Talking to the Taliban and the last man standing

March 23, 2009

The debate about whether the United States should open talks with Afghan insurgents appears to be gathering momentum — so much so that it is beginning to acquire an air of inevitability, without there ever being a specific policy announcement.

The U.N. special envoy to Afghanistan, Kai Eide, became the latest to call for talks when he told France’s Le Monde newspaper that reconciliation was an essential element.  “But it is important to talk to the people who count,” he said. ”A fragmented approach to the insurgency will not work. You need to be ambitious and include all the Taliban movement.”

His remarks follow much more guarded comments by President Barack Obama who said in an interview with the New York Times that Washington might look for “comparable opportunities in Afghanistan and in the Pakistani region” as it did in Iraq, involving “reaching out to people that we would consider to be Islamic fundamentalists, but who were willing to work with us.”

Vice President Joe Biden has also said that U.S. assessments were that only five percent of the Taliban were “incorrigible”.  He told a news conference in Brussels that whatever happened would have to be initiated by the Afghan government. “But I do think it is worth engaging and determining whether or not there are those who are willing to participate in a secure and stable Afghan state.”

According to the New York Times, the Afghan government has already begun exploring the potential for negotiations with the Taliban leadership council of Mullah Omar and with mujahideen leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Al Jazeera has also reported that the Afghan government has begun talks with Hekmatyar, while the Christian Science Monitor said Kabul had opened preliminary negotiations with the network of mujahideen commander Jalaluddin Haqqani.

I have just written an analysis on what any U.S. dialogue with Afghan insurgents would mean for India and Pakistan, two countries with a major stake in any political settlement, and am still trying to pin down the implications for other major regional players, including Russia, Iran and China.

One theme that is emerging is the extent to which any dialogue with the Afghan insurgents would aim to peel them away from the Islamist ideology of al Qaeda by stressing their Pashtun identity above their religious affiliation. (The Pashtun lost their dominant position in Afghanistan when the Pashtun Taliban were toppled by the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.)

According to C. Raja Mohan, quoted in my analysis, “Addressing Pashtun grievances is indeed the key to any settlement. The real problem is different: all Taliban are Pashtun; not all Pashtun are Taliban. Finding the space here is the real challenge.”

The distinction between stressing the Pashtun identity over the religious identity of the Afghan insurgents could prove to be fundamental in the coming months (and that is not to suggest that the insurgents can be reduced to a single identity — you have to assume that like everyone else they have multiple loyalties, to religion, tribe, nationality, ethnic group, family etc etc).

And that brings me to what I think are the most interesting questions about any U.S.-backed talks with Afghan insurgents. How would you frame these talks in such a way as to reach a political settlement that would satisfy both the people of Afghanistan and the regional players?

Would you, for example, use Saudi Arabia as an intermediary, as has been done in the past? Saudi Arabia had close links with the Taliban before they were ousted in 2001, and is also a U.S. ally.  At the same time, its foreign policy tends to have a religious tint to it, and its involvement could create problems with Iran – a major rival in the Islamic world, which also wants to be sure that any government in Kabul respects the rights of Afghanistan’s non-Pashtun Persian-speakers and of its Shi’ite minority.

Does the United States have a choice? Or, facing financial mayhem at home, will it accept any settlement in Afghanistan as long as it eliminates al Qaeda as a global threat?  (Shazia Rafi at The  Women’s Media Center and Fareed Zakaria at Newsweek both have interesting takes on how far the United States should be ready to compromise with hardline Islamists.)

I don’t have answers, but I did scroll back to a blog I posted last May asking: Who will be left standing when the Afghan war ends? At the time, I asked the Reuters reporter who covered the fall of Saigon in 1975 for his answer to that question. He quoted me the following truism of asymmetric warfare; “the strong lose if they don’t win and the weak win if they survive.”

The situation in Afghanistan seems to have moved very quickly since then, until we are now asking not whether the United States should support dialogue with the insurgents, but how.

(Reuters photos: U.S. troops on patrol in Afghanistan, and President Barack Obama)

Comments

Talking and listening is fine before we bomb them. But we need to know how much we can salvage from this country before we send B-52s.

But what are the terms of negotiation? Are we going to see a theocratic Taliban or a democratoc Taliban in power? What would be women’s rights? How much change we bring to Pakistan?

I hope he doesn’t sacrifice values of freedom/justice/liberty for a back door quick success! Obama/Holbrooke have a lot to answer in coming weeks.

Posted by Amy | Report as abusive
 

The US has made mistakes on approaching the South Asia problem. It never looked at it from an overall stand point. Everything here is interlinked. Afghanistan can not be settled if all parties contributing to its instability are brought to account. These include Saudi Arabia, Taliban, Pakistani establishment and the different Afghan tribes. So far the US took Pakistan as a strategic ally and bombed the Pashtun dominated Taliban away from Afghanistan. All 9/11 terrorists were Arabs and the money was from Saudi Arabia. This money not only funded the Taliban, it also found its way into the many Madrasas inside Pakistan. So the US has to boldly point its fingers at these three agents and bring them to the negotiating table – Saudi Arabia, Afghans and the Taliban. Saudi funding has to be cut and has to be channeled through the UN. Otherwise it is going to remain hidden and will fuel the insurgents forever. Without money one cannot run all this terrorist logistics. It is coming from somewhere and that source must be plugged, forcibly if needed. Once the supply lines are cut, things will automatically fall in place. The US should not trust its local allies. They are clever and very manipulative people, who have survived through back stabbing methods over centuries. I am sure the CIA and Pentagon know who the real culprits are. I don’t know why they are dancing around. They walked right into Iraq and did not care for what the rest of the world said. But they are not being so bold here. It makes no sense.

 

The money is not coming only from Saudi Arabia; it’s now also coming from the drug trade, smuggling, and just transporting things/people, all of which is independent of Saudi Arabia and wholly internal to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Hence the problem just got worse.

Posted by borisjimbo | Report as abusive
 

This article in the DAWN newspaper summarizes what Pakistan is up against. I am not foretelling the collapse of Pakistan. A veteran commander does that.

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/Dawn %20Content%20Library/dawn/news/pakistan/ us-centcom-adviser-sees-pakistan-in-dang er–za

 

We are being deceived. The concerns of Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan are obfuscated in details. The real truth is The U.S. is a Hegemon. It’s shallow concerns for human rights, economic development and fighting terror in regions of the world are cause for engagement. However, the underlying reasons for U.S. involvement are always energy security. Chiefly natural gas and petroleum. If you disagree, just compare the energy reserves of Sudan, Rhawanda and Sierra Leone to that of the Balkans and Caspian Sea basin. Follow the military and find the fossil fuels.

We are bankrupt as a nation, both financially and morally. It is doubtful we can sustain our military presence around the world and avoid a complete collapse. It is only a matter of time before we will suffer the same fate as the Soviet Union if we do not reconsider our need for Empire.

