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Tipsheet

AP Claims Afghanistan 'Safer' Under Taliban Rule

AP Photo/Wali Sabawoon

It's been some 171 days since President Biden stranded Americans behind enemy lines in Afghanistan at the "conclusion" of his withdrawal of American forces after two decades of war that ended with Taliban fighters toppling the Afghan government. In the six months since Biden's deadly and disastrous withdrawal, according to an Associated Press report this week, Afghans are actually "safer" than they were before.

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The AP's report notes that "Afghanistan has undergone a dramatic transformation in half a year of Taliban rule," but doesn't outline how devastating the transformation has been, nor how it seems to be escalating in recent weeks. But according to AP, "the country feels safer, less violent than it has in decades."

The AP's own report continues by undermining its claim of a "safer" Afghanistan under Taliban rule. "Taliban have cracked down on women’s protests and harassed journalists, including briefly detaining two foreign journalists working with the U.N. refugee agency last week," the report explains, and "the sight of armed Taliban fighters roaming the street still jars and frightens residents." But AP's reporting stops short of explaining the full scope of Taliban violence and increasing concern around the world for what's being uncovered in Afghanistan.

Whether The AP's portrayal of Afghanistan as a safer place following the Taliban's bloody campaign to take control of the country is an attempt to make Biden's reckless departure look less consequential or just straight Taliban propaganda is unclear. But a piece that makes a bigger deal out of the problems arising from educated elites fleeing Afghanistan (who wouldn't) than Taliban violence to paint a half-rosy picture of Taliban tyranny is an impressive head-in-the-sand feat.

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As Townhall reported in the wake of Biden's withdrawal from Afghanistan, the "businesslike and professional" Taliban (as the Biden administration described them) promised a return to their barbaric "justice" system in an interview with — who else — AP. The Taliban said then that "cutting off of hands is very necessary for security." Sounds safe?

The Taliban also killed and hanged four men in the city of Herat, including one from a crane in the city square and the other three at other points in the city. According to the Taliban, the men took part in a kidnapping and were killed by police before being strung up around the city. That whole situation sounds like anything but a "safer" Afghanistan. 

In another Taliban interview with AP, a spokesperson said "they will not work with the U.S. to contain extremism in Afghanistan," only making the country more dangerous as the country is again able to become a hotbed of extremist terrorist activity. 

Putting an exclamation point on the increasing — not decreasing — According to a New York Times report this month, the U.N. has documented "at least 100 extrajudicial killings of former security force members" in the last six months while "human rights groups say the real number is much larger" due to "an increasing number of abusive detentions and disappearances" as well. The BBC also reported on the mounting evidence that the Taliban is engaged in reprisal arrests and killings as it works to solidify its power over the Afghan people.

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So no, Afghanistan is not "safer" or "less violent" after six months of Taliban rule in the wake of Biden's botched withdrawal. 

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