Obama In Afghanistan: Doomed From The Start?

26 12 2009

By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

At the same time that President Obama announced the deployment of an additional 30,000 American troops to Afghanistan, he said the U.S. would begin pulling out by July of 2011—just before his reelection campaign begins in earnest, and only one year after our forces will have been deployed fully.  It is a political decision, and tantamount to conceding the country to our enemies sometime that year.  The president’s decisions are not surprising because he is an anti-war politician who never served in the U.S. military, and he knows nothing about running a war.  His plans are designed to appease his political soul mates and constituency, America’s anti-war far-Left.

His “dithering” for months now has undermined the support of our allies, and sent a clear signal to our enemies that he is weak and indecisive, and America is too.  The halfway measures of his new Afghan policies will not satisfy the American political Left or Right, our allies or the Afghan people—whose suffering will continue.  However, the president will have pleased our enemies, especially when he is focused on an “exit strategy” instead of winning.  It is disturbing to watch him pathetically try to micro-manage the war in Afghanistan from the White House.[2] Indeed, it smacks of Lyndon Johnson’s tragic handling of the Vietnam War that resulted in the senseless deaths of more than 58,000 Americans, and more than 150,000 who were wounded[3]; and the end of his presidency.

We began in Afghanistan militarily shortly after 9/11, and were successful in taking over the country and ousting the Taliban.  The poppy crops should have been eradicated then, so the worldwide supply of heroin would have been reduced dramatically.  The Associated Press reported on November 23, 2009: “The poppy crop in Afghanistan, which produces 90 percent of the world’s supply of opium, is linked to corruption, addiction and a drug trade that bankrolls the Taliban insurgency.”  Opium poppies are the raw ingredient in making heroin.

We should not have turned our attention to Iraq until Afghanistan was stabilized fully.  Because we directed our resources to Iraq, Afghanistan was allowed to “languish” and the Taliban were permitted to regain traction.  We have made great strides in helping the long-suffering women of Afghanistan, and that must not cease or be neglected.  Afghanistan is important to us strategically as well, because the Taliban “straddle” both Afghanistan and Pakistan; and if Afghanistan falls, Pakistan might descend into unfathomable chaos, with its nuclear arsenal falling into the hands of our enemies.

President Obama is a far-Left neophyte who is in the process of presiding over a failed presidency, which is likely to get worse with the passage of time.  General David Petraeus and other leaders in our military chain of command have endorsed General Stanley McChrystal’s requests for more troops, which according to reports involve far more than 40,000.  The president should let the military handle Afghanistan, and allow General McChrystal to do his job.

Obama has not been successful at running anything, ever; and it is unlikely that Afghanistan will be an exception.  At best he is a failed “community organizer” from Chicago, who was raised in Hawaii and Indonesia.  Just read his book, “Dreams from My Father”—which is a real eye opener—if you have any doubts.[4] His beliefs are premised on naïveté and defeat, as well as the notion that the U.S. cannot send additional troops without a plan for getting them out.  For example, the Washington Post quotes White House officials as stating: “[Obama’s] desired end state in Afghanistan envisions more informal local security arrangements than in Iraq, a less-capable national government and a greater tolerance of insurgent violence.”[5]

This is a prescription for defeat, and it sends precisely the wrong message to our enemies, who will simply wait for Obama to get weaker and for America to leave Afghanistan.  It will result in the shedding of American blood and that of our allies for nothing, like Vietnam.  Former Vice President Dick Cheney is correct when he says that the average Afghan citizen “sees talk about exit strategies and how soon we can get out, instead of talk about how we win.  Those folks . . . begin to look for ways to accommodate their enemies.  They’re worried the United States isn’t going to be there much longer and the bad guys are.”

President Obama is correct that the people of Afghanistan have endured violence for decades, which makes his exit strategy of one year after deployment so unrealistic.  A year passes in the flash of an eye; and it is not long enough to make a difference in Afghanistan.  Just imagine Franklin Delano Roosevelt saying that he would not commit U.S. troops to the war against Hitler in Europe, or the war against Japan in the Pacific, unless he had an exit strategy in place and operating one year after they were deployed.  Thank God that Obama was not in charge of the D-Day invasion of Europe, or other decision-making in World War II.  Hitler would have won, and Europe (including the UK) would be speaking German.

More and more Americans are realizing that Obama is a mistake, even though he is personable, intelligent and certainly a fine speaker.  The highly-respected Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll—for December 24, 2009—shows that 43 percent of U.S. voters Strongly Disapprove of the way Obama is performing his role as president, while 27 percent Strongly Approve, giving him a negative Presidential Approval Index rating of -16.[6] That speaks volumes about where Obama and America are heading.

The president’s Afghan policies are doomed from the start because he is not sending enough troops to succeed; he has set an unrealistic exit date; Al Qaeda and the Taliban will be active and aggressive in Afghanistan long after Obama exits politics; he will not be able to hold even his own party together with respect to this issue; and like Vietnam for Lyndon Johnson, Afghanistan may prove to be Obama’s political undoing—apart from the economy, ObamaCare, national security and other vital issues.  Since when does an anti-war far-Left community organizer know how to run a war, much less successfully?

© 2009, Timothy D. Naegele


[1] Mr. Naegele was counsel to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass), the first black senator since Reconstruction after the U.S. Civil War.  He practices law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates (www.naegele.com).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years.  See, e.g., www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles

[2] See, e.g., http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/25/AR2009122501923_pf.html

[3] See, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_casualties_of_war

[4] See Obama, “Dreams from My Father” (paperback “Revised Edition,” published by Three Rivers Press, 2004); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

[5] See infra n.2.

[6] See http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll


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24 responses

27 01 2010
naegeleblog

Our “Community-Organizer-In-Chief” and other key players in his White House, including Vice President Biden, have believed that our military presence in Afghanistan would be relatively short-lived and limited. The Pentagon pays lip service to that, but otherwise does essentially what it wants to do, as it did with Bill Clinton.

The Pentagon knows Obama cannot appear to be weak on defense and national security, so it has him “over a barrel” just like it had with Bill Clinton before him. Obama is reluctant to take on the military politically, and wisely so—much to the chagrin of his far-Left constituents, some of whom believe America does not need to be strong militarily. As I have stated before: “America’s economic and military strength go hand in hand. Both are indispensable ingredients of our great nation’s future strength.” See http://www.realclearpolitics.com/news/tms/politics/2009/Apr/08/euphoria_or_the_obama_depression_.html

See also http://www.latimes.com/news/nation-and-world/la-na-obama-middle-class26-2010jan26,0,7804529.story (“President Obama will propose a freeze on non-defense-related federal spending. . . . Under Obama’s 2011 budget proposal, any discretionary spending unrelated to national security would be frozen at its current level”) (emphasis added); see id. (“With his job approval ratings in decline and his political fortunes worsening in recent days, Obama is fighting to keep his Democratic majorities in Congress through the fall elections. That means persuading disillusioned voters to reinvest in him and his party for another two years.”)

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11 02 2010
naegeleblog

Joe Biden And Barack Obama: Chutzpah, Failure And Irresponsibility

See http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2010/02/joe-biden-update-larry-king-iraq-obama-sarah-palin.html

First, Joe Biden wanted to carve up Iraq three ways: part for the Sunnis, part for the Shiites, and part for the Kurds. Second, Barack Obama was opposed to the war completely; and of course he opposed George W. Bush’s troop “surge” that essentially won the war.

