Less than a month ago when Obama spoke about reaching out to "moderate" Taliban members, the Taliban told our clueless president that his plan was "illogical". Now we all know that Obama is not used to hearing the word no, so the Taliban has reaffirmed their message and told him that his ideas are "lunatic". Obama has brought us so much respect.
U.S. reconciliation offer "lunatic": Taliban spokesman
By Sayed Salahuddin
KABUL (Reuters) – Taliban insurgents reject a U.S. offer of "honorable reconciliation," a top spokesman said on Wednesday, calling it a "lunatic idea" and saying the only way to end the war was to withdraw foreign troops.
With the Afghan conflict now in its eighth year, NATO-led forces and the Taliban are locked in a bloody stalemate with violence set to rise further this year as more U.S. troops arrive and seek to contain the insurgency ahead of August elections.
President Barack Obama is redoubling U.S. efforts with more troops, more diplomatic effort and more economic assistance, but he has also already spoken of the need for an "exit strategy."
If the U.S. plan fails to show results, analysts say, time is on the Taliban side.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told an international conference on Afghanistan on Tuesday that those members of the Taliban who abandoned extremism must be granted an "honorable form of reconciliation."
"This matter was also raised in the past," said Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, referring to comments last month by Obama, who spoke of reaching out to moderate Taliban.
"They have to go and find the moderate Taliban, their leader and speak to them. This is a lunatic idea," Mujahid said by telephone from an unknown location.
Mujahid is one of two spokesman authorized to speak for the Taliban leadership council, headed by Mullah Mohammad Omar.
The 21,000 extra U.S. troops ordered by Obama to join the 70,000 foreign soldiers now fighting insurgents in Afghanistan showed the United States wanted the war to continue, Mujahid said, and the Taliban would keep fighting till they left.
"There is no other way. We want our freedom and respect for our independence," Mujahid said.
Swiftly ousted by U.S.-led forces in 2001 for harboring al Qaeda after the September 11 attacks, the Taliban regrouped and have steadily spread.
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