World View: Afghan Peace Talks Collapse Day After They're Announced
This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- Afghan peace talks collapse day after they're announced
- Prisoner exchange driving the Afghan 'peace talks'
- IKEA tests a new refugee shelter to replace the tent
Afghan peace talks collapse day after they're announced
Hamid Karzai on Tuesday(AP)
President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan on Wednesday threatened to
boycott the peace talks with the Taliban that the United States
announced just one day earlier. (See "19-Jun-13 World View -- Taliban prepare for return of 'Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan'")
Karzai is complaining that the United States betrayed him, by
allowing the Taliban to open an office in Doha, Qatar, and talk
about the "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan," which was the name
of the country when the Taliban ruled it prior to 9/11/01. The
Taliban press conference portrayed the Taliban as the official
government of Afghanistan, leaving Karzai's government out in
the cold. So Karzai said that the peace talks had to
be "Afghan-led," presumably referring to his own government:
"The latest developments show that foreign hands are
behind the Taliban’s Qatar office and, unless they are purely
Afghan-led, the High Peace Council will not participate in talks.
The opening of Taliban office in Qatar, the way it was opened and
messages it contained, contradicts the guarantees given by the US
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry rushed to talk to Karzai,
to try to convince him to change his mind. At the end of
the day, Wednesday, nothing had been resolved.
As I've written dozens of times in the last few years, there is no
chance of a "peace process" in Afghanistan. The easiest way to see
that is a comparison with Iraq, where President George Bush's "surge"
was a factor in the successful peace treaty that allowed the U.S. to
withdraw. Iraq's last generational crisis war was the Iran/Iraq war,
climaxing in 1988 -- an EXTERNAL war, where the Iraqis, Sunnis and
Shias alike, united to fight the Iranians. But Afghanistan's last
crisis war was the genocidal civil war of 1992-96 -- an INTERNAL war,
pitting the Pashtuns in southern Afghanistan against the the Northern
Alliance, an alliance of Tajiks and Hazaras in northern Afghanistan.
Furthermore, the Taliban are Sunni Islamist Pashtuns, occupy a large
region in Afghanistan, through the tribal area, and deep into
northwestern Pakistan, which is in a generational Crisis era. These
are major differences that make an Afghanistan peace process
impossible, and the whole attempt to negotiate peace with the Taliban
a farce. AFP
Prisoner exchange driving the Afghan 'peace talks'
Since the peace process negotiation with the Taliban is a farce, and
most people involved know it, one may wonder what's motivating the
people on both sides. According to several analysts I've heard, the
answer is that both the U.S. and the Taliban want a prisoner exchange.
The U.S. would like to get back Bowe Bergdahl, the last remaining
prisoner of war. The Taliban would like to get a number of Taliban
fighters currently imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay. Time
IKEA tests a new refugee shelter to replace the tent
IKEA's Refugee Housing Unit
With about 3.5 million refugees worldwide living in tents, IKEA is
about to test a new Refugee Housing Unit that will give refugees
privacy, electricity, and protection from the weather that they've
never had with tents. Each of the IKEA shelters is designed to house
one family. The shelters employ technologies to keep the interior cool
by day and warm at night; a solar panel on each provides electricity.
In a joint project with the United Nations, the shelters will be
tested in the next few months in Ethiopia, Iraq and Lebanon. CS Monitor
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