As the Los Angeles Times’ article cited above correctly states:

Now, the Obama-Biden pair that opposed the Iraq war and its tactics and predicted their failure is prepared to accept credit for its success.

Biden stated in an interview with Larry King:

[T]his could be one of the great achievements of this administration.

Really? Now that they are claiming credit for having won the war that they opposed consistently, what about their war in Afghanistan?

The LA Times article added: “Biden did not elaborate on what all the administration’s other ‘great achievements’ were so far”—probably because there are none, except for Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize.

Here is the complete transcript of Larry King’s show: http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1002/10/lkl.01.html

Next, former Vice President Dick Cheney said in an appearance on ABC News’ “This Week” that any achievements in Iraq over the past year largely stemmed from policies implemented under George W. Bush (see http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=9821035)

ABC News reported:

“Obama and Biden campaigned from one end of the country to the other for two years criticizing our Iraq policy,” Cheney said. “If they had had their way, if we’d followed the policies they’d pursued from the outset or advocated from the outset, Saddam Hussein would still be in power in Baghdad today.”

ABC added:

Cheney said the Obama Administration’s “mindset” is putting the country at risk of a terrorist attack and cited as an example Vice President Biden’s recent statement that another attack on the scale of 9/11 is “unlikely.”

“I just think that’s just dead wrong,” Cheney said. “I think the biggest threat the United States faces today is the possibility of another 9/11 with a nuclear weapon or a biological agent of some kind. And I think al Qaeda is out there—even as we meet—trying to do that.

See id.

Biden added his “two cents” by saying that the Iraq war has not been worth its “horrible price.”

See http://apnews.myway.com/article/20100214/D9DRV98G1.html

Clearly, Biden and Obama are presiding over a failed presidency, which is not providing and will not provide the type of leadership that Americans expect and can count on, now or in the future. They are grasping at straws, trying to deflect the criticism that is coming their way; and they are increasingly desperate to do so.

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21 02 2010
naegeleblog

Drones In The Sky

The Los Angeles Times has a fascinating article about how America’s “drone warfare” is being conducted.

See http://www.latimes.com/news/nation-and-world/la-fg-drone-crews21-2010feb21,0,5789185,full.story

Among other things, it relates the following:

Col. Dale Fridley, a 50-year-old former F-15 pilot, said one of his most rewarding moments as a drone pilot came without firing a shot.

After a U.S. military vehicle broke down in the desert in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, a Taliban stronghold, the rest of the convoy returned to base.

The stranded soldiers were able to sleep while Fridley’s drone stood watch overhead, awaiting a repair crew’s arrival in the morning.

“And that,” Fridley said, “was something that was never, ever possible before.”

See id.

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4 04 2010
7 04 2010
naegeleblog

Karzai And Obama: Echoes Of Vietnam

As stated in a Wall Street Journal editorial:

American troops are risking their lives to implement a counterinsurgency strategy that requires winning popular support in Afghanistan, and the main message from America’s Commander in Chief to the Afghan people is that their government can’t be trusted.

The editorial added facetiously:

That ought to make it easier to win hearts and minds.

. . .

[A]fter being run out of Marjah[, the Taliban] have every reason to tell the citizens of Kandahar that even the Americans don’t like the Afghan government and are short-timers in any case.

This treatment of an ally eerily echoes the way the Kennedy Administration treated Ngo Dinh Diem, the President of South Vietnam in the early 1960s. On JFK’s orders, U.S. Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge refused to meet with Diem, and when U.S. officials got word of a coup against Diem they let it be known they would not interfere. Diem was executed, and South Vietnam never again had a stable government.

By contrast, President George W. Bush decided to support and work closely with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki during the 2007 U.S. military surge in Iraq. The Maliki government was sectarian and sometimes incompetent, and some of its officials were no doubt corrupt, but Mr. Bush understood that the larger goal was to defeat al Qaeda and to stabilize the country. From FDR to Reagan, Presidents of both parties have had to tolerate allied leaders of varying talents and unsavory qualities in the wartime pursuit of more important foreign-policy goals.

Coming on the heels of the U.S. public chastisement of Israel’s government, the larger concern over the Karzai episode is what it reveals about Mr. Obama’s diplomatic frame of mind. With adversaries, he is willing to show inordinate patience, to the point of muffling his objections when opposition blood ran in the streets of Tehran. With allies, on the other hand, the President is unforgiving and insists they follow his lead or face his public wrath. The result will be that our foes fear us less, and that we have fewer friends.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303411604575168124014664404.html; see also http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article7089887.ece and http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/afghanistan/article7089612.ece and http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article7088361.ece

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9 04 2010
naegeleblog

The Cold, Hard Facts And Reality Of Afghanistan?

Fouad Ajami has a new article in the Wall Street Journal entitled, “Afghanistan and the Decline of American Power,” which is subtitled, “President Karzai’s anti-American shift is a statement about the standing of the Obama administration in the region.”

In the article, Ajami states:

[T]his recent dust-up with Mr. Karzai—his outburst against the West, his melodramatic statement that he, too, could yet join the Taliban in a campaign of “national resistance,” his indecent warning that those American and NATO forces soldiering to give his country a chance are on the verge of becoming foreign occupiers—is a statement about the authority of the Obama administration and its standing in Afghanistan and the region.

Forgive Mr. Karzai as he tilts with the wind and courts the Iranian theocrats next door. We can’t chastise him for seeking an accommodation with Iranian power when Washington itself gives every indication that it would like nothing more than a grand bargain with Iran’s rulers.

. . .

If Iran’s bid for nuclear weapons and a larger role in the region goes unchecked, and if Iran is now a power of the Mediterranean (through Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Beirut), the leaders in Kabul, whoever they are, are sure to do their best to secure for themselves an Iranian insurance policy.

From the very beginning of Mr. Obama’s stewardship of the Afghan war, there was an odd, unsettling disjunction between the centrality given this war and the reluctance to own it in full, to stay and fight until victory (a word this administration shuns) is ours.

Consider the very announcement of the Obama war strategy last November in Mr. Obama’s West Point address. The speech was at once the declaration of a “surge” and the announcement of an exit strategy. Additional troops would be sent, but their withdrawal would begin in the summer of 2011.

The Afghans, and their interested neighbors, were invited to do their own calculations. Some could arrive at a judgment that the war and its frustrations would mock such plans, that military campaigns such as the one in Afghanistan are far easier to launch than to bring to a decent conclusion, that American pride and credibility are destined to leave America entangled in Afghan troubles for many years to come. (By all indications, Mr. Karzai seems to subscribe to this view.)

Others could bet on our war weariness, for Americans have never shown an appetite for the tribal and ethnic wars of South Asia and the Middle East. The shadow of our power lies across that big region, it is true. But we blow in and out of these engagements, generally not staying long enough to assure our friends and frighten our enemies.

. . .

Granted, Mullah Omar and his men in the Quetta Shura may not be seasoned observers of Washington’s ways. But they (and Mr. Karzai) can discern if America is marking time, giving it one last try before casting Afghanistan adrift. It is an inescapable fact that Mr. Obama hasn’t succeeded in selling this Afghan venture—or even the bigger war on terror itself—to his supporters on the left. He fights the war with Republican support, but his constituency remains isolationist at heart.

The president has in his command a great fighting force and gifted commanders. He clearly hopes they will succeed. But there is always the hint that this Afghan campaign became the good, worthwhile war by default, a cause with which to bludgeon his predecessor’s foray into Iraq.

