Although Confronting Terror (see review) was published in 2011, the reelection-driven foreign policy of the Obama administration has already found one essayist’s Afghanistan policy prognostication too optimistic.
Victor David Hanson predicted that the United States “will probably not summarily withdraw from Afghanistan and leave the Taliban control of the country in a fashion akin to Saigon in 1975. To do that would doom millions of women, reformers, and allies who took the West at its word that it would prevent the return of a radical Islamization of the country and outsourcing of its territories to al-Qaeda terrorists.“
According to Reuters and other news sources, the Obama administration has been involved in secret talks with the Taliban for months. Apparently, when Vice President Biden denied that the Taliban were our enemies, it wasn’t just old Joe popping off again, but the beginning of a campaign to rehabilitate the fundamentalist terror organization even as it is killing U.S., NATO and Afghan soldiers on the battlefield.
For anyone, like Biden, whose memory of the Taliban is compromised, The Washington Post World provides a brief background:
“The Taliban governed Afghanistan from 1996 until the fall of 2001, a period during which al-Qaeda used the country as a staging ground for attacks on the United States. The Taliban regime was toppled by a U.S.-led NATO military campaign months after the Sept. 11 attacks, but it regrouped as an insurgency that straddles the border with Pakistan.” see Washington Post – Taliban Says It Will Open Qatar Office for Talks With US
Any peace deal with the Taliban, according to unnamed administration sources, is likely to involve the release of a number of prisoners from Guantánamo Bay including, Reuters has learned, senior Taliban official, Mohammed Fazl, suspected of major human rights abuses.
Reuters reports: “As a senior commander of the Taliban army, Fazl is alleged to be responsible for the killing of thousands of Afghanistan’s minority Shi’ite Muslims between 1998 and 2001.”
At National Review Online on Dec 31, Andrew McCarthy wrote that the Obama administration has turned to Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s leading jurist, to mediate secret negotiations between the United States and the Taliban.
McCarthy added the following information for those not familiar with Qaradawi: Qaradawi urges that Islam must dominate the world, under a global caliphate governed by sharia. He maintains that Islam “will conquer Europe [and] will conquer America.”
So what kind of a peace deal is Qaradawi negotiating?
The Obama administration is apparently willing to do anything it thinks necessary to solidify its anti-war, far left base.
U.S. officials claim the Taliban will have to renounce violence, break with al Qaeda, and respect the Afghan constitution – but these are not preconditions for discussion.
(Does anyone believe the timing of these releases during the holiday season, when few Americans are paying attention, is accidental?)
Reuter quotes administration critics who say our intent to pull out most troops after 2014 makes the Taliban’s willingness to negotiate in good faith doubtful, since they will then be able to reclaim territory and bring down the weak Kabul government.
McCarthy’s assessment is that this deal would mark one of the most shameful chapters in American history.
Read an American soldier’s moving experiences in Afghanistan on WWTFT – American Exceptionalism in Practice.