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NYT: The Afghan Vote Issue = Surrender

From the surrender at any price New York Times:

Peace Talks With Taliban Top Issue in Afghan Vote

By CARLOTTA GALL

August 18, 2009

KABUL, Afghanistan — Whether and how to negotiate peace with the Taliban has become the one issue that no candidate in the Afghan presidential election can avoid taking a stand on. There is broad agreement that the war must end, but debate swirls around whether the government of President Hamid Karzai is moving effectively toward persuading the Taliban to end their insurgency.

Although Mr. Karzai has often talked about negotiating with the Taliban, little concrete has happened. The government’s reconciliation program for Taliban fighters is barely functioning. A Saudi mediation effort has stalled. Last-minute efforts to engage the Taliban in order to allow elections to take place remain untested. Meanwhile the Obama administration has just sent thousands more troops here in an attempt to push back Taliban gains.

Mr. Karzai, who polls indicate is still the front-runner, is the most vocal candidate in calling for negotiations, pledging that if he is re-elected he will hold a traditional tribal gathering and invite members of the Taliban and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, another opposition leader, to make peace.

And just in the past few weeks, his government has started several initiatives to approach local Taliban commanders through tribal elders. The government also has started work to win over the tribes by hiring thousands of their young men to be part of a local protection force, primarily to ensure security for elections. But each of Mr. Karzai’s three main opponents is critical of his record in following through on such promises.

Abdullah Abdullah, Ashraf Ghani and Ramazan Bashardost all oppose the Taliban, but they also promise if elected to do better and to make peace a priority. The candidates differ on how to pursue a settlement: by negotiating a comprehensive peace with the Taliban leadership; or by trying to draw away midlevel Taliban commanders and foot soldiers, an approach that has been tried with little success over the past seven years as the ranks of fighters have swelled.

Mr. Abdullah, the candidate for the largest opposition bloc, the National Front, and Mr. Ghani, a former finance minister, say the first step must be a grass-roots approach through community and tribal councils to address the grievances of people who have taken up arms against the government. “If you lose the people, you lose the war,” Mr. Abdullah said in an interview.

Mr. Ghani advocates a cease-fire as the next step, with political negotiations only later. “It’s not going to be easy,” he told journalists at a briefing. “It is going to be quite complex and quite tough, but we need to create the conditions of confidence.”

Among those urging a wide-reaching political solution is the head of the United Nations mission in Afghanistan, Kai Eide. A peace process, or reconciliation as he prefers to call it, has to be a top priority of any new government, as does improving relations with Pakistan, which has long backed the Taliban, he said.

The groundwork for that process needs to be laid through the winter, he says, in order to forestall another season of fighting next spring. He also says that the effort has to be broader than the reconciliation and reintegration of local commanders envisaged by the United States military.

“You have different views — those who believe you can do it locally, from province to province, district to district,” he said. “I don’t think that is the case, I think you have to have a wider process.” …

We forget. Are we supposed to love Mr. Karzai nowadays or hate him?

Of course our media loved him when he was loudly proclaiming (like Mr. Obama) that all our forces do is murder innocent civilians.

And even now he is the loudest voice for surrendering negotiating.

But, still, he has annoyed our media masters by not surrendering already. So he probably isn’t the media’s favorite candidate at the moment.

It’s so hard to keep up.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, August 18th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “NYT: The Afghan Vote Issue = Surrender”

  1. proreason says:

    Under Obama, there is zero chance we will do what is necessary to win in Afghanistan. Surrender is inevitable. It’s only a question of how manyheroes will die before he cuts and runs.

    • catie says:

      Amen to that. He cares nothing about those who serve no matter how much lip service he and the Belle pay to families.

  2. artboyusa says:

    “When British helicopters swooped in…” Ha! Permit me to doubt that ever happened, given the acute shortage of choppers being experienced by UK troops over there. One reason they’re taking so many casulaties is because they have to walk or drive everywhere, since Gordon Brown, our snot gobbling, nail biting, Cyclopean Prime Minister, cut the Army’s helicopter budget from £4m to £2.5m back in 2004, and now there ain’t enough whirly birds to do the job.

  3. bill says:

    Kind of blows up the whole “Afghanistan is the right war ruse” doesn’t it.

  4. Liberals Demise says:

    “NYT: Afghan Vote Issue – Surrender”

    I didn’t know the French were in on this!

  5. How did the Taliban become such a force to deal with? Where did they get their money? Heroin trade? Saudia Arabia? Pakistan?

    Where are the Kurds and the Northern Alliance? All the chieftans who supported us in 2002?

    We need to do what worked in Iraq. Buy off the war lords directly – by-passing Karzai “the caped one”.

    Then take out the poppy fields and teach them to grow organic bell peppers which are about the same price as the opium poppy.

    Seriously, we could buy the entire crop directly from the growers with credits for food, clothes, etc. Breaking the pipeline for three or more years could end the problem.

    Obama then could make the herion availble to seniors at their end-of-life counseling session.

    • canary says:

      OneAmericanCitizen, that’s what I’m trying to figure out. Why Obama is stopped burning down the heroin that pays for their war.

      They bizarre part is the musims are so anti-drinking, but I saw a recent documentary and I forgot how many in Afganistan are addicted to heroin, but it showed women, toddlers, smoking it, and blowing it in baby’s mouth, and the one woman, said it helped them sleep better. And so they will chop off heads for any stupid thing, no pork, (it is a grave sin to eat pork) they can’t do sports, (it takes attention away from God). I saw a clip of one soldier who said you can shoot the taliban several times, and they don’t go down easy, so I think like the North Vietnamies, they smoke before they strike for courage, and to be able to last a bit longer if they are shot, but also hurts their aim. My sniper buddy trained Iraqies his first year over there to shoot, and he said they were slow learners, but maybe they were high.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      Slow learners?
      My take on this is that there may be a lot of inbreeding happening. Cousin on cousin ….. not brother and sister.


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