All this plays out under the gaze of an Islamic world that is coming to a consensus that a discernible American retreat in the region is in the works. America’s enemies are increasingly brazen, its friends unnerved. Witness the hapless Lebanese, once wards of U.S. power, now making pilgrimages, one leader at a time, to Damascus. They, too, can read the wind: If Washington is out to “engage” that terrible lot in Syria, they better scurry there to secure reasonable terms of surrender.

The shadow of American power is receding; the rogues are emboldened. The world has a way of calling the bluff of leaders and nations summoned to difficult endeavors. Would that our biggest source of worry in that arc of trouble was the intemperate outburst of our ally in Kabul.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303720604575170182337302108.html

Ajami’s conclusions are bolstered by the sight of Obama “kowtowing” to Putin and his ex-KGB thugs in Third-World Russia!

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/

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29 05 2010
naegeleblog

Thank God!

The highly-respected Rasmussen polling organization is reporting:

This Memorial Day, nearly three-out-of-four Americans (74%) have a favorable opinion of the U.S. military, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Just 12% hold an unfavorable opinion, and 13% are not sure.

These figures have held steady for the past two years.

See http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/lifestyle/holidays/may_2010/74_have_favorable_opinion_of_u_s_military

In the wake of what our Vietnam veterans went through, it is wonderful to see the support for our military, especially with two wars in progress, one of which is winding down.

Barack Obama ought to heed these results, and do nothing to weaken our military; and in fact, he should take all steps necessary to strengthen it in light of deadly challenges from China, Russia, North Korea, terrorists and elsewhere.

See, e.g., http://www.naegele.com/documents/MarkHelprin-FarewelltoAmericasChinaStation.pdf and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/ and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/ and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/26/obama-in-afghanistan-doomed-from-the-start/

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15 06 2010
naegeleblog

Obama The Demagogue

The Wall Street Journal has a fine editorial that states:

President Obama, who opposed the Iraqi surge before it paid dividends, might now—at least privately—sympathize with George W. Bush.

Wars don’t follow political calendars or 24-hour news cycles. A commitment to a hard, at times unpopular, fight is the mark of Presidential leadership. Though the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are different, . . . the Administration can only hope this surge turns out as well as the one in Iraq. . . .

. . .

On the political front, the U.S. was caught by surprise last week when President Hamid Karzai forced out his interior minister and intelligence chief. Hanif Atmar and Amrullah Saleh, respectively, were close allies of Washington and respected by the NATO brass on the ground.

No good rationale has been offered for their removal—except that Mr. Karzai wanted to purge his cabinet of ministers backed by Washington. Citing Mr. Saleh and unnamed officials, the New York Times reported over the weekend that the Afghan leader has lost confidence in America’s commitment to win the war, and is seeking to strike his own deals with the Taliban and their Pakistani patrons.

Whatever the truth of this Kabul palace intrigue, the Administration hasn’t helped its own cause with Mr. Karzai. For the first year of the Obama Presidency, the White House went out of its way to undermine the Afghan President, feeding his sense of paranoia. Mr. Karzai’s character and political flaws are obvious, and as the joke goes, his sovereign writ may not extend far beyond the city limits of Kabul. But Mr. Karzai is the elected Afghan President, and Washington must find a way to work with him. The Administration has recognized this belatedly, and last month it hosted Mr. Karzai and his ministers in Washington for a prominent summit.

The larger strategic problem is President Obama’s decision last year to announce a pullout date for U.S. forces starting next summer. Yes, he hedged the deadline as the start of a troop draw-down and left himself other outs. But in the region the deadline was taken as a signal that America lacks staying power. The Taliban have adopted a strategy to run out the clock. Having to think to a day when American won’t be here, Pakistani intelligence and some Afghans are talking about reaching an accommodation with the Taliban.

Mr. Obama can help undo some of this damage if he will walk back from the deadline in terms clear enough for the Taliban and America’s allies in Kabul and Islamabad to understand. And while he’s on the subject, the President could again explain to the American people why he ordered 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan and what’s at stake in a conflict that he once called the central front in the war against terror. His habit has been to give a big speech and then drop the subject, which in turn leads to waning domestic support. This is how to lose a war.

Mr. Obama’s surge is an attempt to push back the Taliban and give the Afghans space to build a functioning state, while bringing the fight to al Qaeda and its allies in the border regions of nearby Pakistan. Were America’s commitment to flag, Islamists would claim a notable victory. Our own security would suffer greatly for it.

After their success in Iraq, General David Petraeus, the head of Central Command, and his commander on the ground, General Stanley McChrystal, deserve the time and political cover for their Afghan counterinsurgency strategy to bear fruit. Ensuring that our soldiers have both is a test of Mr. Obama’s own staying power.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/AfghanStayingPower.pdf (emphasis in original)

Obama should be removed from office: the sooner, the better. This country does not need naive, arrogant, narcissistic demagogues like him who are nothing more than the moral equivalents of tin-horn dictators in Third World countries. Americans are dying in Afghanistan while Obama dithers, just as he has done with respect to the Gulf oil spill.

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24 06 2010
naegeleblog

Turkey, Afghanistan And Tectonic Plates

Arnaud de Borchgrave, editor-at-large of The Washington Times and of United Press International, has a terrific new article about Turkey vis-à-vis NATO, the EU, Israel, Iran and Afghanistan—and Barack Obama and his administration—which is worth reading. In it, he writes:

[Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan], like most world leaders, had high hopes for President Obama. But now they see he is unable to master a dysfunctional system of government; that he may lose one or even both houses of Congress in November; and that Afghanistan appears to be headed for another debacle comparable to Vietnam circa 1975 (when Congress stripped South Vietnam of military aid, in effect inviting North Vietnam to administer the coup de grace).

See http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/jun/23/talking-turkey-43683123/print/

Clearly, the handwriting is on the wall with respect to Obama.

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1 07 2010
naegeleblog

Obama’s Vietnam

Arnaud de Borchgrave, editor-at-large of The Washington Times and of United Press International, has written two more fine articles—in which he essentially argues that the Afghan war is hopeless—which are worth reading.

See http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/jul/7/americas-uncertain-trumpet/print/ and http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/jun/30/wearying-walk-in-the-quagmire/

Ann Coulter has a terrific article about this subject, which is worth reading too.

See http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=37950

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28 07 2010
naegeleblog

Having Lost All Republicans And Almost All Independents, Obama Is Shedding Democrats Too

In an article entitled, “Leaked Report Hurts Obama,” political pundit and former Bill Clinton adviser Dick Morris concludes that Democrats are leaving Obama in increasing numbers, which does not bode well for their chances in the November elections:

A combination of the Afghan War, the oil spill, Guantanamo and his failure to act on immigration reform have all eroded his credibility with his liberal constituents.

Now comes evidence that the war in Afghanistan cannot be won—certainly not with the effort and constraints now in place. . . . [T]he Afghan war is looking more and more like Vietnam.

And now we have the equivalent of the leak of the Pentagon Papers discrediting the war effort from the inside.

See http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/2010/07/28/leaked-report-hurts-obama/#more-1230

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28 07 2010
naegeleblog

Arnaud de Borchgrave’s 2001 Interview With Pakistan General Hamid Gul, Former ISI Chief: What Does This Incredible Interview Mean To America Nine Years Later?

Pakistan's ISI General Hamid Gul

By Arnaud de Borchgrave for UPI

[In light of the more than 90,000 documents that many claim to be fabrications, highly critical of Pakistan’s intelligence organization, this historic interview may be more important than ever]

De Borchgrave: So who did Black Sept. 11?

