March 8, 2009

Obama reaching out to the Taliban.

"He cited an argument he attributed to Gen. David H. Petraeus that 'part of the success in Iraq involved reaching out to people that we would consider to be Islamic fundamentalists, but who were willing to work with us.' Mr. Obama added that 'there may be some comparable opportunities in Afghanistan and in the Pakistani region, but the situation in Afghanistan is, if anything, more complex.'"

This idea makes sense to me, but I lack confidence that Obama and his people know how to do these things properly. He didn't get how to host a visit with Gordon Brown in the White House! And then there was Hillary and the reset button....

AND: More here.

Next: Cuba.

77 comments:

fcai said...

How is any of this surprising? He hates our allies, loves our sworn enemies, is a Marxist, a crypto-Muslim - really, where is the news in any of this? Will you be surprised when Sharia is imposed on us? I, for one, welcome our new Taliban overlords - I am a man with a long beard, and I think the appearance of most women is improved when you cram them into a burka.

Darcy said...

No worries. He'll get the important things right, I'm sure.

SMGalbraith said...

Taliban? Well, okay as long as he doesn't talk to Limbaugh and those icky wingnuts.

Wow, olive branches to our enemies, back of the hand to our allies.

Brings to mind the saying that "It may be unwise to be an enemy of America but it can be positively deadly to be her friend."

Lari said...

This is unnerving, true, but at least he's doing a bang up job on the economy.

John Lynch said...

We negotiated with the North Vietnamese to "end the war."

It's easy to end a war. You just lose. It doesn't even take very long.

In principle, as long as the Taliban don't attack us I don't care if we leave them alone. The reality is that they will. Then what?

I bet he'll be using drone strikes to "bomb them back to the negotiating table." Gah. I get the impression that Obama can't be bothered to win wars. It's too hard and doesn't fit his vision. He never says "win" or "victory." All the military rhetoric is saved for talking about health care.

rhhardin said...

He swapped the nuclear football for a nuclear basketball.

Jason (the commenter) said...

It's funny that someone who everyone thought was pragmatic turns out to be an idealist. And Obama is in no way pragmatic no matter how many times he says the word.

Jason (the commenter) said...

I can imagine Obama as a hippie saying, "If we all just work together we can solve all the world's problems. If we can only see other people's points of view we can make our enemies our friends."

SMGalbraith said...

And Obama is in no way pragmatic no matter how many times he says the word.

Interesting observation that raises the question:

Does Obama want to deal with the Taliban (Tehran, et cetera) because they're sons of bitches that we need to have some sort of rapprochement with based on the limits of American power?

That is, he has to?

Or does he want to negotiate with them because he believes that they can be taught to understand that we and they have similar world views and want peace? And that the problem has been the "neocons" and Bush cowboys and their aggressive policies?

That is, he wants to?

Obama as ruthless realist or naive idealist?

Skyler said...

I'm starting to sense some buyer's remorse with Prof. Althouse's support for Obama.

TRO said...

"I'm starting to sense some buyer's remorse with Prof. Althouse's support for Obama."

Buyer's remorse is rampant in the reality-based community now. The vast majority won't admit it and many still get angry when you allude to it, but it's there.

Hell, even Whoopi is feeling it at least when it comes to taxes.

The hope is quickly fading into hopelessness because the change is not the change they expected.

It would be funny if so much damage wasn't being done.

Issob Morocco said...

Actually I would posit the thought that the One is merely trying to play both sides of the situation. He can hide behind Petraeus' comment about trying to engage some of the Taliban, ala Anbar and show that he is not 'rigid'.

But he can also later, if the policy doesn't work (probability would weigh against it) he can blame Petraeus, the military, Bush, Sanetelli, Limbaugh, Althouse, or whomever is against him at that moment.

Remember several times during the ad infinitum election cycle, the One threw staffers under the bus for conflicting statements on policy. One was he was saying he was for strict gun control (the One claimed a staffer was the one who filled out the form) as well as other instances of similar shifting blame to someone else, lower on the responsibility chain for the error. That will be harder to do that the further into his presidency he moves. Nothing like gaining experience on the job, eh?

Jason said...

