October 18, 2010
NATO and U.S. forces reportedly are helping leaders of the Taliban in Afghanistan sit down for talks with the government. It is supposed to be a step toward political reconciliation with the insurgency.
There are two ways to look at this. One is that the Taliban have been worn down after a decade of fighting and want to stop. I don't believe that for a minute. The other is that the Taliban see negotiations with the U.S. as a means to the same end for which they have been fighting: re-taking the country and imposing sharia law once again. That is a more likely scenario.
The danger is that the U.S. and NATO, weary of the fighting and the cost in money and lives, is looking for a way out. "Peace with honor" we called it before pulling out of Vietnam.
Vietnam is at peace, though still a communist state with certain capitalist elements. Afghanistan under the Taliban was and would be again a center for terrorist activity against Israel and the West. We can't afford to let that happen or we will pay dearly…again.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.