Friday, March 19, 2010

Sometimes we here in the blogosphere seek to put words to issues that best describe our own perspectives on what is happening out there in the big bad world ... and then sometimes there is just a video that needs no such pithy analysis. I present to you, from Mobile Alabama, this glorious news story, in its unedited form. I have no more words to describe the hilarity:

So, without further ado, This Week in Weird: There is a Leprechaun in the Deep South!

Monday, March 15, 2010

News from the AP tonight that Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban second-in-command who was captured by the ISI with U.S. support several weeks ago, was deep in secret negotiations with the Afghan government.  At the time of his arrest, the news seemed to portend an abrupt about-face in Pakistan’s strategy.  It was hailed as a signal that Islamabad was reordering its strategic priorities, and would finally become an honest partner to the U.S. in fighting Islamic extremists.

Now that assertion sounds hollow and na├»ve. 

I greeted the news of his capture with a healthy dose of skepticism, unable to believe that the ISI would reorient itself so quickly and decisively.  The story didn’t quite make sense.  If this AP story is true, and it certainly appears to be, all the pieces now fall into place.

Mullah Baradar was engaged with President Karzai in secret backchannel negotiations.  Since he is well known as a “moderate” amongst the Taliban, it is entirely plausible that these were good faith negotiations aimed to bring about a real peace.  However, as a “moderate,” Mullah Baradar’s position was probably not in tune with most of his Taliban colleagues. 

Furthermore, reconciliation between the Taliban and the Karzai government would produce one major loser – Pakistan. 

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