Gul: Mossad and its accomplices. The U.S. spends $40 billion a year on its 11 intelligence agencies. That’s $400 billion in 10 years. Yet the Bush Administration says it was taken by surprise. I don’t believe it. Within 10 minutes of the second twin tower being hit in the World Trade Center CNN said Osama bin Laden had done it. That was a planned piece of disinformation by the real perpetrators. It created an instant mindset and put public opinion into a trance, which prevented even intelligent people from thinking for themselves.

Q: So you’re already convinced bin Laden didn’t do it?

A: I know bin Laden and his associates. I’ve been with them here, in Europe and the Middle East. They are graduates of the best universities and are highly intelligent with impressive degrees and speak impeccable English. These are people who have rediscovered fundamental Islamic values. Many come from the Gulf countries where ruling royal families have generated hatred by the way they flout divine law, wasting billions on gratifying their whims, jetting around in large private jets by themselves, and sailing the Mediterranean in big private boats for weeks on end. Osama’s best recruits come from feudal areas that are U.S. protectorates and where millions of poor people are seeking human dignity. I have even visited a Christian convent school in Murree, 60 miles from here, where my 13-year-old daughter is studying. The young girls there have told me Osama is their hero. Osama’s followers identify with Mujahideen freedom fighters wherever they are defending Islam and its values.

Q: So what makes you think Osama wasn’t behind Sept. 11?

A: From a cave inside a mountain or a peasant’s hovel? Let’s be serious. Osama inspires countless millions by standing up for Islam against American and Israeli imperialism. He doesn’t have the means for such a sophisticated operation.

Q: Why Mossad?

A: Mossad and its American associates are the obvious culprits. Who benefits from the crime? The attacks against the twin towers started at 8:45 a.m. and four flights are diverted from their assigned air space and no air traffic controller sounds the alarm. And no Air Force jets scramble until 10 a.m. That also smacks of a small scale Air Force rebellion, a coup against the Pentagon perhaps? Radars are jammed, transponders fail. No IFF—friend or foe identification—challenge. In Pakistan, if there is no response to IFF, jets are instantly scrambled and the aircraft is shot down with no further questions asked. This was clearly an inside job. Bush was afraid and rushed to the shelter of a nuclear bunker. He clearly feared a nuclear situation. Who could that have been? Will that also be hushed up in the investigation, like the Warren report after the Kennedy assassination?

Q: At this point, someone might be asking what you’ve been smoking. What is Israel’s interest in such a monstrous plot, which, of course, no one believes except Islamist extremists who concocted this piece of disinformation in the first place, presumably to detract from the real culprits?

A: Jews never agreed to Bush 41 (George H.W. Bush, the 41st president) or 43 (his son George W. Bush, the 43rd president). They made sure Bush senior didn’t get a second term. His land-for-peace pressure in Palestine didn’t suit Israel. They were also against the young Bush because he was considered too close to oil interests and the Gulf countries. Bush senior and Jim Baker had raised $150 million for Bush junior, much of it from Mideast sources or their American go-betweens. Bush 41 and Baker, as private citizens, had also facilitated the new strategic relationship between Saudi Arabia and Iran. I have this from sources in both countries. So clearly the prospect of a Bush 43 was a potential danger to Israel.

Jews were stunned by the way Bush stole the election in Florida. They had put big money on Al Gore. Israel has given its imperialist guardian parent opportunities to turn disaster into a pretext for imposing an all-encompassing military, political and economic agenda to further the cause of global capitalism. While Colin Powell is cautious and others are reckless and want to make up for their failure to defeat Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War 10 years ago, the global agenda is the same.

Israel knows it has a short shelf-life before it is overwhelmed by demographics. It is a state that was born in terrorism that terrorized Palestinians into the exile of refugee camps, where they have now subsisted in squalid refugee camps, and is now very much afraid of Pakistan’s nuclear capability.

Israel has now handed the Bush family the opportunity it has been waiting for to consolidate America’s imperial grip on the Gulf and acquire control of the Caspian basin by extending its military presence in Central Asia. Bush conveniently overlooks—or is not told—the fact that Islamic fundamentalists got their big boost in the modern age as CIA assets in the covert campaign I was also involved with to force the Soviets out of Afghanistan. Bush senior was vice president during that entire campaign. And no sooner did he become president on Jan. 20, 1989, than he summoned an inter-agency intelligence meeting and issued an order, among several others, to clip the wings of ISI (Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence) that had been coordinating the entire operation in Afghanistan. I know this firsthand as I was DGISI at the time (director general, ISI).

Q: So how do you read U.S. strategy in Pakistan?

A: The destabilization of Pakistan is part of the U.S. plan because it is a Muslim nuclear state. The U.S. wants to isolate Pakistan from China as part of its containment policy. President Nixon’s book “The Real War” said China would be the superpower of the 21st Century. The U.S. is also creating hostility between Pakistan and Afghanistan, two Muslim states to reverse the perception that the Islamic world now has its own nuclear weapons. Bush 43 doesn’t realize he is being manipulated by people who understand geopolitics. He is not leading but being led. All he can do is think in terms of the wanted-dead-or-alive culture, which is how Hollywood conditions the masses to think and act.

All summer long we heard about America’s shrinking surplus and that the Pentagon would not have sufficient funds to modernize for the 21st century. And now, all of a sudden, the Pentagon can get what it wants without any Democratic Party opposition. How very convenient! Even your cherished civil liberties can now be abridged with impunity to protect the expansion of the hegemony of transnational capitalism. There is now a new excuse to crush anti-globalization protests.

Bush 43 follows Bush 41. Iraq was baited into the Kuwaiti trap when the U.S. told Saddam it was not interested in his inter-Arab squabbles. Two days later, he moved into Kuwait, which was an Iraqi province anyway before the British Empire decreed otherwise. Roosevelt baited the Pearl Harbor trap for the Japanese empire, which provided the pretext for entering World War II.

And now the Israelis have given the U.S. the pretext for further expansion into an area that will be critical in the next 25 years—the Caspian basin.

Q: Were you a fundamentalist in the days of the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan when you worked closely with the CIA?

A: Not as much as I am today.

Q: What turned you against America?

A: Betrayals and broken promises and what was done to my army career.

Q: And what was that?

A: President Ishaq Khan, who succeeded Zia ul-Haq after his plane was blown out of the sky, wanted to appoint me chief of staff, the highest position in the Pakistani army. The U.S., which by then had clipped ISI’s wings, also blocked my promotion by informing the president I was unacceptable. So I was moved to a corps commander position. As ISI director, I held the whole Mujahideen movement in the palm of my hands. We were all pro-American. But then America left us in the lurch and everything went to pieces, including Afghanistan.

The U.S. pushed for a broad-based Afghan government of seven factions and then waved goodbye. Even in the best of democracies, a broad-based coalition does not work. So we quickly had seven jokers in Kabul interested in only one thing—jockeying for power. The gunplay quickly followed, which led to the creation of Taliban, the students of the original Mujahideen, who decided to put an end to it.

Q: What happened to the 1,000 shoulder-fired Stinger anti-aircraft missiles that were supplied by president Reagan in 1986 and 87 to the Mujahideen, and that literally grounded the Soviet air force?

A: After the Soviets pulled out, the CIA allocated $60 million to try to buy them back. This just drove the black market price up for one Stinger from $100,000 to $300,000. The Taliban still have about 250 of them for the kind of situation they face today against U.S. aircraft.

