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Posts Tagged ‘al Qaeda’

Current Iraqi Turmoil Predicted in 2011

Posted by Steve Markowitz on June 19, 2014

Below is a posting originally included on this Blog on November 6, 2011. For President Obama and his administration to now act as if the current catastrophe in Iraq was not predictable strains credibility.

U.S. Fears Surge of Qaeda Terror in Iraq (Originally Posted November 6, 2011

The New York Times published an interesting and disturbing story on Iraq and the potential for future terrorism emanating from that country. Following are quotes from the Time’s article:

  • As the United States prepares to withdraw its troops from Iraq by year’s end, senior American and Iraqi officials are expressing growing concern that Al Qaeda’s offshoot here, which just a few years ago waged a debilitating insurgency that plunged the country into a civil war, is poised for a deadly resurgence.
  • I cringe whenever anybody makes a pronouncement that Al Qaeda is on its last legs,” said Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, the American military’s top spokesman in Iraq. “I think one day we are going to look around and say it’s been a long time since we have heard from Al Qaeda, and maybe then we can say it is on its last legs.”
  • Iraqi analysts express fears that ties between Al Qaeda and members of the former ruling Baath Party may be re-forming.
  • According to General Buchanan, there are 800 to 1,000 people in Al Qaeda’s Iraq network, “from terrorists involved in operations to media to finance to fighters.”
  • A Defense Department official familiar with the Qaeda affiliate said that the group’s leaders and foot soldiers are Sunni Arabs from central, western and northern Iraq.

The Times articles both is curious and perplexing. This publication, along with many Left-leaning news media, was quite vocal during the Bush Administration with their position that Iraq under Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had no connections to international terrorism. Now, the media takes a contradictory position. While disappointing, this is not surprising for the mainstream media that has become a mouthpiece for the Left.

Posted in Iraq | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

19 Embassies Closed; Carney still Claims Al Qaeda on the Run

Posted by Steve Markowitz on August 9, 2013

This past weekend saw the Obama Administration order the closings of 19 US embassies throughout North Africa and the Middle East.  Today the State Department warned nonessential Americans to be on alert and leave Pakistan.

While embassies have been closed in the past for security reasons, the scope of the current closings is unprecedented.  Does the United States have a growing terrorist problem?  Assuming the Administration’s current steps are necessary, then the answer is an unequivocal “yes”.

Given the current high level of terrorism threats there was a remarkable exchange this week between the press and the mouthpiece for the President, Jay Carney.  When questioned about his previous comments that Al Qaeda was on the run Carney would not back down as shown in the text and video below.

While Jay Carney is an embarrassment to this Country, he is but an extension of Pres. Obama’s personality placing style above substance.

“There’s no question that core al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan has been severely diminished.” 

“It’s leadership decimated and there’s no question it’s on the run.”

“For many years now, it has been less organized and less capable of coordinating attacks on a scale that it was able to do, most notably on 9-11.  And that remains the case.”

Posted in Terrorism | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Al Qaeda on the Run?

Posted by Steve Markowitz on August 7, 2013

During the run-up to the 2012 presidential election, President Obama wore his prowess as a terrorist fighter like a gunslinger wore six guns in the old West.  Not only did he often brag that he got bin-Laden, but his administration did miss a chance to leak details of the raid or of the many drone strikes used to assassinate terrorist suspects in foreign countries.

The narrative created by team Obama was that the President was strong on national defense and unrelenting in going after terrorists.  In conclusion Al Qaeda was on the run because of Obama’s tactics and Americans were safer as a result.

Then came the 9/11 2012 terrorists attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi that resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including the US ambassador to Libya.  Coming just as the 2012 presidential election campaign was heating up, this had the potential to put a dent in the President’s carefully crafted narrative.  As a result the Administration, at first through Susan Rice and then President himself, initially blamed an innocuous YouTube video for causing an unplanned riot in Benghazi.  That explanation was known to be false at the time it was offered.

This past weekend the President ordered the closing of 19 American embassies throughout North Africa and the Middle East.  Taking Obama at his word, this was a necessary action to protect American lives.  However, it then shows that his narrative that Al Qaeda is on the run is just as false as the Benghazi attack being the result of a spontaneous demonstration protesting a YouTube video.

