Taliban and ISAF battle it out, in 140 characters or less

The insurgency takes on a personal dimension at the micro-blogging site, Twitter.


Express December 05, 2011

PESHAWAR: War is horrific and impersonal; unless it’s being waged on a website that features blue birds.

The Taliban and Isaf take on each other not just in the forbidding, treacherous terrain of eastern and southern Afghanistan, they attack, taunt and take jibes at each other, in 140 characters or less, on popular microblogging site, Twitter.

A series of exchanges between @ISAFmedia, the force’s official account, and @ABalkhi, the account for a user named Abdulqahar Balkhi purportedly associated with the Taliban, reveals another face of the war in Afghanistan.

November 21

ABalkhi: Nooristan: ISAF raid homes in at 01:00 am in Kamdish district’s Kamo village, search homes, martyr 6 innocent civilians (shot dead) b4 leaving.

ISAFmedia: Another false report.

November 17

ISAFmedia: In the Game of Tweets, you win or you ... become @ABalkhi I guess

ABalkhi: Thats why they picked you for this job. If I wasn’t here, you wouldn’t have a job.

November 17

ABalkhi: Article CSM [Christian Science Monitor]: 1000s Afghan mercenaries hired by CIA in Afghanistan. Commit outright human rights abuses (rape, robery, extra judicial killing etc).

ISAFmedia: We don’t hire mercs to commit murder/rape/torture. OTOH ... that seems to be a core competency among Taliban

ABalkhi: Your officials admitted to it dumb dumb. And how can you talk about Taliban when u cut fingers etc and use them as trophies

ISAFmedia: Dumb dumb? How the dialogue elevates. Look: Nobody takes you seriously. Everything you type is wrong. Just. Stop.

November 16

ABalkhi: Breaking: ISAF helicopter shot down in Ghazni’s Qarabagh district last night during raid. 13 killed according to witnesses. Area cordoned off

ISAFmedia: Nope again. No ISAF helo shot down last night. Nice try.

November 14

ABalkhi: Why are you capturing civilians? Afghan Officials Say They Captured Taliban Spokesman [LINK]

ISAFmedia: Story you linked states he was official Taliban spokesman. Taliban = hardly a civilian.

October 14

ISAFmedia:  IJC: Taliban has not been successful. Badr offensive failed. Not taken single objective they said they would

ABalkhi: OK so takng out of key puppt leaders, kndhar prsn break, expndng reach to nrth, trgetng enmy bses n centrs n Kabul no achievmnts?

ISAFmedia: IJC: Over winter, we’ll remain on offensive and drive home our initiative. ANA will lead even more as they develop capabilities

ABalkhi: Why not over summer????

September 20

ISAFmedia: GEN Allen 2 insurgents: now is time, join AFG future ... otherwise we will fight you. We’re looking at you @abalkhi

ABalkhi: We have joined Afghan future but unfortunately you do not fit in that picture

September 14

ISAFmedia: Re: Taliban spox on #Kabul attack: the outcome is inevitable. Question is how much longer will terrorist put innocent Afghans in harm’s way?

ABalkhi: I dnt knw.u hve bn pttng thm n ‘harm’s way’ fr da pst 10 yrs.Razd whole vllgs n mrkts.n stil hv da nrve to tlk bout ‘harm’s way.

July 20

ISAFmedia: 400+ Afghan National Security Forces patrol Lashkar Gah with no assistance from coalition forces to eliminate insurgents

ABalkhi: If 4000+ ‘coalition’ forces could not stop Mujahideen in Lashakrgah, 400+ of their puppets wont last for long… edited by gulraiz khan

Published in The Express Tribune, December 5th, 2011.

Facebook Conversations

COMMENTS (10)

rafiq | 8 years ago | Reply | Recommend

Why many of us tend to think Taliban to be living in caves and out of touch with reality. If they are fighting America for past one decade, then they could engage in an argument on twitter or facebook. First rule of the battle is to understand your enemy, otherwise, half battle is lost.

bangash | 8 years ago | Reply | Recommend

I doubt these are Taliban. Its most likely some pro-Taliban kids who are themselves living in the West, you can tell just from their expression and English.

Overall a waste of everyone's time and energy.

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