NYT: Obama leaning towards talks with Taliban leaders

NYT: Obama leaning towards talks with Taliban leaders

posted at 10:07 pm on March 12, 2010 by Allahpundit
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Not quite yet — there’s still the little matter of cleaning out Kandahar to attend to — but if that operation goes according to plan, then maybe. Here’s what I’ll say in semi-defense of this. If you think the Taliban leadership would accept peaceful co-existence with Karzai, then now’s the right time to lean on them. They’ve been run out of Marja and, presumably, will soon be run out of Kandahar; they’ve lost a bunch of top people to raids by Pakistani intel and U.S. drone attacks, with more doubtless to come; and they’re allegedly getting tired of Al Qaeda. The goal always is to negotiate from a position of strength, and this is as strong as we’ve been in awhile. The question, simply, is whether you think negotiations will achieve something meaningful and lasting.

I’m highly skeptical.

President Obama met with his war cabinet on Friday, and the issue of reconciling with the Taliban is gaining traction, even as administration officials debate whether the time is right…

“It is now more a question of ‘when’ than a question of ‘if,’ ” the administration official said, when asked about the idea of reconciliation talks with senior Taliban officials…

But both officials added that, for now, there are no plans for reaching out soon to high-ranking Taliban leaders. That effort, they said, is likely to wait until after the United States takes on Taliban insurgents in Kandahar in what is expected to be the next major military offensive in Afghanistan…

Mr. Gates, traveling in Afghanistan this week, said that despite the success of the Marja offensive, it was too early to expect reconciliation with some senior Taliban members, cautioning not to get “too impatient.” He said that Taliban leaders would not be interested until “they see that the likelihood of their being successful has been cast into serious doubt,” adding, “My guess is they’re not at that point yet.”

My guess is they’ll never be at that point, at least in the sense of being willing to make a commitment to peace that they’ll keep. They will, quite possibly, reach the point where they’re willing to engage in a phony reconciliation, just as tribal chiefs were willing to reach “truces” with Musharraf again and again vowing that they’d keep jihadis out of the tribal areas in return for sovereignty. Surprisingly, they lied, and they’ll lie again if only to give The One the political cover he needs to start drawing down. Which brings us to this amazing statement made today by Pakistan’s foreign minister:

President Obama’s plan to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan in July 2011 has emboldened terrorists and increased distrust of U.S. intentions in the region, Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Thursday.

“The administration’s withdrawal date was music to the ears of the militants and terrorists,” Qureshi said in an exclusive interview with The Washington Examiner. “This sends the wrong signal, and you will have chaos and confusion in Afghanistan if this comes to fruition.”

Meeting with a reporter in his Islamabad office, Qureshi said, “If we walk away sort of leaving things half-baked, that could be the worst thing you could have done to regional stability.”…

An Afghan official with knowledge of current military operations in Afghanistan told The Examiner that the announcement of a planned withdrawal date made the people of his country apprehensive about openly supporting the U.S.-led NATO mission.

I was under the impression that the withdrawal timeframe was music to the ears of Pakistan since it gave them hope that their Taliban proxy would soon be back on the march in Afghanistan and threatening Kabul. To have their own foreign minister now warning Obama not to leave is … perplexing. Either Qureshi is blowing all kinds of smoke or, perhaps, the Pakistani posture towards the Taliban really has changed. But in that case, barring any prospect of near(ish)-term American withdrawal, the only incentive the Taliban has to engage in conciliation talks is if they really, truly fear they’ll be annihilated. With plenty of them still left in Pakistani cities like Karachi and Quetta, how likely is that? In which case, why talk?

I’ve linked it a bunch of times before but if you’ve never read Bill Roggio’s and Thomas Joscelyn’s analysis of why Al Qaeda will flourish wherever the Taliban exists, read it now. Seriously.

The Taliban’s Response to Obama Afghanistan Policy

The Taliban’s Response to Obama Afghanistan Policy

By Jane Jamison

President Obama’s speech this week to the nation about his “plan” for the war in Afghanistan doesn’t please very many in this country. Apparently, it doesn’t impress the enemy either.