Al-Qaida on the Run

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Justice Department Memo Authorizes Assassination of American Citizens

Posted by Steve Markowitz on February 5, 2013

NBC News’s investigative correspondent, Michael Isikoff, reported on a chilling story of governmental overreach.  Isikoff reported on a confidential Justice Department memo that authorizes the US government to assassinate American citizens located outside of the United States.  Should the government conclude that such individuals are “senior operational leaders” of known terrorist organizations, they have the legal authority to assassinate such individuals even without evidence of imminent threat to the United States.

The shocking Justice Department memo is likely created to be cover for future legal actions that may be taken against Americans who authorize this ultimate of sanctions.  In September 2011 a US drone strike in Yemen killed American citizens Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan who were supposedly involved with Al Qaeda.

Deputy legal director of the ACLU, Jameel Jaffer, rightfully said of the Administration’s plan:

This is a chilling document.  Basically, it argues that the government has the right to carry out the extrajudicial killing of an American citizen.  …  It recognizes some limits on the authority it sets out, but the limits are elastic and vaguely defined, and it’s easy to see how they could be manipulated.”

It is remarkable how far we have come in four years.  Shortly after his first election Barack Obama and his Atty. Gen. Eric Holder threaten criminal action against government employees involved in waterboarding suspected terrorists during the Bush administration.  Since then the President has used assassinations without due process on the same type of individuals and creates a legal memo for justification.  Where is the moral outrage from the Left?

President Obama is indeed a uniter.  Who else could have gotten this Blogger and the ACLU on the same page on an important issue!

Posted in ACLU, Civil Liberties | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Administration Admits Al Qaeda Link to Libyan Attack

Posted by Steve Markowitz on September 27, 2012

Earlier this month America’s Benghazi, Libya consulate was attacked resulting in the killing of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.  For a couple weeks the Obama Administration blamed the attack on ad hoc demonstrations in opposition of an amateur YouTube video that was offensive to Muslims.  The Administration went out of its way to perpetrate this false conclusion.  For example, on September 19 US United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice went on the talk-show circuit claiming the attack was merely the result of spontaneous protests; the subject of this Blog’s posting titled Obama Administrations Libyan Cover Up.

Now, some three weeks later, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton admits what many Americans knew the day after the attack given its occurrence on 9/11 and that it involved approximately 100 heavily armed fighters.  The Benghazi attack was an act of terrorism that was planned and not caused by the offensive video.  In fact, Clinton said it is likely that the terrorist organization al Qaeda was involved in organizing the attack.

Sen. Susan Collins, ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee, said: “The administration’s position seems to be evolving with the pass of each day”, and “I have been perplexed that the administration has been slow in coming to that same conclusion.”  Ms. Collins is showing excessive civility and naivety with these comments.  The Obama Administration is attempting to hide the reality behind the Benghazi attack for political gain. Calling it and the Cairo protests for what they are, terrorist and radical inspired, points to the failure of the President’s foreign policy in the Middle East and to the greater Muslim community.

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Obama Administration’s Libyan Cover Up

Posted by Steve Markowitz on September 22, 2012

The Wall Street Journal reported that the US government finally admitted what many Americans concluded shortly after the attack on the Libyan consulate in Benghazi that resulted in four Americans being killed, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.  US intelligence officials confirmed that terrorists including those connected with al Qaeda were involved in the attack and it was planned well in advance of the attack.

At a Senate committee hearing, Matthew Olsen, National Counterterrorism Center director testified this week that: “We are looking at indications that individuals involved in the attack may have had connections to al Qaeda or al Qaeda’s affiliates, in particular, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.”  He concluded by calling the attack a “terrorist attack.”

