• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Morning Bell: Biden Says Taliban Is Not Our Enemy

    On a Saturday in late October in Kabul, Afghanistan, a car carrying explosives rammed into an armored U.S. military bus, killing 13 Americans, including five soldiers and eight civilian staff. In August, a Chinook helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan, killing 30 Americans. Who was responsible? The Taliban. And who now says the Taliban is not America’s enemy? Vice President Joseph Biden.

    In an interview with Newsweek, Biden laid out his — and the Administration’s view — of the Taliban:

    Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy. That’s critical. There is not a single statement that the president has ever made in any of our policy assertions that the Taliban is our enemy because it threatens U.S. interests. If, in fact, the Taliban is able to collapse the existing government, which is cooperating with us in keeping the bad guys from being able to do damage to us, then that becomes a problem for us.

    Just in case there was any confusion over Biden’s remarks, White House press secretary Jay Carney chimed in yesterday for clarification, complaining that the Vice President’s statement was “taken out of context.” His underlying message, though, was essentially the same as Biden’s, that the Taliban is not America’s enemy:

    And what the vice president was reflecting is that — and this is related to the reconciliation process that I was just discussing — is that the Taliban, per se — while we are fighting them — it is not the elimination — the elimination of the Taliban is not the issue here.

    Need a brief refresher on history, Mr. Press Secretary? Mr. Vice President? Over the past 10 years the United States has waged a costly war in Afghanistan with the purpose of destroying al-Qaeda, eradicating the Taliban regime which gave the terrorist organization safe haven, and creating a viable democracy in that country. For too long, al-Qaeda had operated from Afghanistan with impunity. Osama bin Laden formed an alliance with the Taliban, his forces trained with Taliban forces,  and his relationship with Taliban leader Mullah Omar grew. After bin Laden and his affiliates were found accountable for the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Africa, the Taliban refused to extradite the guilty parties to the United States, claiming that “without any evidence, bin Laden is a man without sin… He is a free man.” Meanwhile, bin Laden praised the Taliban as the “only Islamic government” in existence and praised the Taliban’s leader.

    Let there be no doubt, bin Laden and al-Qaeda used Afghanistan as a base of attack against the United States, and it was a launching platform for the 9/11 attacks, after which time President George W. Bush declared that in the war against terrorism, neutrality is not an option, and “You’re either with us or against us in the fight against terror.”

    Under the Obama Administration, though, a different course is being pursued — one of negotiation and reconciliation with the Taliban. It dates as far back as early 2009, when in a speech before a joint session of Congress, President Barack Obama spoke of combating al-Qaeda but failed to mention defeating the Taliban, signaling his Administration’s policy direction. At the time, Heritage’s Theodore Bromund warned that the President’s path would be a dangerous one for the United States:

    The comprehensive strategy that he promises may be one that seeks to reconcile with the Taliban while continuing isolated strikes against terrorist safe havens. Indeed, his strongest promise of all on national security issues was his assurance that he would not allow such safe havens to plot against the U.S. That promise, firm in isolation, foreshadows a return to the Clinton-era policy of counter-terrorism by cruise missile, just as his promise of “swift and certain justice” for captured terrorists implies a return to the view that terrorism is largely a law enforcement issue. If so, he will be returning to a well-trodden and failed path, one that led directly to 9/11.

    However, it appears that reconciliation is the Administration’s end game — and Heritage’s Lisa Curtis explains in a new paper that reconciliation should not be an end in and of itself. “The U.S. must make clear that political reconciliation in Afghanistan is desirable–but only if it contributes to the ultimate goal of ensuring that Afghanistan can never again serve as a safe haven for international terrorists.”

    In late September, suicide bombers assassinated former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani, who was in charge of the High Peace Council pursuing reconciliation talks with the Taliban. The assassination dealt a blow to the political reconciliation process and reinforced resistance to the notion of political accommodation with the Taliban. And Curtis explained that it should have served as a wake-up call to the United States and that “the U.S. must be realistic about the threat that Taliban extremists and their al-Qaeda allies pose to U.S. interests in the region.”

    Unfortunately, the American people are not seeing realism from the White House. Rather, they are witnessing the Obama Administration trying to make a friend out of an enemy all in the name of justifying a premature withdrawal from Afghanistan. America has made tremendous sacrifices in Afghanistan for the sake of U.S. security– the greatest sacrifice being the lives of its sons and daughters lost in waging the war. Ignoring the Taliban’s true nature jeopardizes the successes that our military has won, and it risks turning back the clock to September 10, 2001, when terrorist forces could find safe refuge from which they could plan their attacks.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    68 Responses to Morning Bell: Biden Says Taliban Is Not Our Enemy

    1. T. Marti says:

      What an idiot ! Please don't give me any bull about the need for future negotiations with the Taliban.

