This is a fragment of a 224 page book written by Mustafa Hamid titled “The Great Folly” which is part of series titled “Chatter on the World’s Rooftop.” While the document contains a fair amount of narrative that details Hamid’s travels in Afghanistan, Abu Dhabi, and Pakistan in 1989, the bulk of the document is devoted to a somewhat pessimistic analysis of the failures of the mujahidin and the outside forces that were conspiring against them in 1989. Hamid discusses the formation of a provisional government in Rawalpindi by the mujahedeen. He discusses the 1989 Jalalabad battle, and considers it a major defeat for the mujahidin. Hamid also seems to believe that recruitment of many Afghan Arabs was in part a US ploy to get them to die in Afghanistan. Hamid had serious misgivings about the continued enthusiasm of the Arabs (by such people as ‘Abu Ubaydah) for dying in Jalalabad. The Western media focused disproportionately on Jalalabad, proclaiming it to be the central battle of the war.
Hamid also decribes a trip he took to the front with Jalaluddin Haqqani’s assistant Mawlawi Nizammudin Haqqani.
Hamid believes that the strategy of Usama bin Laden is gravely mistaken, but the young jihadis follow him blindly.
Hamid identified two important events for the mujahidin in Pakistan. First, Muhtassib, a former member of al-Qa`ida, was accused of taking part in a plot to blow up a plane traveling from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia. Second, the ideological leader of much of the jihadist movement, ‘`Abdullah ‘Azzam, was assassinated. Hamid assesses that ‘Azzam was killed due to the Palestinian issue. Hamid also compares the conflicts in Palestine and Afghanistan with regards to international involvement, military strategy and training.

Stay Informed

Sign up to receive updates from CTC.

Sign up