It took a day to get the translation done, but the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban) now has a response. It is a warning for America: Get ready to die. 
Here is the Obama “plan” as outlined Tuesday evening:
1. Rather than 40,000 troops surged to the war zone as his general recommends, Obama will “dribble” in 30,000 over the next twelve months.   Why only 30,000? We weren’t told.
2. As soon as the 30,000 extra troops are finally on the ground in Afghanistan next year, Obama intends to begin withdrawing them. Why? Because he says so.
Obama’s plan to increase troop levels in Afghanistan has withering support from dithering Democrats like Nancy Pelosi and Anna Eshoo, and certainly not from foaming-at-the-mouth antiwar groups like Code Pink. Many Republicans fret that the “plan” is yet another half-gassed, half-a****-war à la Bush-1 and Bush-2.
The non-profit counterterrorism organization “Nine-Eleven Finding Answers” Foundation (NEFA Foundation) has obtained, translated, and transcribed a statement from the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, which has been issued in response to President Obama’s directive on the Afghanistan war.
The unsigned statement is chillingly insightful and threatening. Full text here.
Here are some excerpts:
The essence of the strategy shows that the needs and wants of the American people have been overlooked during the framing of this strategy and it has been formulated under the pressure of (Army) Generals in the Pentagon, the American Neo-conservatives and the wealthiest few in America and for the protection of their interests. Hence it is a strategy of colonialism….
He wants to lessen the sensitivities of the Afghans about the surge of 30,000 troops through the ploy of ostensibly starting troops’ withdrawal in 2011. He also intends to decrease the opposition of the American public (to the troops surge) and encourage his international Allies to send more troops. But this stratagem will not pay off.  
1. The reinforcement will result in (their) fatalities….
2. Throughout the history of Afghanistan, the Afghans have not been subjugated through deceits, ploys, materials power, troop reinforcement and military might of the foreigners. Therefore, the reinforcement of the American troops and other tactics will not have impact on the status quo. But the reinforcements will provide better opportunities for the Mujahedeen to launch offensives. On the other hand, it will deepen the crisis of the American economy which is already in shambles.
3. Obama’s assertion to increase and train more soldiers and police for the Kabul Administration is pointless and not result-oriented….
4. We neither have bases in Pakistan nor do we need such bases outside Afghanistan. We have control over vast swathes of land in the country and do not face any problem about our activities and residence…
5. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has frequently said that we have no intention of harming any one. Therefore, the presence of foreign invading forces in Afghanistan has nothing to do with the security of the world. Obama sometimes calls this war, a war of necessity; sometimes he calls it a war for the defense of the West and some times, a war being waged for the security of the world.
They raise the issue of our residing in Pakistan in order to distract the attention (of the world) from our capability and strong resistance in Afghanistan….”
6. The Mujahedeen of the Islamic Emirate have worked out a vast strategy and prepared for strong resistance ….The Mujahedeen have high morale and complete readiness and believe that Obama’s new strategy will fail like it did previously. It will face fiasco.
We deem it necessary to remind the American rulers if you persist in your aggressive policy, America will end up being disintegrated itself, instead of maintaining the occupation in Afghanistan….
We want to point out that the Muslim people of Afghanistan want to lay down their lives and properties willingly but are never ready to give up their faith and freedom…. you must wait a more severe reaction in the years to come.
It does seem our enemies in Afghanistan understand us much better than we understand them.
The English-language website of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan announces that the following has happened in the past forty-eight hours in Afghanistan:
Twelve U.S. soldiers were killed yesterday when two U.S. military tanks were ambushed near the Zormandah area of Khugiano district.
Three soldiers were killed in a surprise attack on a NATO patrol near the capital of Murghab district in Badghis province.
Eighteen Afghan and foreign soldiers were killed and “dozens” injured in Kandahar as they searched a home for suspects in a previous bombing incident.
Jane Jamison is publisher of the conservative news and commentary blog, uncoverage.net.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/12/the_talibans_response_to_obama.html at December 05, 2009 – 10:34:16 PM EST

Why can’t we fight the Taliban at home?


Why can’t we fight the Taliban at home?
TheSpec.com – Opinions – Why can’t we fight the Taliban at home?

<!– PUBLISH DATE TimeSincePublished(“2008-08-21-04:30:00″,”2008-08-21″,”Aug. 21, 2008”);–>
The Hamilton Spectator

(Aug 21, 2008)”We are looking for a solution from people who are a cause of this problem.” Such were the remarks delivered by Tarek Fatah, a progressive Muslim activist, in a recent Muslim community outreach event organized by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service in co-operation with Peel Regional Police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The event was aimed at addressing the radicalization of Muslim youth. Some prominent imams and Muslim student leaders commented on the situation, and a group of progressive Muslims from Canadian Muslim Congress was also there to counter the radical thoughts.

Questions come to mind at times like this, such as: Do such events help in eradicating radicalization? I don’t think so, because we don’t have clear laws to handle Islamists’ extremist ideologies.

That’s why we haven’t taken any action against a man and his fellows who suggested that Muslims should attack Canadian soldiers on Canadian soil. We haven’t taken any action against many Islamists in Canada who openly support the Taliban and, despite being Canadians themselves, show their hatred to Canada because of its western values.

