Afghanistan: It's what's for dinner. (side dishes include Iran and Pakistan)
The Taliban have opened their offices in Doha, Qatar today in hopes of attracting one or both of the United States and the Afghan government for negotiations on the future of Afghanistan.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has declined to participate in the negotiations because the talks were not to be ‘Afghan led’. He also took umbrage with the Taliban raising their own flag instead of the Afghan flag at the new headquarters.
However, the United States seems interested in meeting the Taliban whether Karzai and his government are present or not. This is exceedingly bizarre. It’s unclear what the United States could offer the Taliban without completely undermining the sovereignty of the Karzai government. So, unless the US is going to say, offer to stop picking off Taliban leaders with drone strikes (HIGHLY unlikely) it’s cloudy as to where the talks can really lead.
However when taken in the wider context of US foreign policy, the above concern merely seems like a minor oddity. What this means is that the Bush Doctrine is dead. Let that sink in for a moment.
Remember, the Bush Doctrine was formulated while the ruins of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were still smoldering following the 9/11 attacks. In no uncertain terms it told every terrorist and state sponsor of terrorism to sleep with one eye open, because the US just might be under their bed waiting to strike.
The doctrine was grossly misapplied and used as a way to shoehorn Iraq into the playing field of the Global War on Terror, however at its core, it was a basic American tenet. We don’t negotiate with terrorists. We kill them.
Now the United States is keen to have meetings with the very same Taliban who declined to give up Osama bin Laden on multiple occasions. The very same Taliban who almost daily claim responsibility for acts of terror in Afghanistan. The very same Taliban whose human rights record is as bleak as their beards are long. And here’s the kicker…the US isn’t even insisting on a Taliban renunciation of Al Qaeda as a condition for the negotiations.
Is this the same Obama who said we were going to focus our efforts on finding and killing the perpetrators of 9/11? ‘Cause that would be Al Qaeda last I checked.
(Side note: Iran HAS to be throwing up their hands saying “You’re gonna meet with these guys but we can’t get a foot in the door? COME ON, MAN!”)
Don’t get me wrong, I’m perfectly in favor of finding peaceful methods to resolve problems, but I feel that this move will only embolden the Taliban and further weaken Karzai. Which will eventually lead to the Taliban seeking to retake the country they lost in 2001 at the hands of US bombs.
It’s shocking to me that this seeming core of American foreign policy, not negotiating with terrorists, is falling by the wayside, and for the ‘goverment’ that sponsored the very same Al Qaeda that perpetrated the single largest act I terror on American soil, no less.
What is happening to America?
What’s next? Are you going to tell me the Apollo program was a hoax?