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Savvy A***holes

As the world watched in shock as the Taliban waltzed back into Presidential Palace in Kabul, the Taliban decided to throw another sucker punch to the rest of the world. They proceeded to do what they would stone people for 20-years ago when they were last in charge – they proceeded to invite the world’s cameras to a press conference. [LINK]

The Taliban proceeded to do something that nobody expected to them to do at all. They started speaking words of comfort. The said that the rights of women would be protected within the laws of Islam (though they never specified whose interpretation of Islamic laws would prevail) and that they would not allow Afghanistan to used as a launch pad for attacks against other nations (or as expressed in the Israeli series Fauda – the crazies would be controlled).

The Taliban PR campaign wasn’t limited to the press conference. The Taliban spokesperson went as far as to call up a lady presenter to get himself interviewed by a woman: [LINK]

The fact that the Taliban have bothered to address the world media and have said all the “right” things has been as shocking as the ease of their military victory. While the Taliban were out saying all the right things to the international press, the American President and British Prime Minister were left looking rather clumsy and this televised exchange in the House of Commons indicates: [LINK]

As shown by the pictures of Afghans trying to flee the country, it would appear that a good portion of the Afghani population aren’t buying into the “nice” words. The experiences of the last period of Taliban rule have given enough people to distrust the Taliban. There are signs such as the violence used against protestors, that indicate that the new image that the Taliban are trying to project is just that – an image.

You don't run away from people known for being nice

However, it’s still worth asking the question as to why a group that used to revel in their brand image of being the worst kind of religious zealots, even bothering to try and appear nice?

One answer could be that the group has learnt the power of public and international opinion. When they first took over, in the 1996, the only countries that recognised the Taliban government were Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. While countries around the world are more cautious about giving recognition to any Taliban government, there are potential scalps such as China (Second largest economy in the world and with a large and growing military), which has stated that it would be ready for “friendly and cooperative ties” with the Taliban: [LINK]

If the Taliban have realized anything, it is the fact that regimes that are recognised by the rest of the world have a higher chance of survival. Furthermore, diplomatic recognition from the “alternative” superpowers, specifically China or Russia would be, as the example of North Korea has show, a very good insurance policy.

Countries with good reputations also have an easier task in dealing with internal dissent and countries with a “moderate” image, generally speaking, have less issues with their neighbours. Being tarred with the same brush as Osama Bin Ladin and the gang at Al-Qaeda costs them the support from the only three countries that recognised them.

Sure, good PR is only going to get so far and nice words in a press conference will only get one so far unless there’s some actions on the ground back up the words spoken (only countries with a hold on certain things can get away with a PR disconnect).

However, it should say something to the Western world and her allies that the Taliban are getting the value of PR. The USA had a president who called the press “Enemy of the People.” Reporters without borders have talked about the UK government giving “Vindictive” reactions to negative reporting on Covid.

If the big brand Western nations could snap at the press, Singapore went one further. We came up with a POFOMA law, which effectively gave any minister the power to decide what was fake news or not (so, woe betide anyone who wrote something a minister might not like on the day a random minister had a woke up on the wrong side of the bed.)

Open communication works. It should be a frightening sign when a group best known for brutal behavior understands that at a time when advanced nations seem to be forgetting about it.

 

Tang Li

*Although I’ve been based mainly in Singapore for nearly two decades, I’ve had the privilege of being able meet people who have crossed borders and cultures. I’ve befriended ministers and ambassadors and worked on projects involving a former head of state. Yet, at the same time, I’ve had the privilege of befriending migrant labourers and former convicts. All of them have a story to tell. All of them add to the fabric of life. I hope to express the stories that inspire us to create life as it should be.

 

 

yyy
READER COMMENTS BELOW

9 Responses to “Savvy A***holes”

  • A2:

    Now teleban will face covid 19.

    Guns are useless against covid.

    GD Star Rating
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  • Sad situation:

    Ordinary people will suffer there.
    Sad situation when you have incompetent people in Power.
    Election has consequence.

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  • Singaporeans R Free Riders:

    Hello Tang Li,
    The Taliban capture all the cities without having to fire a single bullet.

    Do you know why?

