If you were surprised to see the ACLU heralding the civil liberties imperatives of „vaccine mandates” and „vaccine requirements” — whereby the government coerces adults to inject medicine into their own bodies that they do not want — the New York Times op-ed which the group promoted, written by two of its senior lawyers, was even more extreme. The article begins with this rhetorical question: “Do vaccine mandates violate civil liberties?” Noting that „some who have refused vaccination claim as much,” the ACLU lawyers say: “we disagree.” The op-ed then examines various civil liberties objections to mandates and state coercion — little things like, you know, bodily autonomy and freedom to choose — and the ACLU officials then invoke one authoritarian cliche after the next (“these rights are not absolute“) to sweep aside such civil liberties concerns:
Naturally, the United States has financed the Afghan war with borrowed money. Brown University researchers estimate that more than $500 billion in interest has already been paid (included in the $2.26 trillion total sum), and they figure that by 2050 the cost of interest alone on our Afghan war debt could reach $6.5 trillion. That amounts to $20,000 for each and every U.S. citizen.
Among the items seized by the Taliban are Black Hawk helicopters and A-29 Super Tucano attack aircraft.
Photos have also circulated of Taliban fighters clutching U.S.-made M4 carbines and M16 rifles instead of their iconic AK-47s. And the militants have been spotted with U.S. Humvees and mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles.
The Taliban captured an array of modern military equipment when they overran Afghan forces who failed to defend district centers. Bigger gains followed, including combat aircraft, when the Taliban rolled up provincial capitals and military bases with stunning speed, topped by capturing the biggest prize, Kabul, over the weekend.
A U.S. defense official on Monday confirmed the Taliban’s sudden accumulation of U.S.-supplied Afghan equipment is enormous.
Ruttig: Man hat von Anfang an auf einen verengten und falschen Kreis von Leuten gesetzt, und damit meine ich nicht in erster Linie die Präsidenten und ihre Kabinette und Berater. Sondern ich meine die Warlords, auf die man als Hauptkraft im Kampf gegen die Taliban gesetzt hat. Man hat ihnen dafür große Teile des politischen Systems überlassen und die Augen vor ihrer Korruption, Verwicklung in den Drogenhandel, Kriegsverbrechen und schlimmsten Menschenrechtsverletzungen verschlossen. Das hat das untergraben, was eine entstehende afghanische Demokratie hätte sein können.
The deals, initially offered early last year, were often described by Afghan officials as cease-fires, but Taliban leaders were in fact offering money in exchange for government forces to hand over their weapons, according to an Afghan officer and a U.S. official.
Over the next year and a half, the meetings advanced to the district level and then rapidly on to provincial capitals, culminating in a breathtaking series of negotiated surrenders by government forces, according to interviews with more than a dozen Afghan officers, police, special operations troops and other soldiers.
– A Taliban spokesman says their fighters have been ordered to enter the city to prevent looting
– Reports from Kabul say the Taliban have seized the presidential palace
– Earlier they were told to refrain from violence and allow safe passage for anyone wanting to leave
– Eyewitnesses say the militants met little resistance along the way to the capital
In a sign that the government had collapsed, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, Abdullah Abdullah, the head of the Afghan High Council for National Reconciliation, confirmed in a video shared online.
The fall of Mazar-e-Sharif, the country’s fourth-largest city, which Afghan forces and two powerful former warlords had pledged to defend, hands the insurgents control over all of northern Afghanistan, confining the Western-backed government to the centre and east.
In the western city of Herat, an entire Afghan army corps crumbled, with hundreds of troops handing over their weapons to the Taliban and others fleeing, according to local officials. The surrender deal was brokered, they said, by a group of Taliban leaders who met with Afghan government and security forces at the military base where they were holed up after the city was overrun Thursday.
(May 27, 2021
Updated July 7, 2021)
Since May 1, at least 26 outposts and bases in just four provinces — Laghman, Baghlan, Wardak and Ghazni — have surrendered after such negotiations, according to village elders and government officials.