March 10th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Talking to Taliban a good idea?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama may have started a bit of a sandstorm with his suggestion to reach out to moderate members of the Taliban in order to end the Afghan insurgency.

President Obama suggests that like U.S. peace agreements with Sunni militias, there may be similar opportunities in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In an interview with the New York Times, the president suggested that just like the U.S. made peace agreements with Sunni militias in Iraq, there may be similar opportunities in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Mr. Obama acknowledged that this situation could be more complex than Iraq.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai welcomed the proposal; and some Western politicians and military officials say this war can't be won by military means alone - that some kind of reconciliation will be necessary.

But others are more skeptical. One expert says "'moderate Taliban" is like "moderate killer - is there such a thing?" And CNN National Security Analyst Peter Bergen says doing deals with the Taliban could further destabilize Afghanistan. He says it will always be possible to bribe some Taliban - pointing out that the Afghan government has had an amnesty program for Taliban fighters for four years and thousands have already agreed to it.

But Bergen says these kinds of deals are more "in the realm of fantasy than sustainable policy." For starters, he says the Afghan government is too weak to negotiate with the Taliban. Also, the Taliban believe they may be winning in Afghanistan so they probably see no need to talk. Bergen says the Taliban and al Qaeda have grown much closer since 9/11 and it will likely be more difficult now to separate them.

Here’s my question to you: Is talking to the Taliban a good idea?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Mark from Berwyn, Pennsylvania writes:
It's not a good idea at all, quite the opposite. The Taliban is unlike the Sunnis in Iraq, who were a political party tossed out of power. Working with them made sense. The Taliban is a terrorist group, made up of religious fanatics. They have proven they will not agree to anything the Western world wants, so an agreement with them is not worth the paper it would be written on.

Mack from Michigan writes:
I doubt it, Jack. It's probably futile to talk to any group that believes they are representing the will of god as they interpret it, you know, like the far right wing of the Republican Party. We should just drive them back into their caves and let them preach their twisted dogma to each other to their hearts’ content, you know like the far right wing of etc.

Tim from Texas writes:
Hey Jack, It was actually General Petraeus who made this suggestion first, saying that we could perhaps peel away some of the more moderate Taliban… I don't see any merit in the idea that talking with our enemies is a bad idea. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. So what? We don't lose anything by trying.

Darryl writes:
It is absolutely not a good idea to talk to the Taliban. The idea that any of them are "moderate" is preposterous. Moderates do not join terrorist organizations. Period.

Kingsley from Texas writes:
The more you antagonize and isolate them, the more hardened and brutish they become. Talking to the Taliban will be viewed by them as a sign of respect which is what the Muslim world cherishes and this will yield positive results.

Pete from New York writes:
Isn't "moderate Taliban" an oxymoron? Does that mean they only cut off half of your head? Or do they just do it more slowly?

Filed under: Afghanistan • Government
soundoff (334 Responses)
  1. samir from florida

    I think the major problem is a communication gap that leads to misunderstandings which leads to war. Let's try to understand our differences instead of our own analysis by so-called "experts". At least we can agree to disagree and live in peace. The main problem with Bush is he didn't like talking, or at least he didn't know how.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  2. Cecil Jones

    Talking to the Taliban is just about as dumb as allowing President Bush to spy domestically. It makes sense, but it just goes against the core of what we believe. It's worse than surrender and treason combined.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  3. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    Once a warlord, always a warlord. Striking deals with evil men has always ended poorly in the past, and there's no reason to expect that to change now.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  4. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    Only if you speak loudly and firmly and carry a big gun.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  5. Eva Martinez

    No, absolutly no.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  6. JR in Norfolk VA

    No, it is idiocy and will signal weakness to the terrorists around the world who will do us harm. Anyone who thinks there is such a thing as a "moderate Taliban" does not understand anything about their ideology and the nature of the threat they pose. But this is par for the course for our President – let's throw the long-standing prohibition on negotiating with terrorists under the bus, call it "change" and hope for a miracle.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  7. JD in NH

    Talking to anyone is a good idea. It's not talking that has caused the deaths of 4,255 military members in Iraq and nearly 100,000 deaths of innocent Iraqi men, women and children. We may get nowhere with talk, but we don't ever want to say we didn't try.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  8. odessa

    i don't know..we will have to wait and see..

    March 10, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  9. Frank from Peterborough

    Talking to any country or organization that you are at odds with can never do any harm and always has a chance of resolution to the differences the party's have with each other.

    The Taliban aren't really any different than the American Taliban which of course are the radical religious cults. Both of these types want everyone to conform to the way they think with the only difference being the Taliban in Afghanistan had control over the entire country while the American Taliban are still in a minority.

    Having said the latter the American Taliban have been successful in getting their intolerant ideology forced on other Americans who don't conform to their religious tenets, like Prop 8 for example.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  10. Pat, Milton, FL

    If talking to the Taliban brings our troops home sooner, then I'm all for it.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  11. Terry in Virginia

    I have no problems if our diplomats want to talk with the Taliban if it results in them turning over Bin Laden. That would prove we can trust them. If they won't turn over Bin Laden, then what's the point? They're not the only warring faction in the Middle East and certainly not the only controlling group. We could spend a lifetime just trying to get all the groups to a table together to discuss peace in their region. However, if it's a choice between diplomacy and war, I prefer diplomacy first, but I won't hold my breath on this one working.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  12. Jackie in Dallas

    It usually is better to talk than to shoot...but it depends on what you say!

    March 10, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  13. gerry in toronto

    If you want to win the war in Afganistan, the Taliban must be talked to.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  14. Greg


    March 10, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  15. David in San Diego

    It is, assuming the U.S. envoy(s) also listen. All Bush did was talk ("they know what we want") and it usually went nowhere. Dialogue with those we consider our enemies/adversaries is at least as important as with our allies/friends.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  16. Ron K

    Hi Jack:

    I doubt they are capable of rational thinking. So it would be a waste of time. I think after bombing them with the BUNKER BUSTER artillery. They might have a change of heart. Although they tend to be on the psychotic side. I think extermination is the only option. We need to go BOMB E'm.

    Ron San Diego

    March 10, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  17. Dave Zoller

    I have read ex-Mideast CIA agent Robert Baer's books and have come to the opinion that we are not going to win this war with the military. It will take political negotiation and you can't get there if you don't talk to your enemies as well as friends. In addition There are Taliban who are thugs and Taliban who are reasonable religious people. Talk with people from Pakistan who know the subtleties of this situation.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  18. Mack in Traverse city Michigan

    I doubt it Jack. It's probably futile to talk to any group that believes they are representing the will of god as they interpret it, you know, like the far right wing of the republican party. We should just drive them back into their caves and let them preach their twisted dogma to each other to their hearts content, you know like the far right wing of etc. etc.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  19. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    This idea is ridiculous. These are radical right wing lunatics that have no grasp of reality – very much like the radical right wingnuts in our country. They are just as irrational and can not be trusted. The only thing they understand is wiping us off the face of the Earth. We have only one choice – to wipe them and their poisonous ideology off the face of the Earth.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  20. Thomas in Missoula, MT

    Talking to our adversaries is a good idea. Our past 8 years of threats and saber rattling has done nothing to convince the rest of the world that America really does want peaceful international relations. I'm a Social Worker. One of the most important tools we give our clients is understanding of how to effectively communicate. If you have a beef with someone, talk to them, works individually, why not globally? Oh yeah..."they hate freedom..." That's a bunch of Bush*#t!

    March 10, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  21. TennesseeFrost

    even if you disagree or differences with someone or a country, both must show respect to each other in order to end conflict.

    It's pretty clear that the approach we have isn't working. Maybe we should have talked first? I admire our President for this, show strength and courage in a time needed.

    Bush and the Republican don't have this courage. That's why it was never an option for them.

    they don't have the courage now to do anything.. but say no..

    March 10, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  22. Ben from Boston

    The Taliban are not the same as Al Qaeda, but they enforce strict limitations on women's rights even to the point of beatings and sometimes killings. They did this in Afghanistan when they ruled there. How often did FDR negotiate with the Nazis? And to what end? We should use his experience with the Nazis to guide our dealings with the Taliban.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  23. Mac from Vacaville

    Talking to any illegitimate governments or terrorist groups is not a wise idea. If Obama decides to talk to these radicals, he will get more negative consequences out of the situation. Once you acknowledge a terrorist group publicly, they will not stop because now they know how to get to us. The Taliban will immediately understand that if they hurt us enough, they can get our attention. Talking to them = more terrorism in the long run.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  24. Sooke Gill

    Yes, talk first.

    Bomb, much, much later!

    March 10, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  25. Conor in Chicago

    What's to talk about? They want to live in the 12 century and we want access to natural gas pipelines. The energy companies and the war machine keep the profits coming in and the rest of us die for "America" like good little peasants. It's perfect for the elite. They found an enemy that has historically never quit so as a result neither will the profits. Plus, since 9/11 was planned by AL-Qaida-NOT the Taliban but people never seem to make this distinction, the war will continue to have large support for many years.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  26. circy in New Mexico

    Of course it's a good idea. Over the years, we could have saved thousands of lives and billions of dollars if we would have just talked, instead of attacking. This government, with prodding from the military, always goes around with a chip in it's shoulder, and almost never seeks a diplomatic solution to any problem. I lived in Italy for four years and spent a lot of time in England and France as well. The attitude of many Europeans toward Americans is that we still live in the Stone Age because we would rather shoot first before attempting diplomacy. And look what that attitude has gotten us.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  27. Waldo in Austin

    Well it would certainly help in identifying who the major players are there. It would also be a novel approach to try.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  28. Allan Hanson Placerville, Ca

    Not talking to everybody, friend or foe, is our problem. How can anything be accomplished if we don't talk. This was the Bush problem, he would only talk to " friends ". As a result nothing got done.
    We needed new blood, and hopefully we wil get it

    March 10, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  29. dan in Tucson

    Talk is always a better alternative to aggressive reaction which serves to only escalate matters. Its just human nature.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  30. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: Talking to the Taliban-–they are just words falling on deaf ears--an oral ritual process which has no cause or effect--time for talking is over-–either we finish what we started--or we get out-the latter being preferred.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  31. Ed Reed

    How could it hurt, Jack?

    Ed Reed
    Port Aransas, TX

    March 10, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  32. Kerry Diehl

    Only if Obama himself "drops in" by parachute smack dab in the middle of the Taliban Klan armed only with his teleprompter.

    This way he will learn first hand what these ruthless fanatics are all about and how much they REALLY care about negotiating!

    Our willingness to talk with them will be viewed only as sign of weakness.

    March 10, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  33. Diane Dagenais Turbide


    Yes, with the moderate Taliban! The main problem I see is we cannot change another country's culture but we cannot be blind and not see human rights abuse simply in the name of peace which is why we need to secure development work and diplomacy to create new relationships between U.S. and the muslim world!

    March 10, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  34. Tom in Desoto Texas

    I don't see where talking will hurt. The U.S. hasn't talked to Cuba in over 50 years and we've seen how effective thats been. Nixon started talks with China in the 1970's. Perhaps the Taliban would like to play ping-pong?

