The Northern Alliance has captured Kabul, after the Taliban abandoned the city overnight. In the time between the departure of the Taliban and the arrival of the Northern Alliance, there was a power vaccuum and there was some looting and violenc, but according to the BBC correspondent I heard this morning, the Northern Alliance police forces have restored order to the city.
As regular readers know, I had some trepidation about our attacks on Afghanistan when they began, but much of that has evaporated over the past few weeks. Since our bombardment started on October 7, it’s become obvious that Osama bin Laden was more than a guest of the Taliban. The Arab followers of bin Laden who came to Afghanistan for their shot at martyrdom were fighting alongside Taliban troops as regular soldiers, and according to some reports, were the most dependable units in the Taliban military. Furthermore, it’s obvious that the suicide bombers who assassinated Ahmed Shah Massoud on September 10 were part of Al Qaeda as well. Being that Osama bin Laden seems to be a partner of the Taliban in governing Afghanistan, it seems justifiable to me to treat the 9/11 attacks as an act of war against the US by the Taliban and Al Qaeda. As such, I feel our actions thusfar have been legal and justifiable.
I still have concerns about the human rights histories of many of the leaders of the Northern Alliance, and I hope that America, its allies, the UN, and Afghanistan’s neighbors will do their part in making sure that Afghanistan doesn’t return to anarchy once the dust settles.