UM Professor Mehrdad Kia addresses the Crisis in Afghanistan
With Afghanistan on the precipice of falling to the Taliban after U.S. troops were pulled out of the country, University of Montana history professor Mehrdad Kia appeared on Monday’s Talk Back program to speak of the country he knows so well.
He was asked to describe the Taliban and where they originated.
“They are mostly children who grew up in refugee camps,” said Kia. “They had lost their parents and they had lost their villages. What Pakistan did is that they gathered these children and they gave them military training. They indoctrinated them through the help of the Saudis in those refugee camps about Islam.”
Kia said the Taliban were educated and trained for only one purpose.
“All they were told is how to recite verses from the Quran,” he said. “They were not allowed to study any humanities, social sciences, hard sciences, math, or anything else. They were only allowed to study Islam and recite from the Quran. They were then armed and trained and then unleashed against their own people.”
Ordinarily, the Afghan people place great value and respect for their wives and mothers, but not so the Taliban.
“One of the things about Taliban is the absolute disrespect for women,” he said. “Why? Because they never saw a mother they never saw a father. They were raised in these refugee camps detached from any Afghan family structure and culture.”
Kia said the way the Biden Administration has handled the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan has resulted in the worst possible scenario, militarily and sociologically.
“The situation is such that it's a human catastrophe,” he said “And it's a diplomatic catastrophe to be very blunt with you, for our country, for the United States. To recover from this, it's going to take a long time. And I have to say to you that the power that is now sitting in Kabul is one of the most dangerous governments and a group of people that we could ever imagine any country.
Kia said as thousands attempted to flee the capital of Kabul, some tried to climb onto the wings of departing aircraft in fear for their lives. Kia said the scene was reminiscent of how the U.S. departed from Saigon at the close of the Vietnam War.
President Biden is due to address the nation on the situation in Afghanistan.