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Obama mulls reaching out to moderate Taliban

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Re: Obama mulls reaching out to moderate Taliban

Postby Stebben84 » Sun Mar 08, 2009 10:21 pm

Dangerousman wrote:More to the point, nobody has yet described the "moderate members" of the Taliban to whom Obama would "reach out."


http://en.afghanistan.ru/doc/42.html

This article doesn't describe a lot, but gives an indication that a moderate Taliban might exist. I don't know how "moderate" they are.
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Re: Obama mulls reaching out to moderate Taliban

Postby Stella_Guru » Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:16 am

Stebben84 wrote: I don't know how "moderate" they are.

Female genital mutilation, forced marriages, and wearing of the Hijab are now the new "moderate."
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Re: Obama mulls reaching out to moderate Taliban

Postby Ned Flounders » Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:25 am

Dangerousman wrote:And what, pray tell, is considered a "moderate element" of the Taliban?


That would be the Specter / Snowe /Collins / Schwarzenegger wing, as opposed to the radicals who make up the movement's leadership (Boehner, Limbaugh, Norquist, Falwell, Gingrich, etc.)
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Re: Obama mulls reaching out to moderate Taliban

Postby Dangerousman » Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:00 am

ilikebeans wrote:
Dangerousman wrote:But then nobody is "born" a member of the Taliban or Nazi Party. They joined.

And Ratzinger "joined" the Hitler Youth when he was 14. The catch: it was required of all teenagers in 1939.

Dangerousman wrote:More to the point, nobody has yet described the "moderate members" of the Taliban to whom Obama would "reach out."

I would assume our commanders and experts in the country would have a better idea of figuring that out than you or me.

More to the point, why do you continue to insist that there can't possibly be moderate, doubting members of the current Taliban?


Are you saying that membership in the Taliban is mandatory?

I do not "continue to insist" that there cannot possibly be moderate members of the Taliban. I have doubts that there are, but skepticism is a reasonable position when one lacks any evidence to support a claim. I'm open to the possibility that there that there could be moderate members-- provided someone can take the first step and define or identify what such people would be. Nobody has done that yet.

As far as there being "doubting" members, well I have no uncertainty that there are probably MANY doubting members. Having the finest warriors in the world hunting you down and destroying you will tend to instill plenty of doubts in your head.
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Re: Obama mulls reaching out to moderate Taliban

Postby madmatt77 » Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:40 am

While I don't think the Taliban has members who are willing to work with the U.S. like the Sunnis in Iraq, I can't blame Obama for trying. The only other option is to kill or imprison each and every person who we think may be Taliban. This option does not seem reasonable, as there are several problems with it.

1) How do you define a Taliban member? Do they have a card or a special insignia tattooed on them? How can we ever be sure we got them all?
2) Killing taliban members will never kill the doctrine. This is a historical truth. Early Christian history was full of extermination attempts, but we know how that story ends. Most religions or sects have been persecuted and it only seems to strengthen their faith.
3) As a religious/political sect, Taliban members are not confined to any geographic location. This presents huge challenges in trying to find and capture/kill them all, not to mention the diplomatic hurdles in trying to capture a suspected taliban member who may be active in several countries.
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Re: Obama mulls reaching out to moderate Taliban

Postby GODDOG » Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:41 am

Dangerousman wrote:
ilikebeans wrote:
Dangerousman wrote:But then nobody is "born" a member of the Taliban or Nazi Party. They joined.

And Ratzinger "joined" the Hitler Youth when he was 14. The catch: it was required of all teenagers in 1939.

Dangerousman wrote:More to the point, nobody has yet described the "moderate members" of the Taliban to whom Obama would "reach out."

I would assume our commanders and experts in the country would have a better idea of figuring that out than you or me.

More to the point, why do you continue to insist that there can't possibly be moderate, doubting members of the current Taliban?


Are you saying that membership in the Taliban is mandatory?

I do not "continue to insist" that there cannot possibly be moderate members of the Taliban. I have doubts that there are, but skepticism is a reasonable position when one lacks any evidence to support a claim. I'm open to the possibility that there that there could be moderate members-- provided someone can take the first step and define or identify what such people would be. Nobody has done that yet.

As far as there being "doubting" members, well I have no uncertainty that there are probably MANY doubting members. Having the finest warriors in the world hunting you down and destroying you will tend to instill plenty of doubts in your head.

D-man...ever think about changing your name to Captain Rhetorical or maybe just.. Luke...as in Luke Warm!
red herring much?
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Re: Obama mulls reaching out to moderate Taliban

Postby ilikebeans » Mon Mar 09, 2009 12:54 pm

Dangerousman wrote:Are you saying that membership in the Taliban is mandatory?

No. I'm saying that not everyone that identifies himself as a member of a radical group is necessarily of the same mindset, especially when they control such a large portion of the country as the Taliban do.

Otherwise rational humans join these groups when they feel they're being persecuted, or cannot maintain a normal way of life due to poverty, constant war, famine, etc. Note: I'm not talking about the bin Ladens of the world-- there will always be those (usually in the upper ranks of the organization) that just want a fight, either in revenge for past wrongs or in an attempt to eradicate the western way of life.

Have to agree with the points in madmatt77's post. We're not going to win this war through military strikes alone. You have to, as we're finally seeing in Iraq, bring about a certain measure of security so that young moderates don't have a reason to join groups like the Taliban, and part of that is reaching out to those moderates for help.
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Re: Obama mulls reaching out to moderate Taliban

Postby Dangerousman » Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:18 pm

GODDOG wrote:D-man...ever think about changing your name to Captain Rhetorical or maybe just.. Luke...as in Luke Warm!
red herring much?


