Via Juan Cole comes the rather jaw-dropping news that Mullah Omar will be dropped from the U.S. State Department terrorist list. By U.S. standards, they don’t get much more terroristy than Mullah Omar, head of the Taliban and onetime leader of the hard-core Islamic fundamentalist Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, who blew up Buddhas, burka’d the... Read More
Democracy and Its Death Squads
To civilian liberals of a hawkish bent, General Petraeus projects the reassuring image of the thinking person’s general. It’s kind of hard to wrap one’s head around the idea that operating death squads might be an integral—and perhaps the vital—component of the vaunted Petraeus doctrine of counterinsurgency. Or that death squads will probably continue to... Read More
Barack Obama is acting presidential.
Via Steve Benen at the Washington Monthly blog Calpundit, we learn that Mr. Obama said this in a portion of an interview with Time’s Joe Klein entitled On negotiating with the Taliban: By “presidential”, I mean addressing issues as if he were president, as opposed to regurgitating campaign-ready talking points. As I pointed out in... Read More
I have a piece up at Japan Focus, The Coming Change of Course in Afghanistan, concerning the broad expert and international consensus concerning the need to engage with Afghanistan’s Taliban politically and negotiate some kind of settlement to end the fighting. The American public will apparently be the last to know, since the Afghan war... Read More