Q: Is the U.S. now your enemy?

A: Is the U.S. national interest in contradiction with the Muslim world? The U.S. needs oil, as do its European allies. You have between 6 and 8 million American Muslims and their ranks are growing. About the same number in Europe. Israel aside, we are America’s natural allies. Prof. Sam Huntington in his “Clash of Civilizations” puts Confucius and Judeo-Christians in one corner, and us in the other. His prescription is wrong but is being adopted by Bush 43 who has now put 60 countries on his hit list. This is the diabolical school that wants to launch an anti-Muslim “crusade.” Muslims understood what Bush meant when he used that word.

We need a meeting, not a clash, of civilizations. We are on the brink of disaster. It is time to pull back from the brink and reassess before we blow ourselves up. The purpose of Islam is service to humanity. The time for like-minded people to have a meeting of the minds is now.

Q: But you are against democracy, so how can there be a meeting of the minds?

A: Democracy does not work. Politicians are constantly thinking of their next election, not the public good, which means, at best, constantly shading the truth to hide it from their constituents. Their pronouncements are laced with lies and the voters are lulled or gulled into believing utter nonsense. The Koran says call a spade a spade. It is the supreme law and tells right from wrong. There is no notion of “my country right or wrong” under divine law. The creator’s will predominates. All [is] subservient to Allah’s will and adherence to a set of basic, fundamental values.

Q: So what kind of a system are you advocating?

A: The world needs a post-modern state system. Right now, the nation-state and round the clock satellite TV lead people to imitate America’s way of life. Which is mathematically impossible. You have 4 percent of the world’s population consuming 32 percent of the world’s resources. The creator through Prophet Mohammed said equal distribution. Capitalism is the negation of the creator’s will. It leads to imperialism and unilateralism.

Q: So what does this post-modern state system look like?

A: A global village under divine order, or we will have global bloodshed until good triumphs over evil. Islam encapsulates all the principal religions and what was handed down 1,400 years ago was the normal evolutionary sequel to Judaism and Christianity. The prophet’s last sermon was a universal document of human rights for everyone that surpasses everything that came since, including America’s declaration of independence and the U.N. Charter of universal rights. If you superimpose true secular values on true Islamic values, there is no difference. So surely divine law should supersede man-made law. Islam is egalitarian, tolerant and progressive. It is the wave of the future.

Q: Marxism also believed that the nation-state would eventually wither away.

A: Socialism jumped the rails when it was co-opted by the imperialist Soviet state. Islam believes in dynamism, Christianity stands for static statism. The pope in all his pronouncements has expressed a dogmatic attachment to the status quo. Why are so many black Americans converting to Islam? Because they are looking for true equality which they cannot find under capitalism. Allah has no gender, neither male nor female. Islam has no indirect taxation in an interest-free economy. Usury was a Jewish concept.

Q: Is Iran your model?

A: There isn’t a single true Islamic state in the world today. Iran has moved forward from its 1979 revolution, but I am not sure whether it’s the right direction.

Q: And Taliban?

A: They represent Islam in its purest form so far. It’s a clean sheet. And they were also moving in the right direction when this crisis was cooked up by the U.S. Until Sept. 11, they had perfect law and order with no formal police force, only traffic cops without sidearms. Now, in less than two weeks, they have mobilized some 300,000 volunteers to fight American and British invaders if they come.

Q: And your reaction to U.S. demands on Pakistan?

A: If Pakistan gives the U.S. base rights we will have a national upheaval. And if the U.S. attacks Afghanistan, there will be a call—a fatwa—for a general jihad. All borders will then disappear and it will be a no-holds-barred Islamic uprising against Israel and American imperialism. Pakistan will be engulfed in the firestorm. So I can only hope that cooler heads will prevail in Washington.

Q: What about the other U.S. demands?

A: Overflight rights are meaningless since the U.S. violates air space daily all over the world. As for intelligence sharing with ISI, you can’t even catch your own terrorists. And what ISI gives you will be of marginal value anyway.

Q: President (Pervez) Musharraf has made strong statements supporting the U.S.

A: He was my student in the army. He is a good man, but he doesn’t understand Islam. The army will never fight the masses. If push comes to shove, Musharraf will say no to the Americans rather than turn against the people. He is not just facing a handful of angry people. By his own admission, it’s 10 percent to 15 percent of the population, or at least 10 million people willing to fight. For openers, they would close the port of Karachi. A country cannot breathe without lungs.

Q: Back to Osama’s terrorist network. Who was behind the bombing of the U.S. Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya?

A: Mossad is strong in both countries. Remember the Israeli operation to free hostages in Entebbe (Uganda)? Both Kenya and Tanzania were part of the logistical tail. A so-called associate of Osama was framed at Karachi airport. The incidents took place on Aug. 8, 1999, and on the 10th a short, clean-shaven man disembarks at Karachi airport and presents the passport of a bearded man. Not your passport, he was told. He then tries to bribe the clerk with 200 rupees. A ludicrously small sum given the circumstances. The clerk says no and turns him in and he starts singing right away. Not plausible. Osama has sworn to me on the Koran it was not him and he is truthful to a fault. Pious Muslims do not kill innocent civilians who included many Muslim victims. The passport must have been switched while the man was asleep on the plane in what has all the earmarks of a Mossad operation. For 10 years, the Mujahideen fought the Soviets in Afghanistan and not a single Soviet embassy was touched anywhere in the world. So this could not have been Osama’s followers.

Q: What if bin Laden has been lying to you and is guilty. Is that inconceivable?

A: If Taliban are given irrefutable evidence of his guilt, I am in favor of a fair trial. In America, one is entitled to a jury of peers. But he has no American peers. The Taliban would not object, in the event of a prima face case, to an international Islamic court meeting in The Hague. They would . . . extradite Osama to the Netherlands.

[End of transcript: UPI United Press International, September 26, 2001, Interview with General Gul]

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3 08 2010
naegeleblog

Time cover

“What Happens if We Leave Afghanistan”

This is the title of Time’s cover story about the subject, as well as what is described in a Daily Mail article about the woman on the Time cover, 18-year-old Aisha. As the Daily Mail article states:

Aisha is a victim of Taliban brutality, her nose and ears barbarically hacked off by her own husband in a warped punishment for attempting to flee her cruel in-laws.

Held down by her brother-in-law, the young bride endured the agony of the man she married disfiguring her face with a knife.

. . .

The photograph is a stark reminder of the fate awaiting independent-minded women if the Taliban regain power.

. . .

Influential voices in Afghanistan are suggesting that the West must bring the Taliban to the negotiating table to thrash out a peace deal as part of the exit strategy.

But women—who were treated as little more than slaves under the hardline regime’s rule—believe they will bear the brunt of any reconciliation.

Touching her face, Aisha told the magazine: ‘They are the people who did this to me. How can we reconcile with them?’

. . .

Aisha now lives in a secret women’s shelter in Kabul, but she dreams of leaving the Afghan capital and flying to the U.S. for reconstructive surgery paid for by a humanitarian organisation.

There must be not be peace with the barbaric Taliban. They must be destroyed once and for all. Every women’s organization in America and worldwide must unite against the Taliban and its brutality.

