Image: Interior of the palace of Shauh Shujah Ool Moolk, Late King of Cabul This lithograph is taken from plate 3 of 'Afghaunistan' by Lieutenant James Rattray. This scene shows Shah Shuja in 1839 after his enthronement as Emir of Afghanistan in the Bala Hissar (fort) of Kabul. Rattray wrote: "The Shah was a man of great personal beauty, and so well got up, that none could have guessed his age." He continued: "the wild grandeur of the whole pageantry baffles description." The population watched Shuja's grand entry in absolute silence. He was then seated on a white and reputedly ancient marble throne. From here he could be seen by the court in the quadrangle below. The wooden arches and pillars surrounding him were carved and painted and the ceiling richly decorated. A year later the sanctity of the scene was bloodily violated: Shah Shuja was murdered and "the sacred throne, [became] a lounge, a pitch-and-toss table."
Tom Joscelyn, Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies; & Senior Editor for FDD's Long War Journal; and Bill Roggio, Long War Journal and FDD; in re: The Taliban—the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan— statement and that of the US are wildly inconsistent. Taliban is not required to enter any kind of transition or joint government. “This Islamic government is to be led by Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, its current emir, and ‘lawful ruler’ of Afghanistan. The Taliban fatwa says the group ‘shall continue waging armed jihad’ until it establishes the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.” Uneven prisoner swap before even one minute of talks: Afgh govt has to release up to 5,000 prisoners in exchange for 1,000 to be released by Taliban, as negotiated by the State Department. . . . There’s a lot of wish-casting by the American negotiators; if you read the Taliban documents, the US side is, frankly, delusional. Provincial capitals: as soon as the US leaves, Taliban won’t waste much manpower, will move swiftly and succeed. The Afghan government is being thrown under the bus.