Joe Biden: 'The Taliban ... Is Not Our Enemy'

Republicans circulate questionable quote from vice president

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 19, 2011 5:04 PM CST

(Newser) – Joe Biden is showing off his propensity for, ah, colorful quotes again—this time in talking about the Taliban. "The Taliban per se is not our enemy," he says in an interview with Newsweek/Daily Beast. Republicans are already distributing the remark, with the additional fact that US troops are still dying in battles against the Taliban, ABC News reports. So what exactly does Joe mean?

If the Taliban stops harboring al-Qaeda, says Biden, "that’s good enough. ... 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 US interests." If, on the other hand, the Taliban collapses the Afghan government, "then that becomes a problem for us.” Read the whole interview on the Daily Beast. (Or look back at a couple of Biden forehead-slappers—about China's one-child policy or the Ukraine's "beautiful women.")

US Vice President Joe Biden waves upon arrival at Eleftherios Venizelos airport in Athens on December 4, 2011.
US Vice President Joe Biden waves upon arrival at Eleftherios Venizelos airport in Athens on December 4, 2011.   (Getty Images)
Vice President Joe Biden hosts a Cabinet meeting on Dec. 13, 2011, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House campus in Washington.
Vice President Joe Biden hosts a Cabinet meeting on Dec. 13, 2011, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House campus in Washington.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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