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June 23, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8814

Taliban Celebrate Afghan Government Personnel Joining Taliban, President Trump's West Point Speech Promising To End 'Endless Wars'

June 23, 2020
Special Dispatch No. 8814

The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.

Two statements issued by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Afghan Taliban organization) on June 21 and June 22, discuss America's role in Afghanistan and the process of the withdrawal of American troops from the country.[1]

The statements reveal how the U.S.-Taliban deal signed in Doha on February 29, 2020, has emboldened the Afghan Taliban, who are attracting new recruits from the ranks of Afghan security personnel. The statements claim that many Afghan security personnel are joining the Taliban in various provinces of Afghanistan.

One of the statements hails U.S. President Donald Trump's recent speech at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in which he said: "We are ending the era of endless wars. In its place is a renewed, clear-eyed focus on defending America’s vital interests. It is not the duty of U.S. troops to solve ancient conflicts in faraway lands that many people have never even heard of.  We are not the policemen of the world."[2]

Following is the text of the Taliban's June 22 statement:

"Afghanistan's Endless War Has Not Only Damaged America's International Standing But Has Also Compounded Its Financial Problems"

"A few days ago, the American President Donald Trump remarked during a graduation ceremony of soldiers from an American military academy: 'You will no longer fight in endless wars. You will no longer fight in countries whose names are unknown to most Americans. You will no longer participate in the wars of ancient countries.'

"It is obvious that by these wars, Trump was referring to the long war in Afghanistan in which America has been engaged for the past two decades – a war in which it has endured great human and financial losses and high-ranking American officials have repeatedly admitted that it is unwinnable.

"Trump has rightly said that his soldiers will no longer take part in the wars of ancient countries because Afghanistan's endless war has not only damaged America's international standing but has also compounded its financial problems. A recent opinion poll showed that American support for this losing war has plummeted to a new low as the people have begun to understand that American officials had made false promises to them about the war."

"Twenty Years Ago... [Taliban leader] Mullah Mohammad Omar... Warned Americans To Abandon The Intention Of Occupying Afghanistan Because No Invader Has Succeeded In This Land"

"Twenty years ago from now, the deceased commander of the believers Mullah Mohammad Omar Mujahid, the founder of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, warned Americans to abandon the intention of occupying Afghanistan because no invader has succeeded in this land; therefore they should not try their luck on this soil; otherwise they will get entangled in  a war from which they will be unable to extract themselves.

"The prediction of deceased Mullah... [Omar] turned out true and America got entangled in an endless war. Trump should act upon his promises, withdraw his troops from Afghanistan as quickly as possible and leave the Afghans to decide their own future.

"The agreement signed between the Islamic Emirate and the U.S.... [on 29th] February 2020 in Doha is the best and the shortest way out for America from the current complex Afghan quagmire. The full implementation of the agreement is beneficial for both the Afghan and American people. The Afghan nation will regain its freedom and sovereignty and will build a strong Islamic government while the American people will be spared further financial and personal losses and further ruin of their already lost international standing."

Following is the text of the Taliban's June 21 statement:

"Large Groups Of Troops, [Pro-Government] Militiamen And Workers Of Other Military Branches... Joined The Mujahideen Of The Islamic Emirate Over The Past Few Days"

"As the Doha agreement to bring an end to the 20-year occupation and war is being implemented sequentially and the prisoner release process is continuing, another glad tiding that can prove beneficial in preventing internal conflict and strife in the future is the joining of troopers and other military officials of the opposition [i.e., the Afghan government] with the Islamic Emirate – a process that has picked up a lot of pace recently.

"Large groups of troops, [pro-government] militiamen and workers of other military branches left their opposition and joined the mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate over the past few days in Balkh, Paktia, Logar, Baghlan and other provinces.

"The Islamic Emirate, which has already announced general amnesty to those who end their opposition, warmly welcomed these individuals, treated them as brothers, showered them with flowers, overlooked all former enmity, provided everything at disposal for their honorable and secure return to normal lives in their homes, villages and regions.

"This is an excellent development because an important condition for achieving an Islamic and peaceful Afghanistan is that these people working at the behest of others renounce enmity towards their Muslim brothers, an act that is not only in conflict at the tenets of Islam but also has no intellectual or moral justification."

"Our Muslim Nation Has Begun Taking Steps Towards A Sovereign And Peaceful Islamic Government Following A Proud Historic Struggle"

"Unfortunately, a number of our youth were misled by the propaganda and false promises of foreign invaders over the past twenty years. They played the role of auxiliaries in the occupation of their homeland and supported foreigners in the destruction of their own homes and killing of their own people even as the Islamic Emirate has always left the doors of amnesty open towards them and encouraged them to end fighting for the unlawful interest of others.

"But after twenty years, the reality has begun revealing itself even more over the past few months as the truth of the Islamic Emirate has shined bright like the sun and our Muslim nation has begun taking steps towards a sovereign and peaceful Islamic government following a proud historic struggle. Therefore, the turning back of our misguided brothers towards the truth can be considered the bearer of joy and glad tidings.

"The Islamic Emirate sees the prosperity, security and development of our homeland and people in the amalgamation, unity and reconciliation of our people; hence it has created a special commission of 'Preaching and Guidance' that operates in all provinces of the country.

"We again call on all troops and workers of the opposition to stop the killing of your own Muslim compatriots with the weapons and orders of foreigners, to end your opposition and to sincerely join the ongoing peace process."

 

[1] AlemarahEnglish.com (Afghanistan), June 21 and 22, 2020. The original English of the statements has been lightly edited for clarity and standardization

[2] Whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-2020-united-states-military-academy-west-point-graduation-ceremony, June 13, 2020.

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