Wisdom And Foolishness: Brits to Negotiate With Taliban
Within minutes of watching Victor Davis Hanson impart wisdom on the Iraq War, I am confronted with foolishness as news breaks that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will soon announce that he will begin negotiations with the Taliban, suing for peace in Afghanistan.
The change of tack will be seen as the latest attempt by the prime minister to distance himself from the foreign policy of Tony Blair and his ally George Bush.
In a landmark statement in the Commons he will say that the Cabinet has agreed a three pronged strategy for Afghanistan which will security guaranteed by NATO and the Afghan national army followed by economic and political development in the country.
The third prong of the plan is likely to be most controversial - to engage Taliban leaders in constructive dialogue.
A senior source said last night: "We need to ask who are we fighting? Do we need to fight them - can we be talking to them?"
This is a stunning development. Beyond the incongruity of beginning negotiations with an enemy the British government is reminding it does not know, the first two 'prongs' of the 'new' British plan are already in place. One could argue that more development needs to be done, but one could also argue that many European members of NATO may consider a more pro-active and less combat-averse deployment posture as well.
The only thing that is 'new' is the British objective to sue the Taliban for peace.
The as-Sahab al-Qaeda propaganda machine is now spinning at full velocity, we are quite sure. The next al-Qaeda message will look to hit Brown's move out of the park, especially when one considers bin Laden's recent reference to Russian futility in his November message to Europe.