Posted by a | Report as abusive
 

I think a’s point about the risk of a future collapse of the US similar to that of the Soviet Union is quite articulate. I think how and where the US gets its energy will be the achille’s heel for its ultimate survival. If we turn to nuclear and solar and biodiesel we will save our union and have at least 500 years of prosperity…if we continue looking for cheap oil “masked as foreign oilicy” we will have severe fiscal crisis, and California will be the first state to secede and becoming the firdt “green country”. Then Washington and Oregon will follow. Then Florida with great solar energy exports. These states can survive by themselves and will be better off. Now is the time to…take bold action.

Posted by George | Report as abusive
 

Nevermind talking to the Taliban. Who would want to talk to an organisation that refuses to recognise the basic human rights of individuals.

Zardari, the widower of assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, said the international community had to recognise and accept its role in the rise of Islamic militancy and international terrorism.

“The world has to accept that we are all collectively responsible for creating this monster,” he said. “I think the world has not been told about this, they have not been talking about it, they have been in denial.”

The above 2 paragraphs are the biggest load of BULL I have ever read. He has some nerve to pass the blame around the world for the creation of the Taliban. Taliban was created in Pakistan and in Pakistan alone. The world is NOT collectively responsible. When they took over Afghanistan only 3 countries gave them recognition: Pakistan, UAE and Saudi Arabia.

If the world stepped in to remove the Taliban in the first place before 9/11; the Pak govt and people would have gotten up on their moral high horses to protest against outside interference. How much is Pakistan in denial about being the epi-centre of terrorism? Every attack (minor or major) that occurred in different countries around the world before and after 9/11 had links leading to Pakistan and the Taliban.

All Zardari is capable of is to EXPOLIT the terrorist situation to receive aid from the USA (financial and military). Whenever the terrorists make a major attack, then Zardari will claim that the aid was not enough to counter the attacks. Pakistan needs more money. Sooner or later, the ‘buck’ is going to run out.

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive
 

Countries, like people, shape their opinions on the events confronting them. Heard of the old Aesop’s fable ‘Grapes are sour…’ Well, US, under Obama, finds itself in the same predicament. It now seems, it is not their war, they can do without fighting it – more because they don’t see themselves winning it in the near future. And costs for a long protracted war are prohibitive. So it all boils down to a trade-off – whether the probability of a terrorist strike in the US homeland, a la Mumbai, London underground / Spain train bombings taking place is in anyway significantly increased if the US were to pull out of Afghanistan. If securing US solely by defensive measures were to work with reasonable success, there is no doubt US would take the chance of getting out of Afghan quagmire.

Pakistan, of course, would welcome this and would revert back to its strategy of ‘strategic depth’ in no time. It may also have been chastened by the recent events to ensure that the Taliban remain ‘good’ i.e. they don’t target the West. However, India, Iran may be considered fair game. U.S. may not have so much of a problem with this approach – may publicly condemn it, but could live with it. But US will also realize that there is no guarantee that the ‘good’ Taliban would never target it.

India, has invested a lot in Afghanistan and would loath to see it squandered. Also, it doesn’t have a choice as its security is directly affected by the rise of Taliban. So it will do all it can to prop up the anti Taliban forces including the Northern Alliance. But it will be tough going, as lack of proximity would hinder aid, military or otherwise. In the long run, in all probability, Pakistan backed Taliban would prevail.

So where does that leave the world? If one can assume that Pakistan would turn over into a modern progressive state with a sense of responsibility of right and wrong, most of the problems would solve themselves. But will it happen? I seriously doubt it. If the bloggerscape and the media is any indication, the bulk of the country is populated by delinquent bigots with a deep sense of being ‘wronged’ who expect the world at large to reward them for going straight. Since it will be difficult to accede to their whims, the next best thing would be to neuter them – take away the nukes either through bribes, coercion and maybe even direct strikes. This would have to be a collective endeavor and China would also need to be taken on board, which is difficult, since in some aspects it has actually contributed to the Pakistan nuclear capability. If this is ever done, does it matter if Taliban rules the roost in Pakistan or Afghanistan. The only people they will trouble would be their own like what is happening in Sudan / Somalia. Exporting terror would bring reprisals on them without the fear of mushroom clouds which hopefully would lead them over time on the straight and narrow path.

Posted by Munna Bhai | Report as abusive
 

@Mauryan

Your article said:

“David Kilcullen, who advises CENTCOM commander Gen. David H. Petraeus on the war on terror, , who is credited with the success of the US troop surge strategy in Iraq, warned that if Pakistan went out of control, it would ‘dwarf’ all the crises in the world today.

He claimed that the Pakistani military and police and intelligence service did not follow the civilian government; they were essentially a rogue state within a state.”

Response,

It is time to flatten and decapitate the ability of the ISI to engage in anymore nefarious, counterproductive and dirty tactic endeavors against the US, its two neighbours and the people of Pakistan.

Any aid money and military support should be contigent on:

1) denuclearization before the UN, US and NATO
2) dismantling of most of the ISI
3) dismantling of the entire terrorist/ madrass infrasture
4) trials and jailing of ex-military officials engaged in supporting terrorism

The U.S.,UN and the world has the upper hand and it is time to capitalize on a whole bunch of opportunistic options to gain control of Pakistan, its out of control ISI, Military and its corrupt support of state-sponsored terrorism, in the name of ISLAM.

Let’s not let a beggar nation hold us all hostage with its nukes, while at the same time, still begging for food and money.

At the same time, this must be met with cessation of all monies to the Taliban. Obama must talk with the Saudis to stop this and talk directly the Gen Kayani and Gen Pasha, so that the Pak Army and ISI activities are reigned in to stop terrorism.

Worst case scenario, although it is easier to say this, but if diplomacy fails with Kayani and ISI, it is time the U.S. and its allies pre-emptively and pro-actively denuclearize Pakistan by any hook and crook methods, like cash payments, bribery and in the last and unthinkable option, brute, overwhelming force to confiscate them, if all else fails.

Most of the worry is gone if the nukes are gone and sitting secured on an American military base.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

The United States has to listen to Pakistan’s concerns, Pakistan had long asserted that Taliban Pushtun are a force to be reckoned with. Pakistan with a huge Pushtun population is a direct party to this conflict. Taliban will have to be reconciled into Afghan society, they are a part of Afghanistan which is their country. Unless Taliban are engaged there will be no lasting peace. The US has tried alternatives, bombed Aghanistan but did all the Taliban disappear? no. They just hide away to come out and fight another day. Its not the US soldiers alone doing the killing in Afghanistan, The Taliban also have their days and kill NATO troops in regular ambushes. Even the Canadians are coming under a lot of pressure to bring back their 2500 troops as casualties are rising.
The choice is clear, announce an exit strategy, let the Afghans know international forces are not going to stay there for ever. Get Pakistan onboard, stop the spread of instability into Pakistan, stabilize the Af-Pak region with non-military assistance in health, social development and education sector. Most importantly, engage with the Taliban and ensure there is an end to this conflict. Otherwise, US will not be able to sustain itself any longer inside a landlocked Afghanistan.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

@Umair,

Umair, I got a better idea, if we fix Pakistan, Afghanistan will be 10times easier to fix.

