ThereAreNoSunglasses

American Resistance To Empire

Taliban Doha Office Part of Saudi/Qatari Feud?

[Taliban Doha office manager, Tayyab Agha, allegedly quit because of Pakistani involvment in the peace process.  This article alleges that the Qatar Taliban office was created to separate Afghan Taliban from the Pakistani Taliban.  This could be part of the Saudi/Qatar feud.]

Differences intensify in Taliban over peace talks

frontier post

KABUL (AIP): The head of Taliban Qatar political bureau, Tayyab Agha, has tendered his resignation as differences intensify in the Afghan Taliban leadership over the peace talks with Afghan government. Credible sources divulged to Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) that Tayyab Agha had warned the Taliban leaders in Pakistan against taking part in the first face-to-face peace negotiations but some Taliban ignored his directives and attended the Murree meeting.
�This is why Tayyab Agha stepped down and sent his resignation to Taliban leadership council,� the sources said.
Quoting the head of Taliban Qatar political bureau, the sources said the main aim of opening political office in Doha, Qatar, was to get rid the Taliban movement rid of Pakistan�s influence, especially on the political side, and that no demand of Pakistan should be accepted.
�Now, as the Taliban are holding talks through Pakistan, Tayyab Agha is angry and it is the main reason of his resignation,� the sources said. According to the sources the resignation of Tayyab Agha was discussed at least once by the movement�s leadership but has not yet been accepted or rejected.
There were reports that a secret meeting between the Taliban and Afghan government representatives was held in Saudi Arabia after the Murree talks.
The sources, however, said it was another kind of meeting. Following difference among the Taliban commanders over the peace talks, two Taliban leaders Mullah Abbas and Mullah Jalil visited Saudi Arabia but both have not yet returned, the sources said, adding Saudi Arabia also invited Tayyab Agha and persuaded him to take part in the peace talks.
It is expected that representatives of Taliban Qatar office may also talks part in the next round of direct negotiations likely to be held in Pakistan on July 31, the sources said.
Reliable sources in Pakistan said the talks were more likely to be held in Pakistan.
No letup in violence even after Pakistan-backed talks: Faisal
KABUL (Pajhwok): Javed Faisal, spokesman for the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah, on Tuesday said Afghanistan expected sharp decline after first round of direct talks with Taliban but insecurity continued to haunt the nation.

He lamented groups behind insurgency in Afghanistan still enjoyed active Pakistan�s support and they were not refrained from their activities despite Pakistani officials� pledges following first round of talks with Taliban.

Afghan government delegation and Taliban representatives held face-to-face talks last month in Murree, a tourist resort close to Pakistan�s capital Islamabad.

The government was sincere about talks with Taliban, he said, suspecting Pakistan did not stop supporting insurgent groups in Afghanistan. Afghan government expected dramatic decline in militants activities in the country after the first round of talks ended in Islamabad.

According to Faisal, the government was committed to peace talks with Taliban and would explore every opportunity that could guarantee peace and prosperity in the country.

He said the second round of talks would be held soon, but did not give information about the venue and exact date of talks with Taliban.

The second round of talks with Taliban were expected to kick start from july,30 in China, but government sources revealed that second round was also expected to take place in Pakistan.

Earlier, a Pakistan security official, who wished to go unnamed, said that second round of talks between Afghan government and the Taliban would take place in Islamabad as well. He hoped the takes would bear positive result.

