On air: Three questions for you

1: Should some senior Taliban figures be taken off the US’ black list in order to facilitate negotiations?

2: If you’re country is contributing to the military and nation-building effort in Afghanistan, are you happy to commit for the next 15 years? President Karzai says that may be necessary.

3: Gordon Brown says the ‘tide must turn’ by mid-2011 in the fight against the Taliban. Does that seem like a reasonable deadline? And are you confident such a moment can be measures?

54 Responses to “On air: Three questions for you”

  1. 1 steve
    January 28, 2010 at 14:10

    I wonder if you can have a medium on the show to contact Neville Chamberlain and asked him how this tactic worked.

    • 2 Kenneth Ingle
      January 28, 2010 at 20:00

      Neville Chamberlain was in my opinion Britain’s last honest Prime-Minister. His only mistake was to believe that the people he was dealing with were just as honest as himself. Benes, Hitler and even some British politicians at the time had no intention of building a free Europe.

      Todays European leaders are just as blind if they think they can buy off the Taliban. The money being wasted in ending this conflict could be better used for social services within the EU.

  2. 3 Bob in Queensland
    January 28, 2010 at 14:39

    1. Negotiation yes, but not capitulation. Just as with the IRA in Northern Ireland the first step has to be them repudiating violence and agreeing to democratic decisions. Somehow I doubt their ideology is ready for this.

    2. Maybe. But it has to be tied to milestones and definable progress, not just an open-ended commitment.

    3. And how do you define a “tide turning” in measurable terms? What a silly statement.

  3. January 28, 2010 at 14:42

    Taking Taliban Leaders off the black list is an option only if they meet certain conditions, and abide by the laws of the Afghanistan. This would undoubtedly have to begin with a 6 month cease fire. If by 2011 the talks haven’t produced a productive agenda for the Afghan and Taliban to move forward in peaceful law abiding manner that has sound democratic foundation then they have to understand that is the milestone that will be used to start the pulling out of troops for all nations. Enough is enough I suggest they accept this olive branch for there will be no others.

  4. 5 Linda from Italy
    January 28, 2010 at 14:46

    Who decides on which “some”? Just some more of Karzai’s cronies? The ones that profess that they will allow female education, let women out of the burqa (ironic this in the light of the discussion the other day) and refrain from chopping off limbs for minor misdemeanors? This lot will probably go back on it anyway, or the civil war will go as the more extremist groups will brand the others traitors and, backed up by their friends in Pakistan, nothing will change.
    The answer to this question depends on what the West thinks it really wants to do in Afghanistan. Disseminating liberal secular democracy and giving women equal rights seems like something Don Quixote would be proud of.

  5. 6 Linda from Italy
    January 28, 2010 at 14:47

    No, no, no, especially not on the advice of such a slippery customer as Mr K.

  6. 7 Linda from Italy
    January 28, 2010 at 14:52

    Semantics again: does “must” mean it is compelled to, so who is doing the compelling – Western troops? If so, I think not. Or does “must” mean he thinks it is likely to, that just being the way of things, again I think not. Karzai’s 15 year gravy train is obviously at odds with Brown’s electioneering 18 months. If the West pulled out now, Afghanistan would probably revert to where it was pre 9-11, Taliban-ruled with all the oppression that came with it, but at least with a measure of peace after the Russian invasion. Not exactly a happy outcome, but if the West wasn’t prepared to intervene to stop the oppression then, what is the justification now?
    This of course if you assume the War on Terror ideological battleship is so full of holes by now it should just be left to sink gracefully to the bottom of the political ocean.

  7. 8 gary indiana
    January 28, 2010 at 14:56

    1. Negotiation is a good tactic only if one is committed to a military victory. If the intent is to disengage from the effort, chatting while leaving is merely a waste of time.
    2. No, I’m not happy with the cost of this or any war; but I’m not happy with the Taliban or al Qaeda either.
    3. I’m not sure Mr. Brown is qualified to make this assessment. If the “tide turns” on his schedule, it will likely have been a case of accidental isochrony.

