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Obama admin says time square bombing and Taliban linked

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
20,984
2
0
Now various Obama figures, after some research, are saying the Times square bombing attempt and the Pakistani Taliban are probably linked. Even if final proof is not total.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100509/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_times_square_probe;_ylt=AvjzCLTZyWic74qhXfal6uus0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNsbjhoN3A2BGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAwNTA5L3VzX3RpbWVzX3NxdWFyZV9wcm9iZQRjY29kZQNtb3N0cG9wdWxhcgRjcG9zAzIEcG9zAzcEcHQDaG9tZV9jb2tlBHNlYwN5bl90b3Bfc3RvcnkEc2xrA3doaXRlaG91c2VzYQ--
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But now a few questions even assuming this linkage is proved. Because the Taliban now is very different from what it used to be in 2000. As the word Taliban has now become a loose alliance of many diverse factions, loosely allied with many other groups that have little use for the original narrow Taliban religious views.

1. Its hard to believe that the part of the Taliban that may have aided Scharzad had any experience with bomb making. And to that extent the USA may have dodged a bullet, because the Pakistani Taliban as a larger group has no shortage of members who know how to assemble and detonate bombs that work and work very well. And if Scharzad had trained with them, he almost certainly could and would have assembled a car bomb that was not a fizzling dud.

2. To some extent this first(?) attempt may deal the start of a death blow to the GWB doctrine that we fight international terrorism over there so we do not have to fight international terrorism on our home turf. Because here we are, some eight years into a fight to exterminate Afghan terrorism and (a) We are further away from victory than when we started. (b) And now with this abortive times square bombing attempt, Afghan and Pakistani groups are maybe getting the idea that if they can't out right defeat the US military on their own soil even if they can stalemate it, they can open a new front in the war by taking the fight to the USA on US soil. And give the USA a dose of its own medicine. (c) To further clarify the ? I left after first at the start of this paragraph, we must ask if 911 would have ever happened had the USA not been messing around on Muslim home turf in the first place. And to a great extent, the causes of 911 can be directly traced to Reagan training and arming of Mujaheddin terrorists, wait I mean freedom fighters, and the GHB decision to stations troops on Saudi soil during Gulf war one. So does the some what Bush doctrine that we fight them over there so we don't have to fight them here cut both ways? And becomes a which came first, the chicken or the egg type question. Or to put it another way, are we causing our own terrorist problems while we certainly are failing to cure terrorism.
 

cubby1223

Lifer
May 24, 2004
13,518
42
86
So...

You're saying the attacks on 9/11 were Reagan's fault.

Gotcha.

No further comments necessary in this "progressive" thread.

We have a problem and we have to deal with it. What is your plan? Arguing over who is to blame gets us nowhere.
 

tvarad

Golden Member
Jun 25, 2001
1,130
0
0
Now various Obama figures, after some research, are saying the Times square bombing attempt and the Pakistani Taliban are probably linked. Even if final proof is not total.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100509/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_times_square_probe;_ylt=AvjzCLTZyWic74qhXfal6uus0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNsbjhoN3A2BGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAwNTA5L3VzX3RpbWVzX3NxdWFyZV9wcm9iZQRjY29kZQNtb3N0cG9wdWxhcgRjcG9zAzIEcG9zAzcEcHQDaG9tZV9jb2tlBHNlYwN5bl90b3Bfc3RvcnkEc2xrA3doaXRlaG91c2VzYQ--
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
But now a few questions even assuming this linkage is proved. Because the Taliban now is very different from what it used to be in 2000. As the word Taliban has now become a loose alliance of many diverse factions, loosely allied with many other groups that have little use for the original narrow Taliban religious views.

1. Its hard to believe that the part of the Taliban that may have aided Scharzad had any experience with bomb making. And to that extent the USA may have dodged a bullet, because the Pakistani Taliban as a larger group has no shortage of members who know how to assemble and detonate bombs that work and work very well. And if Scharzad had trained with them, he almost certainly could and would have assembled a car bomb that was not a fizzling dud.

