September 10, 2007

This is an interesting development

'We're ready to talk': Taliban

What's interesting here is the daylight between the two official insurgent spokespersons quoted, with Yousuf Ahmadi saying only unidentified "limited" preconditions remain unresolved, while the Hezb-i-Islami Hekmatyar spokesman (from a group based in the Jalalabad area, less Durrani-dominated, and under considerably less military pressure compared to Council Taliban adherents in the South) sticking to the previous position of a full foreign troop withdrawal as the essential precondition.

It was common knowledge that all negotiation options in the Afghan context have been held up for over a year on the unified Taliban insistence that all foreign troops must withdraw first. This is the first PR pronouncement from Ahmadi's group that did not strongly reiterate that a full pullout as a precondition, at least that I'm aware of.

UPDATE: So much for daylight.

Posted by BruceR at 02:27 PM

More from the annals of minor life accomplishments

Also on my "minor things I've checked off the life list" was finally finishing System Shock 2, rightly considered one of the great computer games of all time.

Yes, I know it came out in 1999. But I had to clear it off the hard drive to make more room for Bioshock, which i hope to finish some time around the end of the first quarter-century, so August was the month. Hey, it was totally worth the wait. SS2 was superlative story telling, and I have no doubt the spiritual sequel will be as well. As Tycho of Penny Arcade put it, "If Bioshock isn't 'art,' then art is the poorer for it."

Posted by BruceR at 02:09 PM