Pathans will always be pathans, there is nothing wrong with them. If the U.S. leaves Afghanistan, Pakistan Army will resume its business of the drug trade in Afghanistan and continue recruiting and creating proxy Jihadi armies to invade and destablize India, then you will have 2 nuclear nations on the brink, given that choice, I think the U.S. chooses to keep India out of any future conflicts.

I promise, you, India will continue building roads, city services and infrastructure for Afghanistan, after all that IS social development. The key here is the ISI, it is time to decapitatate and dismantle the ISI and the Pak Military political structure into a pro-western, non-Islamic type, which is transparent and is compliant.

Pakistan has been creating and growing Jihadi armies on its own accord, after the Soviets left, this 30 years of illegal work by the ISI and the Pak Military, cannot go un-challenged and un-questioned. The Pak Military and ISI must be brought to justice and reformed with a new structure and new people, altogether.

The next thing should be denuclearization, and decreasing the size of the Pak Army. The Pak Army is so huge that it is imposing a parasitically huge foot print on the the people of Pakistan, while average Pakistani’s are at the poverty line.

You guys never need to worry about India, India has no goals of conquering Pakistan for any reason, we don’t want your land, we just want you to be prosperous and don’t do anymore terrorism and live peacefully with Afghanistan and India.

Before any of this happens, the ISI and the Pak Military structure, the old ways and old thinking must be rooted out and discarded for good.

I look forward to the day, when Indian and Pakistan Generals can play golf together and enjoy some food and drink together.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

Global watcher
You seem to blame all the problems on ISI and Pakistan Army. My friend I will not argue with you because you dont have the basic grasp of events in the recent past in the region. 30 years of illegal work by ISI and Pak military? I dont know where are you getting your information. In order to have a meaningful discussion with someone you first need to learn something and argue about it. Your childish rhetoric means it is futile time wastage to argue with you.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

David Kilcullen’s rhetoric has build up public support for assistance to Government of Pakistan before the upcoming FoP meeting in Tokyo.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Umair says:

“Global watcher
You seem to blame all the problems on ISI and Pakistan Army. My friend I will not argue with you because you dont have the basic grasp of events in the recent past in the region. 30 years of illegal work by ISI and Pak military? I dont know where are you getting your information. In order to have a meaningful discussion with someone you first need to learn something and argue about it. Your childish rhetoric means it is futile time wastage to argue with you.
- Posted by Umair ”

Umair, have you been living in a bubble? Actually, yes you have, you have been living in Pakistan. Those news events whicy the Pakistani news media dare not publish or dare not discuss on tv for fear of reprisals by the ISI and Pak Army Mafia, those same stories are splashed across western news papers daily. There is too much information for me to list, you have heard all the ISI and Pak Army blames here, you don’t need to get defensive and start attacking the debater here, it is an effective discussional technique and draws even more attention of denials of trouble with the ISI and Pak Army. You are probably right, there is no need for me to waste time arguing with you, as you are in complete denial, like an ostrich with its head in the sand and ISI and Pak Military are complete Angels from Heaven who give only loves and hugs to all.

If you knowingly choose to ignore all the evidence and news that has come out in the last decade about both of those two notorious agencies, it is your choice to be knowingly be ignorant of established facts and you merely become a puppet, having no inertia behind your arguements.

Tell me, do you deny the Jihadi Proxy Army Pak Military and ISI trained Strategic Assets? Do you deny Pak was fomenting Khalistan? Do you deny ISI bombed the India embassy? The list goes on an on my friend, your debate is finished before it even starts.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

“Vice President Joe Biden …….. told a news conference in Brussels that whatever happened would have to be initiated by the Afghan government.”

“the Afghan government has already begun exploring the potential for negotiations with the Taliban leadership council of Mullah Omar and with mujahideen leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.”

—-The US is merely arm-twisting the Pakistani Army.

Posted by anup | Report as abusive
 

@Since it will be difficult to accede to their whims, the next best thing would be to neuter them – take away the nukes either through bribes, coercion and maybe even direct strikes.
–Munnah Bhai

-How about China being convinced by US/India into Denuking Pakistan? An offer that China cannot deny can be made by none other than India. There are so many conflicts over several regions and Tibet for Dalai Lamas. Can those be used by India without compromising the territorial integrity of India? With US not helping or unable to help Pak, after Af-Pak exit, and China and the world bodies only one to fill the bowl, China plus US arm twisting in combination wit some sweet offer to China, I fully belive this is very possible. I know the replies by Pakistan to this message would be filled woth good old empty brave good-for-nothing statements.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

–Once a Taliban–always a Taliban. Good and Bad Taliban terms start arising when Taliban becomes invincible.

–Al-Qaida and Taliban are practically ~ inter-changeable terms. On a beautiful sunny day (i.e., after US/NATO exit), A-Q and Taliban will be sitting together picnicking and masked rookies will be doing those long and high jumps (training camps) and OBL/Jawahiri will be sending those videos to the world as proof of victory. I am just wondering what ISI will be doing at that time. Can it hide its pleasure at regaining the strategic depth?

Taliban can announce itself the new world power and I doubt anyone will step in there for next 3 decades or ever, if Taliban is left to surive.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

In 2001, there was a golden opportunity to put an end to everything. The whole world was supportive of the US at that time. The act of violence was so unprecedented in magnitude that even nuking the damn place would have been accepted. But the US had an idiot for President and a bunch of manipulators surrounding him. They used the occasion as a business opportunity and ruined everything. The US should have taken out the entire terror infrastructure at that time – the ISI, the Pakistani military establishment, the Taliban and probably dropped small size nukes into the areas into which OBL and his Al Qaeda elements escaped into. Instead, the idiot ran over Iraq and got entangled into a suicide bomber quagmire that required shifting all focus from Afghanistan. Now they are talking about the ISI, the Pakistani military and the same old thing. Why didn’t they do it right at the very start? Even now it is not late – Bomb the ISI head quarters. Carpet bomb NWFP and surrounding areas until the Pak military surrenders. Take them back to stone age like someone warned them in 2001. If they react, use nukes. Eight years later, we are back to square one. And eventually there is only one solution to this menace. And the solution has been there for a while. Hopefully reason will prevail this time. If the US misses this opportunity, its own collapse is very much possible.

