As we bury Havel and Hitchens, Joe Biden says the Taliban ain’t so bad

by Ryan Streeter on December 19, 2011. Follow Ryan on Twitter.

Did anyone else find it ironic today that – just as we are in the process of offering tributes to Vaclav Havel and Christopher Hitchens, two men who used the power of language to confront tyranny and oppression – the Vice President of the United States decided to obfuscate the definition of evil that Havel and Hitchens gave so much of themselves to articulate?

In a Newsweek/Daily Beast interview, Biden said:

Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy. That’s critical. There is not a single statement that the president has ever made in any of our policy assertions that the Taliban is our enemy because it threatens U.S. interests. If, in fact, the Taliban is able to collapse the existing government, which is cooperating with us in keeping the bad guys from being able to do damage to us, then that becomes a problem for us.

So the Taliban becomes a problem for us if it complicates our dealings with the Afghan government, but not because they have been killing our soldiers?

I missed Havel and Hitchens the moment I heard they were dead. Now I miss them more.