It doesn’t take an expert on international relations to have concluded the involvement of terrorists and al Qaeda in the Libyan attack.  The fact that it was so well-planned and came on September 11 were telling enough.  Despite this obvious conclusion, the Obama Administration shortly after the attack sent its surrogates to the press to publicly blame the violence on an obscure and amateur film posted on YouTube.  On “Fox News Sunday” US Amb. Susan Rice had the following exchange (video below) with reporter Mike Wallace:

Mike Wallace – “The White House says it [Middle East riots] have nothing to do with the President’s policies.”  He then goes on to show a video to Ms. Rice with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney repeating the Administration’s position that: “This [attack] is in response to video that was offensive.

Mike Wallace – “You don’t really believe that?”

Susann Rice – “Chris, absolutely I believe that because in fact it’s the case.”

It is clear that Ms. Rice’s response was false.  She either purposely misled the American people for the President’s political gain or she has no clue as to what is occurring in the Middle East.  In either case Rice’s resignation is in order.  This is unlikely since the misrepresentations and/or lack of knowledge comes from the very top of this Administration.

Posted in Radical Islam, Terrorism | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Obama Successfully Puts Hit on Anwar al Awlaki

Posted by Steve Markowitz on September 30, 2011

The Obama Administration announced the successful assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical American-born cleric who was residing in Yemen.  Al-Awlaki, leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and some of his bodyguards were taken out by a missile fired from a Predator drone.

Al-Awlaki has been preaching terrorism and anti-American vitriol for years.  He was linked to various terrorist investigations in the United States and other countries including the Fort Hood, Texas massacre in 2009, the attempted Times Square bombing in 2010, and a planned to attack on Fort Dix, New Jersey.

The New York Times reported that a senior American military spokesman said al- Awlaki’s death sends a message to other terrorists that they can’t hide, stating:  “It sets a sense of doom for the rest of them.  Getting Awlaki, given his tight operational security, increases the sense of fear.  It’s hard for them to attack when they’re trying to protect their own back side.”

The Obama Administration has been successful in putting the hit on some very bad people.  Most Americans, except those on the far Left, applaud such efforts.  However, this use of assassinations in sovereign countries raises interesting questions for the Administration.  For example, the Obama Justice Department since early in their Administration has been investigating for possible criminal prosecution operatives from the Bush days for using advanced interrogation means (water-boarding).  Using their logic, roughing up a suspect in the U.S. is a breach of American law, but putting a hit on them before being captured is not.  Yikes!  That’s

Posted in Terrorism | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

America’s Failed Afghan Strategy

Posted by Steve Markowitz on June 27, 2011

U.S. Failed Afghan Strategy

It is apparent that the United State’s Afghan War strategy has been flawed for some time.  The lack of a strategic or obtainable goal made the war unwinnable.  As well respected George Friedman of Stratfor.com wrote below and before President Obama made his Afghan drawdown speech, the U.S. will declare victory and leave Afghanistan with no more gained than could have been obtained leaving years earlier.

Shame on the politicians in both parties for allowing America’s brave soldiers to wallow in this endeavor.  They learned little since the Viet Nam debacle.

U.S. and Pakistan: Afghan Strategies is republished with permission of STRATFOR.

U.S. and Pakistan: Afghan Strategies, June 21, 2011, By George Friedman

U.S. President Barack Obama will give a speech on Afghanistan on June 22. Whatever he says, it is becoming apparent that the United States is exploring ways to accelerate the drawdown of its forces in the country. It is also clear that U.S. relations with Pakistan are deteriorating to a point where cooperation — whatever level there was — is breaking down. These are two intimately related issues. Any withdrawal from Afghanistan, particularly an accelerated one, will leave a power vacuum in Afghanistan that the Kabul government will not be able to fill. Afghanistan is Pakistan’s back door, and its evolution is a matter of fundamental interest to Pakistan. A U.S. withdrawal means an Afghanistan intertwined with and influenced by Pakistan. Therefore, the current dynamic with Pakistan challenges any withdrawal plan.

There may be some in the U.S. military who believe that the United States might prevail in Afghanistan, but they are few in number. The champion of this view, Gen. David Petraeus, has been relieved of his command of forces in Afghanistan and promoted (or kicked upstairs) to become director of the CIA. The conventional definition of victory has been the creation of a strong government in Kabul controlling an army and police force able to protect the regime and ultimately impose its will throughout Afghanistan. With President Hamid Karzai increasingly uncooperative with the United States, the likelihood of this outcome is evaporating. Karzai realizes his American protection will be withdrawn and understands that the Americans will blame him for any negative outcomes of the withdrawal because of his inability or unwillingness to control corruption.

