Sunday, September 28, 2008

Recipe for Disaster

Did you hear the rumors earlier this month that President Bush wanted Osama bin Laden captured or killed by November 4? That was basically the NPR headline two weeks ago, and I thought that the goal of election day (instead of say January 20) sounded transparently cynical and political even for Bush. But when I went looking for the article today, I found it had been reworked a bit to now read Bush Puts New Focus On Bin Laden, Al-Qaida... which still sounds cynical and political to me.

Though I've stated several times that the abandoned objective to capture bin Laden was a huge failure for Bush, I believe his current hot pursuit into Pakistan is a recipe for disaster. The President's new orders allow American Special Operations forces to carry out ground assaults inside Pakistan without the prior approval of the Pakistani government.

And Pakistan is supposed to be an ally -- an ally with 173 million people, an Islamic government, a failing economy, nuclear weapons, and a new president who has suffered a "range of mental illnesses." Pakistan sounds like a new sanctuary for terrorism. The recent Marriott Hotel bombing in Islamabad might signal a new phase of the al Qaida offensive.

So why would we want to destabilize such a country further? Bush's new plan of bombing tribal regions along the borders could clearly be taken as an act of war.

I don't think this new operation is about catching Osama bin Laden or members of al Qaida. The surge in Iraq appears to be a success at this moment, so why not repeat it elsewhere? For a few more hundred billion dollars we can install a new puppet government in Pakistan. Our government will tell us we're liberating them or fighting terrorism or whatever... but nobody ever bluntly asks the American people if we want another war, another decades long commitment, another disaster on our hands.

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