April 27, 2005


Taliban coming in from cold: Citing fatigue, five Taliban commanders have taken an amnesty offer this month. Will more follow? (Scott Baldauf, 4/28/05, The Christian Science Monitor)

When Taliban commander "Dr. Rasheid" handed himself over to the Afghan government three months ago, he half expected to end up in a US plane bound for Guantánamo Bay.

Instead, he was greeted with open arms and invited to help the government persuade his Taliban friends to turn themselves in as well.

His decision to accept Afghan President Hamid Karzai's amnesty offer has been followed in the past three weeks by at least five mid-level Taliban officials. It's too soon to tell if the trickle of hard-line Taliban commanders like Rasheid will become a torrent - and it's premature to declare the demise of the Taliban as a fighting force. With the warmer spring weather, in fact, the frequency and intensity of the Taliban attacks on some 16,000 US and 2,200 NATO forces is rising.

But the tide appears to be shifting. Fatigue is setting in among Taliban fighters. "We are tired of war; we don't want to continue with the destruction of our country," says Rasheid, who used a pseudonym for this interveiw because he continues to cross the border into Pakistan to persuade Taliban members to stop their fighting and support the Afghan government.

The tired, the cold, the hungry/ yearning to breathe free.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 27, 2005 11:31 PM

More likely just yearning to eat a good meal and sleep in a bed.

We'll know things in Afghanistan are really settling down when Hekmatyr and some of the other warlords (especially on the Iranian border) are dead.

Posted by: ratbert at April 28, 2005 12:13 AM

The tired, the cold, the hungry/ yearning to breed free.

Posted by: obc at April 28, 2005 11:44 AM