Mullah Omar is either hiding in Quetta or dead — either way he’s an ineffective leader, a non-factor like Bin Laden. This agitprop drawing aside, do either of them matter to the various Taliban factions anymore? Since neither has released true tape, nor accomplished anything in six years, you have to wonder if Ayman Al Zawahiri hasn’t killed them both to take control.
The Taliban’s reclusive leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, in a rare message on Saturday called on Afghans to shun their differences and join the militant Islamic movement’s campaign to drive Western troops from Afghanistan.
Omar made the appeal in a message through a Taliban spokesmen, Qari Mohammad Yousuf, on the eve of the 88th anniversary of Afghanistan’s independence from Britain.
He said Afghanistan was once again “occupied by colonialist forces,” referring to the nearly 50,000 foreign troops led by NATO and the U.S. military in the country.
“The enemies of the religion of Islam and independence of the country have launched satanic propagandas under the slogans of democracy and freedom and are trying to disperse Afghans and exploit from it,” said the message.
“We have to … put aside all of our internal, regional and linguistic differences and get united against the enemy,” said the message, which was read to Reuters over the telephone by Yousuf from an undisclosed location.
And true to form in their new sense of unity, the Afghan Taliban sent a suicide bomber out to murder 15 more Afghan Muslims on a bus today. Whoever crafted the above message purportedly from Omar knows who the true devils are. This reminds me of another Omar, who rhymed of shadows:
We are no other than a moving row
Of Magic Shadow-shapes that come and go
Round with the Sun-illumined Lantern held
In Midnight by the Master of the Show;
But helpless Pieces of the Game He plays
Upon this Chequer-board of Nights and Days;
Hither and thither moves, and checks, and slays,
And one by one back in the Closet lays.
Meanwhile the offensive in Tora Bora continues with day and night bombing and ground attacks from Afghan army and US forces as the Pak taliban in country get pounded between the hammer and anvil formed by ISAF to the north, and the Pakistan army on the border.
South in Pakistan there appears to be disunity between the Wazirs and the Mehsuds, while the Pakistan press speaks of “2000 Uzbeks” in North Waziristan, everyone knows they are really just a mixed lot of Sauds, Iraqis, Balochs, and Egyptians.