Saturday, January 25, 2014
Today in Afghanistan - Inmates Still Running the Asylum
Outgoing (this year) Afghan president Hamid Karzai says the U.S. needs to start peace talks with the Taliban or they might as well just pack up and leave.
Given that the United States invaded Afghanistan in the first place with the intention of crushing al Qaeda and driving out their supposed Taliban sponsors, it's sort of like Karzai telling the Americans they can stay but only if they essentially admit defeat.
Just how does the United States negotiate with the Talibs? Negotiations are a give and take process. And just what exactly is "the Taliban" any more? Today there's a Pakistani Taliban and an Afghan Taliban and then there's a gaggle of other groups more or less associated with the insurgency/rebellion. When you consider the history of shifting loyalties and alliances, figuring out who you're actually dealing with from one year to the next is really an exercise in herding cats.
And how do you deal on behalf of a surrogate government that is, itself, a criminal enterprise and about to undergo a rigged electoral equivalent of regime change? Hamid is going to gather up his foreign bank books and di di mau the hell and gone from Kabul this year.
Karzai's defiant tone struck a chord with those in the west who have already decided that further discussion with the Afghan president may be pointless and waiting for his successor to be elected is the best option.
"The more people speak about it being signed after the election, the more irrelevant he becomes," said one diplomat. "Sad as it is, we might have to bank on the next guy."
Roll the dice and "bank on the next guy"? Seriously, that's the game plan? See, I told you. The inmates are indeed still running the asylum. What if the "next guy" is this guy?