That's bloody retarded. Obama doesn't understand the construct here.

We didn't reach out to the Islamic fundamentalists in Al Anbar. It was the more secular elements of the insurgency that split off to join with us AGAINST the Islamic fundamentalists.

It's not like we found a more moderate bunch of Al Qaeda mujahedeen to deal with. We brought over the locals, the nationalists, the Baathists, and pragmatic sheiks to help us against Al Qaeda. And that was AFTER Al Qaeda happily slaughtered them by the thousands.

Al Qaeda and the Taliban aren't exactly murdering Al Qaeda and Taliban wholesale.

And Petraeus himself has been very careful to explain that measures that worked in Iraq won't work the same way in Afghanistan. Two very different battlefields.

I swear, this Administration gets dumber by the day.

Michael said...

"This idea makes sense to me, but I lack confidence that Obama and his people know how to do these things properly. He didn't get how to host a visit with Gordon Brown in the White House! And then there was Hillary and the reset button...."

Standard right wing drivel...from the supposed "liberal Queen of the hive.

Every article and commentary I've read (other than Rush & Company) does NOT support this silly notion in any way, shape or form. 45 days into a new administration and we're supposed to already know these things? Did you also assume Bush's administration would become such a spectacular failure 45 days into his tenure?

Of course not.

This is just another inane headline comment to illicit fire from the "pack."

Get some new material.

Michael said...

WOW...it appears one of the local pack's "heroes" agrees with...ME.

"GINGRICH PILES ON RUSH: HOPING FOR OBAMA'S FAILURE IS "IRRATIONAL"

Is sure does.

And it's also downright unAmerican.

prairie wind said...

From the Cuba story: "President Barack Obama is poised to offer an olive branch to Cuba in an effort to repair the US's tattered reputation in Latin America."

I'm thinking, what tattered reputation? Seems like plenty of Latin Americans like the US just fine--fine enough to come here in hordes. I have no interest in making the Cuban government or Chavez think better of America.

Clyde said...

"Moderate Taliban"? Get the f**k outta here! It's as if FDR had gone looking for "moderate Nazis" or "moderate Japanese militarists" during World War II. Then again, they still remembered Neville Chamberlain's cockup back then, and weren't interested in appeasing anyone else.

It's like in a James Bond movie where Bond ask the villain what he wants and the villain replies, "I want you to DIE!" That is the Taliban's view of Western societies, both the "moderate" and "extremist" Taliban. They don't want to talk and they don't want to compromise, they want to kill anyone who doesn't worship their 7th Century god (and in the proper way; they view many other Muslims as being as bad as the other infidels).

JSF said...

Michael,

president Bush did not take his first vacation until Easter. Presidnt Obama has taken TWO so far.

say what you will about PM Brown (who does not have alock on his election by 2010), it was still disrespectful.

It does not matter how long you been President -- just what you do with it. Can you tell me that you wouldn't tear former President Bush a new one if had acted the same toward PM Brown in his first days? Don't lie.

Issob Morocco said...

Michael, your query as to whether we knew Bush's administration would fail 45 days in, is clever by half. All administrations have successes and failures. You confuse the wish of those of us that the policies of the One fail, and hence he fails. Not America to fail. Unless you still believe in his infallability, you know, being the "One".

I appreciate your assertion of being an American, I suppose that suddenly occurred on Nov. 5th, 2008. I would say that lack of coherency for a campaign that lasted longer than some corruption trials in Chicago, is a major concern, whether I agree with it or not. What is our policy with Israel? What is our policy with Iraq? What is our policy with Iran. Running things ad hoc, shows weakness to strategic planning, but the media will not doubt cover by claiming pragmatism, nuance or whatever other bullshit they can think up as a bizarre connect the dots style of rationalization.

Keep trying maybe some day you, too, will get understanding.

Issob Morocco said...

Michael, BTW who on this blog considers Gingrich a 'hero'? Name some names or stopping emulating the "One's" straw man tendencies.

Thank you!

William said...

