Taliban Sends Rambling, Angry Letter to Congress

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The Taliban has now joined cranks, early Tea Partiers, and your grandmother in the pantheon of people who send rambling, angry letters to members of Congress. The Wall Street Journal's Matthew Rosenberg reports:

In a rambling "open letter" to Congress, the Taliban's spokesman said he wanted to present American lawmakers with "a true picture of the ground realities" of the war in Afghanistan, which he insisted the U.S. can't win.

...The letter was e-mailed to news organizations Sunday, and it differed little from the countless statements the Taliban have released over the years. Many have been aimed at Americans, at times directly saying so.

But this was believed to be the first addressed to Congress, perhaps an indication of how closely the militants pay attention to the U.S media, which of course has been filled in the past week with stories about Congress—and what Americans are expecting of their many new representatives.

Rosenberg says the letter is 2,300 words long and written in "problematic" English. The reporter also takes a shot at the Afghan government: "The Taliban have in the past nine years become a relatively media-savvy organization, especially for Afghanistan, where major government ministries sometimes ask reporters to fax questions—in a country with few working land lines, and thus almost no fax machines."

There have recently been a number of very discouraging signs on the possibility of Taliban peace talks. But now that Taliban leaders appear to be engaging in that most democratic practice--complaining to elected officials--perhaps further engagement could be in store.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.