    March 10, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  35. Joe in DE

    Talking is usually better than not talking – don't expect much.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  36. Mike, Albuquerque, NM

    We cannot win their hearts and minds by bombing them. Talking to them is a good start. Then we can try buying them. With cash, with schols, with business opportunities, with crops other than opium.
    Nobody has ever won a war in Afghanistan. Let us win the peace.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  37. Rodney, Minnesota

    The Taliban isn't Al Queda. It's a factional component of the Afghan society. A primitive faction by our standards but then we aren't looking at a modern Afghanistan. It is still medieval by our standards. All we can do is marginalize the Taliban, make them less important . The government we put in place needs to be better.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  38. Christine, Edmeston NY

    For eight years, there was not even a remote possibility of talking with the Taliban. That, of course, is because extremists never meet with other extremists. There is no way of knowing beforehand if talking to the Taliban will get us anywhere, but at least now it's an option we can consider. And that, for a change, seems very civilized, very rational, and very American.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  39. Katiec Pekin, IL

    I think any try at negotiating is a good idea.
    Heaven knows all our bombing and killing hasn't helped.
    Maybe talking and listening will accomplish something, If
    not, at least it was attempted.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  40. David Gerstenfeld

    As Sun-tsu said, " Keep your friends close, & your enemies closer"
    David, Las Vegas

    March 10, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  41. Rae from Indiana

    Well you don't know unless you try. You need to know what the problem is before you can try to fix it.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  42. Allen Goldberg

    Absolutely positively NOT.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  43. LM from Fayetteville, NC

    Talking to anyone is a good idea. Too bad we haven't thought of it sooner. We might have been a lot richer and not in hock to Japan and China.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  44. Jim


    I'm skeptical too. Talking is always preferable to fighting if there's anything to talk about. My impression is that the Taliban would rather die fighting than negotiate. Obama's position should be that if the Taliban want to come to us with serious proposals, we'll listen. But we should not be going to them with any carrots in hand.

    Reno, Nevada

    March 10, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  45. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    It's a brilliant idea and our only option. We can't afford to bribe them like we did the Iraqi tribes to bring about the so-called "surge."

    March 10, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  46. Billy G in Las Vegas

    sure Jack, we can talk to them. we can say "BY BY" as we LEAVE.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  47. Simpliticus

    With the news of deteriorating conditions coming from Vice-president Biden suggests that diplomacy should be engaged. In part, former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld was correct as there are few military targets in this mountainous country of worth. Why fight a battle for taking this type of ground when diplomacy might assuage the matter? What is the objective of this military concern if it appears that any military victory is nowhere to be found? Sounds like Vietnam all over again!

    March 10, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  48. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    Tojo was not willing to talk to the US before WWII and look what happened. Yes, we should be at least willing to talk to anyone and try to resolve our differences. I'd be willing to talk to you or any of my enemies to try and save a life.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  49. Pablo in Tejas

    In a word: YES!

    Arlington Texas

    March 10, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  50. Jim from Chicago

    It is always a good idea to talk with your enemies, especially if there is any hope of moderating the views of religious extremists. Heck, President Obama is reaching out to the Christian conservatives in this country isn't he?

    March 10, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  51. Tim in Texas

    Hey Jack,
    It was actually Petreus who made this suggestion first, saying that we could perhaps peel away some of the more moderate Taliban, and regardless of what your CNN analyst says, it's worth a try. I don't see any merit in the idea that talking with our enemies is a bad idea. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. So what? We don't lose anything by trying.
    Tim in Texas

    March 10, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  52. Gigi in Alabama

    Although I respect Peter Bergen, he is just one man with an opinion. Russia has proven that war is impossible to win in that area, and maybe talking to the Taliban is not such a bad idea. There has got to be a way to live in this world without seeing our youngest and brightest being sacrificed in a senseless war.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  53. Mark, Berwyn PA

    It's not a good idea at all, quite the opposite. The Taliban is unlike the Sunni's in Iraq, who were a political party tossed out of power. Working with them made sense. The Taliban is a terrorist group, made up of religious fanatics. They have proven they will not agree to anything the Western world wants, so an agreement with them is not worth the paper it would be written on. Working with them would be fruitless and pointless.

    But the bigger question is one the media and political parties is NOT asking: Is this a war worth fighting? I think not. If, after all these years, all this loss of life, all this money, the Afghans and Pakistani's do not want to rid themselves of these Islamic extremists, then why does anyone think we can do it? We CANNOT without their help, and they are clearly not helping.

    Pull out of Iraq and Afganistan 100%, ASAP, and let those countries fight their own battles if they choose to. Or let them fall under Sharia law and we will just need to protect our borders better then ever.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  54. Jake, Oregon

    NO talks. Just tell the troops exactly when their sacrifice and that of their families will end and when they will be coming home.
    The Soviet war in Afghanistan was a nine-year conflict involving Soviet Union forces supporting the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) government against the mujahideen resistance. The latter group was supported ironically by the United States, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and other Muslim nations The Soviets, very wisely, got out 20 years ago. Kinda like when the French left Vietnam and we smugly went in to show them how to win. 58,000 dead Americans later, we left, without a win. If all loudmouthed politicians were required to serve in front lines in wars for the duration, we wouldn't have them.

    Nobody wins a war.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  55. Daniel Indiana

    It may be the only way to get out of Afghanistan without a holocaust. We messed up and put our attention on Iraq and let the Taliban and al Qaeda regroup. Major mistake if you intend on winning a war. Neither group will be anhilated or run out of Afghanistan, so we must figure out how to live with them aND ARRANGE SOMETHING THAT WON'T BE AS RADICAL AS IT WAS BEFORE.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  56. Terry from North Carolina

    Lets ask Hillary and if she thinks its a good idea let her talk to them.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  57. Scott in Canada

    Talking might help, it might not. We won't know until we try.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  58. Deb in Lancaster, PA

    Talking to the Taliban is not the same as cutting deals with them. If we are open to engaging in conversation, the regular folks in the Middle East could actually see the U.S. as something other than The Great Imperialist Warmonger. If the Taliban fail to cooperate and are perceived as standing in the way of peace, they could be perceived as the Bad Guys, thereby weakening their influence among the Afghan people. Besides, we already have ample evidence that not talking to them doesn't work.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  59. Jerry Bergen

    Yes, we should talk with the Taliban! They are not our enemy in spite of their radical religious beliefs (radical at least in comparison to mainstream western beliefs). Al Qaeda should be our only target so as to serve justice for 9/11. The Taliban may have been dancing in the streets when 3000 people died that day, but that is not a reason to make war against them. Al Qaeda is our enemy – not the Taliban. If the current Afghan government wants to make war against the Taliban, then it's their fight – not ours.

    White River Junction, Vermont

    March 10, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  60. Mike Robles


    We should be realist about who we are dealing with. As a veteran of the Iraq War I see only one common theme with talking to our enemies. At the end whatever solution we agree to accept from them we must accept that they will return to their old ways once we step away. If this is the course that our politicians wish to pursue then let us (left, center or right )not complain of human rights abuses again.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  61. Kevin, Chester Springs PA

    Yeah, it's a good idea to talk with the Taliban. We had no problem supporting these insurgents when they were fighting off the Russians in the 1980s. Our goal is to kill Osama bin Laden, dismantle Al Qaeda and target any terrorists training camps dedicated to attacking the US and our allies. Our goal is NOT to build a democracy in Afghanistan. We just need to keep focused on our objectives and bring all of our troops home ASAP.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  62. Allen L Wenger

    Absolutely not! The George Bush policy, of not talking to these people, has been a great success. Look what we have accomplished; A strong stable democracy in Iraq, a cooperative non-nuclear Iran, peace between Israel and its neighbors, the peaceful democracy of palestine, and a united Korea. Stay the course!

    Mountain Home ID

    March 10, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  63. Judie from St. Augustine, Florida


    Talking cannot hurt.
    We have tried everything else.

    St. Augustine, Fl

    March 10, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  64. Gina in Racine, Wi

    Why not, Jack?

    Doesn't seem like anything else has worked.....this "war on terror" (and detour to Iraq) has made them even stronger.

    Don't you think it is about time we tried something different?

    I am so tired of all the negative opinions of people that don't have squat to bring to the table.

    Don't criticize unless you have an idea.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  65. Russ in Johnston, IA

    OK, let me get this….the radical Islamic arms of AlQaida and the Taliban are 2 groups hell-bent on Islamic law governing their existence and defeating the ‘Western way’ of thinking and living. We have been fighting both groups of radicals for what, 6-7 years now, and some think talking to the Taliban may be a good thing? For what? We know what their overall plans are: Islamic law rule EVERYWHERE! Why would we think that ANY talking will change their simplistic, 15th century way of living/thinking? Do we really want the Taliban to be part of ANY govt? These are the guys who have helped kill more than 4000 Americans as we’ve spent BILLION$ each month trying to defeat their numbers and ideas, and now some think America should be diplomatic with these sand rats? What the hell did our soldiers fight and die for if we’re going to legitimize these jack-asses as part of a Democratic govt WE are trying to set up in Afghanistan?

    March 10, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  66. Jim/NC

    I would be very upset if we make any attempt to talk to such a radical group. The Taliban will not let their children attend school and women are second class citizens, treating them with distain and disrespect. What would we talk about? Come on!!

    March 10, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  67. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    Best idea I've heard in a long time.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  68. J Georgia

    Talk to the Taliban? I can only think of three words at the moment. READY, AIM, FIRE.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  69. John from Alabama

    Jack: Talk is cheap, and will not cost you anything. The taliban might not accept any moves for a peaceful resolution to the Afghanistan War, but it is worth trying. How many young Americans and Afghans have to die before someone starts to listen rather than die. A long trip starts with the first step, and I believe the first step to end the war in Afghanistan could be from President Obama.

    John from Alabama

    March 10, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  70. Tina Tx

    You betcha. We should have already been talking to them but since we had an immature president before you see what mess we all are in.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  71. Chuck in Warren,Ohio

    Jack: Talking to the Taliban will drive Afghanistan back into the dark ages. The Taliban is nothing but a repressive bunce of thugs. They have no respect for women what so ever. They only think ignorance is bless. Afghanistan will never become a nation that can control it's own destiny. It never has and never will.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  72. Lynn

    Of course we should be talking to the Taliban, Afghan is their country too – we don't have to agree with their politics as long as they keep it in their own country and assist in ridding the world of international terrorism – that WAS the reason we went into the mid-east, wasn't it?

    March 10, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  73. walt Utah

    Obama or any Government official talking to the Taliban is NOT a good idea.

    Reverand Jeremiah Wright talking to the Taliban, on the other hand would make GREAT Pay per VIEW TV.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  74. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    Jack, talking never hurt anyone. If nothing comes of it, at least we tried right? It’s obvious with the rising death rates in Afghanistan that the current approach hasn’t yielded fruit.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  75. Doug

    A logical examination says no. The only reason that they would want to negotiate with us is if they believe that we are winning. If we are winning then we should not switch tactics to include negotiations. Negotiations are only a good idea when you can trust the people you are negotiating with and (just as important) when they trust you.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  76. Nick in San Diego

    TALKING to people doesn't mean that you are willing to support their position!!!! Maybe it wouldn't amount to major progress but isn't it worth a try. There are some extremely brilliant people who are evaluating these strategies and for once in about 8 years, i think i actually trust their judgement. Let's see what happens when the US actually engages in diplomacy for a change.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  77. garrick

    hi jack
    talking to anyone that will bring peace will do.look we talk to the KKK and their still around living in peace with the rest of us, we just dont go on their turf..thats why we need to get off their turf in Iraq and Afghanistan and let them learn how to get along.