Is it not an irony that we are fighting the Taliban thousands of miles away in Afghanistan, but are unable to fight them and their ideology here at home? Now the Taliban even dare to write an open letter to us, threatening Canada to stay away from the conflict.

Is it too much work for our politicians to work on potential legislation that could challenge the hatred ideologies spread by Islamists every day? Unfortunately, I haven’t heard anything like that from our political circles.

On the other hand, Islamists in Canada seem pretty smart. They have infiltrated political parties, they are taking shelter from our feel-good media and human rights groups. They are taking positions in government offices, intelligence institutions and campuses.

And they are trying to distract a vast silent majority of Muslims who too often fall prey to their agenda.

So the question remains, how could our intelligence resources and law enforcement agencies bring radicals to justice without proper legislation? They can’t, of course.

CSIS chief Andy Ellis and RCMP Inspector Jamie Jagoe analyzed very well in their presentations about the evolutionary process of radicalization, but seem helpless to execute adequate measures against it.

They apparently seek help even from those circles which, in Tarek Fatah’s words, are “a cause of the problem.”

If we were able to send back to their homelands some of the Islamists who openly hate Canada, there would be a clear message sent to rest of the group.

Hasan Mahmud, a Bengali-Canadian author of a book on Islam and sharia, pointed out another challenge during his talk to the officers: The Muslim community and Canadian society both need a modern interpretation of Islam in order to combat radical interpretation of Islam.

He is right. Unfortunately our media, national, provincial and local institutes, government bodies, political parties and society in general consider Muslim groups who appear most fundamentalist and radical as the representatives of Islam.

So far the Canadian government hasn’t taken any steps to press Islamists to tolerate the values of a free society. Rather, Islamists are pushing Canadians to tolerate their extreme hateful ideologies.

Without recognizing and encouraging progressive Muslims’ roles and participation, our government and its intelligence resources won’t be able to fight Islamic radicalization.

Tahir Aslam Gora is a Pakistani-Canadian writer living in Burlington. goratahir@yahoo.ca



Pakistan: okay, well, maybe our spies are linked to terrorists.

Bush Threatens Pakistan With Retaliation For “Even Just One More Attack”

If this is “neglect”, let’s have more of it!

If this is ‘neglect’, let’s have more of it

Jerome J. Schmitt
The Democrats and the Mainstream Media have told us time and again that the Bush Administration has been neglecting the ‘real’ war-on-terror in Afghanistan by needlessly diverting scarce resources to the war in Iraq.  Somehow this “neglect” has resulted in the killing of top Taliban leaders, such as the vicious Mullah Dadullah, and the total repulse of the Taliban’s “spring offensive”.  Now there are increasing reports  (hat tip Hot Air) of the Taliban disintegrating amidst betrayals, recrimination and distrust

If this is “neglect”, let’s have more of it!

Inside the Taliban’s heart of darkness

Dead Taliban Leader Was Training U.S. Citizens

Dead Taliban Leader Was Training U.S. Citizens

American jihadis. Were they “radicalized” here? In which mosques, and by whom? Does anyone know? Does anyone care? “Dead Taliban Leader Was Training U.S. Recruits,” by Brian Ross and Christopher Isham for ABC News:

Thirty-six hours before he was killed by U.S. forces, Taliban Commander Mullah Dadullah said he was training American and British citizens to carry out suicide missions in their home countries, according to a videotape interview to be broadcast on ABC News’ “World News” Monday.“We will be executing attacks in Britain and the U.S. to demonstrate our sincerity,” he told an Afghan interviewer, “to destroy their cities as they have destroyed our cities.”

A senior U.S. official told the Blotter on ABCNews.com that recent intelligence reports confirmed Dadullah’s claim that U.S. citizens were being trained in Taliban and al Qaeda camps.

“The number is small, not large, but even one is dangerous,” the official said.

In the interview, Dadullah said, “This is our religious and moral duty to train suicide bombers against the nuclear power of the infidels, and they will be used when they are needed, whether they are one, 10 or 20.”

Pakistan: The Taliban takeover

Pakistan: The Taliban takeover

“You must understand that Pakistan and Islam are synonymous.” Misunderstanders of Islam growing ever more assertive and confident in Pakistan; where is the vast majority of moderates to explain to them that they are getting their religion all wrong? We saw the anti-Sharia demonstrators recently, but they were unable to stop the government’s capitulation to the hardliners. Apparently the Musharraf regime knows which group is the Tiny Minority of Extremists, and which is the mainstream.

