More to the story 0

A new theory about the death of the Hamas terrorist  Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai last January emerges: the intention was to drug and kidnap him, not kill him.

The story is derived from statements of supposition made by unnamed ‘US intelligence sources’, and does not solve the mystery of who killed al-Mabhouh and why.

Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh … was not targeted for death but for capture as a live hostage against the release of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier whom Hamas kidnapped four years ago in a cross-border raid from Gaza and holds without contact with the outside world. …

Mabhouh was to have been one of half a dozen high-value Hamas operatives Israel planned to grab in January in different parts of the Middle East as bargaining chips for the Israeli soldier.

As the man in charge of Iran’s weapons supplies to Hamas, Mabhouh was judged a key lever for obtaining the Israeli soldier’s freedom.

US [intelligence] sources believe the plan to snatch him from a Dubai hotel went smoothly enough up until the last step. But then, the drugs administered to knock him out appeared to have killed him on the spot. He was meant to be doped enough to let himself be bundled out of the hotel on his two feet in the middle of the team of abductors without drawing attention. According to this theory, the team was to have driven him to Dubai port and put him aboard a waiting yacht, which was to sail off and rendezvous with an Israeli naval missile boat in the Red Sea.

After delivering him, the same team was to have proceeded to its next target.

But whether they gave Mabhouh an overdose or whether his health was frailer than believed, he did not survive. The abduction team leader, lacking instructions for this exigency, decided to abort the mission and leave the dead man in place. He told the would-be abductors to get out of Dubai fast and scatter. The rest of the high-risk, ambitious plan was scrapped.

Had it succeeded, say the US sources, it would have been Israel’s biggest abduction operation ever, attesting to the extremely high importance Israel attaches to recovering its soldier from captivity.

Maybe.

Posted under Arab States, Islam, Israel, jihad, Muslims, News, Terrorism by Jillian Becker on Monday, June 28, 2010

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Choose your suspect 1

The  Dubai police accused Israel of assassinating the Hamas monster, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, in a Dubai hotel. Their “evidence” was some entertaining videos of “the assassins” going about the hotel and elsewhere. But they could be recordings of any ordinary vacationers going off to play tennis, or to shop, or whatever.

Nothing really links Israel to the assassination except some passports allegedly carrying names of people who have visited or are visiting Israel.

If Israeli Intelligence was behind the killing, would they have issued passports easily traceable to those people? Well, maybe in a double-bluff, thinking that just this question would be asked and that the answer would probably be “no”. Possible, but not convincing.

We cannot even be sure that the Hamas monster is dead. Perhaps he was kidnapped. Perhaps he himself  set up the whole thing in collusion with the Dubai police in order to fake his own death, to escape the amazingly large number of enemies who want him dead (see below).

Now the Dubai police seem to be thinking that Hamas killed their own man.

Fatah also accuses Hamas.

Hamas accuses Fatah as well as Israel.

It is rumoured that some of the suspected ‘Israeli agents’ made their escape by sailing off  to – of all unlikely places –  Iran!

Yossi Melman takes note that the Dubai police now say that there were 15 more “Israeli agents” involved and reports in Haaretz:

The story just gets more and more complicated, which on its face at least leads us into territory that is more than amazing – wild even – which is hard to judge by rational and professional means.

Twenty-six agents, perhaps even 30, sent to assassinate one person? Granted if they could flee the scene by sea, how could one think that Mossad agents would take cover in Iran? I ask myself. Even if they have unprecedented self confidence the likes of which are unknown? …

There is no doubt that more than a little of the information that [the Dubai police chief] is disclosing or leaking to the media is part of a ploy in which bits of disinformation are planted. He’s throwing out a lure in the hope that someone in Israel will swallow the bait and respond by incriminating himself or disclosing confidential information. …

Now the world is being fed new, allegedly even more dramatic, information about 15 additional suspects, which was released by the Dubai Information Ministry and not the police.

The police chief, who attracted international coverage, apparently isn’t itching to advance the investigation. Last week he was out of the office for personal reasons and now it has been announced that he is on a pilgrimage to Mecca.

It is hard to believe that, if the Mossad intelligence agency carried out the operation, the planners were so irresponsible as to dispatch nearly 30 agents and to expose an entire select operational unit on one assassination operation. This is true even if we assume the planner thought the target should be hit no matter what, and even if hypothetically Mabhouh was on his way to Iran to arrange an arms deal that Israel had seen as changing the balance of power.

