Sunday, May 21, 2006

Bush has lost the war in Afghanistan and with it —the Middle East

Because we are at war, Bush says, it is necessary for him to assume certain dictatorial powers: widespread domestic surveillance of tens of millions of law abiding American citizens, a power that has previously been the sole domain of the Supreme Court to determine which laws are Constitutional and which are not, and the power to order American troops into war without declarations of war by Congress.

What Bush has not told you is that not only were there no WMD to be found in Iraq, the rationale behind his war on terrorism is false. Afghanistan is also lost.

It begins with that all but forgotten war —once so telegenic. We are losing now in Afghanistan because the Taliban was never really defeated. According to Christopher Langton, a defense expert at the Institute for International Strategic Studies, the Taliban has "... largely recovered from ... initial defeat." It is, he says "...proving a savvy enemy for coalition forces." The Taliban —whose defeat Bush appears to have celebrated prematurely —are encouraged by opposition now faced by several NATO nations now deployed in areas previously patrolled by U.S. forces. Slowly, by striking weak points, the Taliban is regaining control of Afghanistan. Hamid Karzai —a former UNOCAL consultant —is not safe outside Kabul.

Furthermore, The U.S. State Department has never classified the Taliban as a terrorist organization though Bush would clearly have you believe otherwise. That Bush must bear the responsibility for letting bin Laden off the hook when bin Laden was said to have been located in Tora Bora makes no sense within the context of Bush's official rationale [See: U.S. State Department's list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations]

It is also increasingly obvious that the United States has lost the war in Afghanistan.
Yet since the Taliban was driven from power in Afghanistan, the group is believed to be behind numerous attacks that have killed workers for nongovernmental organizations, civilians, government officials, policemen, and Pakistani and Afghan soldiers. Christopher Langton, a defense expert at the Institute for International Strategic Studies, says the Taliban "is an insurgent organization that will periodically use terrorism to carry out its operations."

—Council on Foreign Relations, The Taliban Resurgence in Afghanistan,

The events leading to 911 had origins in 1920 —the year that France and Great Britain made of the middle east a vast quilt work of territories dominated by local war lords. It was imagined that these "fiefdoms" would rise above a complex tribal past. That many of these territories had oil only complicated matters as western powers competed for the precious resource upon which the European and American economies depended. Oil, the engine that drives modern economies, thus shapes geopolitics. Hitler might have won WWII by simply supplying Rommel, moving into the Middle East to secure its oil for his Third Reich. [See: What If?: The World's Foremost Historians Imagine What Might Have Been]

Gen. Michael Hayden's comment that "if anyone calls Al Qaeda we want to know" is not only ludicrous and naive, it's Machiavellian. It is premised upon what Bush would like you to believe about Al Qaeda, specifically that bin Laden runs Al Qaeda like a western CEO. That's a myth designed after the fact to justify failed U.S. policies.

In fact, the Taliban has never been listed as a "terrorist" state or organization by the U.S. State Department. If the Taliban were as cozy with bin Laden and thus with Al Qaeda as Bush would have you believe, the Taliban would most surely have appeared on the list.

It is doubtful that Al Qaeda has now or ever had an operational nucleus somewhere, anywhere. It's very name means "The Base" —a name in use when the United States trained and armed mujahideen to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. Two facts must be remembered: the United States and Saudi Arabia spent about $40 billion on the war in Afghanistan, recruiting, supplying, and training nearly 100,000 radical mujahideen from forty Muslim countries, including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Algeria, and Afghanistan itself.

Among the recruits were Osama bin Laden and his followers. They are still called "the base" i.e. Al Qaeda. Shall I spell it out? Al Qaeda was a creation of the United States, specifically the CIA. That bin Laden was a CIA asset is common knowledge. When did he stop being a CIA agent? Had bin Laden resigned as CIA asset just in time to orchestrate the Bush version of 911?

Al Qaeda, therefore, is not an organization over which one can be CEO. With every Bush/Western blunder, Al Qaeda has become a movement —a loose, worldwide web of common goals and sometimes archaic ideas.

Clearly —Al Qaeda grows stronger whenever Bush's "war on terrorism" takes on racial, ethnic, or religious anti-Islamic overtones. Memories of Saladin and Richard, Cœur de Lion are still fresh everywhere in the Middle East. Bush's war was most surely lost when it was called a "crusade" at the outset. The Bush administration has since displayed an appalling ignorance of the sectarian realities in not only Iraq but throughout the Middle East.

Bush was suckered into playing whack-a-mole in Afghanistan. If there is a "base", it's highly mobile and cannot be defeated militarily. Al Qaeda feeds upon the antipathy of the west.

Afghan and U.S.-led coalition forces report frequent clashes with Taliban fighters in the south. According to Kathy Gannon, the former Associated Press bureau chief for Pakistan and Afghanistan, these fighters have at times aligned themselves with al-Qaeda fighters and with mujahadeen (holy warriors) led by the anti-government warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. During the Soviet occupation, Hekmatyar received more support from U.S. and Pakistani agents than any other fighter.

—Council on Foreign Relations, The Taliban Resurgence in Afghanistan,

At the heart of Bush's many failures is the fact that in both Afghanistan and Iraq, Bush took this nation to war upon lies and cherry-picked intelligence. The nature of Bush's official 911 conspiracy theory is full of holes and remains un-investigated and stonewalled.

The key to exposing Bush's official conspiracy theory are some 26 or 28 pages that were expunged from the released version of the Congressional 911 report. Those pages had to do with connections between the Bush family and the Saudi Royals —who were flown out of the country when every other plane was grounded —and the Taliban, which had been threatened by the U.S. state department in July 2001, prior to 911.

Follow the money; follow the oil. It is increasingly likely that some people very high up in the U.S. government may have participated in the commission of murder and high treason. These people threatened the Taliban on behalf of big American oil companies —most certainly those wishing to build a pipeline across Afghanistan. For their crimes against the people of the United States, Afghanistan and Iraq, they should stand trial.

A very timely update from Deborah Leavy:


HUBRIS, meaning pride or arrogance, is a very human flaw that in Greek mythology often led to tragedy.

Daedalus, flying with wings of feathers and wax, thought he could go up to see the heavens, but the wings melted when he flew too close to the sun, and he plunged into the sea. When Arachne boasted that she was just as good a weaver as Athena, the goddess turned her into a spider.

Pride goeth before a fall. It is one of the seven deadly sins. You'd think people would learn, but it gets 'em every time.

Too much pride has been a theme of the Bush administration. After capturing the presidency by judicial decree, they governed as if they had a mandate, running roughshod over those who disagreed with them.

Winning the second time by a clear but narrow margin, Bush declared, "I've got some political capital, and I'm going to spend it."

Spend it he did, and now there's almost nothing left. ...
Some resources:

'Toons by Dante Lee; use only with permission

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