As Canadians, we should be very aware and concerned about the implications of Harmid Karzai’s recent statement about the Taliban:
http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/286259 (full story printed below).
As someone who’s been opposed to this war from the beginning, you don’t know how much a statement or suggestion like Karzai’s really throws me into a loop – and should throw every citizen of this planet into a loop as well.
As we all know, the ‘war on terror’ escalated to new levels after 9/11 following the hunt for Osama Bin Laden. After spending what I can only describe ‘hundreds of billions of dollars’ (given the level of secrecy concerning actually spend levels) and hundreds of thousands of lives gone to waste, this kind of a statement makes me wonder at the futility of the entire exercise.
Back here in Canada, citizens are talked down to when asked how much the war in Afghanistan is costing Canadian taxpayers. The guess-timate is again probably about $25 billion per year, or about $200 BILLION dollars wasted on this effort since 2001. Again, I’m forced to guess because the Cons treat this money like it’s their own and have decided we don’t have a right to know what we’re REALLY wasting on this effort.
Now that Karzai wants to spend money on ’employing’ Taliban soldiers, it throws this mess into an even deeper chasm of insanity because if that’s all they’re after, we should have either (a) done this in the first place or (b) understood that they’re ALL crooks and walked away from the table because as soon as you pay them once, they’ll be back again with either their palms open asking for more or fists clenched, wanting to exact revenge.
The best thing to do will be to remove ourselves from this NATO action and if the UN wants to be involved with this corrupt cesspool, we should offer services through the UN Peace Keeping Forces, UNICEF and other international bodies that are focused on setting things straight.
Original text of story:
Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai is trying to entice members of Taliban to surrender their arms to the government in exchange for cash and jobs. Taliban immediately rejected the proposal saying they cannot be bought.
President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan is offering the Taliban money and jobs in exchange for their arms in an effort to address the long drawn insurgency in the country. Karzai’s plan echoed similar proposals by Washington to try and bring low and mid-level extremists back into mainstream society, but the leadership of Islamist insurgent groups remain hostile to negotiations.
The Islamist militants have been fighting the Afghan government and foreign troops since the Taliban was outed in 2001 by US led invasion. “We know as the Afghan people we must have peace at any cost,” Karzai said in the television interview aired Friday ahead of an international conference on Afghanistan in London next week, where he will present the plan. “Those that we approach to return will be provided with the abilities to work, to find jobs, to have protection, to resettle in their own communities.” Apparently the Karzai proposal on monetary rewards and jobs for the insurgents will match the the pay of Taliban foot soldiers. The Afghan government forces are paid less than what the Taliban is giving to their members or foot soldiers. Karzai said that hard line insurgents who are known al-Qaeda members are not covered by the proposed monetary rewards. The Taliban leadership rejected the proposal saying they cannot be bought by money and bounties. “We insist on our previous stance that we will not negotiate with this government. Any negotiation now would mean accepting being a slave of America. Our goal is enforcing an Islamic government and withdrawal of foreign forces.”according to a Taliban spokesman. In a related development, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton unveiled a long-term non-military strategy to stability Afghanistan and Pakistan which aims to to rebuild the Afghan farm sector, improve governance and bring extremists back into mainstream society.