The typical account of Taliban forces focuses on their brutality toward women or indifference to the political and human needs of people to freely express themselves. Paul Refsdal, a Norwegian journalist, was able to persuade some Taliban leaders to allow him entry into their world. He spent several weeks in the mountains with a Taliban unit commanded by a man named, Darwan. Refsdal was impressed at the lack of military equipment available to those thrust into combat, the lack of equipment and the spartan world in which Taliban soldiers lived. He observed them in ordinary activities such as at play, joking, eating, and working. Suddenly, one day, Darwan told the men, “Let’s go,” and off to battle with an old machine gun and a few rifles. As Refsdal noted, “They seem to have very little, they were very happy.”
The Norwegian’s observations simply reinforce the idea that Taliban fighters believe in the justice of their fight, while most supporters of President Karzai have no idea what they are fighting for nor are their “allies” dedicated people. Corruption and wealth for a few are found among the Karzai people, not among the Taliban. There is scant likelihood the Taliban will soon disappear, but as for Karzai supporters……?