Much like Daesh has a robust Internet presence, so too does the Taliban, which even has its own website out in the open, conveniently available in multiple languages, including English. (In the interest of full disclosure, I should add that they have used WordPress, the same website hosting this blog.) Online, they depict themselves like demigods who are liberating the people from a corrupt puppet government in Kabul.
The Taliban, who prefer to call themselves their translated name of “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,” recently issued a statement regarding the Pugwash Conference in Doha. The event, which included no cleaning of a toy dog breed, was to discuss lasting peace in Afghanistan, and included a Taliban delegation.
The release, issued in advance, claimed the Taliban is actually peace-loving and wants good relations among all nations. And despite boasting of kills throughout the website, paradoxically according to the release they do not harm anyone:
We do not want to interfere in others [sic] affairs, nor do we use our soil to harm others, nor allow others to interfere in our affairs. We want good relations with the world on the basis of mutual respect. The Islamic Emirate is not against international laws which are not contrary to Islamic rules and our national interests and values.
You see? They just want good relations with the world based on mutual respect.
There’s a glaring issue: they claim to want “good relations” and “mutual respect” with other countries, which presumably includes the US because they name no exceptions. And yet they are also concurrently producing an ongoing series of propaganda videos bashing America and its allies.
The video series, entitled “Voice of the People” and helpfully containing English subtitles, features what presumably are supposed to be everyday average Afghans giving their earnest opinions. Here are some quotations from the video series, which as of this writing is up to number eight.
All spelling and grammar is based on the Taliban’s subtitles, as are parenthetical remarks.
No. 5 (from a Taliban fighter):
We hope…that in the future Mujahideen liberate Kabul and whole of Afghanistan. Not only Afghanistan but to liberate all lands including White House…We also hope from Allah the Most High that the brave Mujahideen of Islam liberate all the Muslim and non-Muslim lands in order to implement Shari’ah of Allah…
My message to the puppets of America and its allies is that either enter Islam perfectly (by disavowing invaders) or we will behead you…
We are the severest enemies of Jews and Christians. We will behead American (and its allies) forces if we get them, and even that (beheading them) will not quench our thirst of enmity for them…We will always go after them (America and its allies) to kill them. May Allah always destroy and humiliate them.
On the one hand, the Taliban says it wants peace and respect with all nations. On the other, they produce videos with people extolling violence against America and its allies, and they hope to “liberate” all lands by imposing Shariah law.
So which is it, Taliban? Do you want peace or conquest? How can you expect the Afghan people to let you rule them if you are going to waffle on foreign policy?