  8. January 28, 2010 at 15:08

    No.Dealing with Terrorists will only embolden them.If this is the attitude, world could have done a deal with Nazis.Agreed that the present position in rooting out terrorism is unsatisfactory, talking to Taliban is not to be encouraged as it signals the weakness of the State.What is needed is total cooperation of States that want to fight terrorism and in the process they should ensure that no State that encourages Terrorism is spared, whatever be the personal interest of a particular Nation..International community must up its internal defenses and deal ruthlessly with these criminals and they should isolate States/Communities that promote terrorism.
    No time frame can be set for eliminating terrorists as this is a social process and it needs the change of attitude of a particular sect/Nation.
    For tthe same reason, no Nation can commit its troops to solve the problem that has its roots in a particular Nation

  9. 10 Ivan Mark Radhakrishnan
    January 28, 2010 at 15:11

    (Sent this morning)

    Some people believe it buys everything!
    United States Dollars and western cash is going to lure murderers to become God-fearing men whose word you can trust? I have never heard such claptrap! This is more than a cartload of horse manure.

    Afghanistan is a very dangerous farce. After stealing an election, Hamid Karzai is now proposing the state-sponsored-theft of westerner’s Taxpayer’s money to sanitize and legitimize ‘moderate’ taliban?

    A murderer is a murderer. Look what happened when people tried to talk sense to Hitler. Mankind does learn lesson from the past; I don’t know what politicians are but they have not learnt anything from history.

    And if you want proof that rebels, insurgents, murderers are the same all over the world and their word cannot be trusted, look at Joseph Kone of Uganda leading politicians and the Ugandan Army from one tree branch to the next in a cynical murderous game with no ending!

    Hamid Karzai is a crook and the politicians attending this summit are fools. If Karzai had a brain he would have been assassinated ages ago – by the taliban or by the western powers ……. but it serves both their purposes to have an idiot ‘directing’ Afghanistan!

    Interesting! Why do some computers automatically capitalize ‘taliban’

    but do not do the same for Jesus?

  10. 11 Rob C
    January 28, 2010 at 15:25

    Maybe a name change is in order … Haiti Jr. ?

  11. 12 T
    January 28, 2010 at 15:29

    Yes. No. And this is just typical politician doublespeak. Get out now.

  12. 13 rob z.
    January 28, 2010 at 15:33

    Taking a name off a list will not improve negotiations.The Taliban will either be defeated or given a small territory with conditions.
    Another 15yrs. is not acceptable,the leadership of Afghanistan needs to step up and be assertive over the tribes and make them understand that it’s all or nothing.
    As far as a turn in 2011,I don’t see it unless something happends to convence the region to work together for the good of all.Right now all I see is the region falling into conflict and that conflict spreading to Africa.
    It is not that religion is feeding the Beast as is poverty driving desperation,providing bodies for those who want to be king.

  13. January 28, 2010 at 15:33

    National reconciliation and in Afghanistan depends on joint efforts by all side to come to a peace agreement by which the final word is to negotiation and not to fire from any sort of weapon. For this reason, Taliban key figures should be encouraged to come to negotiations and be treated as politicians who have something to say rather than terrorists who are lurking anywhere to destroy whatever in sight.

    However successful talk with Taliban key figures depends on the nature of their relations with Al Qaeda. As long as the two act as twin brothers, any form of negotiations with the Taliban will be a failure. It will just a form of signing a cease fire only to be broken the following day.

  14. 15 dan
    January 28, 2010 at 15:37

    Simply put the Taliban are a 7th Century barbaric abomination.
    Should we “surrender” to them we will soon see them launch or host another cataclysmic attack upon Western civilization but worse we would knowingly sentencing human beings to a life of oppression worse than what the Nazi’s did to the Jews, the Europeans and the world in general.

  15. January 28, 2010 at 16:00

    Taliban figures should not be taken off the watch-list, the black-list.until they have been vetted properly. They have hidden agendas and are far too violent and dangerous. As long as President Karzai is transparent he should be helped. Even if that means fifteen minutes.The moment his support wavers then no cooperation should be extended. One can never be sure if the tide would turn. Gordon Brown should never have made that statement.

