Time to open an office

From time to time when you are watching a news program, sometimes they say things that require you to hit the rewind button to make sure you just heard what they said correctly. I had to do that the other day while watching the President and Harmed Karzai talking about the  eventual removal of American troops from Afghanistan. What did I hear the President say? Just that it would probably become necessary for the Taliban to open offices!

I know, open offices? Offices with which they and the Afghanistan people could all sit down and talk to each other about the way things would be done governmentaly once we are out of the picture.  Once our, “Boots are off the ground,”  and the diplomats have taken over.  That may all be well and good, but if that is the eventual way things are going to be; ones gut reaction might well be why the wait? Why do we have to loose one more America soldier to injury or death, if in the end is the taliban get to come back and be part of the scenery as if we were never there in the first place? Bottom line: wars don’t last forever and this one is winding down; just not fast enough for an American public that has grown weary of a war with no victors and only endless fighting of  an enemy that is one day Joe public walking down the street shopping and the next day part of an ensemble of armed combatants!

In an interview with Afghanistan president Harmud Karzai, CNN Christine Armanpour recently discussed the state of affairs of the country and what it was going to be like when we left. Amazingly Karzai assured her a lot of the problems we see and fear for Afghanistan and our worry over its future are needless worry, because they are more than up for handling any problems that might arise in the future.  He added the caveat of course,  “ just as long as we leave and give them all the military equipment support they ask for.”

Karzai goes as far to say in the interview, the United States, France and England all set out to make him look weak, so that they could control the country. Elections were made to look dishonest, not by actually being dishonest but thanks mostly to the efforts of those three countries. Yet he is still going to need our aide. Not so much in troops but in equipment to fight the war against others who would attack the countries sovereignty.

As in business it all eventually boils down to the bottom line. Bottom line here is that we are leaving. Bottom line means if we want to say we had any lasting effect at all on establishing a democracy, we have to leave the government there with the tools it may need to defend that democracy, no matter how fragile or tentative it might be. Yet the hardest bottom line item we may have to swallow is the one that knowing that protecting democracy may well include making sure the Taliban has an office they can go home from every night thanks to their being a government that will still be there in the morning when they come back.


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