Robert Fisk: ‘Nobody supports the Taliban, but people hate the government’

As he leaves Afghanistan, our correspondent reflects on a failed state cursed by brutal fundamentalism and rampant corruption

Thursday, 27 November 2008
Taliban fighters in Maydan Shahr, west of Kabul

The collapse of Afghanistan is closer than the world believes. Kandahar is in Taliban hands

The Red Cross has already warned that humanitarian operations are being drastically curtailed in ever larger areas of Afghanistan; more than 4,000 people, at least a third of them civilians, have been killed in the past 11 months, along with scores of Nato troops and about 30 aid workers. Both the Taliban and Mr Karzai’s government are executing their prisoners in ever greater numbers. The Afghan authorities hanged five men this month for murder, kidnap or rape