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Might this explain the dithering? (UPDATED)

Is Obama really looking to surrender provinces to the Taliban in exchange for a cessation of attacks on our troops?

Steve Schippert has details:

It comes to our attention that the MEMRI Blog highlights an article from the Saudi _al-Watan_ in Arabic that - according to an Afghan source - the United States is talking to the Taliban seeking to trade control of 5 provinces in exchange for the cessation of attacks on US bases. MEMRI summarizes:
An Afghan source in Kabul reports that U.S. Ambassador in Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry is holding secret talks with Taliban elements headed by the movement's foreign minister, Ahmad Mutawakil, at a secret location in Kabul. According to the source, the U.S. has offered the Taliban control of the Kandahar, Helmand, Oruzgan, Kunar and Nuristan provinces in return for a halt to the Taliban missile attacks on U.S. bases.

Kunar province borders the Khyber Pass region where the majority of US and NATO supplies pass enroute from Pakistan. And the4 remaining four provinces constitute fully the southern 25% of Afghanistan's territory.

This, if true, is a disturbing development.

I have tried to come up with scenarios of why someone would lie about it in a leak. What would be to gain? Who would gain, and what would they gain? Without sleeping on it, the options for such appear narrow at best.

What does seem logical is that an Afghan privy to the negotiations could have become (rightly) spooked that they might just pull it off, and leaked word in hopes that it might so anger American public opinion that the entire endeavor might be scrapped. That's the most logical explanation for motivation I see at the moment.

It would also fit in consistently with Ambassador Eikenberry's leaked cables recently railing against a 'surge' in forces in Afghanistan. He wouldn't voice such without thinking he has his hands on something else. Could this be it? The surrender of 25% of Afghan territory in exchange for some form of ceasefire?

One would hope not.

Indeed... but it wouldn't be out of character for this Administration. If true, we're watching yet another deep bow to a foreign power... this time, a bow to enemies sworn to kill us all.

Your hope and change.

Crossposted(*).

UPDATE: Steve has an addendum to his original post:

Early Tuesday morning, US Embassy spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden denied the veracity of the Sunday Saudi report.
"There is no truth to reports that the U.S. Embassy is engaging in secret talks with elements of the Taliban. Our position on the inclusion of Taliban and other fighters into Afghan society remains unchanged: we support the efforts of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghan to reintegrate fighters and other disaffected individuals into society, under the Afghan constitution. This process must be Afghan-led."

We take the US embassy in Kabul at its word. The Tuesday morning denial is the first we have seen in response to the anonymously Afghan-sourced al-Watan report.

Do read the whole thing.


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Comments (29)

Peace in our time.... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

Peace in our time.

Didn't turn out that well in the 1930's, did it?

Obama wouldn't have to surr... (Below threshold)
Victory is Mao's:

Obama wouldn't have to surrender if Bush hadn't screwed it up so bad.

If this is true, I wonder h... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

If this is true, I wonder how our allies in NATO (if Barry considers them such) will look at this if it has been so secret it has been kept even from them?

IF (and I repeat - IF) this... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

IF (and I repeat - IF) this is true - it'd be a friggin' disaster. Does Obama seriously believe he can trade land for peace?

You know - I believe he just might think it possible. After all, he's MUCH smarter than any other President ever, so despite the fact it's never worked before, HE can make it work this time!

It's hard to tell whether he's contemplating this or not - but it WOULD explain the delay, he's trying to figure out which direction would be least dangerous to his 'legacy'.

The Taliban would be fools ... (Below threshold)
Burt:

The Taliban would be fools to accept this offer. If they can continue hanging in there and being an irritant, they can get all of Afghanistan back plus Kashmir and half of Pakistan to boot. There's better offers to be had.

This explains the puzzling ... (Below threshold)
Hank:

This explains the puzzling news from last week where code-pink founder Jodie Evans supposedly met with the Taliban.

See: http://biggovernment.com/2009/11/17/jane-fonda-obama-funder-jodie-evans-met-with-taliban-code-pink-gives-terrorists-direct-line-to-obama/

From the article" "The meeting with the Taliban took place just weeks before Evans was videotaped directly handing to President Barack Obama a package of information about her trip to Afghanistan at a high dollar fundraiser in San Francisco."

