The vice president of Afghanistan compared militant and terrorist groups ISIS, al-Qaeda, and the Taliban to the subtle taste difference between “Coke and Pepsi” in an interview with Fox Nation host Lara Logan that aired on the streaming network Sunday.
In the episode of “Lara Logan Has No Agenda,” the host pressured an official spokesman for the Taliban on his refusal to condemn al-Qaeda but also spoke to Afghan Vice President Amrullah Saleh, who indicated that the differences between the various militant groups, all of which are said to be operating inside his country now, are insignificant.
“Ideologically, the difference between ISIS, al Qaeda and the Taliban is the difference between the taste of Coke and Pepsi,” said Saleh. “If you remove the labels, can you say which one is Coke and which one is Pepsi?”
He went on to say that the Taliban “believe that they can conquer” all and “believe that their Jihadist literature will prevail.”
Logan pressed Suhail Shaheen, the Taliban spokesman, on the militant group’s refusal to condemn al-Qaeda.
“If you have read the Doha Agreement, in that we have clearly said we will not allow anyone whether an individual or an entity, any group to use the site of Afghanistan against the United States, its allies in any other country of the world,” Shaheen said in a blanket response.
In a separate interview with Fox News, Logan said that any belief that the Taliban isn’t working alongside al-Qaeda is “the most ridiculous lie of this entire war.”
Husain Haqqani, a former Pakistan ambassador to Sri Lanka and the United States, told Logan that the Taliban is a “totalitarian movement, with a very narrow vision for how they want society and, that is who they are.”
He went on to say the Taliban doesn’t represent most Afghans but nevertheless wants to implement “an Islamic system” of government. He then rhetorically asked what that would look like, adding that the Taliban would define it, not the people.
Last week during an interview with another Fox Nation program, “Tucker Carlson Today,” Logan told the host that Pakistan served as the Taliban’s base of operations throughout the entire 20-year time, and that the U.S. government at any time could have changed the direction and outcome of the conflict but that successive administrations chose not to.
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She also pointed out that Pakistan allowed Osama bin Laden to hide out inside the country, and that the U.S. government, which funds the Pakistani military and intelligence services to the tune of billions per year, knew of Islamabad’s support for his cause and that of the Taliban, tolerating it because Pakistan is a nuclear-armed country.
Logan said among other things, that had the U.S. wanted to change the dynamics in the region it could have cut off Pakistan financially, put sanctions on Islamabad, and stop Pakistanis living and working in the U.S. from sending money back home.
“Every time you try to address this issue, the immediate response for 20 years of this war has been, ‘you’re advocating for war in Pakistan.’ No, you’re not. What they know is there are many things the United States could do right now to change what has happened and is happening in Afghanistan. And they’re not doing it,” she told Carlson.
“…[W]hat the Afghans will tell you…is that the United States chose this outcome,” said Logan. “The United States government could change this even today. And they don’t do it. They don’t use the leverage they have with Pakistan. They’ll give you 5,000 reasons, but it doesn’t matter.”
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