There is no reliable way to distinguish a peaceful Muslim from a jihadist. These friendly fire, or supposedly friendly fire, attacks are yet more fruit of the unwillingness to make even a cursory attempt to take that fact into account. And our troops can’t help but notice. A classified coalition report that leaked last week noted: “U.S. soldiers’ perceptions of A.N.A. [Afghan National Army] members were extremely negative across categories,” including the categories “trustworthiness on patrol,” “honesty and integrity,” and “drug abuse.” One soldier said of the Afghans: “They are stoned all the time; some even while on patrol with us.” Another added: “They are pretty much gutless in combat; we do most of the fighting.”
So divorced from reality is the Western coalition’s view of the Taliban that Maulawi Noor ul Aziz, who was once a senior leader of jihadis in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand province, was recently granted amnesty by the Karzai government. While he was in Nad-e Ali, Maulawi frequently targeted British troops. And so who, of course, is funding the program to grant amnesty to former Taliban fighters, in the fond hope that they will give up jihad for a normal life? Why, the British, of course. Who else?
And so now the Taliban are fine with girls going to school. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid revealed what was behind this when he explained: “During the past Taliban regime the government would make some hasty decisions, but now we are careful and deliberate.” Has the Taliban actually given up on their intention to impose Sharia upon Afghanistan, in its most virulent, violent form? No. Has the Taliban actually renounced, reformed, or modified any of its foundational principles? It has not.
Nonetheless, the “war is deceit” game is so much easier and more fun to play when you have a target so willing, even eager, to be deceived. And in the Western media and official Washington, the Taliban have not one, but two easy marks. How they must be laughing in Kabul.
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