Sunday :: Jun 11, 2006

Misunderestimating The Enemy

by pessimist

"They misunderestimated me."
— George W. Bush, Bentonville, Ark., Nov. 6, 2000

"They misunderestimated me."
- Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Baghdad, Iraq, June 7, 2006, just before being beaten and dying.

For a bunch of guys who never went to war, Bu$hCo thinks they have this one won just be cause they killed Zarqawi, and a few detainees took the midnight noose to the 72 virgins! This event, and the braggadocio surrounding it, isn't playing well with the Iraqis, however - they aren't convinced that Zarqawi's death is as good a thing as Bu$hCo thinks it is:

Iraqi blogger Riverbend had this to say about Zarqawi: "The timing is extremely suspicious: just when people were getting really fed up with the useless Iraqi government, Zarqawi is killed and Maliki is hailed the victorious leader of the occupied world!" [via BuzzFlash]

Reports indicate that - far from diminishing now that Zarqawi is dead - the insurgency continues essentially unabated. This puts the big red 'LIE!' stamp all over administration efforts to paint Zarqawi as the key to ending the insurgency.

In fact, if anything, the 'insurgency' - a word fraught with connotations of legitimacy for the puppet government set up by Bu$hco to 'oversee' Halliburton's freebooting of Iraqi oil to expand the stock in the US Strategic Reserve - is continuing as if nothing of significance occured.

The New York Times says: "But even if the Qaeda network crumbles, the Americans and their Iraqi allies will still confront the challenge of the homegrown insurgency."

There is also that little domestic sectarian strife thing that Bu$hCo ignores:

New Beheading Video Aims to Quash Hopes for Respite in Iraq Violence After Al-Zarqawi
Jun 10, 2006

Insurgents signaled the fight is still on after Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's death, posting an Internet video Saturday showing the beheading of three alleged Shiite death squad members in revenge for killing Sunnis.

Abdullah bin Rashid al-Baghdadi, the Shura Council's head, vowed:

"As for you - the slaves of the cross (coalition forces),
the grandsons of Ibn al-Alqami (Shiites),
and every infidel of the Sunnis -
we can't wait to sever your necks with our swords."

Translation: "Bring it on? Here we come! Ready or not!"

And they are coming - from all over the world, ready to take the places of their predecessors.

As BuzzFlash observes:

[T]he barbaric golden framed photos of al-Zarqawi's bloated, blood-splotched face -- displayed almost instantly at Pentagon news briefings -- was akin to Bush's "Bring 'em on" statement that put our troops at such great risk. Indeed, Bush's sophomoric bravado a couple of years back resulted in egging on the insurgents and more deaths for our military men and women. And this latest "displaying the enemy's ear" PR initiative is going to backfire in the same way.

King George may have gotten a small - and temporary - uptick in his approval rating, but this seems to me to be a more realistic assessment of the situation:

[I]t appears that al-Qaeda in Iraq will most likely survive its leader's death
and that its impact on the fighting in the country will be marginal,
if only because al-Qaeda comprises a small portion of the insurgency.

In fact, our more realistic assessment offers this interesting take:

One danger that his death leaves open for the United States and the Iraqi government is the possibility that al-Zarqawi's successor will be more competent.
If al-Qaeda in Iraq is successful in winning more Sunni hearts and minds in Iraq,
it could prove to be a larger threat to the new Iraqi government than under al-Zarqawi's helm.

It also isn't going to play well that a child was killed in the attack, further inflaming Muslim outrage. But that doesn't matter, does it?

This volatile situation isn't going to be helped by the Guantanamo suicides. Maybe dozens have attempted it, but how many succeeded? Only these three. The First.

Think of the timing of their sacrifice: the first successful detainee suicides coincident with the death of Zaqawi at the hands of the US. Which is going to get more media attention in the Muslim world?

The effect of this action isn't to be taken lightly. While the US and Iraqi 'authorities' are dismissing Al Qaeda vows of revenge as 'a propaganda ploy', the real effect of the assymetrical suicide 'attack' at Guantanamo is beginning to emerge.

