Can the Taliban be defeated and should we be trying?

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birdie1971 | 02:12 Sun 01st Aug 2010 | News
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I came across this article in Time online...,8599,2007238,00.html

I've heard it mentioned in the media that we're attempting to negotiate with the Taliban with a view to pulling our troops out of Afghanistan.

I don't want to see our troops killed any more than the next man but should we be negotiating with the Taliban? Haven't they demonstrated time and again their utter disregard for democracy, human rights, or even common decency?


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Well time was the same thing might have been said about the IRA. I don't think its about defeat so much as breathing space to allow ordinary people to decide how they feel and what they want their country/religion to be like and to allow the moderates (if there are any) in the taliban to think about doing things differently.
//An Afghan refugee who grew up in Canada, Mozhdah Jamalzadah recently returned home to launch an Oprah-style talk show in which she has been able to subtly introduce questions of women's rights without provoking the ire of religious conservatives.//

That says it all - and the key words there are 'religious conservatives'. Unless the people themselves recognise and condemn the injustice and the inhumanity involved here, we have no hope of ever seeing such a culture embrace democracy, human rights, or common decency. The change must come from within - but if men continue to voluntarily abandon their intellect and their freedom to the tenets of an archaic and barbaric doctrine, that isn't going to happen. This is a battle of minds, and dialogue or not, whilst the people think as they do, we will never defeat the Taliban.
The Talaban are driven by religious conviction and can never be defeated. At best they can be controlled but I can't see that happening .
They will be out-numbered and controlled .. but never beaten.
Come on, who really cares if there's democracy in Afghanistan? Maybe some Afghans do, but it's up to them to decide, not for us to impose our ideas on them.

The sooner we get out the better and the sooner we stop interfering in other country's politics the better too.
There is no democracy in Saudi Arabia either. Are we worried?
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You're right Keyplus– I don't really care whether democracy exists in Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia. I do however, have a massive problem with a religion / culture / ideology (delete as applicable depending on how you wish to describe the Taliban) that thinks that slicing off a woman's nose and ears is an acceptable punishment for the 'crime' of leaving her husband.
if you don't want to end up negotiating with them, don't invade them. Otherwise you end up with two choices: negotiate or lose. (Running away = losing.)
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Jno – I agree. But we're there now – rightly or wrongly (wrongly in my opinion). And it's a situation we have to deal with.
Birdie, I agree with your last two posts 100%.
If you consider the country over the last 250 years, has any conventional invading foreign army proved to be successful, and to my limited historical knowledge the answer is a resounding NO!! Therefore why on earth should anyone have expected a different out come this time around!
People tell us we should study history in order to know better what the present and the future holds, it appears that this maxim has been totally disregarded, with the loss of many hundreds of wasted lives, both military and civilian.
Whatever ruling group prevails in Afghanistan, they still seem to have a shocking propensity to degrade women as the lowest forms of life. How and why should anyone negotiate peace with such factions? Yet pulling out now would condemn millions of women to a living hell and halt any progress we've made on convincing the next generation of male Afghanis that females are people not cattle. And to stay is to destroy the lives and limbs of our soldiers.
It's so difficult.
I once mentioned few well known sayings and few people did not like. I will repeat them again.

“You can hire an Afghan but you can never buy him”

“You go (invade) to Afghanistan whenever you wish to do so but you leave Afghanistan when Afghans let you do so”

Second saying you may be able to confirm with a Russian army major who once said that it took him les than 5 hours to go into Afghanistan but it took him more than 5 years to get out of there.

Finally the truth is that America and allies lost the war there when first of all they could not differentiate between Alqaeeda (if that exists) and Taliban and then they made an even bigger mistake by branding anyone whoever did not agree or promised to protect American interests, as enemy. I have said that earlier and here is it again. You can not keep peace in any country by giving power to 15% over 85% only because you managed to negotiate with only them.

For Taliban’s treatment to women. First of all let me make it clear that I do not condone anything like that and so does majority of others who understand Islam. Then why West never thought about that when same Talibans were fighting against Russia to Unify USA as super power? I believe they should leave free countries to chose their own life style and it is common sense that with time malpractices are always get sorted within. But we do pick individual incidents to create ground against nations we do not get on with where we ignore bigger incidents of same kind if these happen where we have people in power who listen to us and keep our interest before their own. For that reason you may consider example of Saudi Arabia and democracy once again.
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Keyplus, I agree with most of the things you're saying.

But everything you (and Jno) have said does not alter the fact that our troops ARE in Afghanistan right now and therefore we need to consider how to get them out without leaving wholesale slaughter in our wake. If we hand over control to the Taliban then appallingly violent acts will befall all those who do not agree with their warped mentality. This of course will mean that the Taliban will ultimately slaughter a great many Muslim men and women who the Taliban believe are not as pious as them.

The Taliban are demonstrably the most violently fundamental Islamists in the world. Common sense (and history) would suggest that any negotiations and agreements made with them will be quickly forgotten once the American and British troops have left. It will rapidly become business as usual with large swathes of Afghanistan ruled by a fundamental Islamic elite who meter out the most violent punishments for the most trivial of offences.

I pity the average Afghan. And I despair at the lack of open criticism of the Taliban from both the Western Governments and from Muslims in general.
They will never be defeated nor will al Qaeda. How many times have you heard we are putting them on the run, then follows more troops being sent, then an escalation of violence, more bodies brought home.

It started with saying our troops could return home without a shot being fired escalating to the present when they shoot down helicopters, blow our troops up at will,
lay many more IEDs and a spreade in activity.

Its obvious what is happening. The Taliban who are closer to the population use threats and extortions to get the undecided to fight with them else the threat of death.
Geo Bush's statement you are either with us or with the enemy probably just has much truth with the Taliban and the Afghans.

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