Monday, February 26, 2007

"The Only Thing That Matters Is Results"

President Bush has decided to send an unusually tough message to one of his most important allies, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, the president of Pakistan, warning him that the newly Democratic Congress could cut aid to his country unless his forces become far more aggressive in hunting down operatives with Al Qaeda, senior administration officials say.

"He’s made a number of assurances over the past few months, but the bottom line is that what they are doing now is not working," one senior administration official who deals often with South Asian issues said late last week. "The message we’re sending to him now is that the only thing that matters is results."

NYT 2/26/07

The Army's highest-ranking officer said Friday that he was unsure whether the U.S. military would capture or kill Osama bin Laden, adding, "I don't know that it's all that important, frankly."

"So we get him, and then what?" asked Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, the outgoing Army chief of staff, at a Rotary Club of Fort Worth luncheon. "There's a temporary feeling of goodness, but in the long run, we may make him bigger than he is today.

"He's hiding, and he knows we're looking for him. We know he's not particularly effective. I'm not sure there's that great of a return" on capturing or killing bin Laden.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram 2/24/07

Schoomaker's torpor dovetails with these remarks from a few years ago. In case one needed any further confirmation, it's obvious now that "the hunt" has become "the punt."

I'll be back when my blood pressure eases off....


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...You see then, that the rulers, these official guardians of public order, property, and personal security, had no scruples about using these deceptive methods when it suited their purposes...

...their bombastic language has, in most instances, been used as a mask to deceive the people, to hide the paucity of their ideas and the inconsistency of their acts..." [bakunin]

2/26/2007 7:10 AM  
Blogger DED said...

But the short term political payoff would be huge. All the papers would have headlines proclaiming "We Got Him". W could parade Osama around (alive or dead) and proudly proclaim that his policies are working (even though they aren't) and that Congress and the American people need to "stay the course" (who says you can't take tired slogans out of retirement) in Iraq. And I'm sure that he'd get a huge boost in the polls. The neocons would surely insist that Cheney run in '08 to perpetuate their agenda. I'm surprised that Rove doesn't see the value in this.

2/26/2007 9:54 AM  
Anonymous Mr. Hedley Bowes said...

But then they'd have to declare the 'War of Terra' won, and then we'd end up with another pesky 'Peace Dividend' that cuts so deep into profits.

Osama in jail = short term political gain/long term revenue losses

2/26/2007 12:05 PM  
Anonymous kilfarsnar said...

Rove probably does see value in this. But catching bin Laden, if that really is our goal, is not easily done. If he really is in the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan he may well be beyond our reach; or even that of the Pakistanis. Believe it or not, there are still some places where the mighty US Army cannot just walk in and start calling the shots. Musharraf is doing a high-wire act daily, and cannot always do what we want him to do.

This all assumes, of course, that we really do want to get him and that he is really guilty of what he has been accused of in this case. As I have said previously on this board, neither of these things are known for sure.

2/26/2007 12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The thing that disgust me about the cavalier attitude towards Osama bin Laden by the people in charge of our country is that it shows such a disregard for justice.

bin Laden is a mass murderer of American citizens and these guys just do not care.

They say it is too hard cause he is holed up in the mountains somewhere, Besides, it is far easier to use smart bonbs to blow the hell out of much easeier target somewhere else - like Iraq.

2/26/2007 12:23 PM  
Blogger David S./ Southern Calif. said...

Closely related to this, read Frank Rich's column in Sunday's NY Times (behind NY Times Select firewall). His point is that we've been lulled into complacency comparable to the Summer before 9/11, by this administration's stubborn insistence on fighting the wrong enemy, while failing miserably against the one that actually attacked us. Now, Quaeda is on the march, not the run, as one intel expert put it, and if none of this scares you, you don't scare easy.

2/26/2007 2:47 PM  
Anonymous Lord said...

If Musharroff fell though, nukes would be in terrorist hands in days.

2/26/2007 3:15 PM  
Anonymous grass root said...

What scares me is when Cheney leaves his lair and goes anywhere -a sure sign that there's dirty work to be done. I'd rather see Osama hang-gliding over my house than see Cheney in Pakistan.

