Monday, January 29, 2007

Afghan surprise

Oh, boy. George Bush's War on Terror® is taking another hit as Hamid Karzai offers peace talks and negotiation with the Taliban.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Monday offered peace talks with a resurgent Taliban after the bloodiest year since the hardline Islamists were ousted in 2001 and amid warnings of a violent spring offensive. ...

"While we are fighting for our honour, we still open the door for talks and negotiations with our enemy who is after our annihilation and is shedding our blood."
This will not be viewed well by a White House insistent upon war as the first and only solution for a world troubled by war. This is especially notable after news that NATO allies were balking at requests by the White House to send more troops to Afghanistan and that NATO had admitted that it had killed "too many civilians" last year. Perhaps Karzai was not convinced by the Secretary General of NATO, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, that NATO allies would send the kind of message the Taliban were likely to pay attention to
The fact that you saw so many people from the international community sitting around the table is a strong message itself.
I'm certain that had the Taliban quaking.

Karzai is finally forced to recognize that the invasion of Afghanistan was a mere diversion to the larger goal of invading Iraq. The US and now NATO have never had sufficient troop levels there nor do they seem inclined to deliver them. So the choice for Karzai is to let the war simmer, killing untold numbers of Afghans, while the Taliban grows in strength, or, as he has done here, face reality and try to end the bloodshed. Because all the White House appears willing to do is keep things on a slow and bloody boil.


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