 

–From chasing “Khalnayak” Mullah Omar in South Afghanistan within few Kms of US forces in 2001 to asking Afghan govt to talk to Mullah Omar now in 2009 for political settlement is a great progress!!!! What happened to smoking the A-Q out of their caves? Is there a good and bad A-Q? I am looking forward to some excuses there too. Anyways who knows when A-Q is truly defeated. True defeat is cutting their local support not reverse as it is now. This also Pakistan should stop dreaming about democracy due to rising fundamentalism/terrorism/more Lal Masjid incidents.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Get Pakistan onboard, stop the spread of instability into Pakistan, stabilize the Af-Pak region with non-military assistance in health, social development and education sector. Most importantly, engage with the Taliban and ensure there is an end to this conflict. Otherwise, US will not be able to sustain itself any longer inside a landlocked Afghanistan.
- Posted by Umair

–Pakistan created Talliban. In Afghanistan, Pakistan was onboard with S. Arabia. What did Pak do for non-military assistance in health, social development and education sector that it will do now. Taliban was good at displining people by chopping body parts publically but development was missing. Asking the same thing again?

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Mauryan writes:
“Bomb the ISI head quarters. Carpet bomb NWFP and surrounding areas until the Pak military surrenders. Take them back to stone age like someone warned them in 2001. If they react, use nukes. Eight years later, we are back to square one. ”

No, not until Pakistan Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons deployed at Sargodha Air base are on ADA(Air Defence Alert). Pakistan is capable of responding to any attack “within minutes” on record stated by Chief of Staff Gen. Kayani. Before any intruding aircraft make it to the ISI HQ in the heart of Islamabad, Pakistani pilots will intercept them. Ok lets assume such a strike is done via an warship through TomaHawk cruise missiles off Pakistani coast.
Pakistan Navy is equiipped with C-802 anti-ship missile, any warship nearing Pakistani coast with hostile intention, any air craft entering Pakistani airspace or any ground troops approachinng Pakistan’s border will be confronted by Pakistan Armed Forces equipped with sophisticated weapons systems.

Welcome to Pakistan Mauryan, I see you have very limited knowledge of the country and I will keep increasing your knowledge. No one expects Pakistan to be a cake walk.

And Mauryan, this time I didnt mention Pakistan’s nuclear capability but it doesnt mean Pakistan doesnt possess it. :)

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

“If they react, use nukes. Eight years later, we are back to square one. ”

This kind of mentality put us into two un-winnable pointless wars. Using nukes today on another world super power would be WW3- AKA the last war. Why do people like you think you can go around sentencing millions to death? The history of the world is full of bad decisions like this, that is why we are at such a horrible crossroad today. I always wondered how people could put others in gas chambers and ovens, go to public executions as entertainment, or hang their fellow man based on race. Now i know these people still exist today….

Posted by joethedumber | Report as abusive
 

Umair vomits as usual. If your Air force and nukes are so powerful, why did Musharraf drop his pants and fall at the feet of the Americans? At least the the Taliban had the courage to stand up to them. Your military again surrendered to the Americans and joined the war on terror. What a shame!

All your nuke cheat thumping is against India. That too is a weak argument. Your military prefers to fight in non-military guise mostly. If your armed forces wear uniform, they surrender. So your military is made up of cowards who like to hide in civilian clothes and fight uniformed soldiers. UN soldiers fight with water pistols. No wonder Pakistan contributes its cowardly soldiers to such missions.

Your nuclear and air force “might” will not work with the US or even Britain. That is what we are talking about now. India is not even in the picture. We do not care if Pakistan exists as one nation of cowards or many nations. We have our own goals of progress. The only thing that keeps our attention towards your nation is this continuous terrorist strikes on our soil originating from your country. If you leave us alone, we won’t even be writing here. So keep your nukes and lick them hard. It hardly matters to us. And your mighty air force can fly as much as it wants. It won’t make a dent on India’s defense.

We want the global terrorism buried for good. And your country seems to be the origin of that. So we’d like the Americans and their NATO allies to do a proper job of cleaning up the mess that they have created in your region.

 

Umair,

I have a question:

You wrote that, “The choice is clear, announce an exit strategy, let the Afghans know international forces are not going to stay there for ever.”

Does this mean you think it would be best if U.S. troops left the region altogether? I ask because I get the impression Pakistan is a bit ambivalent on this, having criticised the Americans for abandoning Afghanistan the last time when the Cold War ended.

Myra

Posted by Myra MacDonald | Report as abusive
 

LOL @ UMAIR,

F-16′s are 1978 technology. You brag about 30 year old technology to Indians, are they supposed to tremble at the sight of the F-16′s?

India has the Mig 30 and developing the next generation superiority fighter with Russia. India is also poised to get the MIG 35, and none of your planes will be a match for them.

Put your military in a museum where it belongs and send the Fauji’s home with a pitchfork, rake and shovel and get them to do something productive with their daily lives.

India is putting satellites in space already and is on the brink of building a Global Grade Military as it bought C130′s and AWACs planes and has nuclear subs.

My friend, you Paki guys cannot afford upgraded modern day equipment, it is best if your military disband quietly and start farming and make food for your people and quit terrorism. Don’t worry, India is not obsesses about attacking Pakistan, you really can feel safe at dismantling, we really don’t care what you do, so long as you do not do terrorism on us.

Oh and by the way, anybody can respond or give a befitting reply to anything, it does not mean anything.

Again you brag about C-802 anti-ship missiles, the world outside of PAKISTAN is much more advanced as India has hypersonic cruise missles, the BraMos they have a cruise speed of up-to Mach 3 and lab tested to be as high as mach 5.26, makes it the fastest cruise missile in the world.

see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BrahMos#Bra hMos_Hypersonic

Agreed, Pakistan may have nuclear parity with India, but is no match for the full brunt and might of the Indian military, in a direct confrontation, so please cease the tough talk. Indians have the ability to intercept your nukes.

Terrorism and a overly bloated Army for the purpose of stealing money from Pakistani’s is a bad business model, as it is not generating revenue any more for Pak.

You guys have too many Fauji’s employed and can’t even afford them without your begging bowl.

Do yourself a favor and retire 3/4 of your Fauji’s and get them farming.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

Mauryan barks:
“We want the global terrorism buried for good. And your country seems to be the origin of that.
So we’d like the Americans and their NATO allies to do a proper job of cleaning up the mess that they have created in your region.”

If you want to finish global terrorism, dont expect others to fight battles on your behalf. you must fight your own battles. why should NATO and US fight on behalf of India. NATO doesnt label Pakistan as a sponsor of terrorism, Pakistan is a Major Non-NATO Ally. Its India that has got terrorism problem with Pakistan. India should confront Pakistan directly.

“The only thing that keeps our attention towards your nation is this continuous terrorist strikes on our soil originating from your country. ”

So why dont you do something about it. British Foreign Secretary told you guys right under your noses in New Delhi to sort out Kashmir dispute otherwise more attacks like Mumbai will happen. Choice is yours, do what you are told or face the consequences.

“And your mighty air force can fly as much as it wants. It won’t make a dent on India’s defense. ”

Yes it wouldn’t because India never has anything like defence. Had it been, 10 terrorists would never have sailed happily into Mumbai coast and held hostage the entire city for three days killing top security officers. India’s defence is pretty sloppy when NSG commandoes kept waiting for 2 hours at New Delhi airport to be airlifted to Mumbai because they didnt have their own aircraft.