Either the new revelations are another salvo in Dubai’s psychological warfare or the police investigators are groping in the dark. It is doubtful we will ever know the truth. The evidence linking Israel to the affair is still weak, certainly for courtroom purposes but also in the diplomatic sphere. But the saga also sends a message of deterrence to Hamas that the long arm of whoever carried out the operation can hit another senior Hamas official.

Mel Frykberg reports at The JC.com that:

Hamas has closed ranks and is licking its wounds following the Jan. 20 assassination in Dubai of one of its top operatives, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. It is alleged that one of its own was responsible for providing the hit team with vital logistical information.

Dubai’s chief of police, Lt. Gen. Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, on Sunday called on Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar to launch an “internal investigation” into the operation.

Tamim claims that an associate of al-Mabhouh, a high-ranking military leader, leaked information about the Hamas leader’s visit to Dubai and went as far as to refer to the associate as “the real murderer.” …

“The collective Hamas leadership has gone into damage control. Various sources approached by IPS refused to talk or even answer their phones. …

As more information about the subterfuge surrounding the assassination is made public knowledge, the more conspiracy theories circulate and the thicker the plot becomes.

Two former PA-affiliated Fatah members, and former PA intelligence officers in Gaza before Hamas overthrew the PA unity government in the June 2007 coup, have been named as chief suspects in the Dubai slaying.

Anwar Sheibar and Ahmed Hasnain were allegedly members of a death cell which carried out violent suppression of the PA’s political opponents, especially Hamas members, before they fled Gaza after the 2007 coup.

According to newspaper reports they were recently arrested in Jordan and then extradited to Dubai on request of the Dubai authorities.

The two are alleged to have rented hotel rooms and hired vehicles for the assassination squad

Media reports allege both men are … on the PA payroll in Ramallah…

Tom Gross writes this at the National Post:

We all know that journalists (including some at highly-regarded newspapers) often makes things up, but rarely have we witnessed such a mix of misinformation, disinformation and innuendo passed off as fact, as we have in recent days in the reports dealing with the death of Hamas terrorist Mahmoud Mabhouh. (Some of this admittedly can be attributed to the complete failure of the Israeli government – whether or not Israel had anything to do with the matter – to provide an effective response to the media.)

For example, the story in the (London) Sunday Telegraph that British immigrants to Israel had their passports removed and copied at passport control at Tel Aviv airport, is highly implausible. Passports are not taken from immigrants at Tel Aviv airport…

The Telegraph story, written by a London-based correspondent, has all the signs of being planted by anti-Israel elements at the British Foreign Office (of which there are many) …

But other media lapped up the Telegraph story. For example, Sky News ran it all day on its ticker tape at the foot of the screen, probably doing great damage to future British tourism to Israel by falsely reporting that British passports would be removed and copied at Ben Gurion airport. …

Even worse was the story in the London Sunday Times by reporter Uzi Mahnaimi, claiming the paper had evidence that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had personally ordered the hit on Mabhouh, and even providing quotes attributed to Netanyahu when he supposedly gave such orders. The Sunday Times story was then splashed all day as the lead story on the websites of papers like Ha’aretz, which is so full of contempt for the elected government of Israel that it will publish almost anything to paint Netanyahu in a bad light.

A comparable motive is true in Britain in the case of The Daily Mail, who were determined to attack Gordon Brown’s government and thus on Friday published an anonymous story (without any author’s byline, or quoted persons in it) claiming the British government “knew in advance that Israel was going to use British passports”. The Daily Mail claimed in its story that they had been told this by a serving member of the Mossad. Again, this is virtually inconceivable since serving members of the Mossad do not speak to journalists but The Daily Mail’s report was treated seriously and rebroadcast around the world as lead item by major TV stations.

Even The New York Times and International Herald Tribune got in on the act on Friday, telling readers that Israel has engaged in 40 Dubai-type assassinations in recent years – again claims made without a shred of evidence, and highly unlikely to be true.

The French media have also regurgitated the stories of the British media, leading to French Prime Minister François Fillon, who was in Syria this weekend, to declare – in front of President Assad of all people! – “we are against this form of assassination; whoever orders them should be punished. Like the British and the Germans we have asked Israeli authorities to explain themselves.”

At the same time that they blamed Israel, these very same British and American media made very little of the fact that every day last week their own governments killed terrorists in Afghanistan (and elsewhere). …

Having milked all it could out of its reports in recent days that British citizens’ passports were used, The Times of London’s main online world news headline subsequently read “Dubai hit squad ‘used diplomatic passports’” – which is the opposite of what The Times was claiming last week.)

