Taliban on VOA

Randall Hoven
It looks like the Voice of America is putting the Taliban on the air in Pakistan.  This, despite the Taliban already "producing dozens of unsanctioned broadcasts from the backs of trucks and personal homes."

And we are not talking just any Taliban, perhaps the "moderate" ones.  The VOA aired an interview with Mullah Mohammed Omar a few weeks after 9/11.  And recently it apparently aired an interview with Baitullah Mehsud.  What do we know about this Baitullah fellow?

"Baitullah commands a force of 20,000 to 30,000 fighters in the tribal areas of northwest Pakistan.  He has dispatched suicide bombers to kill Pakistani police and soldiers in Swat, Kohat, Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan, and Peshawar.  On August 30, his forces brazenly captured 213 Pakistani soldiers and held them hostage for two months until his demands were met."

He has a price on his head.  He operates under a Taliban leader who is believed to have helped Osama bin Laden escape.  And he is implicated in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.  Oh, and he said this,

"Allah on 480 occasions in the Holy Koran extols Muslims to wage jihad. We only fulfill God's orders. Only jihad can bring peace to the world...We will continue our struggle until foreign troops are thrown out. Then we will attack them in the US and Britain until they either accept Islam or agree to pay jizya (a tax in Islam for non-Muslims living in an Islamic state)."

The VOA, if you didn't know, is an operation of the US government, paid for by US taxes.  It was started in World War II to help defeat Nazi propaganda.  Do you think we aired interviews with Goebbels or Goering back then?

This Pakistan VOA is overseen by Spozhmai Maiwandi.  She defended her interview with Mullah Omar by saying,

"That's the VOA's job.  We are here to give the news.  We are here to give balanced, accurate, objective news."

I guess there's no problem then.

hat tip: an AT reader
It looks like the Voice of America is putting the Taliban on the air in Pakistan.  This, despite the Taliban already "producing dozens of unsanctioned broadcasts from the backs of trucks and personal homes."

And we are not talking just any Taliban, perhaps the "moderate" ones.  The VOA aired an interview with Mullah Mohammed Omar a few weeks after 9/11.  And recently it apparently aired an interview with Baitullah Mehsud.  What do we know about this Baitullah fellow?

"Baitullah commands a force of 20,000 to 30,000 fighters in the tribal areas of northwest Pakistan.  He has dispatched suicide bombers to kill Pakistani police and soldiers in Swat, Kohat, Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan, and Peshawar.  On August 30, his forces brazenly captured 213 Pakistani soldiers and held them hostage for two months until his demands were met."

He has a price on his head.  He operates under a Taliban leader who is believed to have helped Osama bin Laden escape.  And he is implicated in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.  Oh, and he said this,

"Allah on 480 occasions in the Holy Koran extols Muslims to wage jihad. We only fulfill God's orders. Only jihad can bring peace to the world...We will continue our struggle until foreign troops are thrown out. Then we will attack them in the US and Britain until they either accept Islam or agree to pay jizya (a tax in Islam for non-Muslims living in an Islamic state)."

The VOA, if you didn't know, is an operation of the US government, paid for by US taxes.  It was started in World War II to help defeat Nazi propaganda.  Do you think we aired interviews with Goebbels or Goering back then?

This Pakistan VOA is overseen by Spozhmai Maiwandi.  She defended her interview with Mullah Omar by saying,

"That's the VOA's job.  We are here to give the news.  We are here to give balanced, accurate, objective news."

I guess there's no problem then.

hat tip: an AT reader