Sunday, September 05, 2010

Motorcycle Plus Guns? Taliban as Young Man's Fantasy

If you join the Taliban you can ride motorcycles, shoot guns, and if you get killed you go straight to paradise to be served in every way by 72 pure virgins of your Koran-fevered dreams. If you are a young man growing up in dirt-poor, war-ravaged Afghanistan, looking for adventure -- what are you going to do? The Taliban effort is well funded by outside Islamic funding agencies. Iran is an important provider of resources.
KABUL -- At least five Iranian companies in Afghanistan's capital are using their offices covertly to finance Taliban militants in provinces near Kabul, according to a Sunday Times investigation.

Afghan intelligence and Taliban sources have told the newspaper that the firms, set up in the past six months, provide cash for a network of district Taliban treasurers to pay battlefield expenses and bonuses for killing the enemy and destroying their vehicles.

The Iranian companies win contracts to supply materials and logistics to Afghans involved in reconstruction. The money often comes in the form of aid from foreign donors.

Profits are transferred through poorly regulated Afghan banks — including Kabul Bank, which is partly owned by President Hamid Karzai’s brother Mahmood — to Tehran and Dubai.

From these countries, the money returns to Afghanistan through the informal Islamic banking system known as hawala to be dispersed to the Taliban. _Source

The huge "youth bulge" seen in the population pyramid of Afghanistan -- and several other dirt-poor Islamic and third world countries -- suggests that the Islamic wars of Asia and Africa will be "forever wars", at least through most of this century. Demography is destiny in many ways.

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