If he wants to negotiate with the Taliban... he'd better bring his kneepads...
Afghan President Hamid Karzai's offer of peace talks has been rejected by a Taliban spokesman, who on Sunday repeated a position he anounced earlier this month, saying there would be no negotiations until foreign troops withdraw from Afghanistan.Good timing on holding out that olive branch, Hamid... straight from the school of "please don't hurt me anymore" diplomacy.
There will, no doubt, be a job waiting for Mr. Karzai at the United Nations, when he loses the rest of his nerve.
Karzai's offer came shortly after a suicide bomber disguised as an Afghan soldier killed 30 people in Kabul. The victims included 28 soldiers who were on a bus taking them to work. Two civilians near the bus explosion were also killed.**********
RELATED: An incentive to negotiate
Mr. Karzai's tenuous hold on his government has been badly shaken by a widespread perception that many of his ministers and other senior officials are corrupt and by the Keystone Kops performance of his police, who are far better known for taking bribes than for maintaining order.**********
The Taliban has been reeling from huge losses since serious fighting between its forces and mostly U.S., British and Canadian troops started in the spring of 2006. Every time it has tried to achieve any strategic militarily gain, it has been seriously whacked.
UPDATE: You don't need a weatherman...
Taliban spokesman Qari Mohammad Yousuf told Reuters from an undisclosed location that talks with Kabul were out of the question.**********
"Karzai government is a dummy government. It has no authority so why should we waste our time and effort," Yousuf said.
"On the one hand, America has put our leader's name on a wanted persons list and is calling us terrorists; and on the other hand, Karzai is talking about peace talks."
"It's a joke," Yousuf said.
LAST WORD: Negotiating with the Religion of Peace
How's that working out for ya?
-- DURAIJ, Sudan -- A large force of rebels stormed an African Union peacekeeping base in Darfur, killing at least a dozen soldiers and wounding several others in the biggest attack on the mission so far, the AU said Sunday.
More than 50 AU peacekeepers and support personnel are missing in action since the attack on the base in northern Darfur just after sunset on Saturday. It was the worst attack on AU troops since they were deployed in Sudan's violent west in 2004.
International experts estimate some 200,000 people have died in Darfur with 2.5 million driven from their homes. Mostly non-Arab rebels took up arms in early 2003 accusing central government of neglect.
Washington calls the conflict genocide, a term Khartoum rejects and European governments are reluctant to use.