Wednesday :: Jun 1, 2005

Monsters Of The Id

by pessimist

While America sits still before their televisions, enraptured by the devastation wreaked upon the reckless wealthy citizens of Laguna Beach and the latest from the Michael 'Joe' Jackson trial, the real news continues to happen. At least I think it does.

It's almost like a zen koan: if FAUX News doesn't mention it, is it really news?

I'm going to stick my neck out and proclaim that it IS still news - and FAUX News can pound some of that expensive loose dirt from Bluebird Canyon up their dorsal ports if they don't like it!

We've been hearing for days now about how well the 'war on Terra' has been going, but I'm suffering from cognitive dissonance if I believe it! I would be unable to stand a liberal's chance on FAUX of proving that this isn't me being delusional at all if it wasn't for this editorial:

A president at odds with reality
Iraq, Afghanistan and the terrorist threat all contradict Bush's misleading rhetoric.

What was false in 2003 is now true: Iraq is integral to the fight against al-Qaida and other terrorists. On this and other security issues, its pronouncements dangerously misrepresent the dangers and effects of its policies. Invasion and a badly botched occupation made the prewar hype a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Iraq is not just where terrorism is burgeoning. It is also why.
In Iraq, insurgents have killed more than 700 in the past month alone, including public officials, police and soldiers, and confidence in the government is falling. Bombings and assassinations continue to obstruct reconstruction, oil production and public services such as health care and electricity.

Meanwhile in Afghanistan, the actual al-Qaida stronghold, Taliban holdouts and warlords threaten the stability of the government that the White House left dangling when it turned to Iraq.

And that situation is the main topic of this post.

King George has to be certifiably delusional. Right after he declared that the United States is making strides in defeating terrorists and advancing freedom across the world, the opponents of Bu$hCo are stamping 'LIE!' on everything Bu$h exclaimed through their unchallenged assaults on those seen as being US allies:

Taliban spokesman Mawlawi Abdul Latif Hakimi has claimed responsibility for the slaying of cleric Mawlavi Abdullah Fayaz, saying the Mujahideen or holy warriors of Islamic Emirate (ousted Taliban regime) punished Fayaz for his support to Americans.

The incident was followed by a rocket attack on the headquarters of the 8,000-strong NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in the wee hours of Monday, leaving no casualties.

A roadside bike bomb went off soon after the rocket attack also on Monday in a crowded road used by ISAF and US army vehicles, injuring eight civilians.

Earlier on May 16, four armed men, believed to have links with the militants abducted Italian relief worker Clementina Cantoni from the capital city and the Afghan government has yet to secure her release.

The only 'strides' I detect here are those of the anti-American forces. They clearly demonstrate that all of King George's Air Cavalry and all of his Stop-loss'd Men cannot keep the Taliban from striking again - when and where they choose.

Who's behind this increase in violence? Could it be ... OMAR?

Attacks on foreign and government targets have been on the rise since mid-May when Afghan President Hamid Karzai convened a conference of Afghan celebrities and elders to solicit their opinions with regard to the question of establishing permanent US military bases in Afghanistan.

The delegates, with mixed reactions on the subject, have referred the controversial issue to the coming parliament to be formed in late September, while President Karzai during his recent visit to the United States advocated US long stay in his war-shattered Central Asian state. A joint declaration signed by Afghan and US presidents and released on May 23 in the White House facilitates America's long-term military presence in Afghanistan.

Taliban's elusive leader Mullah Mohammad Omar termed the declaration as a sellout of Afghanistan and denounced it. In a statement issued from a unknown location late last week, Omar strongly condemned the joint declaration and called for intensifying Jihad or holy war till the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan. "Mullah Omar's threat is a clear indication of his design to subvert peace and stability in the country including the derailing of the upcoming parliamentary polls," local journalist Bashir Ahmad Ghazali noted. The remnants of Taliban, whose regime was ousted by US invasion in late 2001, have been fighting to expel some 26,000 foreign troops from Afghanistan where the skirmishes have left more than 100 dead over the past two months.

Could it be ... HEKMATYAR?

