Robert Fisk on the “terrorists” so needed by the West to assist them in their own “war on terror”:
If you held a mirror up to the vast “anti-terrorism” conference in Tehran this weekend – the anti-Iranian version of terrorism, of course – you would see three men sitting down in private to discuss what happens when the US and its Nato partners stage their final retreat from Afghanistan.
Messieurs Ahmadinejad of Iran, Karzai of Afghanistan and Zardari of Pakistan – all jolly presidents sharing the stage with Talabani of Iraq, Rahmon of Tajikistan and (speak it in hushed tones), that elderly wanted man, President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan – spent time discussing how all would react when the West ends its adventure in the graveyard of Empires.
Ironies were legion. The modern-day descendant of the Persian empire, so often accused by America of helping the “terrorists” of Iraq to kill US troops, is none too keen on the “terrorists” of the Taliban – at the very moment when the Americans are keen to talk to the very same Taliban so that they can high-tail it out of Afghanistan.
The flamboyantly cowled President Hamid Karzai, whose speech to conference delegates lasted a mere four anodyne minutes – anyone can condemn “terrorism” of any variety in that amount of time – is keen to have Iran help reconstruct his country, which was supposed to be what the Americans and the Brits and everyone else who loved democracy were keen to do after the Taliban’s brief defeat in 2001.