    March 10, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  78. David of Alexandria VA

    It doesn't matter what we think. It matters what the Taliban think. If they see the US discussions as a sign of weakness (in their culture, not ours) then we lose face.

    Too many missionaries have been served up as the main course because they believed that talk was the only civilized thing to do.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  79. Mike Robles


    We should be realist about who we are dealing with. As a veteran of the Iraq War I see only one common theme with talking to our enemies. At the end whatever solution we agree to accept from them we must accept that they will return to their old ways once we step away. If this is the course that our politicians wish to pursue then let us (left, center or right )not complain of human rights abuses again.

    Pembroke Pines,Florida

    March 10, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  80. Edith in Roswell NM

    Yes. Bush's childish idea of not talking to anyone who disagreed with him hasn't exactly worked out ,has it?

    March 10, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  81. Kevin Monticello Fl

    This is exactly the type of hopeful thinking that has now allowed our enemies to obtain Nuclear Weapons . Perhaps if the Taliban agreed to become more "moderate" in its entirety ...and was not out to punish the "sinful" West by killing all Infidels, it might work. It would equate to bending our knees to the likes of North Koreas evil Premier and begging for mercy . "We all live in a yellow submarine" is not a Foriegn policy that will keep us alive as Free Americans. Just like the Soviets in the 80s if you have a strong deterant .....neither side will ever risk total war, but when its apparent one side kneels with a bloody nose ......the enemies next move is to finish the fight.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  82. Tamsin Crozier

    Yes. The Taliban have never attacked our homeland and even had offered to turn in bin Laden if we had provided evidence. But egged on by Fox's Ailes and all the neocons, we wanted blood instead. By keeping troops in a Muslim country and bombing civilians, we are creating recruits for both the Taliban and al Qaeda. Our country is broke, and it's time to change course.
    Boston MA

    March 10, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  83. Melody Chapin

    Diplomatic efforts need to occur before any other strategies are implemented. It is a very delicate situation and I would imagine a difficult task to address effectively. What does one say to the Taliban? I wonder if Afghanistan officials need to take the lead in this endeavor with our support if necessary.

    Melody C
    Harbor Springs, Michigan

    March 10, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  84. Roger from Espanola,New Mexico

    If we are going to stay in Afghanistan, we might as try talking to them, but at the same time carrying a BIG stick. Everything should be tried even while knowing that in all probability, the Taliban idealogy will get us nowhere. All concerned and the rest of the world will atleast be aware that this was attempted. If everthing fails, we should perhaps review trhe situation and get out. It is not a comfortable feeling watching our debt grow to China while they are seemingly challanging our navy!

    March 10, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  85. Marc/Orlando

    How can you have dilogue with people that think if they blow themselves up and take innocent women and children with them they will get 40 vigins in heaven?

    March 10, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  86. Pugas-AZ

    Talk softly and carry a very large stick as we back away. Just like we would do from a snarling dog. But don't throw the dog any bones. Let him find his own food. Then I would go home and take care of business on the home front. Wouldn't that be novel?

    March 10, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  87. me46

    If we don't talk, how will we know what they're thinking?
    spring valley

    March 10, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  88. Paula in Albuquerque

    Why not? "You keep your 'friends", close...and your 'enemies', closer". It never hurts to keep a dialogue going...even those with whom you have a grudging respect...or, no respect, at all.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  89. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    Who dreamed up this foreign policy gem? Jimmy Carter? In a land with centuries of tribal war, corruption and betrayals, a customary part of life, this idea of negotiating with the nicer killers makes no sense whatsoever. This is another example of Washington grabbing at straws. They haven't a clue what to do here either.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  90. Randy, Woodstock IL.

    Of coarse its a good idea to talk. If you talk to those who may do you harm there are two things that may come out of it. One you will learn more about your enemy, and two you may actually find a better way to work together. besides we can't afford not to talk to them.

    Randy, Woodstock IL.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  91. M Gallo

    I have no idea how I will cope. In all probability I will do what everyone else will be doing, taking it one day at a time. I do know what I will not be doing........., listening to all the so called experts!

    March 10, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  92. Linda, Papillion NE

    yes, as they say keep your friend close and your enemmies closer

    March 10, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  93. Bill in South Jersey

    "Moderate Taliban" is like "moderate killers." That sounds true according to my past impressions. But so many of my past impressions have been based on some cynical politican's spin. If I don't trust the information I'm getting, how can I trust my conclusions?

    Talk to the Taliban? Probably better than feeding more Americans to the meat grinder in yet another useless Middle Eastern war.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  94. Brian - Trinidad

    Ever since time began,wiser men have taken the approach that if you can't kill off the enemy,you learn how to live with them.And history has shown that once you learn how to live with your enemy,you have much better success to bring them around to your way of thinking.Time to start talking.One caveat though,get some people who know what to do.The current crop of Obama people is very thin on talent and long on empty speeches.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  95. pat

    yes by all means talk with them find out all you can about them where they live their family and so on them bomb the hell out of them

    March 10, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  96. Chuck in Sheboygan, WI.

    Speak softly but carry a big stick. Of course we should talk to the Taliban. I'm not sure it will do any good, but we sort of can't bomb them back to the stone age–they're already there.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  97. Hugh ~ Tracy, California

    It is wise to at least talk to the Taliban, it is even wiser not to expect any real results. How do you reason with religious fanatics? Where can the two sides even compromise? Talk is cheap, and to the Taliban human life is cheap. The person who can figure out how to achieve peace in this war ravaged region will get the Nobel prize.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  98. Griff...... The Truth

    So you talk to people, with a gun in your back?

    March 10, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  99. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    Let's see, we trained them, made sure they had weapons and ammunition, and then we called them names and refused to talk to them. Where exactly did that get us? Cowboy politics obviously didn't work so it's time to sit at the table with them and compromise, not demand everything. We can't afford anything else.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  100. Joyce-Marshall, TX

    This is the age oef diplomacy. The only way any of us can resolve our differences, effectuate peace and resolve conflict is to seek common solutions. Talk to everybody, but seek the common ground and from there work for resolutilon. Taliban and AlQaeda too if it resolves the confllict, addresses the problem and offers a solution.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  101. Ken in NC

    Let President Hamid Karzai talk to them. I don't think we need to talk to the Taliban except to ask them to hold off a couple of months while we pack our bags and come home to take care of our own problems. If we want to fight a war we can do that at the US / Mexican Border. We already have established bases in the USA and do not have to enter into agreements with anyone except the yahoo's in Congress that will not want American troops on our own soil (sic).

    March 10, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  102. tim bernard

    Well bombing and installing a puppet gov. (and a new nat.gas pipeline) hasn't won the Afghan's support enough to fight for their own safety. The only big response in cooperation happened after we supplied Afghan warlords Viagra pills. I say lets bring all our magic E.D. pills over there, maybe it will bring new meaning to the saying " MAKE LOVE NOT WAR".
    Tim Minot,ME

    March 10, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  103. Stan Lehto

    Jack why do you ask us since you can get the latest and honest an
    swers from old Russ Limbauger.
    Stan Yelm, Wa

    March 10, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  104. Vinnie Vino


    Unequivocally speaking I think President Obama's ideal of talking to the Taliban lite in Afghanistan to help end the wasteful government spending that has been occurring in this bottomless pit of ungreatful Anti-American haters of a country for the past 8 years is long over due. Unlike the Republicans in the Government that want to continue the funding of the status quo to rebuild this money sucking hole of a country. The President is looking for a way to end the grave train of money to Afghanistan in order to use the funding to restore America to her greatness...

    Central Islip, N.Y.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  105. Melissa

    I don't think its a bad idea. I also don't think its a good one. I don't think it will change anything one way or another. The Taliban are always going to do what they want to do because it gives them power.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  106. Steve of Hohenwald TN.

    If you mean pay them not to shoot us, i`m not so shure. I understand we`re behind on our payment`s in Iraq.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  107. jim Toronto

    talking face to face is good...just don't turn your back

    March 10, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  108. Lorraine

    As long as we wear asbestos suits and realize we are dealing with
    the devil. Yes we should speak to them just realize you can never trust them. Zealots are zealots no matrer where they come from.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  109. CJ in Atlanta

    This is a concept that hasn't been tried. Let's give it a shot, and if it doesn't work, try something else! I'm glad Obama is willing to try various angles to complex problems like this.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  110. Eric Bracke, Fort Collins, CO

    It's worth having the chat. Obama better have his eyes wide open and his back covered while having this talk.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  111. j/NJ

    Is talking to the Taliban a good idea?

    Absolutely, there is nothing to lose by talking and nothing whatsoever to gain by 'not talking'...International Politics 101, Chapter 1...

    March 10, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  112. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    Yes. Let's make a deal and get out. Whether our troops are there or not, bin Laden will only be found if someone is willing to "drop a dime" on him for millions of dollars. Money will get a lot more done than fighting people.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  113. Rose in Az

    NO talks with the Taliban, those people just love to kill Americans, they savored the 9/11 impact on America. I guess Obama thinks he can talk his way out of everything, it won't work this time

    March 10, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  114. overby

    Yeah, tell them we want to talk with them, that we'll meet them at that stone-age shack over on that hill tonite at 8:00, and then let a few laser-guided missles do our talking. We've already seen how they run their country, actually talking to them is stupid and ridiculous and a complete waste of time.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  115. Jeff in E. Lyme, CT

    It's something we should have been doing all along Jack. In Iraq, Afganistan and with AlQueda we have been totally incompetent in the war of words. Maybe we should start by letting would-be suicide bombers that nobody will remember them, nobody will sing their praises, that they are just expendable tools in some other coward's game. How many people can remember the names of more than 2 9/11 hijackers? They were just cannon fodder in BinLaden's quest for infamy..............nothing more. We have to convince them they are killing and dying for nothing. Just like the 4,000 plus Americans who died in Iraq in Bush's act of treason.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  116. Andrea

    It's a very good idea for our country to sit down and talk with the Taliban. Not saying that everything can be trusted but no matter who wants to believe it, these are real people with real views and feelings and if we could all act like adults things might just go a little smoother.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  117. Liz, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

    IF the moderate Taliban can be trusted, which is doubtful, it may be possible to cut a deal that would be advantageous to the U.S.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  118. Jay in Texas

    Talking with our enemies is always a good idea. Talking doesn't mean we have to agree to anything. A refusal to negotiate costs many lives and billions of dollars. Talking really is cheap when you consider the alternative.
    Brownwood, Texas

    March 10, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  119. Charlie in Belen, New Mexico

    If you can talk one "Teliban" into minding his own business in his own clan / village, that's one less guy taking pot shots at you. And in my experance gained hiking about in southeast Asia durning the 1960s, having as few people irritated and taking potshots at you as possible is a good thing.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  120. Dennis North Carolina

    YES, talking to the bad guy does not mean you are weak but shows that you are smart to talk and listen to the enemies so that you have knowledge on how he thinks.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  121. Chad from Los Angeles, CA

    Where's Charlie Wilson at? He knows how to deal with the Afghans, first hand!

