Posts Tagged ‘Taliban’
June 4th, 2014 at 8:02 pm
Remembering What the Taliban Stands For

By now you’ve probably heard about the scandal surrounding the Obama administration’s deal to free five Taliban officials held at Guantanamo Bay for what increasingly looks like a deserter from the U.S. Army stationed in Afghanistan.

Those in the mainstream media defending the move – including a Daily Beast columnist who tweeted, “What’s the argument that these five Taliban guys are so dangerous? Are they ninjas? Do they have superpowers?” – would do well to remember how the Taliban’s members earned their cells at Gitmo.

The five released prisoners “were top officials in the Taliban regime: a provincial governor, a deputy defense minister, a deputy intelligence minister, a top arms smuggler, and a top Taliban military commander. Two of them are wanted by the United Nations for war crimes committed against Afghanistan’s Shiites,” writes Robert Tracinski.

Tracinski then gives a sampling of what these kinds of Taliban officials do:

  • Bomb schools because they let girls play sports
  • Shoot a girl in the head because she stands up for her right to be educated
  • Mutilate women to punish them for disobedience in their roles as marital slaves
  • Drag a 7-year-old out of the yard where he is playing and hang him from a tree because his grandfather spoke out against the Taliban

America can’t right every wrong in the world, but surely it should be counted on to keep the world safe from criminals in its custody. Freeing five prisoners so they can rejoin the ranks of a known terrorist organization is a deplorable dereliction of duty. If any of these men go on to commit more crimes, those who agreed to their release will share the blame.

January 10th, 2012 at 12:51 pm
Obama’s Taliban Prisoner Release is a Bad Deal for America

Last week I wrote that President Barack Obama is entertaining the idea of releasing several high-value Taliban prisoners currently held at Guantanamo Bay as a way to negotiate peace with the terrorist group.  The idea is foolish for a variety of reasons, the most important being that these men will almost certainly return to the purpose of their lives: waging war against America.

For proof, consider this recent article from Marc Thiessen, a former Bush speechwriter and now a columnist for the Washington Post.  In it, Thiessen explains that two of the detainees are wanted by the UN for war crimes, another has experience facilitating terrorist networking events like joint trainings with al-Qaida, and a fourth is believed to have played a part in the deaths of two Americans.  The last member of Thiessen’s terrorist round-up worked directly for Usama bin Ladin, and attended meetings with the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.

As Thiessen points out, this isn’t the first time a president has considered releasing a Taliban fighter with disastrous consequences:

In 2007, the Bush administration released a Taliban leader named Mullah Zakir to Afghan custody. Unlike these five, he was assessed by our military as only “medium risk” of returning to the fight. They were wrong. Today, Zakir is leading Taliban forces fighting U.S. Marines in Helmand province, and according to former intelligence officials I spoke with, he has provided the Taliban with an exponential increase in combat prowess.

We’ve been down this road before.  If Obama does in fact release any of these terrorists from Gitmo, Americans will rightly place the blame for any deaths caused by them on his doorstep.

July 5th, 2011 at 10:09 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Negotiating With The Taliban
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

June 20th, 2011 at 11:45 pm
NPR Host: Taliban Isn’t a Threat to the U.S.
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Reasonable people disagree on the way forward in Afghanistan. Reasonable people, however, don’t tend to work at NPR.

That’s the conclusion we can take from remarks made by John Hockenberry, host of NPR’s “The Takeaway” (full disclosure: I’ve appeared on Hockenberry’s show before — not that it’s earning him any lenience). As the Daily Caller reports:

In an interview with Christine Fair, assistant professor at the Center for Peace and Security Studies at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Hockenberry challenged the notion of the Taliban being an enemy of the United States and declared that the idea it could again make Afghanistan a haven for terrorists “an absurdity.”

“I guess, Christine Fair, I’m wondering why this is even a debate,” Hockenberry said. “The Taliban has never been an enemy of the United States. They don’t love us in Afghanistan, but they’re not sending planes over to New York or to the Pentagon and it seems to me much more broadly that the debate needs to happen is what is the sort of multi-state strategy for dealing with rogue nations of all kinds. Yemen is about to fall apart. You’ve got Somalia problems. The idea that terrorists just go to Afghanistan and launch weapons at the United States it seems in 2011 is an absurdity.” 

I’m sure the monotone sophisticates of NPR don’t need any math lessons from out here on the right wing. But, Mr. Hockenberry, a quick review of the transitive property: The Taliban harbored Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda attacked the U.S. (by sending planes over to New York and to the Pentagon, as I recall). Thus the Taliban is a demonstrated enemy of the U.S.