Mabhouh had five different passports with him in Dubai: there seems to be no media coverage or interest in which countries’ passports he was using.

And this:

Unlike the anti-Israel elements of the Western media that have rushed to blame Israel (creating a public furor and thereby forcing the hands of the British, Irish and French governments to summon their respective Israeli ambassadors), the Arab media are suggesting that the truth is far more complicated.

For example, the Arab world’s leading and arguably its most reliable newspaper, Al Sharq Alawsat, runs these stories:

* UAE Tipped Jordan of Palestinian Suspects whilst they were in the Air – Sources

* Palestinian Dubai Murder Suspects are Hamas Members – Palestinian Security Official…

Indeed it is not even clear that the photographs that the Dubai authorities have released to the media are actually real people. They have been shown repeatedly in news broadcasts and plastered on the front page of newspapers around the world in the last 72 hours, and not a single person has come forto say they recognize any of them.

And this:

Prominent international TV stations have also paid enormous attention to this story, blaming Israel without any concrete evidence. For example, the first four stories on the 8 am World News broadcast on CNN International yesterday concerned Mabhouh’s death (even though it occurred four weeks earlier). Only after those items did CNN report on the capture of the most senior Taliban commander since 2001, which many would argue is a far more important news story, both strategically in terms of international politics and specifically for the United States.

This morning CNN again led its news with a series of reports on the Dubai matter lasting 7 minutes, and BBC World led reports on the subject lasting almost 8 minutes. (The channels spent only a few seconds much later in their broadcasts mentioning the ongoing vicious fighting in Afghanistan involving U.S. and British troops, and failed to mention fresh Afghan civilian deaths there.)

Meanwhile, the former editor of the British tabloid newspaper The Sun, said “I’d be happy if someone used my passport to kill such a disgusting Hamas terrorist.”

I would make the following points, based on a series of discussions with persons with longstanding familiarity with intelligence matters.

* There seems a very real possibility that Israel is being set up. Airlines keep detailed passenger records these days and anyone could have got the flight manifestos of British and other passport holders who have flown to Israel in the past and then used these names in a deliberate attempt to point the finger of blame at Israel.

* The Dubai authorities have provided no forensic evidence that points to Israel, only a series of photos and videos of random hotel guests who may or may not all know each other. In any event, the persons shown in these photos and videos are not shown committing any crime. It would be very easy to frame Israel, using the identities of six randomly-chosen Israelis based on flight manifestos. This could have been done by anyone – and especially by persons who wanted to avoid being suspected of this action by blaming the Israelis and diverting attention from the real perpetrators.

* It is not necessarily a Middle Eastern actor that is behind what The Daily Telegraph called a “ruthlessly efficient assassination” and “a meticulously-planned operation.” In this atmosphere of hypertension, where governments are fighting battles with terror organizations (often clandestinely) in many locations around the world, the intelligence agencies of many countries have created data banks of identities using flight lists and other sources. Persons with longstanding familiarity with intelligence matters tell me that many governments – and not just the European ones – use European operatives to carry out their killings, including in the cases of other previous assassinations in Dubai.

* It would be uncharacteristically stupid of Mossad operatives if they had in fact so easily allowed themselves to be filmed, and Mossad operatives are not stupid.

* Mabhouh entered Dubai on a fake passport and it may have been difficult for the Mossad to follow his footsteps and synchronize any assassination with his travel schedule. But Hamas knew his whereabouts and plans at all times, and so did the Iranians and presumably the Syrians.

* Many governments wanted Mabhouh out of the way, not only Israel. Sources confirm to me that the missiles Mabhouh was procuring from the Iranians had the capability of hitting central Tel Aviv, and were Hamas to use such missiles later this year, the Israeli response might lead to a region-wide conflagration, which many Western and Arab governments want to avoid.

* If Israel was responsible – and that is a very big if – it would be an indication of how strongly Israel feels it is being left with few other options in protecting its citizens from deadly threats. All the governments that have supported the Goldstone report have in effect told Israel that it cannot defend itself when attacked by missiles from Gaza in future, missiles that put over five million people at risk, so it would not be surprising if Israel decided it has no choice but to try and prevent those missiles reaching Gaza at an earlier stage in the supply chain.

