Wednesday, November 12, 2008

How Quickly Things Change...Possibly

Not two weeks ago in this article about talks with the Taliban, a "U.S. official" asserted that "We'll never be at the table with Mullah Omar", the head of the Taliban who has been a fugitive since the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan. Via China Hand (and via Juan Cole) there now appear rumors that the situation may change somewhat:

Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said Wednesday that Mullah Omar would be excluded from the Taliban talks, as he had "the blood of thousands of Americans on his hands, based upon the support that he provided to [al-Qaeda leader] Osama bin Laden."

The remarks were made after reports that US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Patrick S. Moon had said the US had agreed to drop the name of Mullah Omar from its list of the wanted terrorists to facilitate negotiations with the Taliban.

So, he's excluded from talks but taken off the terrorist watch list? That sounds awfully strange to me, and I can't seem to find any confirmation that Moon made any such remarks so you should probably take such a report with several grains of salt.

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