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Friday, February 1, 2008

A Disturbing Update on the Global War on Terror

Hold the Presses! I was working on a critique of the Bush Presidency when I saw a very disturbing article in the Washington Post – NATO’s Not Winning in Afghanistan, Report Says. According to a report by the Atlantic Council of the United States, “Afghanistan remains a failing state.” This is after the United States has spent billions of tax dollars to capture the perpetrators of 9/11. After six years, the Taliban insurgents have fought the vaunted U.S. military to a strategic stalemate, according to an independent assessment released by NATO’s former commander, General James L. Jones. “It could become a failed state,” warned the report, which called for "urgent action" to overhaul NATO strategy in coming weeks before an anticipated new offensive by Taliban insurgents in the spring. “Make no mistake, NATO is not winning in Afghanistan,” said the report.

Before I examine this report more closely, I need to draw the distinction between the War on Terror and the War in Iraq.

The War on Terror, also referred to as the Global War on Terror (GWOT), is a military campaign that was initiated by the United States as a result of the attacks of September 11th. The GWOT has been a source of controversy for some critics who believe that it has led to reckless domestic and foreign policy objectives like preemptive strikes; the One Percent Doctrine; violations of the Geneva Convention, including torturing prisoners of war; and domestic spying.

The War in Iraq; though initially put forward as part of the GWOT, has unraveled as perhaps the biggest foreign policy blunder in the history of this country. We were told by the Bush administration that Saddam Hussein had an aggressive weapons of mass destruction (WMD) program designed to create nuclear weapons to use against America and its allies. We were also told that Saddam was an ally of Osama bin Laden and that he was also responsible for the terrorist attacks of September 11th. The American public later discovered that neither did Saddam have a WMD program, nor was he linked to September 11th. Consequently, the war in Iraq was a preemptive strike for reasons still debated, while the GWOT is a war of retaliation against Osama bin Laden.

Iraq is the logical result of the One Percent Doctrine also known as the Cheney Doctrine since he is largely credited with its formulation. This policy basically states –

“If there's a 1% chance that [any country is] helping al-Qaeda build or develop a nuclear weapon, we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response. It's not about our analysis ... It's about our response.”

This is an absolute preposterous way to run a country’s foreign policy. At 1% certainty, the threshold for military action would be lower than if the president had a suspicion that al-Qaeda was prepared to launch an attack. I’m not a foreign policy expert; however, I would not think that the United States would launch a military attack based on someone's suspicion. America is not some third world country that has to rely on soothsayers to warn it of an impending invasion or attack. This country has the most unbelievable intelligence apparatus that the world has ever seen. It is not like U.S. secret agents (spies) send intelligence information back to the White House via carrier pigeon. America has an intelligence infrastructure that can basically listen to practically every telephone conversation on earth; can read practically every email message, fax message, text message on earth; and can spot a dime on the hump of bin Laden’s camel from 22,000 miles away. Don’t believe it? Click here to access TerraServer USA, which is a public website that has millions of satellite photographs of properties throughout the United States. Simply enter an address and watch the ‘eye in the sky’ from 22,000 miles away.

Does this sound like a country that needs to deploy military action over a dream that a policy maker may have had about an attack?

The Post article is disturbing on two fronts: First it obscures the fact that this is the GWOT that is suffering from a lack of forward motion; despite the President’s mantra that the “enemy is on the run.” And second, the article was printed on the last page of the World Section (page A18 of the print edition). Huh?! President Bush’s legacy will likely be defined by how he managed the GWOT. This is not like his social security or immigration proposals being shot-down in Congress. This is America defending itself from a band of nomads who have been charged with murdering nearly 3,000 American citizens. I would think that a news report of this magnitude merits the first page, above the fold.

The media has commonly been referred to as the fourth branch of government, and from the strategic placement of this article, a blind man would have to agree; unless, however, he is not smarter than a fifth grader.

2 comments:

rwmahoney2 said...

Sounds crazy, I know, but The Enemy is the Hunter in this case. As you said "They can see a dime on Ben Ladens camel" So why haven't they caught him? He is part of the plan. "A New World Order" Rome inforced a one world Government!!

They don't care that they loose a few lives as long as there agenda is acomplished.

"This Lamb like Beast has begun to speak like a dragon"

"Rev 13:11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth (America); and he had two horns like a lamb (Separation of Church & State), and he spake as a dragon (Satan).

12And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast (Rome) before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed (In 1798).

This is the future of our America.

All the The first Beast did of old, America has begun to do and has the hammer down.

No new thing under the sun, the Lord says. To many are looking for some exciting new thing to take place, while under your nose propecy is being fulfilled.

Only Jesus will stop the come back of Rome!!

Anonymous said...

i was skeptical about the WMD excuse from day one. i wasn't surprised at all that Iraq turned out to be a fiasco nor about Katrina. Bush appointed his closest advisers based on friendship, not their qualifications. and yet Republicans have been saying the economy is sound. but it has been sound for them, the top 1% of the country has actually gained money over the past 8 years while everyone else has lost.