A war that just keeps on giving, and in lieu of current events, now the shoe could be on the other foot.
Five years ago, Decider George blubbered bring ’em on like his ass was actually on the line — a big mouth that killed a lot of people.
Now Mullah Omar and his Taliban have regrouped their balls to also taunt out a dare, but in what could be some nasty real time.
(Illustration found here).
Two years prior to the baiting outburst, an expression he now regrets (see video here), the US invaded Afghanistan in hurried pursuit of Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda crowd, being in protective care of the Omar’s Taliban.
Although supposedly the Taliban was routed late 2001 and a new government installed in Kabul, the entire operation was placed on the back burner while Decider George invaded Iraq, a move worse than worse.
Now seven years later, the Afghan war is going to shit and even a reported surge of some 30,000 more US troops hasn’t deterred Omar.
From Agence France-Presse last week:
- “They now want to send more troops to Afghanistan…. The Russians also sent that many troops but were badly defeated,” said the spokesman, Yousuf Ahmadi, referring to Moscow’s doomed decade-long occupation of Afghanistan.
“When the US increases its troop levels to that of the Russians, they will also be cruelly defeated,” warned Ahmadi, who claims to speak on behalf of fugitive Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar.
“More troops — that means there will be more targets for the Taliban,” he said by telephone from an unknown location.
And from antiwar.com:
- “The current armed clashes, which now number into tens, will spiral up to hundred of armed clashes. Your current casualties of hundreds will jack up to thousand casualties of dead and injured,” said the statement, which was written in broken English and posted on a Web site Sunday that has previously carried militant messages.
In his statement, Omar also called on those Afghans who fought against Soviet troops in the 1980s to abandon their government jobs and join the ranks of the Taliban.
He also said that the idea of creating tribal militias in order to fight the Taliban and other insurgent groups in the country will not work.
“No Afghan will lower himself to such an irrational and insensitive position to fight against his own brothers for the interests of the invaders and lose his life and faith for … the pleasure of the invaders,” the statement said.
- “Reconsider your wrong decision of wrong occupation, and seek a safe exit to withdraw your forces,” said the message, which the Taliban said came from Omar.
“If you leave our lands, we can arrange for you a reasonable opportunity for your departure,” he said, adding that the Taliban posed no harm to anyone in the world.
If the occupation persisted, “you will be defeated in all parts of the world … like the former Soviet Union”, Omar said.
The boy’s got guff.
A commentary in GulfNews yesterday noted not only a stronger Taliban, but a revival of al-Qaeda as well.
- Al Qaida, having regrouped and expanded in Iraq, was wrong-footed by General David Petraeus’ ‘surge’ and ‘awakening’ campaigns. Now battle-hardened and well trained fighters are migrating back to the organisation’s former safe haven in Afghanistan where they are protected by a resurgent Taliban, who control two-thirds of the country.
The renewed significance of Afghanistan in Al Qaida’s global jihad prospectus is signalled by the arrival there of ‘top brass’ leaders such as the former emir, Abu Ayoob Al Masri, whom many believed captured or killed in May 2008 but who resurfaced in the tribal area in the summer.
(Illustration found here).
The GulfNews column, written by Abdel Bari Atwan, Editor-in-chief of Al Quds Al Arabi pan-Arab daily newspaper, takes the position of history.
- Invasions of Afghanistan are doomed to failure by several insurmountable factors.
The terrain is extremely mountainous and hostile, familiar to the insurgents but impenetrable by outside forces — exactly the scenario that allowed Algeria’s National Liberation Front to defeat the French in 1962.
The indigenous population is equally hostile and the majority Pashtun are notoriously fierce, bloodthirsty warriors who have a history of setting aside their tribal differences to create a united force to repel invaders.
Let us look at the Soviet experience a little closer: The Red Army invaded in 1979 and established a puppet regime (first, in 1980, under Karmal then, in 1986, under Najibullah); they faced the unexpected and rapid formation of a hugely successful insurgency composed of international Mujaheddin which dragged them into a prolonged war of attrition; the Soviet economy, and empire, crumbled under the pressure of unmanageable military and security costs.
Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban leader, Mullah Omar have been there before.
The world has been there before, except the present situation sees the additional challenge to the current invaders, US-led Nato, of the insurgency’s rapid spread into Pakistan.
As long ago as 1996, when I interviewed him in Tora Bora, Bin Laden told me that his strategy was to “bleed the US to the point of bankruptcy” with prolonged wars of attrition on several fronts.
For two centuries, Afghanistan has been the graveyard of imperialist ambition.
As the US and British economy face meltdown, are Obama and (UK’s Gordon) Brown really in any position to change history?
Yes, the big question.