Fifteen Years Later (Originally posted September 10, 2016)

This article was originally posted on September 10, 2016. Has anything changed?

This is the fifteenth anniversary of the day before 9/11. It is the anniversary of a day when Americans were going about their business—getting children ready to start school, beginning to put away summer clothes and get out fall clothes, and doing fall housekeeping. It was not in any way a noteworthy day. However, there were Americans who understood the threat hanging over us. Unfortunately, those Americans did not have the ability to wake up either our government or the American people.

John O’Neill was one of the people who understood the threat. In 1995 John O’Neill was appointed chief of the FBI’s counterterrorism section. When he arrived at FBI headquarters initially, he stayed there for three days. O’Neill was not very diplomatic, but he got things done. He also had the ability to tie loose ends together to see what was coming. Early on in his career, O’Neill became very interested in the activities of Osama Bin Laden to the point where his colleagues began to question his judgement [The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright Page 237 (paperback)]. He retired from the FBI early in 2001 to become chief of security at the World Trade Center. I have heard stories of the evacuation drills he led at the World Trade Center that probably saved many people’s lives on 9/11. John O’Neill understood that the terrorists would try to destroy the World Trade Center again. He was right. Unfortunately, due to personalities in the FBI, he was no longer in a position to connect the dots and possibly avoid the attack on the Trade Center.

So where are we today? What have we learned and what have we done about it? One of the best sources on the failure of the Obama Administration to deal with terrorism is the book Catastrophic Failure by Stephen Coughlin. In that book, Mr. Coughlin details the Obama Administrations inability to understand the root of the threat; and therefore, its inability to counter the threat. I strongly suggest you read the book, but I will try to summarize the main points here.

In October 2011, elements of the American Muslim Brotherhood wrote the White House demanding an embargo or discontinuation of information and materials relating to Islamic-based terrorism. The letter was addressed to John Brennan, who at the time was Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism.  Days later John Brennan agreed to create a task force to address the problem by removing personnel and products that the Muslim Brotherhood deemed “biased, false, and highly offensive.” This move in effect allowed the Muslim Brotherhood to control the information given to the people charged with stopping the terrorism initiated by groups affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. At this point, the 9/11 reports and other actual historic documents were altered to make them compliant with the new paradigm. (I thought only the Russians rewrote history.)

Just a note—Stephen Coughlin is no longer briefing the Pentagon and our law enforcement communities. His briefings were not in compliance with the standards the Muslim Brotherhood placed on such briefings and were no longer permitted. That fact along should give all of us pause.

There are some real questions as to whom President Obama listens to on matters of terrorism. Those same questions apply to Hillary Clinton. Would you have put someone with family ties to Hitler in an advisory role to Franklin Roosevelt during World War II? I realize you can’t choose your family, but would the FBI hire a secretary whose father was a Mafia Don to work in their domestic crime bureau?

There is substantial evidence that the upper levels of our government have been compromised by the Muslim Brotherhood. One of the most reliable sources for this information is The Center for Security Policy. There are many resources available on their website.

So as we look back on this time fifteen years ago, we need to realize that we are still in danger and that the danger we face is getting more serious. The attacks in Europe (reported and unreported) should awaken us to the dangers of allowing refugees into America without proper vetting and the dangers of allowing immigrants who have no intention of assimilating into American culture to set up enclaves within our country.

Unless we want to experience a terror attack far worse than 9/11, Americans need to inform themselves about the enemy we are facing. It is obvious that the government is not going to inform us or take care of us.

Another Terrorist Released From Guantanamo

On Thursday The Washington Free Beacon reported that Abdel Malik Ahmed Abdel Wahab Al Rahabi, Osama Bin Laden’s personal bodyguard, has been released from Guantanamo Prison Camp and sent to Montenegro. Montenegro is a southeastern European country on the Adriatic Sea.

The article reports:

The release was condemned by some in Congress who have opposed the administration’s efforts to shutter Gitmo.

“The administration is playing Russian roulette with America’s safety by releasing 9/11-plotter Abdel Malik Ahmed Abdel Wahab Al Rahabi from Gitmo,” Sen. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) said in a statement. “Rahabi’s transfer abroad is all the more alarming after terrorist Ibrahim al-Qosi resurfaced in December 2015 in the Arabian Peninsula as the top recruiter for al Qaeda after being transferred from Gitmo to Sudan.”