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1299799/Mutilated-Taliban-The-girl-18-nose-ears-hacked-trying-flee-cruel-laws.html; see also http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2007238,00.html and http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,2007161,00.html and http://www.time.com/time/video/player/0,32068,308943282001_2007270,00.html

In former First Lady Laura Bush’s biography, she states:

The world is full of suffering peoples and nations, but in the harsh, remote hills and plains of Afghanistan, the deprivation has been particularly cruel.

. . .

Everyone knew it would take years to undo the damage wrought by the vicious gender apartheid of the Taliban.

See Laura Bush, “Spoken from the Heart,” pp. 250, 252.

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11 08 2010
naegeleblog

Is the Media Missing America’s Upcoming Victory In Afghanistan?

In s USA Today op-ed piece, the writer states: “Knowing how Iraq shifted—quickly—we must ask this question about Afghanistan: Are we failing to report on developments that could turn the tide of this conflict, too? . . . [Also, we] need to ask the . . . tough questions about how we missed Iraq’s Battle of Midway.”

See http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/2010-08-11-column11_ST_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip

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18 08 2010
naegeleblog

Russia In Talks To Supply Helicopters To NATO

This is outrageous!

The Wall Street Journal is reporting:

Russia is negotiating the sale of about 20 helicopters for Afghanistan, stepping up efforts to help the country’s U.S.-backed government battle the Taliban insurgency and drug traffickers.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/RussiainTalkstoSupplyHelicopterstoNATO-WSJ.com.pdf

Are we missing something? Isn’t this the same Russia that invaded and destroyed Afghanistan and killed its people, and subjected others to lives of misery? Yes, the former Soviet Union and Russia are essentially one and the same; and Putin was a KGB operative all of his life before he entered politics and became Russia’s dictator-for-life.

Russia is not America’s friend, or a friend of the Afghan people or NATO. It is our enemy, and should be treated as such. The sooner that Putin and his thugs are eliminated permanently, the better this world will be!

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer and http://www.theotherrussia.org/

With respect to the Afghan drug trade that is discussed in the Journal article, I wrote in my article above:

We began in Afghanistan militarily shortly after 9/11, and were successful in taking over the country and ousting the Taliban. The poppy crops should have been eradicated then, so the worldwide supply of heroin would have been reduced dramatically. The Associated Press reported on November 23, 2009: “The poppy crop in Afghanistan, which produces 90 percent of the world’s supply of opium, is linked to corruption, addiction and a drug trade that bankrolls the Taliban insurgency.” Opium poppies are the raw ingredient in making heroin.

Query whether any American or foreign politician, such as Barack Obama, has the guts to take a strong stand: the poppy crops must be eradicated!

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22 08 2010
naegeleblog

Why The Taliban Must Be Defeated And Destroyed

The Los Angeles Times has a fine article about the cruelties and draconian punishments inflicted on the Afghan people by the Taliban and its edicts, which is worth reading. It describes how a young couple was stoned to death to carry out a mullah’s death sentence, handed down after the pair eloped against the wishes of their families. This barbarism harkens back centuries ago, and has no place in the 21st Century.

See http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-afghanistan-stonings-20100822,0,2384664.story; see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/26/obama-in-afghanistan-doomed-from-the-start/#comment-655

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31 08 2010
naegeleblog

Obama’s “Waterloo” May Be Afghanistan . . . In Addition To America’s Economy

As speculation is rife in Washington about Barack Obama “victory” speech concerning Iraq, the Wall Street Journal has an editorial that is worth reading; and Senator John McCain has written an op-ed piece that is also excellent.

For openers, John McCain in a bona fide hero on a variety of fronts, not the least of which is that he was the champion of the “surge,” which has won the war in Iraq. He advocated it when most “experts” thought it was a crazy idea. He sold it to George W. Bush, who had the courage to implement it, and the rest is history.

McCain is gracious enough to add: “The architect of the surge in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, is now leading the war in Afghanistan.”

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/JohnMcCain-TheSurgeandAfghanistan-WSJ.com.pdf

In discussing Barack Obama’s speech, the Journal is correct when it urges Obama to include the following points:

The first is to give his predecessor credit for deciding on and sticking with the 2007 troop surge that turned the tide against the insurgency. George W. Bush made that decision in the face of ferocious bipartisan opposition, not least from [Obama]. If Mr. Obama wants to win some bipartisan goodwill, he’ll admit he was wrong at the time and say he has learned from the surge’s success in Iraq as he has planned his own surge in Afghanistan.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/ThePresidentonIraq-WSJ.com.pdf

John McCain adds poignantly:

This [surge] policy was savaged by Democrats in Congress—including then-Sens. Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton—all of whom called for withdrawing U.S. forces regardless of the conditions or consequences. It would be nice if President Obama could finally find it in himself to give his predecessor the credit he deserves.

Regrettably, Obama is a partisan, raving narcissist who has no class. The likelihood of him praising Bush or his surge—much less praising McCain for his courageous role in that decision making—and admitting that he was wrong, are slim to none. The domestic economy and his Afghan war alone are dooming him to failure; and it is likely that he will be a one-term president who does not run for reelection, like Lyndon Johnson in 1968.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/the-end-of-barack-obama and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/26/obama-in-afghanistan-doomed-from-the-start/

Lastly, McCain states:

A mood of defeatism is growing about Afghanistan, just as it once did with Iraq. Indeed, many of the same critics that would have delivered failure in Iraq are back again with calls for unconditional troop withdrawal, partitioning the country, a retreat to large bases and so on.

. . .

We can succeed in Afghanistan, but we need to give [our policies and our commander, Petraeus] the necessary time to work. That’s the best and fastest way for our troops to come home, as they are now from Iraq.

Amen, in spades!

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4 09 2010
naegeleblog

Is Obama A Traitor . . . Who Should Be Removed From—Or Forced To Resign From—The Presidency?

The Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer has an important article entitled, “Our distracted commander in chief,” in which he states:

Many have charged that President Obama’s decision to begin withdrawing from Afghanistan 10 months from now is hampering our war effort. But now it’s official. In a stunning statement last week, Marine Corps Commandant James Conway admitted that the July 2011 date is “probably giving our enemy sustenance.”

A remarkably bold charge for an active military officer. It stops just short of suggesting aiding and abetting the enemy. Yet the observation is obvious. . . .

. . .

“Our Afghan policy was focused as much as anything on domestic politics,” an Obama adviser told the New York Times’ Peter Baker. “He would not risk losing the moderate to centrist Democrats in the middle of health insurance reform and he viewed that legislation as the make-or-break legislation for his administration.”

If this is true, then Obama’s military leadership can only be called scandalous.

. . .

Obama sees his wartime duties as a threat to his domestic agenda. These wars are a distraction, unwanted interference with his true vocation—transforming America.

. . .

[He] wants out. Most emphatically from Iraq, where Obama has long made clear that his objective is simply ending combat operations by an arbitrary deadline—despite the fact that a new government has not been formed and all our hard-won success hangs in the balance—in order to address the more paramount concern: keeping a campaign promise. Time to “turn the page” and turn America elsewhere.

. . .

[W]hat follows the now-abolished Global War on Terror[?] Where does America stand on the spreading threats to stability, decency and U.S. interests from the Horn of Africa to the Hindu Kush?

On this, not a word. Instead, Obama made a strange and clumsy segue into a pep talk on the economy. Rebuilding it, he declared, “must be our central mission as a people, and my central responsibility as president.” This in a speech ostensibly about the two wars he is directing. He could not have made more clear where his priorities lie, and how much he sees foreign policy—war policy—as subordinate to his domestic ambitions.

