Karzais secret talks with Taliban
By Joe Baker, Senior Editor
Americas puppet ruler in Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, is losing what little control he has over that war-torn country.
Karzai, according to a report on Globe-Intel and carried on www.informationclearinghouse.com, has been secretly meeting with members of the Taliban.
The extreme Islamic fundamentalist group may regain some power in the Afghanistan government. Even though British Prime Minister Tony Blair once called it the most evil, brutal regime in the world, Karzai praised what he called the good elements of the Taliban and claimed it has done a great service to the country.
Karzai has no power or influence outside Kabul, the capital city. His conferences with the Taliban are expected to alarm many across the globe. The British Foreign Office had hardly any comment on the reports and their American counterparts were equally low-key in their responses.
President Karzai appeared to be delighted to see his old Pashtun adversaries in the room, a Taliban member told Globe-Intel. There were a number of respected Afghan scholars also present just to try and keep things civilized in case old arguments got out of hand. It was a very tense, and at times emotional, meeting and one of many to come, the source said.
The main bodyguards, all American, were kept outside the meeting room. It was just as well, said the Taliban source, because while there was praise for the Taliban, there were few good words for the United States.
The U.S. heads a force of 9,000 troops that has been in the country since November 2001 when the Taliban were pushed out of control. American casualties have been increasing. Several days ago, two U.S. soldiers were killed and five injured in a gun battle near the Pakistani border. Total U.S. dead now number 80.
Anti-American sentiment is on the rise in Afghanistan because of the U.S. occupation and also because of a series of U.S. blunders causing the deaths of Afghan civilians. Eleven Afghan children were killed recently when a laser-guided missile struck their home in Bermil near the border with Pakistan.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has hinted that American troops may be pulled out of the country next year despite what he called pockets of resistance still active.
An aide to Karzai said: The country is no more at peace now than it was a year ago; in fact in some ways we are even more fragile because good will, which was given at the time of the Loya Jirga, has now gone.
He said the attempt to disarm and integrate 100,000 fighters into the Afghan national army is failing because rival warlords and militia see the move as a threat to their own power. Unless the problem is solved, he said, there is no chance of elections next year.
Another aide said of Karzai: He has his back to the wall. Karzai has failed to get a grip on the country and they (Taliban) are the only ones who can hold anything together here. He has to talk to them whether he likes it or not.
Most of the Afghan people continue to struggle with a lack of food, housing and medical care. The country grows more unstable by the day. Opium poppy production, which was halted by the Taliban, is back to its peak pre-Taliban levels.