Monday, October 01, 2007

The pacifist conundrum...what to do when the other side won't talk?

So, I know that we fixate on Iraq a lot, but Afghanistan is equally as interesting. Mostly because it seems that the local population is willing to deal with American troops because they are tired of 30+ years of war.

However, not everyone is willing to give up. This weekend, the Taleban shun Karzai talks offer. They will continue to fight and kill. In fact, they did just that: Suicide bomb on Afghan army bus kills 30 in Kabul.

I think Karzai did the right thing by reaching out to his enemies and offering to talk. However, what is he to do now that the Taleban has rejected his offer? Doesn't he have a duty to protect his people, through violent means if necessary?

In practice, what is a pacifist foreign (or domestic in this case) policy to do when the other side won't even talk?

If you don't like that example, what is the US to do with Syria? Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said his government will not attend a Middle East peace conference unless Syria's concerns are addressed.