In addition to Taliban, a dissident warlord and former Prime Minister Gulbudin Hekmatyar has also criticized the Karzai-Bush joint declaration on Afghan-US strategic partnership as a ploy to prolong US stay in the region. In a communique issued to local press, Hekmatyar said that the United States would not leave Afghanistan on its own unless being pushed out by resistance. As a man wanted by Washington, Hekmatyar has been leading hit-and-run attacks against Afghan and US troops over the past three years, mostly in the mountainous regions of eastern and southeastern Afghanistan.

In addition to attacking mullahs who have displayed sympathies to the infidels, they have also directly attacked the government of UNOCAL employee Hamid Karzai:

Suicide bomber kills 19 in Afghan mosque

Kabul police chief Akram Khakreezwal was among mourners at the Abdul Rab Akhundzada mosque in the southern city of Kandahar when the bomber struck. "I saw bodies scattered, blood all over the place. Dead policemen were also lying there," said shop owner Kalimullah, who reached the mosque moments after the blast.

The bomber wore a police uniform, several survivors said. He had walked into the crowded mosque by mingling with Khakreezwal's security men as they entered with their boss, who was from Kandahar, police said.

The Afghan attacks are much more widespread than we are being told by the Bu$hCo lap-media:

In another blast, an Afghan working for an agency clearing land mines was killed and four colleagues wounded when a bomb planted on a bicycle went off as their vehicle passed in neighboring Helmand province, an official there said.

A roadside bomb in Kabul Monday wounded seven Afghans. The Taliban claimed responsibility.

These attacks aren't escaping the notice of the world's media. Some are counting up the number of attacks, and coming up with the idea that the Taliban are far from defeated:

Analysis: Are the Taleban regrouping?

The Americans recently characterised the Taleban as a declining force. As winter turned to spring in Afghanistan and the Taleban resumed guerrilla style offensives in the south and east, American commanders were declaring them a weakened, losing force. They say they are down to around 2,000 men with declining appeal to former leaders and to the population. But the American belief, that they are still funded and armed by al-Qaeda, coupled to the frequency and deadliness of their attacks in the past two months, tests that theory to the full.

Some analysts say Afghanistan is witnessing an increase, not a decrease, in what they describe as the Taleban's sophisticated attacks and they believe that will continue during the coming months. One Kabul-based analyst said that although the Americans had stepped up anti-Taleban operations, he expected attacks by the rebel movement to increase in the coming months.

Increased Attacks Sending A Message

He said the real measure of their strength was not their numbers but the sophistication and degree of co-ordination of those attacks. The assassination of Mawlawi Fayaz, he said, followed by a strike inside the mosque during his funeral, proved just how sophisticated. Since the cleric was a close ally of Hamid Karzai, it served as a message to the Afghan president of the Taleban's continuing threat. The killing of Kabul's recently appointed police chief, another ally, sent the same message.

If the Taleban were responsible for the Kandahar mosque attack, in the analyst's words, "they got a lot of bangs for their bucks."

It isn't just Karzai in Afghanistan being shown to be helpless and inept despite US backing. It's also happening to his neighbor, US-buddy Pakistan:

Suicide attack on mosque kills five in Pakistan

A suicide bomb attack on a Shiite Muslim mosque in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi on May 30 killed five people and injured 20 others. Even though the police had detected and gunned down two assailants outside the mosque, a third with explosives tied around his body, managed to find his way into the building and activated the bomb.

The attack angered minority Shiite Muslims and triggered a barrage of violent acts immediately afterwards. They burned dozens of cars, a restaurant serving American food near the mosque, two gas stations, eight shops and two power transmission stations. The violence has forced many shops to close their doors and many people to evacuate the city.

Police recover six bodies from KFC restaurant burned by mob

Police recovered six bodies from a KFC restaurant burned by a mob protesting the suicide bombing of mosque in southern Pakistan, a senior police official said. Senior Police official Manzoor Mughal said they had found six employees' bodies at the KFC, four of them were burned alive, while two died after hiding at a cold storage at the restaurant.

11 dead in Pakistan, KFC burned down

"It was very sad scene. When we found the bodies in the freezer one of them had a cellphone in his hand with a missed call from his wife," Karachi fire brigade chief Azam Ali told AFP.

