Five years ago, the nation rallied around a president who promised vengeance against those responsible for the atrocity of 9/11. Yet Osama bin Laden is still alive and at large. His trail, The Washington Post reports, has gone “stone cold.” Osama and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, are evidently secure enough in their hideaway that they can taunt us with professional-quality videos.And why is this happening? Krugman explains:
They certainly don’t lack for places to stay. Pakistan’s government has signed a truce with Islamic militants in North Waziristan, the province where bin Laden is presumed to be hiding. Although the Pakistanis say that this doesn’t mean that bin Laden is immune from arrest, their claims aren’t very credible.
Meanwhile, much of Afghanistan has fallen back under the control of drug-dealing warlords and of the Taliban, which sheltered Al Qaeda before it was driven from Kabul. NATO’s top commander has appealed for more troops; the top British commander in Afghanistan has said that fighting there is fiercer than in Iraq. And the numbers bear him out: since the beginning of 2006, the NATO force in Afghanistan has had a higher rate of fatalities than that suffered by coalition troops in Iraq.
The path to this strategic defeat began with the failure to capture or kill bin Laden. Never mind the anti-Clinton hit piece, produced for ABC by a friend of Rush Limbaugh; there never was a clear shot at Osama before 9/11, let alone one rejected by Clinton officials. But there was a clear shot in December 2001, when Al Qaeda’s leader was trapped in the caves of Tora Bora. He made his escape because the Pentagon refused to use American ground troops to cut him off.But the Bush/Cheney cabal had no time for Bin Laden, they had their sites on Iraq long before the tragic events of 911. And how is that mis-adventure gone? over three years after the initial invasion it can safely said that there are winners - Iran and bin Laden's al-Qaeda. There are at least two stories today that point out how bad things are in Mesopotamia.
Situation Called Dire in West Iraq
The chief of intelligence for the Marine Corps in Iraq recently filed an unusual secret report concluding that the prospects for securing that country's western Anbar province are dim and that there is almost nothing the U.S. military can do to improve the political and social situation there, said several military officers and intelligence officials familiar with its contents.And if there ever really was a coalition in Iraq it is falling apart.
The officials described Col. Pete Devlin's classified assessment of the dire state of Anbar as the first time that a senior U.S. military officer has filed so negative a report from Iraq.
One Army officer summarized it as arguing that in Anbar province, "We haven't been defeated militarily but we have been defeated politically -- and that's where wars are won and lost."
In Iraq, Tension Over Charter
BAGHDAD, Sept. 10 — An agreement struck 11 months ago by Shiite and Kurdish leaders to win Sunni Arab support for a new constitution is fraying, causing concern among some political leaders that it could jeopardize Iraq’s fragile governing coalition.The "elected" central government and US troops have been unable to keep order and the Iraqis are more and more turning to sectarian militias for protection. While the war in Iraq has weakened the US Iran is stronger than ever and al-Qaeda is alive and well and in the movie business. On this fifth anniversary of 911 all we can see is the complete failure of the Bush administration on the path after 911.
The dispute peaked Sunday as a large Shiite faction continued to fight for quick approval of legislation giving provinces the authority to create autonomous states, which some powerful Shiites are seeking for southern Iraq. Sunni lawmakers and others who oppose the proposal refused to attend Parliament on Sunday, and warned that the plan could severely undermine the country’s unity government.
Shiite lawmakers said earlier on Sunday that they had reached an agreement with Sunnis and other political coalitions to delay the debate on the proposal until Sept. 19. But hours later legislators said that agreement had fallen apart, and it remained unclear whether Shiites would adhere to the delay.
911, Krugman, Iraq, Afghanistan
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