The tribal meeting's closing statement said that a 50-man team of prominent leaders from both countries would hold regular meetings and work to "expedite the ongoing process of dialogue for peace and reconciliation with the opposition," a reference to the Taliban.Reconciliation with the Taliban. You remember them. Al Qaeda's protectors. Bin Laden's protectors. Apparently, all will be forgiven.
Musharraf, after returning to Pakistan, said the committee should "engage warring forces in Afghanistan to bring the terrorism and extremism to an end." Afghan President Hamid Karzai in the past had also encouraged dialogue with Taliban fighters to persuade them to support the government.
This came as the New York Times reported, Sunday, that experts now admit Bush lost any chance of defeating the Taliban when he diverted resources to Iraq:
At critical moments in the fight for Afghanistan, the Bush administration diverted scarce intelligence and reconstruction resources to Iraq, including elite C.I.A. teams and Special Forces units involved in the search for terrorists. As sophisticated Predator drone spy planes rolled off assembly lines in the United States, they were shipped to Iraq, undercutting the search for Taliban and terrorist leaders, according to senior military and intelligence officials.In April, Karzai admitted to having held peace talks with the Taliban. At the end of June, Musharraf was warned that the Taliban and other extremists were growing so powerful that they might end up engulfing his country. And the Los Angeles Times reported that, despite Pakistan's efforts to fight them, the Taliban have only been growing stronger, and spreading their influence. But this meeting made it clear: the Taliban have been redeemed. Because the Bush Administration failed to finish the job of bringing them to justice, they are now being brought into the fold, in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Because of Bush Administration failures, Bin Laden is still on the loose. Because of Bush Administration failures, Al Qaeda is growing stronger. And now, those failures are complete.
The media may spin the tough talk about Karzai and Musharraf confronting terrorists and extremists, but don't be fooled. The Taliban are the extremists. They enabled the terrorists. Because we failed to defeat them, Afghanistan and Pakistan are being forced to reconcile with them. It's over. There will be no justice for the September 11 attacks. Bush let the terrorists get away. Bush let them prevail.