Talibans Offer, lets talk
ARTICLE: In Afghanistan, Taliban surpasses al-Qaeda, By Joshua Partlow,Washington Post, November 11, 2009
I find this logic seductive but misleading: the Afghani Taliban, under Omar, now say they no longer want to be identified with Al Qaeda and just want to be free to enslave the Afghan people again and pursue their brutal tactics there and there alone, with no desire to engage in transnational violence again.
Frankly, if I am forced to choose between a corrupt regime that will keep the people poor and largely disconnected from globalization's benefits and a brutal regime that will keep the people poor and completely disconnected from "evil" globalization, I will go for the corrupt one.
Why? It won't inevitably need evil outsiders to justify its corruption. In fact, its pursuit of the same will generate some baseline connectivity, which beats nothing.
As a natural pariah state, the Taliban will inevitably be forced down a criminal path, as such states always are, and that will bring them back into the orbit of transnational terror groups.
In the end, we don't want to confuse short-term tactics with ultimate strategic biases.