* Sources tell me that this was a particularly significant trip by Mabhouh (to Dubai, the regional arms hub, from his home in Damascus), in which he was en route to procure weapons of particular significance. His present activity was viewed as a turning point in the type of weaponry being smuggled, and it was considered very important to intervene at an early stage.

* The governments of Jordan and Egypt (where Mabhouh previously spent a year in prison in 2003) have sought Mabhouh for some time. Some Arab media have reported that the operation against Mabhouh may have been carried out by a rival Palestinian group and the photographed individuals have nothing to do with it.

* What is true is that someone is making increasing moves against operatives connected to the Iranian regime. In recent years, senior Iranian officials linked to the intelligence services or nuclear program have disappeared quietly, the latest one while on pilgrimage to Mecca. Perhaps the Saudis were responsible.

Or perhaps the Dubai police chief did it himself and invented everything else to demonstrate his technological prowess and proficiency as a detective.

The mystery deepens 1

Roger L. Simon, who has written detective fiction, raises some puzzling points about the murder mystery in Dubai (see our post below Murder mystery in Dubai, February 19, 2010). He assumes that Israel is behind whatever happened.

The first notable clue is those “eleven” agents. Why send eleven for an assassination when two or three would do? Why not just knock the Hamas man off with a bombing or cell phone some place? It would be far less risky. And the Israelis clearly had remarkably precise advanced knowledge of al-Mabhouh’s itinerary. The Hamas leader had only left Damascus that morning, supposedly, according to some reports, en route to China via Dubai. And yet the Mossad had a minimum of eleven people in place, waiting for him. No wonder Hamas was so shocked that, when they learned of his “murder” on January 19, they immediately announced terminal cancer had over taken their leader. Hamas itself must have had something closer to a heart attack. To have this much warning of al-Mabhouh’s itinerary, the Israelis must have permeated them pretty thoroughly. The embarrassment alone, not to mention the internal finger-pointing and suspicion, must have been extreme. (From the Gulf News of Feb 19: An additional suspect arrested in Syria is believed to be a senior Hamas fighter.)

Meanwhile, there are false-flags on false-flags. The once revered Mossad chief Meir Dagan is under attack in Israel. How could he have been so sloppy as to allow his agents to be videoed by hotel security cameras or to have used the passports of “normal” Israelis as cover? But perhaps all that was deliberate and the agents videoed were disguised and the “normal” Israelis part of the plot themselves. Then what? Not even John le Carré in his prime could have designed a plot so intricate. Dagan is George Smiley in the flesh.

Nevertheless, the Israelis still must have had some motive for employing so many agents for a hit. After checking into a blacked out room at the Al Bustan Rotana hotel that day, al-Mabhouh went missing for four hours – and this may provide some clues. A meeting with an Iranian official has been reported and denied, also some Palestinian group. In any case, he was doing something and there was information to be gleaned from this man, most probably key information regarding Hamas and its allies (Iran, Syria, etc.) that certainly accounts in part for the elaborate assassination. In a world rapidly becoming nuclear one can only speculate what that information is, but we can be sure it’s not particularly appetizing. It’s also worth considering what al -Mabhouh wanted to obtain from the Chinese. The Mossad was out for al-Mabhouh’s knowledge even more than the revenge that is commonly reported. (al-Mabhouh was responsible for the killing of two Israeli soldiers, but that was years ago and the Hamas leader has been in Israeli custody since and released.)

The information grabbing intent also accounts for the multiple agents with varied expertise – from photography to “exotic” drugs. It may also account for the differing initial reports of the cause of death, which range from electrocution to suffocation. The time of death, always difficult to ascertain, is also in question. How long were the agents with al-Mabhouh and did they get what they wanted? Was his death untimely or – and here’s a wild speculation – is he dead at all? Do we have DNA of the body? Nothing so far from the Dubai police. All we know is this, again from Gulf News:

“Dubai police has [sic] denied that it had intended to bury the body of Mahmoud Al Mabhouh, a Hamas leader in Dubai. The police also added in a press release that they held the body of the deceased for one week to finish the investigation procedures, and then handed it over to Al Mabhouh’s son who came to the UAE after the death of his father.”

Habeas corpus anyone?

As of Feb 19, no photos of al-Mahbouh’s corpse in any form turn up on Google images. Perhaps there are videos, but none that identify the body in anything near a definitive way. Yes, I know this is strange, but it is remotely possible that al-Mahbouh was kidnapped. Dubai is, after all, a port, providing a means for escape. The Dubai police are promising that we will know all soon, but they have been promising that for a while now.

