The Taliban, under the command of Mullah Mansoor (brother of the legendary Mullah Dadullah, who was killed in battle this year), are in Satellite town, Quetta, to talk of teega. The next rounds are scheduled for Peshawar, the provincial capital of North-West Frontier Province, and in the Waziristan tribal areas with Taliban commanders of the southeastern provinces.So after swearing up and down that we wouldn't negotiate with the Taliban -- and calling Jack Layton and the NDP naive, traitorous simps for even suggesting it -- we're finally following a rational course that we could have taken years ago, when we held a much stronger position in Afghanistan.
Specifically, the deals aim to stop violence in selected areas and give the Taliban limited control of government pending the conclusion of a broader peace deal for the country and the Taliban's inclusion in some form of national administration....
In other news, PM Harper has apparently informed Bush that he doesn't expect to get Parliamentary approval for an extension of Canada's mission in Afghanistan. We can, I think, deduce two things from this: First, Harper doesn't expect to have a majority by 2009, certainly not if people think he's going to keep soldiers in Afghanistan. Second, he doesn't believe that the current status quo, if it endures that long, allows him to keep troops beyond 2009.
I don't think that's necessarily true. If the rumours of Ignatieff's attempts to unseat Dion are true, I think Harper can reasonably expect the Liberal party to roll over for an extended tour in Afghanistan until, oh, 2070 or so. And btw, if the rumours of Ignatieff's attempts to unseat Dion come true, you can expect a hearty "I told you so" from this corner.