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  November 21, 2008

What does the West owe Afghanistan?

Eric Margolis: The US and NATO must cease military operations and negotiate with Taliban Pt.4/4
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Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated foreign affairs columnist. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Times, Times of London, the Gulf Times, the Khaleej Times, Dawn, Daily News Pakistan, Sun Malaysia, Mainichi Tokyo, U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, Globe and Mail and the American Conservative. His internet column reaches global readers on a daily basis. He is the author of two best selling books, War at the Top of the World: The Struggle for Afghanistan And Asia, and nominated for the Governor General's prestigious award for American Raj: Resolving The Conflict Between The West And The Muslim World. As a war correspondent Margolis has covered conflicts in Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique, Lebanon, Turkist Kurdistan, Peru, Afghanistan, Kashmir, India, Pakistan, El Salvador and Nicaragua. He was among the first journalist to ever interview Libya’s Muammar Khadaffi and was the first to be allowed access to KGB headquarters in Lubyanka.

Senior Editor Paul Jay kicks off the fourth and final segment of his interview with Eric Margolis with the question of how to properly negotiate with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Eric outlines his belief that the negotiations must be real, not just a tactic to divide the Taliban and other resistance forces and thereby prolong the occupation. Real negotiations would require a ceasefire on US and NATO military operations accompanied by an offer of negotiation invitations to all parties in the country. Eric gives a brief explanation of the history and demography of the country in reference to Afghanistan's traditional absence of central governance, and what he views as their wishes to continue with such an arrangement. For this reason Eric finds deep flaws in the efforts of the West to try and impose such centralized structures. Eric also lists the various activities being carried out by foreign occupiers in Afghanistan that he feels are ill-advised, from the bombing of villages to the decision to deal with the Karzai government.


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