    Because the Afghan are free riders who do not take their NS seriously and do not have sense of honour serving NS like Singaporeans do.

    Watch this video at 12:02. Afghan do not take their NS training seriously.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFidSIE-wns

    Like I said, Afghan just want to free ride on the Americunts just like Oppie supporters.

    While the Americunts just want to rob/plunder other countries for their own self interest and greed.

    Welcome to In Money We Trust…human rights ? Prai$e the $$$$.

    Human rights for Americunts and human dung for you non Americunts.

    “American troops $houldn’t fight in Afghanistan if Afghan forces won’t fight for them$elve$” – Joe Biden, Pre$ident of United $tate$ of America

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.All
    Majullah $PAP$ $PAP$ Huat$ Huat$ Huat$

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  • Temusik Patriot:

    How many will Remember the INSECT @ Afghan/Paki bother to Praise the Taleban fighting the Russians???
    The F…..g bastard was licking the US since they were than supporting the Taleban…
    A Cockroach that is the Insect for you

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  • Ahmad Shah Massoud!:

    The legendary hero of the Afghan Mujahideens who – with the aid of US weapons held out against the Soviet aggression and then they pushed back the Taliban takeover…. until Al-Qaeda assassinated him two days before the 911 attack. Ahmad Shah Massoud had long been warning America about the coming Taliban terrorism…..

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6epDbQfrHQU

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  • xoxo:

    Might Bro USA was in Korean Peninsula; they evacuated.
    It was in Vietnam,again evacuated.
    Stirring and then Evacuating seems to be the pattern?
    Look at even Taiwan,USA stirred the taiwanese,giving them false hopes.
    Then,for own ECONOMIC BENEFITS,MIGHTY BRO withdrawn help n support for Taiwan.
    Now,with the rising Economic Muscle of China,and,fearful of China catching up and overtaking,Big Bro USA is back at old game of STIRRING in Taiwan???

    Actually,the BRITISH were better.
    They still maintain a *commonwealth*.

    I pity Taiwan,even OLYMPIC OFFICIALS can only allow Republic of Taiwan to br flown as Chinese Taipei?
    Ud that such a NATION?
    Even smaller nations,poorer by all measures,are proudly represented by national FLAGS they are more accustomed to?

    WHY DIDNT MIGHTY US say NO,LET ROC flag be flown?

    Makes one wonder.

    Maybe,BIG BRO USA needs newer BIGGER BUDGETS TO MAKE NEWER MORE POWERFUL WEAPONS BUT IT MUST FIRST DISPOSE,by hook or by crook,all the OLD ONES?

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  • Smart Biden:

    Smart Biden do what other Presidents failed.
    Pass the problem back to Taliban to handle.

    GD Star Rating
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  • Temusik Patriot:

    Ahmad Shah Massoud!:
    The legendary hero of the Afghan Mujahideens who – with the aid of US weapons held out against the Soviet aggression and then they pushed back the Taliban takeover…. until Al-Qaeda assassinated him two days before the 911 attack. Ahmad Shah Massoud had long been warning America about the coming Taliban terrorism…..

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6epDbQfrHQU

    Taleban and Mujaheedins were brother in arms…like all political systems its money n back stabbing & Power crazy that will bring a nation and its people to disastet

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  • Singaporeans R Free Riders:

    xoxo:
    Maybe,BIG BRO USA needs newer BIGGER BUDGETS TO MAKE NEWER MORE POWERFUL WEAPONS BUT IT MUST FIRST DISPOSE,by hook or by crook,all the OLD ONES?

    Smart Biden:
    Smart Biden do what other Presidents failed.
    Pass the problem back to Taliban to handle.

    No money no talk. In $ We Trust.

    When you are penniless or had outlive your usefulness, you will be abandoned just like a soiled underwear.

    U$A also live by the motto of what i$ wrong with collecting more money.

    Oppie here and the Hong Kees are so gullible and easily fools by Americunt$.

    Where are all the pro-demoncracy Hong Kees who carry U$ flag during the protest ? And where are the churches who supported the protest ?

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.All
    Majullah $PAP$ $PAP$ Huat$ Huat$ Huat$

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