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Of course the U.S. knew how the Taliban would react - exactly the way the U.S. wanted them to. They could have screwed us over badly by turning over bin Laden but they didn't. Why? Because bin laden _is_ the Taliban. The Taliban acted to save bin Laden, not itself, because bin Laden calls the shots and took the best path to save himself.

The Taliban isn't a government. They're just a gang of thugs who marched into a couple towns a few years ago so the U.S. has no need to negotiate with them in any way.

The Taliban have a few months, at most, until they cease to exist in any measurable sense. That's never been in question and it's the easy part for the U.S.

Now the challenge for the Bush team is how to rebuild Afghanistan. We're directly responsible for this mess in the first place because we abandoned them back in 1989 after they served our purposes. If we cut and run again, we'll only be compounding our error.

Dubyah has blathered about how the U.S. is not in the business of building nations. That has to change. Especially since we're the ones who tore down this particular nation in the first place (along with the Soviets, of course.)

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