Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Taliban in Qatar; let's talk, shall we?

It's just a cluster-*#@k of denial, hope and wishful thinking.  First we sit with the Muslim Brotherhood to discuss peace, now we are encouraged that the Taliban will open a branch office in Qatar.  You know, where America can go, sit quietly, sip tea and listen to empty Islamic platitudes and taqiyya-laced "sort of" promises.  In all my years of watching the White House blunder into calamity and disaster, sometimes willingly, these latest attempts at appeasing the alligator stun me almost beyond the capacity for rational thought.

This is madness.

From AP/Yahoo January 3 by Patrick Quinn and Rahim Faiez


Taliban strike deal with Qatar on office there

 KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Afghan Taliban said Tuesday that they have reached a preliminary deal with the Gulf state of Qatar to open a liaison office there, in what could be a step toward formal, substantive peace talks to end more than a decade of war.

I can see the requirements now; 2200 square feet, bathroom, reception area and a kitchen for "cooking"
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid indicated the liaison office will conduct negotiations with the international community but not with the Afghan government — a condition that President Hamid Karzai has indicated he would reject. Mujahid did not say when it would open.
The reported progress came as three bomb blasts hit Kandahar in southern Afghanistan, killing 13.
For the United States and its allies, the idea of a Taliban political office in the Qatari capital of Doha has become the central element in efforts to draw the insurgents into peace talks.
"Right now, having a strong presence in Afghanistan, we still want to have a political office for negotiations," said Mujahid. "In this regard, we have started preliminary talks and we have reached a preliminary understanding with relevant sides, including the government of Qatar, to have a political office for negotiations with the international community."
Granting legitimacy to Islamic hardliners in the name of peace will open a Pandora's box of conundrums, the least of which is to engrave a political legitimacy on what is essentially a religious dogma.  Oh wait, that is exactly what Islam is, as defined by it's leaders.  How will the West deal with that dichotomy when they claim Islam has nothing to do with violence and is not a political party.  Hmmm...I wonder.
Mujahid's emailed statement also said the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan — the name of Afghanistan under Taliban rule — has "requested for the exchange of prisoners from Guantanamo."
He was referring to a Taliban demand that the U.S. military release about five Afghan prisoners believed to be affiliated with the Taliban from the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The Taliban are holding Bowe Bergdahl, a 25-year-old U.S. Army sergeant from Hailey, Idaho, who is the only U.S. soldier held by the insurgents. He was taken prisoner June 30, 2009, in Afghanistan.
From the American perspective, other trust-building measures would involve assurances that the insurgents cut ties with al-Qaida, accept the elected civilian government of Afghanistan and bargain in good faith.
Good luck with that.
In Washington, White House spokesman Jay Carney welcomed "any step ... of the Afghan-led process towards reconciliation."
For the U.S., one goal of talks with the Taliban would be to identify cease-fire zones that could be used as a steppingstone toward a full peace agreement that stops most fighting.
The Obama administration wants to use its current extensive military campaign and an acknowledged but incomplete plan for a long-term American military presence in Afghanistan as leverage to draw the Taliban to talks with Karzai's representatives.
The gradual process of handing over areas of the country to Afghan security control would ideally be marshaled toward encouraging peace talks, by identifying areas where a test ceasefire could be tried, a senior administration official told The Associated Press last week.
There was no immediate comment from the Afghan government to the Taliban statement, but Karzai had agreed not to oppose the opening of a Taliban office in Qatar.
However, the Taliban statement appeared to restate the militants' long-held position that they would speak directly to the U.S. government and not to the Karzai administration, which they consider a puppet government.
"There are two essential sides in the current situation in the country that has been ongoing for the past 10 years. One is the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and the other side is the United States of America and their foreign allies," Mujahid said.
That could torpedo talks before they begin.
Read it all.

No comments: