Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Afghanistan: USA Busted Trying To "Cut & Run"

Remember all that macho b.s. that G W Bush (and Stephen Harper) said about not "cutting and running" in Afghanistan? We were gonna fight to the end - for truth, justice and the American Way. And remember how Harper and his cronies took the piss out of Jack Layton when he suggested that peace would require negotiating with the Taliban? Remember how they called him Taliban Jack? Remember that?

Yeah, it was pretty funny stuff - coz it was so stupid. But it was also sad because it meant thousands more would die from NATO bombs in Afghanistan - and they have.

But remembering that made this little moment of thieves falling out a particular treat. It seems that while everyone now agrees the only way for their to be peace in Afghanistan is to negotiate with the Taliban, the only people who are trustworthy are the Taliban. According to a senior official with Afghan President Hamid Karzai's High Peace Council, everyone is holding separate and secret talks with the Taliban.

He said all the key players — the United States, Afghan government, Afghan National Security Council and the High Peace Council — are holding separate and secret talks with their own contacts within the insurgency.
The poor Taliban must be wondering who the hell is in charge of this madhouse. However, what they and anybody else who is paying attention knows is that the USA wants to get the hell out of Afghanistan - and is willing to circumvent the Afghan government to negotiate some kind of truce directly with the Taliban. The reasons why are obvious enough. After ten years the country is more, not less, chaotic than it ever was and the insurgency is stronger now than ten years ago. What's more the "nation building" exercise that put Hamid Karzai into office has turned out to be more of an exercise in building an organized crime racket with the country run like a series of drug lord fiefdoms and protection rackets - including the President's recently departed half-brother.

That must be the reason that Karzai's office leaked details of secret US meetings with a close associate of Taliban head honcho Mullah Omar. Karzai can smell that the USA is going to leave him high and dry, like the last Soviet era president Najibullah, who was dragged behind a truck and strung up from a lamp post when the Taliban seized Kabul in 1996. I'm sure he wants to be in the room when any treaty is signed to make sure the don't-kill-the-last-president clause is in any peace agreement concluded with the Taliban. But the result is that the Americans have mud on their face and now trust Karzai even less than previously. The final irony of all this is that Pakistan could end up coming out of this right where it started - as the most powerful broker between a Taliban government in Afghanistan and the rest of the world.

A month ago, U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Senator John Kerry and Pakistan’s Army chief of staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, met for a marathon eight hours in a Gulf country...
A U.S. official familiar with the talks said Gen. Kayani made a pitch during his meeting with Kerry for Pakistan to take on a far larger role in peacemaking in Afghanistan.
After ten years of war in Afghanistan, we're about to end up back in 1992.
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