We’re constantly trying to get more people to be with us than against us, and goodness knows, Hekmatyar is not with us,” Mr Rumsfeld said…
But does Rumsfeld know who Hekmatyar is?
This Rumsfeld memo, from a Robert Waldmann post, cited by Brad DeLong, seems to suggest not:
“USG has made reasonable progress in capturing or killing the top 55 Iraqis. USG has made somewhat slower progress tracking down the Taliban — Omar, Hekmatyar, etc.”
As Waldman explains:
The odd thing is that Gulbudin Hekmatyar is not a Talib. He is the head of the Hezb i Islami a very different organization which has fought the Taliban.
I hope Rumsfeld isn’t as clueless as he seems.
Here is some more information about Hekmatyar:
Even though Hekmatyar’s Hezbi Islami recieved millions of dollars worth of military and financial aid from the United States, they still failed to liberate Afghanistan from the Communists. In fact, many Afghan political analysts accuse Hekmatyar of killing more Mujahideen members than Communists.
And from the BBC:
The Hezb-e-Islami was blamed for much of the terrible death and destruction of that period, which led many ordinary Afghans to welcome the emergence of the Taleban.