After Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller called the Taliban “apostates” and argued that the Afghan security forces and U.S. military are the true Mujahideen during an unusual May 2 press briefing, Task & Purpose reached out to the Taliban to get their response — and by “reached out,” this reporter means T&P; trolled the Taliban’s official twitter account until someone replied.
The user, who identifies himself as Abdulqahar Balkhi, is likely affiliated with the Taliban but probably lives outside of Afghanistan, a reliable source told T&P.; This Balkhi is likely the same who spent 2012 trolling the International Security Assistance Force on Twitter in 2012 and was once described by the Foreign Police Association as "the geopolitical equivalent of that stupid kid who sat behind you in the classroom and poked you in the middle of class — all for no good reason."
The Taliban cheerleader initially claimed falsely that T&P; was making fun of Gen. Neller. As anyone who is been within 150 feet of Gen. Neller can tell you, that would be a really bad idea:
When T&P; pressed Balkhi for a response on Neller’s comments that the Taliban are apostates, he dropped into standard Islamist rhetoric about the “crusaders” being the enemy – and he said the Taliban’s strategy of killing Afghan civilians with suicide bombs is “going great.”
T&P; repeatedly asked Balkhi how he was connected with the Taliban. Balkhi countered by questioning whether this reporter is actually a man:
Guess who just got blocked on Twitter and reported as spam?
Oh, honey, that Axis of Evil getup is so 2002. You need to get with the times and try on this little number called a Wolf Pack of Rogue States, designed by Mike Pence.
Yes, the Axis is Evil is out, and the Wolf Pack of Rogue States is so, so in.
The vice president mentioned the latest and greatest phrase to describe anti-American super-villain states during a conference in Washington on Wednesday, and clearly, they must all be running around the desert together looking for strippers and cocaine.
"Beyond our global competitors, the United States faces a wolf pack of rogue states. No shared ideology or objective unites our competitors and adversaries except this one: They seek to overturn the international order that the United States has upheld for more that half a century."
According to Pence, the Wolf Pack includes Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. Notably absent: China and Russia, the two states that actually have a shot at seeking "to overturn the international order."
As Daniel Larison notes at The American Conservative, the Wolf Pack crowd's "ability to 'overturn the international order' is practically nil, and it isn't even certain that most of them desire that outcome. If North Korea, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua are our main adversaries, we are as secure as can be and we have very little to worry about."
Pence's wolf pack phrase follows another tried by National Security Advisor John Bolton back in November, when he labeled Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua as a "troika of tyranny" and a "triangle of terror," which make for interesting death metal band names, but seem kind of lame in comparison to the infamous 2002 "Axis of Evil" phrase from David Frum.
But perhaps they can consult with Stitch Jones, the Ayatollah of Rock-and-rolla, for some better branding.
Heartbreak Ridge - Stitch Jones meets Gunnery Sergeant Highway
Maj. Matthew Golsteyn in Afghanistan. (Photo courtesy of Philip Stackhouse.)
Army Special Forces Maj. Matthew Golsteyn – whom President Donald Trump has called "a U.S. Military hero" – will face an Article 32 hearing in March after being charged with murder for allegedly killing a suspected Taliban bomb-maker.
On Dec. 18, the convening authority for Golestyn's case decided to hold the preliminary hearing in connection with the Feb. 28, 2010 incident, Army officials have announced. The proceedings are slated to start on March 14 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.