By Ziauddin Sardar for the New Statesman, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:

Pakistan is reverberating with the call of jihad. Taliban-style militias are spreading rapidly out from provinces in the far north-west. The danger to the country and to the rest of the world is escalating“You must understand,” says Maulana Sami ul-Haq, “that Pakistan and Islam are synonymous.” The principal of Darul Uloom Haqqania, a seminary in Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), is a tall and jovial man. He grabs my hand as he takes me round the seminary. Maulana ul-Haq laughs when I ask his views on jihad. “It is the duty of all Muslims to support those groups fighting against oppression,” he says.

The Haqqania is one of the largest madrasas in Pakistan. It produces about 3,000 graduates, most from exceptionally poor backgrounds, every year. The walls of the student dormitory are decorated with tanks and Kalashnikovs. A group of students, all with black beards, white turbans and grey dresses, surrounds me. They are curious and extremely polite. We chat under the watchful eye of two officers from Pakistan’s intelligence services. What would they do after they graduate, I ask. “Serve Islam,” they reply in unison. “We will dedicate our lives to jihad.”

Pakistan is reverberating with the call of jihad. For more than two months, the capital, Islamabad, has been held hostage by a group of burqa-clad women, armed with sticks and shouting: “Al-jihad, al-jihad.” These female students belong to two madrasas attached to the Lal Masjid, a large mosque near one of the city’s main supermarkets. I found the atmosphere around the masjid tense, with heavily armed police surrounding the building. Though the students were allowed to go in and out freely, no one else could enter the mosque. The women are demanding the imposition of sharia law and the instant abolition of all “dens of vice”. Away from the masjid, Islamabad looked like a city under siege.

A new generation of militants is emerging in Pakistan. Although they are generally referred to as “Taliban”, they are a recent phenomenon. The original Taliban, who ruled Afghanistan briefly during the 1990s, were Afghan fighters, a product of the Soviet invasion of their country. They were created and moulded by the Pakistani army, with the active support of the United States and Saudi money, and the deliberate use of madrasas to prop up religious leaders. Many Taliban leaders were educated at Haqqania by Maulana Sami ul-Haq. The new generation of militants are all Pakistani; they emerged after the US invasion of Afghanistan and represent a revolt against the government’s support for the US. Mostly unemployed, not all of them are madrasa-educated. They are led by young mullahs who, unlike the original Taliban, are technology- and media-savvy, and are also influenced by various indigenous tribal nationalisms, honouring the tribal codes that govern social life in Pakistan’s rural areas. “They are Taliban in the sense that they share the same ideology as the Taliban in Afghanistan,” says Rahimullah Yusufzai, Peshawar-based columnist on the News. “But they are totally Pakistani, with a better understanding of how the world works.” Their jihad is aimed not just at “infidels occupying Afghanistan”, but also the “infidels” who are ruling and running Pakistan and maintaining the secular values of Pakistani society. “They aim at nothing less than to cleanse Pakistan and turn it into a pure Islamic state,” says Rashed Rahman, executive editor of the Lahore-based Post newspaper.

europe’s drug habit feeds the taliban

europe’s drug habit feeds the taliban

Narco-trafficking is fueling the Taliban, and fat profits from poppies and opium are partially responsible for the militants’ resurgence. Indeed, Afghanistan is supplying about 90 percent of the world’s opium and nearly all of the heroin that ends up in Europe. A recent study by the UN Office for Drugs and Crime forecasts a record crop of poppies this year, on top of last year’s bumper harvest.

To undercut the ability of the Taliban to purchase arms, pay soldiers, and buy the support of villagers, the United States and NATO need to break the back of the drug trade in and out of Afghanistan. However, reliance on eradication — the current weapon of choice — is foolish and wasteful. Uprooting crops and spraying have both had limited local effect. What is needed is a radically new, incentive-based method to provide better incomes to farmers from substitute crops.

Personal comment: So, basically, Europe is financing the Taliban, if the above mentioned numbers are correct. A few months ago, I read some criticism about these statistics, but I don’t think it matters much if 90% or “just” 60% of Afghanistan’s opium end up in Europe. It is a disgrace that our drug addicts finance criminals, insurgents, terrorists etc.

The “war on drugs” is not very effective, but is doing a lot of harm. A recent example: “Austrian sniper rifles that were exported to Iran have been discovered in the hands of Iraqi terrorists, The Daily Telegraph has learned. More than 100 of the.50 calibre weapons, capable of penetrating body armour, have been discovered by American troops during raids. The guns were part of a shipment of 800 rifles that the Austrian company, Steyr-Mannlicher, exported legally to Iran last year.”

Iran has a big drug problem as well. Iranian drug addicts finance the Taliban and others involved in narco-trafficking as well.