2. To some extent this first(?) attempt may deal the start of a death blow to the GWB doctrine that we fight international terrorism over there so we do not have to fight international terrorism on our home turf. Because here we are, some eight years into a fight to exterminate Afghan terrorism and (a) We are further away from victory than when we started. (b) And now with this abortive times square bombing attempt, Afghan and Pakistani groups are maybe getting the idea that if they can't out right defeat the US military on their own soil even if they can stalemate it, they can open a new front in the war by taking the fight to the USA on US soil. And give the USA a dose of its own medicine. (c) To further clarify the ? I left after first at the start of this paragraph, we must ask if 911 would have ever happened had the USA not been messing around on Muslim home turf in the first place. And to a great extent, the causes of 911 can be directly traced to Reagan training and arming of Mujaheddin terrorists, wait I mean freedom fighters, and the GHB decision to stations troops on Saudi soil during Gulf war one. So does the some what Bush doctrine that we fight them over there so we don't have to fight them here cut both ways? And becomes a which came first, the chicken or the egg type question. Or to put it another way, are we causing our own terrorist problems while we certainly are failing to cure terrorism.
Reagan's actions of gathering the misfits and malcontents of the Islamic/Arab world, arm them and send them off to fight the Soviets can, at best, be characterized as misguided rather than malevolent and has to be seen through the prism of the Cold War before passing judgment. It succeeded in kicking the Soviets out of Afghanistan, so I would have thought a little gratefulness from the Muslim world was in order.

However, people like the Times Square bomber can directly be traced back to an even more grave error on the part of the Americans in giving money and arms during that time to a puritanical pakistani dictator general Zia-ul-Haq who was directly responsible for transforming a relatively liberal Pakistan into one infested with jihadis and madrassas. That this jihadi fervor has reached into the sinews of the armed forces which were molded on the British model until his rule is testament to the damage the madman did to Pakistan which has become a threat to the world at large. The U.S. has to deal with the Pakistani problem before it can even begin to solve the Afghan problem. And it hasn't even started with this yet.

The Americans have also made the same fundamental error in involving Pakistan in the war in Afghanistan in a big way. By providing billions of dollars in money and arms to the Pakistani army to facilitate and fight the war on terror over the last 8-9 years, have re-invigorated it into doing what it does best: subvert Pakistani politics, play military games with India and support jihadi causes against India and in Afghanistan, while providing lukewarm support to the fight against the Taliban, an organization it helped create. It has now reached a point where the causes of the army and the jihadis are not that different, which explains why the son of a high-ranking Air Force officer would mount a terror attack on U.S. soil itself.

The U.S. may have seen through this double-game but is only now calling on it. As for your postulate b), Hilary has thrown down the gauntlet to the Pakistan army warning of severe consequences were such an attack to be successful. I doubt that means a wrist-slap.
 

nonlnear

Platinum Member
Jan 31, 2008
2,497
0
76
I wish they were linked more substantially than (I suspect) they actually were. If this is the kind of bomb "expertise" :D that the Taliban is churning out, then we are about as safe as anyone could ever hope to be.

This bomb was a joke. I don't know why the media keeps pushing this story as if it was a huge terrifying operation capable of killing lots of people (well yes I do). It took a long time for the media to finally fess up to the simple reality that the 2007 car bomb in London was nothing but a pathetic wannabe mimicking what a bomb might actually be, and this situation is almost identical. This is the kind of terrorist that we want: totally ignorant of the weapons they are attempting to use, ideologically connected to nasty folks, but without adequate training or contacts to do any harm, yet willing to destroy their lives in harmless operations that still provide enough evidence to track down and convict (or otherwise deal with) a few more of the real bad guys.
 

irishScott

Lifer
Oct 10, 2006
21,568
2
0
Now various Obama figures, after some research, are saying the Times square bombing attempt and the Pakistani Taliban are probably linked. Even if final proof is not total.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100509/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_times_square_probe;_ylt=AvjzCLTZyWic74qhXfal6uus0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNsbjhoN3A2BGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAwNTA5L3VzX3RpbWVzX3NxdWFyZV9wcm9iZQRjY29kZQNtb3N0cG9wdWxhcgRjcG9zAzIEcG9zAzcEcHQDaG9tZV9jb2tlBHNlYwN5bl90b3Bfc3RvcnkEc2xrA3doaXRlaG91c2VzYQ--
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
But now a few questions even assuming this linkage is proved. Because the Taliban now is very different from what it used to be in 2000. As the word Taliban has now become a loose alliance of many diverse factions, loosely allied with many other groups that have little use for the original narrow Taliban religious views.