"Land for Peace," the lefti... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

"Land for Peace," the leftist mantra. It has worked great for Israel. Morons.

"AMERICAN forces a... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

"AMERICAN forces are paying Sunni insurgents hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash to switch sides and help them to defeat Al-Qaeda in Iraq."

. . .

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article2413200.ece

Depends on whether they're ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Depends on whether they're honest or not - right, Adrian? And we've learned the definition of THAT, haven't we?

Will they STAY bought? For that matter, will Sen. Landrieu?

$300 million to buy ONE vote ONE time with no guarantee of future performance - don't you love seeing your money used like that?

We have a serious problem i... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft IIIz:

We have a serious problem in Washington DC. Seems our President lied when he took the oath of office. What is the penalty for doing that? If fact that son of a bitch (he is you know) lies all to time. Warning words are " I've always said". The lie follows there after. He is an enemy of America and does not believe in our values or our system of government. The longer he is allowed to remain President the greater the peril.

I'm sure the Taliban can be... (Below threshold)
Highlander:

I'm sure the Taliban can be counted on to fulfill their part of any bargain - so what's to worry about, right?

Seriously, if true this is not only cowardly and craven on Obama's part, it is just plain dumb politically. It is a surrender to those who facilitated 9/11. Obama's policies, foreign and domestic, may actually result in Democrats being out of power for a generation, starting in 2010. More and more people are coming to the realization that they just cannot be trusted with power.

You can have all the loyalt... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

You can have all the loyalty you can buy. I wonder who came up with this strategy? I have a hard time believing this was Petraeus' idea.

This is how the Islamists w... (Below threshold)

This is how the Islamists work. They make you think they want to do business. Then when they have the land, the attacks pick back up.

Doesn't Obama know how his oen religion works.

If only Sarah Palin had som... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

If only Sarah Palin had somehow become president, Afghanistan would be a free market/democratic paradise now. John McCain could be in charge of keeping the Iraq/Pakistan border he spoke of safe and orderly as well as overseeing the wars against Russia and Iran he wanted to start.

What could have been . . .

BHO said he was going to wo... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

BHO said he was going to work with Moderate Elements of the Taliban they told him NO but he still wants to work with them because his speaking abilities are so persuasive.

ABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan's Taliban on Tuesday turned down as illogical U.S. President Barack Obama's bid to reach out to moderate elements of the insurgents, saying the exit of foreign troops was the only solution for ending the war. Obama, in an interview with the New York Times, expressed an openness to adapting tactics in Afghanistan that had been used in Iraq to reach out to moderate elements there.

"This does not require any response or reaction for this is illogical," Qari Mohammad Yousuf, a purported spokesman for the insurgent group, told Reuters when asked if its top leader Mullah Mohammad Omar would make any comment about Obama's proposal.

"The Taliban are united, have one leader, one aim, one policy...I do not know why they are talking about moderate Taliban and what it means?"

"If it means those who are not fighting and are sitting in their homes, then talking to them is meaningless. This really is surprising the Taliban."


Land for Peace. Worked well in 1938 with the Sudetenland.

Obama = Neville Chamberlain... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Obama = Neville Chamberlain of our time.

I could be a bit of trial b... (Below threshold)
Matt:

I could be a bit of trial balloon being worked through diplomatic channels and the arabic press. That way if it is received poorly it can be denied. Another possibility is the Taliban are floating it to the press to let the U.S. know they are open for talks. Please remember, the foreign press is no more accurate or honest than the U.S. press and they have just as many agendas as our media.

I not wanting to believe th... (Below threshold)
Clancy:

I not wanting to believe this, but somehow I can.

And these same people though Dubya was stupid.


You cannot negotiate in good faith with terrorists. Period. End of story. To believe otherwise is to indisputable proof of unadulterated idiocy.

#15, Using that argument, "... (Below threshold)
Deke:

#15, Using that argument, "It would have been just as bad under someone else" is about as big a Strawman as is possible.