Defining Success in Afghanistan

There is a prior definition of success that shaped the Bush administration’s approach to Afghanistan in its early phases. The goal here was the disruption of al Qaeda’s operations in Afghanistan and the prevention of further attacks on the United States from Afghanistan. This definition did not envisage the emergence of a stable and democratic Afghanistan free of corruption and able to control its territory. It was more modest and, in many ways, it was achieved in 2001-2002. Its defect, of course, was that the disruption of al Qaeda in Afghanistan, while useful, did not address the evolution of al Qaeda in other countries. In particular, it did not deal with the movement of al Qaeda operatives to Pakistan, nor did it address the Taliban, which were not defeated in 2001-2002 but simply declined combat on American terms, re-emerging as a viable insurgency when the United States became bogged down in Iraq.

The mission creep from denying Afghan bases to al Qaeda to the transformation of Afghan society had many roots and was well under way during the Bush administration, but the immediate origin of the current strategy was the attempt to transfer the lessons of Iraq to Afghanistan. The surge in Iraq, and the important political settlement with Sunni insurgents that brought them into the American fold, reduced the insurgency. It remains to be seen whether it will produce a stable Iraq not hostile to American interests. The ultimate Iraq strategy was a political settlement framed by an increase in forces, and its long-term success was never clear. The Obama administration was prepared to repeat the attempt in Afghanistan, at least by using Iraq as a template if not applying exactly the same tactics.

However, the United States found that the Taliban were less inclined to negotiate with the United States, and certainly not on the favorable terms of the Iraqi insurgents, simply because they believed they would win in the long run and did not face the dangers that the Sunni insurgents did. The military operations that framed the search for a political solution turned out to be a frame without a painting. In Iraq, it is not clear that the Petraeus strategy actually achieved a satisfactory political outcome, and its application to Afghanistan does not seem, as yet, to have drawn the Taliban into the political process in the way that incorporating the Sunnis made Iraq appear at least minimally successful.

As we pointed out after the death of Osama bin Laden, his demise, coupled with the transfer of Petraeus out of Afghanistan, offered two opportunities. The first was a return to the prior definition of success in Afghanistan, in which the goal was the disruption of al Qaeda. Second, the departure of Petraeus and his staff also removed the ideology of counterinsurgency, in which social transformation was seen as the means toward a practical and radical transformation of Afghanistan. These two events opened the door to the redefinition of the U.S. goal and the ability to claim mission accomplished for the earlier, more modest end, thereby building the basis for terminating the war.

The central battle was in the United States military, divided between conventional war fighters and counter-insurgents. Counterinsurgency draws its roots from theories of social development in emerging countries going back to the 1950s. It argues that victory in these sorts of wars depends on social and political mobilization and that the purpose of the military battle is to create a space to build a state and nation capable of defending itself.

The conventional understanding of war is that its purpose is to defeat the enemy military. It presents a more limited and focused view of military power. This faction, bitterly opposed to Petraeus’ view of what was happening in Afghanistan, saw the war in terms of defeating the Taliban as a military force. In the view of this faction, defeating the Taliban was impossible with the force available and unlikely even with a more substantial force. There were two reasons for this. First, the Taliban comprised a light infantry force with a superior intelligence capability and the ability to withdraw from untenable operations (such as the battle for Helmand province) and re-engage on more favorable terms elsewhere. Second, sanctuaries in Pakistan allowed the Taliban to withdraw to safety and reconstitute themselves, thereby making their defeat in detail impossible. The option of invading Pakistan remained, but the idea of invading a country of 180 million people with some fraction of the nearly 150,000 U.S. and allied troops in Afghanistan was militarily unsupportable. Indeed, no force the United States could field would be in a position to compel Pakistan to conform to American wishes.