1. Its hard to believe that the part of the Taliban that may have aided Scharzad had any experience with bomb making. And to that extent the USA may have dodged a bullet, because the Pakistani Taliban as a larger group has no shortage of members who know how to assemble and detonate bombs that work and work very well. And if Scharzad had trained with them, he almost certainly could and would have assembled a car bomb that was not a fizzling dud.

2. To some extent this first(?) attempt may deal the start of a death blow to the GWB doctrine that we fight international terrorism over there so we do not have to fight international terrorism on our home turf. Because here we are, some eight years into a fight to exterminate Afghan terrorism and (a) We are further away from victory than when we started. (b) And now with this abortive times square bombing attempt, Afghan and Pakistani groups are maybe getting the idea that if they can't out right defeat the US military on their own soil even if they can stalemate it, they can open a new front in the war by taking the fight to the USA on US soil. And give the USA a dose of its own medicine. (c) To further clarify the ? I left after first at the start of this paragraph, we must ask if 911 would have ever happened had the USA not been messing around on Muslim home turf in the first place. And to a great extent, the causes of 911 can be directly traced to Reagan training and arming of Mujaheddin terrorists, wait I mean freedom fighters, and the GHB decision to stations troops on Saudi soil during Gulf war one. So does the some what Bush doctrine that we fight them over there so we don't have to fight them here cut both ways? And becomes a which came first, the chicken or the egg type question. Or to put it another way, are we causing our own terrorist problems while we certainly are failing to cure terrorism.
So you'd rather the militants with their AKs and RPGs, who have proven themselves capable of killing highly trained US soldiers with IEDs if nothing else, have the time and space to gather their resources and bring that expertise over here? If anything this failed attack is a sign that the "fight them over there" doctrine is working. All of the most dangerous, skilled ones are occupied; leaving the stupid ones to suicidally try to imitate 9/11.
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
20,984
2
0
I am not only highly offended by IrishScott, I also disagree with what he is saying with, "So you'd rather the militants with their AKs and RPGs, who have proven themselves capable of killing highly trained US soldiers with IEDs if nothing else, have the time and space to gather their resources and bring that expertise over here? If anything this failed attack is a sign that the "fight them over there" doctrine is working. All of the most dangerous, skilled ones are occupied; leaving the stupid ones to suicidally try to imitate 9/11."

To start out with, I resent you even implying I am rooting for the terrorist side, as if this was some basketball game complete with cheerleaders. I am merely pointing out, that this is a possible tactic that the USA had better consider, and IMHO, we are very lucky that we have not seen it really employed against us YET.

I also point out that IrishScott is unlikely to be correct about the USA and Nato keeping Afghan and Pakistani terrorists too busy to do anything else. Which is especially wrong in Afghanistan where difficult winters causes a significant five month lull in fighting or in even resupply missions. And bomb making training would be a perfect place to put experienced terrorists as instructors, who are temporarily or permanently wounded and hence not fit to serve in current active combat.

Because GWB put very few troops on the ground in Afghanistan, large parts of the country were never even visited, and it was not until Obama put more troops on the ground some 15 months ago, that we learned exactly how deeply entrenched the Tailban was, especially in areas where there was never any active fighting. Nato as a strong and mobile military can certainly play wackomole with terrorists, but thus far does not even have the troops or public support to hold any territory more than temporarily. On the other hand, the Taliban as a rag tag militia is far too weak to dislodge Nato from Afghan soil, so its been an eight year stalemate that the Taliban is very slowly winning. As for Pakistan, our supposed allies, and per the Nato agreement with Pakistan, Nato is not allowed to conduct military operations inside of Pakistan. And if Pakistan gets sufficiently PO'd at Nato, they can terminate their agreement with Nato to lease a land based supply line route into Afghanistan. If Pakistan ever does say nyet to Nato, its either supply everything Nato needs in Afghanistan by air, or Uncle Sammy would have to go hat in hand and beg Iran for a land based supply route into Afghanistan. Maybe in four years or so a railroad may come to the various Stans North of Afghanistan, but such a railroad is not built yet.

