THE NEW AMERICAN CENTURY is a compelling factual history of neoconservatism and its influence on US Foreign Policy in the Middle East during the first decade of the twenty-first century. Click on image above for details.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


About this time last year I wrote that there was a chance that Obama might think about talking to the Taliban instead of warring with them. Of course, nothing happened. They didn’t get beyond thinking about talking about talking.

A year later and several thousand more dead and injured in the bloodiest year since the war in Afghanistan began in October 2001, and it seems the Brits have had enough. British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, now wants to urge the Afghan puppet President Hamid Karzai into putting more effort into pursuing peace talks with the Taliban.

Miliband’s move seems to indicate that the British have little confidence in success of the surge that began last month with a much fanfared major assault against the Taliban stronghold of Marjah in Helmand province where the Taliban, it seems, were replaced by a criminal warlord to run things there.

Talking about talks with the Taliban is nothing new. Back in September 2008, the Saudis apparently attempted to set up talks with the Taliban and the British were prepared to be involved in helping facilitating such talks. Then in October 2008, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said that he was prepared to ‘reconcile with the Taliban’ if the Afghan government pursued talks to end the war. Needless to say, it didn’t happen.

What will eventuate from the British Foreign Secretary’s latest attempt at getting talks going is anybody’s guess but if past experience is anything to go by, then little is likely to happen. A lot will depend on how the US reacts to talks with the Taliban planned by Karzai for next month. The real fly in the ointment, however, is likely to be America’s demand that the Taliban disassociate themselves from al Qaeda in Afghanistan and the Taliban demand that all foreign troops leave Afghanistan before they talk. If both sides stick to their demands than there will be nothing happening at all except more of the same.

On the one hand we have the warmongers on the right in the US, particularly the neocons, who will accept nothing less than the complete destruction of the Taliban and al Qaeda which simply means continual and indefinite war, and on the other a realist British government fully aware that as an election approaches in the UK, public opinion will need to be listened to.

While this does seem to be the best opportunity yet, if, for no other reason, the call for talks comes from someone as high up as Miliband, one should not, however, hold ones breath.

Only time, and no doubt many more lives yet, will tell.


Anonymous said...

From what I understand according to mates in the UK and here, both australia and the UK, no longer believe in this 'war' amongst the public and the political classes.

I note the yanks are pressuring Rudd to do more in Afghanistan and join in the U.S lead killing.
Interminably we hear the catchcry" send more troops".
Some such as High White may be closer to the truth in that privately the government here (and in the UK) no longer believes in this war and so is doing the least possible to satisfy the public and private opposition to the war, while seeking to not alienate their masters the yanks.
The age of timidity, where the politicians have talked themselves into believing that they can't ever say NO to the yanks!.
Interestingly, despite all the claptap about the "strength of the alliance" which is the anodyne assertion put out, the truth is that the alliance is in real strife and is actually very shallow, as admitted by the yanks who see our lack of committment to their cause as a problem such that they are exaggerating the effect we're having on their declining success, and reminding us that the alliance is quite 'perishable'.
For those of us who long for 'freedom form the American empire, this inherent brittleness is most encouraging and suggests tacitly that even the government knows it along with the defeat staring at us in the face over there.
Drug and alcohol problems are rife in our forces (and the yanks, the futility is clear and like Vietnam, a clear sign of defeat and the meaninglessness of it all.
I find it strange that the yanks always spend more time pushing and shoving other nations to their will, rather than shutting their cakehole and doing it themselves.
Seems they see every situation as an excuse to play empire, as they probably enjoy it and gives them a sense of self validation of their own decrepit self observance.
I hope the UK leaves Afghanistan soon and so do we.
Besides, Britain may have greater need for its forces in the Falklands again, something I support as I'm a big believer in self determination and backing the underdog.
Hurry up and leave Britain, set an example chaps!.

Nylon Shirt

David G. said...

It's time the world stopped dancing to the ugly, discordant American war music.

It's time that war was seen for what it is: an act of extreme barbarism.

It's time that those who profit from war and corporatism were taxed out of existence.

It's time that institutionalized religion, the poison that fuels most wars, was banned.

It's time that values like giving, caring, selflessness, altruism, honest and justice were re-instated and encouraged.

It's time humans crawled out of the primeval swamp and achieved their true potential.

IDHolm said...

G'day Damian, Nylon Shirt and 'hear hear!' to David G.

In any of these discussions, one *must* separate 'what seems to be' from 'what actually is.'

The former, 'what seems to be,' is the result of the 'news' delivered to us by the 'news aggregators,' and here I'm referring to the corrupt & venal MSM (incl. 'our' AusBC). We can bet that what they tell us is almost always what someone wants us to know - and will differ more or less from 'the truth of the matter(s),' depending on who's up who for what rent - a rather quaint way of saying how many (immoral) $s are at stake. Since the 'news' is thus a collage of *some* truth, overlayed by lies and/or propaganda, I call the result the 'pushed-propaganda paradigm,' aka PPP.

Those who 'debate' in the PPP-frame are off with the fairies - always, as usual and only IMHO. That we are fed lies is no matter of opinion; we *know* they lie, and Howard so much so, that they coined a new mantra just for him: "All politicians lie!"

There's a German word 'Spagat' which can be translated (as I just did) to (noun) splits, string, balancing act - but IMHO the German word sounds better and is pithier. Politicians know all about Spagats, because they're doing them all the time - between the PPP-frame (what they think the sheople should know) - and reality.

Long story short: peace, truth & justice seekers [PT&JSs] - people like us - should not need to do Spagats; we should give the PPP-frame 'short shrift' and get on with 'reality-based' discussions - if we can, and if not, *back to the books!* One function of 'the net'/blogging is getting 'alternative' news (aka more factual); it's one of the things that we do.

As for Afghanistan, we know the US has it in for the Taliban (carpet of gold or bombs), i.e. the Unocal pipeline story, and the 'excuse' was 9/11. Shows just how convenient 9/11 was, eh? Just as in Iraq, the US 'visible justification' changes almost as fast as the drifting sands.

So: The US is in Afghanistan for the pipeline-routes, and to further threaten/encircle Iran (partly 'on behalf of' (aka commanded by) the Zs), also to threaten/encircle Russia and China - possibly in that order but who cares? The US is also there for the opium, to finance among other things, CIA black- and psy- ops (one of the 'other things' being to enable/accelerate the heroin trade into Russia, further giving the Russkies the shits.)

All so-called US 'allies' are coerced - but worse; the US just 'prints' its $s, at as good as no cost to itself. All others have to pay (and pay and pay). Worse again (worser?), it's (almost) only the US kleptocracy who will ever benefit (if anyone does) from US empire gambits, and as noted, 'warriors' (detested Ameri-speak, spit!) getting killed is a 'hard sell' (more spit!) at home. *Worst*, of course, is that wherever the US is 'leading' us, it's *not* to save the planet, rather to burn ever more oil = excess CO2 = climate catastrophe.

Some say Aus is in with the US as we need an ally. Q: Why? Q: Who would attack us? A: IF the UN functioned properly, THEN *no one*.

The upshot of all this is that the US is in the possession of a rogue-regime, as is its illegitimate sprog, Israel. Any who help these rogues make themselves (criminal!) accessories, those who know and do nothing are guilty of sins of omission; those who don't know are ignorant - it leaves only us PT&JSs, who know and resist.

PT&JSs should be reaching out to the sheople, educating them to beseech the politicians "Just say no!" to war, and "Go home, Yanks!" Oh, yeah, and "All Zs out of Palestine!" IF enough sheople got enlightened, THEN we might have cause for some realistic hope. A mighty big IF.