    March 10, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  122. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    The Afghanis don't want the Taliban back. Sarah Chayes has been living there since 2001 and she says the local governments and police are the problems. He needs to talk to the them and not the Taliban. Many are joining the Taliban because they are tired of paying bribes to local officials and police. After living there for 8 yrs., I think she knows what's going on. Pres. Obama should talk to her.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  123. Richard New Hampshire

    Alexander,a Greek,was the only invader to win a land war on the Asian continent.He died on the way home.
    We are kidding ourselves if we believe we can "win" a war in Afganistan.A negotiiated end to hostilities is the only logical course of action.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  124. Sid...Texas

    Yes...Why not? Killing them doesn't seem to be working.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  125. simon

    Read the book Three cups of Tea to find out one american's perspective on the situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan. It opened my eyes!

    New York

    March 10, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  126. Mike in VA

    Sure Jack. We can always talk our way to appeasment.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  127. Jan Illinois

    Talking to the taliban , could not possibly hurt the situation, not talking has us in an impossible situation, Talking is the only way that any problem has a chance at getting solved.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  128. donna becker

    I scoldend my sister when she said she and her husband withdrew all their money and hid it under their bed in their Northern Idaho home. Im beginning to think they have the right idea.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  129. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Depends on who is doing the talking for us. We have in the past sent some truely lost people to talk to Muslims and Arabs. There are people who are born and loyal US citizens who could talk to the Taliban. But we have to understand that the talks might not be fruitfull, and to fail is no reflection on the US spokesman or on the presidential administration. It's just the way things are. As they say over, In Shallah.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:17 pm |

    Saudi Arabia has been working on this deal a couple months now. When Obama puts off talking to Karzai with plans to help replace him ONE must be able to smell a rat. Obama's 1/4 African & 1/4 Arab equals 1/2 Muslim who wants to deal with fellow muslims. Remember the thing about a Muslim is that its OK for them to LIE inorder to get what they want. Look at all the campaign promises going by the wayside. ENOUGH SAID!

    March 10, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  131. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    If talking to our enemies might prevent any future problems, then we should talk.......by all means. The cowboy mentality that Bush used was a disaster, to say the least. We need dialog with these people if we ever have a chance for peace, but with a large dose of caution and reality.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  132. Lynda; PA

    NO! The Taliban is not a political organization. It is a group of religious fanatics who you can talk to until you are blue in the face and they will ALWAYS follow the teaching of the Quoran. Have we learned anything since 9/11?

    March 10, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  133. Karen - Tennessee

    Jack, if you sent Hillary Clinton she'd scare the hell out of them!

    Seriously, conversing with the Taliban does not mean you agree with their actions or philosophies. It might make it easier to understand them, however, so if these talks can take place safely, yes.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  134. Collin, CT

    Jack, It never hurts to have a conversation. A lot less bloodshed in talking.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  135. Betty, San Diego, Ca.

    It is always a good idea to talk with your enemies if for no other reason than to size them up.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  136. David

    Yes we need to try and flip the script and have them root out al Qaeda like in Iraq.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  137. Mike S., New Orleans

    Perhaps we should start slowly, and just text message them at first.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  138. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    It sure is better than what we did for years in Iraq. At least President Obama is willing to look at options that aren't military. I think most Americans have seen where the shoot first and talk later strategy has gotten us in the last six years. If he can find someone to talk to who will listen and respond, then I say go for it. Let's make some peace for a change.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  139. cy gardner

    Let's send a female negotiator and see how that works out. cy gardner, arlington, va

    March 10, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  140. Ralph Nelson

    Eisenhower said: Wars are the failure of diplomacy. Talk...What do we have to lose? It isn't like George W. Bush is president anymore and he doesn't want to talk because people well realize he's stupid. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  141. NYC REPUB, Bx., NY

    Why not? Listen diplomacy never hurt anyone. If we're spit in the face for being fair, then we'll just have to pull out the famous "big stick". A lion in the jungle has a choice to kill it's prey upon sight, or allow the animal to co – exist........ Let's never forget, we are a super power...... I really don't feel that President Obama, is scared to use the muscle of the U.S.A.!!

    March 10, 2009 at 4:29 pm |

    Duh! Isn't it a good idea to talk to our children when they do something wrong? To me it is smarter to talk first, then to go into a bigger war like Mccain and the other War Mongers would have done.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  143. Will from San Jose

    So the Afghan people and the military on the ground want us to talk with the Taliban, but the "experts" don't. At this point I'm more inclined to believe someone who's life depends on judging the situation correctly then I am to trust an expert who gets paid to make countless projections with no record of how often they are right.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  144. Bcoz, Ont Canada

    Jack, I have to say it’s a worthy idea, but lets face it knowing who to talk too will be the problem. There are so many factions of the group that all claim to be in charge. I would think a good place to look 1st is over the border in Pakistan.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  145. Jim McCormack

    Talk with Taliban? Sure, let's invite tens of thousands of them to a meeting hosted by W, Cheney & Rummy at a very large soccer stadium in either Pakistan or Afghanistan. The band can open the festivities by playing "Moonlight Over Mecca" and then the Israelis can nuke the place. Sounds like a very productive meeting to me.


    Jim – Willowick OH

    March 10, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  146. James In Kamiah, Idaho

    Jack, Talking to the Taliban about anything is only good if that talk has a list of our demands, and how they can surrender in the least violent fashion.

    Afghanistan is NOT Iraq, and unlike Al-Queda in Iraq, the Taliban was actually strong in the region BEFORE the U.S. showed up. These people are either willfully evil ticks that need to be burned off, or they are so brainwashed and cowed that they've become just as dangerous.

    Sharia Law, if I've spelled that correctly, is an abomination to our most noble consciences, and it should be stamped out for the archaic threat that it is. The days of Hammurabbi are long gone, and they need to understand we won't allow them to pine for them, and slaughter innocent civilians in the process.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  147. mitchell, arkansas

    yes. if you take the taliban away from alliance with al-qaeda, then al-qaeda will be isolated more, and there may very well be a chance to use the talks to gain information that leads to OBL's capture. it doesn't hurt to talk, ever. you never know what may be gained when the opportunity presents itself. if there is no opportunity, nothing will be gained.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  148. Mike - Hot Springs, Arkansas

    Great Idea. We should be talking to all of our enemies. Fighting them sure does not work. The only solution will be diplomacy or if that fails – Anihilation.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  149. michael armstrong

    jack talking fighting and pleading have all faild its time to hold the countrys giving them a place to live liable i say when we find them nuke em.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  150. Stephanie Chapin

    Yes, I am a child of the 70's. Make peace, not war.

    Cloquet, MN

    March 10, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  151. Marjorie Lominy

    Cant hurt, as long as Hillary covers her face,

    March 10, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  152. Greg from LA

    The forgotten war another Bush blunder he wanted the oil war instead of going after the the actual country where this plan was hatched. The US is not the only country fighting there there are others Like Canada, U.K Germany etc. Nato must step up and help more. President Obama must use his charm to mass a unifided Nato army to finally rid the Taliban in Afganistan.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  153. Rachel Tampa, Fl

    We need to strengthen the Afghan government and get the Taliban out of there. The Taliban needs to leave, and I understand that America cannot police the world anymore since our resources are stretched thin, but maybe we need to take money out of Israel and give it to the Afghan government.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  154. Sue -Idaho

    Jack, like the old saying better to keep your friends close and your enemies closer! Yes, talk to them, it doesn't cost us anything and could even prove to be of some benefit, even if it doesn't what have we lost, some words?

    March 10, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  155. LInda in Bisbee, Arizona

    Making deals with and bribing Sunnis in Iraq, most of whom are not fanatical religious fundamentalists, is completely different from trying to negotiate with a bunch of ignorant religious fanatics from a culture we don't even remotely understand. Sure, you can go ahead and talk to the Taliban, but I don't think it will work. Bribing them is also a temporary measure, because when it suits them, they will go back to doing whatever we were bribing them not to do. Killing them is best, but we can never kill all of them, so we'll never win that way either. Educating the population is the key, but good luck with that. I'm not optimistic we will ever have any success with the Taliban.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  156. just me!

    It is only right to talk with those with whom you have differences (perceived or real). Not all problems need to be resolved with violence and war.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  157. roger dowdle lockhart, tx

    As opposed to the current policy of ignoring them, and waiting for them to change their minds and ways? Gee, that has worked so well over the last 8 years, hasn't it? Even if it means just seperating a relatively small part from the rest (at first), it will mean that many fewer trying to kill our troops. That is the way it first started in iraq, and slowly grew to include more and more iraqi's. The same idiots complaining now are the ones who got us into this situation by ignoring afghanistan and increasing resistance and al qaeda in iraq!

    March 10, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  158. Jeff Crocket

    The totally uncivilized Islamic sect has no place on earth and must be annihilated. Beheading men and women in front of the community for being educated or cutting beards or walking out side unattended??

    This must end not be elevated through diplomacy!!

    Never negotiate!!

    Jeff Crocket
    New Britain, CT

    March 10, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  159. Rufus in Twentynine Palms, CA

    What's there to talk about Jack, sharing Dry Rub Recipes for Grilled Infidel on a spit?

    March 10, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  160. arlene in iowa

    We just need to get our troops out of there. They don't want us there. We have our own problems to deal with. Killing each other off is the way they seem to like it.What will you gain if you own the the world but destroy yourself.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  161. Dan

    Jack. I think talking to any one with an issue no matter what the case is a good thing. It helps bring a true perspective to the table so others may understand what to decide or do next. From what I am hearing, this is a mixed bag of opinion and some clarity shouldn’t hurt.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  162. Roy

    I can't believe this kind of question surfaces in this day and age. We have just spent the last eight years shooting first and asking questions later.......Clue#1.....it hasn't worked, has never worked and will never work. Shooting is for those who have nothing in their collective heads worth listening to and have to revert back to the Neanderthal stages of growth.....shoot and grunt! The only ones who are hurt by that philosphy are the innocent by standers and our troops. If we want the world to see the differences between our society and theirs show them by talking to them and not with a gun in our hand. It only makes more enemys and does nothing to prove we are different.

    Olympia Wa.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  163. docb


    Opening a dialogue is always good but who would the leadership be that we, the US Govn't, would talk to? I am not aware of any structure in the world of the Taliban...They seem to be similiar to the tribal groups I saw in Afghanistan without the loyalty of the tribal leaders to family and clan! Lashing out but not united except against the 'other'!


    March 10, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  164. Purnell Kankakee lL.

    Yes, we talked to Russia who has thousands of nuclear missiles pointed at us even up to this moment; to think that the Republicans would be scared to talk to guys who live in caves is funny!

    March 10, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  165. Randy from Salt Lake City

    Since we can't seem to kill them all, we're going to have to sit down and have a "coming to Allah with 'em." In other words, the US will have to bribe them to NOT destroying the opium crop. The $800 billion dollar opium trade gets laundered through Wall Street and Wall Street is needs every last dollar -for $35,000 toilets, mega-boats, McMansions, hookers and politicians.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  166. john .... marlton nj

    Yes, talking is always a good idea. Most of us take with a grain of salt the opinion of the NY Times and your rent-a-analyst Bergen .. Get real, what is motivating them to even suggest .. talking isn't a better alternative ..

    March 10, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  167. Steve Mial

    Before we can ascertain if it's a good idea to talk to the enemy, we must first define what our objectives are in Afghanistan and further define what a US win would look like in that part of the world. We started out there as a strike at the people/enemy (Bib Laden) who attacked the US. Do we still seek to bring those folks to justice or have we expanded the mission to achieve something unrelated? Are we seeking an enemy or are we seeking to build a nation or expand Bush's democracy dream?

