Saturday, 29 September 2007

Karzai offers to talk with Taliban

Whatever happened to that principle that you never negotiate with terrorists? What sort of message does this send - blow up enough people and we will give you a seat in the government? Why are we sending our troops into harm's way - to let these medieval fascists back into power? If Karzai follows up with this proposal Canada should withdraw. Immediately. The Afghans are clearly not willing to stand beside us while we fight for their freedom.


Chris said...

I think the problem in Afghanistan is you have a foreign force fighting for someone else's freedom. I don't see how this can ever work. If the locals want to be free, they have to fight for it themselves.

Second, I think negotiation with the Taliban will be part of any peace deal. To label them terrorists and end all negotiations on principle, oversimplifies the situation. You have to remember the Taliban ran the country for a long time. There are people in the country who support them. In many ways they're like the IRA - with terrorist and political parts.

Stephen Rees said...

Yes, Chris, you are right. I was just quoting the government's rhetoric back to them.

The Taliban are like the IRA - the terror is directed against their own peole more than anyone else. But talks with the IRA did not get anywhere until they made a clear commitment to abandon their weapons.

The ostensible reason for the invasion of Afghanistan was the Taliban were harbouring Al Quaeda, and giving them a base for operations against the US. For the same reason that intervention into Burma won't happen - international pressure to not interfere with internal affairs. We did not oust the Taliban for their distaste for democracy or their treatment of women. They were much more effective at suppressing opium poppy growing though.