14 June 2003

US meets Taliban
The Asia Times reports:

According to a Pakistani jihadi leader who played a role in setting up the communication, the meeting took place recently between representatives of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and Taliban leaders at the Pakistan Air Force base of Samungli, near Quetta.

The source told Asia Times Online that four conditions were put to the Taliban before any form of reconciliation can take place that could potentially lead to them having a role in the Kabul government, whose present authority is in essence limited to the capital:

Mullah Omar must be removed as supreme leader of the Taliban.
All Pakistani, Arab and other foreign fighters currently engaged in operations against international troops in Afghanistan must be thrown out of the country.
Any US or allied soldiers held captive must be released.
Afghans currently living abroad, notably in the United States and England, must be given a part in the government - through being allowed to contest elections - even though many do not even speak their mother tongue, such as Dari or Pashtu.

If true, this is insane. Perhaps regime change in 2 countries at the same time is not as easy as Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz claim after all?

I've been some imagining. Of course I'm a hopeless idealist but what if the great powers had restricted their interventions in the Middle East to cases of international humanitarian intervention? What if Mossadegh had not not been deposed by the CIA? What if the US had not armed Saddam with chemical weapons in order to fight Iran? What if the Soviet Union had not imposed its own guy in Afghanistan?

Given the unhappy record of previous interventions why should we expect Iraq to be any better? What have the war party learned from previous interventions that they are applying in this intervention? So far the only possible answer to the last two questions is nothing and nothing.

The Road to Surfdom and Pandagon blog the same story.

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