    2. KC - NM says:

      Some politicians just do not get it. Unfortunately, there are too many of them including the so-called President. It is time to get rid of these folks and start representing Americans by caring and intelligent Americans!

    3. Ed Wade says:

      What is this guy smoking? Someone once said, "liberalism is a mental disorder" and I am beginning to believe it.

    4. Jill Maine says:

      All BHO and Biden and Clinton do is call good evil and evil good. They are all ass backwards.

    5. allen says:

      What do expect from a Commie?, Words have a way of spoiling your income.

    6. Robert, TX says:

      Yes, Biden is an empty suit, so put him up next to big, bad, Obama. Now, back to the facts. This debacle (where brave, mostly young, American troops have died or been grievously wounded) has been going on for TEN YEARS! Eventually, it will replace Vietnam as our top failure, as today's silver-spoon fed, Ivy-league brainiacs could not defeat these beyond third-world cavemen. Sixteen years of draft-dodging elitist Presidents have left our foreign policy and our military in a total quagmire. How do you compare this disaster to defeating Nazi Germany AND the Empire of Japan in less than four years? And we were woefully prepared to do anything at the start of WWII. The answer is there is NO comparison.

    7. walt1958 says:

      Were has Biden been hiding for the last 10 Years this VP said it all about this Administration they do not have a clue about foreign policy. When you do not know who your enemy is they did to open their eyes and ears. This whole Administrtion is the worst we have had in D.C. ever.

    8. evermyrtle says:

      Am I correct in thinking that Biden is supposed to be protecting me? I thank GOD that HE is standing between me and Biden!!

    9. CHRISTOPHER says:

      Biden is just desperately out of touch with reality, an eclectic personality consistent with Obama's taste in associates on the political/business front as well as his social choices such as Larry Sinclair and other social partners: http://thejaghunter.wordpress.com/2010/05/27/lets….

    10. Wes says:

      When a President offends our friends and embraces our enemies he no longer represents us or the interests of the USA.

    11. Bernard P. Giroux says:

      Could it be that there is some confusion on the part of the President and the Vice-President as to who the enemies of the United States are, actually? What part of the Constitution and their oaths of office do they not understand? And Obama is the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces? God help us.

    12. Robert Winters says:

      Cannot imagine how a wonder nice guy like Biden could get things so wrong! But I am not surprised! All the so called conservative orgainzation's think these two liberal wackos walk on water! Yet I read everyday blogs and post's and all those surveys I get in the mail and on line, as to what a failure these two are and how they have destroyed the "American Dream." Yet, no one dares to criticize the anointed one and his corrupt band of merry men. So to all you out there, keep up the good work, and together you will find away to destroy not only this country but its founding documents. I quess the word's illegal and impeachment, corruption, fraud are dirty words to most of you. God Bless the Tea Party. And God Bless America. And a Merry Christmas to you all.

    13. Val says:

      Biden has the mentality of a 12 year old. This man is as delusional as OBAMA, (mad men, coo coo, fruit cakes). Its no wonder the USA is in serious trouble, we need a good house cleaning, Senate/Congress/Supreme Court, right down the line, top to bottom.!.

    14. papineau says:

      Has anyone tried to figure out what planet Biden thinks he is living on? I believe he's in a constant state
      of fantasy or he's been lying for so long……he actually believes what he says & what he is told by the
      Obama regime. Either way, he needs to be removed along with his boss!

    15. Liberalsownfalsehood says:

      Neville Chamberlain with a pre-frontal lobotomy as Vice President. Chilling.

    16. Jeanne Stotler says:

      This VP is 1 slice short of a sandwich, he has made so many statements that are so way out, I wonder if he's not suffering from some form of dementia.

    17. DEF59 says:

      This is typical of this administration. Their only enemy are Conservatives. Everyone else is just a photo op or a ploy for grandstanding. If the Right would just get out of the way, then BHO 's wolrd would be perfect.