    Clifton, VA

    March 10, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  168. Barbara Hilliard

    Yes it's a good idea. The Taliban are not homogenous. Some of them are boys who are paid a few dollars to guard a section of road and have no loyalty to Taliban leaders. Why can't we buy their loyalty? Let's undercut the Taliban leaders in their own communities if we can.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  169. KarenB, centralFlorida

    theoretically its not a good idea, but realistically perhaps it would help to do it, have a dialogue that might produce to where both sides can understand each other...it won't happen over night.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  170. Paul Austin,Texas

    We should always try to talk to whoever it is. If nothing else we can start to learn how and why they think the way they do. We can also try to find a thin line that we all agree on and that is how it all starts. We need to always try to work with every country no matter of how extreme their views are. I am not saying we need to be friends to everyone but we first need to listen to what they say and then talk to them with how we can work together to gain goals that we can all live with.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  171. Alan-Buxton,Maine

    Why not? We still talk to Republicans and they are far worse.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  172. John, Fort Collins, CO

    Other than encouraging the Taliban to take advantage of the Afghan amnesty program, I think the U.S. is better off just keeping them in our crosshairs. Since there is no such thing as a "moderate terrorist", who would we be talking to?

    March 10, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  173. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: the best way to make headway is to disarm the enemy. It's a huge distraction to them during which time progress can be made. We're not looking to become friends, however, we need to co-exist on the planet until we can get them to come around to more moderate views.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  174. RSB

    Exactly what is there to talk about? We are not the world's psychiatrist. Insurgents are criminals, plain and simple, they are killing their own people as well as allied forces. Either capture or kill them, re-establish deomocratic government, and then bring home the troops. It's not rocket science.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  175. Dau from Scottsdale, Az

    Hey Jack, can you ask Wold what does he think of the TO move to the Buffalo Bills I know he is a huge Buffalo Bills fan?

    March 10, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  176. Roxane from Hancock, MN

    W. didn't make any contact with them and you see where that got us. I say if President Obama wants to talk to them, why not let him. It never hurts to try something new.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  177. Carl Clark / Citrus Heights, California

    What do we gain by not talking to the taliban. Enough said.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  178. James Lenon - Chuckey TN

    Yes, we should talk to them. But to make certain we have their attention we should have our finger on the trigger and predators flying overhead.

    Our negotiators should understand going in that Afghanistan will likely never be anything but a tribal region, steeped in sexism, and controlled by religious fundamentalists who want to keep it that way.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  179. Purnell Kankakee lL.

    Communication is our greatest problem in the world, and communication is our greatest tool for solving our problems! Because we just do not understand each other becasue we do not communicate!

    It works in the rest of our lives, doesn't!

    March 10, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  180. Gigi

    Yes. If "In God we Trust" is the American way, then peace should always be the first option. And if you don't believe that you need to do a little more reading a bout God.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  181. Kat

    Considering the alternative, yes, we need to be talking. We as a nation may not agree with how they do things, but I would rather we reach an understanding than risk more lives. Never mind the other cost the war in that region has cost us so far.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  182. C D Metzger

    Talking and listening are key to communication. It's a two-way process. The United States is overdue for a more respectful approach to foreign policy. Talking does not mean caving to the Taliban. It simplly means we recognize them and want to hear what they have to say. Let's jettison the confrontation policies of the Bush years and act like a citizen of the world.

    Lees Summit MO

    March 10, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  183. Purnell Kankakee lL.

    In everything we do we communication. Communication solves problems!

    March 10, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  184. Seth

    What is it going to take for everyone to realize that you cannot talk to these people? They have no regard for human life (their own or their enemy's). You cannot have a constructive dialogue with such twisted extremists.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  185. Dean Harrington

    Couldn't hurt; and it just might save a lot of lives. Dean Michael Harrington, Veteran United States Navy. (Modesto, CA.)

    March 10, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  186. Sheila

    There are no MODERATE Taliban. NONE. Talking to them won't do any good. They are allowed to lie to the kuffir (infidels) to further their goal of an Islamic world. The Taliban have their agenda, and nothing any Westerners can do will change it.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  187. Mo

    Talk is just the first step... but it might be the most important step in settling any disagreement. Therefore, it can't hurt!

    March 10, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  188. Eric in Richmond, Va

    People will stumble over themselves to be the first to call him "Soft on Terrorism."

    March 10, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  189. lisa tx

    Why not, maybe if we had talked a little more with Iraq we would not be where we are now.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  190. Ram Riva -- Calexico, CA

    Hello Jack:

    Remeber the old saying that everyone knows...

    "Keep your friends close, but your enemies, closer"

    Don't you think it applies to your question?


    March 10, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  191. Bernadette

    Maybe talking to them would be a better idea, seem like nothing else is working.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  192. Kenneth in Texas

    "Know Thine Enemy" should be something done as a nation, not as a secretive agency, we should talk to ALL of our enemies and the people of this country should be able to see the results of those talks, as should the people of the countries we're talking to.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  193. Tom in Knoxville Iowa

    My mother taught me that the best way to solve a problem is to talk it out, she told me that it is never a 'Bad' idea to talk to anyone as long as the talk is backed up with actions.

    Even your worst enemy can become your friend if you can reach a common ground.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  194. Bob S Philadelphia,PA

    We shouldn't talk to them animal’s about anything we need to wipe them out not talk to them! They need to be removed from the face of the earth they are scrum, but I’m sure NOBAMA will want to talk to them because he is a Muslim

    March 10, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  195. Tom Gallub

    Why not try.. After all,by now the administration should be used todealing with fanatic, brainwashed, vacant stares and ideological blinders. Have you seen the Republicans lately?

    March 10, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  196. Dee, New York

    It may be a waste of breath, but if we do "talk", at least nobody will be able to say we didn't try.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  197. bob of bama

    Nineteen Saudis attacked us Jack; some of whom we helped train to kill the Russians in 79. Republicans raped 9-11 into privatizing Iraq's oil and the fastest way to kill the Taliban may be to give them Afghanistan. One thing Jack as a veteran and real print journalist; it is impossible to nuclear arm Pakistan, 95 percent Muslim and declare a War on Terror against whom? Muslims. Forrest said stupid is as stupid does. Respectfully submitted, Bob

    March 10, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  198. Wes

    I think it might turn out to be more beneficial in the end if Obama were able to convey a message of peace and unity, that what we need in these troubled times.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  199. Yasir Kamal

    Since the last 8 years, I think some people have realized that talking is better than fighting. You could probably stabilize the area, but you will never change their ideals and government. “America” just doesn't work in every other culture. Understanding a culture will only bring in results. Diplomatic talks are less threatening than a fully armed army on the ground.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  200. Matt H.

    It sound like an investment worth moving forward with, but it could get a rise out of Putin. We've gotten along with them once, it wouldn't be a bad idea to try again. Our plan of action is only setting the area back another decade.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  201. Deborah, Los Angeles

    Dialogue is always good. Look what crossing our arms and not talking to people we don't like has wrought us under the 8 very long, petulant Bush years. Hundreds of thousand dead and the loss of respect and trust the world 'round.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  202. Jeramy

    You know jack, you make the best decisions based on the information you have available to you at the time. President Obama, obviously has the most information available to him, and there is able to make the best decisions. If he thinks talking will work instead billions more dollars in bombs, and American lives.. then lets try it.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  203. Russell Jordan

    Never talk with the Taliban. Not now. Not ever. Do this and Afghanistan will eventually fall back into their control. Out goes whatever liberty the Afghans have and they'll be back to slaughtering girls for wanting to go to school and murdering anyone who opposes them. There's something called the moral imperative. We have it, they don't.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  204. Jane from PA

    Of course it is. It's totally presumptuous to think that we understand what's really going on without actually talking to the people we are trying to influence. Unless we better understand the culture and the people we are involved with, we will continue to make tragic misadventures like we did in Iraq.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  205. Gwen

    I don't know if talking to the Taliban is a good idea, but I do know that it is time try a different approach. If we always do what we've always done, we'll always get, what we always got.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  206. Ric

    The Taliban is a terrorist organization that is responsible for 9/11. Remember that guy Bin Laden? Yeah, I'm sure he was apart of this group. We should of never left Afghanistan in the first place when we were trying to get these guys under control. Now they are back and yes we have to retrace our steps to stop one of the most dangerous organizations on the planet. Maybe even find Bin Laden if he hasn't died of old age yet. Get out of Iraq and into Afghanistan.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  207. Raj

    Talking with'em like swimming the pacific ocean. It never ends and they never stop throwing ripples on the rest of the world.

    Pittsburgh, PA

    March 10, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  208. Bill

    Talk to the Taliban?
    Wonder where we would be today had we talked to Hitler.
    Bill, Pennsylvania

    March 10, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  209. Greg, Ontario

    No....Pakistan thought they had it settled with a signed treaty and a millions of pay off money. Money supplied by the American tax payer. They used the money to buy new arms and then tore up the treaty and attacked. Anyone (President Obama included) that thinks you can use diplomacy with the Taliban is a fool.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  210. Antwan Nealy

    Jack the Taliban are responsible for the death of American soldiers. We have nothing to talk about.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  211. Linda Bennington

    Well, it certainly beats invading Iraq! If talking had taken place in the first place, maybe we wouldn't be in the mess we're in now.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  212. r.sutherland

    Only to find out what they're up to, Jack. Pakistan and the Taliban are so intertwined, perhaps talking to them may help dicipher who the U.S should be really listening to. Neither of them, of course. How about listening to the people?

    March 10, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  213. Dicky Neely

    Hi Jack,
    Should we be talking to the Taliban? Of course we should. We should always be willing to talk to our enemies. Winston Churchill said "It is better to jaw jaw jaw than to fight fight fight."
    We have always had some sort of back channel communications and sometimes public talks with enemies during war time. What is there to fear? Are afraid we can't represent ourselves competently?
    Dicky Neely
    Corpus Christi, Tx.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  214. Michael L . Detroit

    Yes meat with them but only to set them up. They did burn American flags. And we don't negotiate with terrorists. Set them up and take them all out. or imprison them. which ever would make the human rights activists happy, if they ever could be.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  215. Brandon Kyle

    Well, concidering we've consecrated the taliban in war crimes and other merits of dissassembleing " apparatus " you have have to go through this mind set that, is the enemy of my enemy my friend? With all the talk of reaching out and ending these conflicts, i think we'd be wishy washy not to take advantage of this closeing turning point that george w. obama talks about.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  216. Scott

    Abraham Lincoln didn't win the civil war with warfare alone. If you study the Lincoln Monument, you'll see he has one fist clenched and one hand open, ready to extend peace. If Obama really does wish to model himself after the Great Emancipator, it would do him well to learn from Lincoln's wisdom: sway the moderates and eliminate the hardliners.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  217. Patrick, Austin, TX

    Of course it is a good idea! Reconciliation of any conflict requires both sides to talk. The Taliban was the legitimate government of Afghanistan at the time we invaded that country, so it stands to reason that we should speak with them. We should not be niave about it though. The Taliban are radical extremist, but so are parts of the Republican party.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  218. Malcolm Mafield

    IM 16 years old and i watch CNN when i can, and i think we should talk to the Taliban, why not? They think we are the terrorists to there religion. Talking to them would help ease that thought, making the situation better; i dont on the other hand think we as Americans should call it "Working with them" No compromise should be met. We see how terrorists "have" control over northern Pakistan which is unexceptable. We simply need to see what is it they want. Im not saying we should be friends with the taliban, but just because we have major differences doesn't mean need to ignore it. We are at their door step, let them know it. Military force is only one factor of War.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  219. Darryl

    It is absolutely not a good idea to talk to the Taliban. The idea that any of them are "moderate" is preposterous. Moderates do not join terrorist organizations. Period. The new administration came into power by realizing and asserting that the real fight against terror is not in Iraq. They also need to realize and assert that the real fight against terror is indeed still in Afghanistan and that we should stay on the offensive there until the threat is neutralized. There is nothing to talk about with those barbarians.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  220. Tim from MI

    Mr. Cafferty – Talking to the Taliban? Did we talk to Hitler? What kind of question is that? NUTS! Proud to Serve!

