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Michael van der Galien

Taking Tea with the Taliban

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Posted on February 1 2010 7:00 pm
Michael van der Galien was born in the Dutch city of Leeuwarden in 1984. For as long as he can remember, he has been obsessed with the United States. When he was 17 years old, he started blogging - of course about America. His articles have been published at Big Hollywood, Pajamas Media, Hot Air (the GreenRoom) and Right Across The Atlantic. He's also an editor for the Dutch conservative blog, De Dagelijkse Standaard.
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by Michael Rubin

Addressing the nation on December 1, 2009, President Barack Obama laid out the case for an augmented American presence in Afghanistan to battle the Taliban forces seeking to push their way back into power. “Over the last several years, the Taliban has maintained common cause with al-Qaeda, as they both seek an overthrow of the Afghan government,” he declared. The president offered a brief account of the Taliban’s rise to power before the U.S. tossed them out in November 2001. “Al-Qaeda’s base of operations was in Afghanistan,” he said, “where they were harbored by the Taliban—a ruthless, repressive, and radical movement that seized control of that country after it was ravaged by years of Soviet occupation and civil war, and after the attention of America and our friends had turned elsewhere.”

This has become the standard history of the American role in Afghanistan in the 1990s, and it is certainly true that in the first few years after the 1989 Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, Washington’s attention drifted. The first President Bush allowed his one term in office to end without ensuring that the United States had a working embassy in Kabul. His envoy to the Afghan resistance, Peter Tomsen, was based in Washington, and Bill Clinton, when he came into office in 1993, never appointed a successor.

Read more at Commentary.

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