President Obama’s continuing release of terrorists from Guantanamo poses a risk to our soldiers serving in the Middle East and elsewhere. Congress needs to stand up to the President on this and prevent the further release of terrorists.

Betraying Those Who Have Helped Us In The Past

The Washington Free Beacon is reporting today that the 2017 defense appropriation bill would have a devastating impact on the interpreters and other civilians in Afghanistan that worked with our troops while we were there.

The article reports:

Under the Special Immigrant Visa program, Afghans who worked as translators for the U.S. military and support operations are eligible to apply for American visas if their lives are at risk in Afghanistan.

But according to advocates for the SIV program, the latest version of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act in the House of Representatives would limit eligibility to translators who worked directly for the U.S. military or intelligence agencies. Interpreters in other support roles, such as working with the American embassy in Kabul or for base security, would no longer be qualified for the visa program.

As U.S. troops pull out of the region and the security situation deteriorates for American allies, thousands of Afghans currently under threat from the Taliban could be impacted.

“If this becomes the law of the land, in all intents and purposes there will not be an SIV program anymore,” said Matt Zeller, a former Army captain who runs the interpreter advocacy group No One Left Behind. “And we will be outright turning our backs on a group of people we have made a fundamental promise to.”

Under the Obama Administration, America has been a horrible ally to its friends. In the future, no one will step forward to help our troops because they will not trust us to protect them in the future. Hopefully, our next President will be able to correct some of the misdeeds done by the current administration.

Sometimes You Wonder About The ‘What If’s’

The U.K. Daily Mail posted a story yesterday (and updated it today) about a Muslim man who was planning to go to Disneyland with his family, but was stopped from boarding his flight and his visa to America revoked. It seems that there was a Facebook page set up by someone who lived as his address claiming links to Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

The article reports:

When asked about the account, Mr Mahmood believed hackers may have been to blame, adding: ‘That could be anything, maybe a mistake.’

He said: ‘It is not my son’s Facebook page. It has a similar name, but not the same as my son’s. 

‘The page is also linked to our home address and that could be coincidence. I don’t know why it is linked there. The name is not even the same. The authorities must have linked it simply because of the name Hamza.’

It was understood that the wives of Mr Mahmood and his brother had stayed at home for the trip because one of them was ill and one of the children did not have a valid passport.

But it is now believed that Mr Mahmood’s wife was in Pakistan at the time.

The family say were given no explanation why their visas, organised six weeks before the flight, were suddenly cancelled at the last minute and have now lost the £11,000 they had saved for the holiday.

It has also been suggested the move by US authorities could be due to Mr Mahmood’s brother having been refused entry to Israel eight years ago, but no official explanation has been given by the US Embassy.

Obviously, I have no way of knowing if the man is actually linked to terrorism or not, but I would rather inconvenience one family than let a terrorist into America. If the Facebook page was a joke done by Mr. Mohmood’s son, it was a joke done in extremely bad taste. It was also a joke that had unintended consequences.

I am sorry for the disappointment that this family experienced, but considering the contents of the Facebook page, I don’t think they should have been allowed to come to America until that was explained.

I’m Sure There Will Be More To Follow

Breitbart.com is reporting today that the case of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been referred for trial by a general court martial.

The article reports:

Attorney Eugene Fidell says the convening authority did not follow the advice of the preliminary hearing officer who had recommended that Bergdahl’s case be moved only to a special misdemeanor-level military court. Fidell said in a statement Monday that he had hoped the case would not go in this direction.

On June 30, 2009, Sgt. Bergdahl went missing from his post in Afghanistan. He was held by the Taliban for five years. The controversy surrounding his disappearance involves the question of whether or not he is a deserter. As you remember, Bergdahl was exchanged for five Taliban leaders who were being held at Guantanamo. I have no doubt that President Obama did not want the charges against Bergdahl to go to a court martial.

Breaking Faith With Our Military

The Obama Administration has not been good to our military. They have quietly reduced the medical benefits and the savings in the commissaries and exchanges. They have reduced the effectiveness of our military by putting women in combat. (In September USA Today reported that a study done by the Marines showed that all-male ground combat units were more effective than teams that included women.) Ignoring the results of that study will cost American soldiers lives. Another problem is the Obama Administration’s ignoring some of the corruption among the leaders in Afghanistan. That corruption directly cost the lives of three Marines in Helmand Province in 2012.