  16. 17 Y.A. Howe
    January 28, 2010 at 16:13

    First and foremost I do not know what we, as foreigners, are doing in Afghanistan and Iraq. Having visited several Middle East countries I have noticed how we foreigners (I mean westerners) are looked upon with absolute dislike by these peoples and yet here we are supporting them with our tax money and the death of our soldiers which will never ever be appreciated. No matter what we do for the Afghanistans or Iraqis it will amount to nothing so all the points listed have really no meaning at all.

    Y.A. Howe
    Leiden, The Netherlands

  17. 18 Andrew in Australia
    January 28, 2010 at 16:15

    On question 2 it seems that of course the Afghans want to live their lives, live in peace and build a positive future but it seems that the structure of Afghanistan is rotten to the core. You have the Taliban wanting to destroy any and all attempts to rebuild Afghanistan and reimpose their authority. For them there is no acceptance of freedom and liberty, they want what they want and they will accept nothing less. How can you either deal with such a group and how can you expect them to give up on their stated aims? Add to that you have the supposed government which is corrupt and self-interested. As with any government it is about what they can do for themselves, in Afghanistan this seems more so. How can the country move forward when there is no internal security and no real effort to create a better society because its leadership squashes this aspiration with their politics and corruption. But should we outsiders accept that the standard model being imposed is not one that can take hold there and that another approach could work. You can bash a square peg as long as you want, but it wont fit into that round hole!

  18. 19 Crispo, Uganda
    January 28, 2010 at 16:20

    The US looks at the Taliban as a terrorist group, a gang whose primary aim is crippling the Afghan society. To me the talk is “merely words” without action.

    The key question is: is the Taliban ready to negotiate? Are they satisfied with the compromises? And are these compromises the best step? What if old comrades returned newly, set about re.grouping and developing new tactics?

    It should have been the Taliban expressing a need to talk peace, that should have encouraged Brown and the US agitated at all. What’s more, the Taliban haven’t, won’t and are not about to trust the west.

    That leaves us with only one conclusion: the this is heading no where. Success will be hard to squeeze at all.

  19. 20 Gary Paudler
    January 28, 2010 at 16:20

    Ooh, Neville Chamberlain, the “appeasement” card! Yup, the Taliban are just like Hitler riding donkeys from cave to cave threatening entire villages with their totalitarian dress code.

    1- Negotiations only if 8 years of military engagement doesn’t work.
    2- I’ll commit to 16 years if Karzai and his clepto-clan are gone by Easter.
    3- I don’t make a move without Gordon Brown’s advice. The tide must turn by February or we should stop beating our heads against a rubble wall, accept, not defeat, but non-victory, kick Karzai out and get on with helping the Afghans form a stable government and civil society.

  20. 21 John in Salem
    January 28, 2010 at 16:31

    And what, exactly, would be the point? So we can make them promise to be nice?

    I don’t have a problem with staying there as long as it takes. It’s in our best interest to keep al-Qaeda and the Taliban on the run – eventually it’s going to be hard to find people who want to be drone targets.

    Either Gordon Brown’s been smoking something he shouldn’t or he’s doing some political posturing.

  21. 22 steve
    January 28, 2010 at 16:32

    Hey guys, uh, remember, these Taliban were the ones who made women dress in burkas, forbade female education, executed homosexuals, blew up statues of Bhudda. Yeah, let’s talk to them, as they are perfectly rational people…

  22. 23 Crispo, Uganda
    January 28, 2010 at 16:41

    Ivan mark, the name is “Joseph Kony” and not “kone”.

    I agree with you that Karzai is a crook but not serving the interests of the Taliban. His being a sychophant, suites only western interests and not the Taliban. Otherwise, there have been many assassination attempts on him.

    You are also absolutely right that, afghanistan is most likely to slip into pre-9/11, if the western troops pullout at this stage. That would be premature.

    When the U.S and Britain decided to attack Afghanistan, they didn’t know that they had opened a “Pandora’s box” but now it is evident. I do hope they will bare the burden to the last.

    I do also hope that the Taliban wish to talk peace and that’s why the west is agitated.

