a truce with Henry Kissinger, and this led to US withdrawal from Vietnam. For this, Kissinger and Le Duc Tho were given the Nobel Peace Prize. How utterly stupid the infidels can be! Once the Americans left, the Vietnamese army invaded the south and swiftly took over. The Americans fumed, but lacked the political will to go back and fight again.
“The main lesson for us is clear: once the Americans leave Afghanistan, they will not come back. Instead they will levy economic sanctions on us, as they did on Vietnam. No problem. We have friends aplenty in the Islamic world who have always helped us clandestinely and will in future help us more openly. Indeed, we should respond to US trade sanctions with even freer trade in opium. I know some of you believe that it is unIslamic to grow poppy to make opium, and i, too, have prayed to Allah for guidance in this matter. But in a dream, i heard a great voice telling me that while growing opium to corrupt fellow Muslims would indeed be a sin, selling it to infidels to sap their already degraded morality and stamina would be sacred work. We must pursue this sacred task, which fortunately happens to be immensely profitable too. God works in mysterious ways. Allah O Akbar.”