The alternative on the American side is a more conventional definition of war in which the primary purpose of the U.S. military in Afghanistan is to create a framework for special operations forces to disrupt al Qaeda in Afghanistan and potentially Pakistan, not to attempt to either defeat the Taliban strategically or transform Afghanistan politically and culturally. With the death of bin Laden, an argument can be made — at least for political purposes — that al Qaeda has been disrupted enough that the conventional military framework in Afghanistan is no longer needed. If al Qaeda revives in Afghanistan, then covert operations can be considered. The problem with al Qaeda is that it does not require any single country to regenerate. It is a global guerrilla force.

Asymmetry in U.S. and Pakistani Interests

The United States can choose to leave Afghanistan without suffering strategic disaster. Pakistan cannot leave Pakistan. It therefore cannot leave its border with Afghanistan nor can it evade the reality that Pakistani ethnic groups — particularly the Pashtun, which straddle the border and form the heart of the Taliban phenomenon — live on the Afghan side of the border as well. Therefore, while Afghanistan is a piece of American global strategy and not its whole, Afghanistan is central to Pakistan’s national strategy. This asymmetry in U.S. and Pakistani interests is now the central issue.

When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, Pakistan joined with the United States to defeat the Soviets. Saudi Arabia provided money and recruits, the Pakistanis provided training facilities and intelligence and the United States provided trainers and other support. For Pakistan, the Soviet invasion was a matter of fundamental national interest. Facing a hostile India supported by the Soviets and a Soviet presence in Afghanistan, Pakistan was threatened on two fronts. Therefore, deep involvement with the jihadists in Afghanistan was essential to Pakistan because the jihadists tied down the Soviets. This was also beneficial to the United States.

After the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, the United States became indifferent to Afghanistan’s future. Pakistan could not be indifferent. It remained deeply involved with the Islamist forces that had defeated the Soviets and would govern Afghanistan, and it helped facilitate the emergence of the Taliban as the dominant force in the country. The United States was quite content with this in the 1990s and accepted the fact that Pakistani intelligence had become intertwined not only with the forces that fought the Soviets but also with the Taliban, who, with Pakistani support, won the civil war that followed the Soviet defeat.

Intelligence organizations are as influenced by their clients as their clients are controlled by them. Consider anti-Castro Cubans in the 1960s and 1970s and their beginning as CIA assets and their end as major influencers of U.S. policy toward Cuba. The Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence directorate (ISI) became entwined with its clients. As the influence of the Taliban and Islamist elements increased in Afghanistan, the sentiment spread to Pakistan, where a massive Islamist movement developed with influence in the government and intelligence services.

Sept. 11, 2001, posed a profound threat to Pakistan. On one side, Pakistan faced a United States in a state of crisis, demanding Pakistani support against both al Qaeda and the Taliban. On the other side Pakistan had a massive Islamist movement hostile to the United States and intelligence services that had, for a generation, been intimately linked to Afghan Islamists, first with whole-hearted U.S. support, then with its benign indifference. The American demands involved shredding close relationships in Afghanistan, supporting an American occupation in Afghanistan and therefore facing internal resistance and threats in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Pakistani solution was the only one it could come up with to placate both the United States and the forces in Pakistan that did not want to cooperate with the United States. The Pakistanis lied. To be more precise and fair, they did as much as they could for the United States without completely destabilizing Pakistan while making it appear that they were being far more cooperative with the Americans and far less cooperative with their public. As in any such strategy, the ISI and Islamabad found themselves engaged in a massive balancing act.

U.S. and Pakistani national interests widely diverged. The United States wanted to disrupt al Qaeda regardless of the cost. The Pakistanis wanted to avoid the collapse of their regime at any cost. These were not compatible goals. At the same time, the United States and Pakistan needed each other. The United States could not possibly operate in Afghanistan without some Pakistani support, ranging from the use of Karachi and the Karachi-Khyber and Karachi-Chaman lines of supply to at least some collaboration on intelligence sharing, at least on al Qaeda. The Pakistanis badly needed American support against India. If the United States simply became pro-Indian, the Pakistani position would be in severe jeopardy.

