48 Hour Clock Running.....

Friday, January 13, 2006
Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday dear Zawa... whoops - the candles got blown out.

UPDATE: more details

Zawahiri probably should have been a bit more circumspect in claiming that troop withdrawal as an AQ victory - although Murtha agrees.

UPDATE: Pakis promise report within hours

67 comments:

terrye said...

When will we know for sure?

Rick Ballard said...

Well, it's 9AM Sat. in Karachi so they've started to scrape up some evidence. There were theoretically 18 bodies to sort through but the article doesn't say how that was determined or how it was known that five AQ leaders were among the bodies.

If he's not badly scattered it might be a few hours - if he's in bits and pieces it could be two weeks.

terrye said...

18? I thought it was only five.

I had hoped it would not take so long.

Who will speak for AlQaida if this guy is a goner? Osama is gone from view...I guess that just leaves Zarqawi. I hope his number is up soon too. God forgive me.

Syl said...

The one thing that concerns me, well there are a couple of things, is that residents in the area are reported to have said they've seen unmanned planes circling the area for a few days.

If they saw them, then, well, so did the AQ guys and they would have stayed far away.?

Pakistani govt is saying 50/50 chance there were even AQ guys there (let alone Zawahiri).

But, man, are my fingers crossed tight.

Severe weather heading this way--in the middle of January! Ouch. I've had the air conditioning on 4 or 5 days this Jan. But our NWS guy said he looked up the last time there were so many succesive days of rain in the Northwest, half a century ago, and the weather in our area of VA was much warmer than normal then too.

The more things change..,

David Thomson said...

"God forgive me."

God’s forgiveness? There is nothing morally questionable in seeking the death of a terrorist. You have every right to wish for the death of Zarqawi.

Morgan said...

From the "update" link:

The officials said that killing Zawahri or bin Laden would be a "major victory in the war on terror," as one put it, but they acknowledged that it probably wouldn't cripple al-Qaida or significantly reduce the threat of new terrorist attacks.

From the sound of the rest of the statement, it sounds like they got the verbs mixed up. Should read "The officials acknowledged that killing Zawahri or bin Laden would be a "major victory in the war on terror," as one put it, but they said that it probably wouldn't cripple al-Qaida or significantly reduce the threat of new terrorist attacks.

Syl said...

Well, it's looking less and less likely to me. Of course one never knows what's true and what's disinformation. Kinda fun trying to figure it out from the various reports.

Reuters: A Pakistani intelligence source said he had been told by U.S. officials the strike was ordered based on information Zawahri and Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar had been invited to a dinner to celebrate this week's Muslim Eid al-Adha festival.

I'm inclined to believe Zawahiri wouldn't accept the invitation.

Interesting that there are 'missing' bodies. :) Hmmm, wonder where they went.

terrye said...

God says we should love our enemies, that is one of the things that makes us different.

But hey, I am only human.

Syl said...

Another day, another bomb aftermath pr offensive.

AP is reporting that two senior Pakistani officials are saying Zawahiri was not there.

That seems to be because the reporting on the ground says all bodies are identified as locals. But, earlier an intelligence official had told AP that five bodies had been removed for DNA testing. So they weren't left behind to be identified by locals.

Of course, that intelligence official could have been lying.

Or those bodies on visual examination proved to be locals and not foreigners and the Pak government was notified. Though I doubt that would happen so soon.

All the locals in this report say they have nothing to do with terrorists. But an earlier report (reuters maybe, I don't remember) quoted a local saying there had been a couple foreigners around.

Soooooo...if five bodies were removed early on they could be AQ, one could be Zawahiri, or they could all be locals.

Or no body was removed. No AQ guys were blown away. Another day, another hellfire missile.

BTW, I was trying to locate the area in Google maps. I couldn't find it (direction from Islamabad was reported in one article as northeast, another as southeast) but I found Kunar province (which this town 'overlooks' and a mtn peak with a name similar to the area the town is in.

But what I love about snooping around that area is the terrain. My god! It's something else. I found a river with a cliff that rises over 2000 feet. It's like that all over.

Syl said...

terrye

God says we should love our enemies, that is one of the things that makes us different.

We can understand why and how somebody does something. We can even empathize and fear we might do the same under identical circumstances. We can understand brainwashing and being so consumed by ideological fever that we act on false beliefs.

I think in that way we do love our enemies. But that does not mean we shouldn't punish them. And it doesn't mean we shouldn't kill them before they kill us.

You cannot turn the other cheek if you have no cheeks left.

Syl said...

