1.22.2004

POLITICS - WTF?

From George Bush's speech in New Mexico today:
America is safer because the Taliban doesn't exist.

The Taliban doesn't exist? Maybe we should look at the whole paragraph:
They have written a constitution, the people of Afghanistan have written a constitution which is -- guarantees free elections, freedom, full participation in government by women. Things are changing. Freedom is powerful. The people of Afghanistan are opening up health care centers and new businesses. Times are changing because they have been liberated. America is safer because the Taliban doesn't exist. America is safer because Afghanistan is now free. And we stand strongly with the freedom lovers in Afghanistan. (Applause.)

But... Didn't he mention the Taliban just the other night in the SOTU?
With the help from the new Afghan army, our coalition is leading aggressive raids against the surviving members of the Taliban and al Qaeda.

So what's going on, Mr. Bush? You seem a little confused. Let's get another opinion from the Guardian:
In recent months Afghanistan has seen its worst violence, on both fronts, for nearly two years.

Hitting-and-running into the south from their safe havens in Pakistan, the black-turbaned Taliban are rallying. American officials report more attacks on the coalition's 11,500 troops in the past three months than the previous 12.

A recent battle in southern Zabol province featured 200 Taliban fighters.

On the mosque doors of Kandahar, the Taliban's former stronghold, edicts forbidding "moments of happiness and other occasions containing music" appear overnight. The Taliban's white flag flutters in outlying villages.

The Taliban have reason to celebrate. When they ambush coalition troops, they invariably come away bloodied. But with a new and repellent tactic, they appear to be scoring a major hit. In March, Taliban fighters shot dead an El Salvadorean Red Cross worker in southern Oruzgan province. In the past three months, 12 local aid workers have been murdered, causing most agencies to withdraw from southern Afghanistan.

This article seems to imply that some type of "Taliban" is operating in Afghanistan. It's almost as if the President just doesn't know what he's talking about... Or The Guardian hates America.

Let's go with that. As long as nothing else about Afghanistan or Iraq is incorrect in the SOTU, we'll just have to accept that The Guardian hates America.

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