    March 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  221. Jean Clelland-Morin

    A little active, respectful listening and directive questionaing could go a long way. Communication is the best (maybe only) tool we have for peace. // Jean Clelland-Morin / San Antonio

    March 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  222. Henock

    What is the worst that can come out of talking to anyone to resolve a dispute? You talk; you don't agree, you move on- nothing changed. If you agree, on the other hand, the talking succeeded. Pascal's Wager!

    March 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  223. Kevin in PA

    Hey, Jack. There is a part of me that wants the United States to talk to the Taliban, but there is a part of me that says, "you don't cut a deal with a pack of wolves."

    If they threaten us, we should wipe them out. If they can learn to live like civilized human beings, then sure. Sit down, talk to them, and tell them that if you want to gain something in this world, use your brain; not a gun.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  224. Louise in Alabama

    We speak with the Taliban on a constant 24 hour cycle. Through intell and through 6 degrees of separation. Here is the world, here is the steeple, open the door, and there are all the people. Now talk.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  225. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    If Afghan President Hamid Karzai welcomes the proposal of talking to the Taliban, let him hold the first talks, it's his country and he is their leader. If he lives to tell us about their talk, only then it may be a good idea.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  226. jay

    talking is cheap, and by that, i mean it costs very little in monetary values, and costs us NO lives while we try to figure out the next best step to take.. I like that cost WAY better than the billions that we are spending in Iraq..

    March 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  227. catherine

    NO! Talking to Satan not a good idea. Debating with Satan is not a good idea. These people are evil. These people throws acid in the faces of women. The Taliban cannot be trusted. Only God can change people. Stay away from the Taliban. We need to set people free, but, being nice in the face of evil never works.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  228. Jess, NOLA

    talking is great Jack, how else will we educate the Taliban on the hazards of "lead poisoning".

    Really though, negotiations are a great way to show the rest of the world that the U.S. is at least trying to look as non aggressive as possible, even when aggression is exactly what is needed.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  229. Yak

    Talking is always good no matter what the problem. These so called 'experts' that got us into all this still have some credibility?? Does anyone remember Russia and why they left Afghanistan?? Geeezzz....!!! Oh, I forgot, we're better........don't make me laugh my lips are chapped!!!

    March 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  230. Kate

    Under no circumstances should we speak with the taliban. The united states, along with many of our major allies, has refused to negotiate with terrorist organizations for as long as I can remember. There is no reason to change our policy now. Has the taliban shown us any signs of letting go of their radical beliefs? As long as they are a terrorist organization, we need to keep our distance.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  231. Carolyn

    Why? The Talibans are nothing but cave men. Neanderthals. Mindless, mean, killers who like to beat and kill women and hate us!

    March 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  232. Loki

    Clear communication with afgan people is vital to resolve deadly war and may able to stop any future war. Think outside of box and get the people involved, obviously Afgan's government is shamble, it makes sense to start with the people; "by the people, for the people" mentality.

    YES, I agreed, having a Black president can convey messages that struck chords with many muslims that he understand their greatest needs for safety and prosperity in that area and are supportive of his plan instead of Bush who doesn't know how to convey clear message.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  233. Lukaia

    At this point, we need to start trying to establish peaceful negotiations. We must show that our new administration brings change that will bring closer and more peaceful ties. If not, these actions will continue and the war in the middle east will not cease anytime soon. The U.S needs to stop being the most hated country in the world.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  234. Kingsley Ogbuji, Texas

    Talking to the moderate Taliban is the most noble idea and strategy the Obama administration will adopt. Ending these wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will save the U.S billions of precious dollars that could be injected into the U.S economy and ultimately end the deficit.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  235. dianna

    After 8 years of Bush, and showing the world we don't talk, we just do, this may be the only way to show the world we are willing to talk. (To anyone) It doesn't show a sign of weakness, or fear, it shows we're willing to speak with others about any situation. I believe because of Obama's nature, he's going to be tested. But don't mistake his calm, thoughtfulness with determination to keep this country safe and not accept anything less.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  236. Paul In Hawaii

    President Obama talks with William Ayres, a self-admitted Pentagon bomber, so why shouldn't he talk with the Taliban?

    March 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  237. Mike Carter, Paramount CA

    If we can talk with, and listen to (and, for the past 8 years, obey) the Saudis, it's not that much of a leap to the Taliban.

    Why not see if there are pockets of enlightened self interest in the Taliban? It is beginning to look as if Taliban is as much a job description as anything else, and we did set them up in the first place. Anything is worth a try.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  238. Samuel Tenney

    The Taliban is seen as an inflamed group of radicals by some. Unfortunately, that is partially correct and talking to them could lead to more violence. However, I see the idea of using words to end this conflict more acceptable than using bullets to reach the same goal. So yes, I believe that talking with the Taliban is a good idea. However, we must be careful not to upset them, for we may escalate the conflict if we do so.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  239. Bernie Gill

    The old saying "talk is cheap" in this case is accurate. It will cost nothing, and who knows what may come of it. Let's take a look around the world and see how not talking has worked out...North Korea, Iran, Cuba...how has not talking worked out there. Once we started talking with Russia, China, Libya, our relationship immediately improved, as the threat of conflict was reduced...Nothing ventured, nothing gained..

    March 10, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  240. Kate

    Under no circumstances should we speak with the taliban. The united states, along with many of our major allies, has refused to negotiate with terrorist organizations for as long as I can remember. There is no reason to change our policy now. Has the taliban shown us any signs of letting go of their radical beliefs? As long as they are a terrorist organization, we need to keep our distance.dublin, Ohio.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  241. Keith in Loveland, CO

    Talking is always good but:
    Didn't Chamberlain talk and appease Adolf Hitler?
    Didn't Churchill say to hell with talking to a madman and fought Hitler, instead?.
    Which are you Mister Obama, Chamberlain or Churchill?

    When you talk to them remember, "He who argues with an idiot is a bigger idiot."
    I don't take you to be an idiot Mr. President.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  242. Jimmie Raye

    Sure! That would be a great idea Jack, we could also give them a piece of the stimulus package. Go B.O. !

    March 10, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  243. Nathan


    Yes, talking with the Taliban is a smart idea. It's a similar proposal to two people sitting down and working their issue over via dialogue after a physical conflict or to prevent one. I never thought it was a bad idea to talk to your enemies. Ironically, this is how I solved any issue I had with somebody and NEVER ONCE did conflict or retaliation work. We have no options left being that we took our eye off of Afghanistan to invade the wrong country and start a quagmire in Iraq.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  244. Sam Samaila

    Talking to Talibans is not equal to losing the war in Afganistan. And since we can not kill every taliban, we will need to come up with another more reasonable way to end the war. I can't believe the government took all these years before addressing the issue of talking to talibans. I think our diplomacy is as strong as our Army or even stronger.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  245. Margaret, Houston, Texas

    Perhaps the question should be whether or not the Taliban want to talk to the U.S. As far as the Taliban are concerned, the U.S. and its Nato alies are the invaders, the oppressors, and the murderers of innocent civilians. Gee, what could there be to talk about? Obama needs to get out of Afghanistan, then the Taliban will talk as one faction of the liberated people of Afghanistan.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  246. Deepak

    Jack, it will be a huge mistake to talk to Taliban's. There is no such thing as moderate Talibans. Talking to them will be perceived as USA weakness and great victory for the Talibans. It will further open the doors for recruiting more terrorist.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  247. Quinn

    During WWII we talked to Hitler, we talked to Japan. Diplomacy should always precede war and oftentimes it saves lives. The Taliban have already initiated war, but if talking to them means one less American death then it's worth it.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  248. jesse lewis

    Yes Jack. It's always a good idea to talk before you jump.
    it can't hurt to talk.
    but we must carry a big stick in case the talk fails.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  249. Len in Clarkston, Wa.

    What have we got to lose? We've already lost over 4,000 without communicating. It's time to try.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  250. Russell Whatley

    Jack, we need to do everything we can do, in order to win the war in Afghanistan, even if that means talking to some Taliban moderates, especially if that will save our American men and women soldiers.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  251. Karla

    Aren't we way past talking, for God sake? I am so way overly tired of dealing with this bunch. We have spent lives of our family and friends, money out the wa'zoo, and I say it is way way past the time for talk. Talk is cheap, let's finish this. We have too many problems right here at home that need tending too. It is time to Finsh this job.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  252. Christine, Thousand Oaks Ca

    Yes, we should talk to the Taliban. They live in Afghanistan and we don't. It's called diplomacy, something the Bush Administration was too inept and stubborn to do. And look where that's gotten us. Walking away from everyone who disagrees with you is not the way to try to solve problems.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  253. Michael

    Absolutely Jack, it's the only way this conflict will end. I think we've all forgotten our history. "We" supported the Taliban in their battle to get the Russians out of Afganistan. We talked to them then. In fact we were the ones who armed them! We should learn from the Russian's mistake and get out gracefully before we lose thousands of troops as we did in Iraq. In thousands of years no one has been able to occupy their country for long. They are patient and will outlast us fighting on their own turf.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  254. karen-phoenix

    Lets talk to everyone. The last little "sock and awe" did NOT go so well. I prefer talk and more talk and maybe more talk!!!

    March 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  255. L A Worthington

    Why not? We helped create the Taliban during the Reagan era – Rumsfeld should remember this. So why not talk to the Taliban who were our weapon agains the Soviets/Russians then. The Taliban likes our money and will surely cooperate with us again.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  256. Buddy Ellis

    Looks like Obama admits that Bush won his war, why else would he be pulling out the troops. Now we can all set back and watch Obama talk his way out of his.
    Bud in Illinois

    March 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  257. Glen Shaw

    I think that talking is better than fighting. Too many people have died already and we should try to love our fellow humans rather than hate them.

    This is what is what we must do in order to bring peace around the world. Love brings respect for our differences and the willingness to compromise even when we don't believe in the way others do things.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  258. lynnej

    As much as I hate to say it, if we're going to continue our meddling trying to shape the the region to our liking, we have to. It is better than all out war which we're in no position to undertake unless the draft is started up again.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  259. Griffon


    Yes we should talk first and be brief,...then does the phrase "Pave it and paint it green" hit home with the Taliban radicals!

    March 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  260. Katie Bauer in Iowa

    I believe he should.
    I'm a very strong supporter of Obama, but even I don't think the Taliban would change it's mind. It's a pretty closed-minded group, if you couldn't tell.
    At least he's trying. I don't care if they say they say they won't ever surrender to the "unholy" infidels, at least he's making an attempt at peace.
    More than Bush would ever even dream of trying. You should know that diplomacy is for godless commie hippies!

