From this article by the deputy editor of the Sunday Times, a paper that I regard as broadly representing the sensible view in British politics.
The idea that we can a political settlement with the Taliban is such nonsense. In the end the author states how difficult it would be to find an agreement with the Taliban, The mullah is not one to compromise; it was his regime that banned kites, chess, cosmetics (women with painted nails had their fingers cut off), laughing in public, toothbrushes (too modern) and anything else that was fun or smacked of the post-medieval world.
But he precedes this (in the same paragraph) with Now it looks as if David Miliband, our foreign secretary, and perhaps the US administration are beginning to accept that reconciliation means talking to Mullah Omar, the one-eyed zealot, and other hardline Taliban leaders.
How on earth do you put these two together? I don’t believe that John Witherow is suggesting that we actually just write off the last seven years as a mistake and hope that craven surrender will somehow appease the Islamists. But then what else could he mean other than talking to the Taliban (and thereby discrediting the Karzai government in the eyes of the world and its own citizens) in the vague hope of reaching a sort of fudging agreement?
This argument is indicative of the stupidity of refusing to link Al-Qaeda and the Taliban by their common thread – Islamism. Islamism is the ideology that pushes for the complete subjugation of the world to their version of Islam.
Islamism is the ideology that drove the September 11th hijackers. It is the ideology that saws the heads off of aid workers and informants alike. It is the ideology that supports honour killings and proposes only death or conversion for dealings with non-subjected Muslims and Jews and pagans (Hindus and the like).
This is as if people were seriously arguing about talking to the moderates in the Nazi regime in 1942 with the exception here to this analogy that it was obvious then and now that the deciding force was Hitler and that the policies of Nazi Germany were identified with the policies and ideas of Adolf Hitler.
There is NO fudge to be made as regards the Taliban. We should put a lot more troops down, we should force the fucking Europeans (outside of Holland, Denmark and Estonia) to pull their fucking weight – especially the fucking Germans.