The Marine officer who tried to warn his fellow Marines about a possible Taliban conspirator is now being forced out of the Marines. The Marine Corps Times posted an article about the case yesterday.

The article reports:

A Marine veteran in Congress has called on the country’s top law enforcement agency to investigate a senior Navy official’s decision to force out a Marine officer who tried to warn his comrades in Afghanistan about a suspected Taliban conspirator.

In a Dec. 3 letter to Defense Secretary Ash Carter, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., said the FBI should look into the case involving Maj. Jason Brezler, a Reserve civil affairs officer who sent classified information from a personal email account in 2012.

Scott Lutterloh, the acting assistant Navy secretary for manpower and reserve affairs, recently upheld the decision that Brezler be honorably discharged from the Marine Corps. But Hunter said Brezler’s case received “inadequate attention by the Department of Defense Inspector General and Navy criminal investigators.”

In his letter, Hunter urged the Pentagon to take steps to launch an FBI investigation of the case, to include the U.S. military’s relationship with Sarwar Jan, a corrupt Afghan police chief and the man at the center of Brezler’s email warning.

The full explanation of the events surrounding Major Brezler is posted here.

As I view these events, I am reminded of the number of classified emails on Mrs. Clinton’s private server. There seems to be a double standard here. I am also disgusted that our troops are not taking action against pedophilia on our military bases in Afghanistan. I understand that pedophilia is part of the Muslim Afghanistan culture, but it is a value that we as Americans cannot condone.

 

The New York Times Finally Gets Around To This Story

On August 19th, I posted a story about one consequence of American policy in Afghanistan. The American policy is to ignore the practice of pedophelia that is common among Afghani men. The New York Times is finally telling the story in an article posted today.

The article details some of the aspects of the death of Lance Corporal Gregory Buckley Jr.:

The father of Lance Corporal Buckley believes the policy of looking away from sexual abuse was a factor in his son’s death, and he has filed a lawsuit to press the Marine Corps for more information about it.

Lance Corporal Buckley and two other Marines were killed in 2012 by one of a large entourage of boys living at their base with an Afghan police commander named Sarwar Jan.

Mr. Jan had long had a bad reputation; in 2010, two Marine officers managed to persuade the Afghan authorities to arrest him following a litany of abuses, including corruption, support for the Taliban and child abduction. But just two years later, the police commander was back with a different unit, working at Lance Corporal Buckley’s post, Forward Operating Base Delhi, in Helmand Province.

Lance Corporal Buckley had noticed that a large entourage of “tea boys” — domestic servants who are sometimes pressed into sexual slavery — had arrived with Mr. Jan and moved into the same barracks, one floor below the Marines. He told his father about it during his final call home.

The article reports Lance Corporal Buckley’s final call home:

“At night we can hear them screaming, but we’re not allowed to do anything about it,” the Marine’s father, Gregory Buckley Sr., recalled his son telling him before he was shot to death at the base in 2012. He urged his son to tell his superiors. “My son said that his officers told him to look the other way because it’s their culture.”

…When asked about American military policy, the spokesman for the American command in Afghanistan, Col. Brian Tribus, wrote in an email: “Generally, allegations of child sexual abuse by Afghan military or police personnel would be a matter of domestic Afghan criminal law.” He added that “there would be no express requirement that U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan report it.” An exception, he said, is when rape is being used as a weapon of war.

We are supporting people in Afghanistan who are as evil as the Taliban. I think it is time to either uphold basic morality and do what we can to change the culture in regard to child sexual abuse or get out. I really don’t see how anyone with a conscience can look the other way when this behavior is going on.

