World Rhetoric: The Taliban Frienemy?

What's next...pokes on Facebook?

     I could never be a politician. I believe in speaking my mind in straight forward, unambiguous terms. No wiffle-waffling around. I also know that there are certain people that you just can’t reach, no matter how hard you try to find that “common ground” to work from. Politicians on the other hand, often engage in ambiguous “double-speak,” saying one thing when they actually mean something completely different. They obfuscate the truth, covering it in layer upon layer of condition and color, until the real crux of the matter is lost in the process.

     In mid-December, Vice-President Joe Biden stated during a Newsweek interview that the Taliban, the former rulers of Afghanistan and sometime allies of Al Qaeda, are not our enemy. Immediate reaction to the statement was mixed, while White House spokesman Jay Carney stated that Biden’s words were “only regrettable when taken out of context.” For context’s sake, let’s look at the entire section of comments, so that we can get a better idea of what Biden was trying to convey:

    “Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy. That’s critical. There is not a single statement that the president has ever made in any of our policy assertions that the Taliban is our enemy, because it threatens U.S. interests. If, in fact, the Taliban is able to collapse the existing government, which is cooperating with us in keeping the bad guys from being able to do damage to us, then that becomes a problem for us.”

     Biden went on to say that the U.S. is pursuing a two-pronged approach to the situation in Afghanistan; keeping pressure on Al Qaeda, while also supporting an Afghani government that is strong enough to negotiate, yet not be overthrown by the Taliban.(1) President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan responded by welcoming the remarks, stating that this position on the part of the U.S. would “…bring peace and stability to the people of Afghanistan.”(2) Meanwhile, on the part of the Taliban, according to an inside militant source and relayed to the Associated Press, the Taliban and Al Qaeda leadership are again in cahoots, calling on Pakistani militants to send combatants to support their “battle against America in Afghanistan.”(3)

     Now, it’s opining time. Evidently, Jokin’ Joe and good buddy Hamid didn’t make sure Mullah Omar and the guys received a copy of the memo. While we’re talking “Barney hugs” and nice sentiments toward the Taliban, they in turn still want to kill us. Keep in mind, my fine young readers, this is the same Taliban that allowed Usama bin Laden and Al Qaeda to establish training camps in Afghanistan, launch an attack on U.S. soil resulting in almost 3,000 deaths, and then thumbed their noses at us when we asked that Bin Laden be given up for prosecution.

     This is the same Taliban that in 1999, issued a decree that protected the Bamiyan Buddhas, a pair of 180 and 121 foot-high, 6th century Buddha statues carved into a rock face in the Hazarajat region of central Afghanistan. Then in 2001, this same Taliban declared them a heresy, and blew them up. In other words people, the Taliban have a better record of flip-flopping than a short stack at IHOP. Now, it’s no great secret that the U.S. and Afghanistan have been engaged in “secret” negotiations with the Taliban, to what end I have no idea, since it is amazing to me that anyone would think they could hold the Taliban to their word.

     Currently, the Taliban are focused on overthrowing the government of Pakistan, along with getting us out of Afghanistan sooner than later. The thing to remember here is that Pakistan is a nuclear nation, having performed their first successful test, named “Chagai-I” in 1998.(4) What’s even more suspiciously wiggy is that Pakistan was one of only three governments to recognise the Taliban as the legitimate government in Afghanistan. (Way to repay the kindness, eh? By trying to overthrow the very government that gave you “props” in the first place?)

     Welcome to the world of geo-politics, my fine young readers. I’m not sure what the lesson is to be learned here, maybe to “keep your friends close, your enemies closer, and your frienemies wedged somewhere in between”?


“Listen down you little man,
I’m not the one who’s trying to change you…
And if you come to understand, it’ll be okay yeah,
You need to change it…you need to change it now…
I’m not the one who’s trying to be your enemy,
That’s something you need to change.”
(Days of The New, “Enemy” c1999, Outpost Records.)


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