Can the Taliban be 'Bought Off'?
Good luck, Dave! Rather you than me, mate!
Will Heaven has brought this Guardian piece to Telegraph Blog readers attention. I was talking with a parishioner called John today as I had to nip into the office and get some stuff for the accounts. We discussed Afghanistan briefly. He said, "Nobody has gone to Afghanistan and defeated them. They can't beat them. They fight differently to the US. They like fighting! Even Alexander the Great, the greatest general of all time couldn't beat them. They are guerilla warfare experts. In the end he had to cut a deal with them on land and marry some warlord's daughter to save face in ending the war."
So it is that history is repeating itself and the British, who have apparently tried it on with Afghanistan and lost something like seven times, are supporting Karzai's bid to tempt the Taliban into compliance with land, jobs and I-Pods. Will it work?
I mean, you can just imagine Karzai's first meeting with the Taliban. They walk into the room and Karzai is sitting there on the internet.
"Hi guys!" says Karzai. I was just downloading the new Killers album from I-Tunes. Would you like to have a go?"
The Taliban warlords look puzzled but say, "Sure, we'll give it a go." One turns around to the others and says, "This s**t is good! What's this band's name again? But isn't the lead singer a mormon? Okay, just give me five minutes. Oh, boy, that tune rocks! Turn it up!"
"And this," Karzai says, "this is an I-Pod, which means you can listen to your favourite albums anytime, any place. It's genius isn't it!?"
"Oh my!" says the Taliban chief. This is too good. Where can we get this stuff?"
"Well," says Karzai, "in exchange for peace and an end to blowing people up and chopping people's heads off, we will give you as many of these as you like!"
"Really!?" reply the Taliban. "Just give us 5 minutes to confer."
The Taliban leaders murmur to themselves for a while before saying...
"Karzai. You've got yourself a deal! But wait, we need something else. This day of peace is a great thing indeed. We insist that as a sign of our pledge of an end to fraternal emnity and war, Mr Miliband, he must marry my daughter!"
Karzai says, "Ah...Secretary, can you get me Miliband's number!"