Is Five for One a Price Too High?
The Haqqani network, a particularly intransigent faction of the Taliban occupying the Paktika Province in eastern Afghanistan, seems to have no interest in the recent overtures for peace talks emanating from the brand new Taliban office in Doha, Qatar. This radical jihadist faction is holding the only American POW, one young Idaho native, U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who claimed to have been captured when he lagged behind on a patrol. But some U.S. defense officers suggested that he had been drinking and left the base at night with some Afghan soldiers.
The problem is that the olive branch extended by the Taliban in Qatar has some pricey stipulations. As part of the prerequisites to the armistice conference, the Taliban want the United States to release five Afghani warlords. And what is the Taliban offering in return for five high-ranking prisoners of war? The answer is the only American POW of the Afghan war who disappeared from base under mysterious circumstances.
Mullah Fazi Akhund was the Taliban army chief at the time of his capture after surrendering to Uzbek warlord Gen. Abdur Rasheed Dostum on condition that he not be turned over to the United States. But Dostum did not honor the terms of the surrender and later handed over several hundred Taliban prisoners to the U.S., including Akhund and four other Afghani chieftains, Noorullah Noori, Khairullah Khairkhwa, Abdul Haq Waseeq, and Mohammad Nabi, in exchange for money from the Americans.
The Taliban demands the release of five of its top operatives in return for one army sergeant and said the exchange would be a precondition to any peace talks. "First has to be the release of detainees," the chief Taliban negotiator told the AP. "Yes. It would be an exchange. Then, step by step, we want to build bridges of confidence to go forward."
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has openly repudiated the peace initiative if negotiations are to take place in the Taliban's new office set up in Qatar that called itself the "Political Office of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan." Karzai demanded the Qatari office be renamed "Political Office of the Taliban, in order to disassociate it with his corrupt regime."
With all of these obstacles to peace negotiations, the Obama regime seems hell-bent on forging forward, more than willing to accept the preposterous exchange demand from the Taliban. This is pure political pandering to the far-left peaceniks. Paraphrasing the great showman P.T. Barnum, "There is an Islamic sympathizer born every minute."