Religion and regions separated Iraqis. In AFghanistan, it is ethnicity and regions that separates the Afghanis. The majority Pashtuns (south) have dominated powers over the years at the expense of the Tajiks, the Uzbeks and the Hazarras(north). The Talibans are controlled/dominated by the Pashtuns and are the mortal enemy of the other ethnic groups, especially the Hazarras, who are considered to be outsiders and non-muslim....thousands were slaughtered by the Taliban, when they were in power. After the defeat of the Taliban, an uneasy truce was established, with Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazarras, sharing powers in the government. Recently, there have been strains, with the Tajik Chief of the military and the Intelligence chief resigning....they were considered to be the most competent and least corrupt of Karzai's ministers.
There is now talks to bring in "moderate" Talibans into the peace talks. The Americans are spending tens of millions to facilitate this. There is even talks of moderating the position on the drug trade, in order to placate the Pashtuns, who control most of it. The Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazarras are so concerned about this, especially bringing the Taliban into the power- sharing that they see a return to ethnic fighting as inevitable. The "surge" and "dollars" worked in Iraq.....separating the Sunnis from the insurgency. Will it work in Afghanistan? It can, if the Tajiks, the Uzbeks and the Hazarras can be convinced that they will not be left at the mercy of the Pashtun/Taliban. Also Pakistan must stop its meddling in Afghani affais and al-qaeeda must be neutralised. Only then can some kind of arrangement be possible.
Netanyahu is coming to visit Obama and to rally Israel's supporters, especially as a new and compelling issue is about to take center stage. There will be pressure on Netanyahu to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Israel will refuse and this added to the already strained relationship...the boarding of aid ships and the resulting deaths, building and demolishing in East Jerusalem and the Gaza blockade, will further drive a wedge between the two "close allies".
I received an e-mail recently about the great conspiracy between BP and Obama.....BP caused the spill and it helps Obama's political agenda. Right......BP loses billions and Obama gets blamed for the spill and on the moratorium on off-shore drilling,..... and they did this for what? I love conspiracy theories, but this is ludicrous and can only be dreamed up by the shallow Republicans ( Obama started the war in Iraq and Afghanistan) and their kooky ( Paul) Tea Party off-shoots