This Is Just Wrong

There have always been some very basic problems with the so-called alliance we have formed with the soldiers of Afghanistan. There are aspects of the Afghani culture that are simply not in agreement with the customs of Western civilization. Our political leaders have chosen to ignore those practices which are morally reprehensible to the average American in order to form an alliance to fight the Taliban. While I understand the need to fight the Taliban, once you give away your morality, it is very easy to lose your perspective. That is what I believe has happened in Afghanistan. I don’t know if this problem was there in the beginning, but I believe there is a problem now. One of the aspects of the Muslim culture in its most basic form is the acceptance of pediphelia. The practice of adult men sexually abusing young boys and young girls is not uncommon or particularly noteworthy in Afghani society. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini was an amazing picture of this aspect of Afghani life. We also see this behavior in ISIS, where the claim is that having sex with underage girls or the rape of non-Muslim women is a valid part of Islam, condoned by the Koran. Needless to say, the American media has not often mentioned the practice of pediphelia in Afghanistan, and has chosen to ignore the instances where our military has turned a blind eye to the practice. Now the chickens have come home to roost.

The information I am about to share comes from the Facebook page taken out in the name of Marine LCpl Greg Buckley, Jr., a Marine killed by an Afghani.

This is the story:

Jason Brezler is a Marine Reservist facing discharge from the Corps.

While off-duty and in a life-and-death emergency, Jason emailed a requested document about a Taliban-associated Afghan sexual predator living on the Marines’ Forward Operating Base Delhi in Afghanistan.

Jason’s warning was ignored, and soon after one of the Afghan’s young sex abuse victims murdered three Marines in the base gym: Scott Dickinson, Richard Rivera and Greg Buckley.

The Gold Star families of those slain Marines sought information about the deaths from the Marine Corps, but were stonewalled in their attempts to get answers. Finding the Marine Corps unhelpful, one Gold Star Family – the Buckleys – sought help from their Congressman, Representative Peter King, in an effort to get the information about their son’s death, information that Congress has promised to all Gold Star families and that they are legally entitled to under federal law.

Representative Peter King reached out to Jason through contacts in the Fire Department of New York, of which Jason still currently serves. In an effort to help the Buckleys find the information they are entitled to about their son, Jason responded to and spoke with Representative King about the murders. Under federal law, Jason has a right to speak to his Congressman and that speech is legally protected.

Immediately after the media reported on the Buckleys quest for information and Congressman King’s efforts to help them, Jason became the target of retaliatory efforts from Commandant James Amos who immediately moved to throw Jason out of the Corps.

Amos used the alleged presence of classified information in Jason’s email warning as a pretext to unlawfully retaliate against him.

Because of obstruction of justice by the Marine Corps, the murderer of the three Marines received a sentence of only SEVEN YEARS!!

There are a lot of problems with the way this situation is being handled. The first is the idea that our military would tolerate the sexual abuse of young men and not do something about it. I know that we are in a different culture, but there are some things we just shouldn’t put up with. The second is the idea that Jason Brezler is being severely punished for making an attempt to save lives. The reason the information was considered classified is that it contained negative comments about the people we were working with. This information was not likely to be of interest to the Russians or the Chinese, the people who usually enjoy hacking into computers and reading classified emails. Contrast the fact that Jason Brezler is considered unworthy of the Marine Corps for his minor infraction and Hillary Clinton is running for President despite a major infraction.

Why is the military coming down so hard on Jason Brezler? Because they do not want the American people to know about the dark underside of the Islamic culture. The information that the saga of Jason Brezler will reveal about Afghani society is not something our military is interested in sharing with the American public. Jason Brezler is a threat to the status quo. That is why justice in his case is so skewed.

The Facebook page includes the following:

Please let the Secretary of the Navy know that Congress thinks Jason Brezler belongs in the Marine Corps, and that the FBI should investigate what happened at Forward Operating Base Delhi. You can do this by contacting your congressional representative and both of your state’s senators.

Of course we will update you as things develop.

I don’t have a problem with helping Afghanistan fight the Taliban, but we need to be very careful about choosing our friends. We also need to realize that not everyone we think is our friend is our friend. There are some things that simply should not be permitted on our military bases–regardless of where those bases are located.

 

 

 

 

When The Timeline Tells A Different Story

On Tuesday, Investors.com posted an article about the timeline involved in the prisoner swap that freed Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from the Taliban.

The article reports:

“This was about bringing home an individual that had served his country,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said last week about the 2014 swap.

But IBD has uncovered a series of credible reports from 2012 — as well as a transcript of a candid press conference by then-Afghan President Hamid Karzai — that show the White House originally wanted to give up the Taliban commanders under just one condition: that the Taliban open a political office in Qatar “to conduct peace negotiations.” It was Qatar that ended up taking the prisoners.