So I can certainly see the Taliban thinking the way to break the statemate and force Nato out of Afghanistan may be to start bringing terror attacks to US soil. And for the Taliban it would not be a they can do one or the other as Irish Scott implied, its something where they could easily do what they are doing now and add another front to the war. I have also seen estimates that the entire Times square bombing attempt cost only $7,000 or so. Seven G's maybe down a rat hole for the Taliban, but the calculus greatly changes if they get even one US attack right.
 

irishScott

Lifer
Oct 10, 2006
21,568
2
0
I am not only highly offended by IrishScott, I also disagree with what he is saying with, "So you'd rather the militants with their AKs and RPGs, who have proven themselves capable of killing highly trained US soldiers with IEDs if nothing else, have the time and space to gather their resources and bring that expertise over here? If anything this failed attack is a sign that the "fight them over there" doctrine is working. All of the most dangerous, skilled ones are occupied; leaving the stupid ones to suicidally try to imitate 9/11."

To start out with, I resent you even implying I am rooting for the terrorist side, as if this was some basketball game complete with cheerleaders. I am merely pointing out, that this is a possible tactic that the USA had better consider, and IMHO, we are very lucky that we have not seen it really employed against us YET.

I also point out that IrishScott is unlikely to be correct about the USA and Nato keeping Afghan and Pakistani terrorists too busy to do anything else. Which is especially wrong in Afghanistan where difficult winters causes a significant five month lull in fighting or in even resupply missions. And bomb making training would be a perfect place to put experienced terrorists as instructors, who are temporarily or permanently wounded and hence not fit to serve in current active combat.

Because GWB put very few troops on the ground in Afghanistan, large parts of the country were never even visited, and it was not until Obama put more troops on the ground some 15 months ago, that we learned exactly how deeply entrenched the Tailban was, especially in areas where there was never any active fighting. Nato as a strong and mobile military can certainly play wackomole with terrorists, but thus far does not even have the troops or public support to hold any territory more than temporarily. On the other hand, the Taliban as a rag tag militia is far too weak to dislodge Nato from Afghan soil, so its been an eight year stalemate that the Taliban is very slowly winning. As for Pakistan, our supposed allies, and per the Nato agreement with Pakistan, Nato is not allowed to conduct military operations inside of Pakistan. And if Pakistan gets sufficiently PO'd at Nato, they can terminate their agreement with Nato to lease a land based supply line route into Afghanistan. If Pakistan ever does say nyet to Nato, its either supply everything Nato needs in Afghanistan by air, or Uncle Sammy would have to go hat in hand and beg Iran for a land based supply route into Afghanistan. Maybe in four years or so a railroad may come to the various Stans North of Afghanistan, but such a railroad is not built yet.

So I can certainly see the Taliban thinking the way to break the statemate and force Nato out of Afghanistan may be to start bringing terror attacks to US soil. And for the Taliban it would not be a they can do one or the other as Irish Scott implied, its something where they could easily do what they are doing now and add another front to the war. I have also seen estimates that the entire Times square bombing attempt cost only $7,000 or so. Seven G's maybe down a rat hole for the Taliban, but the calculus greatly changes if they get even one US attack right.
I never insinuated that you were rooting for the terrorists, just pointing out a flaw in your logic. A tad defensive are we?

In any case, terror attacks on US soil are hardly the way to "end the stalemate." Last I heard they're the reason we're in Afghanistan (and largely by extension, Iraq) in the first place. My point was that the closest thing the terrorists have to "experts" are more likely being employed in Afghanistan/Iraq, because they're fighting for their homes and land (or at least think they are) as well as their ideology, as opposed to the latter alone.
 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
50,872
4,214
126
Because this fellow got training doesn't mean he's not an idiot, nor does it mean that the Taliban is great in passing bomb making skills along.

