NY Times Reporter's profound insights

It took New York Times Pulitzer Prize winner David Rohde "7 months, 10 Days in Captivity" by the Taliban in Afghanistan before he

...came to a simple realization. After seven years of reporting in the region, I did not fully understand how extreme many of the Taliban had become. Before the kidnapping, I viewed the organization as a form of "Al Qaeda lite," a religiously motivated movement primarily focused on controlling Afghanistan.

Living side by side with the Haqqanis' followers, I learned that the goal of the hard-line Taliban was far more ambitious. Contact with foreign militants in the tribal areas appeared to have deeply affected many young Taliban fighters. They wanted to create a fundamentalist Islamic emirate with Al Qaeda that spanned the Muslim world."

Before that

During our time as hostages, I tried to reason with our captors. I told them we were journalists who had come to hear the Taliban's side of the story. I told them that I had recently married and that Tahir and Asad had nine young children between them. I wept, hoping it would create sympathy, and begged them to release us. All of my efforts proved pointless.

Pointless! Imagine that! Rohde is shocked that the Taliban are not impressed that their hostages are newly married or fathers of many children and even more amazing, that one is an American journalist who won the Pulitzer Prize and is now trying to learn their side of the story. As most non Pulitzer Prize people would say, "Du-uh!"