Posts tagged with Afghanistan
Vice President Joe Biden was busy being good natured Old Uncle Joe in the debate. He spent much of his time trying to keep young Rep. Paul Ryan from talking. You know Uncle Joe. He's always interrupting everyone at the family gatherings. He wants to remind everyone his mouth still works even though he might be moving kind of slow. He smiles a lot to show he's enjoying the attention.
One of the problems some of us old guys have is wanting to remain the center of attention. I believe a lot of this practice comes from fear of being displaced by the younger guys. We want to remind the younger generation we are still around.
I don't expect much substance from the debate because two minutes per question is insufficient time to do much more than to allow the two parties to say "did so" / "did not" much like Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck saying "duck season" / "rabbit season" in the old Warner Brothers Looney Tunes.
Biden is out of touch with the situation in the Middle East. He seems to think we are winning in spite of the fact that al Qaeda recently destroyed our consulate in Libya.
Biden doesn't understand that withdrawal from Afghanistan will be portrayed by al Qaeda as victory over the United States like their victory over the old Soviet Union. Osama bin Laden wanted us to invade Afghanistan because he believed the United States didn't have the willingness to go the distance.
He knew he couldn't defeat the United States. He believed he, or his successor, could get the United States to tire of the war and leave our allies behind without support like the Soviets did and like we did in Vietnam. The recent attacks on American forces by local Afghan forces are because they think the Americans are deserting them like bin Laden said we would. Afghan forces believe if we withdraw our troops we will eventually end support in the form of providing war supplies like we did in Vietnam. Many Afghans may believe the situation will be like the conflict with the Soviet Union when the Taliban took advantage of the chaos that followed the Soviet withdrawal to take over the country.
The War on Terror is an endurance contest like the Cold War was. The United States has to continue the effort if it wants to outlast the enemy. We still have forces in Germany even though we won that war almost 70 years ago. and we have had casualties there because of terrorist activity. We need to let the enemy know we will keep forces in Afghanistan for a similar period of time if we want to outlast them. Al Qaeda will use early withdrawal as a recruiting tool by claiming they have proved they can defeat the United States with terrorism.
The recent violence in the Middle East indicates Obama is losing the war on terror. If Walter Cronkite were alive and doing the evening news he might have said the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya meant the U.S. could not win the war. The attack was more successful than the attack on the U.S. embassy in Saigon in the 1968 Tet Offensive.
If President Barack Obama really believes that the attacks are a "speed bump" he may be dangerously out of touch with reality. The 9/11 attack was preceded by attacks on American embassies in Africa. The new attacks may give al Qaeda confidence that it can pull off an attack on America or American interests.
The most disturbing thing about the Libyan attack is that the Obama administration should have been prepared for it. The continued instability resulting from the U.S. led overthrow of the Libyan government reduces the ability of Libyan authorities to deal with terrorists. The situation is comparable to the situation that existed after the fall of the Shah of Iran. The primary difference is that the people who attacked in Libya weren't interested in taking prisoners.
Al Qaeda operative Abdul-Hakim al-Hasadi was involved at the start in the attempt to overthrow Muammar Qaddafi. Al Qaeda has now "rewarded" Obama for his assistance in helping them get established in Libya.
There are conflicting reports about whether the White House received specific warnings about possible embassy attacks. The White House and embassy officials shouldn't have needed warnings about the danger of an attack on or about the anniversary of the 9/11 attack. Whether or not attacks occur on specific targets on 9/11 of any given year may depend in large part on how prepared American facilities appear to be. Terrorists are more likely to attack sites that appear to be unprepared. If the White House didn't have intelligence that attacks could occur, it's because the White House doesn't have intelligence.
Egypt is another country that is still unstable after the fall of the old regime and thus vulnerable to terrorist actions.
The Obama administration has encouraged mass demonstrations, some of which turned violent, in the Middle East over the last few years. The success of such demonstrations in changing governments has encouraged residents of the region to believe demonstrations might help achieve other goals including changing U.S. policies.
