“Almost every resident of North Waziristan has become a mental patient because of the drone strikes, which are worse than polio. On one hand, the U.S. spends millions of dollars to eliminate polio, while on the other hand it kills hundreds…”
Three ways to play:
1. This is a story for Americans: “the Taliban are baby-hating scum.”
2. The Taliban thinks vaccines are a Western conspiracy to spy/cause impotence.
3. The Taliban is sending a message to the rest of the world, that is impossible for Americans to hear.
The US will rightfully ignore this threat, but– how? The answer is that the US knows those kids have nothing to do with the war, the Taliban is bringing them in to enlarge the scope of the war. But this is the Taliban’s point: the US “knows” this only because the US always gets to decide what’s part of the war and what isn’t.
The Taliban is attacking that US power to decide the scope/casualties/meaning of war. So the Taliban retells the story: war isn’t an event, it is an entire reality which contains all other things. These are all war casualties. And you’re the enemy.
Similarly, Americans “know” that vaccinations are not a CIA plot because we trust American policymakers when they say that it isn’t. But why should they trust this?
To believe that their enemy also has good intentions would be to subvert their own position– and in total war, they will sacrifice anything to support belief.