It seems that successful negotiations are not a strong point of the current White House.

This is the timeline as listed in the article:

January 2009: Obama signs executive order calling for Gitmo to be shuttered within a year, while his national security team considers if the five Taliban leaders are safe for release.

2011: White House and State Department officials open secret talks with the Taliban in Germany and the Persian Gulf to discuss their release from Gitmo as part of “peace talks.”

Jan. 3, 2012: The Taliban announce they are prepared to open a political office in Qatar to conduct peace negotiations in exchange for the release of the Taliban commanders. (“The releases would be to reciprocate for Tuesday’s announcement,” according to “The Guardian.”)

April 2012: Working with the White House, Karzai sends delegation of Afghan government officials to Gitmo to interview the Taliban prisoners and secure their oath to cut ties with al-Qaida.

(“On the issue of the release of the Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo, we are fully in support of that,” Karzai says during a July 9, 2012, visit to Japan. “If they wish to go to Qatar, we want them rejoined with their families.”)

Karzai signed on to the deal because he thought it would buy peace and goodwill with the Taliban, which threatened to retake Afghanistan.

You would think by now we would have learned that any peace and goodwill from the Taliban is highly unlikely. Now that the five prisoners formerly classified as “indefinite detainees” have been released, the defense lawyers for the remaining prisoners can easily argue that their clients are less dangerous.

The goal was always to close the prison at Guantanamo–not to return Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to America.

 

 

 

The Need For A Wise Negotiator

President Obama does not seem to be a particularly astute negotiator. He issues ultimatums that he does not follow through on (other than those issued to Congress), and he doesn’t seem to know how to exert pressure when negotiating (e.g. Iran sanctions). Unfortunately, he really missed the boat in getting back Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. America exchanged one soldier who possibly deserted for five Taliban leaders. That swap was more than a little uneven. And the story continues.

The U.K. Daily Mail recently reported that one of the Taliban detainees exchanged for Sgt. Bergdahl has contacted members of the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network and tried to join their ranks. The five Taliban leaders are being held in Qatar and are to be released in one year. Somehow that does not make me feel particularly secure.

The article reports:

Earlier this week, Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee who recently visited Qatar, asserted that all five former Taliban fighters in Qatar’s custody may be looking to return to the battlefield.

‘They’ve had some Haqqani people come to meet with them. … They’re reaching out. The Taliban five are communicating with people inside Afghanistan,’ he told the Associated Press.

Under an agreement negotiated with the Taliban to free Bergdahl in May of 2014, the men must stay in Qatar for a year under surveillance. After that time, they may go wherever they please. 

Pointing out that ‘it’s just a year deal,’ Graham told AP, ‘Just as sure as we’re sitting here, they’re going back to the fight.’

This does not bode well for the safety of the American troops in the area.

The Nobel Peace Prize Gets One Right

The Nobel Peace Prize committee has made some interesting choices in the past. Generally speaking, they have often considered politics rather than substance. This year, however, I think they have gotten it right.

The Washington Post posted a story today about the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi.

The article reports:

Malala Yousafzai, who at 17 became the youngest Nobel laureate, won the prize exactly two years and one day after she was nearly killed by a bullet to the head during a Taliban assassination attempt in her native Swat Valley. She was targeted for her outspoken advocacy of female education — a cause she has championed relentlessly ever since, in spite of further threats.

Speaking from the British city of Birmingham on Friday, she reveled in the committee’s decision to share her prize with an Indian, 60-year-old Kailash Satyarthi, who has spent decades crusading against child slavery.

Congratulations to both of these brave women for the causes each one supports.

How To Effectively Combat A Smear Campaign

The prisoner exchange involving Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was controversial to say the least. When members of his platoon spoke out about the circumstances of his disappearance, some White House supporters began a whisper campaign about these men–questioning the veracity of their observations.

Rep. Tom Cotton is a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. His comments during a Joint Subcommittee of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs held yesterday are an example of how you correctly handle a smear campaign.

The comments are posted on YouTube (and below):

It Just Gets Worse

Yahoo News has posted an article today reporting that the five terrorists that were released from Guantanamo to Qatar have been moved to a residential community and will be allowed to move freely around the country. There is a one-year ban imposed on the terrorists that will theoretically prevent them from traveling outside the country. How long will it be before they make internet contact with their friends and resume terrorists activities?

