Saturday, January 14, 2006

Softpeddling to Cambodia

This would be funny if it didn't involve such serious issues.

First, Americans bomb a house in Pakistan and warblogger "Capt. Ed" gloats that "#2 AQ" may be "BBQ Residue." Classy, no?

Unfortunately, the intended target, Ayman al-Zawahri, wasn't there. There was, however, innocent Pakistani families sitting there to catch the blast. What does "Ed" say to that?
Attacks using unmanned Predators have a higher risk of going wrong, and the US would prefer to capture targets like Zawahiri alive anyway. Pakistan, however, has not allowed the US to operate very freely in that area for some time now, although we have made it clear that we will take out AQ leadership wherever we think they might be. It's yet another reason why the WOT requires boots on the ground and traditional military operations as well as covert operations. Without having both, the intelligence needed for further operations gets more difficult to find and to confirm.
Shucks, folks. It ain't our fault, it's those damn Pakistanis faults just like it was the 30,000 dead Iraqis faults that Saddam Hussein wouldn't come clean and tell us where the weapons were that, of course, he didn't have.

But here's the real kicker. Ed says, "Pakistan, however, has not allowed the US to operate very freely in that area for some time now." Really? "Not very freely?" Ass. The article he links to even says
Pakistan says it does not allow Afghan or the 20,000 U.S. forces in Afghanistan to cross the border in pursuit of Taliban and al-Qaida believed to be hiding there. The war on terror is opposed by many in this Islamic nation of 150 million people.

Pakistan's information minister, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, called the "incident" in Damadola "highly condemnable."

The Foreign Ministry later issued a statement saying a protest had been filed with the U.S. Embassy.
So it's not a matter of not being able to operate "very freely." Ed's trying to mislead his readers into thinking that we have limited access to Pakistan. We have no military access to Pakistan, period, and I say this as someone who has sat with infantry and special forces troops near that border. The truth is we've just violated the sovereign territory of a "strong ally" in the War on Terror.

"Ed" ought to be embarrassed by the skill with which his victory dance changed to a tap dance. He seems to have gotten a lot of practice lately.


Blogger california_reality_check said...

I think the only way bushco will get away with this particular illegal act is to give Pakistan a lot more of our money. Bribery is the way thing work in that part of the world. Power and money. Take a look at Turkey, etc. At some point, however, that over-whelmingly muslim nation is going to implode due to this process. Power and money only goes so far.

1:24 PM  
Blogger John said...

I have had a question about this region for some time. You mention you were near the border, and I have seen a documentary of US troops also near the border complaining they could not chase Al Queda into Pakistan.

I also hear that the north west territories are to wild, rough and difficult for any power to control. But if you guys can get near the border, if the CIA had a lot of access during the Afgan-Soviet war, then I would think this area is not "impossible" for the US military to search and destroy Al Queda and catch Bin Laden, etc.

This is the reason I hear given quite often as to why we cannot get Bin Laden. He is up in those wild hinterlands where no one can catch him.

I guess I know the answer, Pakistan is a nuclear power and their domestic politics will not allow the US such access.

So this leads to my actual point, could not a competent president negotiate access? Are the 3 other ethnic groups in pakistan so allied with the Pashtun's that they will not give in to serious US pressure? Or am I just dreaming, and do not understand the region.

It just seems a shame that there is this corner of the world where the people who actually tried to kill me on Sept 11th (was at 30,000 on UAL going from NE to CA) can have refuge.

And to think Bush is opening up central Iraq to be the next such area! Damn depressing.

7:12 PM  
Blogger california_reality_check said...

There is NO way to get Bin Laden or anyone else, for that matter, without heavy casualties. Heavy. Seems like air is the only risk rummy wants be take now. Of course, that doesn't work either.

9:07 AM  
Blogger phinky said...

The thing that makes me mad is that we had him at Tora Bora and bin Ladin escaped. Then after letting Bin Ladin and Zawahira escape, we pull troops from Afghanistan in order to invade Iraq. Giving bin Ladin and Zawahire the best recruiting propaganda they could hope for. Just whose interests is George W. Bush working for? I don't think its the American people's best interest.

7:43 AM  

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