France economy

Taliban show victory over United States

Published on:

Ghazni (Afghanistan) (AFP) – Inside the compound of the governor of Afghanistan’s Ghazni province, a new historical exhibit is unveiled before an enthusiastic audience of Taliban fighters – sections of blast walls of a former US military base.

A concrete slab bears the names and regiments of American troops who served in the province during the United States’ longest war.

Like soldiers throughout history, American troops regularly smeared their names on the walls of bases and fixed positions they occupied.

But now the towering bloc is on public display – used to reinforce the Taliban’s narrative of overthrowing US-led forces after 20 years of fighting.

Wrecks of destroyed U.S. armored vehicles are also informally displayed on the roads outside the city. Hector RETAMAL AFP

“We have to show it so that the Afghans, the world and future generations will know that we are beating the Americans,” Taliban provincial culture chief Mullah Habibullah Mujahid told AFP.

“Even though they called themselves the greatest power in the world.”

Taliban forces captured the town of Ghazni – 150 kilometers (95 miles) south of Kabul – three days before the capital fell on August 15.

The region has 3,500 years of rich history and the Taliban are now busy writing the final chapter with proof of their military triumph.

Rusty relics serve as informal display of Taliban victory
Rusty relics serve as informal display of Taliban victory Hector RETAMAL AFP

Propaganda surge comes as new Afghan leaders struggle to move from insurgency to power in country on the brink of economic collapse, with UN estimates more than half of the population faces acute hunger .

On the roads outside the city of nearly 200,000 residents, another informal exhibition of the Taliban victory has been erected.

Rusted carcasses of destroyed American armored vehicles are on display, their weapons removed, their tires punctured and frayed.

Afghans do not hesitate to remind visitors that the country has now triumphed over three foreign empires
Afghans do not hesitate to remind visitors that the country has now triumphed over three foreign empires Hector RETAMAL AFP

Children climb around and over the wreckage, which also includes skeletons of abandoned Soviet tanks from the decade of occupation of Afghanistan.

This invasion ended in humiliation for the Soviets, and alongside the defeat of British troops in the 19th century, Afghans are quick to remind visitors that the country has now triumphed over three foreign empires.

“We are proud of our achievement when we see this,” said Ozair, an 18-year-old Taliban fighter, who like many in the country has only one name.

“We have shown that the Afghans born here can beat America, a powerful country,” he added, observing the crumpled humvees and charred troop transports.

The windfall of weapons, vehicles and uniforms gave Kabul's new rulers tangible spoils of victory
The windfall of weapons, vehicles and uniforms gave Kabul’s new rulers tangible spoils of victory Hector RETAMAL AFP

Reminders and relics of two decades of US-led occupation of Afghanistan are scattered across the country – some of them are usable.

Much of the military materiel donated to the Afghan police and armed forces fell into the hands of the Taliban during the chaotic final days of the US-backed government.

The windfall of weapons, vehicles and uniforms gave Kabul’s new rulers tangible spoils of victory.

But turning these trophies into a credible tribute to the Taliban’s return to power remains a challenge.

Propaganda surge comes as new Afghan rulers struggle to feed millions in country on the brink of economic collapse
Propaganda surge comes as new Afghan rulers struggle to feed millions in country on the brink of economic collapse Hector RETAMAL AFP

Standing in front of the explosion walls, Mullah Habibullah Mujahid boasted that the twenty or so names listed included “important commanders and generals” killed in action.

The ranks listed, however, were all juniors – and none of the names appear in the databases of Americans killed in the war.


Source link