  23. 24 Ibrahim in UK
    January 28, 2010 at 16:57

    1. Do the Taleban even want to negotiate anything less than a full withdrawal of all foreign occupiers?

    2. It depends on the justification for being there so long. Are the forces there going to support an unpopular corrupt regime against other Afghan forces? Are the occupation forces fighting to support one side of a civil war, like the Soviets did?

    3. The West is in a hurry to end hostilities. The war is expensive. The Taleban and other groups are not in a hurry. They have nowhere to go, this is their land, they are part of it.

    Question back to you, to ask the Afghan people:
    Do the people of Afghanistan even believe that Bin Laden was responsible for 911? Do they believe that the occupation is justified?
    What encourages Afghans to join the Taleban?

  24. 25 John Coventry
    January 28, 2010 at 17:03

    The question on what the Americans do with their ” black list” is I am sorry to say pointless as the Americans will as always do what they want regardless of the British wishes. When will we grasp the fact that the Americans always have taken with one hand,but never given with the other. That is they they have always worked. Nice people,great Nation in many ways.But understand them.They do what they alone want and expect the British to go alone with them.

    At the end of the day,it comes down to if we believe that Gordon Brown like Tony Blair before him,is prepared to tell the British people the Truth.

    I frankly do not believe a word Tony Blair says apart from how much he admires the Americans and this close to a general election,I am certainly not going to be fooled by Gordon Brown .

  25. 26 TomK in Mpls
    January 28, 2010 at 17:29

    1. No, Afghani and international law must hunt and protect all equally. We can not afford to let wrong doers ( political and financial ) become too important to be held accountable for their actions.

    2. Either the goal was valid, or it wasn’t. If it was valid, finish it right. I believe it was.

    3. This is inane political talk. The answer is in question #2.

  26. 27 piscator
    January 28, 2010 at 17:31

    Losing a war is difficult for everyone. Admitting it is harder. As the US and it’s allies are entirely responsible for the situation in Afghanistan by their presence, it is their lot to solve this with the minimum loss of face, and the least recriminations and executions afterwards.

    Of course they have to talk to everyone, including the Taliban. However it is no use trying to specify ‘our’ Taliban and ‘their’ Taliban. If we just choose a few tame stooges to talk to they won’t be able to influence the more radical. The UK chose to talk to the entire IRA leadership, and because they were the dominant faction and had some idea of what they wanted, they were able to control and sideline the extremists.

    Regarding Karzai, he just wants us there while he continues to pocket our cash, and he a symbol of all the problems the Allies are not interested in solving. Ditch him today. Take back all of the dollars he and his mates have stolen, and give them NOW to all of the Afghan people. What does it work out to? several thousand dollars each? You could follow the US constitution, and give them all guns for protection against tyranny, as well. Then call a totally free election, with no banned candidates, totally run by the Allies. We could do that in under a year.

    You could turn the tide immediately by negotiating a cease fire as part of a deal to recognise the Taliban leaders. When the cease fire is in place, the people have got the cash, and the election over, we could be out of there by the end of next year – with a bit of glory and praise. With the best hope for a quiet and prosperous life for those who have to live there.

  27. 28 ajmal karimi
    January 28, 2010 at 17:34

    There was not any terrorist in Afghanistan and there will be no terrorist in Afghanistan, Afghans are the people living for their relegion culture and tradition, they way taleban are, i think this is the time for westerns to come out of afghanistan otherwise its gonna be very very tough fot them to come out in some years, once all afghans start calling westerns their enemies and do Jihad against westerns then there will be another Vietnam for them

    January 28, 2010 at 17:38

    There is no way out of it – I mean trying something that might work even it looks dirty. My reason has to do with the way the war was handled – namely strike at Al Qaueda was a legitimate reason. That having been achieved – the mistake came when the NATO forces embroiled themselves in the local politics through the goading of the politicians of the day. No outside forces would be in Afghanistan now.
    Failure to initiate an exit plan will require one to accommodate the costs and hope to make a convincing case about it. It will be good to take into account the valuable advice that has always come freely from wise military minds.

  29. 30 Tholumusa Favoured Mlalazi (Zimbabwe)
    January 28, 2010 at 17:39

    YES only if the resons why they were put on the sanctions list have been solved. Inteligence is supposed to do their homework first otherwise, we’d have to remove from the Sanctions list everyone to facilitate negotions.

