Monday, May 08, 2006

Reading the Chicken Bones

For no particular reason I think now is a good time to look to the near future of the war. Iraq, I think, is moving into the endgame: settling Baghdad and dealing with the militias and Iran. It will be messy, and much will depend on how well the Iraqi army performs and how deep their loyalty is to the idea of Iraq. I won't venture a prediction as to how that will work out, but I do think the focus of the Islamist threat will move back to Afghanistan as Al Qaeda regroups. More than Iran, I see Pakistan as the true center of the terrorist network: it has ports, some industry, nuclear weapons, a long uncontrolled border with Afghanistan, and a large population. It also has a history of supporting the Islamists that goes back to the time of Reagan. Let us not forget that the Taliban was a creation of the ISI. Pakistan's role is obscured by a history of being supported by the US and Musharraf's cooperation with us so far, but I think things are about to hot up over there.

Michael Yon thinks so too, based on his observation of the increasing terrorist activity in the region and the record poppy crop in the fields that will finance weapons and buy soldiers. I suggest now would be a good time to go read his recent dispatches at MichaelYon-Online. There you will also find a defense of MG John Batiste and his criticisms of Rumsfeld that might also serve as a warning that not *all* criticism is politically motivated or sour grapes. We are in a long war and it behooves us to occasionally step back and take a look at where we are going. We want to fight this war as smart as we can and part of that is asking guestions and sorting out the answers. The media hasn't been terribly helpful in this endeavor, too few reporters have the knowledge, patriotism, or integrity to help us find the way, but I think Michael Yon is one of those who does and we need to digest what he has to tell us and be prepared.


Syl said...


I agree with you about Afghanistan/Pakistan. And I'm praying for Musharraf's safety.

Pakistan has been quite diligent in killing/arresting Taliban and militant elements in the territories and making life miserable for them---no matter how some of us may complain Pakistan is not doing enough, quickly enough.

Zawahiri is furious. And I read portions of his latest video that didn't get much play over here. And those were aimed at Pakistan and Musharraf. The Taliban is in the middle of an offensive and Pakistan is in the way and Zawahiri wants the army to turn on him.

Of course he would. Musharraf hasn't been as supportive of the jihadis in Kashmir as he used to be. He's 'friendlier' with India. Bush, the Crusdaer, and the Zionists are behind the whole thing and Bush's recent visit was proof. Musharraf even had the nerve to propose a 'kindler gentler Islam' and that is apostasy.

Yes, it's heating up dangerously in that region. However, only time will tell how weakened al Qaeda and the Taliban are--they may not be able to accomplish anything. On the other hand...

I also think it's interesting that bin laden exhorted jihadis to converge on...the Sudan! I wonder if the cave dweller expects American troops their soon.

So if you're a jihadi what to do? what to do? Iraq? Afghanistan? Pakistan? the Sudan?

I'd be very very confused.

Unknown said...

I heard that Pakistan had been very busy in the northwest povinces her of late and my guess American special forces have too.

And I think that some criticism of Rumsfeld or anyone else is warranted from time to time. The problem is when a gang that includes certain political people joins in, the real criticism gets lost amid the bullshit.