    18. rmgdonnow says:

      It is a terrible thing to say, or to be a possibility, that Barack Hussein Obama is a Quisling President. Very little he has done strengthens our economy or enhances our position militarily (or diplomatically) in the world. He has been friendly, even to the point of bowing down, to leaders of adversary countries, and hostile, even contemptuous to our friends and allies. The U.S. becomes weaker under BHO's rule, and our enemies grow stronger, and that can not be called coincidental. November 2012 can not come too soon; let's hope it is not too late.

    19. NeoConVet says:

      Biden is trying to say in his bumbling way that "The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend"? Sadly the issue remain that the Taliban "IS & REMAINS AN ENEMY with deadly skills and is a CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER to the United States and the free world with their well known extreme views and practices of Islam. To even consider seriously what the resident fools in the current administration have suggested is way beyond the pail of effective logic. Once again hope that our enemies will learn to like us is not a strategy!

    20. This administration has become suspect on who are our enemies and who are our friends. I should say who are their friends. They have declared that members of our own nation are their enemies and then invite a diplomat from Iran, a known operative for the iranian revolutionary guard to lunch. I believe this president has either lost all grasp on reality or he is quite deliberate and we are his enemies. He or members of his administration have branded us who believe in the free market system as fanatics, wackos and racists. He believes those of us that believe in Divine providence are out of touch that he the government knows best and will meet all your needs and answer all your prayers. That people do not have to be held responsible for their own actions or lack of self control. It is not their fault. We have to make sure that we fire this president and his administration this upcoming election, for if we do not we may not have another.

    21. Red Baker says:

      The Taliban is my enemy, and America's enemy, if not the administration's. More appeasement from Obama. I note they haven't the honesty to be explicit about it, except for another foolish-sounding statement from Biden. What most people assume is another gaffe is actual policy.

    22. Richard Zolnosky says:

      Those who don't learn from history are bound to repeat it. Appeasement has never been a successful foreign policy. Survival requires one knows his enemies and respects the damage they might do. Biden's comments add to the problem by showing how gulible, ignorant and vulnerable we have become as a government and nation. We are wandering in the wildeness and playing with fire. It will take dedication, sacrifice, intelligence and a long time to free ourselves from the consequences of the past three years.

    23. Pastor Carmen says:

      Nor is North Korea Joe.

    24. An Unhappy American says:

      I think both Biden and Pelosi must be on some serious drugs which would explain their behavior and comments. If not, then they must both be crazy. Time to retire, both of you. Mr. Biden, I suggest you go and stay with the Taliban for awhile and see how "friendly" they are. I know you want to destroy the USA from the inside, from where I sit, you are no different than any other terrorist.

    25. Bobbie says:

      What a thing to say coming from the vice president of America he, the president and his cabinet act in total defiance of the will of the people. What does he mean by "our enemy?" If the taliban and their hatred of America's way isn't the enemy of America's government, then we the people are. How much is the taliban helping the president's cabinet collapse America? It was assumed the president was only using domestic resources and through conscientious manipulation! For Biden to say something like that is a hostile threat isn't it? getting deeper…

    26. Kyle says:

      This exemplifies the imbeciles at the helm of our government today, along with the rest of the idiots they have surrounded themselves with!

    27. Dale Athanas says:

      "Peace through weakness" – the new US foreign policy. Every day that I think this administration can't get any worse, they sink to another low. God help us all.

      • KHM says:

        @ Dale Athanas,
        Peace through wekness". Well said. All we need to dao is look at history to see how well thais works. Clinton era appeasment led to the 1st Twin Towers bombing, the Khobar bombing, USS Cole attack and the embassies in Africa. As anoter post said anyone remember England's Neville Chamberlain's "peace in our time" after meeting wih Herr Hitler in Munich. Yes, it works real well

    28. ThomNJ says:

      When I heard this yesterday, my immediate reaction was SMOKE AND MIRRORS! Get ready for another BIG LIE! This is the corrupt administration getting ready to tell America that a secret deal was reached with the Taliban and that they will be a part of the new government of Afghanistan. Never mind that there is no such thing as a moderate taliban – they are all beyond fundamentalist islam and have achieved the level of barbarity that a lot of arab muslims have not yet achieved.

      What a kick in the teeth to our fighting men and women and to the rest of America. Iraq and Afghanistan will be given over to Iran….just as obamao has helped push the arab world closer to a caliphate, he is doing his best to let radical islam reign over much of the Middle East. Give him some more time with another term, and I am sure he will figure out a way to get Indonesia into the orbit a bit more as well.

    29. AD-RtR/OS! says:

      When is Obama going to go to Munich?

