Gareth Porter: Senior Obama administration officials hope to use the talks to sow suspicion between the Taliban and their main ally, thus weakening the Taliban resolve to negotiate on a peace settlement only if the United States offers a timetable for troop withdrawal.
Tom Hayden: Since there is no Peace Lobby capable of negotiating or delivering a peace vote in the old-time electoral manner, millions of individuals will are capable of evaluating, changing their minds, and withholding their votes right up to the November 2012 election.
Kirwin: Terry Jones’ Quran burning resulted in killings and extreme danger in Afghanistan. The United Nations ordered all of its personnel to remain locked down in their compounds. A credible rumor has it that the UN will decide whether to completely pull out of the country, despite multiple assertions to the contrary by the UN Special Representative, Staffan de Mistura, who is based in Kabul.
Randy Shaw: In a galvanizing April Fools’ Day speech in Madison, Wisconsin, President Barack Obama announced that his Administration would “no longer prioritize military spending over educating our children.”
Randy Shaw: It’s painful to remember that Barack Obama ran against Hillary Clinton by arguing that the Clinton presidency had not been as transformative as Ronald Reagan’s, and that he would go beyond small reforms to bring Change We Can Believe In.
Ivan Eland: The problem is that the U.S. goal in Afghanistan—although President Obama has reduced it from George W. Bush’s instituting democracy to merely stabilizing the country—is still too ambitious.