One of the assailants died in a gunbattle with police who were standing guard at the door of the building. The other blew himself up and the third sustained a serious head injury, apparently in a fall, city police chief Tariq Jamil told AFP. Two worshippers and a policeman also died in the attack, while 21 people were hospitalised, four of them in a critical condition.

Hospital officials said the surviving attacker had regained consciousness. "He identified himself as Jamil," senior police investigator Manzoor Mughal told AFP. Mughal said the man said he was affiliated to the Sunni militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad, banned by President Pervez Musharraf in 2001. Sectarian extremist groups are opposed to Musharraf for leading a crackdown on Islamic militancy and their associates from the Al-Qaeda terror network of Osama bin Laden.

Police were guarding the room of the suspect but doctors would not allow them to interrogate him. "The proper investigation would start when he is fully recovered," Mughal said. The man may help police uncover possible links to a suicide bombing on Friday which killed 19 people, most of them Shiites, at a shrine in Islamabad.

Security forces were placed on high alert following the Islamabad blast, but police were unable to stop the Shiite mob in Karachi, which also torched two gas stations and a number of vehicles in addition to the KFC outlet.

Security has been tightened in Karachi as funeral prayers of the blast victims were scheduled in the same mosque while separate burials of the arson victims were also expected later in the day. Tension was already high in volatile Karachi after the abduction and murder of a local leader of the main fundamentalist Jamaat-i-Islami party in the city on Monday.

Thousands of Shiite and majority Sunni Muslims have been killed in Pakistan in recent years, with attacks including bomb blasts, suicide bombings and targeted killings. Last year 160 people were killed.

In addition, troubles are being stirred up elsewhere that will affect the tenuous hold King George has on Iraq:

Missing Kurdish Muslim Cleric in Syria Found Dead

Kurdish party officials in Syria say the body of a Kurdish Muslim cleric has been found three weeks after he was reported missing. The Yekiti Kurdish Party says hospital officials in northeastern Syria found signs of torture on the body of Sheikh Mohammad Maashouq al-Khaznawi. Mr. al-Khaznawi had been missing since leaving the Islamic Studies Center in Damascus on May 10. The disappearance sparked a march last month by thousands of Kurds demanding to know his whereabouts. Kurdish leaders accused Syrian officials of holding the sheikh. Authorities denied the charge. Kurdish party leaders say the cleric's body was being transported for burial services in the town of Kameshli.

There are three basic scenarios as to what happened to Sheikh al_Khaznawi. The first is presented above, that the Syrians were responsible. I personally doubt this, as Syria has been attempting to avoid handing King George any cause celebre to beat the war drums and loose waves of Tomohawks upon Damascus. Look at how easily they were 'influenced' to depart Lebanon.

The second scenario, that the US did this, also makes little sense. The Kurds are vital to the US interests as a political buffer between the Iraqi Shi'a and the Sunni (think of them as the Moderate 14 from our Senate), and to harm one of their leaders would work against this.

So who was it?

The Turks.

They are most worried that the Iraqi Kurds will inspire new turmoil among the Turkish Kurds, a major worry because the new Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline runs through traditional Kurdish lands. The Azerbaijani government is cracking down on 'dissidents', so why shouldn't the Turks attempt to cause unrest among the Kurds of whatever land and draw attention away from themselves?

But restless Kurds isn't the only problem that this pipeline generates. Vladimir Putin is far from pleased that this pipleline bypasses Russian pipelines and will reduce income. This will only lead to further trouble from him, and with the pending decline of the EU, might push him even closer to the Chinese, whose needs for a modern air force and a nuclear deterent of a size that would get even King George's diminished attention would make Putin very welcome.

But Putin, Russia, and China are topics for another post.

King George has predicted that "While some difficult days still lie ahead, these recent victories are making America safer and the world more secure. As we make progress against today's enemies, we are also transforming our military to defeat the enemies we might face in the decades ahead."

Somehow, I doubt the veracity of this statement, since it's coming from a man who deserted his post, never saw war, is surrounded by Chickenhawks, and doesn't know the truth when it bites him on his silver-spoon third-base @$$. The only enemies he maybe could defeat are the most powerful ones he faces - ones which don't really exist outside of his coke-addled, dry-drunk brain.

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pessimist :: 7:33 PM :: Comments (3) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!