The Observer view on the Taliban and how they underestimate ordinary Afghans | Observer editorial
The Islamists haven’t mended their ways but the population they wish to subjugate won’t submit without a struggle
The fall of Kabul in November 2001 was celebrated by rightwing British newspapers and commentators as something akin to Victorian imperial payback. Northern Alliance forces, backed by US and UK air strikes, swept the Taliban from power two months after al-Qaida’s 11 September terror attacks.
Now, 20 years on, Kabul has fallen again, and that silly, jingoistic triumphalism is placed in perspective. The west’s victory was, at best, temporary and at worst, illusory. Despite its well-meant, ill-considered, vainglorious attempts to transform Afghanistan in its own image, the Taliban are back in charge. By some measures the situation is worse than in 2001.