Unfortunately, what for Obama is a distraction is life or death for U.S. troops now on patrol in Kandahar province. Some presidents may not like being wartime leaders. But they don’t get to decide. History does. Obama needs to accept the role. It’s not just the U.S. military, as Baker reports, that is “worried he is not fully invested in the cause.” Our allies, too, are experiencing doubt. And our enemies are drawing sustenance.

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/02/AR2010090203991.html?sub=AR; see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/the-speech—is-barack-obama-smoking-pot-again

Obama must be removed from the presidency—and this November’s elections are the beginning of that process.

. . .

Obama’s approval rating is at 42 percent—56 percent disapprove!

See http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/obama_approval_index_history; see also http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/03/AR2010090305100.html (Obama’s “Oval Office rug gets history wrong”)

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22 09 2010
naegeleblog

Obama: “I’m Doing Defeat, And Cut And Run In Afghanistan. I’m Giving America Another Vietnam.”

The quote above is not actual, but a synthesis of Barack Obama’s policies with respect to his Afghan War. Like Lyndon Johnson before him, America’s supreme narcissist Obama thinks that he knows how to run a war. Leave aside the fact that he has never run anything in his life, much less successfully, and that he even failed as a community organizer in Chicago, he has the gall to believe that he can run a war.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

The Washington Post has a fine article about Bob Woodward’s new book, “Obama’s Wars,” which sums up the situation in Afghanistan:

Woodward quotes [Gen. David H. Petraeus, head of the U.S. Central Command during the 2009 strategy review and now the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan] as saying, “You have to recognize also that I don’t think you win this war. I think you keep fighting. It’s a little bit like Iraq, actually. . . . Yes, there has been enormous progress in Iraq. But there are still horrific attacks in Iraq, and you have to stay vigilant. You have to stay after it. This is the kind of fight we’re in for the rest of our lives and probably our kids’ lives.”

Yet, the Post article cites Obama:

“I’m not doing 10 years,” he told Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at a meeting on Oct. 26, 2009. “I’m not doing long-term nation-building. I am not spending a trillion dollars.”

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/21/AR2010092106706_pf.html

Having ignored the advice of America’s military leaders, Obama has crafted a strategy that insures defeat in Afghanistan . . . and the probable loss of Pakistan too, with its nuclear arsenal. There is little doubt that Obama will go down in history as America’s worst president and its greatest failure as a leader.

What is crystal clear from the Post article is that Obama is a fool and a feckless naïf, who must be driven from the presidency using every constitutional means possible. Among other things, the Post article reports:

During an interview with Woodward in July, the president said, “We can absorb a terrorist attack. We’ll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever . . . we absorbed it and we are stronger.”

This oaf is apparently unaware that the greatest threat to the United States and the American people—with respect to whom he swore an oath to defend and protect—comes in the form of an EMP Attack that might be launched from a barge off our Atlantic or Pacific coasts, or in the Gulf of Mexico or the Sea of Cortez.

It has been estimated that only 30 million Americans would survive such an attack; and it is criminal for Obama to say (or think) that “[w]e can absorb a terrorist attack.” Aside from his conclusion being preposterous and utter nonsense militarily, it is dangerous, irresponsible and traitorous!

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/ and http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2010/09/on_terrorism_barack_obama_is_n.html and http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/obama-we-can-absorb-another-9-11/

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1 10 2010
naegeleblog

Supplies For The Afghan War Are Cut Off Or Disrupted

In another turn of negative developments in the war, essential supplies are being cut off or disrupted.

See, e.g., http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/as_pakistan and http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20101001/ts_nm/us_pakistan_nato

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12 10 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Laura Bush’s Words Ring Loud And Clear

Former First Lady Laura Bush has been a champion of the rights of Afghan women, and her efforts continue. Indeed, her latest thoughts on the subject are set forth in a Washington Post article, which is worth reading:

A democracy that allows half its population to be silenced by fear, violence or intimidation is not a democracy. And a society that fails to protect the rights of women is not a free society.

Afghanistan’s leaders must defend women’s rights with action and policy, not just lofty rhetoric. True reconciliation cannot be realized by sacrificing the rights of Afghan women. To do so would reverse Afghanistan’s progress and return its people to the perilous circumstances that marked the Taliban’s rule.

There are clear choices for those entrusted with ensuring Afghanistan’s peace and prosperity. Will Afghanistan be a nation that empowers women, or one that oppresses them?

Now is a moment of decision. It is incumbent upon the Afghan people to make the most of this moment in their history.

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/08/AR2010100806343.html?hpid=opinionsbox1; see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/26/obama-in-afghanistan-doomed-from-the-start/#comment-655

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11 11 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Honoring Our Military And Veterans On Veterans Day

The Washington Post has a moving article about a young enlisted man who was injured in Afghanistan, which every American should read.

It is about Marine Cpl. Todd A. (“Nice”) Nicely and his wife, Crystal who served as a Marine too. Nice’s injuries occurred when he was crossing a crude, single-file bamboo bridge over the canal in Afghanistan, and a bomb made of 40 pounds of homemade explosives detonated. As the Post article states:

[T]he explosive device . . . tore off his hands and lower legs.

The blast broke his jaw, punctured his ear drums and left him, according to the latest statistics, one of only three men—a soldier and two Marines—from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to survive an attack as a quadruple amputee.

In comments that I wrote at the Post’s Web site, I said:

Enormous courage, and faith. It puts our daily travails into perspective. Also, the advances in technology and therapy are mind-boggling.

Let’s hope and pray that Nice and Crystal have a wonderful and loving life together—and tell their children, grandchildren and others never to give up, and to walk through Hell if necessary, and come out the other side.

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/10/AR2010111008002.html; see also http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/gallery/2010/11/10/GA2010111004749.html (photos of Todd’s rehab, Crystal, and his service as a Marine) and http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/video/2010/11/10/VI2010111004325.html?sid=ST2010111008080 (video of Todd and Crystal)

However, such words barely touch on and inadequately describe the sacrifices that Nice, Crystal and other brave and selfless Americans make in the service of their country. Nice and Crystal are American heroes, both of them. What they and other members of our military have done, and are doing, has been happening each and every day since this great country was founded—at places like Valley Forge and Gettysburg, and at other locations worldwide that none of us have heard of or traveled to.

Each member of our military is special, and yes precious; and they and a long line of soldiers, sailors and airmen and women have done their duties since our country began. This is among the reasons why the commitment of our forces is a sacred trust; and once committed, “victory” must be a given. Even in Vietnam, our military was victorious—as related to me by an outstanding reporter with impeccable, world-class credentials who covered the Vietnam war and other wars up to and including the present day. In an e-mail message that I received on July 29, 2010, the person wrote:

Tim, [w]e won the Vietnam war – and Congress lost it.

Let me explain.

Last US soldier left Vietnam March 29, 1973.

Saigon fell April 15, 1975.

ARVN – South Vietnamese army – did very well on its own for two years with US military assistance, but no US soldiers, not even as advisers to ARVN.

Then Congress, in its infinite wisdom, cut off all further military aid to Saigon.

ARVN saw no point in continuing to fight, stabbed in the back by the US Congress.

Gen. Giap, in his memoirs, says Hanoi was taken by surprise by what Congress did because they thought that taking Saigon would not be within their reach for two more years.

So Giap improvised an offensive – and Saigon fell without a fight.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/john-f-kennedy-the-most-despicable-president-in-american-history/ (footnote 10)

I have no reason to believe that this person’s assessment is inaccurate in any respect. I will not disclose the person’s identity while he or she is alive, certainly without permission to do so.

