Thursday, January 04, 2007

Mullah Omar resurfaces--where is OUR justice?

Much has been made of the fact that there is a conflict betweeen most of the Pentagon top brass, which wants to train Iraqi forces and draw down U.S. troops, and the civilian "leadership" headed by Bush that wants "double down" and send more troops. The fact that we don't have the troops to double-down with; the fact that intensifying the American presence in Iraq will only increase resistance to that presence; the fact that training Iraqi "security forces" is essentially arming and training tribal and militia groups that will not remain a consistent or national security force--all of these facts have been well-covered before, and don't need repeating.

Perhaps the most significant aspect of this conflict, however, is being largely overlooked: Finally--perhaps for the first time--the Pentagon and the Administration will have to decide whether they are fighting a war or conducting an occupation.

In fact, he just gave a long interview to a Pakistani newspaper, now being headlined at Raw Story. He appears to be alive and well in Afghanistan, directing the actions of the Taliban who are well on their way to taking that country back into their brutal hands and re-establishing Shari'a law there.

Just to put this perspective, let me ask everyone a question in wake of our being treated to multiple videos and triumphalist propaganda in the wake the botched, sectarian hanging lynching of Saddam Hussein: Can you imagine, five years after the initial invasion of Iraq, Saddam Freaking Hussein still living in Iraq, and giving lengthy interviews to Arab newspapers?

I didn't think so. But here is Mullah Omar--wanted enemy of the United States #2 directly after Bin Laden and Chief of the Taliban, free to give interviews from Afghanistan without United States interference. Free to spout REAL terrorist propaganda bullshit like:

"Our stand to grant refuge to Osama bin Laden was based on principles. If there were people who were opposed to us giving refuge to him, they should have used logic and reason. They should not have used threats."


"I had never agreed to hand over Osama bin Laden to the United States. If someone says that I did, then they must have been dreaming. If we had wanted to hand over Osama, we would not have given such a big sacrifice."


"Shariah is sharia. A number of Muslims have been influenced by other civilisations and that's why they seem to find Islamic injunctions too difficult [to follow]. Girls schools were either too few or were non-existent before we took over. We were preparing a strategy for girls education in accordance with shariah.

As for the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas, for the rest of the world it was a matter of [preserving] archeology. It had nothing to do with political or diplomatic matters."


We have never felt the need for a permanent relationship in the present circumstances. But they [the Al-Qaeda] have set jihad as their goal while we have set the expulsion of American troops from Afghanistan as our target. This is the common goal of all the Muslims... I have neither seen [Osama Bin Laden since the American invasion] nor have made any effort to do so, but I do pray for his health and safety.

Why is this man still alive to make these sorts of statements? Why has not been made to feel the same end-of-the-rope justice to which we treated Saddam Hussein? I seem to recall quite clearly that Bush stated multiple times that any nation that harbors terrorists would be held accountable as terrorists--and that their leaders would be held to account as well. Well, Mr. Bush, Where is Mullah Omar? Where is justice? If the Pakistani news services can find him, why can't the CIA or Musharraf's government or Karzai's agents? Maybe because you don't care? Perhaps because stability, human rights and democracy in the Middle East, as well as justice for the American people, are not actually priorities for you or your buddies? Inquiring minds want to know, but we're not holding our breath for answers.


The reason I feel so passionately about this has a great deal to do with my long-standing insistence that the "Iraq War" is not a war, but an Occupation. As I have stated repeatedly, the object of a war is to to "seize (or defend) territory, kill or capture the enemy, and (hopefully) depose the enemy government and make an example of its leaders."

In this sense, the war in Afghanistan was truly a "war." Unlike the Occupation of Iraq was was never "winnable" and never will be "winnable", the war in Afghanistan was in that sense--and quite possibly remains--distinctly winnable. It was our obligation to aid the Northern Alliance in taking terrority from the Taliban and to find Osama Bin Laden and Mullah Omar, the two men with the most power in the country, and hold them accountable for crimes against America, Afghanistan and the world. That was--and still remains--a totally doable objective. And we've failed miserably to accomplish it--though it should have been a fairly simple task, for which the world community would have been thankful, by and large.

Now that failure is threatening to plunge to once again plunge the Afghan people into despair and darkness you and I can barely imagine. That failure is threatening again to put us back where we were over five years ago, with a failed Sunni state in Afghanistan, harboring terrorists and giving them free reign. That failure is once again threatening to help destabilize a now nuclear-armed Pakistan.

And all for what? Apparently, so Bush and pals could have the opportunity to see Saddam's head hang limply from a rope instead, and so that we could create another failed Islamist state--Shi'ite this time--in Iraq. What a fantastic trade!

In the meantime, every Democrat should remember this: anytime Bush laughably challenges Democrats to make good on their electoral promises as he has done recently, challenge him back to make good on HIS own promises. Anytime Bush talks about the execution of Saddam Hussein in the context of "justice", remind him that we the American People are still waiting for him to bring justice to those responsible for destroying the World Trade Center and the lives of those within it.

Where is Osama Bin Laden, Mr. Bush? And where for the love of your precious "War on Terror" is Mullah Omar? Why don't you keep your promises, Mr. Bush? And where is OUR justice, for a change?


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