How soon everyone forgets that Obama was able to broker peace among the blood drenched. feuding savages of the Harvard Law Review. Such a man has the empathy to understand why the Taliban might be driven to throw acid into the faces of girls for the crime of learning to read. Female literacy is a Western value. For us to try to spread this Western value by force of arms is imperialism of the crudest sort. Obama, because of a background that sensitized him to the crimes of Western imperialism, will be able to move away from these arrogant positions and restore peace to the world. Schools for Afghan women! You might as well demand a free press in Cuba.....Thank God we have in the White House a man knows in his bones all the hypocrisies and corruptions of the Western tradition and can see the beauty and truth of those who hate that tradition.

Lari said...

"Michael,...............don't lie"


Now THAT'S funny!!!

Methadras said...

The assumption here is that all Islamic Fundamentalists are the same. They are not. I'll pop the popcorn, sit back and watch another bagfull of failure come out Mr. Barely's empty suit again.

Methadras said...

Besides, what is he going to do? Send Hillary out there with another red button that says Allah Ackbar or Jihad on it and then hear the cackling?

Synova said...

How soon everyone forgets that Obama was able to broker peace among the blood drenched. feuding savages of the Harvard Law Review.

Heh.

I remember hearing about that. It was presented as proof he had great skill at bringing people together.

Also... he managed his election campaign staff, which counts as executive experience.

madawaskan said...

Well it gets worse-

via Tom Maguire at Just One Minute-

The Telegraph is quoting an official from the US State Department here-

There's nothing special about Britain. You're just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn't expect special treatment.

Elsewhere in the article which Maguire missed but one of his commenter's noticed-

The Sunday Telegraph understands that one of Mr Obama's most prominent African American backers, whose endorsement he spent two years cultivating, has told friends that he detects a weakness in Mr Obama's character.

"The one real serious flaw I see in Barack Obama is that he thinks he can manage all this," the well-known figure told a Washington official, who spoke to this newspaper.


I'm going to gues it is Colin Powell, could be Oprah... but they say "he"..heh.

Later in the article one of Obama's WH aides blames it partially on the fact that Obama can't get a cigarette-

He said that on several occasions the president has had to hurry back from eating dinner with his family in the residence and then tucking his daughters in to bed, to conduct urgent government business. Matters are not helped by the pledge to give up smoking.

Obama Too Tired Telegraph UK

Skyler said...

Michael wrote: Did you also assume Bush's administration would become such a spectacular failure 45 days into his tenure?

Do not make the mistake of assuming that because Obama is bad, that Bush was good. There are many of us who didn't think much of the extreme socialist Bush. The last few months of his administration put to rest any lingering doubts as to what he was.

bearbee said...

Who is his foreign affairs advisor??????!!!!!!!

Does anyone know???!!!

garage mahal said...

We NEED to do SOMETHING!!

rhhardin said...

It takes a village to do foreign affairs.

Methadras said...

Correction: Hillary is going to give the Taliban leader a red button that says "Durka, Durka" on it.

Henry said...
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Henry said...
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Henry said...

I'm sorry, but wasn't reaching out to folks like the Taliban one of our strategies in Afghanistan back in 1980? Isn't that part of the big master narrative about why everything bad between Instanbul and India is our fault?

In seriousnous, divide and conquer is a great strategy for an empire, but I doubt the West really has the stomach to deal realistically with petty absolutists in the starry-eyed present. Today's reach-out is tomorrow's human rights catastrophe.

brass said...

hopefully, he'll let the green berets keep killing them.
god bless america

blake said...

Is garage getting less coherent as time goes on? Are all the left-wing trolls?

Peter V. Bella said...

He will have Hillary send State Department envoys over there bearing gifts of American favorites; ribs, pork sausages along with some nifty gifts for the women- cheap dollar store lipstick or some crap like that.

Peter V. Bella said...

Moderate Taliban? I believe the whole philosophy of the Taliban is extremist. I do not think there are any moderate Taliban members; but hey whatever floats his boat. It sure takes our mind off of his economic failure- market down again Friday.

Peter V. Bella said...
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Peter V. Bella said...

Hey Michael,
Even a dullard cretin would know that you do not treat the British Prime Minsiter like a second rate tourist and then give him some cheap DVDs as a gift, nor do you give silly cheap plastic toy buttons to another world leader- especially the Russians ala Hillary. There is something called class. So far this administration is low class all the way and is an embarassment to the people.

