Why is it so important for the White House to avoid calling the Taliban terrorists? Is it the because the CIA helped to create them? Is it to mince words and be able to call the Obama Administration decision to formally end combat in Afghanistan a success?
There are many articles written on the Taliban. Here’s one that does a good job discussing the history of the Taliban – http://web.stanford.edu/group/mappingmilitants/cgi-bin/groups/view/367.
How about that? It’s from a leftist organization to boot. Apparently no one told them they can’t tie-in Islam with terrorism.
The Taliban is a far-right, strict Islamic militant organization that emerged in the early- to mid-1990s under the spiritual leadership of Mullah Mohammad Omar.
They also weren’t told that the Taliban aren’t even a group, merely an insurgency.
On Wednesday, ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl asked deputy press secretary Eric Schultz whether Jordan’s announcement it would deal with ISIS to win freedom for a captured pilot was analogous to the U.S. trading five Taliban members for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, Schultz responded: “As you know, this was highly discussed at the time and prisoner swaps are a traditional end-of-conflict interaction that happens. As the war in Afghanistan wound down, we felt like it was the appropriate thing to do. The president’s bedrock commitment as commander in chief is to leave no man or woman behind. That’s the principle he was operating under.”
Karl noted that like ISIS, the Taliban continue to carry out terrorist attacks, so “you can’t really say the war has ended as far as they’re concerned.”
Schultz, however, suggested that Karl had overlooked an important distinction. “I would also point out that the Taliban is an armed insurgency,” he stated, the Free Beacon reports, while ISIS “is a terrorist group. So, we don’t make concessions to terrorist groups.”
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So, insurgency good, group bad? The White House has played word games since day one, as all Administrations do, but this one really has taken it to a new level.
No surprises here. Obama was well aware that the Taliban would resume their role as the majority influence in Afghanistan after our ‘official’ pullout. They will once again in essence be a state. Call them terrorists and you then have state sponsored terrorism. That means no negotiations or recognition.
Why is this a problem? One of the primary reasons we occupied Afghanistan for over a decade was to lay the groundwork for natural resource development and distribution through the region. Shut out the Taliban and we cut ourselves off from access and control. Do that and the military-industrial-corporate complex can’t benefit and that’s a big no-no in beltway politics.
People still ask all the time why we were ever in Iraq and Afghanistan. Who benefitted from all the lost blood and treasure? The answer is the same people who stand to benefit going forward. The military-industrial-corporate complex. Some still hate that as a reason. Too simplistic. Doesn’t factor in so many other reasons. However, as the years go by and we look in the rearview mirror at the landscape littered with our conflicts that seemingly defy reason, it becomes clear that the almighty buck still is king.