“We have our own goals of progress.”
Yes sure, dont forget include the following from your goals of progress:
1. Elimination of misery for 25% of Indian population consisting of Dalit low caste hindus.
2. Stopping the HIV AIDS epidemic.
Root out massive corruption and red tape in government.
3. Tackling one dozen insurgency campaigns.
4. Protecting Muslim and christian minorities from hindu fundamentalist like BJP, RSS, VHP, Banjrang Dal Shiv Sena etc.
5. Keep in check the communal violence.

“We do not care if Pakistan exists as one nation of cowards or many nations. ”
- You should care for whatever you like and ignore the rest. We certainly care a lot that our eastern neighbour doesnt behave like a wild bear on a rampage, thats why we keep the stick and pepper.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Hi Myra

In response to the question put forward by you:

The presence of US(International) troops in Afghanistan is also a precursor to the insurgency there. No doubt American military presence is required long enough for The Afghan Amry and Police force to take over responsibility, for Afghan government to become stable enough. But in the long term the trade off has to be kept in mind. Are the tactical presence of US forces in Afghanistan getting into the way of long term strategic goal of rebuilding Afghanistan? Collateral damage whether its in the form of killing of Afghan civilians, or drone attacks in tribal region of Pakistan are one area of flawed policy. Lack of engaging all Afghan neighbours including Iran is another area neglected. The conflict in Afghanistan has more regional dimension, and is more complicated than Iraq, where it was a straight forward case of occupation.
While Pakistan can be seen as ambivilent due to trust deficit, the US also has until now has been lacking the foresight to cohesively carry out their Afghan policy. With appointment of Richard Hoolbrooke, and review of Af-Pak policy the step is in the right direction. The combat phase of this conflict has to stop before nation building, and rehabilitation can start. This cannot happen until Taliban are talked to and acknowledged they have a stake in Afghanistan. The sooner the combat phase ends, US troops can go home and nation building efforts start. Consequently, insurgents will have one less reason to take up arms. Gradual social developemnt, sustained efforts to uplift the literacy rates will give Afghanistan a chance for development.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

India is a country of 1.2 billion people, we don’t spend 50% of our budget on the military as you guys do. If you want to bring Mumbai into the picture, where was your military, when it promised protection to the cricket team? Where was Pak Military when Marriot Hotel happened? Should I stop the list? it goes on and on….

The fact of the matter Umair, is that India and Pakistan does not really have a fight. It is just a very filthy few in the ISI and Pak Military that have hijacked and scared Pakistani’s through lying, misinformation and propaganda into believing in the great evil green alien-like India boogeyman that eats people. It is though this long-term brainwashing of Pakistan, that the Pak Army and ISI has maintained the constant perceived fear and threat that India wants to take over Pakistan.

Therefore, the ISI and Pak Military constantly create these terrorism incidents to drum up a war with India, or at least come close to one, often enough to justify spending the huge amounts of cash to add equipment to its military and scare average Pakistani’s into believing that have such a huge army is necessary.

Through fear, the Pak Army and ISI have convinced the Pakistani populace and had them buy into the facade of its need to be protected from India, the evil green alien monster that eats people. If Pak Army and ISI did not create an enemy for the Pakistani’s, they would not stand for such a huge misuse of their money. This parasitic existence on the Pakistani money, through fear has been very lucrative for the military and its family members.

I think Umair is a classic example of a beneficiary of free Pakistani handout money vis a vis Pak Army.

Fear is good for Pak Army’s business model.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

Umair talks from his rear end thus: “If you want to finish global terrorism, dont expect others to fight battles on your behalf. you must fight your own battles. why should NATO and US fight on behalf of India.”

We are not expecting anyone to do anything for us. We’d like to be left alone. The terror mechanism of your country got strengthened by the unthoughtful act of the US and its allies in the region. They empowered a feeble military and intelligence system in your country to such an extent that it has become a global threat. So they are back here to take care of that. I do not see why India should clear up others’ mess. Let them clear it first. We will if we have to. But when the US and its NATO allies are slowly zeroing in on your terror network themselves, it makes no sense to waste our resources now. We will act if they fail. You better hope they do not fail.

“India never has anything like defence. Had it been, 10 terrorists would never have sailed happily into Mumbai coast and held hostage the entire city for three days killing top security officers.”

Extrapolating this – the US never had anything like defense or intelligence. Had it been, 10 terrorists wouldn’t have hijacked planes so easily and attacked New York and Washington DC on Sept 11, 2001. Think well even if you write nonsense. Attackers dressed as common people can sneak through defense networks easily and hide amongst civilians. They attack civilians by the way and not the military. That makes them cowards. This is what your jihadis are doing in Kashmir as well. If your warriors are so brave, ask them to fight the proper military and see what they get in response. Attacking civilians is the easiest thing to do and that is what your terror network is doing all along.

“Yes sure, dont forget include the following from your goals of progress:
1. Elimination of misery for 25% of Indian population consisting of Dalit low caste hindus.”

Yeah, yeah. Stop shedding crocodile tears. And stitch that torn socks of yours. Join the queue for your next meal. We know what our problems are and are working on improving them. You don’t need to remind us. Turn around and do something in your country instead. Our country is huge and it will take years for everyone to reach a level of comfort. But we are getting there. If you can keep your jihadi clones to yourselves, we can do even faster.

“We certainly care a lot that our eastern neighbour doesnt behave like a wild bear on a rampage, thats why we keep the stick and pepper.”

If you stay off the path of the bear, you will not need a stick and pepper. But you guys want to tie a rope to its neck and want it to dance for your drums so that you can beg on the streets. That is not going to happen.

Like it or not. Soon, the world is going to zero in on the epicenter of terrorism inside your country. So enjoy your days well.

 

Myra,

The idea of talking to the Taliban is going to be a blunder in the long run. The moderates of today may change colors and become radicals tomorrow. When ground realities shift, loyalties and alliances change. There is no guarantee that the peace will last by talks alone. Meanwhile, the challenge is how to keep the radical Islam agenda at bay while negotiating with the Taliban. Not to mention how to identify the moderate Taliban.

If we assume that the Taliban can be bought and negotiated, any country can buy their loyalty to the detriment of the US.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive
 

Myra asked, ” Does this mean you think it would be best if U.S. troops left the region altogether? I get the impression Pakistan is a bit ambivalent on this, having criticized the Americans for abandoning Afghanistan the last time when the Cold War ended.”

Pakistan’s expectations from the US in Afghanistan are dubious. Pakistan will not like to loose its influence on Taliban in Afghanistan. Pakistan does not have the bandwidth or the desire to help develop Afghanistan. A resurgent Afghanistan works to the detriment of Pakistan; it often leads to renewed demands of redrawing of the border and questioning the legitimacy of the Durand line.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive
 

Nikhil, you wrote:

“The idea of talking to the Taliban is going to be a blunder in the long run. The moderates of today may change colors and become radicals tomorrow.”

