Taliban Not Banned

I tend to not comment on foreign policy, but I think I might have to start, after seeing the direction that President Obama wants to take this country in regards its foreign relations and foreign policy. I see many problems with the approach that the President is starting to take in Afghanistan.

Today we are hearing from the President that he plans to send just enough troops to keep Al Qaeda at bay. Frankly, I find this language weak, I’d rather hear him say that he wants to find a way to annihilate Al Qaeda, instead of just keeping them at bay.

They want to give the Taliban a role in the Afghanistan’s political future, possibly cede parts of Afghanistan to the Taliban. This, on a day when the Taliban took responsibility for a suicide bombing that resulted in the death of 17 people at the Indian Embassy. According to Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, in regard to the Taliban and Al Qaeda “they’re not the same type of group.”

It seems that their only concern is a groups desire to attack the United States. While it is an admirable concern and goal to fight those that want to kill Americans, at home and abroad, it is not very admirable given the current situation. It seems like an excuse to allow for a weak approach to the Taliban. I have a problem giving legitimacy a group that doesn’t seem to have any desire to renounce violence, as the President would have you believe, and give them a stake in Afghanistan’s political future. A country, I might add, that is heavily influenced by the Taliban, that is doing nothing to fight Al Qaeda and is more than likely harboring them, even approving of their tactics. And if there is anyone within the Taliban that wants to renounce violence, what kind of clout are they going to have with the higher-ups within the organization, because the men at the top seem reluctant to do so.

Here is a message from the Talibans leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar only a month ago:

(Their battle)”…is forging ahead like a powerful flood,”

“Anyone who opts to resist it will himself be washed away. Atrocity, torture, brutality, conspiracies, coalitions, the foreign forces and mercenaries could not hurl stumbling blocks in the way of this robust Jihadic movement.”

“Our goal is to gain independence of the country and establish a just Islamic system there on the basis of the aspirations of the Muslim nation. We can consider any option that could lead to the achievement of this goal.”

The President is apparently convinced that there are “moderates” within the Taliban that would be willing to renounce their violence. Though I have a hard time believing that, after all, you’d think that after a day like today, when Taliban forces claimed responsibility for the death of 17 people, you would hear these “moderates” speak out and denounce the attack. Instead, all I hear is deafening silence.

The administration somehow wants to make this situation similar to that of Iraq and the Sunni tribes, but I think this situation is completely different.

It seems that General McChrystal’s approach to send a large number of troops to the region is off the table. I don’t understand the thinking behind this. Its almost like we are just rolling the dice and hoping that our lack strength will pay off. More power to the administration if this approach works. I find the idea of sending more troops to the region sickening, though I’m trying to balance out the facts with my emotions. And in all honestly, I think that if General McChrystal says he needs more troops then we should give him what he needs. I doubt he’d be asking for something that we can’t provide. I tend to trust the opinion of the commander on the ground far more than I do the politicians in Washington.


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