Yet the corrupt Hamid Karzai, our man in Afghanistan, the mayor of Kabul, pardon me, the president of Afghanistan insists, "I have had personal meetings with some Taliban leaders. Some of my colleagues have had meetings with the Taliban both in Afghanistan and outside Afghanistan," Karzai said in an Oct. 15 interview with al Jazeera English television news. Based on a vast reservoir of experience that dates back nine years and beyond, I simply do not believe him.
I seem to have the support from U.S. intelligence. McClatchy Newspapers report, "U.S. intelligence officials have "some question' about whether the insurgent leaders participating in these contacts have any authority to engage in peace talks, said a second knowledgeable U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue."
With respect to Afghanistan Tom Engelhardt, editor of TomDispatch is a disappointed man, grieving for our country's course in that forlorn country. Truth be known, so am I. He bitterly laments:
And it's only gotten worse (or, from the Taliban point of view, better) ever since. Yes, they are now getting pounded by a heightened American bombing campaign, a Special Operations night-raids-and-assassination campaign, and pressure from newly surging U.S. forces in the southern part of the country. Nonetheless, as the Wall Street Journal reported recently, they are achieving some remarkable successes in northern Afghanistan. After all, the Taliban had always been considered a Pashtun tribal movement and while there are Pashtuns in the north, they are a distinct minority. The Journal nonetheless reports: "[T]he insurgency is now drawing ethnic Uzbeks, Tajiks, and other minorities previously seen as unsympathetic to the rebel cause."
If, more than nine years later, the Taliban -- the Taliban ! -- is attracting groups that theoretically loath it, have few cultural affinities with it, and long fought or opposed it, then you know that the American campaign in Afghanistan has hit its nadir. Thanks to us and our man in Kabul, the Taliban is increasingly the fallback position, the lesser of two disasters, for Afghan nationalists. This helps explain why more than $27 billion dollars in American training funds hasn't produced an Afghan military or police force capable of or willing to fight, while Taliban guerrillas, lacking such aid, fight fiercely anyway.
The apathy of the American people and the politicians in Washington on this drain of our resources, including human resources, the dead and the wounded, is beyond pathetic This sad country, ranked as one of the poorest on the planet, is in a remote corner of the world that no one cares about, nor wants, in league with the Military/Industrial Complex, whose cheerleader is the politically astute Gen. Petraeus, is on course to bankrupt the United States of America, and 97 percent of Americans could care less.
The graveyard of empires long past is about to claim another victim.