27 March 2008

Talking to the Taliban

The Globe and Mail deserves applause for its courage in publishing its new series "Talking to the Taliban." Rather than simply demonizing the enemy as is the custom when you are at war, as we seem to be, the Globe is talking to them and attempting to gain insight into what motivates them.

The Taliban have always struck me as a bunch of hillbillies: dirt-poor country boys, uneducated, illiterate, steeped in fundamentalist religion, gun-loving, ignorant of the outside world, living in a clan and tribal feud-riddled society. What must benighted souls like this think of a bunch of heavily-armed infidels marching through their country attempting to change their ways and impose a government on them run from a very distant Kabul? I frankly don't know, but I'm not surprised they reach for their guns. In any case, the better we understand them, the more we recognize our common humanity, the more likely we will set the right policies for our relationship with their country.

The Globe series should make a major contribution to that end. Heaven knows, after stumbling into war in this alien land, we need all the help we can get.

1 comment:

  1. I have been saying this for ages. One should always be willing to talk to the enemy in a time of war. Dialogue is usually a prerequisite for peace.