For example, our good anti-terror 'friends', the Saudis, are stepping up efforts to repatriate all [Saudi] nationals held at the base in Cuba.

"Each Saudi has to be brought home where he can face up to charges he is accused of based on our laws and regulations," the Interior Ministry spokesman said.

The Pakistanis aren't convinced that many of their countrymen held there are guilty of anything either:

It Isn't Pakistan's Fault that Afghans Support the Taliban
EDITORIAL The Nation, Pakistan
May 24, 2006

[T]housands of Pakistanis, accused mostly of minor infractions of law, were lying in foreign prisons. It isn't clear what our consulates have been doing to get them released. Earnest efforts must be made to ensure their freedom as early as possible. Plans for a delegation to visit Guantanamo Bay should be constituted immediately to extend all necessary help to Pakistanis held there.

It looks to me that these, our 'allies', no longer trust the word of Bush World Anti-al Qaeda Inc. This distrust of Bush WAaQ is being echoed in Britain, where UK Constitutional Affairs Minister Harriet Harman told the BBC

"If it's perfectly legal and there's nothing going wrong there -
well, why don't they have it in America,
[where] the American court system can supervise it?"

Could it be that Bu$hCo doesn't WANT court 'supervision'? American forces are already known to have committed atrocities against Iraqi civilians and and paying hush money to survivors, and the fact that the Zarqawi attack site has already been leveled - bulldozed to destroy all evidence that there was ever a house or an attack at that site - is sure to cause suspicious wonderment over the motivations for doing so.

Then there is the apparent dismissal of Muslim beliefs through the comments of Rear Adm. Harry Harris, commander of Joint Task Force-Guantanamo, when he said that "there is a "mythical belief" that the Guantanamo detention center would be shut down if three detainees die.

But let's not worry about that! Ignore that belief! That should take care of that conflict! We should have taken this approach over the Mohammad cartoons earlier this year! Those detainees were deluded by 'mythical beliefs'! What rational person could believe such a thing as they did?

After all, as Harris later says:

"They have no regard for human life, neither ours nor their own,"Harris said.

I was wondering when we were going to turn this Iraq fiasco into a bad World War II propaganda flick! John Wayne would have made a great Rumsfeld, and Orson Wells would have made a great Shooter!

But this statement isn't seen as accurate only for the Iraqi resistance. It also applies to the Iraqi Occupation:

Haditha: Is Proper Military Conduct in Iraq Even Possible?
By Jan van Benthem
June 1, 2006

Original Article (Dutch), Nederlands Dagblad, The Netherlands
Translated By Iris Reijnen

To their horror, the American people have discovered that U.S. Marines have murdered in blind fury. This is exactly what Marine General Michael Hagee was afraid of. Even before the details of the Haditha massacre emerged, he wrote of his fear that the troops were becoming numb by repeated battle experiences:

"Many of our Marines have been involved in life or death combat or have witnessed the loss of their fellow Marines, and the effects of these events can be numbing.

"There is the risk of becoming indifferent to the loss of a human life,
as well as bringing dishonor upon ourselves."

Let's have Bu$hCo put all those 1943 propaganda reels back into the vault, and then face current reality.

For the record, "Asymmetrical warfare" is defined as "a conflict in which a much weaker opponent uses unorthodox or surprise tactics to attack the weak points of the much stronger opponent." One weak point of the US is our poor image around the world. These suicides were intended to play into that poor image, furhter inciting Muslim hostility. But what effect did these suicides, and Zarqawi's death, actually have?

For that information, the world - a more objective information source than the White House - needs to be consulted. George, Shooter, and Rummy-Dummy aren't going to like what they read - if they read, that is:

[T]he Iraqi government is losing to the resistance. Washington cannot win the fight.

'Zarqawi Has Won' - EDITORIAL
Original Article from Le Monde, France(French)
Translated for By Leslie Thatcher
June 9, 2006

[T]he victor up to now in this war is Zarqawi himself. Before disappearing, the Jordanian jihadist had, in less than three years, won his main wagers.