Debka says: Pakistan intelligence doubts Zawahiri was present at purported US strike site, cannot confirm he was killed because locals removed 5 foreigners’ bodies

Actually this makes more sense. How could we have gotten there so soon to remove 5 bodies?

If this is indeed true, then the locals are covering up.

We got some AQ guys--we just don't know who. What are the chances of this getting sorted out?

Peter UK said...

If we are to love our enemies,what better way can we express this than sending them to Paradise early?

Syl said...

Peter

LOL!

BTW, I was just at al-jazeera. Their article pulls together info from various news agencies.

I gotta tell you, it was put together well and most everything is in there.

Syl said...

Oops. The al-jazeera linky

Peter UK said...

Well Syl,if Zawahiri was really a true believer,he would have given his co-ordinates.

Buddy Larsen said...

"Coordinates", hereabouts referred to as "corn-nuts".

"Wutter th' target corn nuts, sojer?"

Peter UK said...

Some Zawahiri,some Zawatheri,some Zawaovertheri...

Syl said...

Yes, Peter! Give co-ordinates. That's perfect.

Why bother to use our airliners against us. Just walk into a crowded mall and give the CIA your coordinates!

LOL

Well, the locals are covering up this one. There'll be some money changing hands methinks. I'm not sure if their hospitality extends to dead bodies.

Syl said...

me again

Pakistan Condemns Deadly Air Strike

Well, duh.

They have to.

Off to la-la land. Storms last night weren't bad right over me, but tornado warnings one county over and another two counties north. 50-foot trees toppled just southeast of here.

The buggers were chugging along at 55 mph so they didn't hang around very long.

Buddy Larsen said...

33 straight days of rain in Seattle?

markg8 said...

Woke up to tornado watch in Philly area this morning. In the 50s now but will go down to 27F tonight as a cold front moves in. Tornados in January?

Reuters report says: "The incident came days after Pakistan, an important ally in the U.S.-led war on terrorism, lodged a strong protest with U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan, saying cross-border firing in the nearby Waziristan area last weekend killed eight people."

Bush really needs a victory in the WOT so maybe that explains the stepped up campaign. NPR reported there were 5 in one building and 19 in another. The 5 were suspected of being foreigners. Without DNA evidence I doubt we'll be able to identify the bodies. We won't send anybody in and the Pakis don't seem interested. They need these guys alive to keep the aid flowing.

markg8 said...

make that 18 on the other.

Peter UK said...

Yes,Markg8 is simply on the other side.

markg8 said...

Still waiting Peety.

Peter UK said...

Good Markg8,I'll have fries with that.

Buddy Larsen said...

"Bush really needs a victory in the WOT so maybe that explains the stepped up campaign."

I agree, I suspect that there are certain forces inside the USA--the so-called "conservatives" and "moderates"--that are interested in achieving victory in the GWoT.

Peter UK said...

Buddy,Doesn't that beg the question that the "campaign has been stepped up" rather than simply ongoing,the only difference being that a possible high value target has been hit rather than the cannon fodder?

It is interesting to see how quickly Democraticitis sets in and the negative spin goes on.

"Hey some possible good news! "ABC News is reporting that a US air strike on a village at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border may have killed 5 high-ranking al-Qaeda figures, including the organization's #2, Ayman al-Zawahiri."

6:11 PM, January 13, 2006

" So we will bomb them, raid their homes, lock them up and torture them until they reject violence or until they're all dead?"

6:59 PM, January 13, 2006

markg8 said...

Since we're quoting me I might as well to:

It is now 1613 days since 9/11. That's more than 4 years and 4 months. Less than 4 years after Pearl Harbor Germany and Japan lay in ruins and had surrendered. Less than 4 years after the Confederates fired on Ft. Sumter Lee surrendered at Appomattox.

Today our ambassador to Pakistan, a "strong ally" in the WOT, has been summoned by their government to receive a formal protest from the Pakistani government for an airstrike we mounted last night attempting to take out the number 2 man in the organization that attacked us on 9/11. Pakistan condemned the airstrike and a high-ranking Pakistani official said
Osama bin Laden's deputy was not in the village.

When your side gets serious about fighting Al Qaeda instead of using the fight as political manipulation to keep the American people in a perpetual state of fear let us know.

Peter UK said...

"It is now 1613 days since 9/11. That's more than 4 years and 4 months. Less than 4 years after Pearl Harbor Germany and Japan lay in ruins and had surrendered."