I deliberately avoided using that phrase “moderate Taliban” which seems to be confusing the whole argument. I’m assuming that if you talk to the Taliban (or the Pashtun insurgents), then you have to be thinking about them as a whole rather than pretending there is a moderate wing that can be split off. The point of discussion is more about how to split them from al Qaeda, no?

Also on the Durand Line question, I didn’t have space to say this, but does it not seem likely that, at the very least, the United States will insist on a recognition of the Durand Line as part of its exit strategy?

Myra

Posted by Myra MacDonald | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

Contrary to your view, the presence of the US/NATO troops in Afghanistan is not a precursor to the insurgency there. In fact, Afghanistan cannot be rebuilt in the absence of US/NATO troops because the regional countries will fight among themselves to fill the vacuum. The US/NATO troop levels may be altered based on the levels of threats. Moreover, fighting insurgency is like fighting cancer; one has to be vigilant even after the symptoms fade.

In the end, no one is disputes a regional and a military-diplomatic solution in Afghanistan. But, when there are evidences of the Taliban stoking the fire of insurgency from Pakistan, the drone attacks in to Pakistan become justified. The establishment in Pakistan tacitly approves such targeted attacks with the hope to extend the writ of the government in the lawless regions. Clearly, the US is helping and rewarding the government of Pakistan in return for taking political risks.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive
 

Myra, you asked:

1)You asked, “I’m assuming that if you talk to the Taliban (or the Pashtun insurgents), then you have to be thinking about them as a whole rather than pretending there is a moderate wing that can be split off. The point of discussion is more about how to split them from al Qaeda, no?”

My guess is as good as yours. It’s very difficult to differentiate between the two because the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan is fluid. There is lot of cross-over between Al-Qaeda, Taliban and other terrorist groups.

The Pashtuns are not a unified block; many are bound by tribal and ancestral links that may have conflicting views on how to reach to peace. It’s alleged that the hierarchy of the Pashtun leadership and the old Jirga system was systematically dismantled by the ISI in the 90’s. Consequently, it’s going to be difficult to implement any peace treaty.

2) You asked, “does it not seem likely that, at the very least, the United States will insist on a recognition of the Durand Line as part of its exit strategy”

As part of the exit strategy, recognizing the Durand line should be on the agenda list of Mr. Holbrook. The question is how further down the list. If Pakistan does not like the US plans to settle the outstanding border issue with Afghanistan, it may insist to settle it bilaterally without foreign intervention.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive
 

@I always wondered how people could put others in gas chambers and ovens, go to public executions as entertainment, or hang their fellow man based on race. Now i know these people still exist today….

- Posted by joethedumber

–bloggers usually are usually overacting or underacting. The chances of former are more, scoring game and gets more intense with each back & forth message-just out of reaction. Same in a mob, singularily each person will be nice, but sometimes the moment provide ideal atmosphere and collectively you’ll see mob violence/riots/soccer game violence. All unavoidable but taken at the spur of the moment. Given time, these guys will be OK. DO not worry these bloggers are not the ones to “put others in gas chambers …..”. You will have to do more work to understand the psychology of those who throw others in gas chambers…These bloggers do not represent that model system for understanding. But remember much worse is throwing atom bombs at Hiroshima & Nagasaki without any discussion. Here in Indian-Pakistan case, it is all talk,which is good. I am not provoking anyone; so guys don’t unsheath your swords.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

All avoidable but taken at the spur of the moment

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

@In 2001, there was a golden opportunity to put an end to everything. …..But the US had an idiot for President ……..Instead, the idiot ran over Iraq and got entangled into a suicide bomber quagmire that required shifting all focus from Afghanistan……”

-posted by Mauryan

Mauryan: Perhaps Bush Inc. was very smart. They kept Afghansitan on backburner since they knew even 2 Bushes also cannot win Afghanistan war—-that means loss of election-no 2nd term. So he started another winnable war–in Iraq-although US got into a bigger mess than they expectd.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Rajeev,

You may be right regarding the re-election. Politicians of today will sell their mothers if they have to, in order to gain. I’d say Dick Cheney and his Haliburton company also had something to do with the decision of putting Afghanistan on the back burner. But it was a serious blunder and it has taken the situation to its current status. Bush is now busy writing a book on the decisions that he had made as a President.

 

@Myra

Talking to the Taliban? There is no need to talk with criminals and concede to them. What we in the west see as sitting down and talking, the shame based cultures call it and see it as their enemy surrendering to them.

Do we not legitimize the Taliban by talking with them? When did we start to legitimize criminals, allow retrograde thinking? What we see as liberalism, they see as victory over us. These people are either at your throat or at your feet, there is no middle ground for them.

The only thing they respect is either an American Cruise Missile or a High Yield Thermobaric Weapon dropped by a B-1B Lancer. The Taliban should be dealt with in very simple, forward, blunt and forceful terms. Give them a chance to surrender and if they don’t give them every chance of being Martyred uselessly to no end, if they wish.

As we discuss liberalities and pluralisms with the Taliban, Islamic youth around the world become further emboldened to come and fight and join the Taliban. If the foreign Taliban conscriptees knew that they had no chance of survival, once in Afghanistan, don’t you think that they would think twice of coming to Afghanistan in the first place.

The Taliban should be served up a relentless dish of “Shock and Awe”, where ever they are.

This is the year 2009, since when do we start conceding and making deals with those who embrace the 8thcentury? Our forefathers who fought for freedom would be disgusted at us moving even an inch of ground with these men who embrace stagnation, death of the human soul and preach God and death in the same sentence.

Show the Taliban no mercy. Take no prisoners. There will be no apologies for defending freedom and liberty. Any and all means should be used to exterminate the Taliban.

Humanity and freedom are non-negotiable.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

Engage More, Do War Less in Afghanistan

by Jonathan Power
22 March 2009 KHALEEJ TIMES

Engagement has many virtues over war and confrontation. The Western coalition appears to have finally realised it in Afghanistan

When two years ago I talked about the Taleban to the now fallen military president of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, and suggested he talk to them more and fight them less he reacted as if the thought had never passed through his head before. “Well, I have never thought of doing that, but you have given me a good idea!”, he said, suddenly sitting up in his chair. David Goodhart, the editor at Prospect magazine for whom I often write, dryly observed that Musharraf was trying to flatter a rather naïve journalist. Thank you David, but in my naivete, after over 40 years of being a foreign correspondent, I didn’t read it that way!

And now, the last six months, as the Taleban seem to be winning the war, everyone — Americans, NATO ?commanders and ambassadors on the spot and, not least, the Pakistanis, are falling over themselves to talk and ?“to engage”.

