Maguire – 17 September 2001
This story actually contains some significant news beyond Bush's bombing threats.
Afghanistan may finally be generating its own diplomatic mixed signals designed to divide a pro-strike consensus. More significantly the head of Pakistan's intelligence agency, who just happened to be in Washington last Tuesday, is now in Khandahar and Kabul. His message is very direct. This generation's Winds of War weather news has been received. And the forecast is WEST WIND: MONSOON OF BOMBS. The Taleban of course are an extremely isolated renegade regime even within the Islamic world. Almost everyone has forgotten the Grand Poohbah of Iran nearly went to war with the Taleban a couple of years ago.
The Taleban are being credibly confronted with a far more serious threat than some bombing that will make minor adjustments in Afghanistan's geology. Taleban has long been said to be the creation of Pakistan's military intelligence agency. Pakistan remains the only principle patron of the Taleban regime. The Paks' motivation was pretty obvious. Stabilize Afghanistan sufficiently to get rid of several million Afghan refugees now in Pakistan. Most refugees though, are still in Pakistan and the Taleban themselves have clearly become a destabilizing element. The proof of this Pakistani creation seems more solid with the Pakistani delegation now in Afghanistan's dual power centers and apparently issuing diktats.
The Taleban's only other significant outside support is Bin Laden himself. In addition to whatever he's been doing in the terrorism business lately, Bin Laden also provides his 055 Brigade of volunteer Arab fundamentalist warriors. This unit is a significant prop to the clerical junta and has come to constitute a Praetorian Guard for Omar, whose own daughter is married to Bin Laden. "055" also constitutes a serious percentage of the Taleban's disposable military force.
Meanwhile in the north, tribal Uzbek opposition continues with low level Russian backing funneled through Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The implications of all this will be clear even to Omar and his clerical council. 1. Elimination of Pakistani support for the Taleban and Pakistan's adhesion to a US coalition against 'terrorism'. 2. An overwhelming direct US air-ground operation against Bin Laden and his 055 brigade. 3. A sudden large infusion of Russian support for the Uzbeki-based tribal opposition to the Pushtun based Taleban. ZOG is now presenting the Taleban a regime-threatening diplomatic constellation. While Afghanistan itself may ultimately resist another invasion, the current regime is unlikely to survive it. The Taleban are now dealing with very large propositions of "to be or not to be" at the current time, as well as a very credible threat of renewed country-wide civil war.
Pakistan. The Islamabad government took advantage of a temporary power vacuum in the early 1990s, after the economic collapse of the USSR, to dictate its own Afghan Settlement on favorable terms to itself. Since then its Taleban dog has largely slipped its leash while serious economic sanctions were applied by Washington in the wake of the Pakistani nuclear bake-off with India. Moscow has also stabilized itself and revived its influence in the Central Asian states. Facing this new array of plusses and minuses, the Pakistani regime now sees enormous national benefit in cooperating with ZOG-USA on this issue. First it can get rid of the remaining economic sanctions. Second, it gets Washington's help in bringing the Taleban back under Islamabad's control. The downside for not cooperating is a strengthening of sanctions combined with an infusion of support from Moscow in the north that will both undo its Afghan Settlement anyway and strengthen Moscow and Iran's hands in Afghanistan. If anyone was curious why 'Islamic' Pakistan became such a rapid convert to ZOG's war against Islamic terror, here's why.
It's obvious that a very rapid and seemingly decisive 'counter-strike' is shaping up.
This is not going to end the war. This first victorious campaign shaping up has some very spooky parallels to the 1965 Ia Drang Valley campaign in the Central Highlands. At that time, a North Vietnamese division confronted the US 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) and the new and unfamiliar phenomenon of airmobile helicopter war. The principle reason the NVA were so severely defeated was they repeatedly chose to attack US troop concentrations after an insertion, and face superior US firepower. The engagements though constantly ended whenever the NVA force chose to break off the attack. The US troops would not pursue the NVA into the jungle away from the umbilical cord provided by the LZ's and inserted artillery batteries. Casualty limitation considerations were already in play. The US commanders thus could not force an engagement. They 'got lucky' because the NVA commander was then unfamiliar with the vast firepower superiority of equally sized US units. The North Vietnamese learned their lesson and never repeated this error unintentionally.
I see a strong parallel to the Ia Drang in the opening counter-battle now potentially forming. The new hydra of the hi-tech Islamic world-wide network similarly has 'attacked' while still presenting a consolidated unit suitable for a counterstrike. Of course much of this concentration has nothing to do with external terrorism and everything to do with Bin Laden's personal life and Afghan internal politics. We already know Tuesday's attackers received no significant training, nor needed to, in Afghanistan. Their 'training' was first ideological (or religious) followed by trade craft training, followed by specific technical training received in the target country. After this first campaign, the 'network' will never again present such a consolidated target. It has no need to, given the world-wide internet, secure encrypted communications and the vast, indeed now world-wide extent of the Islamic world.
And the U.S. Congress, in a 460-1 vote, has provided a new Gulf of Tonkin resolution dispensing with Congress' war-making powers under the Constitution. Talk of rescinding certain executive orders prohibiting direct CIA involvement in 'assassination' is directly reminiscent of Project Phoenix, by the same agency. America's New Worldwide Vietnam will continue. President Bush, in a replay of Lyndon Johnson's guns and butter policy, is already even calling for a return to 'normalcy' and back to business.