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Karzai And Taliban Engage In Secret Talks

First this ‘exclusive’ from Al Jazeera from a couple of days ago:

Secret talks in Afghanistan

Al Jazeera learns of talks in Kabul involving Afghan, Pakistani and Taliban officials.

04 Oct 2010

In Afghanistan there’s been a secret meeting involving the Afghan government, the Pakistani government and the Taliban, Al Jazeera has learned.

No one would say what was on the agenda, but each delegate was supposedly attending the talks in a central Kabul hotel in a personal capacity.

Among those in attendance were Mullah Zaeef, Taliban’s ex-ambassador to Pakistan, Mirwais Yasini, the deputy spokesman for the Afghan parliament, and Hikmat Karzai, a cousin of Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president.

Al Jazeera’s colleagues at the Washington Post have developed their scoop, two days later and without attribution:

Taliban in high-level talks with Karzai government, sources say

By Karen DeYoung, Peter Finn and Craig Whitlock
Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Taliban representatives and the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai have begun secret, high-level talks over a negotiated end to the war, according to Afghan and Arab sources.

The talks follow inconclusive meetings, hosted by Saudi Arabia, that ended more than a year ago. While emphasizing the preliminary nature of the current discussions, the sources said that for the first time they believe that Taliban representatives are fully authorized to speak for the Quetta Shura, the Afghan Taliban organization based in Pakistan, and its leader, Mohammad Omar.

"They are very, very serious about finding a way out," one source close to the talks said of the Taliban.

Although Omar’s representatives have long publicly insisted that negotiations were impossible until all foreign troops withdraw, a position seemingly buoyed by the Taliban’s resilience on the battlefield, sources said the Quetta Shura has begun to talk about a comprehensive agreement that would include participation of some Taliban figures in the government and the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops on an agreed timeline.

The leadership knows "that they are going to be sidelined," the source said. "They know that more radical elements are being promoted within their rank and file outside their control. . . . All these things are making them absolutely sure that, regardless of [their success in] the war, they are not in a winning position."

In a better written article it would be clear exactly whose "leadership" is being discussed here. We suspect they mean the Afghan government.

A half-dozen sources directly involved in or on the margins of the talks agreed to discuss them on the condition of anonymity. All emphasized the preliminary nature of the talks, even as they differed on how specific they have been. All expressed concern that any public description of the meetings would undercut them

Certainly the American people, whose treasure and blood are still being spent on the Afghan battlefield have no right to know that the Afghan government is negotiating with the enemy.

Reports of the talks come amid what Afghan, Arab and European sources said they see as a distinct change of heart by the Obama administration toward full backing of negotiations. Although President Obama and his national security team have long said the war would not be won by military means alone, sources said the administration only recently appeared open to talks rather than resisting them

What a laugh. It’s been clear from day one that Mr. Obama is only too eager to find a face-saving way to surrender in Afghanistan.

Whatever domestic political difficulties the administration may fear would result from a negotiated deal with the Taliban, this official said, would be resolved by ending the war earlier rather than later. "A successful policy solves the political problem," he said.

U.S. officials depicted a somewhat different progression leading to the same conclusion, insisting that the time for real negotiations has only now arrived

That’s right. Now is the right time to go public with this news. After all, it’s less than four weeks before the midterms and Mr. Obama has to energize his ‘defeat at any cost’ base somehow.

The administration is under pressure to show progress in resolving the war before the deadline Obama has set of beginning a troop withdrawal next summer. "We all concur that this is a critical year in Afghanistan," Staffan de Mistura, the top U.N. representative in Afghanistan, said in remarks last week at the International Peace Institute in New York.

If the hypothetical endpoint is "that by July next year something will have to be clear," he said, the various players had to start thinking about how they were going to get there. "There is no military solution," he said. "We all know it. And by the way, the Taliban knows it too. . . . And there is only one format for the next months. . . . It is political dialogue, reconciliation, deal." …

This isn’t rocket launcher science. The Taliban know they only have to hold out until July. And, sadly, the Afghan government know that too.

Which is why Mr. Karzai and company are trying to try to work out a power-sharing deal with the Taliban as quickly as possible. Which of course means that eventually the Taliban will win.

Which will show them that they can’t attack the US with impunity and get away with it.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, October 6th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Karzai And Taliban Engage In Secret Talks”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    Soooo … we’re finally down to the nut cutting on the Opium, eh?

  2. Liberals Demise says:

    I’d sooner trust dingleBarry making Health Care affordable to those that can’t afford it.
    Hey wait………………………

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