There has been talk lately that the White House wants to hold peace talks with Taliban leaders in hopes of ending the 12 year war the US has been fighting in Afghanistan. The talks were to be held in Qatar where the Taliban has an official office.
Last week, those peace talks were stalled in jeopardy of never taking place because Afghan officials complained about the Taliban’s flag and seal being displayed at their Qatar office building. Even though the government of Qatar had given the Taliban permission to erect the flagpole and display their flag and seal, peace efforts hinged on their removal. By Sunday it was reported that police had removed both the flagpole and seal in order to help the peace talks move forward.
The Taliban had taken control of Afghanistan and ruled it with an iron fist. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, the US launched a military invasion of Afghanistan which pushed the Taliban out of power and control of the country and helped establish the current government run by President Hamid Karzai. But the Taliban have not given up the fight to regain their power and control of Afghanistan.
As peace talks between the Taliban, US and Afghan governments are tenuously hanging in the balance, Taliban militants attack a party of foreign tourists in Pakistan. The tourists were visiting the base camp of Nanga Parbat, the 9th highest mountain in the world. The mountain and base camp are located in the northern area of Pakistan that has been relatively free of the ongoing conflicts that have been waged throughout the rest of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
It is not clear if the foreigners were there to mount a climb of Nanga Parbat, also known as the killer mountain, or if they were just visiting the general area as typical tourists. The Islamic militants arrived wearing police uniforms when they opened fire on the foreigners, killing 5 Ukrainians, 3 Chinese, 1 Russian and wounding another Chinese national.
The Jundul HafsaTaliban group from that general area quickly took responsibility for the murders and said that it was done in retaliation for the death of Waliur Rehman, a Taliban deputy leader that had been killed by US drone attack on May 29. Spokesman for the Taliban in Pakistan, Ahsanullah Ahsan told the media:
"By killing foreigners, we wanted to give a message to the world to play their role in bringing an end to the drone attacks."
Even though these were Taliban attacks that took place in Pakistan and not Afghanistan, I believe it sends a clear message that no matter what the US does, the Taliban will continue to carry out its insurgency until it regains control and power over the region. There will never be peace throughout the Middle East region because the many different tribes and ethnic groups hate each other have been warring amongst themselves for over a thousand years.
Most Americans think of the people of Afghanistan or Pakistan as being all one national group of people, but they’re not. Just like America when the Europeans first reached our shores, there were hundreds of Indian tribes scattered across the country. Many of those tribes have fought with other tribes for centuries. It was only their common hatred for the spread of the Europeans into their lands that brought many warring tribes together.
Many of the ethnic tribes in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq have tenuously joined each other in the fight against the United States, but when left alone to their own devices, they will go right back to warring with each other like they always have. The very nature of the Taliban is not that of peace, but of fighting, killing and forcing their way on as many people as possible.
Therefore, I believe we need to withdraw from the whole region and let them fight and kill each other if they want to. American men and women should not be losing their lives and limbs over the internal conflicts of other nations that we really can’t do anything about or ever hope to really change.
And as for peace talks with the Taliban? I trust them as much as I trust President Obama to return the US to its Christian foundations. They may say and agree to one thing, but be certain they’ll do what they want in the long run anyway. Just bring our troops home safe and sound.