2/26/2007 10:57 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Hedley Bowes said...

I'm with grass root. Something wikked this way comes and that way goes: Special Plans, from the Office of.

2/27/2007 6:30 AM  
Blogger DED said...

Well, they almost got him:

2/27/2007 2:22 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Hedley Bowes said...

"Asked if he had ever considered changing his plans to go to Kabul, Cheney said that was “never an option.”

“They clearly try to find ways to question the authority of the central government,” Cheney said of Taliban insurgents. “Striking at Bagram with a suicide bomber I suppose is one way to do that.”

Might this 'central government' be the Soviet of Texas?

2/27/2007 4:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2/28/2007 12:52 AM  
Blogger Tom said...

Could it be that indifference to eliminating Osama is not the same as indifference to al-Qaeda in general?

2/28/2007 9:01 AM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

Hell...the only thing we are focused on is drumming up support for a war on Iran. So far it hasn't worked. I think our military officers are even sabotaging the effort. Paradise hasn't emerged in Iraq and our leaders have too much on their plate to go after small fry like Bin Laden. Remember it was Powell who insisted we do Afghanistan first. If Cheney and Rumsfeld had their way...they wouldn't have even bothered. Rumsfeld was disturbed by the lack of targets in Afghanistan and didn't see the point. Iraq and Iran have nothing to do with 9/11 and Bin Laden. That attack came from Saudi Arabia whose political leaders we already control. The unpopularity of the Royal family along with our permanant large air force base after the first Gulf war turned Bin Laden against the US. This allowed him to drum up support from Saudis to attack US interests in an effort to get the infidel out of the holy land. Has nobody read "Imperial Hubris"? Michael Scheuer had followed Bin Laden for years and left the CIA because our government never considered him a big enough threat to their interests to go after him. They still don't. Although one of their first acts after 9/11 was to take away Bin Laden's number one recruitment tool. They closed the Air Force base and took the troops out of the holy land in an attempt to "drain the swamp". Since Saudi Arabia already has compliant leadership to our interests we left them alone. A great opportunity for them to pin the blame on non compliant leaders in the middle east....first Iran. Powell shamed Rumsfeld and Cheney into Afghanistan because come on....we have to at least look like we are going after the culprits!

YOU IDIOTS! Our politicians don't care about a few thousand American deaths...except as an easily exploitable propaganda opportunity. It is about power and control. As Kissinger said...something like...Control the food, control the people; control the resources, control the continent; control the money, control the world"
We are not in the middle east to save Americans from terrorists. God...even people who are skeptical of our government can be such dolts. How on Earth can you people not see this? No wonder the Nazis had such an easy time with the German citizens. Splash a bit of propaganda over the airwaves and brains turn to mush. We are trying to establish control of middle eastern resources. That is what Iraq and Iran are about. We have been meddling in Iran since Mossadeh in 1953. Our treatment towards Iran in morally disgraceful. That is what the hostage crisis was all about. They threw the Shah out and closed the US embassy and took hostages to prevent us from reasserting control in Iran.
Our current middle east policy is in such disarray because our politicians have achieved none of their objectives so far and they are getting desparate. This is why chaos reigns. So far...we have been backing a Shite government in Iraq that has ties to Iran. We are blaming the chaos in Iraq on Iranian interference when it is coming from a native Sunni resistance. We have been ignoring the Saudis during all this until recently. Although the 9/11 attacks came from Saudi Arabia their politcal leaders always did our no military attacks but they have gotten the cold shoulder treatment. Now...that we realize we have no friends in the region anymore and the new Iraqi government looks upon us as useful idiots rather than benefactors... We are starting to look to the Saudis for help again. Maybe we can hire Bin Laden to wage a war with Iran? Does anybody really think a Democrat is going to come in and straighten this out? The only smart thing to do is pull out. Anything else just makes it worse.

3/01/2007 1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3/02/2007 5:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3/02/2007 5:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3/05/2007 9:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3/07/2007 8:46 PM  

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