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Sep 13

Written by: Diana West
Tuesday, September 13, 2011 4:45 AM 

Coming soon to Doha, Qatar: the political offices of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan -- Taliban HQ.

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On September 10, the Islamic jihadists of Afghanistan, commonly known as the Taliban, massively struck at a US military outpost with a truck bomb that left a 20-foot-deep crater, wounding scores of Americans, mainly with concussions.

On September 11, President Barack Hussein Obama read Psalm 46 at Ground Zero: "Come, behold the works of the Lord, how he has wrought desolations in the earth." As Robert Spencer pointed out, "The only people who think that 9/11 was an act of the Supreme Being wreaking desolations on the earth are...Islamic jihadists."

On September 12, the Times of London reported that the Taliban were opening political headquarters in Qatar -- with US blessings.

This isn't just surrender, it's submission, and it is veritably and openly preached by the 44th president of the US. Unless the GOP candidates delve deeper and more seriously into this existential threat, hands-on and eyes open, we will be buried by a cascade of falling dominoes -- not countries this time around (although that too) so much as our core institutions as they turn ever more Islamic.

From The Australian today:

THE US has given its blessing for the Taliban to be brought in from the cold with a critical step towards reconciliation as the world paused to mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Washington has endorsed plans for the Islamist network to open political headquarters in the gulf state of Qatar by the end of the year. The move has been devised so the West can begin formal peace talks with the Taliban.

As a potent reminder of the potential value of a truce with the Taliban, attacks by the Islamist network in Afghanistan yesterday left two dead and 101 wounded in a truck bomb, marking one of the bloodiest days for American forces since the US invasion 10 years ago.

Another "potent reminder " today.

The office of the self-styled Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan would be the first internationally recognised representation for the Taliban since its fall in 2001.

The White House declined to comment on the development last night as Mr Obama addressed the nation on the anniversary of the al-Qa'ida attacks.

And implied that 9/11 was an act of Allah.

In the decade since, there has been a shift in Washington's attitudes towards the Taliban and a growing official distinction between the Pashtun nationalists and their former allies in al-Qa'ida.

See Bob Kagan for the distinction between "bin Ladenism" and "Islamists." Of course, what comes as  distinctive on a pristine sound stage disappears in flames on the streets of Cairo outside the Israeli embassy, for example.

Western diplomats said it was hoped the opening of the Taliban office would help to advance talks intended to reconcile insurgents with the Afghan government and bring an end to the decade-long US-led war.

Hamid Karzai didn't need Taliban HQ in Qatar to reconcile with the Taliban in Afghanistan. He's been expressing solidarity with the Taliban publicly for at least 16 months. 

Qatar is believed to have agreed to host the office after Washington insisted that it be located outside Pakistan's sphere of influence.

But it's not outside Iran's. Gee, maybe Iranian cash can now flow more easily both to the Karzai government and to the Taliban.

The Afghan government has accused Islamabad of meddling in several previous efforts to negotiate with Taliban intermediaries in an effort to preserve its influence inside Afghanistan.

Western officials said the opening of the office would serve as a confidence-building measure in the lead-up to what they hope will become formal talks towards ending the war.

How much more confident than shelling the US embassy in Kabul (today) do we want them to be?

It would be an address where they had a political office, said one Western diplomat. It would not be an embassy or a consulate but a residence where they could be treated like a political party.

I love charades!

The diplomat stressed the Taliban would not be permitted to use the office for fundraising or in support of their armed struggle in Afghanistan.

Enforceable?

It is understood the Taliban is seeking assurances that its representatives in Doha, the Qatari capital, would be free from the threat of harassment or arrest.

Just obey Islamic law and they'll be ok.

The initiative follows more than a year of informal stop-start talks between Western diplomats and a senior representative of the Taliban, Tayyab Agha, at the home of a former Taliban diplomat in Qatar.

Abdul Hakim Mujahid, the former Taliban ambassador to Islamabad and one-time envoy to the UN in New York, said Mr Agha was negotiating with the personal authority of the Taliban's supreme leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar. Western diplomats said there was little hope of brokering a end to the conflict without his blessing. Previous attempts at negotiations have foundered over the credentials of intermediaries.

Mr Mujahid said the Taliban was seeking to develop its direct contacts with the US because it had little faith in Afghan President Hamid Karzai's ability to honour promises without US backing.

Mr. Mujahid, of course, means Mr. Jihadist -- the perfect interlocutor for Uncle Sucker.

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