    Finances to cover a 15 year period which is projected by President Hamid Karzai is too long to sustain for any contribiting nations’ tax payers. Even Paliamentarians should be ashamed to make such long term commitments which would affect the future generations. How about breaking that 15 years into 5 year blocks thereby allowing future governments to review their support?

    Mr Brown please define your terms clearly… Which direction would the “Tide” be “Turning?” And “Mid 2011” is too relative a time. Besides, why impose a solution on Afghanistan?

  30. January 28, 2010 at 17:42

    1. All senior taliban should be taken off the list.Permanantly.

    2. Kazai,and his 15yrs,is a bit much.How long does it take to train an army and a police force.Have the Afghan politicians no idea of what they want,have the Afghan people no idea? Has anyone?

    3. “The tide must turn by 2011.” No argument about that one,Gordon Canute Brown has spoken,and that is the end of that.

  31. 32 steve
    January 28, 2010 at 17:43

    I think Afghanistan, over the years, has proved that it’s a failed state. There’s nothing we can do, if the default rule is to be run by religious fanatics who live in the 8th century. The best we can hope for, is that they don’t have the ability to export terrorism or harm its neighbors.

  32. 33 Phyllis, WGCU
    January 28, 2010 at 18:00

    It is necessary to make some compromises.
    The US left Afghanistan prematurely the last time around and every misfit used the country as training ground for his/her ideas and plans.
    So, we end up with the Taliban and Al Queda plus uneducated and unexposed Afghans in large numbers.
    Look at the related mess in Pakistan.
    Therefore, it is necessary for the international community to remain directly engaged in Afghanistan.
    And that includes functioning Islamic countries.

  33. 34 patti in cape coral
    January 28, 2010 at 18:11

    1. Maybe yes.
    2. 15 years seems like a very long time.
    3. I’m not sure what he means or what constitutes a turning of the tide.

  34. January 28, 2010 at 18:23

    Afghanistan deserves a chance to succeed. The London Conference is impressive. Tehran was invited but failed to appear but we are helping. We speak the same language and have common interests.
    There is no reason international forces shouldn’t pull out once Afghan Police and Army gain the right training to tackle security and defence.Even Talibans will join Karzai once he delivers peace and prosperity.

  35. 36 nora
    January 28, 2010 at 18:24

    1. The black lists were obviously useless to stop the death at CIA recently. The cultural offensiveness of the precautions and blacklisting made the folks at CIA lax with their informant. to bend the stick the other way.

    We are also probably alienating the children of the wrongly blacklisted at this very moment. . Should we not look at diplomacy for what it is–talking to the other side. Blacklisting itself creates polarization, prevents true diplomacy and free expression of questions by thinking members of the community.

    Blacklists unintentionally recruit for the other side in many historical instances.

    2. 15 year military commitment to a guy with an oil tanker named after him? Gotta really think about that one. That means my three year old grandson would meet the returning soldiers when he is eighteen? No way I promise such a thing.

    3. Tides turning…I will go conduct an experiment at the edge of the Pacific. “Tides, turn! And I mean now!” Or at least in 2011.

    Thanks for getting back to the meat and leaving the fat alone today.

  36. 37 Linda from Italy
    January 28, 2010 at 18:46

    A thought: all that Cold War anti-communist hysteria and umpteen direct and proxy wars and political manipulation did nothing to kill that family of ideologies off, in all its various guises, economics was they key, OK in the case of the Soviet union, forcing them to spend umpteen millions on keeping up the arms race probably helped too.
    Now we have another pariah – fundamentalist Islam, so maybe instead of fighting wars over it, which produce nothing but countless innocent victims and just as many willing recruits to the “cause”, we who abhor this abomination (far worse than even Stalin in his day), should stop a) supporting corrupt and tyrannical leaders in so-called Islamic nations and b) trying to prosecute a conventional war against these disparate groups, then as for hearts and minds – just forget it.
    If we spent half the money investing in alternative energy sources to oil, we could leave the Middle East et al, to stew in its own grubby, despotic juice.

