Theodore's World: Obama Ponders Outreach to Elements of the Taliban

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March 07, 2009

Obama Ponders Outreach to Elements of the Taliban

President Obama declared in an interview that the United States was not winning the war in Afghanistan and opened the door to a reconciliation process in which the American military would reach out to moderate elements of the Taliban, much as it did with Sunni militias in Iraq.


Obama Ponders Outreach to Elements of the Taliban

New York Times....for complete article!!!!


President Obama declared in an interview that the United States was not winning the war in Afghanistan and opened the door to a reconciliation process in which the American military would reach out to moderate elements of the Taliban, much as it did with Sunni militias in Iraq.

Mr. Obama pointed to the success in peeling Iraqi insurgents away from more hard-core elements of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, a strategy that many credit as much as the increase of American forces with turning the war around in the last two years.

“There may be some comparable opportunities in Afghanistan and in the Pakistani region,” he said, while cautioning that solutions in Afghanistan will be complicated.

In a 35-minute conversation with The New York Times aboard Air Force One on Friday, Mr. Obama reviewed the challenges to his young administration. The president said he could not assure Americans the economy would begin growing again this year. But he pledged that he would “get all the pillars in place for recovery this year” and urged Americans not to “stuff money in their mattresses.”

“I don’t think that people should be fearful about our future,” he said. “I don’t think that people should suddenly mistrust all of our financial institutions.”

As he pressed forward with ambitious plans at home to rewrite the tax code, expand health care coverage and curb climate change, Mr. Obama dismissed criticism from conservatives that he was driving the country toward socialism.

Sitting at the head of a conference table with his suit coat off, Mr. Obama exhibited confidence six weeks into his presidency despite the economic turmoil around the globe and the deteriorating situations in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He struck a reassuring tone, saying Americans should not be frightened of the future, and he said he had no trouble sleeping at night.

“Look, I wish I had the luxury of just dealing with a modest recession or just dealing with health care or just dealing with energy or just dealing with Iraq or just dealing with Afghanistan,” Mr. Obama said. “I don’t have that luxury, and I don’t think the American people do, either.”

The president spoke at length about the struggle with terrorism in Afghanistan and elsewhere, staking out positions that at times seemed more comparable to those of his predecessor than many of Mr. Obama’s more liberal supporters would like. He did not rule out the option of snatching terrorism suspects out of hostile countries.

Asked if the United States was winning in Afghanistan, a war he effectively adopted as his own last month by ordering an additional 17,000 troops sent there, Mr. Obama replied flatly, “No.”

Mr. Obama said on the campaign trail last year that the possibility of breaking away some elements of the Taliban “should be explored,” an idea also considered by some military leaders. But now he has started a review of policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan intended to find a new strategy, and he signaled that reconciliation could emerge as an important initiative, mirroring the strategy used by Gen. David H. Petraeus in Iraq.

“If you talk to General Petraeus, I think he would argue 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 because they had been completely alienated by the tactics of Al Qaeda in Iraq,” Mr. Obama said.
At the same time, he acknowledged that outreach may not yield the same success. “The situation in Afghanistan is, if anything, more complex,” he said. “You have a less governed region, a history of fierce independence among tribes. Those tribes are multiple and sometimes operate at cross purposes, and so figuring all that out is going to be much more of a challenge.”

For American military planners, reaching out to some members of the Taliban is fraught with complexities. For one thing, officials would have to figure out which Taliban members might be within the reach of a reconciliation campaign, no easy task in a lawless country with feuding groups of insurgents.

And administration officials have criticized the Pakistani government for its own reconciliation deal with local Taliban leaders in the Swat Valley, where Islamic law has been imposed and radical figures hold sway. Pakistani officials have sought to reassure administration officials that their deal was not a surrender to the Taliban, but rather an attempt to drive a wedge between hard-core Taliban leaders and local Islamists.

During the interview, Mr. Obama also left open the option for American operatives to capture terrorism suspects abroad even without the cooperation of a country where they were found. “There could be situations — and I emphasize ‘could be’ because we haven’t made a determination yet — where, let’s say that we have a well-known Al Qaeda operative that doesn’t surface very often, appears in a third country with whom we don’t have an extradition relationship or would not be willing to prosecute, but we think is a very dangerous person,” he said.
“I think we still have to think about how do we deal with that kind of scenario,” he added. The president went on to say that “we don’t torture” and that “we ultimately provide anybody that we’re detaining an opportunity through habeas corpus to answer to charges.”

The Corner

Speaking of the U.K. and Special Relationships

by Andy McCarthy

Great Britain has opened an official dialogue with Hezbollah. It is intended to ease the way for the Obama administration to follow suit — and a prelude for both to open communication with Hamas.

