To build on my CTB colleague Walid Phares recent post, there is another missing element in the analysis of the Taliban's recent advances in Pakistan.
It is the concept or religious precept of taqiyya in Islam and fully embraced by radical Islamists (including the Muslim Brotherhood.
It blesses the concept of disguising one's beliefs, intentions, convictions, ideas, feelings, opinions or strategies from the enemy and the infidel. In practical terms it is manifested as dissimulation, lying, deceiving, vexing and confounding with the intention of deflecting attention, foiling or pre-emptive blocking. See this paper for a deeper look at what the term implies.
So, when the Taliban negotiates certain terms of its taking over parts of Pakistan and promises certain behaviors in return for limited power there, they have no intention of keeping to the terms of the agreement.
Under the terms of taqiyya, such behavior, which we widely view as duplicitous, is simply part of the accepted ways to spread sharia law and the caliphate. It has no moral consequence except to raise the esteem of the practitioner of this art in the eyes of his cohorts.
So, suddenly both the secular Pakistan government and much of the outside world is suddenly shocked by the Taliban violating terms of a truce or promises of modified behavior when they achieve the first of the long-range goal, which is the establishment of sharia law.
Once that is in place, women can be beaten, radio stations shut down, all non-Islamist discourse banned, barbers punished for trimming beards, stoning of adulterers, amputations etc. can go ahead. And with that comes the reign of terror that then pushes other groups to drop their resistance.
The Muslim Brotherhood, and particularly leaders like Tariq Ramadan, are experts in this type of deception. What they say in Arabic is often directly contrary to what they say in English or the native language of their non-Arab audiences. This has been amply documented both in the United States and Europe.
If one understands this is all part of a strategy and a fundamental tactic to lull the infidel into feelings of false security, then one can deal with it.
It is believing that Islamists dialogue with the same intents and purposes that we do that continually causes us grief. Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us the next 50 times, and shame on us.