Happy Friday! Or, were it up to the White House, which has just recently displayed its penchant for re-labeling things, definitions, organizations and people at a whim, if it will suit its current geopolitical agenda: Happy Second Monday! Keep working hard, chumps!
What I am referring to in the (likely confusing) paragraph above is the White House’s re-labeling of the Taliban. The Taliban were branded as “terrorists” and were the stated reason for invading Afghanistan, but the administration wants to re-brand the Taliban as “armed insurgents.”
Why this sudden change of heart? It’s a simple matter of semantics, as when an organization is defined as “terrorist” by the United States, policy dictates that the military and government may not negotiate with them under any circumstances. Which is, of course, ridiculous, especially when some of those organizations happen to have been voted into positions of governance in various countries, or – as was the case with the Taliban- were already governing.
The solution? Re-brand the organization as “not terrorists,” and instead as “armed insurgents!” Yes, they still hold all the same beliefs that the previously “terrorist” organization did, and use all the same tactics, but you see, they aren’t terrorists anymore.! Because then the US wouldn’t be able to do a prisoner swap, as they did last year when releasing several Guantanamo Bay prisoners in exchange for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
When asked by the NYT about this, Press Secretary Eric Shultz (Schuuuultz!!) replied:
The Taliban is an armed insurgency, ISIL is a terrorist group. We don’t make concessions to terrorist groups,” Mr. Schultz said.
Asked directly if the White House considered the Taliban a terrorist group, Mr. Schultz repeated the line that they are an armed insurgency and said that the swap for Mr. Bergdahl was part of the “winding down of the war in Afghanistan.”
The US won’t allow that same trade to commence with ISIS, however, in exchange for a Jordanian pilot – for what do they care for this man, who isn’t a citizen of the United States?
This situation reiterates how absurd the US government, and for that matter virtually any government, is when it comes to labeling anything as good, bad, terrorist, not terrorist, illegal, etc. The definitions never stay consistent and instead are bent to the whims of those in power to achieve whatever shortsighted goals they may have, or to appease a certain segment of the population at a given time, or to simply further extend their own power.
Our own government has repeatedly changed the definition of what it is to be a criminal in this country in order to allow for unconstitutional spying in violation of the 4th Amendment, and even imprisonment without trial, labeling people as “enemy combatants” at a whim, despite their never having been involved with any terroristic activity whatsoever. President Obama also discussed using executive orders to essentially alter the definition of sanity, or “mental health parity” to suit his own agenda to curb 2nd Amendment rights in this nation.
Reject any and all labels applied by this current government. A label that washes away with a bit of spit, only to be re-applied in crayon to alter the rules, is a label that can and should be ignored.
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