U.S.-Taliban talks: More bizarre foreign policy

The U.S. announced plans to negotiate with the Taliban and within hours it attacked a base that killed four Americans. Photo: Rod Sirling's Twilight Zone Photo: Twilight Zone

CHARLOTTEJune 19, 2013 – From 1959 until 1964 there was a popular television series known as The Twilight Zone. The program featured individual stories focusing mainly on fantasy, science fiction, suspense, mystery and, even horror. Part of the fun, in the grand tradition of William Sydney Porter, better known as O. Henry, was the surprise endings that were a signature of creator/writer Rod Sirling’s fertile mind

Today, American foreign policy and global politics could easily contend for several episodes of The Twilight Zone without competition.

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A week before the G8 summit got underway in Great Britain, the Brookings Institute and the Qatari government held a three-day forum in Doha, Qatar. During the 10th U.S.-Islamic World Forum, Afghan President Hamid Karzai stated, “The United States, the rest of the Western world and our neighbors tried to impose radicalism on our resistance against the Soviet Union.”

According to Karzai, and other Muslim leaders, the war on terror combined with the failure to end the eternal conflict between Israel and Palestine are the reasons that Muslim youth are turning to radicalism.

“In my view, the West, as led by the United States, needs to explain itself to the Muslim world,” Karzai said. “Is the war on terror really against terrorism? If it is, and if it has caused more radicalism in the Muslim world, especially the youth, then something has gone wrong.”

On Tuesday, State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki announced that talks between the United States and the Taliban for a political solution to security in Afghanistan will result in concessions from both sides.

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President Barack Obama echoed the announcement in the United Kingdom that U.S. and Taliban representatives will meet for the first time in Doha.

Within hours after the announcement, the Taliban claimed responsibility for an attack on a United States air base in Afghanistan that killed four Americans.

Since the attack and the announcement, Karzai issued an angry statement suspending his involvement in the pending negotiation accusing the U.S. of “a contradiction” over the decision to meet with the Taliban. Karzai claimed Afghanistan would not participate “until the peace process is totally under Afghan control.”

Based upon Psaki’s statements to the press prior to the Taliban attack, it appears there are no pre-conditions for the Taliban to negotiate and that major concessions could be made in their favor in order to bring stability to the region without U.S. presence.

“Peace process” and “stability” in the Middle East are relative terms. They are an oxymoron. There is no such thing. Only degrees of “peace” and “stability.”

When asked by reporters if the Taliban would be required to disown, disavow, or disassociate themselves publicly with Al-Qaeda, Psaki answered that it is part of the end process but not a pre-condition for the talks.

Seeking clarification about the administration’s position another reporter stated, “…if you’ve already decided on what the end goal….the overreaching end goal is to have Afghanistan at peace and not a threat to anybody around it. But…up and to that point there has to be negotiation to make it worthwhile for the Taliban. And if you don’t, if you’ve already set out what the end goal is in terms of them having to respect the existing constitution exactly the way it’s written with the protections for minorities and women, then I don’t get how it’s a negotiation. Either you think that these are points that can be negotiated, that the Taliban have legitimate concerns that have merit and can be addressed in a negotiation, or you don’t.”

Karzai’s anger is said to be the result of the Taliban opening an office in Doha under the name “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” which was the name of the country when it was under Taliban control during the 1990s. The Taliban is also flying its own flag outside the building.

According to government sources, the meeting is further complicated by the apparent recognition of the legitimacy of the Taliban by the U.S.

Barack Obama promised to negotiate without pre-conditions during his presidential campaign in 2008. After nearly five years on the job, it appears Mr. Obama has learned little in dealing with the Muslim world.

Americans continue to die, even after so-called peace negotiations are being scheduled with known terrorists use children as human shields and decapitate children in the streets.

Stay tuned for more episodes of the The Twilight Zone and surprise endings that even Rod Sirling or O. Henry could not imagine.

Contact Bob at Google+

Peabod is Bob Taylor, owner of Taylored Media Services in CharlotteNCTaylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com) which offers tours and travel information for people who share his wanderlust spirit.  

Inquiries for groups can be made at Peabod@magellantravelclub.com Taylored Media has produced marketing videos for British Rail, Rail Europe, Switzerland Tourism, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council, the Finnish Tourist Board, the Swiss Travel System and Japan Railways Group among others.

As author of The Century Club book, Peabod is now attempting to travel to 100 countries or more during his lifetime. To date he has visited 71 countries. Suggest someplace new for Bob to visit; if you want to know where he has been, check his list on Facebook. Bob plans to write a sequel to his book when he reaches his goal of 100 countries. He also played professional baseball for four years and was a sportscaster for 14 years at WBTV, the CBS affiliate in Charlotte.

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Bob Taylor

Bob Taylor has been travel writer for more than three decades. Following a career as an award winning sports producer/anchor, Taylor’s media production business produced marketing presentations for Switzerland Tourism, Rail Europe, the Finnish Tourist Board, Japan Railways Group, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council and the Swiss Travel System among others. He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com) and his goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.


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