The Taliban can play this game if it wishes. They seriously underestimate the power of the US military and assume that they can attack with impunity. The Democrats being interested in getting re-elected will bend to public outrage and the Taliban will regret having played this game no matter what hole they hide in.

A serious miscalculation on their part, but then again they didn't think we'd attack the first time for protecting Bin Laden.
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
20,984
2
0
There may be some things to agree with and disagree with in the points Haybausa Rider said. Nor should the so called war on terrorism we in the USA are waging world wide be only limited to Afghanistan or the Taliban as it looks like the Ft. Hood shooter was linked to Yemen.

But I will agree that US military power is not to be underestimated, and when used against any tradition State on earth, its no contest. The Yamamoto worry in attacking Pearl Harbor was that the USA was like a great boiler, and once the fire was lit beneath it, it could soon develop unlimited power. It took the USA about two years after WW2 started to really hit critical mass, but after that it was end certain for Japan.

But against Stateless terrorists the US record is not that good, look at Vietnam, even after we had 500,000 troops stationed there. And the more random violence we used, the more support we lost. Which is certainly now true in many parts of Afghanistan and almost all of Pakistan.

But still, we all have to admit the Hayabusa Rider point may intimidate terrorists now, because no really competent terrorists have made the effort to attack the USA post 911. Even if we can find a fairly long list of incompetent terrorists.
 

bamacre

Lifer
Jul 1, 2004
21,030
1
61
They seriously underestimate the power of the US military
That's a valid perspective, but lest we forget, we are limited to what we can afford. Will foreigners continue loaning us money to fight wars which bring us zero financial return? And if we just print the money, we destroy ourselves. We're already spending almost a trillion per year overseas, and we can't afford that.
 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
50,872
4,214
126
That's a valid perspective, but lest we forget, we are limited to what we can afford. Will foreigners continue loaning us money to fight wars which bring us zero financial return? And if we just print the money, we destroy ourselves. We're already spending almost a trillion per year overseas, and we can't afford that.

The problem we face is that we ourselves do not understand what our goals ought to be and how to accomplish them.

It is foolish to assume that a military effort can wipe out an idea. In Afghanistan it is doomed to fail. Neither can it be assumed that using tactics evolved from fighting clearly defined military units has a certain positive outcome.

We've done just that.


Instead some others have suggested looking at one thing which all organizations have and that is organization itself- how it comes about and it's nature.

An example of what I'm talking about. The Taliban tends to self organize in a particular way using methods of communication and lines of supply understood by all.

If the Taliban forms camps in Pakistan, then the logical means of attack would be to gather as much intelligence about the emplacements as possible then launch simultaneous strikes as rapidly as possible then disengage. The enemy then retreats according to how the organization dictates. If analysis of how that is done shows a pattern, then a secondary attack is launched to counter it.

Keep the enemy disoriented and make supply and communication as difficult as possible.

The goal is NOT to eliminate all of them, but to frustrate them to the point where normal operations are all but impossible.

That creates a power vacuum which someone will occupy, or at least a potential challenge to the Taliban may arise. That is the moment which provides opportunity for change.

A good understanding of the social and political dynamic would go a long way towards deflecting the goals of terrorist organizations.

This requires diligence and considered intelligent thought applied in specific and limited ways.

It does not need a military escalation. In fact that would be detrimental.
 
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Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
20,984
2
0
I can have a certain respect for the Haybusa Rider end contentions of " This requires diligence and considered intelligent thought applied in specific and limited ways.

It does not need a military escalation. In fact that would be detrimental."
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And while I cannot disagree with the possible wisdom of the Haybausa prescription, his prescription is not only ill defined, but 404 link to any implication of that Hayabusa policy totally not found, not under GWB or now under Obama.

But as a honest poster with personal viewpoints, maybe its time to point out what is killing Nato success and aspirations in Afghanistan.

1. Learn it and live it, we can't sell the shining turd Narco State that the current Afghan government has become to the Afghan people. Nato has wimped, on one hand they get a wonderful blank check from the Afghan government to do anything Nato want to do, but at the same time, Nato is defeated before they even start as the Taliban is suddenly seen as the cure for current US inspired corruption, ironically the very issue that caused the original rise of the Taliban in 1995. Few in Afghanistan ever supported the nutty Taliban views in the first place, but when the Taliban became the lesser of all other evils, they ended up winning in 1995, and will likely win in the end now. Unless Nato gets real and offers a real alternative Nato has thus far failed to offer.

