/ 18 August 2021

Plenty of blame as the Taliban settles in

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As world leaders grapple with the consequences of the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, the militant Islamists have spoken about how they will govern. Overnight, spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid addressed the media in Kabul and said that Afghans must live “within the framework of Islam”. When it comes to women, they will be able to work and study, he said. “Women are going to be very active within our society,” he said. Yesterday, the Taliban declared a general amnesty across Afghanistan and asked government employees to return to work. The details are vague, and scepticism about the charm offensive is high from those who remember their repressed lives under the Taliban 20 years ago. So far, there are no reports of unrest in the capital Kabul – something the US President Joe Biden yesterday warned the Taliban against.

WHAT ELSE DID BIDEN SAY?
Addressing the nation yesterday, he said that he stands by the decision to withdraw US troops – a call that put the fall of the Afghan Government/Taliban’s rise on the fast track. He said the scenes of stranded civilians were “gut-wrenching” and that things unfolded “more quickly than we anticipated”. But he put the blame on the fallen government and its crushed military. “Here’s what I believe to my core: It is wrong to order American troops to step up when Afghanistan’s own armed forces would not,” said Biden. He faces fierce criticism for getting troops out but leaving US citizens and Afghans who helped them during the last 20 years behind. As for the 600ish Aussies and locals who helped our troops, PM Scott Morrison yesterday said an evacuation is planned, but he does not know when it will happen, and he does not believe all locally engaged staff will be airlifted out.

LET’S GET VISUAL. VISUAL…
You wanna get visual? Let’s get into visual with 2 links we recommend. For a gallery of photos from the pivotal moments of the last few weeks, this one from CNN is a pearler. And this analysis from the New York Times takes media outlet/social media videos and puts them into a timeline of key events that led to the fall of Kabul on Monday – we’ve never seen anything like it.

Image source: Zabi Karimi/Associated Press

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