Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Flip Flop

Bush Then:

Now that the Taliban are gone and al Qaeda has lost its home base for terrorism, we have entered the second stage of the war on terror ? a sustained campaign to deny sanctuary to terrorists who would threaten our citizens from anywhere in the world. In Afghanistan, hundreds of trained killers are now dead. Many have been captured. Others are still on the run, hoping to strike again. These terrorist fighters are the most committed, the most dangerous, and the least likely to surrender. They're trying to regroup, and we'll stop them.

NPR yesterday:

After months of rumors that Afghan President Hamid Karzai was courting former Taliban officials, he confirmed it, saying giving them legitimacy would help bring normalcy to war-torn Afghanistan.


KENNEDY: But according to Muzhda who is helping the negotiations, some Taliban have conditions. They say they won't join the government unless Karzai cracks down more on moral corruption and becomes more rigorous in promoting Islamic values.

Mr. MUHAMMAD ASTALL (Hazara): (Foreign language spoken)

KENNEDY: The idea that some former Taliban may take up government positions again makes Muhammad Astall furious. He's a Hazara, the ethnic group most persecuted by the Taliban regime. Almost 100 members of his family were killed when the Taliban stormed their central Afghanistan village in 1998. The Taliban is alleged to have murdered some 10,000 ethnic Hazaras, Tajiks and Uzbeks that year.

Unidentified Man: All the Talibans are criminals. There is nobody inside that Taliban regime that are not shedding the people's blood. But I think the main purpose of Mr. Karzai to join the Taliban within the government is to bring a national unity, but I think it's very harmful to democracy and we should not expect democracy in the presence of Taliban in the government.

KENNEDY: Karzai recently said that he only considers about 150 Taliban leaders to be criminals. No former Taliban have been given ministry positions yet, but it probably won't be long until they are.