The Moderate Extremists

What’s next? A moderate Al-Qaeda?

I know, I know — that’s not really even a joke. In a month or two someone in the State Department will leak the news that President Obama has opened a back channel of communication to Ayman al-Zawahiri as a way to isolate the “extremist” elements of Al-Qaeda. Wait and see.

Perhaps a Taliban moderate believes that the punishment for immoral teenage girls should be limited to fifty lashes. Or that people who listen to music should only have their hands cut off instead of being beheaded. Or that the minimum age for a bride should be raised from nine to ten.

I notice that this news story doesn’t even put “moderate” in quote marks when talking about Mullah Abdul Salem Zaeef. Evidently the reporter — and presumably influential elements of the British and American governments — really believe that there is such a thing as a moderate wing of the Taliban.

This reminds me of the American search for the elusive “Iranian moderates” in Khomeini’s regime back in the 1980s. As a part of the Iran-Contra affair, Reagan administration officials even sent a cake in the shape of a key to selected mullahs in Tehran, as a symbol of the opening of better relations between the two countries.

What will Obama send? Ipods and DVDs won’t go down too well with the Taliban.

Maybe a bust of Abraham Lincoln crafted out of opium poppies?

Anyway, here’s the story from The Telegraph:

Moderate Taliban Leader Warns Barack Obama’s Plan Will Make Afghanistan Worse

Nato’s planned troop surge to Afghanistan will lead to an escalation in fighting and jeopardise secretive peace moves, a senior Taliban moderate has warned.

The warning comes from a figure considered the moderate face of the former Taliban regime, who is expected to play a key role in paving the way for any reconciliation efforts.

In an exclusive interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Mullah Abdul Salem Zaeef said the surge of mainly American troop reinforcements would only deepen the country’s problems and was likely to act as a magnet to foreign fighters. His comments appeared to dent hopes that President Barack Obama’s strategy could produce rapid progress towards peace in Afghanistan.

Here’s some more proof that the earnest fabricators of American foreign policy never, ever learn:
– – – – – – – –

Attempts to woo moderate Taliban commanders are central to the new US strategy for Afghanistan unveiled in Washington last month and discussed at the Nato summit in Strasbourg this weekend.

It doesn’t matter how many past efforts to woo Islamic extremists have failed.

History is irrelevant. We live in the eternal present, the magic moment in which a sincere and pragmatic outreach will sway the hearts and minds of Islamic extremists. They’re really just ordinary people like us, and will respond to positive treatment.

It worked so well with Brezhnev, and Khomeini, and Saddam, and Kim Jong-Il! Let’s give it a try with the Taliban.

The essence of the argument is that any Afghan “surge” will risk alienating the moderate Taliban and strengthen the hand of the extremists. Sound familiar?

However the former Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, who spent nearly four years in Guantanamo Bay prison, said the planned increase in troop numbers had instead jeopardised a Saudi peace initiative and would attract more foreign jihadists to the country.

He said the movement was united and talk of moderate or extremist factions was a conspiracy to undermine the Taliban.

A western diplomatic source said the US troops surge was needed to counter the Taliban’s own offensive, and added that the comments appeared to show the Taliban leadership was not yet ready for peace talks.

The Taliban had such hopes for Barack Hussein Obama, but the Messiah has let them down, and disillusionment has crept in:

Mullah Zaeef said: “All the people were optimistic when Obama became president. I was a little optimistic that he would stop the war, but when he declared the strategy, especially sending more troops and sending a military man as the ambassador, these strategies are war strategies, not a peace strategy and it’s increasing the problem.”


He said: “The Saudis wanted to be the interpreter between the Taliban and the government and they did something, but increasing more troops is destroying this process.” He said any reconciliation between Afghans could not take place while foreign troops were in the country.