Iraq is not in ruins,the economy is improving they are electimg their own Government,the Iraq army and police are taking more control over their own affairs,coalition troops are being drawn down, casualties have been a microscopic fraction of WWII...just goes to show how careful the Coalition has been,compared to previous conflicts.
Thanks for the comparison Markg8

Buddy Larsen said...

yeah, Mark--my truck won't keep the milk cold, and my refrigerator is absolute crap on the highway.

Buddy Larsen said...

You guys have had forty years of free rein with the war on poverty and the national educational system, and the consensus is, everybody on the planet would be far better off if you had just gone fishin'.

Peter UK said...

Everybody would be better of if they had fed them to the poor.

Buddy Larsen said...

"Do you like Democrats?"

"why, yes I do."

"Great, have another bowlful!"

markg8 said...

A lot of Iraq including it's infrastructure in most cities is in ruins.

BTW the local police and FBI have weighed in on that story from Midland.

"According to Bill Vanderland, agent in charge of Midland's FBI office, no laws were broken when a group of men attempted to purchase a large number of cell phones from the Wal-Mart in the 200 block of Interstate 20 Dec. 18.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents ultimately charged one man for an immigration violation, Vanderland said, and two others were released after producing appropriate documents.

However Vanderland said Thursday after the ABC report aired that assertions of a connection between a terror cell and the men who attempted to purchase cell phones from a Midland Wal-Mart were invalid.

"There is no known link or demonstrated link or any other kind of link at this point between the people here and any terror cell," he said."

You can quit using the flag as a crying towel and put your shotguns away. The cellphones of mass destruction scare is over. If you'd like to see the genesis of this crap in your very own wingnutosphere go here.

Peter UK said...

"Well so much for the "really good news" about the burgeoning cellphone business in Iraq you were all lauding months ago. You might remember I pointed out at the time that cellphones and garage door openers are used as IED triggers.
It doesn't take an article in the NYT for terrorists to realize disposable phones are useful." Markg.

Buddy Larsen said...

(*Whew*) Thanks, Mark--for awhile there, I thought the NYTimes was against winning the GWoT.

Buddy Larsen said...

"You can quit using the flag as a crying towel"

(translation)

"Nobody I know has been killed by terrorism"

markg8 said...

That's right Peety. Instead of mindlessly bragging about cellphone usage in Iraq as a sign of progress and then wetting your pants because some swarthy types are buying untracable prepaid cellphones in Midland Tx, ya know the kind poor people use because they can't get a credit contract from a cellphone provider and then braying it's even more reason to support the unyielding brainiac in the WH a better course of action might be to get said genius and his band of ever vigilant stalwarts to do something about making people register their names and the code when they buy these phones that have been on the market for 2 years now.

Keeyrhist, every example of the Bush administration dropping the ball is
just another chance to scream, "We're all gonna die!" unless Bush is allowed to be the war preznit daddy king you make him out to be in your fantasies for you guys. Change your underwear and get over it.

Peter UK said...

Odd,I didn't mention cell phone business,the subject was a general improvement in the Iraq economy,inward investment is up,the stock market is booming.
Was is the matter Markg8,don't you want the Iraqis to succeed?

Actually I didn't know,to use your racist term,some "Swarthy types" were buying cell phones.

The gibberish about poor people not being able to get contracts is,quite frankly barmy,many people of all income groups prefer pay as you go.

I take it from your somewhat intemperate language,that you are irked by your congenital inconsistancy.

Don't worry Sunbeam,every village has one,you seem to be ours

markg8 said...

Show me where my position is inconsistent lil' chickenhawk.

Buddy Larsen said...

I don't remember getting in the least bit upset over anything in Midland. So, is it okay if I don't check my underwear, or pee on myself?

DID almost peed on myself laffing when I heard that Sen. Ted read a satire piece to Judge Alito--on national tv--and tried to make the world believe it was serious journalism (or that he was a serious senator).

markg8 said...

And I'm still waiting Peety.

Buddy Larsen said...

Try drumming your fingers, Mark--it makes the time go by faster.

Peter UK said...

If you cannot even maintain a consistent and coherent position Markg8 what is the point?
Even your Chickenhawk argument is flawed,unless you served you cannot encourage others to enlist,well not so much did not,but would not,hoist by your own thesis it would seems.

Buddy Larsen said...

You actually DID have a point, back there aways, and could've made it if you hadn't gotten off into genitalia: The Madrid bombers used the disposable cell-phones, long before NYTimes started the latest hoot n' holler.

Peter UK said...

Buddy,
Perhaps I should change my name to Godot?

Buddy Larsen said...

