What Obama considers diplomacy, the Taliban considers defeat

Christopher W. Allison, U.S. Army

An Afghan man thanks U.S. Army Maj. Peter Granger following a fire fight with Taliban forces in Barge Matal, Afghanistan, July 14, 2009.

Article Highlights

  • Taliban celebrates US drawdown in Afghanistan

    Tweet This

  • Mullah Omar praises Taliban for inflicting damage to US "invaders" and forcing them out of #Afghanistan

    Tweet This

  • UN report: Taliban responsible for 80 percent of civilian deaths

    Tweet This

As the Obama administration speeds up the drawdown in troops and rushes for the exit from Afghanistan, the Taliban has begun to celebrate the American withdrawal as a victory, and it is preparing for a comeback after foreign troops leave the country.

In a message posted today on the Taliban's website to congratulate Muslims on the eve of Eid al-Adha, the group's reclusive leader Mullah Omar praised his fighters for inflicting severe damage to the "invaders" and forcing the "greatest enemy of Islam" from Afghanistan:

For the past ten years, our brave Mujahedeen have been engaged in Jihad against a brutal and invading enemy for a noble cause, and are rendering sacrifices on a daily basis. And with Allah's help, they have pushed the wealthiest and most arrogant power of the world to the brink of collapse. They have killed and wounded thousands of their troops and inflicted permanent disabilities and mental disorders on many others. As a result, their people have risen up, are protesting, and the American and Western nations are no longer ready to extend the Afghanistan war and see their soldiers return in coffins. It is only Allah Almighty's grace and mercy that He chose us to serve this nation and the Islamic community at this determining and sensitive juncture and defeated the greatest enemy of Islam by our hands.

The fugitive leader also warned his fighters that they would be penalized if found negligent in protecting civilians--an attempt to win hearts and minds after a U.N. report recently found the Taliban responsible for about 80 percent of civilian deaths. But Mullah Omar also cautioned the population to "avoid moving in close proximity to Americans that patrol in villages and countryside" because they will be targeted by the Taliban. Writing under the title of Amir-ul-Momineen, the leader of the Muslim community, he also called on Muslims around the world to observe Islamic law and "be cautious of the plots of the enemies of Islam."

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently said Washington was ready to negotiate with Mullah Omar and now regarded his involvement as key to peace in Afghanistan. American and Afghan officials have also tried to encourage the Taliban leadership to attend the international summit to be held next month in Germany to decide on Afghanistan's future. But Mullah Omar rejected the Bonn Conference as "pointless." He sees President Obama and Secretary Clinton's strategy as preparation for surrender, and he envisages a complete Taliban military victory. Sometimes what American diplomats see as sincere outreach to seek an adversary's unclenched fist, the enemy simply sees as weakness.

Ahmad Majidyar is a senior research associate at AEI

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Ahmad K.
Majidyar

What's new on AEI

AEI Election Watch 2014: What will happen and why it matters
image A nation divided by marriage
image Teaching reform
image Socialist party pushing $20 minimum wage defends $13-an-hour job listing
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 20
    MON
  • 21
    TUE
  • 22
    WED
  • 23
    THU
  • 24
    FRI
Monday, October 20, 2014 | 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Warfare beneath the waves: The undersea domain in Asia

We welcome you to join us for a panel discussion of the undersea military competition occurring in Asia and what it means for the United States and its allies.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 | 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
AEI Election Watch 2014: What will happen and why it matters

AEI’s Election Watch is back! Please join us for two sessions of the longest-running election program in Washington, DC. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 | 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
What now for the Common Core?

We welcome you to join us at AEI for a discussion of what’s next for the Common Core.

Event Registration is Closed
Thursday, October 23, 2014 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Brazil’s presidential election: Real challenges, real choices

Please join AEI for a discussion examining each candidate’s platform and prospects for victory and the impact that a possible shift toward free-market policies in Brazil might have on South America as a whole.

Event Registration is Closed
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.