Your daily count of his days in office is no excuse for the total lack of experience and class the One has in simple things like protocol for world leaders. He pulled a con job and America fell for it. We are now paying the price- we are truly the laughing stock of the world.

hdhouse said...

He may not know "how to do these things" but we are at least a step ahead of the last bozo who didn't even know it was something to try.

JAL said...

Hopeless Change

JAL said...
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JAL said...
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JAL said...

Wonder how the Taliban would take to Michelle in her fabulous sleeveless dresses showing her buff bare arms.

SMGalbraith said...

He may not know "how to do these things" but we are at least a step ahead of the last bozo who didn't even know it was something to try.

Trying something one is ill-prepared for is better than not trying in the first place?

Ann's the laywer but I think they call that a statement against interest.

Synova said...

Moderate Taliban? I believe the whole philosophy of the Taliban is extremist.

It does seem a bit like saying "moderate Hillsborough Baptist" doesn't it. :-)

I suppose there are some political or opportunist Taliban... sort of like, that's the game in town so why not?

And sure, there always has to be an "out" offered to the enemy, a way to stop fighting and still save face. The stupidest thing to do is to make it so your enemy can't stop fighting if they want to.

But for the love of everything rational in the world, you don't go announcing that you're going to be all cuddly and friendly. You make it clear that you're going to destroy them utterly and then give them a hint that there is a way out of this situation, just let us know you're serious about it.

JAL said...

As for Cuba, I think I mentioned that elsewhere as a good job option for Obama, what with Fidel and Raul on the way out. They need some new blood.

And he won't have to rescue their car industry. It's right where everyone wants it -- in the 50s. Health care is nationalized. And the wealth has been spread around and is no longer being generated (there, that fixes *that* problem) so everyone is equally impoverished. And happy. Don't forget happy.

Including Obama, because he won't be so overwhelmed. And he can switch to really nice cigars.

Hopeful? Not so much.

Ask Elcubitano (sp?), our new American citizen, if he joins the conversation.

SMGalbraith said...

He may not know "how to do these things" but we are at least a step ahead of the last bozo who didn't even know it was something to try.

That's a good approach for removing a tree stump from your backyard. Or unclogging that drain in the laundry room.

Not a good idea, though, when running a country in a dangerous world.

daredevil-66 said...

Maybe this is a new negotiating tactic we are unaware of. Give away all your bargaining chips before you even get to the table. Like telegraphing you're going to give up missile defense in Europe and sell our your eastern european allies then wonder why the russians are on the floor pissing themselves with laughter. Is the obama crew really this incompetent?

Penny said...

That last "bozo" prevented another 9/11 attack on our soil. Maybe this new "bozo" will figure out a way to do the same.

As much as it hurts, I remain optimistic about America and those who chose to lead her.

traditionalguy said...

Whether Obama emerged from his mother's womb in Hawaii or Kenya is not the real issue. The family he was born into and raised by saw themselves as Homo-sovieticus. They effectively formed his view of America as a hated old fashioned nation state still under the rule of enemy Capitalists. Obama cannot wait to see the end of the Capitalist nation-state with its monumental headquarters in Washington's City and its true headquarters in New York/Wall Streest. The future under Obama is quickly going to see the end of that nationstate's Wealth and military power.The sooner everyone quits wondering why he is doing it, the sooner we can start damage control.

Methadras said...
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Methadras said...

Why is that the American public is starting a trend to elect two black presidents in their 40's from two single white mothers? Something smells rotten in Denmark.

Methadras said...

Where is Pogo or Trooper when we need them. This requires their photoshop skills:

Obama says "I'm putting the Hillaryz in your Talibanz" & another one Talibanz says "I can haz Hillaryz Durka Durka buttonz?"

Penny said...

"Blogger Methadras said...

Why is that the American public is starting a trend to elect two black presidents in their 40's from two single white mothers? Something smells rotten in Denmark."

Double your pleasure; double your fun.

Wrigley's and Shakespeare.

FairestWitness said...