President Obama’s order to send another 17,000 US troops to Afghanistan this year, with a request from US commanders for a further 10,000 still pending, would also make the Taliban more extremist, he said. “When the enemy becomes stronger, the other enemy becomes more extreme to exist.” He dismissed the US focus on hunting al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, saying the core of the terrorist network only amounted to around 100 men, but said the surge would attract foreign jihadis.

“When they are increasing the number of soldiers, foreigners in Muslim countries they are increasing their soldiers and their soldiers are not soldiers by money, they are volunteers. And that’s increasing the problem in the area.”


Attempts to work with Pakistan to deny the Taliban safe havens in the country’s tribal border regions were also unlikely to work, Mullah Zaeef claimed.

He said: “Pakistan is not able to resolve the problem. If Pakistan wants to create problems for the Taliban, then it means creating problems for themselves.”

Pakistan has been warned. In fact, the Taliban in Pakistan have announced that they are on the verge of taking over the entire country:

Time to send them a nice big yellow cake in the shape of a chicken.

Hat tip: Aeneas and Vlad Tepes.

13 thoughts on “The Moderate Extremists

  1. .
    If Obama is going to cozy up to the moderate extremists, he’d better be careful that his efforts aren’t undermined by the extreme moderates.


    By the way, extremism is about to become the propaganda media’s favorite anti-concept for the next couple of years.

    Brace yourself. And be prepared to have to constantly smack it down for the meaningless crap that it is.

    It will be promoted to make it easier for the mohammedans to play their favorite Tu Quoque games. (Everybody does it. Mohammedan “extremists” are no worse than Christian “extremists“, blah, blah ..)

    And it gives the dhimmi establishment a pretext for going after Christians and supporters of freedom — on the grounds,of course, that they are “extreem“.

    Don’t believe me. Just watch.

  2. I did a satire on the same subject about a month ago.

    These people are dreamers. Finding a moderate Talibanista is like looking for a virgin in a brothel.

  3. Look, I’m not sure how the readers of this site will react to my opinion but, I think the U.S. should disengage from Afghanistan and Pakistan…
    Pak has been a failed state for 50 years. The reason is Islam as they have made a concerted effort to keep a substantial majority of their populace illiterate so they would not be able to organize thoughts for themselves and think in a productive way, let alone collect information.
    The cultural system of AF makes it impossible for them to join the 21st century any time soon, the overwhelming power of that country doesn’t want it to be so and are actually quite happy with tribal authoratarianism.
    What are we doing there? Our NATO allies, with the exception of the Dutch, U.K. and Canadians, are a joke. Have the U.S. citizens really signed on to completely nation build this huge country and get everyone to be good little democrats? Even if we wanted it to be, it can’t be done.
    I propose that the U.S./NATO (har-har) send a military unit in to safe guard the Pak nukes, by force if necessary, with the understanding that we will blow them up upon the slightest provocation.
    I also suggest that the U.S. and NATO pull all moveable equipment and everyone out of AF. We should then park destroyers within missle range of the country and state quite clearly to the current gov’t and the Taliban that we will strike any and all encampments that we deem a threat to our safety vis a vie training camps, bomb making factories, etc.
    I then suggest that the culture of this region have at it and continue to beat and murder women in the street, chop off limbs of men for petty crimes and all other degredations that are so common in that region of the world. ONLY WHEN WOMEN RISE UP AGAINST THIS SICK SOCIETY WILL IT CHANGE.
    So, I unfortuantely say, bring on more public floggings and torturous acts against your own humanity. The western world cannot stem your sick society. Only you can.
    While I will feel terribly sorry for the great injustice done to my fellow human, especially women, in this far flung region of the world, I recognise two things: the U.S. can’t cure it and the vast majority of the western world doesn’t really give a damn. They would much rather have it scrubbed from their TV screens than deal with it. All that protesting in the streets to “stop the war” is IMO really a smoke screen for “we were perfectly happy when despotic regiemes were raping and murdering people wholesale because we had no feelings of guilt then. Our media did not blast this very unpleasant information into our living rooms every night. We were able to give it not a moments notice which is what we actually want because it detracts from our primary goal of brainwashing the western world into believing that it is a sick society that must be upended. Why would we possibly want to call attention to a region of the world that is so totally brutal that it is hard to even wrap ones western brain around it?”
    The U.S. and certainly Europe cannot cure AF and Pak, nor do they really have the will to do so. Aid to these countries is so corrupted that it is my opinion that it only makes a bad situation worse. The best we can do is be relentless in punishing these societies with targeted missle attacks against known terrorist congregations of fighters and developers. Anything other than that is a lost cause. We do not need boots on the ground bleeding for these objectives.The U.S. Navy could carry this mission quite well from the sea.
    We should have declared victory and gone home, with a couple of destroyers and an aircraft carrier parked in the closest waters, bombing the hell out of anything we thought was a threat, about 6 years ago.
    The culture in Pakistan and Afghanistan will either cure itself or it will perish. In either case, the western world can only defend itself from this onslought. It is up to individuals in the culture to say that they wish to join the rest of the world in the 21st century. We cannot drag them there. We should only defend ourselves against their barbarism.
    I say this only after years of supporting human rights, especially those of females, in these two countries. I have come to realize that there is no where near the support that is needed to actually make a difference in the cultural situation of these two countries. If anything, our intervention has driven the powers that be, on a grass roots level, in the exact opposite direction.
    I would also add that I would halt all immigration from Pak and Af into western nations. If a citizen of either of these two nations is so unhappy with their situation then they need to work to change it, not escape it any longer. This has only compiled the problem.