* Zarqawi promised an international rout: by attacking U.N. headquarters in Baghdad he succeeded in making United Nations' agencies, NGOs and businessmen flee Iraq.

* Zarqawi promised a ruthless war against the American Army. [N]o American patrol can hope to leave its base in Baghdad or in the Sunni triangle without being harassed, often to deadly effect.

* Zarqawi finally and above all – and this is what differentiated him from an Osama bin Laden who is at war with the West and Saudi Arabia - promised blood and tears to the Shiites, to the Kurds, and a civil war in Iraq: this has come to pass. Sunni and Shiite militias execute daily assassinations, population transfers have begun and a climate of inter-communal mistrust - even hatred – has set Iraq ablaze.

This civil war, emerging since 2004
and more violent since the spring of 2006,
is Zarqawi's principal victory.

Iraq isn't the only fire the Bushista Battallion Chiefs have to extinguish. Other battlefronts of the 'War on Terra' are heating up, both old and new. A large springtime offensive by Taliban fighters "has turned into the strongest show of force by the insurgents since American forces chased the Taliban from power in late 2001."

The Karzai Regime Schemers are reprtedly less than amused by this development - or this one:

In an apparent attempt to kill Kabul's director of government intelligence, Humayoon Aini, a bomb ripped through the first car in his convoy late Friday, killing a local politician and two other people, said Kabul's police chief, Amanullah Ghazar.

Just for that, I wouldn't pay the security bill for this month, Hamid! They didn't earn it!

Just as with Iraqis, the Afghanis are losing faith in the PNAC Petroleum Pirate Posse Plan Protecting Potential Profitable Pipeline Plunder:

Afghan Success is Fading Fast
By Jacques Amalric
June 1, 2006

Original Article (French) Liberation, France
Translated By Molly Smith

Is Afghanistan on its way to becoming the next Iraq? The majority of Afghans, in any case, believe less and less in the survivability of a corrupt government and administration, which are inefficient and even non-existent in certain provinces, whose very survival is dependent on the presence of foreign troops. They know that this respite will necessarily come to an end, since they witness blunder after blunder that can only increase as the fighting intensifies, and no one believes in the determination of the coalition member countries.

There doesn't seem to be much determination in the coalition:

When Kabul Capsizes ...
By Britta Petersen
May 31, 2006

Original Article (German) Financial Times Deutschland, Germany
Translated by Bob Skinner

Civil war looms in Afghanistan because U.S. troops act like occupiers and the Taliban are powerful again. How much longer does the U.S. want to show that it hasn't the slightest respect for the culture or citizens of a country whose dogged resistance has expelled every foreign occupier?
"I dread the moment my countrymen come to the conclusion
that the Americans are no better than the Russians,
and once again call for jihad,"
says an Afghani resident of Germany.
If the situation in Afghanistan deteriorates further, all foreigners will be affected. At the same time, the strategy for the political reconstruction of Afghanistan needs to be rethought. The idea of including Islamists in the government to keep the provinces quiet has failed. President Hamid Karzai has thus lost most of his credibility.

The blame can't be assigned to Bu$hCo! Time to call in Tony The Killer Attack Lap Poodle to take the flying leap off the Cliffs of Logic:

Britain is the fall guy for the US retreat from Afghanistan
The attempt to assert Kabul's control over the country will fail - and our anti-Taliban mission is little short of suicidal
Simon Jenkins
June 7, 2006
The Guardian

[T]he Americans have failed to stem increasing Taliban infiltration from Pakistan. Their brutal bombing of villages has recruited hundreds of fighters to the Taliban cause and bred hatred for both the Americans and Karzai. On Thursday the Taliban almost killed the Canadian commander in Kandahar.

Afghanistan is facing probably the last attempt by outsiders to give it a western political economy. Hamid Karzai, the weak but brave American-backed president of Afghanistan, appears to be moving away from the western nation-building models of his more technocratic ministers, and towards a more traditional Afghan politics. After four years of waning authority outside Kabul, Karzai knows that to survive he must deal with existing power brokers, including the drug warlords - whatever this does for his reputation abroad.