  37. 38 Joseph A. Migliore
    January 28, 2010 at 18:58

    I have yet to hear any U.S. government official give a clear and concise definition of what the Taliban really means?

    Yes, the U.S. and the Western coalition should include and engage in a dialogue with the Taliban, as a intricate part of the reconciliation process and rebuilding process of Afghani society. The Taliban and the tribal leaders of Afghanistan, have more influence on the Afghani people and society than the Karzai government in Kabul. The Taliban represent a significant portion of the social fabric of Afghani society.

    I agree with a fifteen year commitment by the U.S. and Western coalition efforts in Afghanistan, but only — if the military escalation is shifted from a strategy of war waging to “nation-building” and “engaging with the local tribal leaders and Taliban”, this will be key to the overall success in Afghanistan. We need to reverse a strategy that has resulted often times with the unnecessary casualties of many civilians.

  38. January 28, 2010 at 19:08

    I am happy for my country to be in Afghanistan for as long as it takes to defeat Islamic extremists there and give the Afghans the freedom and equality we take for granted, such as the freedom of girls to go to school without being attacked with acid, the equality of women in marriage so men cannot force them to have sex, and the freedom of people to go to markets without having their limbs blown off.

    I don’t think we should be setting deadlines for progress. That plays into the hands of the Taliban, who know that if they cause enough problems before the deadlines, they won’t be met.

    We shouldn’t negotiate with members of the Taliban. They certainly shouldn’t be bribed. We can’t be sure that they wouldn’t use the money we gave them to by weapons with which to kill our soldiers or Afghan civilians, or to recruit more people to the Taliban. We know for definite that our armed forces would benefit from that money.

  39. 40 T
    January 28, 2010 at 19:08

    What if someone was at war with and occupying the U.K. for 15 years? There was WWII and then Ireland.

    Now someone has invaded and is occupying the U.K. The Prime Minister is essentially a puppet of the occupiers. You’re told that they’re here to “spread democratic values” throughout the land. Civilians are routinely killed in attacks and considered “collateral damage.”

    If you’re home is blown up or your family or friends are killed, what would you do? Would you sit back and say, right. Carry on? Or, would you fight back?

    The Afghans and Iraqis don’t want us there. The MSM can put out all of the right-wing think tank “surveys” they want to say otherwise. But the problem is that it’s not in your homeland. If it was, we’d be out of both places by now.

  40. 41 Faridon
    January 28, 2010 at 19:10

    How does taking the Taliban leaders off the black list help anything. This angers me that after spending so much money and sacrificing so many lives Karzai and the world want to give in to these ignorant extremists. This will further create more problems and will give these fundamentalists more power and will encourage more to come out and join them. Why wouldn’t they? Why should we or the citizens of Afghanistan welcome them after all the crimes they committed. You execute a murderer, not hug them and give them mercy. The only way to freedom for Afghanistan is to terminate these bastards and allow better and non corrupt politicians to take over. This is the only hope. Karzai, please leave.

  41. 42 Kenneth Ingle
    January 28, 2010 at 19:27

    1 The USA have no right to black list anyone outside of their own country.
    2 Another 15 years supporting a puppet government? No thank you, we should have never gone in at all.
    3 Gordon Brown should start thinking about his own country, instead of sending troops all over the world to meddle in problems which probably had never have started were it not for the foreigen policies of Britain and the USA.

  42. 43 adel
    January 28, 2010 at 19:37

    Taliban today is fighting against outsiders, this is the only fact that guaranty the afgan people support. Karazai will for the next 20 years calling for trops and loads of money.
    Supporting Karazai and his marjenal 20% of the afgan people against 80% will never work ever and the west will loose lives and money in a loosing war.

  43. 44 Saut
    January 28, 2010 at 19:38

    From the utterances of the WHYS radio contributors, it is obvious that these Afghanistanis do not really know who the enemies of the state are! Yet the militant Taliban (the opponent that matters) defines and knows who their enemies are. I am not surprised that Karzai asked for 15 years commitment of both military and financial aid. There is a matter of fact: no country called Afghanistan without the Coalition Forces’ presence.