Talk to the moderate Taliban? Obama & his Admin would believe there are moderates among the stoners & beheaders of their own women. At the same time they demonize Republicans who reasonably oppose their power-grabbing incompetence.

Did Americans really vote for this buffoon? Really? Did they? I can't believe it!

Peter V. Bella said...

If the President of France comes here they are going to give him real American gifts to remember; a box of aged Velveeta and a bottle of vintage Thunderbird.

hdhouse said...

Yoooo! Idiots that inhabit this blog.

He said "right wing fundementalists" not "Taliban". There is a difference.

You may be too stupid to know it but they are not one in the same.

God save this Republic from morons.

Peter V. Bella said...

God save this Republic from morons.

It's too late House, Joe Biden is Vice President.

Penny said...

Saving this republic seems like a good place to begin.

Peter V. Bella said...

Hillary is planning to visit Italy. She will give the PM a box of Prince Spagetti and a bottle of Ragu.

Darcy said...

Oh! LOL, Peter V. Bella.

Darcy said...
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Darcy said...
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Darcy said...

It was funny, but I really didn't mean to laugh three times.

Chip Ahoy said...

I would really like to see this.

I wonder how you'd set up such a meeting. Pitch an elaborate tent. Position the Secret Service around the mud brick buildings.Tour the poppy fields. Inspect the madrassah. Sacrifice a goat. Hang up the AK-47s. Drink some espresso. Eat some falafal hor d oeuvres dipped in tajiki sauce. Get down to business.

I wish him well in this endeavor. I hear those moderates are a bunch of good guys just seeking a better way of life.

* ducks *

Chip Ahoy said...

Moderate elements within the Taliban. It's all relative, you know.

What moderate elements within the Taliban that would deign of confab with the US would want is weapons. Weapons. Weapons. Weapons. And maybe Marlboros. Possibly unlocked iPhones.

Penny said...

Weapons, Marlboros, unlocked IPhones and Althouse. ;)

Eric said...

Is garage getting less coherent as time goes on? Are all the left-wing trolls?

In politics it's a lot harder to play defense than offense. Sometimes your guy chooses from an array of bad options, and he's gonna catch hell no mater what he does.

But even beyond that Obama isn't helping much. He's making Bush look like a genius.

Pissed Off Hillbilly said...

Hell, he's making Bill Clinton look like a genius.

A moderate Taliban only cuts your head halfway off.

Fen said...

"In politics it's a lot harder to play defense than offense"

It also takes intelligence to play defense - you have to respond in your own words to the drivel some stupid liberal merely cut-n-paste from HuffPo.

And the Left is not all that intelligent. We know this because, like hdhouse above, they need to constantly remind everyone they're smart.

garage mahal said...

Fen! Where you been?

TosaGuy said...

Remember the video of the NYU student union take over with the video camera guy anxiously wandering about saying things "let us dialogue" and "you can't detain us" to a bunch of bored security guards and university officials? Obama is that guy, but unfortunately, the role of the bored university officials is played by the Taliban and all the other enemies of the US. They won't hold to charactor.

FairestWitness said...

hdhouse, the disrepsectful rhetoric, referring to conservative Americans as right wing fundamentalists, is but one tactic in the strategy used by liberals to demonize us. They use this strategy to deny us our rights, to depict us as undeserving of any voice in the debate. Leaders Obama, Pelosi & Reid have dismissed our concerns and literally crapped on us.

Now they want to talk to moderate Taliban? They won't even talk to us, their fellow Americans, for crying out loud. They wish to include enemy barbarians and exclude civilized Americans.

If you don't get what's wrong with this picture, you are HOPELESS!

Eric said...

Leaders Obama, Pelosi & Reid have dismissed our concerns and literally crapped on us.

Wait... literally?

veni vidi vici said...

Obama reaches out, while the Taliban doesn't even afford him the courtesy of a reach-around.

That's the headline that'll soon be everywhere if these idiots proceed with a plan to "engage" the head-hackers. Only someone who believes his own press-clippings would be telegraphing all of the foolishness that comprises Obama's foreign policy -- oops, I meant "Smart Diplomacy".

Smart is the new Dumb.