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Taliban Married to the Mob

LIFE IN TALIBANISTAN Married to the mob By Pepe Escobar

This is the conclusion of a three-part report. PART 1: ‘Throw these infidels in jail’ PART 2: The degree zero of culture

Ten years ago, Taliban Afghanistan – Talibanistan – was under a social, cultural, political and economic nightmare. Ten years ago, New York-based photographer Jason Florio and myself slowly crossed Talibanistan. Those were the days. Bill Clinton was in the White House. Osama bin Laden was a discreet guest of Mullah Omar, and there was no hint of 9/11, the invasion of Iraq, or the “war on terror”, or the rebranding of the AfPak war.

We experienced Talibanistan in action, in close detail. This is both a glimpse of a long-lost world, and a window to a possible

future in Afghanistan. Arguably, not much has changed. Or has it? If schizophrenia defined the Taliban in power, US schizophrenia still rules.

Will the US and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization reach a “Saigon moment” anytime soon – and leave? Not likely. As General David “I’m always positioning myself to 2012” Petraeus, like his predecessor General Stanley McChrystal, advances his special forces-led, maximum


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