And nowhere is that clearer in Afghanistan, where the Taliban, as vile as it often is, is not the same as Al-Qaeda (or Hamas or Hizbollah or Iran). Our political and media classes have largely failed post 9/11 to even try to understand Islamism or resistance:
Considering how closely tied their histories have been, the Taliban in Afghanistan have yet to release a statement on the death of Osama bin Laden. The group isn’t being uncommunicative; it just doesn’t quite know what to say for now. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told TIME: “We have not received any word from our leadership on Osama’s death. I can’t confirm that he is dead or alive. Because of some security problems, the Taliban has not had much contact with Osama bin Laden for the past 10 years.” In a striking show of the divisions that had crept up between the Taliban and bin Laden’s organization, Mujahid added that, “The activity of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan was unimportant. All activities were and continue to be conducted by the Taliban.”…But even if he is still alive, Bin Laden has ceased to be relevant. “In the last two or three years the media in Afghanistan and around the world were not talking about Osama bin Laden,” Masoom, a single-named local resident, told TIME in the courtyard of the Etifaq mosque. “He was not important for al-Qaeda. He was not important for the Taliban. He was the leader, but al-Qaeda is not just Osama. They have other leaders and they will continue their activities.” However Afghans may differ on bin Laden’s fate, they agree on one thing: one man’s death will not bring peace to their country.