Of course, Hezbollah (like Hamas) continues to call for the annihilation of the Jewish state. But so does Iran, which Secretary of State Clinton has announced she will formally invite to a mulitlateral conference over what to do about Afghanistan. One might have thought Iran had already registered its views on that issue, especially given this week's Times of London report that the mullahs are arming the Taliban with surface-to-air missiles (on top of lots of other assistance that Iran has been giving the Taliban all along, as Tom Joscelyn recounted almost exactly a year ago).

But hey, everything's negotiable, right?


Wild Thing's comment......

Effing traitor!!! But we did know he would do this and the America haters that voted for Obama did not care!!!!

Does this idiot Obama think that they are going to change their agenda? He wants to talk, one Muzzie to another Muzzie.

Headline on MSNBC: “Obama eyes reaching out to moderate Taliban”

Is there such a thing as a “Moderate Taliban”??? NO there is NOT!

So I suppose in return for their meeting with Obama we must abandon Israel.

The Obama policy: let’s undo the progress and victory achieved by Bush 43 and empower the traitors—domestic and foreign—within the U.S. homeland.

“...the American military would reach out to elements of the Taliban.”

I think the Hellfire missiles delivered by the Predators make wonderful emissaries...

Remember when Obama said when President he would make it a priority to find Osama Bin Laden?????? Now we know why, he wants to kiss his ring.

This is incredible!

Ready on the left; ready on the right. Lock and load. Fire at will.

Posted by Wild Thing at March 7, 2009 05:40 PM


Well if this isn't cause for impeachment I don't know what is.

"Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court." Article III, Section 3 of the United States Constitution

"The President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States" who may only be impeached and removed for "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors". Article II, Section 4 of the United States Constitution.

"I think the Hellfire missiles delivered by the Predators make wonderful emissaries..." Either that or the 155MM Artillery Shells delivered from an M198 Howitzer or an M109A6 Paladin.

M198 Howtizer:
M109A6 Paladin:

Posted by: JohnE PFC U.S. Army at March 7, 2009 06:29 PM

JohnE PFC, make that an M198 155mm W/Willie Pete and make that target Obamastan and fire for effect.

Posted by: Jack at March 7, 2009 07:28 PM

Wow great pictures JohnE, I see 29 stumps hasn't changed at all except for the Paladin maybe.

We have spent the last 8 years battling these ragheads now we are going to appease them. The war on terror must be interferring with obammy's redistributing the wealth.

It makes no sense to kiss their ass. This Asshole in the White House is inviting Attack. I see this as a waste of lives that we have spent toward victory to have it wasted in such a sorry manner.

From what he said, He hasn't talked to General Patreus yet this moron thinks he can now read minds. What a piece of garbage.

JohnE is right he should be impeached.(period)

Posted by: Mark at March 7, 2009 07:37 PM

OK, I understand. We will love everybody and they will love us. We will love the Taliban, Hamas, Hezbolla, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Cuba, etc. We will have no more enemies, except maybe Israel. But our new friends will take care of Israel. Boy have I been wrong all of my adult life. KUMBAYA!

Obama has done more in seven weeks to change America for the worse, than has occurred since WWII. This guy is running amok with wild ideas and we are all going to pay a big price.

Posted by: TomR at March 7, 2009 10:41 PM

I'm kind of fond of naplam but since it is illegal by international treaty, I'll go with lots of Mk 82, 83 and 84 bombs. That's 500, 1000 and 2000 pounders. And I mean from B-52s in formation.
Down and dirty helping the grunts, lots of tactical firepower. A-10s with that awesome gun, Apaches with missiles. Bring back the A-6 and A-7 and load them up and turn them loose. Especially the A-7 which was the most effective close support aircraft in a few scrapes. Point and shoot and let GE bring good things to life.

Posted by: Glenn Cassel AMH1(AW) USN RET at March 8, 2009 01:28 AM

Taking a page right out of the Neville Chamberlain Handbook...

Posted by: Rick at March 8, 2009 01:45 AM

"Is there such a thing as a “Moderate Taliban”??? NO there is NOT!"

You've got that right. Another jaw dropping revelation from this destroyer.

Also the half billion or whatever it is ($1 is too much) he's wanting to send to Gaza to rebuild the (bomb bunkers) rubble their own bombs caused either indirectly (by lobbing them at Israel causing retaliation) or directly in some cases I'm sure so they could blame Israel for killing innocent citizens. They have no regard for human life or liberty. It's all right out of their devil's handbook. But Obama needs to payback the Gaza boys for manning those phones and buying $30,000 in Obama tshirts. It's only fair in his playbook.

What else could you expect from a man raised by Communists and Muslims whose life has been funded by Saudis, Syrians and other radicals? I doubt he could shake it even if he wanted to, which I don't think he does.

Posted by: Eden at March 8, 2009 07:01 AM

FDR Ponders Outreach to Elements of the Nazis, Imperial Japan and Italian Fascists?...
Pope Benedict XVI Ponders Outreach to Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden?
- WTF 2009?

Posted by: darthcrUSAderworldtour07 at March 8, 2009 08:04 AM