Thursday, July 22, 2010

The reviews are in

John Moore offers a reminder of which federal party and leader has had the right idea all along when it comes to the future of Afghanistan:
Afghanistan is not Europe. And the Taliban are not the Nazis. Afghanistan is a Godforsaken country of largely illiterate peasants loosely affiliated with rival tribes and gangs. If every last member of the Taliban was magically lifted from the land it’s possible nothing would change. This isn’t Holland waiting for western liberation. It’s a country so riven with violence and instability that citizens show loyalty to no one lest they find themselves on the wrong side should the fighting ever stop.

So yes, sometimes you have to talk to the enemy. In fact post-WW2 realpolitik has shown sometimes you even have to get into bed with the enemy.

So almost four years after Layton suggested talking with the Taliban the minister acknowledges this is now official policy. For a guy who was labeled a soldier-hater and a Taliban-lover Jack Layton is remarkably gracious about the turnaround. I asked him recently if he was planning to ask for an apology and he demurred. “As long as the right thing gets done I don’t really care”.

There’s another lesson the Conservatives could learn from the NDP leader. He’s man enough to set partisanship aside when his rivals are actually getting something right.

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