One Mullah’s death does not a Taliban make.
May 14, 2007 – Zurich (apj.us) – It amazes me that each time the coalition forces in Afghanistan – or anyone – kills an extremist Islamic leader, it is big news.
Until yesterday, virtually nobody on earth had heard of Mullah Dadullah, although I would think the kings and queens of rap music could have used his name in what is loosely called their “lyrics.”
As it is, poor Dadullah, a top Taliban chieftain, was killed in the morning this past Saturday during a battle with Afghan-NATO forces in Afghanistan's Helmand province.
Dadullah was only 40 years old, and according to most sources he was the top of the heap – a guy Mullah Omar could count on to keep the jihad going in Afghanistan.
Some claim it was Dadullah that taught the Pashtuni to give up the ghost and become suicide bombers. Others say he and his followers were close to Osama bin Laden.
Whichever the case, Dadullah is Da-Dead-a.
All the major news outlets carried video of Dadullah’s body, his face looking as if he had spent too much time near barbecue smoke. Al Jazeera showed his body in the most gruesome detail (what a surprise, huh?) – and it appeared to me that the BBC and CNN has – as usual – purchased their footage from the Doha-based news giant because their own people didn’t have the stomach to go down to the morgue on a weekend.
The fact is that Dadullah was only one of a dozen men who sit on the Taliban leadership council – akin to America's Federalist Society. Pundits and intelligence operations that tell you Dudallah's death will be a problem for Al Qaeda are just whistling Dixie – there are any number of Afghan rebels around to take his place and make things bloodier than ever.
One thing is certain: it was not, as intelligence "experts" seem to think, the Pakistani intelligence services who fingered Dadullah. There's not the chance of a ski vacation in Hell SIS was behind this. Despite Pakistani President Prevez Musharraf’s promise to Kabul's caped crusader Hamed Karzai of full cooperation, it is more likely that Saudis royals paid someone within the Mullah’s own party to turn on him and give the coalition his “address.”
The one person who knows best is the man who once stood as the Taliban Ambassador to Pakistan, Abdus Zaeef. It was he who represented the Taliban when Karzai decided to sit down with them and try to save the ten square feet he now controls in Afghanistan. Zaeef is correct is his assessment that Dadullah’s killing will only result is more death and destruction in the region.
Take that to the bank.