Appeasement is a word the critics of engagement have always liked to toss around, perhaps forgetting that British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who talked to Hitler, was also pushing re-armament at home. It was Winston Churchill and his friends who started the “appeasement” campaign as a way of unseating Chamberlain for their own self-interested political ends. So we should not even bother to duck when that word is thrown at us.

More seriously, as Richard Haass has observed, “sceptics have argued that engagement strategies can invite problems of ‘moral hazard’ — a term used when bankers are bailed out when their investments have hit the rocks. A cash-strapped regime watching America “buy out” North Korea’s nuclear programme may be inspired to embark on its own endeavour in the hopes of later “selling” it to the US.”

But it is doubtful if Iran, Syria, Russia, China, Cuba, the Taleban or those other countries with which the West have problems would come into the category of “moral hazard”. They would not be much interested in being “bought”. On the other hand, Libya clearly ?was “bought” and North Korea ?still could be, if the US plays its cards better than it did during the recent Bush administration.

Engagement has many virtues over war, confrontation or sanctions. Sanctions have an indifferent record of achieving success, hurting the poor more than the regime, as in Zimbabwe today. War, as can be clearly seen in Afghanistan, also hurts the poor and vulnerable most. According to the UN, civilian deaths have increased by 40 per cent over the last year.

But engagement, because it is a slow process, depends on the cultivated support of a well-prepared domestic base. When President Jimmy Carter tried to normalise relations with ex-enemy Vietnam, he came up against Congress’ antagonism and the vociferous objections of the veterans’ lobby.

Years later, President Bill Clinton had more success because he carefully solicited influential Congressional leaders and with the judicious use of American aid and the incentive of lifting sanctions persuaded Hanoi’s leadership to comply with US demands, not least full-scale help on finding ?the remains of American service men killed in action.

With Afghanistan, President Barack Obama is not cultivating any base for sustained non-military action. By raising force levels by 17,000 soldiers he has thrown down a gauntlet to the Taleban leadership who, given the success against the Red Army, probably think that is just 17,000 more soldiers to be chewed up.

They can out-patience any foreign invader as they showed most recently with the Red Army. They also did it to the British, the Persians and, long ago, to Alexander the Great.

The Americans and NATO can talk all they want about engagement but this is shooting themselves in the foot. They have to back up their willingness to talk by some credible military steps to ?lower the intensity of combat, and a diversion of troops into peacekeeping and rebuilding the schools, hospitals and villages they have helped or provoked to decimate.

This is what Pakistan has belatedly done in Swat, part of the North-West Frontier Province. It has allowed the local government to engage with the local Taleban so that in return for allowing Shariah law once again the Taleban will call off the killing. Western troops are not fighting the Taleban to outlaw old legal and religious customs, or even to emancipate women.

That cannot be done by bombs and rifles. This kind of social change takes decades of patient evolution. Education, even if it is male only, is the way to keep the wheels of evolution turning.

As for locating Osama bin Laden, good detective work is the way, as the Israelis proved with the hunt for Adolf Eichmann. Engage more. Do war less, Mr Obama.

Jonathan Power is a veteran foreign affairs commentator based in London

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Myra I am just wondering what can we make of the article by Jonathan Power. Constructive engagement is required in Afghanistan, carpet bombing is not even an option. Those who invented strategies like “regime change” “shock and awe” and “pre-emptive strike” are today out of the picture, their voices have been silenced.

In South Africa after aparthied fell, the truth and reconciliation commission was formed with a spirit of forgiveness. We need more people like archbishop Desmund Tutu and Nelson Mandela, if South Africa can come out of the suffering and pain of aparthied, Afghanistan can also recover from the darkness of war.
Islam is also a religion of peace and to forgive is the Quality of Allah(God). A tru muslim believes in forgiving others, I am sure Taliban can forgive others for what they did to them, similarly others will have to forgive the Taliban. But this is no story book fantasy, it is the real world and things are not that simple. However, peace should be given a chance.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

One must have a measure of who they are dealing with when considering engagements. A dog will respond when thrown food. It will understand kindness and be the best friend. A crocodile on the other hand has no such nature. It will bite every time a hand is offered. Islamic terrorism, radical Islam, Jihad, and Orthodox Islam are extremely intertwined. This is a very different animal. It feeds on militant ways to enforce its values on others. It does not stop until it has achieved its end. It is constantly at war with something. All this talk of Islam being a peaceful religion is only talk. In reality, its followers resort to brutal means to enforce their values. They have figured out that violence is the best way to get what they want. They are preying on the good will of other societies and religions to establish firm ground for their fundamentalist beliefs. Extending a hand for shake to them is equivalent to kneeling in front of them in submission. That is how they understand it. Watch it now. If the US makes the mistake of engaging them through a dialogue, they will declare victory. Then they will lose their value for the enemy. Islamists seek an enemy at all times. Giving them deals and weapons is the worst thing one can do. The only way to bring them around is by carpet bombing non stop until they give up. And they have a weaker side too. Surrender and switch sides. That is the only option that should be given to them. Western values do not work in these societies. Cancer cannot be cured with placebos. It needs the treatment it deserves.

 

Umair,

Jonathan Power mentioning Churchill reminded me of an article I read recently on the BBC website about how Churchill rewrote the history of the 1930s to his own advantage in a way that coloured our view of “appeasement” for the rest of the 20th century:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/w wtwo/churchill_gathering_storm_01.shtml

I think I’d say that we know already that the United States is not going to carpet-bomb either Afghanitan or Pakistan. That means it will eventually have to reach an accommodation with the Pashtun insurgents — although there are many arguments over how and when Washington should do this, and, as I mentioned in my analysis, how you define the insurgents.

I’d also rephrase the question. Can anyone on this forum think of a time when an invader has successfully defeated an insurgency without at the same time going for a huge displacement of the population? If we assume that the United States is not going to displace the Pashtuns en masse (a fairly reasonable assumption), then logically, you have to say it will eventually have to accommodate them one way or another.

That is, of course, not to pass a value judgment on the Taliban, but to ask realistically what is likely to happen over the coming years.

Myra

Posted by Myra MacDonald | Report as abusive
 

@Bush is now busy writing a book on the decisions that he had made as a President.
-by Mauryan

–So, he is making money both ways. So is Dr. Rice.
Personal financial gains of few were also the reason for the war –Haliburton. But what was the official version of USA: “wrong intelligence”–something like that!!! Somethings are stupid in hindsight but Iraq war was horrible right from the beginning.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Rajeev writes: “Somethings are stupid in hindsight but Iraq war was horrible right from the beginning.”