What is rhetorical about my question? If a President's administration says it may take some action-- in this case, "reach out to a moderate element of the Taliban"-- you think it is rhetorical to ask for a definition of "moderate element?" Why is that not a fair question? Maybe I'll have to write to Obama to get an answer since nobody here seems to have an answer. Time to take advantage of his "transparent" administration policy.
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Re: Obama mulls reaching out to moderate Taliban

Postby Dangerousman » Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:24 pm

Beans, I agree you don't win a war, and not this kind of war in particular, by military action alone. I just want somebody to attempt to give an intelligent answer to my original question. Everyone has evaded the issue so far.
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Re: Obama mulls reaching out to moderate Taliban

Postby ilikebeans » Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:27 pm

The question of how "moderate" the current members of the Taliban are? Probably not very, by our standards. But then, we have plenty of "allies" that adhere to various flavors of conservative Islamic Law (Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, for example).

But let's be realistic. What are the goals of our military there? To change their attitudes towards women, or to make the country stable enough so they're not tempted to host terrorist organizations like Al-Qaeda?
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Re: Obama mulls reaching out to moderate Taliban

Postby madmatt77 » Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:40 pm

D-man, more information is needed to answer your question. What is your definition of a taliban member? Clearly the taliban is not a group that has well-defined membership requirements. Is the taliban then just composed of the original members of the "government" that ruled Afghanistan until 2001? Would you include family members and friends of that original group?

If we strictly define the taliban as the Afghani insurgents fighting the U.S. for control of Afghanistan to rule as an islamic caliphate, then we can almost surely rule out "moderates" within that definition. I don't think this is the definition the Administration is using, as this is most likely a very small group of individuals who are obviously not going to respond to diplomacy.

I suspect; however, that the Obama administration is using a more loose definition of taliban. This might include other insurgent groups that are loosely allied with the Taliban merely for strategic purposes. An example might be armed members of a Pashtun tribe that oppose Western "control" over their homeland. They may fight alongside the Taliban, but may not have the strict ideology we ascribe to the Taliban. If this is the definition being used by the Administration, then it's not too hard to see how some of these individuals could be persuaded to assist the U.S. I'm guessing some of these tribes have seen so much war and disaster that their main reason for working with the Taliban is protection. They may become partners with the U.S. if they receive the same guarantee backed by the U.S. military.

I don't claim to know what the Obama Administration means by "Taliban", I am merely offering a few plausible explanations. The word "taliban" is pashto for "students", so I would imagine that many more groups use this term than the particular group being alluded to in this story.
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Re: Obama mulls reaching out to moderate Taliban

Postby ilikebeans » Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:33 pm

More details on this idea.
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Re: Obama mulls reaching out to moderate Taliban

Postby Uncle Fester » Sat Apr 04, 2009 4:41 pm

Yeah, when they're not flogging women, executing gays, and beheading Kafirs, those "moderate Taliban" can be a real barrel of laughs.

By ZAHID HUSSAIN and MATTHEW ROSENBERG

APRIL 4, 2009

ISLAMABAD -- The whipping of a 17-year-old girl by Islamic extremists in the Swat Valley, broadcast repeatedly Friday on several Pakistani television news stations, renewed deep concerns over a peace deal made by the Pakistani government allowing the Taliban to rule that region.

Pakistani officials said the incident took place on Jan. 3, before the pact was reached in February. But the beating, watched silently by a crowd, and its cause -- the married girl appeared in public chaperoned only by her father-in-law -- were stark reminders for many in Pakistan that the deal, not yet finalized, effectively puts a sliver of their country under brutal Taliban laws governing women.

In the grainy video, two men hold the girl by her hands and feet while another in a black turban flogs her bottom with a leather strap. Behind them, a circle of people watch on, largely silent. It wasn't known who shot the video or circulated it. "For God's sake stop it," the girl cries out in Pashtun as the man repeatedly hits her with the strap. "I swear by my father, I will not do it again."

She struggles throughout the beating, and at one point, one of the men watching can be heard saying: "hold her hands tightly." Afterward, she is picked up and dragged off camera. It wasn't clear where exactly in Swat the flogging took place or what has become of the woman since the incident.

The girl was accused of having an affair with her father-in-law because she was seen leaving a house accompanied by him. Under the Taliban brand of Islamic law in Swat, a married woman can be accompanied out only by her husband or a blood relative, said Muslim Khan, the group's spokesman. He said she was punished after an investigation, although she hadn't been tried in a proper Islamic court.

She "would have been stoned to death if there was a proper Sharia court," he told the private Geo News television station. "Nothing will deter us from enforcing Sharia rule." Islamic law is known as Sharia. He said, however, that the punishment should have been carried out in private.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123877116247786783.html
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Re: Obama mulls reaching out to moderate Taliban

Postby ilikebeans » Sat Apr 04, 2009 9:32 pm

Karzai: Afghanistan to review criticized sharia law

"I think this law is abhorrent," U.S. President Obama said in Strasbourg, France. "We think that it is very important for us to be sensitive to local culture, but we also think that there are certain basic principles that all nations should uphold, and respect for women and respect for their freedom and integrity is an important principle."

So the question is, how does this affect our ability to stabilize the country enough to eventually withdraw? No easy answers, it seems.
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Re: Obama mulls reaching out to moderate Taliban

Postby Uncle Fester » Sun Apr 05, 2009 2:09 pm

The point is that "moderate Taliban" is an oxymoron.

It also shows that Obama, (like most liberals), is totally naive and ignorant in his understanding of Islam and Islamic culture.
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