The New York Times saw fit to publish an editorial written by Sirajuddin Haqqani, describing him as “the deputy leader of the Taliban.”
While that sounds rather innocuous, as if he’s a city council member or something, the New York Post had another label for Mr. Haqqani: “An unrepentant terrorist.”
The piece is titled, “What We, the Taliban, Want,” and Haqqani says they’re “about to sign an agreement with the United States and we are fully committed to carrying out its every single provision, in letter and spirit.”
An assertion a skeptical mind may see as propaganda suggesting that the opposite is likely to occur.
Haqqani claimed the Taliban “did not choose our war with the foreign coalition led by the United States.”
Never mind that they “provided safe haven for Osama bin Laden to plot 9/11,” as the Post reminded it’s readers.
We are also told that while the Times was happy to give the terrorist a voice, Haqqani has been on the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list for years and there’s a $5 million bounty on his head.
More from the Post:
Even for a terrorist, Haqqani is particularly bloodthirsty, In December 2008, he was reportedly behind the bombing of an elementary school; multiple children were killed. That same year he plotted an attack on the Serena Hotel in Kabul, then considered a heavily fortified safe zone, which killed six people including one American. Haqqani also tried to assassinate then-president Hamid Karzai, but hey, bygones.
But have the Taliban progressed from their 7th-century views on life?
Haqqani wrote: “We are committed to working with other parties in a consultative manner of genuine respect to agree on a new, inclusive political system in which the voice of every Afghan is reflected and where no Afghan feels excluded.”
He adds that they’ll “find a way to build an Islamic system in which all Afghans have equal rights, where the rights of women that are granted by Islam — from the right to education to the right to work — are protected, and where merit is the basis for equal opportunity.”
Wow. Of course, the key phrase there is “granted by Islam,” considering who will be interpreting what those rights are.
The Taliban forbade women to go to school or even work when they ran Afghanistan. They were required to be covered from head to toe in a burqa when outside the home and would be beaten in the streets if they did not fully comply.
Remarkably, the Times’ senior correspondent in Afghanistan, Mujib Mashal, took to Twitter to pan the decision by the paper to run the editorial.
“The piece by Siraj Haqqani in @nytopinion – which’s independent of our news operations & judgment – omits the most fundamental fact: that Siraj is no Taliban peace-maker as he paints himself, that he’s behind some of most ruthless attacks of this war with many civilian lives lost,” Mashal tweeted.
The piece by Siraj Haqqani in @nytopinion – which’s independent of our news operations & judgment – omits the most fundamental fact: that Siraj is no Taliban peace-maker as he paints himself, that he’s behind some of most ruthless attacks of this war with many civilian lives lost
— Mujib Mashal (@MujMash) February 20, 2020
Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., offered an even more damning take on the editorial.
“The media called al-Baghdadi an austere religious scholar & Soleimani a revered leader. Then just when you think they can’t sink any lower… The NY Times publishes an op-ed by a wanted Taliban leader. The media treats terrorists better than @realDonaldTrump. Think about that,” Scalise tweeted.
The media called al-Baghdadi an austere religious scholar & Soleimani a revered leader.
Then just when you think they can’t sink any lower…
The NY Times publishes an op-ed by a wanted Taliban leader.
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) February 21, 2020
The responses to Mashal’s tweet show just how much skepticism there is in regard to the Taliban — here’s a quick sampling of responses from Twitter:
Another fundamental fact that was omitted: he’s the head of a U.S. designated terrorist organization with close links to Al-Qaeda.
— Frud Bezhan فرود بيژن (@FrudBezhan) February 20, 2020
if the people of afghanistan REALLY want freedom then drive out the terrorists
— ??playpianowell?? (@playpianowell) February 20, 2020
I was wondering who scripted this and doubt the editorial judgement of the paper on allowing a sworn enemy of the US and documented killer of Afghans to benefit from such publicity. To the naive reader in the West, he must sound so innocent until they read his decorated CV.
— Sulaiman Sarwary (@SarwarySulaiman) February 20, 2020
Baquet and Bennet own the cesspool that NYT op-eds and NYT Politics have become. And it’s a crying shame because so many other parts of the paper are so good.
— Eric Blair (@protecttruth_) February 20, 2020
Well said, Mujib. Siraj is a brutal murderer if there ever was one. He enjoys it.
— Hugo Llorens (@AmbHugoLL) February 21, 2020
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