Today’s Washington Post reports on the resurgence of Al-Qaida. They haven’t been sitting idle while We’ve been distracted by George Bush’s Excellent Iraqi Adventure. On the contrary; while the American Media has been obsessed with the scene in New Halliburton, our "friends" in Nuclear Pakistan have been harboring terrorists. Remember Bush’s tough talk about nation who would stoop so low? How we wouldn’t tolerate that? Just another in the long list of little white lies emanating from the White House.
Dodging the U.S. military in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, al-Qaeda Central reconstituted itself across the Pakistani border, returning to the rugged tribal areas surrounding the organization’s birthplace, the dusty frontier city of Peshawar. In the first few years, Pakistani and U.S. authorities captured many senior leaders; in the past 18 months, no major figure has been killed or caught in Pakistan.
As for the War on Terrorism ™, we’ve had the same luck as we’ve had on the War on Drugs ™ or the War on Poverty ™; bad luck. In fact, I can’t remember American winning a war since Korea. We did win that one, right? It seems the days of America winning all of its wars is long past.
Today, al-Qaeda operates much the way it did before 2001. The network is governed by a shura, or leadership council, that meets regularly and reports to bin Laden, who continues to approve some major decisions, according to a senior U.S. intelligence official. About 200 people belong to the core group and many receive regular salaries, another senior U.S. intelligence official said.
"They do appear to meet with a frequency that enables them to act as an organization and not just as a loose bunch of guys," the second official said.
We’ve been led to believe otherwise:
"Thanks to President Musharraf’s leadership, on the al-Qaeda front we’ve dismantled the chief operators," Bush said. Although bin Laden was still at large, his lieutenants were "no longer a threat to the United States or Pakistan," Bush added.
But then as Keith Olberman noted, the President has been "playing" us.
Six months later, Musharraf was nearly killed in an assassination attempt by al-Qaeda operatives. Shortly afterward, a group of al-Qaeda leaders held a summit of their own in the Pakistani region of Waziristan, where they plotted fresh attacks thousands of miles away in Britain, including targets in London and financial institutions in the United States, according to Pakistani officials.
Many U.S., Pakistani and European intelligence officials now agree that al-Qaeda’s ability to launch operations around the globe didn’t diminish after the invasion of Afghanistan as much as previously thought.
As American’s learned during the Cold War (did we win that one?), a government can get away with anything once a "clear and present danger" can be seen to exist. As we’ve learned to our dismay during this presidency, the danger need not be real. Repeat after me: "Weapons of Mass Destruction." Very good.
Al-Qaida is a real threat. Perhaps that’s why we let Osama Bin Laden escape into the unruly hills of Pakistan, so our leaders can perpetuate the Cold War mentality among the American people so lucrative to what’s left of America’s industrial base, i.e. the Defense Industry.
So as long as the bullet makers need to sell bullets, America needs a bad guy - a bogeyman - to sell to its voters as a National Security threat. If enough people fear, not leeway is given lawmakers to erode freedom, promote questionable business practices abroad, and to invade sovereign nations. If the people fear enough, America can be morphed into a police state in the mane of Homeland Security. That is not the America the veterans of World War Two we’re dying for.
Let us not forget that the last nation that rallied its people "for the Fatherland," used the same tactics we see today. Zieg Heil!