Exactly who would look at the Taliban with a measure of admiration?! The paper in our nation’s capital, it seems.
As the country is trying to come to terms with the level of absent leadership from our White House while a nation under our care spirals into a “Mad Max” dystopia seemingly overnight, there are a number of realities to grapple with as a result. One of the more frivolous but at the same time revelatory is that the Taliban leadership maintains a presence on some social media platforms. It is more than a case of curious optics that any Taliban spokesmen can have an operational Twitter account, as they overtake a nation in violent fashion within a week’s time frame.
Yet that is precisely where we are.
Something that underscores just how asinine this is as a reality — while a murderous regime, one Allah-bent on stripping away the liberties of the citizens of the country, can spew forth their agenda on Twitter at the same time our former President is still banished from numerous platforms. That was done in the name of safety. Yet while the most tenuous connections have to be drawn up to imply Donald Trump is responsible for any violence, an actual terror group is exacting violence on the Afghans as we speak. The group that this week opened fire on a crowd for flying the Afghanistan flag, and that killed a woman for not wearing a burqa in public is permitted to Tweet freely.
Over at The Washington Post, they strived to explain away this paradox of logic; and over at the Washington Post, they failed significantly at this task. Two of their writers — Craig Timberg and Cristiano Lima — make the attempt to make sense out of this, and in the process, they are reduced to raving about a group that actually performs the violent activities they promise Trump supporters will engage in…any day now.
The team of Timburg-’N-Lima wasted no time getting into their laudatory prose regarding the group. The headline alone is enough to make you cringe — Today’s Taliban uses sophisticated social media practices that rarely violate the rules. I think we all can agree, when it comes to murderous human rights-abusing misogynistic pedophile mercenary forces who illegally overrun a nation and enslave the populace, the one thing we will not tolerate is rule-breaking!
The idiocy from the duo of T&L only devolves from there. In order to paint the picture of justified active account status, they resort to a level of fawning over the Taliban that creepily approaches fanboy status. It is something to behold. “A movement rooted in traditional moral codes has become expert at wielding the West’s advanced communication technologies,” they say to launch their coverage. We have to take it on faith, we suppose, that “traditional moral codes” is a euphemism for justified killings. It is a curious use of the phrase in a discussion involving Donald Trump, considering the animosity leveled towards Americans of faith and The Evangelicals the past four to five years. Now suddenly moral codes almost sound noble.
Oh, there is so much more as well.
In accounts swelling across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — and in group chats on apps such as WhatsApp and Telegram — the messaging from Taliban supporters typically challenges the West’s dominant image of the group as intolerant, vicious and bent on revenge, while staying within the evolving boundaries of taste and content that tech companies use to police user behavior.
Hey guys? There’s a term for what you just described — Propaganda. Some may feel there is a slight problem in giving this organization a social platform on which they are unfettered in delivering that messaging. Rather interesting that you…do not see this as a problem.
The tactics overall show such a high degree of skill that analysts believe at least one public relations firm is advising the Taliban on how to push key themes, amplify messages across platforms and create potentially viral images and video snippets — much like corporate and political campaigns do across the world.
Recent months have seen an uptick in online messages offering a gentler, more reassuring face of the Taliban.
Gentlemen, seriously — just send them a resume. I have a sense that currently, they are going through a hiring phase.
This is already an amazingly embarrassing screed from these wizards, and they have yet to directly address Donald Trump as a comparison. But get ready, they do just that. One might think that suggesting Trump is actually a worse account than the one operated by professional roof-tossing homophobes, but Timberg and Lima go there.
The ability of the Taliban and its supporters to operate substantially within the rules of companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube has left Silicon Valley vulnerable to intensifying political crosscurrents: U.S. conservatives have been demanding to know why former president Donald Trump has been banned from Twitter while various Taliban figures have not.
Fear not, they deliver the cogent explanation.
The answer, analysts said, may simply be that Trump’s posts for years challenged platform rules against hate speech and inciting violence. Today’s Taliban, by and large, does not.
Let us all understand what this means. Donald Trump cannot be permitted to be on social media because he represents the potential of inciting violence. The terrorist outfit that has exacted violence for decades, and is currently in the process of being cruelly violent, can be on Twitter because…they do not…send mean tweets, we guess?!
And of course, there will be those who will inevitably try to reach into the past — circling back, if you will — to the riot in the Capitol last January. This will be their undoing, however, because all of the hyperbole we have been subjected to the past seven months starts to crumble like a Jenga tower run over by an abandoned Bradley Humvee.
You will have a much harder time selling the concept that January 6 represented a coup attempt on our nation when the world has just witnessed an actual insurrection playing out on their televisions. A national shift, a palace takeover, and a leader kiting out of the country on the first transport look far more accurate to that definition than a buffalo-horned cosplay goober, and a mook clomping his boots on Pelosi’s desk.
But still, Trump represents more of a threat, because the organization killing women and setting up adolescent bordellos as they ransack a nation shows themselves far more adept at digital interfacing with the public. According to the Washington Post, The Taliban knows how to meme!