The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Pentagon Begins To Draw Taliban/Al Qaeda Distinction

Last updated: 07/31/2020 08:00 | 10/29/2008 11:30
news
Elisa Mueller

Sometimes you just don’t want to wait for the full Pentagon transcript.

I just got an email summary from the Pentagon’s in-house press shop of spokesman Geoff Morrell’s briefing. In it, he issues what I think is the first official administration confirmation that the U.S. will support the emerging Karzai-Taliban peace talks. Check it out.

The United States will support the Afghan government in efforts to step up its reconciliation with the Taliban and other insurgents in Afghanistan, but not with Al Qaeda or those who support it, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell told reporters today.

“They are an independent, sovereign state,” Morrell said of the Afghans’ stated interest in escalating reconciliation efforts. “If that’s what they see is in their best interest, we fully support it, and we’ll do whatever we can to help facilitate it.”

So there we have it: the first distinction drawn by the Bush administration between the Taliban and Al Qaeda. It took more than seven years and nearly 5,000 U.S. troop deaths, but the administration has now entirely reversed President Bush’s 9/11 vow to “make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.”

Interestingly, Morrell specifically excluded Mullah Omar from any U.S.-supported deal:

But what if Hamid Karzai disagrees? And what if the price of getting Osama bin Laden or destroying the safe havens in Pakistan is to cut a deal with Omar?

Elisa Mueller | Elisa Mueller was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to a mother who taught reading and a father who taught film. As a result, she spent an excessive amount of her childhood reading books and watching movies. She went to the University of Kansas for college, where she earned bachelor's degrees in English and journalism. She moved to New York City and worked for Entertainment Weekly magazine for ten years, visiting film sets all over the world.

Related

Menendez, Lautenberg to Continue BP-Lockerbie Investigation

Sens. Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg, both New Jersey Democrats, will continue to seek details about BP’s alleged involvement in the release last year of

No Experience Necessary

Gov. Sarah Palin’s a middle-class hockey mom, but does that really qualify her to be vice president?

MA-Sen: 66 to 19

BOSTON -- That, via Alex Isenstadt and Josh Kraushaar, is the number that defined the Massachusetts Senate race more than anything else. From the primary

MA-Sen: Brown Wins

BOSTON -- At 9:20, the first rumors of Scott Brown’s victory in the Massachusetts Senate race started to work around the room. A moment later, Doug Flutie

MA-Sen: A Text Message From Scott Brown

BOSTON -- Having signed up for Scott Brown’s text message service for election day, I just got this text: Are you about to have lunch? It’s a great time to

MA-Sen: Snowfall

BOSTON -- Snow is falling in the Bay State, from western Massachusetts to heavily Democratic downtown Boston. In a campaign full of lucky breaks for Republican

MA-Sen: Loyal Democrats Grouse About Coakley

BOSTON -- A little while after noon, a steady crowd of Democratic voters streamed into the Cathedral High School Gymnasium to cast votes for their party’s

MA-Sen: 150 Conservative Bloggers Fan Out, Looking for Scandals

BOSTON -- The mysterious Election Journal blog, which first released the infamous 2008 video of two bumbling New Black Panther Party members waving nightsticks

MA-Sen: Out-of-Staters for Brown

BOSTON -- A surprising discovery at yesterday’s People’s Rally in Worcester was just how many people had traveled into the state to assist, in whatever way,

Net Investors Bullish on Palin’s Prospects for Staying on Ticket

Just for fun, the Internet prediction Website Intrade has opened a contract on whether Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will be withdrawn as McCain’s running mate.

© Copyright 2021 The Washington Independent All Rights Reserved

Terms & Privacy | twi.news@washingtonindependent.com