Humiliation 2

America, Britain, NATO  – anyway, our side –  is trying to sue for peace with the Taliban.

They’re not calling it that – they’d say they’re “asking for talks” – but it amounts to the same thing. It’s the first step in the attempt they must make to get out of the war without too great humiliation. So far, they’re not succeeding even with that low aim.

The British army chief of staff, General David Richards, egged on by US commanders, shouted out loud that “it might be useful to talk to the Taliban”.

The Taliban couldn’t help hearing, and their  answer through intermediaries is that they will not enter into any kind of negotiations with Nato forces.

That’s according to the BBC – not a source we usually trust, but the story rings true.

The Taliban statement is uncompromising, almost contemptuous.

They believe they are winning the war, and cannot see why they should help Nato by talking to them. …

June, they point out, has seen the highest number of Nato deaths in Afghanistan: 102, an average of more than three a day.

“Why should we talk if we have the upper hand, and the foreign troops are considering withdrawal, and there are differences in the ranks of our enemies?” said Zabiullah Mujahedd, [when] a trusted intermediary conveyed a series of questions to [him], the acknowledged spokesman for the Afghan Taliban leadership, and [he] gave us his answers.

“We do not want to talk to anyone – not to [President Hamid] Karzai, nor to any foreigners – till the foreign forces withdraw from Afghanistan.” …

Doubts about the value of the operation are already growing in every Nato country.

The BBC  (or “Auntie Beeb” as the old harridan is often unaffectionately called in Britain) thinks that General Petraeus’s task is now to change that perception. We don’t think so. His task, as we have said, is to find a way of getting out of the war with as little humiliation as possible.

But even that’s a bad idea. Best thing would be to get out now, because the most humiliating way will be to go on trying not to be humiliated without succeeding.

Actually there must be humiliation whatever is done.

Karzai in power corruptly and/or dealing with the Taliban ? Humiliation.

NATO/US talking to the Taliban to include them in power? Humiliation.

The Taliban refusing to talk to NATO and waiting for it to leave? Humiliation.

Continuing to pretend there is an Afghan army loyal to “the nation”?  Humiliation.

Leaving next July with the same sort of mess there is now or worse? Humiliation.

Giving up on victory and preferring the word “success”? Humiliation.

Pretending Pakistan is an ally and doesn’t have its own designs on Afghanistan? Humiliation.

Trying not to be humiliated and pretending not to be? Humiliation.

Defeat on the battlefield in Marja, Kandahar, and soon all over? Utter humiliation.

Our side is thoroughly, deeply, irredeemably humiliated now. And not another American or NATO life should be lost in this hopeless and even absurd cause .