07 May 2009

Faux Pas of the Morning

While eating breakfast, I happened to catch a bit of Fox News' interview with Senator McCain. I couldn't get close enough to the TV to hear it that well, so this may be a quote taken out of context. (If anyone has a link to this interview, I'd greatly appreciate it.)

The caption underneath Sen. McCain said, in capital letters, "NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TALIBAN AND AL QAEDA".

Let that sink in. Anyone who's been paying attention to the news in Afghanistan can tell you that the Taliban and al Qaeda are indeed two distinctly different groups. Al Qaeda is primarily an Arab organization, much smaller in number, and is free to move to any country it chooses, so long as that country provides it with a safe haven. Al Qaeda's ideology is global. The Taliban, on the other hand, are fighters from the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, who are seeking to control the people and government of that region. Their aim is pragmatic, and primarily local in nature.

Each group is dealt with in their own way. They have many similar goals and ideals, to be certain, but in the recent past, the two groups have had their share of differences.

Now, this could be the news service throwing a quote on the screen that is entirely out of context. It could have meant that there was no rhetorical difference between the two groups. Nevertheless, for those of use who are keen to the new developments in the complexities of hybrid warfare, the caption on the screen was little short of cringe-worthy.

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