Thursday, June 15, 2006

Afghanistan

Is the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld gang going to get away with their stupendous error in Afghanistan?

Osama bin Laden's orchestration of the 9-11 attacks on the United States, coupled Mullah Omar's (remember him?) refusal to hand OBL over, made "Talibinstan" the main front in the World's Global war on terror. Bush-Cheney's reckless, arbitrary and militaristic deflection of America's revenge into a Rumsfeld's 'target rich' Iraq didn't and does not change that.

An unstinting campaign in Afghanistan was not a matter of choice to be left to "The Decider", a capricious, accidental, and unschooled 'war president'; this was a mandate of history. The capture or killing of Osama bin Laden - with or without the obliteration of the medieval Taliban regime - was Bush's mission, which he began abdicating from (AWOL-again!) as early as November, 2001!

The CIA field commander for the agency's Jawbreaker team at Tora Bora, Gary Berntsen, says he and other U.S. commanders knew that bin Laden was among the hundreds of fleeing Qaeda and Taliban members. Berntsen says he had definitive intelligence that bin Laden was holed up at Tora Bora—intelligence operatives had tracked him—and could have been caught. Military author Sean Naylor, calls Tora Bora a "strategic disaster" because the Pentagon refused to deploy a cordon of conventional forces to cut off escaping Qaeda and Taliban members. Instead, to save 'assets' for the impending Iraqi adventure, Tommy Franks outsourced the Tora Bora capture of OBL to local warlords!

Instead of pursuing of Osama and his al Qaeda cadre, Bush had already decided to settle his daddy's ledger with Saddam. In this Quixotic effort in Iraq, he has
  • (a) squandered the world-wide reservoir of sympathy in the wake of 9-11,
  • (b) allowed the Osama bin Laden to escape our grasp - when we all but had him - and possibly to live out his natural life,
  • (c) wasted 2,500 American Killed in Action (well on the way to matching bloodshed by Al Qaeda's original attack of 11 September 2001), and
  • (d) misappropriated $300,000,000 on counterproductive effort to spread democracy at the point of a gun.
On September 12, 2001, one day after the terrorist attacks against the United States, NATO invoked Article 5 of its founding treaty for the first time ever. Article 5 states that an armed attack against one or more NATO member states is considered an attack against all of them. While the gesture was historic, what followed was not a NATO-wide involvement in the U.S.-declared war on terror, but rather assistance from some members in the military campaign in Afghanistan. Whether the alliance would have -- under any circumstances -- acted according to Article 5 and participated in the Afghan campaign as one force is still a matter of debate.

It is beyond me how we can continue to ask our NATO allies to cover our retreat from Afghanistan (to cover our bruises in Iraq)?

Wasn't this basically our fight originally?

7 Moderated Comments:

Anonymous Pekka said...

I am really scared that the Afghanistan mission and nation building might sputter especially if and when it propably will last minimum of the next 10 yrs. Things are getting tougher and causualty figures are slowly creeping up so one can expect that some of the European partners will start loosing their willigness to participate. The U.S., using the well worn out phrase, took eye off the ball and the oportunities, that you rightly eluded, are possibly gone for ever.

Now the damn situation is changing from bad to worse in Somalia, too, with fundamentalist islamist are taking over the top banana position in Mogadishu. The American backed war lords that had their time in Sun the past 12 yrs. are a spent entety and rightly so because there were there to blindly rob and loot and murder with the kind help from the U.S. in a form of plenty of weapons and bullets. Nobody there likes these gangsters and it is fairly safe to say that the same goes with the Americans. The White House gang should be worried that now Somalia will be another place where Al Queda can have a strong support.

What the hell happened to that Bush's domino theory that the whole region will become the Jeffersonian democracy after Iraq one by one. When he was originally dreaming about this, he must have had a little cute smirk on his face, his back paws wildly scratching the mattrass and maybe letting out some muffled yelps. Based on all this, I predict that he will be in dog house soon.

6/16/2006 04:15:00 AM  
Blogger Malfrat said...

Pekka, there may be no room in the Bush dogmatic box for:
1. Assuming a Sharia legal system equals, ipso facto, a national member of the axis of evil and a factory of state terrorism.
2. Realizing that you don't have all the resources to change what you don't like in the world.

Much of the world, which has studied history, recognizes both.

6/16/2006 06:55:00 AM  
Blogger Recidivist said...

Pekka, I can't accept that Somalia = Afghanistan and the Islamic Courts necessarily equal to the Taliban. The signs in the L.A. Times this morning read, "The Hell with Democracy" and "Peace is here". At this moment at least, you have to admit the Somalies are much better off going without our support, than the Iraqis are with our support. (If "support" is the right word for what we have done and are doing in Iraq)

6/17/2006 09:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Pekka said...

Recidivist, of course I agree that the Somalis are better off now than before but the domino theory presented by Bush ( you democratise one country and by an example the rest will follow ) is all but dead by extreme Islamism. I still insist that Taliban's chanses to incubite in Somalia suddenly increased and it might be less than good news to the West in general and worse to the U.S. in particular. What you said is the case with Iraqis do not get any arguments from me.

6/17/2006 07:18:00 PM  
Anonymous DB Cooper said...

So Somalia, once said to be in an intensive care unit (I.C.U.) is now said to be in the hands of an Islamic Courts Union (I.C.U.)?

The more things change the more they stay the same.

6/18/2006 06:12:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Pekka, I have to say the Canadians have stepped up to the plate on Afghanistan.

They have recently stepped up their contribution (by $13.4 million) to the reconstruction of Afghanistan. And they have stepped up their leadership on the ground, taking the offensive against resurgent Taliban and taking casualties, too, unfortunately.

A Canadian friend has told me that many of his countrymen are not used to thinking of their military being used in combat situations; they are more sympathetic to playing the role of peace keepers.

Canadians, even though they hate Bush and his war in Iraq, are stretching their military traditions to carry - perhaps more than their fair share - burden of Afghanistan.

6/18/2006 10:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Pekka said...

I actually wanted to mention about this enlarged Candian contribution earlier. On of the reason for it is that the new Conservative government headed by Bush wannabe primeminister, Stephen Harper, is more militaristic than previous Liberals were. They also made a two year comitment to stay in Afghanistan but now with the bodybags coming home the mood of the nation might change. You are right that Canadian way has been the past 60 yrs. peace keeping. As the matter of fact, they and their ex primeminister, Lester Pearson, are the architects of peace keeping. I believe, he got a Nobel peace-prize for it. Interesting never the less.

6/19/2006 11:47:00 PM  

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