    March 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  261. DS

    Hey Jack...

    I say we listen to the people who clearly have shown they know how to make peace – 2008 Nobel Peace Prize winner Martti Ahtisaari often says that you can't make peace by talking to school teachers and librarians – you have to actually talk to the people who are disturbing the peace to actually get to peace. I've never understood this policy of not speaking to the people causing the problem. If you have a bully at school, does the teacher call in the model student to discuss the problem or talk to the kid causing the trouble to start with?

    Madison, WI

    March 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  262. Dave, Vancouver, Canada

    Physicians have an oath: First do no harm. Sure, it's a good idea to talk to the Taliban. Chances are it won't end the war in Afghanistan any sooner, but what's the harm? On the positive side, such talks–separate from success or failure–would at least show the world that the U.S. is now willing to exhaust all diplomatic means to save lives.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  263. Dave Macer '78

    Jack -

    Just becasue it worked in Irag does not mean it woudl work in Afghanistan. People in that region of the world care nothing about live liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Just killing innocent people and restricting the ability for women to have a voice in this world. We live in the 21st century. They still live in the 3rd century - BC!!

    March 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  264. Sandy

    We really need to talk to anyone and everyone that will listen. Obama has the right idea, effective communication is the only way to get through to anyone, and verbal communication is the safest for all.

    Austin, TX

    March 10, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  265. Jeff - Oregon

    That you even ask such a question is troubling. Diplomacy is always a better choice than military conflict. To characterize all people in the Taliban as "killers" sounds like something Rush Limbaugh would say,

    March 10, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  266. Will

    Why not? If we could run out on the Afghan people after the russian invasion and all of the covert help that we gave them, maybe it is time to make amends. That would be the right path, but i am in favor of making examples of any terrorist. Have a meet and greet then send them to Gitmo.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  267. Danno

    When you ask about talking with the Taliban... maybe the current administration should pick up a history book and look at the photos of Chamberlain and Hitler... that conversation worked well didn't it...... that says it all.....

    March 10, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  268. Ron Prods in Sunland Park, NM

    Jack, are you kidding? No one since Alexander the Great has won a war in Afghanistan. If the option is more dead Americans or suing for peace. Let's sit down and talk. Otherwise this war will go on for decades.
    Ron in Sunland Park, NM

    March 10, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  269. Dr. Bill Gerber

    Dear Jack,

    Communication is a gateway. Unless one walks through it, possibilities are never realized. Jesus talked off & loud to what He called "the least of these". It got him killed. But then, He changed the world forever. The coaches say, "No pain, no gain". I say, "no communication, no gain". Look at the past 8 years! See any change!?

    Dr. Bill Gerber
    Rockford, IL

    March 10, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  270. Jackie in Dallas

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    It usually is better to talk than to shoot…but it depends on what you say!

    March 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  271. Kingsley Ogbuji, Texas

    The more you antagonize and isolate them, the more hardened and brutish they become. Talking to them will be viewed by them as a sign of respect which is what the Muslim world cherishes and this will yield positive results. Talking to them will give the U.S an opportunity to drive home their message which the Taliban has hitherto not gotten, message about human (women, girls) rights promotion and democracy.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  272. Ralph Spyer

    Just ask the C.I.A when the Russians were in Afghanistan they gave them money and arms.Were do you think the Taliban got the rockets to bring down Russian helicopters?

    March 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  273. Russ MacLean

    When we get closer to the end of this war the only way to bring a lasting resolution will be to open the lines of communication. It's a matter of deciding when to allow that to happen. The vast majority of citizens of our planet would agree that time has come.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  274. Bruce

    After what we learned from Sibel Edmonds, I'd say we should start with competent translators as well as assessing whether we have a sincere intent to make progress. If we have both, then it makes sense. Perhaps they might effectively cut Opium production back to 4% if we let them co-exist in Afghanistan? But then our market would crash if their drug money didn't snake it's way through Turkey to the Cayman banks and then to buy our debt. So no, we shouldn't talk to them!

    March 10, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  275. Charles from Roswell, Georgia

    It is not a good idea but we have no choice. We missed the opportunity to finish the war early and leave with dignity. This is just another mismanaged war by Bush and we're all paying for it for many years.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  276. Conor in Chicago

    People need to understand this country and far too many don't. I had a friend who was there the first year of the invasion. Do you know what the most common question the Afghans would ask US soldiers? "Why are you here?" That's right. Most of the people didn't even know the Twin Towers were hit or that Osama had anything to do with it. Right now, because of their lack of info, they think this is a war against the Pashtu, so to them it is a race war. If we talk to them regularly, perhaps we can change their lack of knowledge.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  277. Nestor, Austin, TX

    Sure it's a good idea...for the Taliban. Remember, the definition of "cease-fire" in the mind of these extremists is: "Wait while I reload."

    March 10, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  278. Melvin Baker

    I rather talk to the Taliban than Rush Dumbo. They just might make more sense.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  279. David

    Hi Jack,

    What do they bring to the table, will the stop training terrorist and teach their future children that Americans are good people. That right we are greedy evil people destoying the Earth with Gobal Warming according to CNN's report. Why would they change thier views about us when we are shown to be what the despise. We will need to change our ways and live by thier rules or the Talibanll will continue to train terrorist.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  280. ANDRES SAENZ(Albuquerque, NM)

    Absolutely not. The Taliban is a terrorist organization that is hell-bent on destroying America. How can you negotiate with someone that wants to kill you?

    March 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  281. Fida

    First of all US need to understand some issues like faith, culture in the region. And to recognize, respect the fundamental principals of the faith; people of the region are fallowing. Nowadays one cannot divide the people of any faith or a country on the basis of moderates and fundamentalists.
    Instead of imposing things, or trying to dilute the culture or faith of the region. It is better to talk across the table to gain the “mutual respect” for the sake of peace across the globe.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  282. George from Toms River, New Jersey

    Any attempt to start a dialogue with one's enemy will be seen as a sign of weakness, and rightly so...especially when the enemy is comprised of fanatics who believe their cause to be a righteous one. Our new President needs to be unwavering in his continued support of the last administration's foreign policy until an opportunity arises to modify said policy. This is a job best left to those who have experience in such matters. I don't see that our President has come up to speed in that area. It's starting to look like he has a bucket list and is heck bent on crossing items off the list before the first hundred days is reached

    March 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  283. Janie J.

    It depends what you mean by "talking" to the Taliban – talking does not necessarily mean condoning what they are doing or their ideas, but it does mean sorting out who is who and what is really going on in the situation. The biggest mistake that happened during the Bush administration was to paint everyone with the same brush with labels like "insurgents" and "axis of evil" and using a sweeping net and putting everyone in the net away without ever talking or listening to any of them or charging them with anything.

    I think the only way any of this will get sorted out is to start talking and listening.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  284. Kris

    Yes, we should talk to them. If you don't talk what other option is there? Bomb them?

    March 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  285. John

    It's time our so called leaders got there swollen heads out of there derriers! What's the old saying, "keep your friends close and your enemies closer". It doesn't take a genius to see we will not fix Afganistan.......only make it less evil. Sit down at the table and put a stop to innocent soldiers dying. I for one will never forgive my goverment for putting us in this situation.

    Ottawa Valley, Canada

    March 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  286. demoshe dodge

    Talking to the Taliban is a good idea but it should not be mentioned by the president. We are already winning physical war ( not the psychological war) against them.
    the only thing that I would love to mention and this should be secret ( so Mr. Cafferty , do not announce this on CNN!!)– US should curb the sale of opium to our allied countriesand try to encourage them to sell it to Iran and Russia. ( 1.2 million heroin addicts out of their 180 million population) This will make them support us in the war in Afghanistan because they will have a shared interest in the war there.
    If a smart policy makers read this, they will succed..and if you dont , you will be doomed..!!! and we will never win this catch and mouse war games with the Taliban!!
    Remember, Osama is still not found, even though there is a high possibility that he is dead. Unless we get co operation from these governments , we will not win..
    I have a lot more ideas ( demoshe2002@yahoo.com)..

    March 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  287. C S N

    Of course we need to talk to Taliban.
    Need to tell Taliban that women are people too, that little girls really don't need to be smeared with acid while on their way to school, that nurses and doctors who happen to be women can contribute to the economy as well as men do, and generally, to get their asses into the 21st century where women make up approximately half of the world's population, along with having a brain as well!

    March 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  288. Sid---Texas

    Yes Jack;

    We should talk to them, and at least find out exactly what they want in order to end this conflict. We had better be prepared to give a lot, and get a little in order to make a reasonable decision. It may be a lot like telling a pit bull down boy to get him to release a serious hold on your arm if punching him the face doesn't work.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  289. Deana

    Probably not, unless by "talking" you mean paying them off like they did in Iraq......Hmmm, still no word on where that 12 billion in cash went.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  290. Amy Lupu

    Talking is always good, Jack. That's why we have speech. Otherwise, we'd be stuck in the "fight or flight" mode.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  291. Chris from Asheboro, NC

    Completely. What is wrong with talking to your enemies? The attitude that we are better than everybody else out there is exactly what made us one of the most hated nations in the world. I dislike the Taliban as much as the next guy, but if talking to them avoids conflicts and saves lives, then I'm all for it.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:31 pm |


    March 10, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  293. Dylan Bryant

    Of course it is a good idea! How is any outcome to this pointless war going to happen without discussion?! Violence? Yeah we tried that already and so far it hasn't worked.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  294. Jude in California


    If we don't at least try to talk with them, what's the alternative?

    March 10, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  295. Shane from California

    Resolving issues requires Communication, plain and simple. Communication requires at least some level of affinity, without that it neither can truly hear what each other has to say. This issue is not going to get solved by sweeping it under the carpet. Let's find a way to meet each other's needs... our need of peace and security and find out what need we can meet of theirs. Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world; I suspect the root of a lot of their unhappiness is a total lack of anything that resembles a decent job. You know what they say about idle hands....

    March 10, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  296. Paul M

    I have an Jack! Lets round up all the Liberals and Democrats who so badly want to "Talk" to the Taliban, put them on a plane and drop them into Helmand Province Afghanistan and let them go "Talk". We'll see how far they get. What happened to the backbone of this country? What happened to the bleeding hearts after 911 who so unanimously approved retaliation? Yes, seeing US casualties, and "Civilian Casualties" is hard on the eyes, but guess what? Thats reality America!! War today is no different than it was 50, 100, 1000 years ago. Yeah, we may have better technology, but people still die. So good luck America!! Negotiate with Muslim "Ideological" Extremists and you will repeat history!! Only the next time will be much worse.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  297. chris goodwin (Brooklyn, NY)

    If a group of people sanctions senior to 40 lashes, honor killings of their own kids, beheading of spouses, persistent blame shifting about midldle eastern policy. Heck, why not talk to them. what more can they lose. legitimacy?

