Monday, May 21, 2007

No negotiations

Like many I've gotten weary of the war in Afghanistan ... but we've made a commitment and we need to stick to it, at least until our current military mandate there expires in 2009. I'm not really surprised by the polls that suggest it's time to negotiate with the Taliban -- but the fact remains that the country's next door neighbour, Pakistan, has nuclear weapons and the terrorists will do anything to get their hands on the bomb even if it means overthrowing Pervez Musharraf. And as much as I don't have any affection for Musharraf and his total lack of cooperation in hunting down the Taliban in his country as well as not securing the porous border, I'd still rather talk to him than those who aided and abetted Osama Bin Laden for years.

As for Hamid Karzai, he's blown too many chances and needs to realize the West's patience is about to run out just as it has with Iraq. Offering amnesty to the Taliban was a huge mistake and I think he's realized how big a boo-boo that was.

So I agree with Antonio at Fuddle Duddle. No negotiations, period. The Taliban must be crushed because they don't understand the meaning of good faith -- or human rights.

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berlynn said...

I take great issue with your violent patriarchal stance on this issue. Killing another human being is never -- not ever -- the answer to a problem. The innumerable horrors action creates for women and children should be enough to prove that might is never right.

Anonymous said...


Seriously how can the rights of women and children be advanced in Afghanistan? If you are recalling the somewhat enlightened Afghanistan of the late 1960s and early 1970s, it is no longer a reality. Decades of Stalinism, Karzai cronyism, and Taliban domination have placed this ideal into dreamscape reality.

Pacifism is a noble ideal. However, "violent patriarchal stance" is a post-modern concept that is an equivalent dreamscape reality derived from a social construct. In the end, it is merely discourse based on the interpretation of meanings.

BlastFurnace said...

Berlynn, I too cringe at the idea of taking another human life. In the fog of war, there will always be civilian casualties and it must always give one pause. And Mushroom, your thoughts are right on, especially about Karzai -- nothing more than a hack from the Carlysle Group and Unocal both of which the Bushes have not insignificant stakes in.

If it seems I take this personally, well I do. The brother of a former co-worker of mine was killed in action in Afghanistan. Another lost her uncle in the London bombings. We didn't start this war -- Al Qaeda and the Taliban did.

So no, I am not a pacifist. However, as I stated, I do not support a war without end; especially now with the exploding opium crop in that country. But we made a commitment and we have to keep it with the duty to minimize the losses to innocent people to the bare minimum. But if significant progress isn't made by 2009 it's time to pull out. Karzai has had more than enough chances.