Reprinted from NewsMax.com
[did I mention that it was newsmax? in other words, read with a grain of salt...]
Monday, Dec. 12, 2005 10:11 a.m. EST
Taliban Growing in Afghanistan
Amidst the opium-producing poppy fields and among the old stomping grounds of Osama bin Laden, the Taliban is growing again in Afghanistan.
Arnaud de Borchgrave, editor at large for United Press International, told Fox News Channel Monday that the fiercely anti-Western Muslim fundamentalists are regaining control of portions of Afghanistan and Pakistan, which is "good news for Osama bin Laden.?
De Borchgrave visited Afghanistan before the Asian earthquake where the Taliban "seems to be spreading its wings? again where once they had been driven away by U.S. and Pakistani troops.
"It was quite clear that the Taliban has control of some areas,? de Borchgrave said. "The Pakistanis seem to be focusing on al-Qaida, but not the Taliban. There?s no question that the Taliban is gaining strength.?
DeBorchgrave said the situation in Afghanistan is "tenuous? despite recent polls that indicate Afghanis are optimistic about their future.
"It depends how you take these polls,? he said. "There is no way of getting a very accurate picture of what is going on in Afghanistan. Nothing has happened with the drug culture. Half of the Afghanistan GDP ? nearly $3-4 Billion ? comes from drug smuggling. It?s not good.?