The article reports:

Following the deal under which freed the last American soldier held in Afghanistan was freed, concerns have been expressed by some U.S. intelligence officials and congressional advisers over the role of the Gulf Arab state as a bridge between Washington and the world of radical Islam.

The Gulf official said the Taliban men, who have been granted Qatari residency permits, will not be treated like prisoners while in Doha and no U.S. officials will be involved in monitoring their movement while in the country.

“Under the deal they have to stay in Qatar for a year and then they will be allowed to travel outside the country… They can go back to Afghanistan if they want to,” the official said.

The more we learn about this deal, the worse it gets.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Multi-Tasking In The Obama Administration

Watching the actions of the Obama Administration this past week, I am amazed at what they have accomplished. That is not necessarily a positive statement; it is simply an observation.

The recent Rose Garden press conference to announce the return of an American soldier was a sight to behold. The attempt to generate positive news coverage was obvious, even if the event might not have gone exactly as planned. The father of the returning soldier gave praise to allah in the language of the Taliban. But think of the problem those who understand just what happened will have making their case. No one wants to see an American soldier left behind. What kind of cold-hearted person would even consider criticizing the return of a soldier? So it is possible that the Obama Administration will get away with whitewashing the fact that there are some real questions regarding this soldier’s capture by the Taliban and the American lives lost in trying to get him back.

There is also the question of the Taliban ‘dream team’ being freed from Guantanamo in exchange for one American soldier. There are questions as to whether or not it is legal to release prisoners from Guantanamo without notifying Congress in advance. Is this the trial balloon that determines how much push back there will be when high level terrorists are released? Is this the first step in closing Guantanamo?

The President has now set a precedent for trading Americans for terrorists. That does not in any way make Americans safer. This whole scenario is a nightmare for the future security of America and Americans. However, if he gets away with it, it will be a public relations victory for President Obama.

Enhanced by Zemanta

This Was A Really Bad Trade

Yesterday the Weekly Standard reported that President Obama made a trade with the Taliban to allow Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to return to America. The deal was to return Sgt. Bergdahl in exchange for five members of the Taliban held at Guantanamo. There is a whole lot more to this story than meets the eye.

The Washington Post posted a story yesterday that included the following paragraph:

Top Republicans on the Senate and House armed services committees went so far as to accuse President Obama of having broken the law, which requires the administration to notify Congress before any transfers from Guantanamo are carried out.

Today Andrew McCarthy posted the following at National Review Online:

In return, thanks to the president’s negotiations with the terrorists, we receive U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl—who, according to several of his fellow soldiers, walked off his post in 2009 before being captured by the Taliban. (For more on this, see Greg Pollowitz’ spost at The Feed.) This was shortly after Sgt. Bergdah lreportedly emailed his parents that “The US army is the biggest joke the world has to laugh at”; that he was “ashamed to even be an American”; and that “The horror that is America is disgusting.”

Sgt. Bergdahl’s father, Robert, was by Mr. Obama’s side during Saturday’s Rose Garden press conference, at which the president announced Sgt. Bergdahl’s return but carefully avoiding mention of the jihadi-windfall the Taliban received in exchange. Mr. Bergdahl is an antiwar activist campaigning for the release of all jihadists detained at Guantanamo Bay. His Twitter account, @bobbergdahl, has apparently now deleted a tweet from four days ago, in which he said, in echoes of Islamic supremacist rhetoric, “@ABalkhi I am still working to free all Guantanamo prisoners. God will repay for the death of every Afghan child, ameen!”

Andrew McCarthy at the National Review describes the Taliban prisoners released:

At the Weekly Standard, Tom Joscelyn profiles the five Taliban commanders Obama has released. They include Mullah Mohammed Fazi, perhaps the Taliban’s senior warrior (its “army chief of staff”) and longtime al Qaeda ally; Mullah Norullah Noori, a senior military commander who fought side-by-side with al Qaeda; Abdul Haq Wasiq, a senior Taliban intelligence official who helped train al Qaeda and fought with it against U.S. forces after 9/11; Khairullah Khairkhwa, a Taliban governor and al Qaeda trainer who brokered an alliance with Iran to collaborate against American-led forces; and Mohammed Nabi, who worked with the Haqqani network and al Qaeda to coordinate attacks against American and Coalition forces.

