Afghanistan expert, Samina Ahmed, South Asia Project Director of Crisis Group has lamented the simplistic classification of Taliban by Washington as "Good Taliban" and "Bad Taliban"
"Stupid Americans need to go beyond their Hollywood-inspired stereotypical division of humanity into 'good' or 'bad' and learn about different shades of gray that lie between the extremes of good and bad." said Mrs Ahmed in exasperation.
"Life is more complex, you know. Talibanis are neither good nor bad, mostly they are stupid or mad. The most visible and extensive group of Taliban is made up of "Freaking Crazy Taliban". These are the global jihadis, the ones who do the craziest things believing very sincerly that they are doing utmost good for Islam. We also have "Sad Taliban" - these are the poor unfortunates, those who are so depressed by lack of opportunities in Afghan society that joining Taliban seems to be the only viable option to vent out their frustrations. Then there is "Blow-hard Taliban" - this group consists of those who just enjoy shooting off their big mouths or guns and bragging about their conquests and killings."
According to Samina Ahmed, its not just the Americans who are searching for Good Taliban. "The Talibanis are also frantically searching for the elusive "Good Americans" with whom they can do business with confidence and trust. Someone who won't use their extreme lunacy temporarily to serve their own interests and then start gunning after them once their cause is served and they are no longer useful to them."
"The Talibanis - the good, bad, ugly, crazy, sad or mad - all of them feel betrayed that the Yankees created them, armed them, funded them, made them fight for them, but turned against them once they were in power. They have now completely lost faith in Americans and are reluctant to do any business with them, considering all Americans as ugly" said Samina Ahmed.
Ahmed pointed out that the so-called "Bad Taliban" were actually considered "Very Good Taliban" by Americans when they were involved in fighting the "Bad Russians", while the currently "Good Taliban" was considered "Shady or Untrustworthy Taliban" during those days.
"When Americans and Pakistanis created Taliban, they needed hard-core lunatics, incorrigible Islamic radicals who were so motivated by their faith, so committed to their cause that they would fight till their last breadth to defeat the red Russians. These lunatics were highly valued by CIA and ISI and were looked at as "Very Good Taliban" due to their ability to wage war tirelessly and relentlessly against their perceived enemies. On the other hand, the mercenaries who could be persuaded to fight in exchange for cold, hard cash were not trusted since many of them used to switch sides when offered greater incentives by the Northern Alliance or similar groups armed by the Russians or Uzbekistanis" expained Samina.