  44. 45 Nate, Portland OR
    January 28, 2010 at 19:39

    From the Afghans on air I seem to be hearing some resentment towards the west based in the period of the Soviet invasion. Afghanis are generally proud of their, or their family’s, involvement in that fight. To my understanding the US’s role was primarily providing weapons to facilitate that insurgency. What were we supposed to do when the Soviet’s were defeated? A large number of people in that region doesn’t seem to like us or our ways much. How long would we have been there before we inspired a jihad against us? Not long, I suspect.

    If there are complaints that we drew a bunch of jihadis from the Arab world to Afghanistan, why don’t you openly blame the Saudis, who provided and continue ot provide the ideology, people and financing for these jihadis?

  45. 46 Tom D Ford
    January 28, 2010 at 21:01

    I thought about all three questions and I don’t see any clear answer to any of them.

  46. 47 patti in cape coral
    January 28, 2010 at 21:17

    Very educational show today, and very passionate. I enjoyed listening, even though I didn’t like everything I heard.

  47. 48 Jaime Saldarriaga
    January 28, 2010 at 21:19

    What is the meaning of being in US blacklist?

  48. 49 Thomas Murray
    January 28, 2010 at 22:41

    Yes, if the Taliban are willing to negotiate and are capable of enforcing their own conditions. The Obama Administration is floating this idea through the stateside media now.

    –Lou., KY, US.

  49. 50 Linda from Italy
    January 28, 2010 at 22:58

    Thank you WHYS for a truly informative programme – that “discussion”, with everyone trying to shout each other down should serve as an object lesson for anyone who thinks it is possible to sort out this mess that the West has exacerbated but not actually caused.
    The demand for the occupying troops to get out is fine, but why is that also accompanied by constant whingeing about poverty, corruption and the counter demand for these evil occupiers to fix this benighted country before they leave it, only for it to fall back into the same mire.
    The people at the venue in London were completely lacking in any sort of logic or objectivity, while enjoying all the security and freedom of speech and action the UK offers, not to mention education, although I wonder about this supposedly Masters level student who is incapable of critical thinking on even the most basic level, ho humm, I suppose UK universities need to pay their rent by accepting substandard students who pay very high fees. The woman in particular would not have had the slightest chance, in a Taliban-style society, to air her views among a (heaven forbid) mixed gender group, but apparently that still gives her the right to rail against the very society that offers her that privilege.
    I thought it brilliant that Ros let them get on with it, and didn’t intervene to moderate as he usually does, and thus demonstrate to all those deluded Crusaders that this was, is and always be a lost cause.
    We are on a hiding to nothing in Afghanistan, so let’s get out now and let them get on with it.

  50. 51 T
    January 29, 2010 at 00:36

    In regards to #3: if Cameron wins the next election, how can he possibly think that we can actually win in Afghanistan? If he does, he needs to sack all of his foreign policy advisors immediately.

  51. 52 loudobservant
    January 29, 2010 at 05:26

    London conference on Afghanistan,

    Haven’t they woken up late?

    Why did they not think of first holding such a meeting before going to war?

    This equally applies to Iraq.

    What a farce? What a shame?

  52. 53 S C Mehta
    January 29, 2010 at 08:09

    My emphatic YES, YES and YES, in answer to the three questions.

  53. January 29, 2010 at 12:30


    What is the reason for taking the Taliban of the banned list> Are they going to change their fighting Tacitus and comply with peaceful negotiations?

    Why are the countries that are fighting to overcome the Taliban suddenly feeling that the war, if it can be called a war, in Afghanistan, is a loosing prospect?

    Karzai is a limp ruler who has lost his authority to rule as he has been found to have been voted to power by deceit and fraud.

    He claims that it will take 15 years to set the country right. Who is he fooling? It is those countries that are fightimg the Taliban who are loosing by way of their men dying with no results to show and by ploughing money to sustain the government and the economy, if they have an economy.

    Gordan Brown is talking through his hat. He knows that the cause he is fighting for in Afghanistan is or has been lost long ago, as seen in the History of the British rule in that country.

    I see it as only a way out for all the countries that are fighting there and trying to save face.


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