The question is does this mean making a pact with the devil. Kamal's report shows that the Taliban are capable of growing and maturing. If they do not then they have no hope of dealing with the horrendous issues created by the ruling elite in Pakistan. Younger and better educated people will bring their own sense of realism. So it is important to recognise that the Taliban cannot and will not stick to the formula of growing beards and forcing Hijab on women and cutting off peoples hands.
It is important to remember that America and Australia were first built by Religious outcasts, bandits, con men, adventurers and all sorts of other undesirables thrown out from their mother societies. When these people were joined by more regular people, they were forced to reorganise themselves and build rules more consistent with an orderly society which did not tolerate adhoc decision making.
I see a similar parallel for the Muslim world whose biggest challenge is to throw of the yoke of American Imperialism. If they do not then country after country in The Muslim world will be decimated, their people made homeless and their lands and resources confiscated. The plunder of Iraq has not hit the Muslim world which are used to reading the US version of it. The total decimation of Afghanistan has similarly not hit the Muslim world to the extent that it is not happening to them. At the moment the Taliban are the only people standing in the way of the decimation of Pakistan.
The Iranians are the only people who are not under occupation, militarily, economically or politically. Pakistan is a basket case. They are occupied economically and politically and are about to be occupied militarily. America gains nothing from occupying Pakistan. in fact their problems will increase 1000 fold but so embarrassing is their defeat at the hands of the Taliban that they want to shift the blame to Pakistan.
Kamal's conclusion that there is no Military solution to this issue is not a solution that is on any ones table. America is hellbent on a military solution. In fact they are incapable of a diplomatic solution. They can only negotiate from a position of strength and they are getting weaker not stronger. The weaker they get the more belligerent they are becoming that the problem is not having used enough force. The so called "surge" is being trotted out as a huge success and a formula to be followed. The surge has done nothing for the Iraqis. It simply corrected a mistake that the Americans had made of sidelining the Sunnis.
The problem of American Foreign policy is that there is no policy. In the past the policy was to fight Communism and to protect the interests of the State of Israel.After the fall of Communism, the policy has dwindled to protecting the interests of the State of Israel. The Interests of Israel, whatever they may be, are the mantra of both candidates who want to lead "the free world" ( another laughable notion).
I believe that the bazzars in Pakistan are full of women and children, shopping like crazy for new clothes, gifts, jewelry and sweetmeats for the coming Eid Celebration. While the Marriot burns in Islamabad and the throngs go about their business as if it will all pass, I wonder if this is the time to celebrate or to hunker in for the coming catastrophe.
--- From: K.Shoaib
“The new Taliban movement has created a parallel government structure that includes defence and finance councils and appoints judges and officials in some areas. It offers cash to recruits and presents letters of introduction to local leaders. It operates Web sites and a 24-hour propaganda apparatus that spins every military incident faster than Afghan and Western officials can manage.
"This is not the Taliban of Emirate times. It is a new, updated generation," said Waheed Mojda, a former foreign ministry aide under the Taliban Islamic Emirate, which ruled most of the country from 1996 to 2001. "They are more educated, and they don't punish people for having CDs or cassettes," he said. "The old Taliban wanted to bring sharia, security and unity to Afghanistan. The new Taliban has much broader goals -- to drive foreign forces out of the country and the Muslim world."
“Their statements focus on ridding Afghanistan of foreign occupiers and incompetent leaders. Although they use Islam to motivate followers, they regularly violate what people here consider to be basic Islamic tenets against such things as the murder of women and trafficking in opium.
Their predecessors used harsh punishments to instil law and order but were often pious Muslims. This year, the insurgents have killed teachers, mayors, policemen, truck drivers, doctors, female aid workers and Muslim clerics.
"These people claim to be Muslims, but they are nothing more than terrorists," said Abdul Razzak Qureshi, police chief of Paghman, a district in the mountains west of Kabul ”
A longish but very readable article. It contains no pearls of wisdom, but its description of the sate of affairs in South/South East Afghanistan (which is consistent with other reports) is most revealing.
I contribute the following conclusions:
It demonstrates how badly the Western Alliance is losing the war. The stark image is of the Alliance and the (clown) Karzai with his limited supporters holed up under siege in Kabul and in a few tens of square miles at various Western Military bases. It further demonstrates that a large part of the Afghan ‘insurgents’ are home grown. Whatever the contribution of Pakistan and ISI and the US and CIA and Saudi Arabia in creating the original Taliban, for the US to blame Pakistan, to any extent, for the present Afghanistan situation is ridiculous (yes, many supply lines run through Pakistan, ISI has rogue elements, the Afghan Taliban have many sympathizers across the border who are willing to and do provide safe havens, etc. etc.)
The insurgents on both sides of the Pak-Afghan border comprise a multiplicity of groups. To name the main ones:
Old fashioned Taliban (led by Mullah Omar the leader of the pre-US Afghanistan )
These people claim to be Muslims, but they are nothing more than terrorists (quoted from above)
“The new Taliban has much broader goals -- to drive foreign forces out of the country and the Muslim world." (quoted from above)
Local power groups
Tribal Leaders of yore, happy to take advantage of power vacuums to extend their authority or who, having known nothing else, indignant at incursions into ancient tribal customs
To attempt a single (military or otherwise) solution is a recipe for failure
The military “solutions’ are failing on both sides of the border and as I wrote to the group recently“A degree of accommodation howsoever repugnant backed by a large dose of social and economic inputs are the only way to a lasting peace.”Sadly neither US/NATO or the Pak Govt./Army have even commenced trying to implement these complex, hence difficult, but essential measures