  4. Sorry, I forgot the Danes as also trying to make a positive change. Don’t know if the Aussies are even in AF but, other than that, feh…

    “we were perfectly happy when despotic regiemes were raping and murdering people wholesale because we had no feelings of guilt then”

    In addition, our corrupt businesses and gov’ts make a pile of money from dealing with these people… Isn’t that really the bottom line? Take a look at the Sudan and the oil the EU gets from that country. Every time I see or hear an appeal to the American people to “save the Sudan” I say out loud “tell it to the French!”

  5. Joeblough, what you’ve described already happens. The “christians are just as bad” meme has been resident in the media since 9/11, to the point where even otherwise devout christians will often repeat it without thinking. The majority of the current generations are nearly irreversibly contaminated by this idea. It will require an entire generation to be educated otherwise before it disappears. Not much chance of that…

  6. Graham Dawson

    For Multiculturalism to succeed it is necessary to demonise Christians and Chrsitianity, as well on the occasion, Hindus, just so that Islam appears equivalent and not too different from the rest.


    Now there is already a SETI program to detect alien intelligence in the universe. Maybe this program to find moderates in the Taliban could use the equipment already funded in the SETI program.

    But really why do we have to send thousands of troops to make Afghanistan safe for holding a “democratic” election? Is it the belief, that with our help, Afghanistan will become liberal democracy? If that be the case then why is it that the majority of Afghans are not fighting for their country against the Taleban. If they did, they would not require our help at all. OTH one can argue that patriotic Afghans are indeed supporting or fighting for their country, their culture and religion, as they should, but with the Taleban. That is why we need to send foreign troops. The other Afghans are simply getting as much out of the Kuffar while making sure that the country is “shariaed” totally.

    Our security lies not in trying to do the impossible – to make a liberal democratic state out of a Muslim majority country, but in removing nukes from Pakistan, and stopping Muslims coming to the West. Simple, cheap and doable, compared to the multi-billion per year nation building program we seem to going for. Where is the money going to come from?

    And then again, let us suppose that the impossible happens – that we do indeed permanently convert a Muslim counry to a liberal democratic state. What then? Are then supposed to take on the responsibilty, both in blood and treasure, to do the same in the rest of the 50 odd Muslim states?

