By David Swanson, Truthout
Kabul, Afghanistan – The United States, on the verge of shutting down its own government for lack of funds, just forked over another $50 million for a peace jirga (or council) to negotiate peace in Afghanistan or at least sponsor an upcoming conference in the United Arab Emirates and – perhaps more so – bribe Taliban fighters to temporarily stop fighting.
Talking is always preferable to bombing, and anything with the name peace in it has at least that going for it. But this particular boondoggle may not have much else. To almost all Afghans, the hard-core Taliban are vicious killers and the United States/NATO foreign occupiers have their own deceitful motives. Afghans who want independence, sovereignty and democratic self-rule want power over their country kept out of the hands of the United States, the Taliban, Pakistan, Iran, and anyone else who is not the Afghan people. While many fear a Taliban takeover following a US withdrawal, they also resent the idea that a foreign power and its puppets should be negotiating the future of the country with its murderous criminals and offering those criminals a chance to share power with more US-friendly war lords and drug lords. Forgiveness and reconciliation is one thing, they say, but power sharing is something else all together. Offering serious investment in infrastructure would be appropriate, many think, but offering power to criminals who are greatly feared is unacceptable.
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