    30. WaltEly says:

      Heaven help us if something should happen to weakling Obama and bizarre bonehead Biden had to step in!

    31. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Does anyone not realize this Obama administration refuses to mention the word Muslim when discussing the Taliban or terrorist? The question is WHY!

    32. inverbrass says:

      Obama, not al Qaeda, not the Taliban, not Hezbolla, not Muslim extremests, not China, not Russia, is more dangerous to the United States, our culture and our future, than any of these. He is a traitor and should be delt with accordingly. Bidern is merely an example of the intellectual and character rot which symbolizes Washington today. Biden's ignorance makes him dangerous. The Obama/Biden administration is amature hour in the White House. Preserve and Protect the Constitution…..give me a break!

    33. Leo Tapanes says:

      And people keep supporting these fools why?

    34. toledofan says:

      The entire premise of this administration, making my enemy my friend, is not only absurd, it is, well, extremely dangerous. Let's face it, no matter the problem, these guys, Obama nd his Administration, have either sided with the enemy, look at how quickly Obama threw Israel under the bus or how we've tried time and again to try terrorists in our courts giving them our rights. Look how quickly he's distanced himself from the Arab Spring and how he's embraced the OWS crowd. Heck we couldn't even retrieve or blow up our drone in Iran and we're affraid of what?

    35. Dick W says:

      Hint to brain dead Joe —- The Taliban is not like the Rotary Club or the Elks duh!!

    36. Sandy Kramer says:

      Biden should resign … and become Ron Paul's evil twin.

    37. Jane says:

      Another great example of the power of Free Speech. Mr. Biden has done us a favor and plainly articulated this American regime's stance. It's a weak and incorrect stance putting people in the path of death and destruction, but it is the strategy of the false ideology driving current policies. OMG. O Must Go.

    38. bill says:

      Assuming that the Vice-President is not insane (not able to distinguish reality from fantasy. Hmmm…),
      then the only conclusion is the he is trying to befriend those who are America's murderous enemies,
      meaning that he is siding with our Nation's enemies against us…
      Even worse – there have always been corrupt politicians – that millions have voted for him
      and would vote for him again!

    39. Jim Buzzell says:

      What planet does he live on; certainly not earth. This guy is a complete air head! The only reason he has been elected over the years is that it was Delaware's way of keeping him out of the state, and where better to send your refuse, the federal government.

    40. Michael Wensink says:

      The Taliban is not my enemy nor were then an enemy of America (at least until we started shooting them). The Taliban offered to turn BinLaden over to an Arab government friendly to the US before 911, the morons in charge turned him down. George Bush had the two cruise missle submarines tasked with killing BinLaden removed from the area before 911. Check your facts, I'm no fan of Biden but in this case he is correct. The Taliban also ousted the communist government imposed by the USSR before they left. How mahy trillions of dollars should we spend killing the wrong people.

      • My question to you who was president when they made the offer? Who was in office and failed to pull the trigger when we could have killed him all those years ago? What about all the men and women that died by their hand not just the afgans but our troops as well. No one is guiltless in all this. But to say they are not our enemies is suspect after all the dead by their hand. This government treats our
        enemies better than our own allies and our own people.

      • Jill Maine says:

        Clinton had him in his sights two times and didn't pull the trigger. When are you BHO airheads going to wake up?

    41. Wayne Peterkin says:

      Good article and very accurate. Moronic statements from Biden and this administration are all too common.

    42. SDRN says:

      Obama, Biden et al in the administration have their heads in the sand (ostriches do the same thing). They are clueless about our enemies and they continue to criticize our allies, especially Israel. We the people of these United States have an opportunity to make changes at the Pennsylvania Avenue address and at the big white government building on Constitution Avenue in November 2012. It may already be too late and too much damage done, but we've got to get our priorities straight and try to turn this great country of ours back to the direction that values our citizens and allies and who holds our enemies accountable for their dirty deeds.

    43. Violet says:

      The more I read about the people working in the federal government from the president on down I wonder exactly what planet they are living on. I wonder what country they are living in. Surely it cannot be the United States or earth because on this planet and in this country the Taliban is the enemy.

    44. Mrs S C Thompson says:

      We are being SOLD OUT!!!! Very Scarey!

    45. I guess Biden supports Keeping girls out of school

    46. NHKRAB says:

      Bidens Newsspeak from the book 1984!!!

    47. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      What planet is Gaffe Master Flash from?

