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'Important If True'

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

'Secret memo reveals plans to overthrow Taliban'

A secret embassy cable has reportedly revealed that the US Government is planning to overthrow the Taliban regime.

According to The Guardian, the Americans will replace it with a United Nations-backed administration.

It is claimed the US is organising for the 86-year-old exiled Afghanistan monarch to return to power and it is pressing its European allies to agree to a military campaign to topple the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Diplomatic cables from the Washington embassy of a key Nato ally report that the US is keen to hear allied views on "post-Taliban Afghanistan after the liberation of the country", the paper said.

The embassy cable reveals that the US administration is bent on force to overthrow the Taliban because of the support it has given terrorist suspect Osama bin Laden.

The Guardian reported that two US Hercules transport aircraft landed in Tashkent, capital of Uzbekistan, on Tuesday loaded with surveillance equipment to be installed along the Afghan border.

It also said that Washington is funding and organising for the exiled monarch of Afghanistan, King Zahir Shah, to return to power and call for a revolution.

He is expected to encourage the guerilla army of the Northern Alliance opposition to fall in behind him.

"The King plans to call on all the Afghan tribes to rise up against the Taliban," the diplomatic cable reported.

The Guardian said the US plans to overthrow the Taliban were revealed when a senior European politician in Washington was told by the US administration that it wanted to hear his views on how Afghanistan should be run after the Taliban was defeated.

Story filed: 05:10 Friday 21st September 2001

Copyright © 2001 Ananova Ltd

post #2 of 7
Oh my, can this really be true?????
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
I believe that article can be interpreted two ways: either it's true, or else it's disinformation deliberately "leaked" in order to disguise the U.S.A.'s true intentions for Afghanistan. Mind, I'm quite sure some sort of military action will ensue in Afghanistan at some point; but if this article is in fact disinformation (as I suspect) it's main purpose would, I believe, be an effort to confuse and/or destabilize the Taleban leadership via its followers' anxiety at such news.

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
[It appears the article is true, at least in part! Here's a BBC report which appears to confirm much of what Ananova reported.]

BBC Online

Friday, 21 September, 2001, 20:05 GMT 21:05 UK

UN moots return of Afghan king

Preparations are underway to replace the Taleban

By Eurasia analysts Malcolm Haslett and Ian MacWilliam

President George W Bush has warned the Taleban authorities in Afghanistan to hand over the militant Osama bin Laden and his followers, or share in their fate.

Zahir Shah is being suggested as a possible leader

Behind the scenes, there are reports of diplomatic efforts by the United Nations and Washington to put together an Afghan coalition which could replace the Taleban as an alternative government for Afghanistan.

One possibility being mooted is that ex-king Mohammed Zahir Shah, who was overthrown by a coup in 1973, could be reinstated as the head of an interim administration.

Unity problems

As Afghanistan's war has dragged on, the idea of a broad-based interim government has often been raised as a first step towards peace and a permanent political settlement for the country.

But the idea has always foundered on the difficulty of getting Afghanistan's many ethnic and regional factions to work together.

Now the UN's special representative on Afghanistan, Francis Vendrell, is urging Washington and its European allies to bring moderate Afghans into a coalition aimed at replacing the Taleban in the event that the current crisis deals them a fatal blow.

The name of Zahir Shah, who is now 86 and living in exile in Rome, has once more been put forward as a possible figurehead for a moderate interim administration.

Reformist monarch

The idea of bringing a king back to power at the beginning of the 21st century sounds anachronistic, but during his 40-year rule King Zahir Shah emerged as a cautious moderniser and reformer.

Exhausted Afghans would grasp a chance of peace

In 1964 he introduced a new constitution providing for an elected parliament, political parties and freedom for the press.

The king also encouraged social reform, trying to improve the status of women.

But his innovation was hampered by traditionalists and by factionalism and the country's growing prosperity was not shared evenly.

Widely respected

In 1973, while he was abroad, the king was ousted by his left-wing cousin Mohammed Daoud and has lived in exile ever since.

If the Taleban were ever to lose control some see the king as the nearest thing there is in Afghanistan to a unifying figure.

A US imposed government would not be accepted

Though a Pashtun, his first language is Persian, and he is one of the few Afghan leaders who might be able to reconcile the Pashtu-dominated south with the non-Pashtuns in the north.

Despite an absence of almost 30 years he is still widely respected in the country, and much of the Afghan population, exhausted by the years of warfare, would grasp at any chance of a return of peace.

Most importantly, any political settlement under the aegis of the United Nations would win wide approval among ordinary Afghans, who would not want a government imposed by Washington, or any other foreign country.

post #5 of 7
Joe, this is really some news! Have you heard anything more on this?
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Well, the corporate mainstream journalistic media have begun talking about this matter — so I guess "The cat is out of the bag," so to speak. Mind, there's not a lot of talk regarding the deposing of the Taliban government and its replacement; but it's becoming a louder whisper.

post #7 of 7
Mr. Cat,
I don't really know if such a move can make a difference but what I do know is that poor Afganistan people deserve a break from those Talibans and I do wish they are overthrown soon.
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