Annual Taliban Propaganda Wrap-Up
Like all Americans, my new year is not dictated by the Roman, Chinese, or Islamic calendars. But instead the milestone for year’s end is the American football Super Bowl. And as a counter-radicalisation analyst, I choose Super Bowl time as an opportunity to wrap up the year’s terrorist messaging. In this case, I will recap the year’s Taliban messages—concluding that the Taliban leadership is mostly internationally focused and has little to do with the myriad of Taliban elements on the ground in Afghanistan.
The Taliban or Taliban related entities released 63 statements or videos in the past year.
32 messages focus on Islam being under attack by colonialist imperialist powers—to include references to Gitmo, Palestinians, Iraq, Afghanistan as one front in a larger war, and social oppression in Europe. The Taliban leadership may be attempting to raise money internationally or may, in fact, be buying more into the al-Qaeda narrative that Islam (writ large in all its manifestations) is under attack.
30 messages concentrate on Taliban strength—claiming Taliban tactical or strategic successes and inevitable U.S. defeat. These messages, as in past years, are likely intended to show that the Taliban is somehow a homogenous army winning a war to shore up funds, recruits, and morale. These bravado-filled statements and videos want to show Taliban victorious.
13 messages claim that the media, U.S. public affairs outlets, and/or the UN propagate lies and are biased. Most messages in this vein, this year, attempted to dispel rumors of NATO-Taliban negotiations.
Eight messages referred, at some point, to the fight against NATO as a national battle under an Islamic rubric, led by religious warriors who represented the everyman.
Eight messages asserted that the Taliban do not cause civilian casualties. That distinction, according to the Taliban, belongs to the United States.
And only two messages out of 68 for the entire year claim that the Karzai government is corrupt. One message argues that the Kandahar government is broken. This finding flies in the face of recent published analyses that the Taliban leadership uses the narrative of corruption as a cornerstone of its propaganda strategy. The Taliban lack of emphasis on national government corruption could undermine U.S. assumptions that ineffective governance and instability must be fixed to win the war. But it is more likely that this finding substantiates claims that the Taliban leadership has little ideological control and anorexic tactical control over the innumerable “Taliban” elements on the ground in Afghanistan. It should also be noted, that official Taliban leadership statements may be produced mainly for international and regional audiences rather than the almost Internet-less Afghans outside Kabul.
Bottom line: The Taliban are as varied as the flavors at a Baskin Robbins ice cream shop—too many to count and often independent of Mullah Omar’s influence.
The following is a very brief summary of Taliban statements and al-Qa`ida publications of Taliban propaganda and videos:
19 January 2011: Taliban do not cause civilian casualties, the coalition does.
18 January 2011: Helmand ceasefire is untrue and perpetrated by the U.S.-backed governor.
13 January 2011: This date marks the 31st anniversary of the communist invasion, which jihadists were required to defeat.
12 January 2011: Senator Graham’s remarks over permanent U.S. bases expose U.S. colonist motives—denying Afghans their inalienable rights and freedoms.
20 December 2010: Only foreigners leaving will cause peace and security. The United States will be defeated. The United States oppresses Afghans.
20 December 2010: Just as Soviet officials died from bad health the current Afghan war caused a lethal dent on Holbrook’s ill health.
7 December 2010: U.S. chemical and poisonous weapons have killed civilians and caused birth defects—a crime against humanity.
1 December 2010: The solution to the Afghan situation is NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan. NATO will face many casualties.
30 November 2010: There will be no negotiations. The only solution is NATO withdrawal. The media is biased and irresponsible.
26 November 2010: The war will not bring peace and is illegal and unjustified. Indigenous persons are the victims.
16 November 2010: The Kandahar government is a failure. No organs work except the U.S.-run police. Taliban offer working courts.
9 November 2010: The peace initiative is one-sided and run by those who have forfeited credibility in Afghanistan.
8 November 2010: Media are propaganda puppets perpetuating the false rumors of negotiations.
3 November 2010: The 10-year war has meant terror and massacres and not any progress or soil gained for NATO due to the Afghan people fighting alongside the jihadists. The war is unjustifiable and unwinnable for the United States.
25 October 2010: The UN should end and not extend the illegal protracted war for the UN to regain any legitimacy.
18 October 2010: NATO forces are invaders who should look at history and end the illegitimate invasion.
14 October 2010: Taliban hold 75% of Afghanistan. Despite heavy investments, the United States has suffered devastating defeats.
8 October 2010: Taliban have retreated from some areas but left behind IEDs and ambush traps.
7 October 2010: Patraeus has no secret Taliban contacts—the claim is a desperate cry of a weak enemy.
6 October 2010: Taliban publishes a video of suicide bombers in Kandahar.
6 October 2010: Bangladeshi leaders—who head a Muslim-majority nation—will be too insightful to join the United States in Afghanistan. At least the Bangladeshis will not allow the country to help the United States continue to enslave and destabilize Afghanistan.
27 September 2010: The elections were fraudulent and only involved the invaders’ puppets.
23 September 2010: Americans are bent on continuing occupation. America will face defeat and usher in its own downfall.
20 September 2010: American might and coercion has no effect on Afghans. The subjugation of Afghans is impossible. The jihad is an Afghanistan-wide independent and holy resistance of the masses.