Making a deal with the Taliban will be one of those blunders that will come to haunt the world in the long run. I understand why the US is tempted to do it now. The coffers are getting depleted very fast due to market melt down. They need to get out. Already they are talking about Afghan exit strategy. What they will work out will be a deal where American and Western interests are not bothered anymore by Islamic insurgency. The Taliban will act as an intermediary with the Al Qaeda. They will make sure that all Jihad is confined to local interests only. Things will return to the state as in 1989 – US and its allies are left alone. No more terrorism on their soil. Pakistan, Taliban, Al Qaeda etc could do whatever they want on others. And the crooks know that they made a mistake by taking on the US in 2001. Once Bin Laden is dead (which will be soon), Al Qaeda will fizzle out. The ISI-Jihad network will confine its activities to known territory in India. The US and its allies will agree to turn a blind eye to it so long as they are not bothered. War on terrorism will be over. Terrorism inside India will be rephrased as freedom fight to pacify the Pakistani establishment. Reset button would have been pushed. Rebooting will start. The world will live happily ever after.

 

@Mauryan,

Thank you for summing up the exact thoughts of millions of people worldwide. No one has the brevity to say what they truly feel about Radical Extreme Islamists. Just to be clear, moderate muslims are not included in my wholehearted agreement with your statement.

I do however feel that those seeking to be at war with non-muslims continually, should not be given an inch, but should be destroyed. If humanity did not take a stand against evil, case in point, Hitler, who had a sick lust for conquering the world, this would be a much different place today.

It is when nations ally together against a enemy so evil and insidious at its core, that nations and civilizations preserve the sovereignty of human progress and protect the things we hold dear today against dictatorships, totalitarianism and tyrany.

It may be time again for democratic freedom loving nations that value the right of the individual as a human being first, to unite and surgically radiate, smash and destroy this evil pervasive cancer of Radical Islamist Terrorism.

It would be the right thing if moderate muslims did much more to directly fight radicalism at its doorstep and be very vocal and action oriented about fighting the very philosophies of Radical Islamists at the source. It is that lack of will, internal fear, lack of strength, inner weakness and in some cases quiety sympathy and quiet complicity that makes the job much harder for those trying to contain it.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

Global watcher:

There is no clear definition of the term “moderate Muslim.” Is it someone who is not a radical in action, but supports it in his heart? Many are in this category. There are those who don’t go to the mosque or pray five time a day or follow any of the Muslim codes of conduct (Jinnah is one example). They know about the Quran from what others told them. Are they moderate? Being a moderate person depends on a person’s individual nature and not on his religion. People become defensive when their identity is pointed at. Whether they strictly fit the definition of that identity or not does not matter.

Coming to the Taliban, they must be treated just like the apartheid regime in South Africa. In today’s world, they are practicing gender Apartheid. Woman has no rights, she is half man, she has no access to education and she is expendable. This is blatant human rights violation. The way they brought South Africa to give up official apartheid was by trade embargo, economic sanctions etc. At some point they had to give in. In the case of the Taliban, the same must be done. No deals whatsoever. Whoever makes a deal with the Taliban or endorses them should see the same fate. No business deals. No foreign aid. Nothing. And at the same time the stick must be used. Saudis must be told in clear terms that dealing with these barbarians will invite stern reaction from the world powers. They imposed all these on Saddam Hussein. But Pakistan is a strategic ally! That makes no sense. Pakistan has everything that they accused Saddam of. They have started their jihadist activities in Kashmir already. This tells that these guys can never be trusted and no deal will work with them. They only believe in carrying out their pursuit. Every deal made is a short term relief to regroup and restart. The Western powers are using Pakistan as a leverage against India’s progress. They want to prove their theory that India as a democracy with diverse cultures cannot survive. India has been proving them wrong and it was allied against them in the past. That residual mindset has not left the West. So they are not very sympathetic to what India is bearing. At some point things are going to blow up. Emotional people are on the other side of the border too. If they come to power, it will lead to irrational acts and a huge calamity.

 

@Mauryan,

First off there are proud muslims who practice their faith who can be called moderates, unfortunately the mosques are places of politics and the moderates are not allowed to have a voice there, as if they do, there are often threats of violence and intimidation.

Please READE see the following link on Islam vs Islamists: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/ dws/dn/opinion/columnists/rdreher/storie s/DN-rodislam_13edi.ART.State.Edition1.4 35bd6b.html

I complete agree with you, the west has to realize is that India MUST be included in the Global strategy to fight terrorism. If the west ignores this, what this does is create resentment and anger amount the Nationalist ultra orthodox Hindus, which want to radicalize India and keep it for Hindus only. I detest and loathe these guys as much as I detest the Taliban. These right wing Hindus are very dangerous to the stablity of India as well and it is actually in the hands of Pakistan and the U.S., how big and powerful these groups become.

Since India is a secular democracy, India can’t just silence and kill these guys off, like the Military does in Pakistan with minority groups, they will have an equal voice in government, and through votes, if they become popular they can legally gain power in office and be in control of the Indian military.

The Extremist Hindus can only get power, if the Pakistani Military and ISI don’t stop terrorism on India. Every time Pakistani’s do terrorism on India, it angers the public, as they want justice and they don’t vote for moderate governments. The best way for Pakistan to control anti-Pakistan sentiment in India, is for Pakistan to flatten its terrorist infrastructure and change the minds and hearts of its people and stop the hate propaganda against India. Because for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This simple concept is foreign to Pakistan, for some reason and evades their mentality.

Unfortunately there are outside forces working in Pakistan, like the Wahabi’s and Deobandi which have 8th century dreams of delusional conquest and “DAWAs” over Kaffirs and Dhimmi’s, which is fueling hate and fear against India, through the madrasas and facilitated by the complicity, sympathy and support of the Pakistani Military and ISI and desensitized and sympathetic Pakistani society at large. These folks feel entitlement to rule India once more due the last 800 years but for get that India was free for almost 6200years before that, but that becomes ignored, for some reason. The Americans know this, but turn a blind eye and don’t want to engage this scenario.

As long as the moderates in India stay in power, India will not let their problems become the world’s problem. How long the Indian moderates stay in power, will depend upon the words and actions of those religio-political forces in Pakistan, which Pakistan is unwilling to divorce itself from.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

It seems that the Pakistani Army is still complicit, supporting and quietly supporting Terrorism, namely the Kashmir Mujahideen terror training camps and the Taliban.

Please refer the following link.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Pak-s till-running-terror-camps-Army-chief/art icleshow/4315822.cms

Myra, the U.S. has to do more to pressure include turfing of these so-called strategic proxy terrorist army “assets”.

The U.S. must consider droning these terrorist training camps in Pakistan Kashmir, in the future.

Will you please, in a future topic, directly and headon, address the Terrorist Jihadi Proxy Armies in Pakistan, nurtured and cultivated to agitate and destabilize India?

I am a little perturbed that the west is turning a blind eye to the Kashmir based terrorist camps.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

@Myra,

Attached is a link showing the location of the terrorist training camps:

http://www.kashmir-information.com/Terro rism/machine.html

In Indian General Kapoor’s own words, since Mumbai, there has been no change in the number of guerilla terrorist training camps.

India has satellite imaging capability, there fore existence of these guerilla style terrorist training camps in Pak Kashmir is not just some conspiracy theory.

Please let this topic be posted so that it may be discused and brought and given its due discussion.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

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