2.The way to a Nato win in Afghanistan is to deliver a functioning Afghan government yesterday but Nato has never even made even a cursory effort to do so, as Nato somehow deludes itself into believing that if somehow, they can only militarily defeat the Taliban, an Afghan nirvana will suddenly happen, and Nato will suddenly WIN WIN WIN with all problems solved and all former Nato efforts redeemed with the victory. Sadly there is a little problem with that assumption lie in Nato tell itself, Nato has forgotten to defeat the Taliban while the Taliban can't defeat Nato. And now the Afghan people themselves ask, how many years of total anarchy will they have to endure before their misery ends? And to some extent, they know the Taliban are native and Nato as foreigners must sooner or later go away. So a war weary Afghan people may favor getting rid of the USA to achieve that desired end to fighting.

3. Don't even get me started on all the complex Pakistani questions regarding Afghanistan, that is quite another giant problem Nato is totally tone deaf on.
 
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Noobtastic

Banned
Jul 9, 2005
3,721
0
0
Bullshit.

Obama is trying to cook facts in justifying our offensive support for Pakistan's massacre of the North and our own abusive policies in Afghanistan.

Fuck, Obama nearly tripled the predator-drone program and over 3,000+ have been killed by obama-sanctioned targeted killings.

And no, we aren't killing terrorists.

We're killing Taliban druglords.

But mostly, we're killing civilians.

Why the fuck are we in this country and why the FUCK are we gifting 2 billion a year to the Pakistani military.

edit: Looks like Obama and Company responded with the killing of 5 "terrorists:"

http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=175071

Dear fucking god. A failed bombing in NY that allegedly is linked to the Taliban, and we go ahead and bomb the fuck out of a country thousands of miles away?

Can you imagine any other country getting away with this?

For every failed bomb plot in Israel, Russia, Britain, or India...if it were to kill 5 people in response each time, FFS.

this president needs to be impeached for war crimes.
 
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IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
33,580
618
126
And to a great extent, the causes of 911 can be directly traced to Reagan training and arming of Mujaheddin terrorists, wait I mean freedom fighters, and the GHB decision to stations troops on Saudi soil during Gulf war one.
Of course, except for the fact that Carter established the policy of supporting the mujahideen and he began arming and training them. That is conveniently ignored though, right? I don't bring this up to bash Carter; I bring this up to correct your error. I understand why Carter and later Reagan supported that policy.
 
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IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
33,580
618
126
So...

You're saying the attacks on 9/11 were Reagan's fault.

Gotcha.
Conveniently forgotten, of course, is that fact that Jimmy Carter started the policy of training and arming the Mujahideen. Of course he can't be blamed because LL happens to like him, so time to blame Reagan.
 

IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
33,580
618
126
Reagan's actions of gathering the misfits and malcontents of the Islamic/Arab world, arm them and send them off to fight the Soviets can, at best, be characterized as misguided rather than malevolent and has to be seen through the prism of the Cold War before passing judgment. It succeeded in kicking the Soviets out of Afghanistan, so I would have thought a little gratefulness from the Muslim world was in order.
I agree to some extent, but Carter was the one who started the policy of arming and training the mujahideen. I'm not saying that to bash Carter either, as I understand why Carter and later Reagan supported their cause. You are right that there was certainly nothing malevolent with either of their intentions and it is easy to pass judgment on them now without considering how the world view was 30 years ago.
 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
50,872
4,214
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Well LL I could be more specific however I was describing the general approach.

As you say there is no introspection of policy or application in any administration, but there should be. While we disagree on a good many things it is obvious that the current situation is untenable, and acting like a bull in a china shop isn't going to be helpful.

It seems to me that our leaders have rather commonplace intellect and imagination.
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
20,984
2
0
Finally some thing I can totally agree with Hayabusa Rider on, as he notes, "It seems to me that our leaders have rather commonplace intellect and imagination."

