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Karzai welcomes Obama call to reach out to Taliban

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Bush was negotiating with the Taliban at the end of his term as I repeatedly informed people about 6 months ago. At some point you tell an organization what it will be allowed to do and not face continued annihilation. You continue to seek out and destroy those responsible for carnage.

The same course of action was successful in dealing with Mu‘ammar al-Qaḏāfī from Libya. It is our military top generals who are advising the U.S. that a political solution is the only real solution. I think we may be stuck in the quagmire of Afghanistan for the foreseeable future regardless of the best outcome in negotiations. We needed to act decisively when the iron was hot in the beginning. We needed to immediately begin massive rebuilding in Afghanistan and by now we should have been in the process of integrating trade and establishing far reaching diplomatic relations between Afghanistan and other countries.

By negotiating what our demands are we will at least have established an end game. We had a real opportunity by the time we were seeing success in 2002 but we squandered our success to be the saviors in Iraq. Now we have a huge problem in Pakistan with the Taliban so entrenched that getting every single one would piss off so many new Pakistanis that we must now look at a zero sum gain as better than a continual increase in the populace being recruited as terrorists. In other words we have the capability to go into Pakistan and root out terrorists. But if we invade their perceived space, even if tolerated by the Pakistani government, the Taliban will be able to recruit more soldiers that we are able to kill during any period of time.

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"Moderate" elements of the Taliban?

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"Reach out to the Taliban, reach out! Reach out to the Taliban, reach out!" Sounds like a hit to me.

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This war in Afghanistan, against an ideological enemy, can only be won by crushing the group that harbors and promotes the ideology.

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bebert: It's not that simple, unfortunately; Pakistan is now allowing the Taliban to settle in certain areas of their country... so what do you do? You can't go saying you're going to crush Pakistan.

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Moderate Taliban? What a great oxymoron. Sorta like intelligent Democrat.

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I agree it's not simple. Pakistan has a BIG internal problem and their survival is more important than Afghanistan. But can you run the risk of allowing the Taliban to return to a supposedly democratic country where they may possible take over the country through the ballot box?

And what is a moderate Taliban anyway? One that doesn't want to bomb America but still wants to make certain that girls aren't allowed to be educated or hold a job? One that doesn't believe in democracy but will use the system until he attains control of the country?

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what is a moderate Taliban anyway?

Moderate Taliban = only cuts off the limbs instead of the heads of those they capture.

Moderate Taliban = only mutilates a woman's genitalia instead of stoning her to death.

Moderate Taliban = will settle for a dozen virgins instead of 72

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Thanks TexasAggie. So often we ask for answers, so rarely do we get them.

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A "moderate element of the Taliban" --- what insane phantasy.

Maybe next we look for a moderate element of the KKK?

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the words "reach out to the Taliban" just sound so wrong.

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reach out to the Taliban eh? my advice is to reach out and strangle the b**tards one by one, failing that do what politicians always do in Afghanistan and buy them off. $$$$'s, aircon, satellite TV, landcruisers and porn is what I hear they usually go for, being the pure religious warriors that they are

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Fighting terrorism takes both hard and soft power....each alone isn't good enough.

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I wish the Obama administration luck trying to deal with 13th century religious intolerance.

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VOR:

" I wish the Obama administration luck trying to deal with 13th century religious intolerance. "

That is so true... 21st century touchy-feely feelgood PC meets 13th century fanaticism. Guess who wins there.

In a way, one should sit back and admire the show. What a phantastic experiment with futility.

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We screwed up taking our eye off the Taliban and going into Iraq. The Taliban should have been dealt with swiftly and deceively and this damn war should have been over.

I'll be glad to see the troops come out of Iraq and troops sent to Afghanistan to finish the job. Iraq was an expensive boon-doggle that will forever stain the legacy of the US. < :-)

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I say reach out with Howitzers.

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Fighting terrorism takes both hard and soft power....each alone isn't good enough.

Nah. Fighting terrorism only takes hard power. ..which alone is good enough. The first rule of terrorism is you never negotiate with terrorists.

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Helter_Skelter, I expect hard power is your answer to everything though.

Something you might not realize is that the Taliban is not a simple terrorist organization. They got started because of the constant fighting of Afghan warlords. People got really sick of it. The Taliban vowed to stop it. They came pretty close. Trouble is, the Taliban are not that great an alternative, but people sick of never ending war can become blind to just how awful a brutal peace can be.

See, the thing is, in that part of the world, ALL the alternatives suck. One reason is that the only thing the leaders ever suggest is hard power.

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