Tag Archives: Afghanistan

How Bush after 9/11 overwhelmed Al-Qaeda

Interviews with one of the planners of the September 11 attacks on the United States has revealed how the initial quick and harsh response by the Bush administration caught them off guard and prevented further attacks.

Khalid Sheik Mohammed, one of the masterminds in the 9/11 attack, said that “the ferocity and swiftness” of former U.S. President George W. Bush’s reprisal to the terrorist attacks on U.S. soil astonished Al Qaeda. The new revelation was found in psychologist James E. Mitchell’s new memoir, “Enhanced Interrogation: Inside the Minds and Motives of the Islamic Terrorists Trying To Destroy America.”

Mitchell wrote, “How was I supposed to know that cowboy George Bush would announce he wanted us ‘dead or alive’ and then invade Afghanistan to hunt us down? Khalid explained that if the United States had treated 9/11 like a law enforcement matter, he would have had time to launch a second wave of attacks.” Khalid said they were unable to re-attack because the whole al-Qaeda was stunned by the “ferocity and swiftness” of Bush’s reaction, wrote the psychologist.

These interviews also reveal indirectly why both the Bush and Obama administrations failed in later years to put these terrorists out of business. The U.S., after hitting them hard initially, then eased the attack. First Bush limited his effort to Iraq, allowing the Islamic terrorists to develop safe havens in Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, and other Arab countries. Then, Obama left Iraq too quickly, while focusing his entire effort only half-heartedly in Afghanistan. The result was that these groups could re-organize and rebuild, taking advantage of the power vacuums left by these weak American leaders.

The correct approach would have been a variation of what Bush did initially, which in itself was a variation of the military philosophy first demonstrated by Grant in the Civil War and followed by every American general since. You do not retreat, you do not let up, you demand total victory, and do not stop the attack until you win, entirely. Eisenhower epitomized this approach in World War II, and it worked. Had Bush been in charge in World War II he would have stopped the war effort after Normandy and the recapture of France, allowing Hitler to remain in power in Germany. And this would have failed miserably, as did the efforts of Bush and Obama have failed in the past decade.

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Eradicating polio: not this year

The effort to eradicated polio entirely by the end of 2012 will not be met.

Afghanistan and Nigeria, two of the three remaining endemic countries, have had more cases in the first nine months of this year than in 2010 altogether. Several other countries targeted by the plan have also seen more cases to date this year compared to this time in 2010. Additionally, polio had popped up in countries where it had previously been eradicated — notably China, which went polio-free for 11 years until this summer.

Sadly, politics and culture are almost certainly the main reasons polio still survives in these countries.

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State Department report on religious freedom in Afghanistan: Deteriorating

A State Department report on religious freedom in Afghanistan: deteriorating. Two quotes from the report:

Respect for religious freedom deteriorated during the reporting period, particularly for Christian groups and individuals. Residual effects of years of jihad against the USSR, civil strife, Taliban rule, popular suspicion regarding outside influence and the motivations of foreigners, and still weak democratic institutions remained serious obstacles. There were cases of harassment, occasional violence, and inflammatory public statements made by members of parliament and television programming against religious minorities, particularly Christians, and Muslims who were perceived as not respecting Islamic strictures. Negative societal opinion and suspicion of Christian activities led to targeting of Christian groups and individuals, including Afghan converts to Christianity. The lack of government responsiveness and protection for these groups and individuals contributed to the deterioration of religious freedom.

and

The right to change one’s religion was not respected either in law or in practice. Muslims who converted to Christianity risked losing their marriage, rejection from their family and village, and loss of jobs. Following the May 2010 suspension of two NGOs on suspicion of proselytizing, some parliamentarians advocated violent responses toward the alleged apostates, including public execution. [emphasis mine]

This report actually came out in November, 2010, but I hadn’t known of it until now. It is worth reading. Though there are clearly some positive signs, overall the state of religious freedom in Afghanistan appears abysmal.

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Two beheaded and eight others murdered in protest against Koran burning

The religion of peace: Two beheaded and eight others murdered in Afghanistan today in protest against Koran burning.

Burning the Koran might have been a poor idea, but such an act doesn’t justify murder.

Then there’s this: Penn State students assaulted for putting up a display outlining what they considered Palestinian lies.

Once again, the only answer Islam can give to criticism is violence.

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