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Thursday, May 21, 2009

USA comitted to Al Queda NONSENSE

Thu May 21, 2009 at 08:43:50 AM PDT

In President Obama's speech today, Obama sounds the false note that the Taliban, that people from Pakistan/Afghan attacked us on 9/11.

For the first time since 2002, we are providing the necessary resources and strategic direction to take the fight to the extremists who attacked us on 9/11 in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

We also heard this line from another prominent Democrat yesterday in an appearance on Minnesota Public Radio by Senator Klobuchar, where she said (at 43'30"), "the Taliban was responsible for the World Trade Center bombings, and the destruction of the World Trade Center."

This is such utter nonsense that I am surprised Klobuchar was not corrected by Gary Eichtin. The MPR listening audience is more literate than Bush's NASCAR watching fan base, but Klobuchar and Obama seem determined to use the Bush strategy of confidently repeating a falsehood until it is accepted as truth. I am sure that many listeners had seen the last Bill Moyer Journal, featuring Juan Cole, which I will quote later.

* ImpeccableLiberalCredentials's diary :: ::

We need to understand that the Pashtun/Pathan people and their cultural institutions are not one and the same with the "Al Qaeda" (and any other international terrorist groups) that remained in Afghanistan after the end of their utility to the anti-Soviet campaign of the CIA, other Western Powers and the Saudis. Some Pashtun militias apparently remain useful and continue to receive support from the Pakistani ISI as other ethnic groups in Afghanistan are thought to be used by India in the regional power struggle between India and Pakistan.

Who are the Taliban? Who is it that Obama and Klobuchar would have you believe are responsible for 9/11? From Bill Moyer's Journal - Transcript May 15, 2009

BILL MOYERS: Who are the Taliban and what do they want? What are their goals?

JUAN COLE: What we're calling the Taliban, it's actually a misnomer. There are, like, five different groups that we're swooping up and calling the Taliban. The Taliban, properly speaking, are seminary students. They were those refugee boys, many of them orphans, who went through the seminaries or Madrassas in northern Pakistan back in the nineties. And then who emerged as a fighting force. Then you have the old war lords who had fought with the Soviet Union, and were allied with the United States. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Jalaluddin Haqqani, they have formed insurgent groups to fight the Americans now. Because they had fought the Soviet occupation, they now see an American occupation, so they've turned on the United States. They were former allies.

So we're calling them Taliban. And then you have a lot of probably disorganized villagers whose poppy crops, for instance, were burned. And they're angry. So they'll hit a NATO or American checkpoint. So we're scooping all of this up. And then the groups in northern Pakistan who are yet another group. And we're calling it all Taliban.

What is the problem with exaggerating the threat of these tribal militias and their warlords, and disorganized resistance from the occupied population? How many Taliban are there, really? How many Taliban are now operating in Pakistan?

BILL MOYERS: How many of them?

JUAN COLE:Well, how many of them is impossible to know. But in Pakistan the estimates for fighters are small. 15 thousand. And the current military operation in the Swat Valley is pitting 15 thousand Pakistani troops against 4 thousand Taliban fighters.

That's what's being said. This is small. And the idea that these 4 thousand Taliban in Swat Valley, you know, can take over the capital of the country, or that they're going to spread into the other provinces, which are ethnic provinces, like the Punjab and Sindh, where they're very, very unpopular.

We have a Gallup Poll now, 60 percent of the Punjabis, who are the majority group in Pakistan, say that it's very negative that there should be Taliban operating in Pakistan. And only ten percent say that it's a positive. So in Pakistan, as a whole, this is a small group. It's not a mainstream, big, mass movement.

So our disproportionate reaction to a small group of well-publicized terrorists and militants will enable or require the Pakistani army to do what to these ethnic minorities?

BILL MOYERS: But how do you explain this mass exodus of, as you say, maybe a million people on the move out of that northwest region where the fighting is going on?

SHAHAN MUFTI: Well, it's very clear that why that happened is because the Pakistan army asked, or wanted the people, the civilian population, to move out of there because it was- is being fought as a guerilla war. So the militants are embedding themselves into the civilian population, which is their strength.

And so this movement out of these northern regions, where the Taliban had control, is a tactical operation. And moving the people out of there, unfortunately, also, it seems, to be military tactic right now

JUAN COLE: The Pakistani military is a tank, you know, traditional, almost central European kind of military. It was formed to fight India and most of the tanks and the troops are down on the border between India and Pakistan. And they're not trained to do counterinsurgency or counterterrorism.

So their idea of putting down the Taliban is to invade the Swat Valley. And if you've got 15,000 troops with artillery, helicopter gunships, fighter jets, operating a military operation in a valley with a million people in it, is going to produce massive displacement.

They're not sending in SWAT teams against these 4 thousand fighters, which I think is what they should have been doing. So when the US caused this. They pressured Pakistan's army to launch a conventional military attack on this small group of guerillas. And is going to inconvenience, you know, probably half a million people in a very dire way. And is that really going to settle the Pashtuns down?

SHAHAN MUFTI: I would say the Pakistani army feels strong pressure to show that they are performing. So whether they're using — whether they're being heavy-handed, whether they're using a lot of fireworks, to prove a point to the United States. And the government, as well as the army, do feel — who are recipients of large American aid, and all, but also clients of the American military — they feel, they do feel, I think, an obligation to perform well, at least to put up a show that they are performing, and that they're performing well.

BILL MOYERS: Are you two saying that the Taliban are not as great a threat to Pakistan and the United States as the United States has been claiming?

JUAN COLE: Well I have to be careful here. Because, on the one hand, I don't want to be interpreted as saying this is not a problem. I mean, you've got several thousand militants operating in the North-West Frontier Province. This is a problem. And it wasn't like that, you know, even ten years ago.The idea of Pakistani Taliban is a new idea. The Taliban were always an Afghan phenomenon. So it is a problem. And it needs to be dealt with. But what I'm saying is that let's just have a sense of proportion here.

The North-West Frontier Province is 10 percent of the Pakistan population. That's where this stuff is happening. And most of it is actually happening not in the Province itself, but in the Federally Administrated Tribal Regions. Which are kind of like our Indian reservations. Only 3.5 million people live there. It's the size of, like, New Hampshire. Pakistan is a country as big as California, Oregon and Washington rolled up in one, with a population of 165 million. So to take this threat, which is a threat locally, to the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas, to parts of the North-West Frontier Province, and to magnify it and to say, "Whoa, the Pakistani government is six months from falling, the Taliban is going to get their hands on nuclear weapons." The kinds of things that are being said in Washington, are just fantastical and some kind of science fiction film.

Are we pushing for a Sri Lanka-style solution that will require the indiscriminate slaughter of all civilians who can't or won't leave targeted areas in Pakistan? Is a short term boost ($110 million) in assistance to Pakistani IDPs enough compensation for the inevitable loss of life that the incautious and ill-informed rhetoric from Washington that Pakistan must destroy this poorly defined "Taliban in Pakistan" or that we will?. We will compel Pakistan to cut the ISI umbilical cord to the Pashtun warlords in Afghanistan, but does that imbalance India vs. Pakistan further?

Can we stop arming a massive military whose only clear focus is defending itself from India, and will clearly do anything to achieve parity with India, and start investing in the disciplined use of diplomacy and nonviolence?

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