If this report is true, it would certainly cause a minor meltdown in D.C. According to the Asia Times, the US is seeking to negotiate with the Taleban. The report claims that the US has even tried to find acceptable Taleban leadership:
"The hard truth is that US intelligence simply does not really know what is going on in the Taliban and al-Qaeda camps. This is evidenced by the countless raids that have been launched in recent times, none of which have resulted in the capture of anyone in Afghanistan.
In an effort to find a breakthrough, US authorities recently made two initiatives involving the Taliban. (See US turns to the Taliban, June 14) In the first, they tried to establish a new Taliban leadership through Mullah Ghous and other Taliban leaders who were expelled during Taliban rule from 1996-2001. This failed virtually before it was born. A second attempt was then made to forge contacts with "real" Taliban, with the idea being that they provide any acceptable leadership (ie, not Mullah Omar) to take a significant part in the running of the country so that peace could be established. This, too was rejected.
Another attempt to give Afghan clerics an important role in power politics is in the US cards in Afghanistan, but like the other attempts, this, too, looks like another shot in the dark."
There is a crooked sense in this, if it is true. The Bush-ites have decided, for their own reasons, to turn a blind eye to Pakistan. So the country that supplied North Korea with nuclear materials and know how is getting 3 billion dollars in aid. This might not cause any collateral political damage in the US, but it is bound to let other countries know that the US has no real standard when it comes to nuclear proliferation. And at some point, this will impinge on the pressure being brought upon Iran.
We wonder, though, at the complete contrast between reporting on Afghanistan elsewhere and that in the Asia Times. Wilder things have happened, but really -- it would simply destroy the legitimacy of the Karzai regime even to think of negotiating with the Taleban.