The United States was always aware of the limits of Pakistani assistance. The United States accepted this publicly because it made Pakistan appear to be an ally at a time when the United States was under attack for unilateralism. It accepted it privately as well because it did not want to see Pakistan destabilize. The Pakistanis were aware of the limits of American tolerance, so a game was played out.

The Endgame in Afghanistan

That game is now breaking down, not because the United States raided Pakistan and killed bin Laden but because it is becoming apparent to Pakistan that the United States will, sooner or later, be dramatically drawing down its forces in Afghanistan. This drawdown creates three facts. First, Pakistan will be facing the future on its western border with Afghanistan without an American force to support it. Pakistan does not want to alienate the Taliban, and not just for ideological reasons. It also expects the Taliban to govern Afghanistan in due course. India aside, Pakistan needs to maintain its ties to the Taliban in order to maintain its influence in Afghanistan and guard its western flank. Being cooperative with the United States is less important. Second, Pakistan is aware that as the United States draws down, it will need Pakistan to cover its withdrawal strategically. Afghanistan is not Iraq, and as the U.S. force draws down, it will be in greater danger. The U.S. needs Pakistani influence. Finally, there will be a negotiation with the Taliban, and elements of Pakistan, particularly the ISI, will be the intermediary.

The Pakistanis are preparing for the American drawdown. Publicly, it is important for them to appear as independent and even hostile to the Americans as possible in order to maintain their domestic credibility. Up to now, they have appeared to various factions in Pakistan as American lackeys. If the United States is leaving, the Pakistanis can’t afford to appear that way anymore. There are genuine issues separating the two countries, but in the end, the show is as important as the issues. U.S. accusations that the government has not cooperated with the United States in fighting Islamists are exactly what the Pakistani establishment needs in order to move to the next phase. Publicly arresting CIA sources who aided the United States in capturing bin Laden also enhances this new image.

From the American point of view, the war in Afghanistan — and elsewhere — has not been a failure. There have been no more attacks on the United States on the order of 9/11, and that has not been for al Qaeda’s lack of trying. U.S. intelligence and security services, fumbling in the early days, achieved a remarkable success, and that was aided by the massive disruption of al Qaeda by U.S. military operations. The measure of military success is simple. If the enemy was unable to strike, the military effort was a success. Obviously, there is no guarantee that al Qaeda will not regenerate or that another group will not emerge, but a continued presence in Afghanistan at this point doesn’t affect that. This is particularly true as franchise operations like the Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula begin to overtake the old apex leadership in terms of both operational innovation in transnational efforts and the ideological underpinnings of those attacks.

In the end, the United States will leave Afghanistan (with the possible exception of some residual special operations forces). Pakistan will draw Afghanistan back into its sphere of influence. Pakistan will need American support against India (since China does not have the force needed to support Pakistan over the Himalayas nor the navy to protect Pakistan’s coast). The United States will need Pakistan to do the basic work of preventing an intercontinental al Qaeda from forming again. Reflecting on the past 10 years, Pakistan will see that as being in its national interest. The United States will use Pakistan to balance India while retaining close ties to India.

A play will be acted out like the New Zealand Haka, with both sides making terrible sounds and frightening gestures at each other. But now that the counter-insurgency concept is being discarded, from all indications, and a fresh military analysis is under way, the script is being rewritten and we can begin to see the end shaping up. The United States is furious at Pakistan for its willingness to protect American enemies. Pakistan is furious at the United States for conducting attacks on its sovereign territory. In the end it doesn’t matter. They need each other. In the affairs of nations, like and dislike are not meaningful categories, and bullying and treachery are not blocks to cooperation. The two countries need each other more than they need to punish each other. Great friendships among nations are built on less.

Reprinting or republication of this report on websites is authorized by prominently displaying the following sentence, including the hyperlink to STRATFOR, at the beginning or end of the report.

Posted in Afghanistan | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Obama’s Forgotten War in Afghanistan

Posted by Steve Markowitz on February 25, 2011

With the turmoil in the Middle East and news media’s focus on demonstrations in Madison, Wisconsin, little attention is being given to America’s war in Afghanistan, now in its 10th year.  How irresponsible given that American solders continue to die in this unending war.

