1) You can read it via the Taliban’s English-language page here.
2) If you don’t want to share your I.P. number with a terrorist web site host, you can download a PDF version from an Army.ca discussion forum on the statement here.
My fave response to the statement – Joshua Foust at Registan.net:
The Taliban say they’re no threat to the west. Ignoring the obvious (and unfair, and problematic) comparison to a certain European ruler, this is like FEMA saying it’s okay, New Orleans, they’re here to help.
Most (to be kind) naive take on the statement, at Antiwar.com:
The Taliban’s message may be a powerful one, considering that following the end of the Soviet occupation Afghan terrorists weren’t swarming through the streets of Moscow, and the war’s continuation is being sold principally on the premise that a pullout would lead to more attacks in Europe and North America.
What Antiwar.com fails to mention is the fact that the Soviets left well before the rise of Al Qaeda (AQ). And to those who say AQ may be waning in Afghanistan, let’s not forget how they helped the Taliban by assassinating a pretty powerful opponent, paving the way for the Taliban to take over in Afghanistan – and you know the rest.
You think AQ’s forgotten this “favour”?
You think the Taliban has? In spite of their statements that AQ’s not around?
Keep enjoying the lies!
UPDATE (2) – Here’s what a NATO analaysis of the statement (PDF) has to say about the “we’re not after our neighbours” messaging:
While US military commanders have acknowledged that the Taliban have a sophisticated information campaign at the field level, this well timed international message indicates an attempt to broaden the scope …. Decision makers in Washington are locked in a debate over how much of a threat the Taliban actually pose. The oft-stated goal of the US presence in Afghanistan is to disrupt and dismantle the al-Qaeda presence. While the Taliban are known to cooperate with the global terrorist organization on an operational level, some believe there are elements within the Taliban who question whether it is in their best strategic interests to maintain the relationship. The Taliban held power in Afghanistan for six years and would likely have remained in power if al Qaeda had not been allowed to use the country to plan the 11 September attacks. If the Taliban can convince western powers that they do not pose a threat to international security, the need for the additional troops recommended by McChrystal would be diminished. …. There is evidence that the Taliban are growing in number, with intelligence reports estimating a fourfold increase since 2006. Having confidence in numbers and closely following public opinion in western countries, as well as recognizing that the current political deadlock over the disputed 20 August elections has left the central government weak, the release of the English language statement appears to be an attempt to influence the debate in Washington and other NATO capitals over the international threat the Taliban pose.