Taliban

Oh dear, it really hasn’t been a good week for the Guardian.

On Monday Comment is Free invited Gerry Adams to pontificate about – would you believe it – the killing of civilians. Yes, really. Since when did the Guardian recognise Gerry Adams as the moral arbiter on informers and leaks?

There is an interesting table produced by the New Republic symposium on Afghanistan giving an overview of what has – and hasn’t – changed since the Taliban were in power.

Over at his new blog Inayat Bunglawala is already tying himself in knots over the guilty plea by failed Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad. During his plea hearing Shahzad told the court:

News has emerged on al-Qaeda forums that one of their senior leaders, Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, has been killed in Afghanistan. Yazid, 55, has been part of al-Qaeda’s inner sanctum for much of the last decade, playing an ever increasing role in the movement after many of its former leaders were either killed or captured in the aftermath of 9/11.

‘At last, a familiar sight: we drive past a Johnson & Johnson factory. “This place can’t be that bad,” I tell myself. “Daniel Pearl was executed near here,” the driver says unprompted. “Do you want to see where?”‘ – Shiraz Maher comes face to face with the Taliban 

Earlier this week, a newly founded jihadist media group, the al-Balagh Islamic Centre, released an interview with Siraj Haqqani, leader of the Haqqani Network, a Taliban group operating in eastern Afghanistan.  It is available on a number of jihadist forums and also on the Flashpoint Partners website.

UK Islamists and sections of the extreme left continue to insist that groups like the Taliban are freedom fighters who enjoy popular support among local civilians.  Today, a group of Afghan villagers went some way towards disproving this.

The resurgence of al-Qaeda under Obama has proved that we were right to go to war in Iraq

A bomb attack outside a German bakery in the Indian city of Pune on Saturday has received remarkably little coverage here in the UK. It killed eight people and injured a further 32. The attack came the day after India and Pakistan agreed to resume peace talks, after the Indian’s suspended them following the Mumbai terrorist attacks in 2008.

Reproduced below is an extended version of a blog I wrote last week on the the crucial role that ideology will play in a strategy to defeat the Taliban. This was published on Monday by Hudson New York.