The White House stopped calling the Taliban terrorists this year — “The Taliban is an armed insurgency; ISIL is a terrorist group,” said spokesman Eric Schultz — for a couple of reasons.
First, they wanted to make the case that they didn’t actually negotiate with terrorists and trade five terrorists for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. “The Taliban is an armed insurgency. This was the winding down of the war in Afghanistan. And that’s why this arrangement was dealt,” Schultz said in January.
Second, the U.S. supports a peace deal with the Taliban so they can wrap the Afghan conflict up in a tidy bow after leaving — never mind the Taliban’s recent renewal of their al-Qaeda alliance, the reason we invaded in the first place after the 9/11 attacks.
And though the heinous crimes of the “non-terrorist” terrorist Taliban are many, Tolo News in Afghanistan reports a new gruesome one:
Taliban insurgents killed a woman and her son on Monday after they refused to provide insurgents with food in central Maidan Wardak province.
Head of Wardak CID police Mohammad Ayoub confirmed the incident and said the Taliban had asked residents in Chak district to feed them three times a day.
Ayoub said in addition to killing the woman and her son, the insurgents also torched the homes of several families who also refused to help the fighters.
“Taliban burned the homes when they got a negative response to their call for food and shelter,” Colonel Ayoub said.
Asked at yesterday’s State Department briefing about the strategy of not calling the Taliban terrorists, press secretary John Kirby said “we want to see Afghan-led political reconciliation continue to advance.”
“Yes, there’s been some violence as Kabul as recently as just a few days ago… the Taliban claim responsibility for some and others they didn’t, so I’m in no position to judge who’s responsible,” Kirby said.
“…As for the Taliban’s future, much of it is for them to determine if they’re going to renounce violence and renounce the terrorist type tactics that they use, and contribute to a meaningful reconciliation process in Afghanistan, well then we support that – an Afghan-led reconciliation process.”