13 September 2010: Muslims worldwide are being killed and dishonored: to include Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, and other areas. Pray for defeat of oppressors.
7 September 2010: As Sahab releases video of rocket attack in Kunar along with audio and video of Usama bin Ladin, Ayman al-Zawahri, and other South Asia al-Qaeda figures.
3 September 2010: Patraeus is lying about any progress in Afghanistan. The Taliban will guarantee safety to reporters who want to survey Afghanistan to uncover the truth.
31 August 2010: The UN lies about civilian casualties and covers up for U.S. imperialism and massacres.
31 August 2010: Petraeus’ is ridiculing the intellect of the masses with claims of success. He would serve America best by withdrawing forces from the unwinnable war.
23 August 2010: Afghans cannot tolerate the United States killing civilians. The United States is on the verge of failure. Wikileaks will unveil U.S. covert activities to include its drug smuggling.
19 August 2010: UN is biased and incorrect in naming the Taliban as the number one killer of civilians.
19 August 2010: Media lack ethics, neutrality, and honesty in depicting the Taliban.
16 August 2010: U.S. attempts to prop up local militias is an attempt to disintegrate Afghanistan. The communists did the same resulting in civil war. Afghans should remain united under nationalism and Islam.
13 August 2010: Petraeus’ only real strategy is mass murder. All Afghans are becoming more resentful. Taliban are successfully attacking convoys.
12 August 2010: The Dutch withdrawal meets the needs of the Afghan and Dutch peoples. Other nations should follow suit and continue to bring the United States on the verge of failure and collapse.
10 August 2010: Time magazine’s cover of an Afghan with her nose and ears cut off was immoral for wrongly accusing the Taliban and is professionally unethical for showing the image. The act is barbaric, inhumane, and un-Islamic. The Taliban sympathizes with their sister Aisha, and such an atrocity is a crime against humanity and against Shari’a.
6 August 2010: As-Sahab shows a video of a mortar attack against a military base in Kunar with audio and video from Usama bin Ladin, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and other South Asia extremist leaders.
4 August 2010: A five-hour conference in Lisbon cannot come up with a rational solution to Afghans’ problems. U.S. actions will prolong the war and suffering. The only solution is immediate withdrawal of all forces.
2 August 2010: A Taliban operation generated McChrystal’s firing. There will be no peace until invaders leave and an Islamic government is set up.
26 July 2010: A U.S. soldier is in Taliban custody in a safe place.
13 July 2010: The Taliban has enjoyed a number of tactical solutions and should withdraw today.
24 June 2010: Al-Somood magazine tells stories of heroes and martyrdom.
21 June 2010: In a Q&A, Sirajuddin Haqqani urges Muslims of the world to donate money and technical expertise to aid the Taliban. The Taliban has nothing to do with planting opium.
11 June 2010: Muslims of the world should support the Palestinians (following the Flotilla incident). All Muslims should unite to defeat colonialism everywhere.
8 June 2010: Reports of negotiations between the Taliban and Afghan governments are lies.
7 June 2010: As-Sahab releases a video of an ambush against troops in Kunar.
3 June 2010: Reports of the murder of 12 students in Ghazni are false. Four spies were caught—confessing without interrogation—and sentenced to death.
25 May 2010: On the 31st anniversary of the communist coup, the Americans—even worse than the communists—kill innocents and detain thousands in Gitmo, Bagram, Kandahar, and other secret jails. America will collapse like the soviets and should leave the prideful Afghans alone.
24 May 2010: A video shows a Taliban attack against a U.S. base in eastern Nurestan province.
18 May 2010: An announcement warns of a nationwide Taliban spring offensive targeting all persons supporting NATO.
11 May 2010: As-Sahab releases a video of rockets firing off near Ghazni.
7 May 2010: As-Sahab releases a video of two rocket attacks on bases in Khost.
3 May 2010: Al-Somood magazine celebrates the exploits of Jalaluddin Haqqani.
29 April 2010: Al-Somood magazine celebrates the exploits of Jalaluddin Haqqani.
23 April 2010: As-Sahab releases a video of a suicide truck bomb detonating in Khost.
26 March 2010: Reported UN contacts with the Taliban are a lie. Obama must pull out forces from Afghanistan.
19 March 2010: The Karzai government impinges on Afghans’ freedom of speech. Media in Afghanistan lacks neutrality.
11 March 2010: The Taliban releases a translated German Mujahidin Taliban call for donations.
3 March 2010: The Taliban’s planned Marjah defensive actions are working as expected. The United States is prolonging the war and better off leaving.
2 March 2010: The United States has made no headway in Marjah. The United States should end its invasion and learn from the failures of past empires from Alexander the Great through the Soviet Union.
1 March 2010: As-Sahab releases a video of a suicide bombing supposedly targeting an army and CIA headquarters.
1 March 2010: As-Sahab releases a video interview with the Jordanian suicide bomber of a CIA base in December 2009. He refers to the situations in Gaza, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
10 February 2010: The German Taliban Mujahidin condemns European bans on the Muslim Burqa.