The cost of the Afghanistan war “will deepen the crisis of the American economy which is already in shambles.” That, too, was said about the recommitment to Iraq — which doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t true. But there are many forces pressing on the back of the U.S. economy right now, as anyone following the “climate change” meeting in Copenhagen should be aware. The U.S. did not skip World War II because it came at an inconvenient time, after a decade of economic depression.
The Taliban assert that they have no “bases in Pakistan nor (do) we need such bases outside Afghanistan.” We know this to be a lie, not least because New York Times correspondent David Rohde, kidnapped in Afghanistan a year ago, was promptly taken to a Taliban mini-state in western Pakistan, from which he managed to escape seven months later.
Obama “sometimes calls this war, a war of necessity; sometimes he calls it a war for the defense of the West and some times, a war being waged for the security of the world,” the Taliban statement declares. “These are his efforts to mobilize the opinion of the world in favor of this war and encourage other countries to support it in order to justify the unlawful invasion and use other countries for his benefit.” Interesting, isn’t it, how a group that sees itself bound by no international laws whatsoever nevertheless complains publicly and indignantly of others’ violations? Maybe Human Rights Watch could persuade the Taliban to sign the Geneva Convention?
Based on this message, we can conclude that the Taliban are not interested, at this point, in opening a new era of engagement with Obama: “The Afghans, the public of the world particularly, the people of America now know the realities and they are not going to be deceived by Obama’s juggling of word.”
Finally, the Islamic Emirate threatens “a more severe reaction in the years to come.” This should be taken seriously. The Taliban will put up a furious fight in Afghanistan and in Pakistan. If they also can bring the war closer to where we live, they will do so.