Saturday, 25 June 2011

Secretary Clinton Says No Peace Without the Taliban

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Hillary ClintonOn Thursday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that peace negotiations in Afghanistan must include the Taliban if they are to be successful in achieving long term stability of the nation.

There was very little uproar over Clinton’s remarks, regardless of the fact that at least 1,500 American fighting men and women have given their lives to the cause of defeating those whose favor we are now courting so aggressively.

Imagine the reaction in the United States of the 1940s if an official of the Roosevelt or Truman administrations had announced that in order to foster stability in post-war Germany we would invite leaders of the Nazi party to sit down at the negotiating table.

“While the prospect of negotiating with the Taliban might seem repugnant, it is necessary to stabilize the country politically and demonstrate American commitment to the government’s sovereignty,” Clinton said.

Given Mrs. Clinton’s internationalist bona fides and support of a slew of big government programs and policies, it is curious to see her so zealously protecting a nation’s sovereignty.

Secretary Clinton admitted that this Taliban outreach scheme was “not a pleasant business,” but the United States would have to hold its nose and swallow the Taliban if we hope to “produce more stability.”

What of the Taliban’s reported ties to America’s nominal enemy in the Global War on Terror -- al-Qaeda?

Officially, the Obama administration insists that the Taliban, to be a factor in the governing equation of Afghanistan, will have to denounce its ties to al-Qaeda and to terrorism. A curious demand given that it is the Taliban’s decades long history of terror that once made its predecessor organizations so attractive to the United States as a thorn in the side of the former Soviet Union and a check on that nation’s expansionist efforts in the 80s.

The skids leading toward disassociating the Taliban from al-Qaeda were greased when the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to separate sanctions for al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

That vote unfastens the joint sanctions that have been imposed by the UN for more than 12 years.

Previously, both groups were considered allies in the war against America and the West.

Al Jazeera's Kristen Saloomey reported that Washington and its allies convinced the Security Council to sever the ties binding al-Qaeda to the Taliban.

According to a story published by Reuters:

The United States is hoping to convince Pakistan to lean on the Taliban, which it says is based in and around the town of Quetta in Baluchistan, to take part in serious negotiations. It also wants the Pakistan Army to push further into the tribal areas bordering eastern Afghanistan to eliminate sanctuaries used both by Afghan insurgents and foreign fighters, including al Qaeda.

So, the story as it stands is that the United States not only sacrificed over 1,500 members of its armed forces to the cause of defeating the Taliban, but they then send out its foreign relations chief to court the enemy and invite them to take a seat next to the erstwhile American puppet government headed by Hamid Karzai.

What’s the catch? As stated earlier, the Taliban has to renounce its relationship with al-Qaeda. Thanks, United Nations, for making that a lot easier. Any other prerequisites?

“Clinton said that Taliban members must meet specific conditions, including renouncing violence and embracing the Afghan constitution — including its protections for women.”

There she goes again. Why can’t Secretary Clinton encourage legislators to embrace our own constitution the way she does with the Taliban and the Afghan constitution?

As for protections for women, is there any doubt that the Taliban will promise to afford all sorts of freedoms to women in order to get a piece of the financial aid cake that will be baked in Washington and sent monthly to Kabul? As with Iraq, it is all but certain that any constitution produced by a coalition government in Afghanistan will enshrine the provisions of Sharia law into the legal code of that country.

If the United States were so concerned with the protection of women, would our government had played such a central role in the drafting of the Iraqi constitution, which incorporates Sharia law into that document?

President Obama's announcement that he would begin withdrawing American military forces from Afghanistan was cheered by the Taliban. "This clearly is a defeat for the U.S. in Afghanistan, and the start of the return of the Taliban, [its supreme leader] Mullah Omar and an Islamic sharia state," a senior member of the Taliban's military council, said of Obama's speech during a phone interview with The Daily Beast. "We can't believe that in the short time of 10 years the Taliban are forcing the superpower of the century to pull out its troops." It’s disgusting that the families of Americans killed in Afghanistan must read such boastful statements made by those responsible for the death of their sons and daughters, mothers and fathers. Adding insult to those fatal injuries, the very President who sent their loved ones to their death is sending emissaries to shake hands across the peace table with that murderous enemy, all in the name of nation building.

Photo: Sec. of State Hillary Clinton