This morning, CTV confronts me with this:
Taliban - Leave, infidels.
Canadian - Look, the people back home support that position, but we want some guarantees. First, no more roadside bomb or other IED attacks on the civilian population. Second, continue allowing girls to go to school and women be represented in Parliament. Third, no more alliances with al Qaeda or similar organizations.
Taliban - We will attack all infidels who betray the will of Allah. That includes all women who defy the law of sharia, appearing in public with their tempting faces uncovered, humiliating their families by speaking of your "human rights" and seeking work that is best done by men. We will work with all organizations that seek to incorporate all of the ummah under Islam, Allah be willing, and we will seek them out in their efforts to rid the Islamic world of the vile oppression of the West.
Canadian - You just basically said that you wouldn't meet any of the guarantees we are seeking. How can you possibly expect us to meet our mutually desired end-state if you aren't willing to give us some accomodation?
Taliban - *stares coldly into Canadian's eyes*
Canadian - You have to give us something here so that we don't look quite as bad when we return home. Nobody except for Denis Coderre will be happy to see that we've totally capitulated and abandoned the mission in Afghanistan.
Taliban - You have heard our demands. You can take them at full value, or you can take nothing. Speaking of your officials, how is Mr. Layton doing?
Canadian - He's fine, and here's the fruit basket that he sent to you. Look, I know that you're a reasonable man, surely we can reach some compromises here.
Taliban - Muslims do not compromise with infidels, strength be with Allah. You come to our country, you violate our sovereignty, you impose your puppet government, and you want us to compromise? You are fortunate that the white sheikh* does not come here personally and slay you by his own hand! Here is your compromise offer: leave, and we won't kill you on your way out.
Canadian - Listen, we're giving you far more than Bush and his neocons would ever give you just by showing up here and talking to you. Remember (in mocking Bush tone) "we don't negotiate with evil, we defeat it?" You can either deal with us or you can deal with the cowboys from Washington.
Taliban - The Great Satan is weak, brought low and humbled by the will of Allah and the spilling of the blood of our brothers here and in Iraq. We will defeat all infidels and restore the caliphate in all lands you have stolen from Muslims.
Canadian - Just give us something here. Promise not to destroy any schools or blow up any dams. Those things are expensive, and it makes our guys look incompetent at protecting people from your attacks.
Taliban - You are incompetent. Leave now, out of the room. It is time for prayer.
Canadian - But, but we have reached any sort of dea--
Taliban - Out, infidel!
Canadian, turning to other official on his way out - Well, that's a start, I think we've made some real progress there. We Canadians can achieve anything, there's nothing we can't solve by sitting across a table and talking, just like the CTV guy said.
*Osama bin Laden