The Taliban once again took control of the government of Afghanistan in August 2021. Many people felt that it was only a matter of time for the group to prevail, despite the massive military and political will directed against the group for two decades. Now that the group has returned to power, the critical question is how it will impact the people of Afghanistan and the rest of the world.
After the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001, the U.S. responded with actions of military attacks of its own against the attackers and their backers. The United Nations supported the right of the U.S. to the principle of self-defense to wage war in Afghanistan. The results seemingly came quick: on November 13, 2001, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan welcomed the fall of the Taliban from power.
The U.N. Security Council backed those attacks against the Taliban. UNSC 1390 of January 16, 2002 condemned “the Taliban for allowing Afghanistan to be used as a base for
terrorists training and activities, including the export of terrorism by the Al-Qaida
network and other terrorist groups as well as for using foreign mercenaries in hostile
actions in the territory of Afghanistan.“
Twenty years later, the Taliban is back. Will Afghanistan become a breeding ground for international terrorist groups once again?
In 2001, the world rallied to the side of the United States to fight the scourge of terrorism, but that will is seemingly in decline, even within the U.S.
The United Nations allowed Syria, which has committed war crimes against its own people, to join a U.N. Human Rights committee in February 2021. China still sits on the U.N. Security Council, despite its treatment of the Uyghur minority. The United States enabled Iran, the leading state sponsor of terrorism, to have a legal pathway to nuclear weapons in 2015. The Democratic Socialists in the U.S. Congress condemn western countries as colonial-terrorist groups in an inversion of the War on Terror.
Does the U.N. stand for principles or is it a forum for the ugly spectrum of mankind? Has the United States concluded that it has no better moral standing than any other country?
In less than one month, on September 14, the 75th United Nations General Assembly will convene in New York City. Will members of the Taliban represent the people of Afghanistan? Will the United States allow their representatives into the country?
In 1973, the UNGA refused to grant credentials to the government of South Africa because of its policy of apartheid, which had been deemed a “crime against humanity” in 1966. Will the United Nations need to coin a new apartheid-like term for the persecution and denial of rights for women and girls who suffered under the Taliban, to deny the Taliban any standing?
While the civilized world is undoubtedly concerned about the fate of women and girls in Afghanistan under the Taliban, they are even more concerned about the spread of global terrorism.
Twenty years ago, the United Nations Secretary General welcomed the common fight and fall of “the oppressive and intolerant Taliban regime” as the United States sought both revenge and security for itself. It remains to be seen how the world will react to the Taliban’s return.
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