Hesbah Discusses U.S.-Taliban Negotiations

Posted: 30th October 2008 by Will McCants in Afghanistan
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A quick rundown of the opinions on the Hesbah forum in reaction to news that the U.S. is negotiating with elements of the Taliban:

  • `Umar: “Humilated, they [the Americans] will leave (Afghanistan) and all of the Muslim countries.”
  • Al-Islam Nasir: “Aren’t negotiations with the Taliban a victory for us, brothers?  What if the result of these negotiations is the exit of the occupier from the land of Khorasan [Afghanistan]?  Is this not our objective?”
  • Al-`Arabi Muslim: “It depends on what they are negotiating.  If they want to leave, then let them leave.  But if they want to negotiate for Karzai to stay, I think this should be refused.”
  • Qahir al-Rafida: “A failed attempt to divide the ranks, fragment the efforts, and destroy the fruit of jihad.  These methods will do not be used by the troops of the emirate and its leaders, by the permission of God.  They are not Shamari [spokesman for the Islamic Army of Iraq], Abu Risha [Anbar Awakening tribal leader], or others.
  • `Abd Allah al-Harbi: “But the Taliban will not negotiate, by the permission of God.  They [the Americans] will leave (Afghanistan) humiliated and submissive.”
  • Al-Islam Nasir: “What if the result of these negotiations is the exit of the occupying power and the return of the Taliban government and with it the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan?  Is this not what we all want?”
  • Qahir al-Rafida (addressing Al-Islam Nasir):  “I don’t think you understand the news well brother.  Think about this passage [quoting a news article from the beginning of the thread]: ‘Officials in the White House and the Pentagon are considering negotiating with a part of the Taliban, excluding the leaders of the movement.’  I think you’ll now change your mind because you definitely don’t want that!”
  •   Al-`Arabi Muslim: “America is begging for negotiations.  Would you have us think that America will flee in this manner without covering it with a lie?  No brother.  Do we think that there will be a split in the movement for the sake of negotiations?  Just today the mujahids of the emirate carried out an operation in Kabul, inside a top ministry.  What remains if the gates of Kabul are opened to them?” [the ministry is the the Information and Culture Ministry]

It looks like U.S. negotiations with the Taliban will fracture the Jihadi movement.  But it also looks like many Jihadis believe that the U.S. is negotiating from a position of weakness and want to press their advantage.

Document (Arabic): 10-28-08-hesbah-discussion-of-us-negotiations-with-taliban