The title of Andrew McCarthy’s article at the National Review Online is “Obama Replenishes the Taliban … Or ‘How Wars End in the 21st Century’”

Another title would be “How An American President Shows Total Disregard For The Lives Of American Soldiers.” I really don’t want to see the country go through an impeachment trial, but this is an impeachable offense.

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Child Abuse

The Blaze posted a story today about a ten-year old girl who was going to be a suicide bomber in Afghanistan. She had been fitted with a suicide vest and prepared for her mission when her brother instructed her to swim across a river to get to her target, a border police checkpoint in Helmand province. She refused to cross the water because it was cold, at which point her brother took her back home where she was beaten by her father. She then ran away from home and surrendered to police the following morning.

This is the YouTube interview:

Where does she go to get her childhood back after that incident? She is a beautiful child growing up in a very ugly culture.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Freedom Of Speech Is Not Compatible With Sharia Law

On Friday the Center for Security Policy posted an article about Sushmita Banerjee, an Indian woman who wrote a bestselling memoir about the brutality of Sharia law and her escape from the Taliban. She has been killed by unknown militants in Afghanistan.

In an article in Outlook India.com from May 1998, she related her story. The article reported:

Here I must mention the case of a woman who called in a priest to pray for her son who was seriously ill. Members of the Taliban saw the maulvi going into the house. The woman and the priest were executed in public. They were taken to the square alongside the local police station and shot. The entire village was terrorised by the incident.

…Meanwhile, my brothers-in-law tracked me down and took me back to Afghanistan. They promised to send me back to India. But they did not keep their promise. Instead, they kept me under house arrest and branded me an immoral woman. The Taliban threatened to teach me a lesson. I knew I had to escape.

One night I tunneled my way through the mud walls of the house and fled. Close to Kabul I was arrested. A 15-member group of the Taliban interrogated me. Many of them said that since I had fled my husband’s home I should be executed. However, I was able to convince them that since I was an Indian I had every right to go back to my country.

The interrogation continued through the night. The next morning I was taken to the Indian embassy from where I was given a safe passage. Back in Calcutta I was reunited with my husband. I don’t think he will ever be able to go back to his family.

This is Sharia Law in action.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

We Need A Common-Sense Immigration Policy

I don’t support the current immigration bill. Because we currently have an administration that selectively enforces the law, I am afraid that the enforcement parts of the immigration bill will not be enforced. However, we desperately need to revise our immigration laws. One example of bureaucratic nonsense relating to immigration appeared yesterday in the Washington Free Beacon.

The story involves Hafez (a pseudonym to protect his identity), who served as an Afghan translator for Marine Corporal Dakota Meyer during the battle of Ganjgal. Dakota Meyer is the first living Marine to receive the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam war.

The article reports:

But Meyer says his friend Hafez is still waiting to receive a U.S. visa he applied for years ago. The former translator remains in Afghanistan under daily threat from the Taliban while his application is caught in the bureaucratic limbo of the State Department.

“He stood next to me, by my side pretty much the entire time [during the Battle of Ganjgal],” Meyer, 25, said in an interview with the Washington Free Beacon on Monday. “He helped me carry my guys out.”

“If we can’t help get this guy back who sacrificed so much to bring these Americans home, I’m sure he’ll be killed,” he said.

As the American presence in Afghanistan decreases, translators have been targeted by the Taliban . We need to grant this man (and his family) political asylum in America as soon as possible. We won’t have anyone in the world willing to help us anywhere if we continue to behave like this.

Enhanced by Zemanta

No, Mr. President, America Did Not Fall Short–You Did

Today’s Weekly Standard posted a short article about some comments made by President Obama regarding Afghanistan.

The article reports:

“So, you know, I think that, have we achieved everything that some might have imagined us achieving in the best of scenarios? Probably not. You know, there’s a human enterprise, and you know, you fall short of the ideal,” said Obama.

This comment infuriates me. First of all, the President did not give the military the number of troops they asked for to do the job. Second of all, he withdrew troops before the actual fighting season. Third of all, he told the Taliban exactly when he was planning to leave so that they could wait us out. Fourth, he established rules of engagement that made it very difficult for American soldiers to defend themselves, much less fight a war. Afghanistan was the victim of failed leadership from the Obama White House. Unfortunately, we may watch Iraq fall victim to the same problem.

