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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Obama Sues for Peace in Afghanistan

I have always opposed U.S. ground involvement in Afghanistan, and now, almost two years into his presidency, Obama is acknowledging his mistake and seeking a graceful exit from the war. Obama's solution, which will allow him to honor his pledge to withdraw troops in 2011, essentially involves surrender to the Taliban. In a Washington Post article entitled "Taliban in high-level talks with Karzai government, sources say" written by Karen DeYoung, Peter Finn and Craig Whitlock (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/05/AR2010100506249.html), we are told of "secret" talks between Karzai and the Taliban:

"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."

Secret talks? I suppose that's why they are being disclosed by The Washington Post to millions of people around the globe. Moreover, as reported by Reuters today (http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2010/10/06/world/international-us-afghanistan-usa.html?hp), Karzai "has formed a 70-member peace council in recent weeks to work toward negotiations." This is of course in keeping with the rule of thumb that anytime you want to keep peace negotiations secret, you never appoint more than 70 persons to hammer out the terms of such an agreement.

Of course, according to The Washington Post article, there are those saying that the Taliban is suing for peace:

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

. . . .

Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, told reporters last week that high-level Taliban leaders had 'sought to reach out' to the top level of the Karzai government. 'This is how you end these kinds of insurgencies,' he said."

Taliban leaders are "reaching out"? Perhaps Petraeus is referring to Taliban attacks this week on tankers carrying fuel from Pakistan to NATO forces (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/07/world/asia/07pstan.html?hp).

Actually, as observed in The Washington Post article, it is the Obama administration that is sending out different signals:

"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.

. . . .

The Europeans said the American shift began in the summer, as combat intensified with smaller-than-expected NATO gains despite the arrival of the full complement of new U.S. troops, amid rising U.S. public opposition to the war.

. . . .

Last month, Obama pressed his national security team to be more specific about what it meant by a political solution, and 'reinforced' the need to be working simultaneously on the military and political sides of the equation, the official said.

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."

Yes, by hook or crook, Obama will withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan in 2011, and thus seek to obviate any presidential primary challenge by Hillary. The only question remaining is, in the words of Bruce Springsteen:

Whose blood will spill, whose heart will break,
Who'll be the last to die for a mistake?

1 comment:

  1. 1200 have died so far.
    Not to diminish our brave soldiers in the field,but Obama's CMH award presentations to Afghan servicemen is a bit self serving.

    ReplyDelete