10.03.2009  
     
 
Obama's Taliban Response Draws Lukewarm Response From Allies, Criticism From Experts
 
  The reactions President Barack received for his proposal to talk to "moderate Taliban" are different in style, but not very different in substance from the comments Germany's former head of the Social Democratic Party, Kurt Beck, got: Mostly negative. 

Jason Burke argues in the Guardian that talking to the Taliban has been tried on the local level for some time - and it has failed. According to a Reuters story, many experts in Afghanistan and Pakistan are skeptical of Obama's talk offer to the Taliban, questioning whether there are any "moderate Taliban," and calling negotiations with them useless. And Peter Bergen, an al Qaeda expert with the New America Foundation, cautions against making deals with the Taliban.
 
America's allies have been equally cautious in their response to the President's proposal. German Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung said possible negotiations with moderate elements of the Taliban are primarily a decision of the government in Kabul. He added that the Afghan government must make sure that Taliban involved in possible talks have to distance themselves from violence.
 
Canada's Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon said pretty much the same thing: "If the Afghan government at the end of the day desires to go out there and have discussions with people who fundamentally will renounce any forms of violence, we're quite comfortable with that," Cannon told public broadcaster CBC.
 
The best analysis I could find of why talking to the Taliban makes sense comes from Robert Dreyfus in the Nation who argues that given the dire prospects for Afghanistan the U.S. will have to strike a deal with the Taliban sooner or later. 
 
And the price for the most sardonic reply to Obama's proposal goes to David Rothkopf. 
 
And finally: Not surprisingly the Taliban flat out rejected Obama's proposal calling it "illogical."
 
 
 
Michael Knigge 10.03.2009, 21:32 # 1 Comment
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  "Moderate Taliban"? are you kidding me?! What does that even mean? And how would you find one? Does one even exist? How could it? I'm quite baffled. Or disappointed. Confused? Hmm. Can't see it. Nope just can't.  
  m. | Homepage | E-Mail | 10.03.2009, 23:56  
 
 
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