It's like a teenager having unprotected sex and then stating, "Hey if I wouldn't have the next guy would of" He doesn't know that and putting the policy of possibility before reality is just plain silly.

The bottom line is Obama is a failure on both domestic and foreign policy, it's the truth and the evidence is mounting. Believe me I'm not some right "wingnut"; I've hammered the Republicans and their leadership just as much. I'm one of the "independent" voters who are getting 4 calls a week asking me my opinion and my opinion is becoming more and more solid that this administration and congress has become the most corrupt, inept, dispicable, in history, one just has to point to the 300 million tax dollar bribe to the Senator from Louisiana to make that point.

Deke

Adrian""AMERICAN f... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Adrian

""AMERICAN forces are paying Sunni insurgents hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash to switch sides and help them to defeat Al-Qaeda in Iraq.""

I assume since you posted this you have a problem with it.

Only thing is you cant blame Bush. This is happening under Obama.

"""AMERICAN forces are payi... (Below threshold)
retired military:

"""AMERICAN forces are paying Sunni insurgents hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash to switch sides and help them to defeat Al-Qaeda in Iraq."" "

The Obama motto. If you cant beat someone the way you want (talking them to death), then pay them off and hope they go away.

RM -Paying Danegel... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

RM -

Paying Danegeld only works well for the Dane, as Kipling so aptly pointed out.

It is always a temptation to an armed and agile nation
To call upon a neighbour and to say: --
"We invaded you last night -- we are quite prepared to fight,
Unless you pay us cash to go away."

And that is called asking for Dangeld,
And the people who ask it explain
That you've only to pay 'em the Dangeld
And then you'll get rid of the Dane!

It is always a temptation for a rich and lazy nation,
To puff and look important and to say: --
"Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
We will therefore pay you cash to go away."

And that is called paying the Dangeld;
But we've proved it again and again,
That if once you have paid him the Dangeld
You never get rid of the Dane.

It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
For fear they should succumb and go astray;
So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
You will find it better policy to say: --

"We never pay anyone Dangeld,
No matter how trifling the cost;
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
And the nation that pays it is lost!"

-----------------

Well, we WERE rich and lazy, once upon a time... Now we're in hock up to our eyeballs, and there's no relief in sight!

"""AMERICAN forces ... (Below threshold)
914:


"""AMERICAN forces are paying Sunni insurgents hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash to switch sides and help them to defeat Al-Qaeda in Iraq."" "

I thought Al Qaeda were not in Iraq?

Hasn't this worked for Isra... (Below threshold)
Rich:

Hasn't this worked for Israel every time? Give up some land and gain some peace for the good of your nation?

Just more of that "smart di... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Just more of that "smart diplomacy". Wonder if Barry has consulted with the people he's preparing to turn over to the Taliban?

15. Posted by Adrian Browne... (Below threshold)
justpassingthrough:

15. Posted by Adrian Browne | November 23, 2009 9:17 AM |

It is interesting how you address Palin as president.

I STILL don't understand wh... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

I STILL don't understand why no neoconservatives or neoconservative websites are not holding permanent online recruitment drives for more swinging dicks from all walks of life to battle forth across the world in the name of the Global War on Dithering.

It's the damndest thing, that.

I STILL don't understand... (Below threshold)
Deke:

I STILL don't understand why no neoconservatives or neoconservative websites are not holding permanent online recruitment drives for more swinging dicks from all walks of life to battle forth across the world in the name of the Global War on Dithering.

It's the damndest thing, that.

I think b/c they are gathering cartons of cigarettes and cases of beer to pay a legion of homeless to vote on issues, candidates and causes they know nothing or care very little for. Also I believe they are hitting up college campuses where over-privalaged students, supported by like minded professors, who have a sense of entitlement with no sense of responsibility can buy into the "no dithering" movement.

Oh wait I'm confused with the 2008 presedential elections..srry honest mistake

28. Posted by bryanD | Nove... (Below threshold)
justpassingthrough:

28. Posted by bryanD | November 23, 2009 4:49 PM

You must have already volunteer for the invasion of Pock-es-stan.
So I guess your booked.




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