Photo fabrication by Politicano about Ronald Reagan

29 June, 2017

On June 22, 2017, Facebook page Politicano published a photo, which the news agency claims, represents a meeting between US President Ronald Reagan and Taliban members at the White House.

This post is manipulative because the aforementionned photo was taken in 1983 and presents to us Afghan mujahideen, who were fighting against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. The Taliban at that time did not exist at all and was formed in 1994.

Fact N1: The Taliban was formed in 1994, Reagan, on his part, was president of the US until 1989

Ronald Reagan was president of the United States from 1981 to 1989. Taliban was formed in Afghanistan in October 1994. Accordingly, in 1983, Ronald Reagan could not have met members of the Taliban in the White House.

Fact N2: Reagan was meeting in the White House with Afghan mujahideen, not Taliban members

According to Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, the photo was taken in 1983 and shows a meeting with President Reagan and Afghan Mujahideen in the White House, to discuss the military intervention by the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

The United States all along the period of 1979-1989 financed the Afghan mujahideen struggle against Soviet occupation of their country. Financial and military aid was rescinded from the afghan fighters as soon as the Soviet troops disengaged from Afghanistan. Taliban was created during the Afghan civil war in autumn 1994. Their first apparition and funding came from religious sources of diverse  nature. The Taliban believes  in a very strict interpretation of Islam and Sharia law and by extension carries out a brutal policy against Afghan citizens, especially women. During the Taliban reign in Afghanistan, they used the method of burning fertile lands in order to intimidate the populace. According  to the United Nations, in 2010-2012 Taliban is responsible for up to 80% of civilian casualties in Afghanistan.

Mariam Fedrov
Myth Detector Laboratory