Come Mr. Taliban, Tally Me Bananas
posted at 2:54 am on November 24, 2010 by Dafydd ab Hugh
Or should that be, “tell me I’m bananas?”
So Monday — the 292nd anniversary of the death of Blackbeard the pirate, but does anybody care? — the New York Times reported a curious controversy that surely is the most emblematic embarassment of the administration of Barack H. “Lucky Lefty” Obama:
For months, the secret talks unfolding between Taliban and Afghan leaders to end the war appeared to be showing promise, if only because of the appearance of a certain insurgent leader at one end of the table: Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, one of the most senior commanders in the Taliban movement.
But now, it turns out, Mr. Mansour was apparently not Mr. Mansour at all. In an episode that could have been lifted from a spy novel, United States and Afghan officials now say the Afghan man was an impostor, and high-level discussions conducted with the assistance of NATO appear to have achieved little.
Cue “Three Stooges” music: “Oh, a wiseguy, eh?”
I was not particularly startled by the fact that the Obamacle’s negotiators cannot tell a Taliban from a tally-ho; with this duffer, who drills the ball into a knothole and calls it a hole in one, I expect nothing better.
But what really numbfounds me is the next line in the Times story:
“It’s not him,” said a Western diplomat in Kabul intimately involved in the discussions. “And we gave him a lot of money.”
That is, evidently, we were under the mistaken impression that we were paying the Taliban to negotiate with us. One can only conclude that our progressive president is so desperate to show some progress (on anything!) that he’s even willing to bribe our enemies to sit down and pretend to talk to us.
So upon consideration, I really can’t feel all that upset about what happened over the past three months (red-faced and humiliated, sure, but not upset). When all is said, I’m actually rather grateful that all that money we’ve been forking over only went to a con man.
In fact, considering the alternative, I’d say we got a bargain.
Cross-posted on Big Lizards…