Murder mystery in Dubai 0

They – whoever they were – managed very efficiently to kill a Hamas leader in his hotel room in Dubai.

Here is a video put together from surveillance cameras. It silently shows calm, cheerful men and one woman (or two?) casually moving about, smoothly carrying out their mission.

From the report accompanying the video:

[Mahmoud] al-Mabhouh, 48, was a founder of Hamas’s military wing. He was believed to be behind the abduction of two Israeli soldiers in 1989 and said to be a liaison for smuggling weapons from Iran to Gaza. He had survived several assassination attempts.

He was found dead in room 230 at the Al-Bustan Rotana hotel on January 20. The door on al-Mabhouh’s room was latched and chained [?] from the inside, and there was no blood evidence. An initial report indicated that he died from sudden high blood pressure in the brain. Subsequent reports have suggested he was electrocuted or strangled.

They – or perhaps it was only one of them – having done the deed, came out of the room and hung a Do Not Disturb sign on the outside door handle. (A nice James Bond touch, that.)

Then they left Dubai on flights to various destinations including Hong Kong and South Africa.

Their – allegedly fake –  passports were British, Irish, French and German.

Whoever could the mysterious assassins really have been?

(Update and question:  The latest update on [the Dubai Police Force’s] website reports that the “passports of the mercenaries” who killed Mabhouh were not fake. “Dubai immigration officers were trained by European security experts to spot such documents. This training qualifies immigration officers to spot fake passports. They applied these procedures at Dubai airport when the alleged [killers] entered the country,” he said. “No forgery was found in those passports.” If so, the documents were issued by the British, Irish, German and French passport authorities; so did Britain, Ireland, France and Germany despatch the assassins?)

Posted under Arab States, Britain, France, Germany, Iran, Islam, Israel, middle east, Muslims, United Kingdom by Jillian Becker on Friday, February 19, 2010

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A realm of deadly failure 0

‘The most destructive address in the history of American foreign policy’, is the verdict of Ralph Peters on President Obama’s Cairo speech. We agree.

This is the worst time imaginable to have a pro-Islam leftist occupying the Oval office.

Taking a realistic, and consequently pessimistic, survey of the Islamic lands from the Mediterranean to the border of India – and the sole exception to their failure, the small singular Jewish state beleaguered among them – Peters writes in the New York Post:

No region — not even sub-Saharan Africa — competes with the greater Middle East when it comes to wanton savagery, thwarted opportunities and the danger posed to innocent populations around the world. With fanatical terrorists of unprecedented brutality, Islamist extremists pursuing nuclear weapons, rogue regimes, disintegrating states and threats of genocide against Israel, the lands of heat and dust between the Nile and the Indus form a realm of deadly failure that will haunt the civilized world throughout our lifetimes.

A survey of the region’s key countries — and problems — doesn’t offer much good news for the Obama Administration’s naive foreign policy efforts:

LEBANON: This isn’t a country — it’s a temporary stand-off. Recently, Prime Minister Saad Hariri, whose father, Rafik, was assassinated by Syria, had to make a humbling visit to Damascus. Syria’s decades-long penetration of the government in Beirut and various Lebanese factions (not least, its backing of the Hezbollah terror organization) has kept Beirut dependent on Damascus to break the political gridlock in parliament. Meanwhile, Hezbollah has been rearming mightily in the wake of its 2006 war with Israel. A new war would devastate much of Lebanon — if internal strife doesn’t do it first.

EGYPT: A US client long counted among the most stable states in the Middle East, Egypt faces a potential succession crisis as octogenarian president Hosni Mubarak, who’s ruled the country for almost three decades, grooms his singularly unimpressive son, Gamal, to take over upon his death. The government and armed forces are more factionalized than they seem to outsiders, Islamist movements have proven ineradicable, and violence against Egypt’s minority Christians is on the rise again…

TURKEY: Long in NATO, but denied membership in the European Union, Turkey has grappled with an identity crisis. Increasingly, its political bosses back an Islamic identity. The ruling AKP (Justice and Development Party) soft-peddles its religious agenda when dealing with the West, but has been methodically dismantling the secular constitution left behind by Kemal Ataturk — who rescued Turkey from oblivion 90 years ago… Will the military move to preserve the legacy of Ataturk? Unlikely. But if the generals did move, the Obama administration would back the Islamists

SYRIA: The neighborhood’s in such awful shape that this police state’s beginning to look like a success story… On the other hand, the Assad family’s government backs terrorism, harbors remnants of Saddam Hussein’s regime, still hopes for Israel’s destruction — and wouldn’t mind having nukes, if it could figure out how to get them. When Damascus looks like a beacon, it’s getting awfully dark in the Middle East.