Mullah Omar’s Son Leads Taliban Rebellion Against CIA’s Man, Mullah Mansoor

‘Split emerged over successor, as son disclosed Mullah Omar’s death’

daily times pakCI

Some Taliban leaders rallying behind Mullah Omar’s son Yacoub

WASHINGTON – Mohammad Yacoub, the son of the Taliban’s founder recently gathered a small group of commanders in a madrassa outside Quetta and made an astonishing revelation that his father Mullah Mohammad Omar was dead, the Wall Street Journal newspaper reported.
Until that day in late July, only a handful of top Taliban leaders and family members knew of his death, which the Afghan government said occurred in April 2013. But Mohammad Yacoub and others had maintained the secret to keep alive the legend of the commander, the US paper quoted three people familiar with the episode as saying.
But instead of rallying the group around a new leader, the disclosure appears to have widened rifts that threaten to fragment Afghanistan’s most formidable fighting force. At the meeting, splits immediately surfaced between Mullah Omar’s apparent successor, Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, and those who challenged his appointment – including the late leader’s son Yacoub, his brother Mullah Abdul Manan and Mullah Abdul Qayum Zakir – his longtime rival and a powerful former head of Taliban’s military commission.
Mullah Manan left the meeting in protest, said a member of the leadership council who was in the room. “He (Manan) stood up and said: This man cannot become my brother’s successor. My brother would not have appointed him as the leader.” Mullah Zakir also walked out. Others backed Mullah Mansoor – the acting chief of the group since 2010.
– Amir-ul-Mumineen –
The Taliban’s media branch formally proclaimed Mullah Mansoor had become the new chief – “Amir-ul-Mumineen, a title Mullah Omar’s followers had bestowed upon him. “Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor was selected as the Amir (leader) by a small circle of people,” Mullah Mohammad Hassan Rahmani – a member of Taliban’s leadership council, told Afghan television channel Shamshad.
“This appointment is neither in accordance with the law nor the Islamic Shariah. This is a betrayal of comrades. No one agrees. It is not acceptable, and it cannot last,” he said. The Taliban’s leadership council has asked Sirajuddin Haqqani – Mullah Mansoor’s newly-appointed deputy and leader of the Haqqani faction of the Taliban – to help mediate between rival factions and accept the new leader, a person close to the movement said.
The discord represents a setback to the Taliban leadership transition. The decision to reveal Mullah Omar’s death was originally intended to help bridge deepening divisions within the movement, people with knowledge of the Taliban’s inner workings said. By the end of 2014, more Taliban began to ask whether Mullah Omar was still alive as they questioned the legitimacy of Mullah Mansoor – who said he was acting on their leader’s direct orders.
Some in the Taliban who knew Mullah Omar well questioned whether some of those instructions could really have come from him. They asked how he was able to send missives but wasn’t able to provide audio recordings to prove he was alive. Last fall, Afghanistan’s intelligence agency intercepted a letter that Mullah Zakir sent to his men. “He told his people not to listen to Mansoor, and that the leader (Amir) is dead,” a senior Afghan official said.
Mullah Zakir had recently been removed as leader of the Taliban’s military commission. People close to the Taliban said that he had challenged Mullah Mansoor to prove their leader was alive, contributing to his dismissal. He still retains extensive influence over the movement’s fighters. In recent months, speculation over Mullah Omar’s fate mounted. More Taliban commanders began requesting proof of life.
Some Taliban said the opposition to Mullah Mansoor is rallying behind Mullah Omar’s son Yacoub, who is in his mid-20s and has his own base of supporters. He has Mullah Zakir’s backing. But some don’t see him as a credible contender for the top role. The day after Yacoub announced his father’s death, senior Taliban gathered to pray for Mullah Omar and to offer condolences to family members. The news spread rapidly within the movement.
Last weekend, Afghan and US intelligence agencies picked up on chatter within the Taliban about Mullah Omar’s death. Until that point, the working assumption within the US government was that he was likely still alive, though sickly.

Rowdy Roddy Piper, Star of “THEY LIVE,” Has Gone Home

[SEE FIRST POST, THEREARENOSUNGLASSES: THERE ARE NO SUNGLASSES – This Is Not a Movie]–July 11, 2008

Wrestling great became cult icon in ‘They Live’

Remembering Roddy Piper’s rowdy film career

entertainment weekly

Wrestlers don’t become actors. Wrestlers are actors. Sometimes, Hollywood notices. Hollywood noticed Roddy Piper. Body Slam, 1987: A fish-out-of-water comedy about a music promoter in the world of wrestling, with “Rowdy” Roddy Piper as “Quick” Rick Roberts. Hell Comes to Frogtown, also 1987: Piper plays a post-apocalyptic drifter rescuing a tribe of beautiful women kidnapped into sex slavery by mutant frogs. You read all of that right. Piper’s name in the movie? “Sam Hell.”

