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White House backs Biden's statement

- December 21, 2011 - Updated 427 PKT - From Web Edition

WASHINGTON: The White House on Monday defended Vice President Joe Biden for saying that the Taliban isn't an enemy of the United States despite the years spent fighting the militant Islamic group that gave a home to Al Qaeda and its leader Usama bin Laden while he plotted the Sept. 11 terror attacks.


"It's only regrettable when taken out of context," White House spokesman Jay Carney said of the vice president's remarks in an interview published


"It is a simple fact that we went into Afghanistan because of the attack on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001. We are there now to ultimately defeat Al Qaeda, to stabilize Afghanistan and stabilize it in part so that Al Qaeda or other terrorists who have as their aim attacks on the United States cannot establish a foothold again in that country," Carney continued.


During Biden's interview with Newsweek last week, the vice president said it's "good enough" for the U.S. if Afghanistan stops being a "haven for people who do damage and have as a target the United States of America" and its allies. He added that the U.S. is supportive of a reconciliation process between the Afghan government and the Taliban even if it's questionable whether a reconciliation is possible.


"Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy. That's critical," Biden said. "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."


Biden said that the U.S. is on a dual track in Afghanistan -- keep the pressure on Al Qaeda and support a government that is strong enough to "negotiate with and not be overthrown by the Taliban."


Carney said the U.S. did not send the military into Afghanistan because the Taliban were in power, and the vice president's point was that "while we are fighting them, it is not the elimination -- the elimination of the Taliban is not the issue here."

Reader Comments
The US Vice President should have someone double check his speeches before he reads them or not allow him to speak. The argument that is being used by the US to stay forever in Afghanistan is to catch all the Al-Qaida and prevent the Taliban from taking over and letting the Al-Qaida come back. It's a huge lie, but the best the US can create. Karzai and his merry band of thieves are more than willing to allow the US to stay and protect them.

I am least bother what Biden is telling but it is an eye-opener for those parties and generals of Pakistan who were calling the Taliban as terrorist to please USA. You are all are like tissue paper. Specially the leaders of PPP,MQM(A),ANP and other so-called secular minded leaders as well as some generals. For God sake after this slap on your faces by Biden, atleast now please become a true Pakistani. Think about Pakistan & what you can contribute otherwise just leave us.

Ghulam Ahmad
all filth, did in decade Iran-Iraq war, Kuwait invasion conspricy ,WMD. all ridiculous & shamful

What a shame? If only they had listened 10 years ago, all this bloodshed would have been over by now. Hundreds of thousands of Afghan and countless coalition deaths later, it is still good news. There can be no solution to Afghanistan without taking the Pushtoons on board, Taliban or not.

Americans have accepted the wisdom in the logic proffered by Imran several years back. It is better to be late than never. People of Pakistan have also accepted Imran as a man of vision. The Americans may please join hands with the people of Pakistan for an honorable exit from Afghanistan.

This is hilarious... you guys spent billions of dollars in fighting them, you guys wrecked the whole of Afghanistan hunting for Talibans, destroyed our (pakistan) economy in so called "War against Terrorism" and now those terrorists are your friends... very interesting

Another feather in Imran Khan's cap.. He has been standing firm for last so many years on the same stance ==> Create dialog with Taliban, it is not the enemy. Now after a decade, the only super power in the world is also on its knees. Hail to Imran bhai's brave stance all through for which he was called a taliban also..

A classic diplomatic release just talking in circles,it is no more digest able.All those who have no natural connection are talking about peace in Afghanistan on their terms.That won't succeed.

syed baqar ahsan
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