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For Biden and the United States, 9/11 anniversary offers a grim symmetry

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For Biden and the United States, 9/11 anniversary offers a grim symmetry

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Earlier this year, President Biden chose to layer a deeper symbolism on prime of the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. He chose Sept. 11 as the initial deadline for his plan to finally withdraw all U.S. forces in Afghanistan. In the months thereafter, the departure of U.S. troops prefigured the ideally suited collapse in August of the Afghan authorities and its U.S.-trained and U.S.-geared up military, which took the White House somewhat all of sudden. Biden had to preside over a messy, desperate final evacuation as the Taliban, chased out of energy two decades ago, seized Kabul as soon as again.

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On Sept. 11, a subdued and somber Biden participated in commemorations at the three different sites in New York Metropolis, Northern Virginia and rural Pennsylvania where planes seized by al-Qaeda terrorists crashed 20 years ago. He delivered no formal remarks at the events, mingling instead with relatives of oldsters that perished in the attacks, while issuing a video message the day ahead of in which he reprised his long-accustomed role — as my colleague Seung Min Kim famend — of “consoler-in-chief.”

The Taliban made a more pointed statement Saturday. At a morning ceremony, the neighborhood raised its white banner with the Shahada, or Islamic “testimony,” written across it above the presidential palace in Kabul. “The Taliban did no longer area a formal statement on the anniversary of the al-Qaeda terrorist attacks that preluded them being pushed from energy 20 years earlier,” my colleagues wrote. “But the image of the flag served as another reminder of the militant neighborhood’s ideally suited return after two decades of struggling with U.S.-led forces.”

Separately, al-Qaeda released a video on Sept. 11 featuring a taped message from leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. The veteran deputy of Osama bin Laden has been rumored to be dead — and may well be, however in his message he appeared to talk about with events in Syria early this year as well. The extremist organization provoked the U.S. invasion in 2001 and was smoked out of its sanctuary and camps there, nevertheless it remains a threat from Central Asia to North Africa.

The painful redux facing a generation of American policymakers is available in various kinds. The al-Qaeda strikes on the United States 20 years ago have been preceded by the assassination of legendary mujahideen and anti-Taliban commander Ahmed Shah Massoud. In 2001, U.S. forces seized Kabul from the Taliban with the backing of fighters from the late Massoud’s Northern Alliance. Now, his son, whose forces snappy resisted the Taliban advance, is on the bustle and Massoud’s tomb in the Panjshir valley was reportedly desecrated by Taliban militants.

In Kabul, the Taliban appeared to be restoring an updated model of the draconian, fundamentalist rule that characterized its earlier spell in energy. The neighborhood suggested female workers in most ministries no longer to return to work, while mandating Islamic costume and segregation for ladies attending universities. Further erosions of ladies’s rights are expected to apply below a unusual caretaker Taliban cabinet that is made up totally of males and comprises a rogue’s gallery of militant commanders and designated terrorists.

Chief among them is Sirajuddin Haqqani, whose father and his community have been as soon as key CIA-backed players in the fight against the Soviet Union. Haqqani is legendary for his ties to al-Qaeda and has a $5 million bounty on his head from the FBI for his role in at least one Kabul bombing and a quantity of other Taliban-orchestrated plots. He was appointed Afghanistan’s unusual acting inner minister — the country’s chief law enforcement official. Other members of the Haqqani community, which the State Department has designated a terrorist organization, are also in prime positions of energy, including the country’s acting minister of larger education.

For now, myriad ladies across the country have taken to the streets to oppose the Taliban’s infringements of their rights, which a generation of Afghans grew up with following the American invasion. But these public displays of dissent may be coming to an stop amid the threat of Taliban crackdowns. “Protesting and advocating had grew to change into into a pastime and enjoyable activity” below Afghanistan’s earlier authorities, Karima Shujazada, a 26-year-worn protester in the city of Mazar-e Sharif, suggested my colleagues. “In the past, I was definite that I would return dwelling safely. Now, when I exit to explain, I don’t know if I will obtain detained, beaten up or killed.”

On Saturday, Biden waved away considerations over his handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal. In accordance with journalists, he pointed to a contemporary Washington Put up poll that confirmed that an overwhelming majority of Americans peaceful supported pulling troops out of the country, even though many didn’t approve of the way the withdrawal was carried out. He asked rhetorically whether it makes sense for the United States to invade every nation where extremist teams fancy al-Qaeda have a presence.

Although the Biden administration has decried the lack of “inclusivity” in the rising Taliban authorities, it is cagily animated forward. Last week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken suggested journalists that “we have and we can web ways to engage the Taliban, the intervening time authorities, a future authorities” for what he described as “capabilities of advancing the national passion, our national passion and that of our partners.”

“It’s a gorgeous complicated location for the Biden administration,” Colin P. Clarke, director of policy and research at the Soufan Neighborhood, an intelligence and safety consulting agency, suggested my colleague Sudarsan Raghavan. “In case you deal with the Taliban in these confines, you are essentially dealing with a terrorist neighborhood or members of a terrorist organization. And when you happen to don’t, you have no leverage and no affect to manipulate events in Afghanistan.”

The Taliban has objected to the United States and the United Nations conserving figures fancy Haqqani on sanctioned “blacklists,” which the militant neighborhood believes is in violation of the spirit of earlier agreements cast with the Trump administration in Doha, Qatar.

“That America and other international locations are making such provocative statements and attempting to meddle in the internal affairs of Afghanistan, the Islamic Emirate condemns it in the strongest terms,” the Taliban said in a statement. “Such remarks by U.S. officials are a repetition of past failed experiments and such positions are detrimental for America.”

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For Biden and the United States, 9/11 anniversary offers a grim symmetry