Thursday, July 22, 2010

Even The Crackpots Are Noticing.

For the very first time, something approaching a point of agreement: The Taliban have denounced this week's international conference on Afghanistan's future, saying the "vague and terrible agenda" shows that the U.S. and its allies intend to abandon the country and blame their ultimate defeat on the Afghan government.

To wit:

I. Barack Obama, apparently frustrated at the way the war is going, has reminded his national security advisers that while he was on the election campaign trail in 2008, he had advocated talking to America's enemies.

II. The US Treasury Department has added three top Haqqani Network and Taliban leaders to the list of designated terrorists for their support of terror groups in Afghanistan.

III. The move comes as Karzai has apparently persuaded Washington to push for de-listing certain Taliban leaders from a United Nations sanctions list first established in 1999.

IV. The United Nations is speeding up efforts that could lead to the removal of Taliban leaders from an international terrorist blacklist, the top United Nations official here said Saturday.

V. On the sidelines of a major security conference, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says Iran could play a central part in establishing peace in Afghanistan. "We believe in Iran's key role in assisting efforts for peace and stability in Afghanistan based on its proximity and vast borders." .

VI. Inga-Britt Ahlenius, former head of the UN's Office for Internal Oversight Services, in a leaked 50-page memo to Ban Ki-moon - a stinging, 50-page denunication: "Your action is without precedent and in my opinion seriously embarrassing for yourself. I regret to say that the secretariat now is in a process of decay. I am sad that we are in the process of decline and reduced relevance of the organisation. In short, we seem to be seen less and less as a relevant partner in the resolution of world problems."


Blogger brian platt said...

Maybe the White House is leaning towards negotiations, or maybe it isn't, but that Guardian article is less than convincing.

"a senior official in Washington said"
"said a diplomatic source"
"A source with knowledge of the process said"
"A senior Pakistani diplomat said"
"a senior former US government official familiar with the latest Pentagon thinking said"

Not a single name in the whole dang piece.

The key point I take from this is that while the UN has spent months pushing for the delisting of Taliban leaders as terrorists, the Americans are ADDING names to their list.

I guess I'm just more hopeful about the Yanks than you are. Obama's got more mettle than people give him credit for.

1:14 AM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

Brian: To be clear, I trust Obama to put America's "national security" interests first and above all else, and as he looks out upon the world, I trust him to be mindful of the economic ruin his country faces and the disaster that has wracked the US treasury and the country's entire financial system.

I trust him no more and no less than that.

8:19 AM  

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