Son of anti-Soviet mujahideen commander pleads for US to supply weapons & ammo against Taliban
The pitch was published by Massoud in The Washington Post, where a modern-day Charlie Wilson could presumably read it, and is worded in no uncertain terms.
“The United States and its allies have left the battlefield, but America can still be a ‘great arsenal of democracy,’ as Franklin D. Roosevelt said when coming to the aid of the beleaguered British before the US entry into World War II,” Massoud wrote.
Global Opinion: The mujahideen resistance to the Taliban begins now. But we need help. https://t.co/0g5WELa3xY— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) August 18, 2021
He asked “Afghanistan’s friends in the West” to intercede on his behalf in Washington, New York, London and Paris. He pledged that “mujahideen fighters and I” will have the resolve to fight the Taliban for women’s rights and free press in Afghanistan as well as to protect the West from terrorist attacks.
But we need more weapons, more ammunition and more supplies.
Massoud, who was titled “leader of the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan,” is the son and heir of Ahmad Shah Massoud. He was a prominent leader in the original mujahideen movement, the Islamist insurgency fighting Afghanistan’s Communist government and the Soviet troops that were propping it up in the 1980s.
Shah Massoud’s force was one of the major domestic players during the civil war that followed the withdrawal of Soviet troops. He held the office of defense minister under President Burhanuddin Rabbani whose government was ousted from Kabul in 1996 by the more radical and successful faction of the mujahideen, the Taliban.Also on rt.com Taliban declares formation of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, just days after taking over Kabul
He also led an armed resistance against the Taliban in the northern Panjshir province and was killed by suicide bomber assassins days before the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The Northern Alliance that Shah Massoud once commanded became a key US ally during its retaliatory invasion of Afghanistan. President Hamid Karzai, the US-backed successor of Rabbani, honored the mujahideen commander by naming him a national hero of Afghanistan.
The son of the revered warlord, who was nicknamed ‘Lion of Panjshir’ by admirers, is channeling his father’s legacy in an attempt to recreate the glorious days of the Panjshir Resistance. His ‘Resistance II’ movement is purportedly supported by a few thousand fighters and several military leaders of old. The situation on the ground however is not what it was during the Taliban’s previous stint in charge of Afghanistan, as evidenced by its ability to capture some territories in the north that it didn’t control in the 1990s.
مقاومت دوم؛ اولین اقدام نظامی احمد مسعود، دربرابر طالبان:داکتر گلستان، رییس پیشین امنیت ملی تخار، امروز همزمان با حمله گروه طالبان به ولسوالی فرخار، دهها نیروی مسلح را با قوماندان جهادی وچهره های پیشن نظامی آماده کرده، آمادگی برای دفاع ازاین ولسوالی گرفته اند. pic.twitter.com/IoqSg8Vu4i— Habib Azizi (@HabibAzizi_02) April 27, 2021
Taliban northern land grabs came after years of hostility between the US-backed government in Kabul and tribal ethnic minorities who inhabit Northern Afghanistan. Exemplifying the rift was the 2014 presidential election, in which Pashtun-supported Ashraf Ghani ran against Northern Alliance leader Abdullah Abdullah. Ghani’s victory was mired by allegations of fraud, and keeping him in power required US mediation of a power-sharing bargain, under which Abdullah was appointed chief executive officer.
The ethnic conflict continued nevertheless, adding to the accumulating disillusion with national politics and a creeping radicalization in the north. A rematch between the two politicians in 2019 was marked by a record-low turnout amid Taliban threats against organizers of the ballot.Also on rt.com Exiled Afghan leader Ghani emerges in UAE, denies claims he fled with MILLIONS in cash
Meanwhile, the Islamist movement changed too, departing from its monolithically Pashtun origins and turning into a more ethnically diverse conglomerate of militant groups, united by a fundamentalist ideology and the struggle against NATO’s presence in Afghanistan.
Ahmad Massoud, who is now in his early 30s, raised his father’s torch in late 2019, trying to rally supporters and prepare them for a possible Taliban onslaught in the wake of the upcoming NATO pullout. As of May, Western intelligence services were reportedly refraining from formally cooperating with him but did keep in touch.
In addition to the loyalty that his name evokes, he has the benefit of the military and political education he received at various prestigious schools in the UK. He also has a vocal ally in French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy, who was a personal friend of the Lion of Panjshir. In fact, the call for arms in The Washington Post begins with an anecdote of how Levy told Shah Massoud: “When you fight for your freedom, you fight also for our freedom.”
This time it's the end. The hunt. The wolves have entered #Kabul. Immense sorrow. Terrible bitterness towards America which has committed a crime with little precedent. 20 years after September 11, Joe Biden has lost his honor. #Kabul#Biden#Afghanistan— Bernard-Henri Lévy (@BHL) August 15, 2021
The young Lion of #Panjshir@ahmadmassoud01 and his soldiers, are alone standing up to the #Taliban. His call for help from friends around the world in the @washingtonpost.https://t.co/sQBOgK8gpR@Anne_Hidalgo@tomtugendhat@adamkinzinger@washingtonpost— Bernard-Henri Lévy (@BHL) August 18, 2021
The French activist, who declared the fall of Afghanistan into Taliban hands as a personal disgrace of President Joe Biden, has been openly supporting Massoud Jr.
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