‘Absurd’ Conspiracy Theories Prevalent in Afghanistan
February 19th, 2009
Nato forces mistakenly supplied food, water and arms to Taliban forces in southern Afghanistan, officials today admitted.
Containers destined for local police forces were dropped from a helicopter into a Taliban-controlled area of Zabul province.
The coalition helicopter had intended to deliver pallets of supplies to a police checkpoint in Ghazni, a remote section of Zabul late last month.
By mistake they were dropped some distance from the checkpoint where it was taken by the Taliban, the Internal Security Affairs Commission of the Wolesi Jirga — the Afghan parliament’s lower house — was told.
Hamidullah Tukhi, a local politician from Zabul, told the parliamentary commission that the consignment had been taken by a local Taliban commander.
A Nato spokesman said the pallets were carrying rocket propelled grenades, ammunition, water and food.
—NATO Forces Supplied Food, Water and Arms to Taliban Forces in Southern Afghanistan
Via: Stars and Stripes:
To many in the Afghan capital, there’s an obvious explanation for the dramatic re-emergence of the Taliban — a force that seemed thoroughly dust-binned after the arrival of the world’s most powerful army seven years ago.
“Now,” as one 23-year-old Kabul shopkeeper, Qand Mohmadi, put it, “we think America is supporting both the Taliban and the Afghan government. That’s what everyone says.”
Indeed, the rumor of U.S. support for the Taliban is virtually ubiquitous in Kabul. And absurd as it might sound after a year in which American and other Western troops suffered record casualties in fighting with insurgents, many Kabul residents say they see at least a kernel of truth in the story.
“We don’t know for sure why they are doing it,” said Daoud Zadran, a middle-aged real estate broker. “Politics is bigger than our thoughts. But maybe America wants to build up the Taliban so they have an excuse to remain in Afghanistan because of the Iranian issue.”
Byzantine political conspiracy theories are nothing new in a region with little tradition of transparent government and where the arrival of international troops in 2001 was preceded by a long history of shadowy meddling by Western powers.
Still, the emergence of the rumor in what is easily Afghanistan’s most prosperous and best-educated city reflects a growing sense that the country is again sliding into chaos.
"....Many blamed corruption, with some seeing the U.S. or at least western companies in league with pilfering Afghan officials.
“This government is so corrupt that if Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar were crossing the street together right outside, no one would call the police because they know the police would just take a bribe to let them go,” Rahman said.
But there’s also another theory about bin Laden.
“A lot of people say that Osama is really from America,” said Nasrallah Wazidi, shrugging noncommittally. “They say he’s just playing a role like a movie star...."