Bush administration rejected Tuesday a call from some members of the Taliban for a pause in the bombing

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DJ White House/Taliban -2: Says Taliban Had Enough Time

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--The Bush administration rejected Tuesday a call from some members of the Taliban for a pause in the bombing campaign in Afghanistan to give them time to talk to the Taliban leadership about turning over Osama bin Laden.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer reiterated the administration's viewpoint that it won't negotiate with the Taliban.

"He (President George W. Bush) has said there will be no negotiations. The military campaign remains underway," Fleischer said.

"The president is not pursuing such a course because he does not think it would be constructive. The president has given the Taliban government ample time to respond. The president made it perfectly plain about what actions the Taliban needed to take in order to avoid the fate that they have chosen for themselves. They had plenty of time; they chose not to act," Fleischer added.

On Monday, the Taliban Foreign Minister Mullah Abdul Wakil Muttawakil told Pakistani officials that he wanted a pause in the bombing campaign to try to convince Taliban leaders it was now time to turn over bin Laden. The foreign minister portrayed himself as a moderate member of the Taliban while Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar was a hardliner.

-By Alex Keto, Dow Jones Newswires; 202 -862 -9256; Alex.Keto@dowjones.com

(END) DOW JONES NEWS 10 -16 -01 01:23 PM

-- PHO (owennos@bigfoot.com), October 16, 2001


Since there is some evidence that Al Quaeda and Bin Laden may control the Taliban, rather than the other way around; the Taliban may not be able to simply "turn over" Bin Laden at will. Bush's position assumes this, and is thus very possibly untenable. At best, some "negotiation" may be necessary, if for no other purpose than to arrange and discuss the logistics and possibly needed U.S. assistance in effecting the "capture" of Bin Laden and his substantial defensive forces. Even with full Taliban cooperation, this may require a not insignificant military effort, and at high risk to the Taliban. Due to this risk, the Taliban (or anyone else) would quite reasonably at least want to "negotiate" what steps the U.S. would take to reduce such risk, so the Taliban have any incentive at all to cooperate with U.S. demands.

Notwithstanding the above, it would have looked much worse for Bush politically with the Islamic moderates, to reject this Taliban overture; if they had only at least released the captives accused of the crime of spreading Christianity as a gesture of good faith. This would have cost them very little and gained much political advantage. This is especially true since a one day bombing pause is policy already, for the Islamic Friday "Sabbath" or holy day. Thus, only a one or at most two day additional "pause" is all that's at stake here.

-- Robert Riggs (rxr.999@worldnet.att.net), October 16, 2001.

Hmmmm, sounds like we're wearing them down, and it sounds like we're getting closer to putting a missle up the Taliban leader's butts. I'm with Bush, NO NEGOTIATIONS!

-- (CAkidd_94250@yahoo.com), October 16, 2001.

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