You can keep the tote bag.

July 14th, 2010 at 10:20 pm
Not Even CFIF Would Run This Headline

Would-be Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad is many things – traitor to America, attempted mass murderer – but ABC News might be spinning news of his reluctance to kill himself a bit too far.

“Times Square Bomber Wimped Out on Suicide” screams that outlet’s headline.  Of course, I clicked on it.  Apparently, Shahzad’s handlers with the Taliban released a prerecorded tape of Shahzad in full terrorist mode proclaiming jihad to be an obligation on all Muslims.  That he used a series of timers to ensure he’d be clear of the death toll his bomb-laden van would bring is then juxtaposed to highlight his hypocrisy.

I for one am glad Shahzad “wimped out” instead of making sure his plans were carried out to the letter.  Put another way, would ABC News be trumpeting his follow through if he’d stayed to detonate the bomb personally?

Ridicule can be effective, but not when it motivates the next Faisal Shahzad to finish a job everyone should be too afraid to complete.

June 28th, 2010 at 6:54 pm
War on Many Fronts

These days, it seems like war is only the extension of politics by other means; except that even the means are political.

Last week, President Barack Obama minimized conservative harrumphing after firing General Stanley McChrystal by appointing General David Petraeus as his replacement.  Though politically savvy, CFIF Senior Fellow Troy Senik correctly notes that reassigning Petraeus may be a pyrrhic victory since most of the conditions for successfully implementing his counterinsurgency strategy are missing.  When he gets in country, Petraeus’ biggest enemy won’t be the Taliban or a corrupt Karzai government; it’ll be trying to deliver a victory conservatives can stomach on a timetable and troop count demanded by liberals.

Heading back to Washington the war on rationality gets even rougher.  This morning four out of five Supreme Court right-of-center justices voted to extend the Second Amendment’s guarantee of an individual’s right to own a gun to the several states.  The result produces two effects.  First, complete government bans on gun possession are unconstitutional.  Second, eight of the current justices are now on record supporting a liberal theory of constitutional jurisprudence: Substantive Due Process.  Only Justice Clarence Thomas opted for a textually supported, historically rooted commonsense reading of the Fourteenth Amendment.  Since no one tried to dispute his reasoning, it can be assumed that everyone accepted his conclusion – they just didn’t like his premises.

The only element these storylines have in common is one man bearing quiet witness to the power of clear thinking.  While the political class may be unable to sustain a coherent framework for addressing pressing issues, it is a comfort knowing that at least some of those they appoint are capable – and willing – to tackle important matters with precision and daring.

October 28th, 2009 at 12:02 am
Groundhog’s Day for Foreign Affairs “News”

True, February is still a few months away. When it comes to reporting the “news” in foreign affairs, however, there are some stories that just won’t go away.  Joshua Keating over at Foreign Policy has compiled a darkly humorous compilation of the stories that never seem to get old. (Or, at least never get a new angle.) Here are some of the headlines (see if you can pick the year): “North Korea to return to negotiating table”; “Pakistan finally getting tough with the Taliban”; “Israel preparing military strike against Iran”; “Dollar to be replaced as global reserve currency”; “Fidel Castro is dying”; and of course, “Israel and Palestinians reach peace deal.”

October 8th, 2009 at 5:23 pm
The Taliban Aren’t al-Qaida; You Didn’t Understand That?
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Earlier this week, we got an Afghan Taliban press release courtesy of the Associated Press.  It assured us that all the Taliban want is “independence and establishment of an Islamic system” and don’t want to harm other countries or any other bad stuff if only all of us would simply go away and leave them alone to do with the indigenous people as they will.  (Perhaps you are familiar with how the Taliban go about establishing an Islamic system.)

Well, good to know and thanks for sharing, we thought.

Then we got a UPI story, which led with, “U.S. officials say al-Qaida is seen as a greater threat than the Afghan Taliban in the emerging war strategy formulations of President Barack Obama. … After the president met with top advisers Wednesday for three hours, officials said the new strategy may focus more on a campaign against al-Qaida in Pakistan than on the Taliban in Afghanistan.”

And then, sure enough, we got another Associated Press story that began, “President Obama is prepared to accept some Taliban involvement in Afganistan’s political future and appears inclined to send only as many more U.S. troops as needed to keep al-Qaida at bay, a senior administration official said Thursday.”

You do see what is happening here, with President Obama’s “War of Necessity,” don’t you?  If not, don’t worry, you soon will.