One pertinent inconsistency is your bragging about international terror using the technique in Iraq, where, according to you, there IS no 'international terror'.

Buddy Larsen said...

Godot idea, Peter!

Luther McLeod said...

The chickenhawk aspersion is such a crock. Not worth debating. But to the extent Marky feels it valid, I want several more votes next time I'm at the polls. After all Marky, I did serve, and based on your interpretation my voice and vote should carry "extra" weight. Though from your writings I can see that if I had served with you I may not have been here to write these words, watching the six and all that. But of course that would be, if you had served. Did you perchance? Matter of fact Marky, what exactly, of a positive manner, have you done for your country?

Syl said...

mark

I've come to the conclusion that someone as cynical as yourself has simply given up. Life's too complicated to comprehend so make shit up and believe it. Easier that way.

Bush really needs a victory in the WOT so maybe that explains the stepped up campaign.

but later...

When your side gets serious about fighting Al Qaeda instead of...

Make up your mind.

Your statements have nothing to do with reality, they are only opinions about motives attributed to someone else. That way you don't have to face the contradictions you believe because you push those contradictions off on Bush instead.

In other words, you don't make sense.

As to official Pakistan, your cynicism is selective:

They [the Pakistanis] need these guys alive to keep the aid flowing.

Yet you take at face value Pakistani criticism of the US strike and point your cynicism towards Bush claiming he uses strikes such as these as political manipulation of the American people.

Is there no possibility in your mind that Pakistan uses criticism of US strikes as political manipulation of its own people?

Americans: We have to kill all al Qaeda in the Territories and your desired fighter plane acquisitions depend on our ability to do so.

Pakistanis: no American boots on our soil but missiles are okay. However we will never admit we said okay and condemn every missile strike.

Americans: deal!

Peter UK said...

Luther,he registered for the draft in 1974 and hasn't been seen since,the Clintonian school of service.
You might find thsi interesting.

markg8 of markg8 Kos Dairy"

http://operationyellowelephant.blogspot.com/

Syl said...

mark

Where's your cynicism when you need it?

Vanderland said Thursday after the ABC report aired that assertions of a connection between a terror cell and the men who attempted to purchase cell phones from a Midland Wal-Mart were invalid.

Isn't it possible that an FBI guy furious at the NSA leak, leaked about a terror cell under surveillance thus tipping off the cell that they are known. I'd call that irony.

Denying the report would be the natural thing to do.

That's just as much a possibility as some guy making up a connection to a cell in a specific area from whole cloth.

If we've learned anything the past few years, it's that leaks occur with some frequency.

Your cynicism is transparently aimed in only one direction.

Luther McLeod said...

Well Peter, the color of the elephant is the reason why, the stripe across, the line they never crossed, and the stars above, the utopia which they will never meet. The whole premise is bulls**t.

Keep us honest Syl!

All aided by a new Merlot I have discovered, Quail Oak from California. Inexpensive but quite pleasant.

Luther McLeod said...

This is Saturday night, is it not?

Peter UK said...

Yes

Buddy Larsen said...

"...Quail Oak from California. Inexpensive but quite pleasant."

I believe you meant "quite pheasant"?

Buddy Larsen said...

yep, drive-by cynicism is such a beautiful thing to behold, every dadburn thing thing mankind does is simply to increase his own power--Jesus, guilt-tripper; Mother Theresa, camera hog; Lincoln, had to be the center of attention; Audie Murphy, had his eye on that movie career; your mamma and poppa, wanted a baby to boss around.

It's like wiping your butt with a wagon wheel, there's no end to it.

Luther McLeod said...

Yes Buddy, some folks can see no good in anything. Perhaps because they have never experienced anyone who was good. Don't like writing that, but sadly, I think it may be true on occasion.

And, yes, now that you mention it, that pheasant was rather quite as I shoved it in the oven.

markg8 said...

syl Musharraf cancelled the F-16 contract to spend those billions on earthquake relief. A good move in my eyes.

But his country's head nuclear scientist A.Q.Khan ran a secret nuclear weapons business selling bomb technology to Libya, Iran and God knows who else. The stuff of nightmares. When caught he was given a slap on the wrist by Musharraf. What does Bush do? Give Pakistan most-favored non-NATO ally status, turn a blind eye as Musharraf makes a mockery of democracy by making himself a de facto dictator. We throw him tons of aid while he makes litle or no effort to find Bin Laden or Zahwari even though his people seem a little too certain where they ain't at any given time.

Musharraf knows he only has so many bargaining chips with the US. He also knows what happens to dictators who are no longer useful to the neocons. He only has to look to Saddam for that.

