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poisonedantidote's avatar

Does the Taliban exist?

Asked by poisonedantidote (21549 points ) January 8th, 2013

I was just watching the news, they are talking about how a soldier has been killed, and are talking about the Taliban.

I am wondering, if the Taliban actually exist.

If you look at the footage on youtube, you can see night vision helicopters killing people from miles away, picking them off like flies, and all kinds of high tech killing machines in use.

After a decade of being attacked by some of the most powerful armies in the world, after all the killing, all the carpet bombing, I am starting to wonder if the Taliban are still alive, if they are real.

They were originally depicted as a small group of maniacs that were distorting the religion of Islam to get what they wanted.

If that is the case, I am wondering how they are not all dead yet. Part of me suspects, that there is no such thing as the Taliban anymore, just pissed off people who get called Taliban by us and our media when they fight back.

What is actually going on? is there a Taliban? or is that just what we are calling the people who oppose our troops being in their country?

Are the Taliban real? is there actually an organization with central leadership, that is organized in fighting us? and if so, when are we going to admit that we underestimated them and their numbers?

Is it a case of new people joining each time a member of the Taliban is killed, thus taking their place and making up the numbers?

Is the organization growing? or is it all just a big straw man at this point?

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13 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

Great question.

I have no doubt that they did exist at one point in time, 10 years ago. But it’s difficult to know if they exist as a real threat, or if they are a convenient fiction that is continued by the US military in order to keep its soldiers employed and the military industrial complex going. Remember how the Vietnam war was fought—it was more for the generals’ careers and the large corporations than for the safety of people in southeast Asia.

As for being an organized group – as I understood it, Taliban was always a loose confederation of independent tribal groups, not a card-carrying organization with a central office. So back to your question—I don’t think we’ll have a good idea if they exist now or will in the future, because they’re not ‘organized’ in any sense.

Study history: No one has ever controlled Afghanistan. Not the USSR, not the UK, not the USA. Let the Afghans have it.

filmfann's avatar

In mythology, the second labor of Hercules was to kill the Hydra. The Hydra was a snake with 9 heads. When Hercules cut one off, two grew back…

It isn’t much different with the Taliban. When we kill one, several others get angry enough to take the place of the fallen. We end up creating a larger force.

filmfann's avatar

@elbanditoroso We don’t want Afghanistan. This was never a war to take their land, though they may not have understood that.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@filmfann – who is the “we” referring to, in your sentence?

I sure don’t want afghanistan, But the big boys at the Pentagon have economic reasons to want to stay involved.

rojo's avatar

Are you thinking that the Taliban are kind of like the Bogeyman, a mythical amorphous creature just rolled out when fear needs to be instilled in the populace?
Or is it more along the lines of any time anything goes wrong we need a scapegoat; someone or something we can vent our righteous anger upon?

filmfann's avatar

@elbanditoroso Any economic reasons they have to stay involved doesn’t come from Afghanistan, but simply from war profiteering. The US government buys a lot of drones, helicopters, etc.
The US will exit Afghanistan after the war. We don’t want to conquer it. We want to tame it.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@rojo I am asking if they still exist, I personally believe they used to exist at one point. I would even say I have grounds to claim I know they used to exist, as I knew about them before all the 9/11 business.

I am just having a very hard time believing, that an official organization, could survive 10 years of facing off with USA’s $800.000.000.000 x year budget army, with support from UK, Spain and so on.

I am just wondering if I am likely to be correct, in assuming that it is just civilians fighting back, because they are sick of it. To put it in to context, if you are 10 years old, living in Afghanistan, then you can’t even remember a time when there was no foreign army in your streets.

Honestly, I have no idea really, if to believe they still exist or not.

rojo's avatar

I think it is a combination of the two, they did exist and probably still do to some extent but I think that a lot of what happens is blamed (or credited depending on you point of view) on them even though they, in reality, had nothing to do with it.

I feel the same way about Al Qaeda.

I am somewhat surprised that the shooting in Connecticut was not blamed on a sleeper cell of “Al Qaeda of Newtown” which included Lanza as a homegrown “terrorist” operative.

Lightlyseared's avatar

People are still killing in their name…

marinelife's avatar

Yes, they still exist. They are still attacking and killing.

ragingloli's avatar

I think that Afghanistan and Iraq were invaded, under the well known false pretenses, to serve as beachheads and easily defended bases of operations in the middle east.
If you look at the map, you see that Iran is right between Iraq and Afghanistan, which makes it likely that, from the beginning, the US planned an invasion of Iran from 2 sides. By invading Iraq and Afghanistan, they killed to birds with one stone:
1. the aforementioned bases of operations, and
2. cutting off potential reinforcements and supplylines from and through Iraq and Afghanistan and neighbouring countries like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
An added bonus were the undoubtedly CIA instigated revolutions in Egypt and Syria, other potential suppliers for Iran.
It is all falling into place now and the picture becomes clear.

ucme's avatar

A a severely depleted entity, yes. Much like a wounded & cornered animal however, they can still lash their tail with brutish venom.

Linda_Owl's avatar

I have no idea if the Taliban exists or if Al Qaeda exists. However, I think the mentality still exists, especially as it is used against women – men seem to think that if women are accepted as their equals, that they will lose some of their power as men. As for Al Qaeda, there is a real possibility that this organization could still exist (a very loose organization). After all we invaded Afghanistan & we invaded Iraq, & we have used Drones in Pakistan, we have killed thousands of people in these countries. We left Iraq in ruins. There is nothing like having outsiders attack your country to make men come together to fight for their home land. I think we have been fueling Al Qaeda for years with the anger that came from the US invading these countries & we still have troops in Afghanistan. We have destabilized the entire mid-east by our invasions & occupation troops.

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