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Rashida Tlaib Claims Taliban, Formed in 1994, Was Backed by U.S. in the 1980s — But She's Not Completely Wrong


Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib blamed America for the rise of the Taliban on social media Sunday evening, accusing the United States government of supporting the organization back in the 1980s.

“That’s what this is: the horrible consequences of endless war and failed US policy going back to the 1980s when we backed the Taliban against the Soviets. Innocent people suffer the horrors of war while political leaders and arms-dealing corporations sit back and make billions,” posted Tlaib on Twitter.

Tlaib is likely referring to the Afghan Mujahadeen, a coalition of groups aligned together to fight the invading Army of the Soviet Union.

The Taliban was officially formed years later from some components of the Mujahadeen.

A reporter with the New York Times questioned Tlaib’s comments.

“The Taliban did not exist in the 1980s, it did not fight the Soviet Union and it was not backed by the United States. You could fill a library with books about American screw ups in Afghanistan. No need to rely on fictions,” posted writer Matthew Rosenberg.

Editor’s Note: a previous version of this article asserted that Tlaib’s claim was false. The story has been revised to reflect the fact that Tlaib’s assertion contains a noteworthy component of truth. 

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3 responses to “Rashida Tlaib Claims Taliban, Formed in 1994, Was Backed by U.S. in the 1980s — But She’s Not Completely Wrong”

  1. Codydm says:

    Sorry to say it, because I’m not a fan, but actually Rashida is correct. The Taliban was formed by members of the Mujahideen, so your point is really moot. America’s foreign policy in Afghanistan did in fact ultimately lead to the formation of the Taliban as well as Al-Qaeda. Osama Bin Laden was a Mujahideen fighter, backed by the U.S.

  2. Cat_R_Pillar says:

    As much as I don’t like her, she is kind of right. Osama bin Laden was with the Muhajadeen in the 1980s and was backed by America against the Soviets… I believe his name used to be Tim Osman, but that could be wrong

  3. CrispyBacon says:

    She’s clearly confusing the rise of the Taliban with the Mujahideen. It’s not that hard to figure out.