Saturday, September 29, 2007

Karzai Shaken - Again

It's the lead story on the Globe's web site: Afghan President Seeks Peace With Taliban After Suicide Bomb.

According to the G&M: A Taliban suicide bomber wearing an Afghan army uniform set off a huge explosion Saturday while trying to board a military bus in the capital, killing 30 people, most of them soldiers, officials said. Hours later, the Afghan president offered to meet personally with the Taliban leader for peace talks and give the militants a position in government.

Within hours? This is the same Karzai who reads Canadian Forces' speeches to our parliament and implores Canada to keep fighting lest the Taliban prevail in his country. He's lost his nerve and, it seems, his appetite for the fight against the insurgency. The lives of our soldiers shouldn't be just a bargaining chip for Karzai.


Sean Cummings said...

You really do need to stop being so melodramatic. It get's boring after a while.

Not sure if you watched Mike Duffy this week, but it's pretty much a common occurrence for a foreign dignitary to have their speech vetted by government officials. DND did NOT write Karzai's speech. If you can prove they did, I (along with probably the entire national media) would be most interested in learning how you came to this conclusion. (You know, aside from siding with the paranoid rantings of the NDP)

I'm not entirely crazy about the notion of Karzai inviting the Taliban to have a seat in his government. That being said, he is the leader of what's left of Afghanistan, he's entitled to do that. I suspect Canada would take issue with this position of course. It will be interesting to see how Foreign Affairs responds to this one.

Anonymous said...

Oh god, Sean gets his techno info from Mike Duffy - hey, we all know the stuff gets vetted - that's not the gist of the post. I don't think it's melodramatic to to say that our little union with Karzai is disturbing to say the least - disturbing in that we are losing our young men to a "plan" with no substance.


Sean Cummings said...

That was the point I was making. One thing to call the Tories on a legitimate issue like the mission end date, another thing entirely to steal a page from the nutjobs in the NDP and state the DND is writing speeches for Karzai.

Anonymous said...

Already, the Conservatives and the Liberals are taking opposite sides of Karzai's attempt at quelling Taleban violence in his country.

The Conservatives are in power so many Liberals are saying our soldiers' sacrifices were for nothing. However McKay responds will not be good enough and will be roundly criticized.

If the Liberals were in power, they would say this is good news. We are a nation of peacekeepers and a negotiated peace is the route to go. Some Conservatives would then say it is wrong to negotiate with terrorists.

It is not our place to decide for Afghanistan how and when her problems will be resolved. Karzai's government may not be perfect but it is Afghanistan's government and its wishes must be respected.

Can't we just accept the fact we did good work in Afghanistan while we were there and should be proud.

Louise M.

The Mound of Sound said...

Good points, Louise. A negotiated peace would be a blessing if it could be achieved but I'm not sure it can, at least not yet. Afghanistan was in a decades-old state of civil war before we arrived and it remains beset by civil war, albeit in the form of an insurgency at the moment. Karzai wants a deal but I'm not sure the Tajik, Uzbek, Turkmen and Hazara warlords by whose consent he "governs" would agree. Karzai, like the Taliban, is a Pashtun, a tribe almost evenly split between Pakistan and Afghanistan. There are all manner of issues arising out of that border that also play into this problem.

What do we do if the ethnic components of Afghanistan just aren't ready yet for peace? What if the Taliban - and the other groups - actually want to continue their civil war?

Canada is such a bit player in this morass. We can't win this, certainly not on our own. We're doing a workmanlike job and, you're right, we should be proud of the good we've done but if we're getting the fire put out in the garage while the kitchen and livingroom are burning down, at the end of the day we're still going to be standing in ashes.