This week the New York Times reported that the U.S. military is pulling out of the Pech Valley.  The pullout, which that began in mid February, is significant because for the first eight years of the war this valley in eastern Afghanistan was considered a cornerstone of the battle against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in that country.  Over 100 American soldiers died in this  valley.  The U.S. military is naturally putting a positive spin on this retreat with Major General John F. Campbell, commander for eastern Afghanistan, saying: “People say, ‘You are coming out of the Pech’; I prefer to look at it as realigning to provide better security for the Afghan people.  I don’t want the impression we’re abandoning the Pech.”

Left behind will be Afghan soldiers who’s leadership is already talking as if they have been defeated.  Afghan Major Turab said of the pullout “According to my experience in the military and knowledge of the area, it’s absolutely impractical for the Afghan National Army to protect the area without the AmericansIt will be a suicidal mission.”

We are two and a half years into Obama’s Presidency and the Afghan War is his responsibility.  He authorized a huge troop buildup with the U.S. Military now having its largest contingent in country.  It is apparent given the pullout from the Pech Valley that at best we are at a standstill in Afghanistan.  That is unacceptable ten years into the war and indicates that this guerilla war is not winnable.  It is time for President Obama to make some hard decisions on the War, something he seems to avoid in many areas of leadership.

Prior to Obama’s election, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was front-page news daily.  Activists like Cindy Sheehan picketed President Bush’s home in Texas with the press never missing her photo ops. The mainstream media, through lack of coverage of the war in Afghanistan, has proven to be but a mouthpiece of the Progressive Left.  The radical Left has also proved to have shallow morality, disapproving of wars only when they do not manage. them.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Obama Administration Assassinating Suspected Al Qaeda Operatives

Posted by Steve Markowitz on April 12, 2010

The New York Times reported that President Obama’s use of armed drones, both in Pakistani and Afghanistan, has become quite effective.  The Times states:

  • The drones, operated by the CIA, fly overhead sometimes four at a time, emitting a beelike hum virtually 24 hours a day, observing and tracking targets, then unleashing missiles on their quarry.
  • In the first six weeks of this year, more than a dozen strikes killed up to 90 people suspected of being militants.
  • The question of civilian deaths is an almost daily worry, all four men said. “Civilians are worried because there is hardly a house without a fighter,” the militant said.
  • While unpopular among the Pakistani public, the drone strikes have become a weapon of choice for the Obama administration after the Pakistani Army rebuffed pleas to mount a ground offensive in North Waziristan to take on the militants who use the area to strike at American and NATO forces in Afghanistan.
  • The strikes have cast a pall of fear over an area that was once a free zone for Al Qaeda and the Taliban, forcing militants to abandon satellite phones and large gatherings in favor of communicating by courier and moving stealthily in small groups, they said.

While this Blog has been critical of President Obama’s foreign policy, especially as to how it relates to the war against Islamic Extremists, he is to be commended on his successful high-tech assassination program in Pakistan.  At the same time, this assassination program raises interesting questions:

1. Is the President exposing himself to future prosecution for war crimes?  This Administration set a dangerous precedent with its attempt to prosecute former Bush Administration members for overzealous interrogation techniques, certainly provocative than assignations.

2. How does Obama’s use of assassination by drones in Pakistan differ from the Israeli’s use of assassination of Hamas’ leaders that Progressives have so complained recently?

3. How long will the New York Times and other Leftist press continue to give Obama a pass on the use of assassination?

4. How does the President reconcile the fact that if you are caught running around Pakistan with the wrong crowd, he has the right to assassinate you.  But if you are caught trying to bomb a civilian flight into the United States, you get the right to lawyer up?

5. Why was Nixon’s bombing of Laos during the Viet Nam war consider a crime by the Leftist press, while Obama’s bombing of Pakistan gets a pass?

6. How does the President’s use of state-sanctioned assassination jive with his being awarded the Noble Prize for Peace?

These questions offer the Leftist and Progressives out there to defend their man.  My guess is that they will keep their heads in the sand and leave it to us unenlightened to cheer the President on.  OK: Mr. President, keep killing the bad guys and let the chips fall where they may!

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