In case you might have missed the latest faux-controversy assigned by political operatives to the media narrative engineers, the issue surrounds leaked sketchy intelligence reports, to the New York Times, claiming Russians were willing to pay Taliban members to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. The evidence provided by the Times includes:
From this tenuous evidence footnoted with “according to multiple officials familiar with the intelligence”, democrat operatives in media desperately clutch their pearls and stake out another batch of apoplexy claiming President Trump is not doing anything about it.
Setting aside for the moment that nothing claimed by media or the DNC political operatives in/around capitol hill has any substantive intelligence to prove the claim, let’s first look at the underlying premise: ‘Russians are paying the Taliban to kill American soldiers.’
First, obviously these same voices need to ignore that in 2010 Iran was paying insurgent fighters in multiple fields of combat including Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, to kill Americans. Those well-documented examples must be overlooked because despite the overwhelming evidence the Obama administration paid Iran over $170 billion in cash and entered a nuclear deal with them. Once again, in order to retain their left-wing political position the media must pretend not to know things.
Iranian bounties on American soldiers during the 2010 Obama administration were rewarded. Contrast that against unsubstantiated rumors of Russian bounties on American soldiers in Afghanistan in 2020 being the most horrific and alarming situation in history.
It was reported in 2010 that five Iranian companies were winning construction contracts in Afghanistan funded with foreign aid. The money was sent back to Iran via the underground hawala money transfer networks and was used to pay Taliban fighters $200 per month. If they kill a U.S. soldier, they get a $1,000 bonus and a $6,000 bonus for the destruction of a military vehicle. Bounties began being offered as early as February 2005, when a U.S. government document reported that Iran was offering $1,470 for the killing of Afghan soldiers and $3,841 for the death of Afghan officials.
Taliban and similar terrorists are also trained in Iran and are paid for their time. Hundreds go to Zahedan in the winter. The first month is focused on learning how to attack convoys without getting captured. Improvised explosive devices (IED) are the trade taught in the second month. In the last month, attacks on military outposts are simulated. (LINK)
Again, ignoring that Iran also funds Hezbollah, which involves payments for the killing of U.S. and allied western soldiers, the politics of the narrative engineers are so hypocritical they are choking.
Additionally, when Russia invaded Afghanistan, guess who was paying the Mujahideen to kill Russians? Yup, that would be USA. Not only did we pay the Mujahideen (the early Taliban) to kill Russians, we also supplied all the arms and munitions they needed to do it. The U.S. were paying bounty for the killing of Russians. Hypocrisy much.
Decades later, when U.S. President George W Bush invaded Iraq, again we put bounties on the heads of Iraq commanding officers we wanted to kill or capture. Anyone remember the paying cards with the faces and names of the targets?
Oh, and lets not forget the billions that President Obama, Hillary Clinton and Leon Panetta spent on bounties in Libya and Syria where we gave money and weapons to al-Qaeda factions to kill Libyan and Syrian soldiers.
All bounties are not created equal I guess.
The entire argument underpinning the pretext of the claim is ridiculous. However, what’s even more ridiculous is how the media has to set aside all prior information and all pretense of journalism in order to sell a narrative that, even if true, is nothing more than a continuation of proxy war fighting where the U.S has been the largest financial player in history.
Does Russia pay elements, possibly Taliban in Afghanistan, to maintain a forceful position against the U.S.? Hell, I would certainly think the answer is yes. Why should Russia be more magnanimous to our Afghanistan boondoggle than we were to theirs?
Does Russia pay the Taliban directly to kill Americans? There is no direct evidence supporting that claim; and specifically the U.S. intelligence apparatus including the NSA, CIA, NSC and ODNI have said there’s no such direct evidence; but that’s not really the point is it.
Even if there was direct evidence that Russia was offering bounties against U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, how is that different from Iran offering bounties against U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan during the Obama administration?
The entire premise of the outrage is ridiculous; and too make matters worse the number one facilitator of U.S. bounties paid to kill foreign fighters is Senator Lindsey Graham.