Taliban: Biden's right, we're not your enemy

“We are not natural enemies of each other,” says Khazi Habibullah Fauzi, who served as the Taliban’s charge d’affaires in Saudi Arabia before the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. “We became enemies because of an external factor—namely Osama bin Laden, who was not an Afghan. Now he is gone, and the Taliban have little or nothing to do with Al Qaeda.”

The vice president’s remarks provoked blasts of outrage at home and in Kabul. Instead, for once it was senior Taliban figures who responded calmly – which may ultimately be a positive sign as the Americans try to reach a peaceful settlement in Afghanistan. Fauzi, for one, welcomes the remark as a possible sign of a change of heart in Washington. “Biden’s statement shows that the U.S. is finally seeing us after 10 years of war with a cool head, not with emotion and cries for revenge that drove the US after 9/11,” says the Afghan, who now lives in Kabul but remains in contact with the group as a member of the Kabul government’s High Peace Council…

But not surprisingly the Taliban are also deeply embittered by Biden’s statement. “Biden is talking both sense and nonsense — if we are not your enemies, then what are you doing in Afghanistan?” the operative complains. “Is this some kind of joke, to say we are not your enemy after you occupy our country, imprison us in cages and kill tens of thousands of our people? We didn’t invite you here, and we never wanted to become your enemy.”