Counter-Terrorism: Be Nice To War Criminals

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November 19,2008: Afghan President Hamid Karzai wants to make peace with the Taliban the Afghan way. That means granting amnesty to guys who have prices on their heads. Taliban leader Mullah Omar is wanted by the U.S. for war crimes, and a reward of $10 million will be paid to anyone who brings him in. There are dozens of other Taliban leader the U.S. will pay a lot of money to capture, and prosecute. Many of those rewards are a million dollars or more. International war crimes prosecutors would also like to get their hands on senior Taliban leaders.

Karzai is telling the rest of the world to take a hike. If they don't like the way he deals with the Taliban, foreign troops are invited to leave. Even with this approach, which is pretty much how Afghans have settled situations like this for centuries, Karzai is having a hard time convincing the senior Taliban guys that the deal will survive. That's because, in the West, similar deals made over the past few decades have been later upturned by righteous seekers of justice. All well and good, but that is getting people killed by tyrants who see no alternative but to go down fighting, and killing. A life-saving deal isn't a deal unless it is kept.

 


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