    48. rbrinson says:

      biden would make a fortune for barnun and baily at the cirus. he was obamas foriegn policy x pert/ what else besides the presidents job does he want

    49. Fixall says:

      Gee! I wonder who it is that hates us, and who it is thru the years that has been killing us. Maybe Joe has been breathing the fumes off that train he commutes on. It is really a shame that our top officials try to convey this sort of message.

    50. DMJ says:

      I just hope that our allies that Obama is disrespecting understand that America has a bozo in the White House, and that he does not reflect Americans' views.

    51. Alex K. says:

      Changing the culture of the country which lives in mid-centures will take 20-30-50 years minimum. Good example is how the Soviet Union changed the life of the same people in neighboring Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan to something very close to the Western style. Well, now, after USSR broke, these countries seem to slide back to less civilization, and the winning by Taliban would accellerate the slide. So, the question simply is, if US (or a group of the countries) if willing to stay and dictate to Afganistan for another mid-century or not. As a result, the Middle East would definitely become better and closer to the West, but is it worth it to spend money and people's life on this? I do not have strong Yes answer.

    52. Chuck from Virginia says:

      Ever since I first heard of the Taliban years ago, I've always been of the opinion that they are an EVIL organization, whether it's the way they demean women or plant IEDs to kill our military guys and gals. Their brutal method of handling those who dare to disagree with them speaks for itself. They are vermin and must be handled with extreme prejudice.

    53. Read this interview by Biden. Can anyone be this stupid and yet be the second most powerful man in the world? Wait, of course, if they're a Democrat. And people want to say Bush is the dumbest man to enter politics…This is frickin ridiculous…

    54. BBQ Judge says:

      If the enemy of my enemy is my friend, it stands to reason that the friend of my enemy is my enemy, too. It ain't rocket science, Joe.

    55. Bobbie says:

      as the work of the government is in direct contrast to the will of the people, doesn't that make us the enemies of Joe Biden and the American predominately democratic government? Is he implying the Taliban work within the American government to which together are not enemies but to which the American people are the enemies? democrats and the Taliban are dangerous to the point they'd set us up at any given moment! Not to make light of things but the Taliban has been more honest about their ugly hatred then American democrats about anything!

    56. Charles Reilly says:

      Joe Biden should be forced to stand in front of the relatives of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and repeat his utterly irresponsible and incomprehensible statement that the "Taliban is not our enemy." He can then explain to them how truly wonderful the Taliban is and list all their good works for mankind. What the American people can take from all this is that, once again, Joe Biden has demonstrated that he should not be holding public office of any kind. The fact that the current administration went along with him is another reason to limit Obama to one-term. Simply put, the Taliban is EVERYONE'S enemy—especially the poor women of Afghanistan who have suffered the most under their repressive and inhuman policies. If Biden doesn't realize that obvious fact, it proves he is incapable of realizing any facts.

    57. Stirling says:

      Biden has already checked out into the "World of Uptopia." Unfortunately the rest of us (in the real world)have not belived the BS. Biden's problem is that he actually belives what he say's. In the real world this would be grounds for psychological intervention. Biden is the poster child for Term Limit Leglislation.

    58. Horatio says:

      What is the definition of "treason"? Don't the comments made by our Vice President conform to the definition of this term? And why do American citizens continue to tolerate this sort of devious, criminal, self-serving behavior by an elected official? Forget about "hope"… we need "change" right now!

    59. jfb says:

      Please encourage some Political Cartonist to depict Mr. Biden as an Ostrich.

    60. john_willow says:

      Simple-minded article, which inspired lots of rah-rah know-nothing right-wingers to beat their chests . Even George Bush can tell you that you will never eliminate the Taliban. They are Pashtuns, and part of the fabric of the country. The Northern Alliance is another group vying for power, and none of these are nice people. America's presence is resented by many groups, who will use terror tactics to try to get U.S. forces to leave. The Taliban's goal is not to bring down and humiliate America. That was Osama bin Laden's brainchild. The Taliban want foreigners out of the country so that they can return the country to their medieval system of government. Biden is dealing with the reality that at some point you have to strike a deal with someone. The United States cannot come in and clear the locals out of their own country. They're having trouble even trying to keep schools open for women. Amazing how delusional Conservatives are.

    61. Bobbie says:

      we'll believe that Mr. Biden, when we know WE are not your enemy!

    62. Bob A says:

      The real, most dangerous enemy of America is the Democrat Party!


    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.