It seems we should be able to find a wealthy 6'6" tall Arab who needs kidney dialysis on a regular basis among the puny Pakistani hillbillies
in Waziristan with a little more help from our "ally" Musharraf. Instead we put up with diplomatic protests and burning American flags in his streets when we try to do it ourselves.

Yeah so when Bush gets serious about fighting Al Qaeda and democracy promotion you let me know.

Peter UK said...

"puny Pakistani hillbillies"
You are an appalling racist Markg8.

Syl said...

That five bodies has morphed to seven. We have no idea who grabbed them nor where they are. It's been established that furriners were indeed in the area.

We just don't know who.

The 18 were all locals. It's the disappeared bodies who were not.

Zawahiri had himself a new wife and kids in the area too. Some kind of deal with the tribal elders for her. Now it's all in the family.

The fury in the reaction to the strike shows me that somebody got whacked they didn't want to get whacked.

The insitigator of the protests and violence is one of the two local religious leaders who are most sympathetic to al Qaeda. In fact we (the Pakistani's) had captured one of them leaving his house just a few weeks ago.

These two religious leaders were the ones who had invited Zawahiri to the Eid dinner. These two religious leaders left the house at 12:30 am and the strike didn't happen until 3 am.

What we don't know is if Zawahiri left the house with them or remained or if he was there at all.

The most interesting article I've read hints that there were special forces in the area (an absolute no-no to the Pakistanis) that pointed the planes (not predators) to the specific houses, then may have quickly grabbed bodies (or not).

But, as I said, the fury of the reaction against the strike indicates to me something more than 18 locals being killed.

Al Qaeda says Zawahiri is still alive. How do they know? Have they contacted him by satellite phone? They don't know any more than we do at this point.

Syl said...

mark

Your rant re Khan and Pakistan is another illustration of your inconsistency. Whack Pakistan, not Iran.

It's just like whack Afghanistan, not Iraq.

Kneejerk 'NO' to anything we do.

But you miss the elephant in the room. If it were not for Iraq we may not have known about Khan until it was way too late.

Peter UK said...

Syl,
It is interesting that because of Muslim burial rituals it is always possible to point to fresh graves,or at least what appear to be fresh graves.
The other point is that it is customary to pay compensation to the families of those killed.
Lastly,would not al Qaeda claim civilian casualties as part of the propaganda war?

Syl said...

would not al Qaeda claim civilian casualties as part of the propaganda war?

Most definitely.

And as more of the propaganda war, the federal interior minister is claiming (interview with Debkafile) that this was a decoy operation. False information given by al Qaeda to the Americans.

Whose propaganda though? Blame al Qaeda for the false information or blame the Americans for acting on it? Or see how smart al Qaeda was for fooling the Americans?--getting locals killed in the process. It's all just talk.

But those missing bodies...sheesh.

It had to be locals doing it. Dragging obvious foreigners out of there and burying them immediately.

If (HUGE if) SF were there, they wouldn't have time to run into the three houses, get samples from the bodies they had to dig through the rubble to find, put 'em in jars, and hightail it out of there before the locals who came running after they heard the blasts could spot them.

The Pakistanis have to sort this out. Were there actually more bodies than the 18 or 19 claimed? And are they furriners or locals?

Unless Zawahiri was really whacked, I doubt we'll ever know.

markg8 said...

We'll know soon enough if Zahawri is still alive if and when he posts one of his gloating videos on the net.

"Whack Pakistan, not Iran." "Round up all Arabs before 9/11."

Why is everything an overreaction with you people? We don't need to whack Pakistan to get them to cooperate more fully. We have carrots as well as sticks. Here's one example of an alternative: after WW11 the Italians were on the verge of electing a communist government. Besides enlisting the church and sending CIA money to other political parties we encouraged a massive letter wirting campaign from Italian Americans back home to their friends and relatives extolling the benefits of American society and begging them not to elect a communist government. It worked.

There are millions of Pakistani immigrants living in the US today. Instead of treating them all like members of terrorist sleeper cells they should be encouraged to join our cause and extoll our way of life.

If your answers to every problem is to exercise US military might, demonizing people of Islamic faith or destroy the Bill of Rights you're building a chair with one large leg while cutting off the other 3.

Peter UK said...

"puny Pakistani hillbillies"

"demonizing people of Islamic faith"

Got to admire Markg8's consistency

markg8 said...

Get some exercise Peety, some fresh air, it might help with your ADD. Might I suggest a career as a soldier in the US Army? They'll take foreigners you know.