October 5, 2008
Canada's $22-billion little war must give way to a negotiated peace settlement
By ERIC MARGOLIS
At last, a faint glimmer of light at the end of the Afghan tunnel.
Last week, the U.S.-installed Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, revealed he had asked Saudi Arabia to broker peace talks with the alliance of tribal and political groups resisting western occupation collectively known as the Taliban.
Taliban leader Mullah Omar quickly rejected Karzai's offer and claimed the U.S. was headed toward the same kind of catastrophic defeat in Afghanistan that the Soviet Union met. The ongoing financial panic in North America lent a certain credence to his words.
Meanwhile, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David McKiernan, urgently called for at least 10,000 more troops but, significantly, also proposed political talks with the Taliban. U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan are increasingly on the defensive, hard pressed to defend vulnerable supply lines in spite of massive fire power and total control of the air.