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8 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Are We Fighting To Win Or Not? If Not, Obama Should Be Impeached!

In a fine article entitled, “Catch-and-release of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan angers troops”—written by Sara A. Carter, its national security correspondent—The Washington Examiner has reported:

More than 500 suspected Taliban fighters detained by U.S. forces have been released from custody at the urging of Afghan government officials, angering both American troops and some Afghans who oppose the policy on the grounds that many of those released return to the battlefield to kill NATO soldiers and Afghan civilians.

And those numbers understate the problem, military officials say. They do not include suspected Taliban fighters held in small combat outposts or other forward operating bases throughout the region who are released before they ever become part of the official detainee population.

An Afghan official who spoke on condition of anonymity said that President Hamid Karzai’s government has personally sought the release of as many as 700 suspected Taliban fighters since July, including some mid-level leaders. “Corruption is not just based on the amount of money that is wasted but wasted lives when Taliban return only to kill more NATO forces and civilians,” said the official, who opposes what he considers corruption in the Karzai administration.

. . .

A marine stationed in southern Afghanistan’s volatile Helmand province told The Examiner that efforts to detain insurgent fighters are “worthless.”

. . .

For American combat troops in Afghanistan, the release of suspect Taliban is seen as a symptom of the corruption of the Karzai government.

See http://washingtonexaminer.com/news/world/2010/12/catch-and-release-taliban-fighters-afghanistan-angers-troops; see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/09/are-afghanistan-iraq-and-pakistan-hopeless-and-is-the-spread-of-radical-islam-inevitable-and-is-barack-obama-finished-as-americas-president/

The idea that Americans might be dying or getting injured—or being subjected to the risks of both—for nothing, smacks of Vietnam. If the rules of engagement in Afghanistan prevent our military from winning, we ought not be there at all, and we should leave the country immediately.

This is tragic; and it may be a function of a war being run by an anti-war, far-Left American president on behalf of a corrupt Afghan government run by Hamid Karzai. If it is true, impeachment proceedings should be commenced immediately against Barack Obama, and he should be removed from office!

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3 06 2017
Timothy D. Naegele

Are Afghanistan And the Middle East Lost Causes?

Time cover

In earlier comments I raised the issue, “What Happens if We Leave Afghanistan,” which was the title of a Time magazine cover story that featured an 18-year-old Afghan woman named Aisha, whose photo is shown above.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/26/obama-in-afghanistan-doomed-from-the-start/#comment-655 (“’What Happens if We Leave Afghanistan‘”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1102 (“Why We Fight In Afghanistan, And Why American Women Should Demand Barack Obama’s Removal From Office By Impeachment Or Otherwise“)

Pat Buchanan—an adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, and a former GOP presidential aspirant himself—has written:

“We are there and we are committed” was the regular retort of Secretary of State Dean Rusk during the war in Vietnam.

Whatever you may think of our decision to go in, Rusk was saying, if we walk away, the United States loses the first war in its history, with all that means for Southeast Asia and America’s position in the world.

We face a similar moment of decision.

Wednesday, a truck bomb exploded near the diplomatic quarter of Kabul, killing 90 and wounding 460. So terrible was the atrocity that the Taliban denied complicity. It is believed to have been the work of the Haqqani network.

This “horrific and shameful attack demonstrates these terrorists’ comp[l]ete disregard for human life and their nihilistic opposition to the dream of a peaceful future for Afghanistan,” said Hugo Llordens, a U.S. diplomat in Kabul.

The message the truck bombers sent to the Afghan people? Not even in the heart of this capital can your government keep civilian workers and its own employees safe.

Message to America: After investing hundreds of billions and 2,000 U.S. lives in the 15 years since 9/11, we are further from victory than we have ever been.

President Obama, believing Afghanistan was the right war, and Iraq the wrong war, ramped up the U.S. presence in 2011 to 100,000 troops. His plan: Cripple the Taliban, train the Afghan army and security forces, stabilize the government, and withdraw American forces by the end of his second term.

Obama fell short, leaving President Trump with 8,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and Kabul’s control more tenuous than ever. The Taliban hold more territory and are active in more provinces than they have been since being driven from power in 2001. And Afghan forces are suffering casualties at the highest rate of the war.

Stated starkly, the war in Afghanistan is slowly being lost.

Indeed, Trump has inherited what seems to be an unwinnable war, if he is not prepared to send a new U.S. army to block the Taliban from taking power. And it is hard to believe that the American people would approve of any large reintroduction of U.S. forces.

The U.S. commander there, Gen. John Nicholson, has requested at least 3,000 more U.S. troops to train the Afghan army and stabilize the country while seeking a negotiated end to the war.

Trump’s conundrum: 3,000 or 5,000 more U.S. troops can at best help the Afghan security forces sustain the present stalemate.

But if we could not defeat the Taliban with 100,000 U.S. troops in country in 2011, we are not going to defeat a stronger Taliban with a U.S. force one-seventh of that size. And if a guerrilla army does not lose, it wins.

Yet it is hard to see how Trump can refuse to send more troops. If he says we have invested enough blood and treasure, the handwriting will be on the wall. Reports that both Russia and Iran are already talking to the Taliban suggest that they see a Taliban takeover as inevitable.

Should Trump announce any timetable for withdrawal, it would send shock waves through the Afghan government, army and society.

Any awareness that their great superpower ally was departing, now or soon, or refusing to invest more after 15 years, would be a psychological blow from which President Ashraf Ghani’s government might not recover.

What would a Taliban victory mean?

The Afghan people, especially those who cast their lot with us, could undergo something like what befell the South Vietnamese and Cambodians in 1975. It would be a defeat for us almost as far-reaching as was the defeat for the Soviet Union, when the Red Army was forced to pull out after a decade of war in the 1980s.

For the USSR, that Afghan defeat proved a near-fatal blow.

And if we pulled up stakes and departed, the exodus from Afghanistan would be huge and we would face a moral crisis of how many refugees we would accept, and how many we would leave behind to their fate.

Fifteen years ago, some of us argued that an attempt to remake Afghanistan and Iraq in our image was utopian folly, almost certain, given the history and culture of the entire region, to fail.

Yet we plunged in.

In 2001, it was Afghanistan. In 2003, we invaded and occupied Iraq. Then we attacked Libya and ousted Gadhafi. Then we intervened in Syria. Then we backed the Saudi war to crush the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Given the trillions sunk and lost, and the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, dead, how have we benefited ourselves, or these peoples?

As Rusk said, “We are there and we are committed.”

And the inevitable departure of the United States from the Middle East, which is coming, just as the British, French and Soviet empires had to depart, will likely do lasting damage to the American soul.

See http://buchanan.org/blog/afghanistan-lost-cause-127140 (“Is Afghanistan a Lost Cause?“) (emphasis added); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/09/are-afghanistan-iraq-and-pakistan-hopeless-and-is-the-spread-of-radical-islam-inevitable-and-is-barack-obama-finished-as-americas-president/ (“Are Afghanistan, Iraq And Pakistan Hopeless, And Is The Spread Of Radical Islam Inevitable, And Is Barack Obama Finished As America’s President?“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/26/obama-in-afghanistan-doomed-from-the-start/ (“Obama In Afghanistan: Doomed From The Start?“)

Will Aisha and so many other Afghan women, men and children have suffered in vain if we cut and run?

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