Piper, who died Thursday at the age of 61, never really stopped acting. His IMDB page overflows with titles you kind of remember, maybe from some long-ago video store, maybe from when they used to print out the TV guide in the newspaper you used to subscribe to. Back in Action and Immortal CombatNo Contest and JunglegroundTerminal Rush and Dead Tides. To be a famous wrestler is to be a cult figure, so there were equal parts gleeful self-satire and raw authenticity when Piper showed up in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, playing a demented wrestler named “Da’Maniac.”

In an interview, Piper said Da’Maniac was a comical riff on Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler, Darren Aronofsky’s ode to the squared circle. Maybe Piper’s spoof was so funny because he understood all too well the character’s bleak reality — Aronofsky claimed that Piper showed up to a screening of The Wrestler, loved it, and wound up crying into Mickey Rourke’s arms.

Piper was already a legend long before his untimely death. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say: As a wrestler, he was a legend. And as an actor, he worked a lot — and, once upon a time, he became some kind of legend. They Live, 1988. John Carpenter wanted to make a sci-fi horror action satire, an R-rated blood romp about consumerism and class warfare and media brainwashing and aliens camouflaged as humans. Carpenter went to WrestleMania III, met Piper, knew that he had found his star.

They Live is best described as a brutally serious farce, a Marx Brothers comedy approved by Karl Marx. Piper plays a man who doesn’t quite have a name. (In the end-credits he’s “Nada,” as in “Nothing.”) He’s a drifter living on the fringes, watching the cops destroy a homeless village. He finds some groovy sunglasses, which reveal that there are aliens among us, pummeling humanity into submission with stealth-attack media and totalitarian conformity.

At one point, Piper finds his way into a bank. He’s got a shotgun. He see some aliens. “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass,” he says. “And I’m all out of bubblegum.”

Carpenter always credited Piper with ad-libbing that line, which plays in the moment like both a shining example of ’80s beefcake badassery and a lacerating parody of the same. (A version of that line popped up in Duke Nukem.) And that’s not even Piper’s best moment in the movie. Later, in an alley, he meets up with his pal Keith David. Piper wants David to put on the sunglasses; David refuses. They fight, and fight, and fight and fight and fight.

There is so much inexplicable wonder in this scene, which took weeks of rehearsal. It’s realistic but cartoony, funny but occasionally genuinely freaky. You can never tell how serious the fighters are, and you start to wonder if they’re just going to kill each other. You have to love Piper repeating the phrase, “I don’t want to fight you, I don’t want to fight you,” right before he spends five minutes fighting him. Or the moment around 4:19, when Piper smashes the back window of a car — and, stunned, tells David he’s sorry, like a kid who didn’t realize his hand was in the cookie jar.

South Park did a shot-for-shot parody of that scene. Last year, Adventure Time did another parody of the fistfight, between fiery despot Flame King and his minion Don John the Flame Lord. This parody was rather more official: Flame King was voiced by Keith David, and Don John was voiced by Roddy Piper. Listen closely at :05, and you can hear Piper mumble, with complete authenticity: “Stamina…failing.” Raspy, wry, over-the-top and completely believable — and that was just the man’s voice!

According to some sources, that scene was only supposed to be a short little scuffle. As is, it’s five and a half minutes long. Aronofsky cited it as an influence on The Wrestler, and thought the scene was intended as an overextended, hyperbolized spoof of fight scenes. I’m not so sure; it’s possible Carpenter just liked watching Piper and David fully commit to punching and kicking the living hell out of each other. Piper was a wrestler and an actor — and for one perfect, mesmerizing scene, he was the best of both.

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