As our fearless leader policies sell very well domestically in the USA and other Nato countries, and meets very little domestic opposition. But the problem is and remains, those same policies go over like a lead balloon where it really matters, namely in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

What is more important, having easy US domestic support consensus or actually having the damn US leadership smarts to actually start winning for a change?

I can only conclude we in the USA have failed on the latter, while excelling at the former. We may be able to say Obama, in terms of Afghan policy may be slightly smarter than GWB, but when added together, the sum of both would not even add up to the average insight of a pet rock.

Sorry to say it, but I am totally disgusted with US leadership. If I saw anyone better electable on the horizon I might have a reason for any optimism. Color me a pessimist still not yet pleasantly surprised. But there surely must be something self ratifying in being totally depressed, and thus I might find personal satisfaction on our road to ruin.
 

tvarad

Golden Member
Jun 25, 2001
1,130
0
0
I agree to some extent, but Carter was the one who started the policy of arming and training the mujahideen. I'm not saying that to bash Carter either, as I understand why Carter and later Reagan supported their cause. You are right that there was certainly nothing malevolent with either of their intentions and it is easy to pass judgment on them now without considering how the world view was 30 years ago.
I stand corrected. It wasn't my intention to apportion blame as much as to find the reasons for the state of affairs as they are today. What I remember is that Carter's national security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski was an extreme hawk when it came to dealing with the Soviets and saw their invasion of Afghanistan as the perfect chance to get even with them for helping the Communists during the Vietnam war (his Polish background probably had something to do with this too, given that Poland was under Communist rule then).

I think the more ominous dimension to the Times Square Bomber is the fact that he is the son of a top Pakistani Air Force officer. If those in or related to the armed forces can be radicalized, then what would prevent a disgruntled officer to go the whole hog and participate in a plot to set off a dirty bomb? I wonder if that was the reason for Hilary's blunt warning of serious consequences for Pakistan if such an attempt in the future were to be successful.
 

Herr Kutz

Platinum Member
Jun 14, 2009
2,545
240
106
That's a valid perspective, but lest we forget, we are limited to what we can afford. Will foreigners continue loaning us money to fight wars which bring us zero financial return? And if we just print the money, we destroy ourselves. We're already spending almost a trillion per year overseas, and we can't afford that.

I think it's more a problem of being limited by Washington. We have the means, the soldiers just don't have the permission.
 
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Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
20,984
2
0
I think it's more a problem of being limited by Washington. We have the means, the soldiers just don't have the permission.
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I almost totally disagree that this is our problem in Afghanistan. Our problem is killing just the bad guys without killing the good guys. And because Nato has already killed far too many of the innocent civilian population already, Nato is seen as the problem. And as the US military, in a show of force, tries to clear an area of the Taliban, it disrupts the lives of million of Afghan civilians. A month later, Nato is gone, the Taliban is back, civilian refugees finally come home, and the courts and Afghan government still do not function. Welcome to year nine of living in a shooting gallery.

Meanwhile Nato builds nothing, has way way too few troops to hold anything, and worse yet, no one in the USA is willing to talk about the 620,000 troops it would take to run a military occupation of Afghanistan able to build and hold any territory.
 

Pepsei

Lifer
Dec 14, 2001
12,895
1
0
i'm afraid once the government limits certain constitutional rights to Americans, if they have the label 'terrorist', they can make their own labels.
 

xj0hnx

Diamond Member
Dec 18, 2007
9,262
3
76
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I almost totally disagree that this is our problem in Afghanistan. Our problem is killing just the bad guys without killing the good guys. And because Nato has already killed far too many of the innocent civilian population already, Nato is seen as the problem. And as the US military, in a show of force, tries to clear an area of the Taliban, it disrupts the lives of million of Afghan civilians. A month later, Nato is gone, the Taliban is back, civilian refugees finally come home, and the courts and Afghan government still do not function. Welcome to year nine of living in a shooting gallery.
Nine years living in a shooting gallery? Afghans have been living in a shooting gallery for what? The better part of the last four or five decades? longer? And even further back? Between the British, Russians, and civil war, maybe a century, or longer, fighting is nothing new in Afghanistan.
 

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