  7. Here’s a couple of verses from a song titled Heads Are Rolling.

    “In the deserts and the jungles, there’s an old familiar rumble

    It’s the natives getting restless, the guerrillas turning mean

    They’re headed for the White House, they’re ready for a wipe-out

    This crowd is looking ugly…

    Got trouble on the hippie trail, an army’s getting greedy

    Everybody’s getting nervous, can you tell me what it means?

    They’ve got plans for Afghanistan, they’ve got their eyes on Pakistan

    Don’t it make you feel uneasy?”

    This song is from 1980! Here’s the complete lyrics for the song:

    And this is what it really sound like:

  8. islam o’ phobe: Does anyone know where Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are situated?

    islam o’ phobe, without any rancor or insult intended, it is difficult in the extreme to believe that you, of all people, do not have a solid grasp upon the geography and utterly incestuous relationship going on between Pakistan’s government, the ISI and the Taliban.

    I can only recommend that you carefully parse the seasoned input of web sites like Rantburg and other destinations that enjoy contributions by retirees from America’s once competent espionage and counter-intelligence agencies.

    Should Pakistan inititate ANY sort of launch, be it against America or India, that puny Islamic excresence would cease to exist for centuries to come.

    On a personal note: I would rather see the entire nation of Pakistan Glassed and Windexed™ sooner than confront one single MILLISECOND of dealing with a hostile nuclear-armed jihadist Islam.

    The loss of a single major Western metropolis far outweighs the impact of obliterating Pakistan or, for that matter, the entire MME (Muslim Middle East).

    DP111: And then again, let us suppose that the impossible happens – that we do indeed permanently convert a Muslim counry to a liberal democratic state. What then? Are then supposed to take on the responsibilty, both in blood and treasure, to do the same in the rest of the 50 odd Muslim states?

    Along with babs‘ detailed analysis, DP111‘s summation makes up the bottom line of this equation. The West simply does not have the manpower or financial resources to rejuvenate all Muslim majority nations into liberal democracies. Simply put, we cannot possibly rescue Islam from itself.

    This simple fact automatically implies some very nasty consequences. First off, as babs mentioned, Islamic tyranny will prevail in these Muslim utopias until people, women especially, rise up and begin killing their clerical and scholarly elite.

    Secondly, increasing opportunities for Islamic nations to acquire nuclear weapons makes a Muslim holocaust just that much more inevitable. At present, there is absolutely NOTHING being done to avert this entirely avoidable tragedy.

    Either the West immediately sets about the killing of Islam’s jihadist aristocracy or else we stand idly by as our world careens towards the needless deaths of hundreds of millions of people. Please keep in mind that this is not so much the West’s fault but more due to the fact that, as always:


  9. Zenster,

    I watched a detailed hour-long documentary on Dr. A.Q. Khan and the Pakistani nukes a while back but to be honest I’ve forgotten most of it. Thanks for the tip.

  10. Graham Dawson (Archonix):

    You’re right, of course.

    I’m only commenting on the popularity of the particular word “extremism”.

    I think we’ll be seeing that word more frequently, and in more central positions in the public discourse.

  11. I’m coming around to Babs’ way of thinking as well. You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. The model should have been a blitzkrieg attack, the shock and awe invasion, throwing out the killer regimes, then handing the country over to the first sentient beings and saying “Good Luck. We’ve given you a second chance. Use it to build a decent society. God helps those who help themselves. And if you have the bad judgment to attack us again, we will come back and flatten you.”

    No sticking around to “build” a country for them that they will just run down again. Islam with sharia law is incompatible with a liberal democracy. It’s very sad to think of the women who long to escape their medieval bonds but we cannot save everyone in the world and we are best off supporting cultures remotely similar to our own.

    We need to conserve our blood and treasure to aid our own survival.

    We have also been wrong to interfere with Muslims killing other Muslims (e.g. the Iran-Iraq war, Fata and Hamas). That’s their thing. When they’re busy killing each other they have less time to plot against us. Let them go at it or let the UN “deal” with it which is the same as doing nothing but with someone other than the US being the fall guy.

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