Much has been said in recent weeks about the Taliban’s unexpected takeover of Afghanistan. Despite all of the money spent and blood shed by the United States, the corrupt administration in place attracted so little support that it was overthrown with barely a murmur.
The “professional analysis” from the Western side appears to overlook the main cause of his failure. Sanad al-Kazimi, one of my clients in Guantánamo, recognized it right away in a recent conversation with me. Few people have more reason to regret the October 2001 invasion of Afghanistan than he does, as he has been held without indictment or trial for the past 16 years.
He believed President Joe Biden had spoken wisely in defending the decision to terminate the country’s longest conflict. He also reminded me of the Arab proverb, “Better late than never.” However, Sanad went on to explain that he would prefer to take the proverb a step further, saying, “It is often better to be never.” It would have been preferable if Afghanistan had never been invaded in the first place.
According to reports, Mr. Rulani, who led a party of Taliban into the presidential palace on August15, assured one of his abusive Guantánamo guards, “we will get you on the outside.”
It’s hardly surprising that someone who has been horribly mistreated would have said anything like this to his abuser 15 years ago. What I can say is that I have an excellent relationship with my former clients, and they are eager to work with an American like myself who fought for their rights at Guantánamo.
Rather than shouting from afar that they are barbarians, it would be more beneficial to sit down with them and assist them in rebuilding their country, while warmly supporting Asad when he encourages them to do so. when he encourages Maryam’s dream to become a doctor.