    March 10, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  298. Emily, Toronto

    Anyone who wants to know what Afghanistan is all about should read the book "Kara Kush" by Idries Shah. Published in 1986, it deals with the Afghan resistance to the Soviets. BUT the complexities of tribal loyalties, and enmities, and territorial power bases are still all the same.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  299. Lee in MN

    We have seen what the Bush/ Cheney bully approach got us. More enemies and more deaths to the innocent. We once again need diplomacy with the rest of the world to avoid wars and stupid mistakes.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  300. Mike - Taunton, MA

    Talk with the Taliban? About what? Who are we going to talk to next, al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden? These people have a deep ideological hatred for the West and all that we stand for. Sitting down and talking with them is not going to solve anything, it will just be a acknowledgment that they, not the Afghan government, is the sole power and authority in the region. A bad idea all around.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  301. Lauren

    Well...based on the casualty count caused by the current approach, I say give it a try.

    I think when we marginalize those whose values, beliefs, etc, don't jibe with ours, they become radical to get their point across. The Taliban is made up of human beings just like us: they are doing what they feel they need to do to provide for their families and preserve their way of life. Maybe if we can relate to each other one on one as human being instead of as polarized groups led by zealots and fanatics who do all the talking while the rest of us do all the dying we might get somewhere.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  302. DaGoat

    stop being scared and talk. that's why the attorney gen. stated we are a nation of cowards. for reasons like this people always say what they would of did or done if they were the man. now we got the man for the job. if you we about to get beat down in a alley, you would be begging to deal.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  303. Trevman

    Talk with the Taliban? Fine. However, we want to know where Osama bin-Laden is as well as al-Zahawhiri. Getting at/to these two men has to be among the first issue to discuss with them. After that any- and everything else can be discussed. Can't say we'll get much from them (the 'moderate' elements within the Taliban, that is) but, at this point, it can't hurt.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  304. Dale from Colorado

    Obama is fulfilling his campaign promise to point our foreign policy compass in a 180 degree different direction than his predecessor. By condemning torture and demonstrating a willingness to negotiate, regardless of the outcome,Obama is taking our Country up the high road and reestablishing our place in the World. In refusing to negotiate, the Talliban will be seen by the rest of the World as the inflexible and murderous fanatics that they are.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:49 pm |

    Jack why would you think talking to the enemy would be of value? It is like divorces! there is no middle ground it is either your way or my way Period .so is there a solution?

    March 10, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  306. ZowieHanssen

    Of course talking to the Taliban is a good idea. This country is going down the wrong path by starting to reject talks with groups or countries that we consider our " enemies". We have become so aggressive and fearful that we don't even care if we blow other people off the face of this planet. This is not how I remember being brought up, I am not a christian but I prerfer the examples of Jesus. I don't remeber hearing about Jesus attacking people violently. Nothing good can come from our fears of losing our position in the world. We are not strong we are afraid.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  307. Griff...... The Truth

    You beat up on mine. Now I ask you. Dedan Kimathi? seriously? Do you know this Guy. Kenya 1954. tamil tigers in Sri Lanka. freedom fighters. Everwhere you go after: Colonialism. But when will it stike home again... 2001. Or 1941. You can twist it. But the world knows what your thinking, before you.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  308. s

    You must talk to them. They need respect and diplomacy is the way for america to change their image across the world

    March 10, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  309. K

    Um...some of you guys are confusing the Taliban with al-Queda. The Taliban don't live in caves, behead people, nor are they considered terrorists as far as I know. They're religious fundamentalists, which are not the same thing as a terrorist. Not all Christian fundamentalists believe in bombing abortion clinics, right? Same deal in the Muslim world.

    March 10, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  310. George , New York

    How about talking to the Germans and French about living up to their military commitment within Nato and shifting some troops to the Kandahar area to support the U.S., Canada and the Brits. If those two countries pulled their weight we could end this war in short order.

    March 10, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  311. Chris

    I think that talking with the Taliban is a very good idea. The only thing is that, while very different situations, we must remember what has happened during peace talks in the past. I am talking about during World War Two, when we were in peace talks with Japan when bombed pearl harbor. Basicly we must keep in mind the type of people we are dealing with, but give it a shot none the less.

    March 10, 2009 at 6:00 pm |

    We have two choices in a war... either seek a negotiated peace, or annihilate the enemy.

    The latter is not a good plan because it results in fear and hatred from everyone else.

    March 10, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  313. Tracy Sunn-Stott

    Excuse me, but didn't the Washington, along with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan's ISI help create the Taliban to fight and destabilize Russian forces in Soviet-occupied Afghanistan, during the Carter Administration?

    Well, unless we've communicated with them via sign language or written correspondence, we've been "talking" with them all along. That is, until we needed to break ties with and demonize the Taliban in order to help justify the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.

    Hmm...I wonder what our last official words were to them: "You're not producing enough opium, my friends!"? Or was it, "So you'd like to reconsider the pipeline deal, eh?" Or maybe it was just, "Please give Osama our love!"

    March 10, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  314. Erin Trickey

    Hasn't anyone ever heard the phrase," Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer." ?? I agree if we attempt to talk and understand them that that will intern help us understand them. We may actually end up through non-violent tactics make progress.

    March 10, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  315. TZ

    I dont know if anyone has noticed or cares but this is how the war has gone. while things were going aful wolf,jack and all of cnn talked about it every second then when the surge was suggested cnn treated it as a joke. Then when we turned it around cnn stoped covering it. Why? because war is a political tool for cnn. So now that obama has done a bad job and he is squandering the gains we have made in iraq i would hope that cnn would let the people no. Because we can blame bush for most problems but if this one go's down the drain it will be the obama failure and we will never let him forget it he may be the president but he is no commander in cheif.

    March 10, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  316. Michael


    Where I come from there’s an old saying. “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer”.

    I’ve never heard of a situation where this advice was wrong.

    Isolation, on the other hand has, time and time again, failed to solve problems.

    March 10, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  317. steve blackwelder

    It's nothing but a good thing to see less religion all the way around. With all we know today about man,earth, and the universe it is clear that a belief in a god / religion is pure fantasy . I hope people continue with this enlightenment and end our worlds biggest insantiy.

    March 10, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  318. David Baugh

    Yes, I dont think that it would hurt, however, I would'nt hold my breath and wait for any positive results to come out of it.

    March 10, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  319. Charlie Smith

    I refuse to give my brain to any organization and let them do all my thinking for me. Not an orginized religion, not the NRA, not any political party, and not to any slick salesman. If being "religious" means believing that someone or group actually speaks for God, then count me out. Now lets talk about being "spiritual." That's a whole different matter.

    March 10, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  320. David Baugh

    I will sell everything I own and move to the mountains and live off of the fat of the land like Grizzly Adams....at least there I wont have to worry about losing my home to forclosure.

    March 10, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  321. Richard (The Netherlands)

    It´s a good thing that very religious countries like Israel, Iran and the US will become less religious. In my opinion religion is a genetical illusion that helps many people to live there lives more easy with the purpose they need. This is the possitive side. The negatives are that people with a certain look on reality will have other drives to do things. Their motivation is based on a sort of fairytail and if they take it for real their motivations can become extreme. Therefor religious ideas are at the base of most terrible conflicts and less religious countries are most of the time more peacefull because people are often more realistic and not living their dream to the extreme.

    March 10, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  322. Monique

    The Taliban are not a group of peace seeking, logically thinking people. They are religious fanatics who have infiltrated and destroyed the lives of people who believe in and uphold the lsame aws of the Quran but who will not succumb to the archaic religious laws by which the Taliban believe they have rights to destroy the ability for women to live meaningful lives. If a citizen is caught singing in public, playing music, laughing out loud, these are thier rules for which if their citizens break they will be beaten brutally. These are the rules that are scaring citizens and created economic downturn everywhere they infiltrate. The Taliban are not a force that can sit down and have a civilized conversation about profiting the people or the country. They are only interested in their own means.

    March 10, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  323. Monique

    Everyone has mentioned that there is no such thing as a "moderate" Taliban. Let me ask this, if there is, how much clout do they truly hold?

    March 10, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  324. Rick in Dallas

    Why is talking to the Taliban a bad idea? What, are they going to start killing us if we do? They're already doing that!
    Even if talking to our enemies yields no peace or understanding- at least we will be able to say we tried to be civilized before we begin bombing.

    March 10, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  325. A. Ahmad

    Years of war and several thousand dead hasn't brought us peace, do we really want to criticize someone who is willing to dialogue for peace? Have you read 3 Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson? Understanding the culture, the needs and language of the people you are dealing with goes a long way in negotiating a win win solution for everyone. Might is not always right and we do share the planet with many DIFFERENT, NOT INFERIOR, countries. How about appreciating what we have in common (the need for peace, stability, opportunity and prosperity) and working towards understand our differences. God doesn't just live in America!

    March 10, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  326. James West Chautauqua NY

    Trying to use words instead of weapons to create peace should always be the first option. Since they didn't and we didn't I don't see how peace talks are going to affect the current course that we and they have chosen for us. It is war that was chosen, we shouldn't shirk away from our choice. There is nothing to be done but to eradicate an enemy that ATTACKED us first and we have been faultering, because we're trying to not step on anybodies toes when they are standing in our way.

    March 10, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  327. john e stroudsburg pa

    thr greatest story ever told..... period

    March 10, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  328. Griff...... The Truth

    Why do I bother? You have such a small agenda...

    March 10, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  329. Ronus- Ann Arbor, MI

    if it'll make peace, then sure. I mean when we have peace, all the other problems will be easier.

    March 10, 2009 at 6:39 pm |

    Yeah why not, it doesn't seem like whatever it is we've been doing the last eight years is working. It's where the focus should have been in the first place. One thing we should do is find a medicinal use for the crop that grows there, that is one of the biggest problems with that country; the conomy. It seems like poppies are the only thing that grow there, it is what is keeping the Taliban alive in that country. If we can change the way the whole country operates, we will have a better chance at defeating the Taliban, the people there wont want them there either, just as much as we don't want them there, with a viable economy, they can have a better military to defend THEIR country.

    March 10, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  331. Joan: Burlington, Vt

    Talking is may be necessary, more so is listening with a hearing ear and believing very little of what the Taliban has to say.

    March 10, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  332. chris

    If there were a possibility for religious adherents to live in harmony with each other, then I would be all for it. Maybe over the course of a couple hundred years, we'd finally all get along. But we don't have a couple hundred years. If the wrong extremists get their hands on a nuclear weapon, we could face global catastrophe. The scientific advances of the last century have fought tooth and claw against those religions that have been in power. With nuclear weapons and global warming so near and so dangerous, there is no time for compromise. Anyone who impedes the move toward peace and progress (that includes religious extremists of all creeds) is no more and no less than an enemy of the human race.

    March 10, 2009 at 6:58 pm |

    It is no a good idea to talk reach out to the Taliban. First of all, you can't negotiate with muslims. History proves that. Talking to Taliban would be like talking to a brick wall. I am afraid that Barack Hussein Obama will make concessions to them like Carter did to the terrorists who overthrew the Shah of Iran. That blunder is still playing out today. If Carter supported the Shah. we wouldn't be in Iraq and Afghanistan and 9/11 would not have happened. There wouldn't be this huge budget deficit we have now.

    March 10, 2009 at 7:00 pm |
  334. Rick in Dallas

    As Americans, we have to be prepared to survive.
    My wife is still employed, I'm on disability, and we operate our own small business.
    We've had discussions on the subject, "what would we do if...".
    I'm sure there are many similar conversations happening around kitchen tables all over the country.
    If we can keep the house, we've talked of a garden to grow food. We've even considered installing a wind turbine or maybe solar panels for electricity. You do what you have to do.

    March 10, 2009 at 7:03 pm |