Terry Glavin on negotiating with the Taliban...
The Taliban are only interested in violence...here's Terry's take on those that want to negotiate with the Taliban.
I’d like to be open-minded about this, but if I am going to be told to believe in faeries, the evidence of crumbly dragonfly wings won’t do. If I am asked to believe in unicorns, being shown the pointy end of a narwhal tusk will not be enough. On the other hand, if we are to be persistently admonished by the demands of hagiography to give the late Jack Layton every credit for being the first politician of any standing in North America to pinch from, present as his own invention and heartily espouse a negotiations formula composed by Aghan crypto-fascists, Khomeinists, Arab League racketeers and the dodgier generals of the Pakistani ISI, then maybe we should be generous enough to just do it.
Reasonable people may give the late Jack his due for such a distinction, but not everyone is going to go along with the fairy tale that there was anything progressive, innovative, made-in-Canada or “in keeping with Canadian values” about any of it. In the labour of competing with Talibs for the slippery loyalties of the gangland bosses who make up his Pashtun power base, Hamid Karzai has been relying on it as his preferred work-avoidance mechanism since 2004. Long before Layton and the NDP’s Paul Dewar put their licence plate on it, the Arab League’s Mokhtar Lamani, best known for securing a deal between the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Christian rightists of the early Bush years to keep gay rights and birth control off the UN agenda, had nearly driven it into the ground. It’s been a make-work project and an agenda-filler for every big-turbaned Khomeinist imam and every lowbrow jackass warlord from Persepolis to Peshawar since September 11, 2001.
Lauryn Oates suggests that it is high time we all agreed to get real about what’s actually going on here. What do we imagine the Taliban want out of “peace” negotiations, anyway? “What the Taliban want, they already have: violence. They merely want more of it, with fewer restrictions. Foreign armies, democracy, humanitarian agencies – all of these are major nuisances when you wish to lay down Islamo-fascist law and brutally subdue a population. . . for the Taliban, violence is not a means to an end, but the end itself.”