Taliban to West: We Mean You No Harm

Group may be trying to sway Afghanistan strategy debate
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2009 11:00 AM CDT
U.S. forces speak with a local villager, during a joint Afghan-U.S. patrol in an area frequented by Taliban militants, in Nawa district, Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, Monday, Sept. 28, 2009.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
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(Newser) – With the US debating what to do in Afghanistan, the Taliban has announced it poses no threat to the West. “We did not have any agenda to harm other countries, including Europe, nor do we have such agenda today,” said a statement posted on Taliban websites. The group warned, however, that it was ready for a “prolonged war” if the West persisted in trying to “turn the country of the proud and pious Afghans into a colony.”

The statement may be a sign that the Taliban is reconsidering its relationship with al-Qaeda, or it may simply be an attempt to muddy the waters in the strategy debate over Afghanistan, the Guardian speculates. The statement added that those now being killed or displaced in Afghanistan "were not involved in the (9/11) events of New York."