FIRST CAME THIS: Taliban warns Obama of Afghan bloodshed – 1 Feb 09
Mullah Mohamad Rasul, a Taliban leader who survived the US military operation in Afghanistan in 2001, meets Al Jazeera in the tribal regions between Afghanistan and Pakistan. He says that the Taliban are getting ready for a new battle, and that boosting US forces in Afghanistan will only lead to more bloodshed.
AND THIS: Taliban commander to Obama ” Change your ways & we might talk to you ” – 18 Feb 09
Pakistani government officials announced Monday an agreement with the Taliban to allow strict Islamic law, or sharia, to be implemented in parts of North West Frontier Province. It marks a major concession by the Pakistani government in its attempt to hold off Taliban militants who have terrorized the region with beheadings, kidnappings, and the destruction of girls’ schools.
THEN COMES THIS: Obama is ready to sell out to the Taliban – 7 Mar 09
WASHINGTON —President Obama declared in an interview that the United States was not winning the war in Afghanistan and opened the door to a reconciliation process in which the American military would reach out to moderate elements of the Taliban. (Moderate Taliban is an oxymoron)
Asked if the United States was winning in Afghanistan, a war he effectively adopted as his own last month by ordering an additional 17,000 troops sent there, Mr. Obama replied flatly, “No.” (Gee that’s the same thing he said about Iraq, even after we were winning)
Obama said on the campaign trail last year that the possibility of breaking away some elements of the Taliban “should be explored,” an idea also considered by some military leaders. But now he has started a review of policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan intended to find a new strategy, and he signaled that reconciliation could emerge as an important initiative, mirroring the strategy used by Gen. David H. Petraeus in Iraq.
At the same time, he acknowledged that outreach may not yield the same success. “The situation in Afghanistan is, if anything, more complex,” he said. “You have a less governed region, a history of fierce independence among tribes. Those tribes are multiple and sometimes operate at cross purposes, and so figuring all that out is going to be much more of a challenge.”
For American military planners, reaching out to some members of the Taliban is fraught with complexities. For one thing, officials would have to figure out which Taliban members might be within the reach of a reconciliation campaign, no easy task in a lawless country with feuding groups of insurgents And administration officials have criticized the Pakistani government for its own reconciliation deal with local Taliban leaders in the Swat Valley, where Islamic law has been imposed and radical figures hold sway. Pakistani officials have sought to reassure administration officials that their deal was not a surrender to the Taliban, but rather an attempt to drive a wedge between hard-core Taliban leaders and local Islamists.
Hey, Obama, is this the kind of ‘moderate’ Taliban system of government you had in mind?
RELATED TALIBAN STORIES: (See any ‘moderates’ here?)