A recent anti-Muslim film in the U.S. was used by activists to get people to conduct demonstrations in several countries. Sony corporation is planning to release a movie about the killing of Osama bin Laden. We might consider bin Laden to have been public enemy number 1 at the time, but many Muslims might view the killing of Muslims by Americans in a different context. They may ignore the reason the U.S. wanted to kill bin Laden and just view it as another anti-Muslim action by the U.S. They may even decide that the mass murdering bin Laden is a martyr. In war the actions of our forces that we regard as heroic may be regarded as murder by those on the other side and vice versa. For example, Libyans welcomed the may responsible for bombing a plane over Lockerbie, Scotland as a hero after he was released for medical reasons. Obama needs to use all his persuasive abilities to discourage the release of this film.
Recent attacks on Allied personnel by Afghan forces indicates Obama is mishandling the withdrawal from Afghanistan. Withdrawing troops from a combat zone can cause host country forces that are remaining to feel the withdrawing troops are deserting and should be punished. Obama needs to delay withdrawal until he can convince local forces that American forces are withdrawing because they are no longer needed. He needs to convince Afghan forces that they can handle the situation. His job will be more difficult because of the American failure to provide any type of assistance, including military supplies, to our former South Vietnamese allies when North Vietnamese forces invaded in 1975.
The War on Terror is more like the Cold War than past shooting wars. The WOT is an endurance contest testing who has the most will to continue the fight. Afghanistan is a major battlefield of that war rather than being the war itself. Withdrawal from Afghanistan would merely shift the fighting to some other location. Withdrawal from Afghanistan could provide al Qaeda with a major propaganda victory. If the withdrawal isn't done properly, al Qaeda could use it to claim that terrorism can defeat the U.S. and use it to recruit more terrorists.
The 1968 Vietnam Tet Offensive failed to achieve its goal of provoking a general uprising against the United States. Muslim terrorists have the same goal of provoking a general uprising against the United States. They don't have an army to launch attacks, but they can use provocations by Americans which could include any "accidental killing" of civilians in Pakistan. Obama needs to suspend all operations in Pakistan until the situation cools down.
I realize allowing terrorists to use Pakistan as a sanctuary could increase the risk to American forces in Afghanistan. I was in a similar situation in Vietnam. Communist forces were able to use Cambodia as a sanctuary. The Nixon administration held off going into Cambodia until the Cambodian government requested our help to keep Cambodia from asking for Chinese assistance against the U.S. Attacking sanctuaries in Pakistan could create pressure by Pakistanis to force their government to turn against the U.S. Civilian causalities in Pakistan at the present time could be used by terrorist agitators in other countries to spark anti-U.S. demonstrations throughout the Middle East. Recent anti-American demonstrations in Pakistan could intensify if American forces conduct operations in Pakistan or if the movie about the killing of bin Laden is released.
World Net Daily http://www.wnd.com/2012/09/did-obama-send-a-gay-ambassador-to-libya/ is reporting a rumor that Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens was homosexual. Regardless of whether the rumor is true or not, if Libyan terrorists believed the rumor it might explain the brutality of his murder including his rape. http://fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/mideast-media-say-amb-christopher-stevens-was-raped-before-killed/ The assignment of a suspected homosexual ambassador would have been particularly provocative when it coincided with the release of the movie "Innocence of Muslims" which portrays Muhammad as a homosexual pedophile.
I don't know what the intent behind the anti-Muhammad movie was, but the Obama administration needs to investigate the possibility that a person behind the movie, although probably not all of those involved, could have been an al Qaeda undercover agent. It wouldn't be the first time someone produced a fictional movie to inflame passions. Hitler produced a phony atrocity film in World War II. Nearly a century ago in the U.S. the movie "Birth of a Nation" falsely portrayed the Reconstruction era in a way that inflamed whites against blacks.