Skip to main content

It is inevitable there will be talk

Say what you will, eventually even those opposed to one another have to sit down and talk.   Just look at the USA.    After countless years of refusing to speak with the Taliban that is exactly what is now to happen.    And Hamas?    That looks increasingly likely, as Paul McGeough suggests in this piece in The Sydney Morning Herald "Peace talks call for a truly even hand".

"The US is now ready to talk to the Taliban, after months of diplomatic spadework by Qatar. And the Emir would be entitled to ask Obama: what would it take for Washington to talk to Hamas? Did someone say bring in the diplomatic jack-hammers?

Unlike the Taliban, which stole government in Afghanistan, Hamas was fairly elected as the governing party of the Palestinian occupied territories in 2006.

The Taliban is responsible for the deaths of more than 3300 US and allied troops, about 10,000 Afghan security personnel and thousands of Afghan civilians. By contrast, the US Congressional Research Service attributes the death of ''more than 400'' Israelis and ''more than 25 US citizens'' to attacks by Hamas in Israel.

Given that the impact of Taliban violence dwarfs that of Hamas, how does Obama go to peace talks on Afghanistan without preconditions? In the past, US officials have insisted the Taliban must reject Al-Qaeda, renounce violence and recognise the new Afghan constitution.

By this week all that had been watered down to maybe the Taliban could disown Al-Qaeda in the future; and it would be nice if the insurgents would embrace the rights of women and minorities in the constitution.

By contrast, Washington has been rigid in its demands that Hamas renounce violence, recognise Israel and accept all deals done by other Palestinian leaders with Israel and the rest of the world before it will engage with the Islamist movement.

Hamas spurned Al-Qaeda years ago, and while the Taliban is cosying up with Tehran, Hamas's relationship with Iran has cooled because the Palestinian movement refuses to back Iran's key regional ally, Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad.

Insisting on preconditions the other side cannot accept is a great ruse by which to be seen to be posturing about peace, while doing little or nothing to achieve it. Unless, that is, the Qatari Emir knows something Obama is not letting on about yet.

Hamas officials were quoted claiming US representatives had been present at a meeting between Hamas and European officials two weeks ago.

The State Department issued a denial of sorts, saying the claims ''are not true''. Indeed."


Popular posts from this blog

One Forbes List: A roll call of criminals, psychopaths and megalomaniacs

2016 has ended and there has been the inevitable list of the best of 2016 of this or that.     

The just published Forbes List of the Most Powerful People is another thing altogether.    It is truly shocking to think that those listed are as downright awful and the worst of humankind has to offer.....yet wield enormous power.     The Age newspaper in "Who's who list a roll call of criminals, psychopaths and megalomaniacs" provides the details.....

"It's that time of the year again. In an effort to celebrate or sum up, or maybe just expunge the events of a year that's just wound up, we've become obsessed with rankings. Top 10 Christmas hits, bestselling books, the most excruciating movie moments, the seven things we're doing to wreak havoc on our planet. This year, courtesy of US presidential election, we also have the top 20 fake news stories, the 10 steps for adjusting to a Trump presidency, and the best destinations for those that find they simply ar…

"Wake Up"

The message is loud and clear....and as you watch this, remember that it was on Israeli TV - not some anti-semitic or anti-Israel program somewhere in the world.

Happy New Year....not?

Credited to Mike Luckovich