ISRAEL: Civilization’s last hope in the region, Israel remains the target of international leftists dreaming of another, more-thorough Holocaust. The “peace process” will continue to fail. Arabs need Israel to blame for their failures. And President Obama empowered the worst Arab elements with his Cairo speech, which convinced the dead-enders there’s no need to compromise with Israel — that the US would shift its support to the Arab cause. That Cairo speech may prove to have been the most-destructive address in the history of American foreign policy.

IRAQ: Can’t say we didn’t try. After years of serious progress toward a national compromise, Shia political agents close to Iran recently banned over 500 influential Sunni candidates from standing in Iraq’s upcoming elections. Reconciliation has come to a screeching halt. The Shia are smug, the Sunnis feel betrayed, and the Kurds are still denied title to the traditionally Kurdish city of Kirkuk. Every faction’s fighting for a greater share of oil revenues. And the Obama administration’s AWOL (this was Bush’s war — we wouldn’t want a positive outcome)… the old blood feuds and thirst for vengeance go deeper than we thought

SAUDI ARABIA: Its two main exports are oil and fanaticism. Saudi funding supports a global effort to drive Muslims into the fold of its severe Wahhabi cult — and to prevent Muslims (including those in the US) from integrating into local societies. The Saudis care nothing for the fate or suffering of fellow Muslims (check out the Palestinians). They care only for their repressive version of Islam. The birthplace of Bin Laden, Saudi Arabia’s differences with his terror organization are over strategy and tactics, not over their mutual goal of forcing extremist Islam on all of humanity.

IRAN: Racing to acquire nuclear weapons, delighting in the prospect of a cataclysmic war that would lead to the “return of the hidden imam,” beating the hell out of its own people in the streets, murdering members of the intelligentsia, and explicit in its vows to destroy Israel, the government of Iran continues to be protected by China and Russia. There will be no meaningful sanctions. Over the next few years, we’ll see a nuclear test in the southeastern desert region of Baluchistan. Will Israel strike first? Perhaps. Would the US? Not under this administration. The best hope is for a miracle that leads to a popular overthrow of the current maddened regime. But strategy can’t be based upon the expectation of miracles.

YEMEN: It’s Saudi Arabia without oil, running water or literacy. Perhaps the most-backward country in this stubbornly backward region, Yemen has harbored terrorists for years (we really didn’t want to know). Its government cannot control its territory, its tribes are so fanatical they alarm the Saudis (who have had to fight them), and Iran backs the Shiite minority in its revolt against the state. Throw in Yemen’s strategic position astride the world’s most-sensitive oil-shipping routes, and this pretense of a country looks far more important than Afghanistan.

DUBAI: The late Michael Jackson’s flirtation with this high-rise bazaar apparently couldn’t rescue an economy built on sand…

AFGHANISTAN: We’re there, and we don’t know why. We know why we went in 2001, but al Qaeda’s long gone. Initially, we were welcomed. Now, the more troops we send, the stronger the Taliban becomes. We’re tied to a corrupt, inept government despised by the people. Afghans won’t fight for that government, but they’ll give their lives for the Taliban. And we’re determined to turn the place into Disney World.  Should we just leave? No. Afghanistan provides a crucial base for striking the terrorists across the border in Pakistan… Afghanistan is worthless in itself. Instead of concentrating on killing our enemies, we’re buying worthless real estate with American blood.

PAKISTAN: 180 million anti-American Muslims, thanks to generations of politicians who took American aid while playing the anti-American card with their constituents. The government won’t crack down on the Taliban factions it’s preserving for a reconquest of Afghanistan after we exit… Promised another $7.5 billion in aid, Pakistan’s response has been not only to bite the hand that feeds it, but to gnaw it to a bloody pulp. And, in an act of strategic folly, we’ve left our troops in Afghanistan dependent upon a single supply line that runs for over a thousand miles through Pakistan. .. Isn’t it about time we got a grip? Around Pakistan’s throat? … Leaving the greatest power in history at the mercy of the impossibly corrupt regime in Pakistan guarantees that our troops lives are wasted next door in Afghanistan. Afghanistan isn’t our problem. Pakistan’s the problem.