A leader of one of the most notorious terrorist groups in the world just got a megaphone from The New York Times.
On Thursday, the Times published an op-ed from Taliban deputy leader Sirajuddin Haqqani ominously titled "What we, the Taliban, want." It comes as the Taliban continues to work out a peace deal with the U.S., and in it, Haqqani insists "everyone is tired of war" on their side too.
Haqqani paints a thoroughly positive picture of his terrorist organization, and apparently the Times just decided to roll with it. "We did not choose our war with the foreign coalition led by the United States. We were forced to defend ourselves." Haqqani writes. But because "the long war has exacted a terrible cost from everyone," the Taliban decided to try negotiating with the U.S. even though "our confidence that the talks would yield results was close to zero," Haqqani continues. Even when President Trump called off those talks after a Taliban attack, the group kept the door open — a testament to "our commitment to ending the hostilities and bringing peace to our country," Haqanni rosily describes.
As The Washington Post's Dan Lamothe noted in a tweet, "The fact that this New York Times op-ed by Sirajuddin Haqqani exists at all is remarkable." Mujib Mashal, an Afghanistan correspondent for the Times, had a more pointed critique.
The piece by Siraj Haqqani in @nytopinion - which's independent of our news operations & judgment - omits the most fundamental fact: that Siraj is no Taliban peace-maker as he paints himself, that he's behind some of most ruthless attacks of this war with many civilian lives lost
— Mujib Mashal (@MujMash) February 20, 2020
More stories from theweek.com
How much will Medicare-for-all save Americans? A lot.
Bernie Sanders' subtle warning to the Democratic Party
Former CIA Director John Brennan says 'we are now in a full-blown national security crisis'