Nato's international security and assistance force (Isaf) comes under the nine-month command of an extrovert British general, David Richards. He must somehow do what has defied the Americans for four years: curb the resurgent Taliban, impose government on the provinces and persuade local rulers to pay allegiance and taxes to Kabul - for the first time in their history.

The trouble is that Richards has no control over the Americans, obsessed with tracking down the Scarlet Pimpernel of Waziristan, Osama bin Laden, by hook or crook - mostly crook. He has no control over Karzai's deals with warlords and none over the reigning confusion that is western opium policy.

The Americans turned a blind eye, accepting that
some 80% of the country's exports by value are tied up in opium.
Yet they still train Afghan pilots in Texas to spray poison on poppies.

As for substitute crops, there are none of remotely equivalent value, especially since the west started dumping wheat on the Afghan market this year.

Can't neglect protecting the profits of important GOP agriculture contributors like Cargill and Archer Daniels Midlands! Wouldn't be prudent!

Oops! Wrong Bush!

But I digress.

The original American policy had realpolitik. It was to capture Kabul with proxy tribesmen, topple the regime and get out fast.
But the policy needed cover for its retreat. It needed a fall guy.
Step forward plucky Britain, with Afghan glory lodged in its military genes. This time it even came with a glittering baggage train of cosmopolitan hangers-on. The fall guy will fall. We can only take comfort that he will do so in style.

This 'Cambridge Kamikaze' mission is bleeding across the Afghan border into the land of an 'ally' - one which is also being treated like the problem and not the solution:

A Taliban Comeback?

Most Afghans anticipate a full US withdrawal, despite American promises that it remains committed to Afghanistan. The Karzai government is angry with Washington, and also frustrated at the US attitude toward Pakistan. The Taliban know this and test NATO’s commitment.

To prop up Afghanistan and combat the Taliban, the US and NATO may have to make major concessions to Pakistan’s military regime, but any concessions would anger the Afghans, encourage the extremists and allow the unpopular military to dominate Pakistan’s political scene for another five years.

Senior NATO officials in Madrid told YaleGlobal that Pakistan’s military regime is turning a blind eye to Taliban recruitment and control taking place in Baluchistan province. Pakistan has lost more than 600 troops fighting Al Qaeda and other terrorist forces in the North West Frontier Province, but has done little to control the Taliban in Baluchistan, say NATO officers.

Pakistan insists it is doing what it can to reign in the Taliban. General Shaukat Sultan, the army’s principle spokesman, says Pakistan will act the moment NATO or the US gives, "actionable intelligence as to where Taliban leaders are."

However Pakistan’s real gripe is with the Americans.
Relations between the two countries have not been so poor since 9/11. In March Bush spent just a few hours in Islamabad after spending several days in India, where he gave recognition to India’s nuclear weapons program, but refused to do the same for Pakistan."We are an ally of the US in the global war on terror, but we will not take dictation from anybody on our national interests," Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri told the upper house of parliament on May 19.

Pakistan also pushes ahead to build a gas pipeline from Iran through Pakistan to India, at a cost of US $7.2 billion, despite repeated US warnings not to do so.

Pakistan is also convinced that the US and Afghanistan are allowing Indian spy agencies unparalleled access among the Pashtun tribes in southern Afghanistan, from where they are destabilizing Pakistan.

So it’s not surprising that the military
still looks to the Taliban as its long-term proxy force in Afghanistan.

Puts a new spin on how Osama escaped Tora Bora, doesn't it?

There is also the new front in Somalia, where some analysts say The Horn of Africa has just acquired its own Taliban.

That war will begin shortly, as soon as Bu$hCo decides how to pull its collective cranium out of its collective dorsal port.

Considering how tied up in foreign lands George is getting, is it so hard to see where certain conquered elements of our own society just might decide to resume THEIR insurgency?

"My lands are where my dead lie buried," said Crazy Horse.

Someone better check the Skull and Bones vault where Prescott Bu$h hid Geronimo's stolen skull - it just might have gone home! Is it time for the Ghost Dance already?

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pessimist :: 5:20 PM :: Comments (12) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!