Talking Points: What America Has to do with Afghanistan

The Bush administration is sending mixed signals.  The president himself is still firm in his resolve to hold the Taliban government responsible for Usama bin Laden and his pals, and because the Taliban simply has not cooperated with America, they really have to go.

It's been 17 days since the attack, and the Afghan government still hasn't done a thing.  If that government is allowed to continue, even if we get bin Laden, that will send a message to other governments that harbor terrorists that they can get away with it.

Secretary of State Colin Powell is the diplomat in the fight against terror and has said that overthrowing the Taliban is not a must-do.  But "Talking Points" disagrees with Secretary Powell.

The Taliban has to go.  If President Bush were to leave the Taliban in power, he would be doing exactly what his father did in the Gulf War.  While the decision not to remove Saddam Hussein has strong points on both sides, there is no question that the world is a much more dangerous place because Saddam continues his reign.

Terrorism is much more sophisticated now than it was 10 years ago, and Iraq is right in the middle of it.  President Bush will hurt himself immensely if he does not dismantle the Taliban.

Logistically, this will have to happen soon.  Ramadan, a month-long Islamic religious holiday, begins on Nov.  17, and America will not launch military operations against Muslims during that period.

Also, the Taliban support is weak right now inside of Afghanistan.  There are reports of desertions within the army and, of course, millions of Afghan refugees are running from their government.

Now our pal, Jesse Jackson, is suggesting that the Taliban join the fight against terrorism and hand bin Laden over to a world court.  This, of course, is nonsense.  It is far too late for the Taliban to join anything.  Six thousand Americans are dead.  And as far as a world court is concerned, that is insulting to the families of the victims.  Bin Laden must answer to America.

Jesse Jackson.  Where did it all go wrong?

Anyway, the future of terrorism will be decided by what happens in Afghanistan.  The whole world is watching.

Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds is trying to top Mark McGwire's homerun record.  He needs four more in the last nine games, but Bonds is not Mr. Popularity among his teammates.  In fact, he sometimes stays in different hotels.

In L.A. for example, the team stayed at the Marriott.  Bonds stayed at the very trendy and arrogant Mondrian.  Ridiculous?  Only if you don't like trendy and arrogant.

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