Strong leadership would bring us much closer to the ‘ideal.’ Voting ‘present’ will not accomplish anything.

Enhanced by Zemanta

They Are Here

Today’s Washington Post is reporting that four men have been arrested in California plotting to bomb military bases and government facilities in Afghanistan. The men had planned to join Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and wage violent jihad.

The article reports:

A federal complaint unsealed Monday says 34-year-old Sohiel Omar Kabir of Pomona introduced two of the other men to the radical Islamist doctrine of Anwar al-Awlaki, a deceased al-Qaida leader. Kabir served in the Air Force from 2000 to 2001.

The other two — 23-year-old Ralph Deleon of Ontario and 21-year-old Miguel Alejandro Santana Vidriales of Upland — converted to Islam in 2010 and began engaging with Kabir and others online in discussions about jihad, including posting radical content to Facebook and expressing extremist views in comments.

They later recruited 21-year-old Arifeen David Gojali of Riverside.

The men had planned to depart for Afghanistan in mid-November. Their cover story stated that they were going to Afghanistan to attend Kabir’s wedding.

The article further reports:

Authorities allege that in Skype calls from Afghanistan, Kabir told the trio he would arrange their meetings with terrorists. Kabir added the would-be jihadists could sleep in mosques or the homes of fellow jihadists once they arrived in Afghanistan.

We need to be thankful that the FBI is doing its job very well.

Enhanced by Zemanta

We Now Know Who Receives E-Mail From The Taliban

ABC News reported yesterday that when a Taliban spokesman sent out his routine e-mail last week he accidentally made public the names of all the people on his mailing list.

The article reports:

“Taliban have included all 4 of my email addresses on the leaked distribution list,” tweeted journalist Mustafa Kazemi, a prolific Kabul-based tweeter with more than 9,500 followers. “Quite reassuring to my safety.”

The list, made up of more than 400 recipients, consists mostly of journalists, but also includes an address appearing to belong to a provincial governor, an Afghan legislator, several academics and activists, an l Afghan consultative committee, and a representative of Gulbuddein Hekmatar, an Afghan warlord whose outlawed group Hezb-i-Islami is believed to be behind several attacks against coalition troops.

I hope someone in the CIA has taken a good look at this list. It might be interesting.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Losing A War Because Of A Public Relations Campaign

Yesterday the U.K. Mail Online posted a story about the increase in casualties among British soldiers in Afghanistan due to the American rules of engagement in the war.

The article reports:

British soldiers in Afghanistan claim that new tactics are preventing them shooting at the Taliban until they have been fired at themselves – resulting in an alarming rise in the number of casualties.

The troops say they have had to change their procedures as part of American-led efforts to cut down on the number of civilians being wounded, but the new approach has made them more vulnerable.

 In the past three months, 11 British soldiers have been killed by enemy gunfire in Helmand province, compared with just two in the same period last year.

No one is in favor of civilian casualties, but this is no way to fight a war.

The article reports one officer’s comments:

One junior non-commissioned officer said: ‘When I arrived in Helmand, my officers said our tactics were going to change.

‘They said that if I saw somebody carrying a rifle or a rocket launcher, I shouldn’t fire at him. Only if he shot at me or a member of my patrol, and I could see a muzzle flash from his rifle, could I use my weapon.

‘I was shocked and so were my mates. We are trained to close in and kill the enemy, not to let him stroll on, watch us and let him choose the best time to ambush us.

 ‘It has been hard to obey these orders while on patrol. There have been many occasions when we have come under fire from the Taliban, who we’ve seen following us through the green zone.

‘On previous tours, we would have engaged the enemy first to show them what we were made of. We’re up for a fight but now we always have to back off.

‘It makes me question the point of us being here.

‘Older guys like me have seen the tactics change over the years and 2012 is the hardest because we’re taking so many backward steps. I really feel for the families of the guys who’ve lost their lives, and I miss my mates who are dead.’

I don’t mean to be difficult, but would someone please explain to me what peaceful reason a member of the Taliban might have for carrying a rocket launcher? We need to get politicians out of wars and let the military do what is best for the troops and the war effort.

Enhanced by Zemanta

A Reliable Source In Afghanistan

One of the few people I actually believe when I hear anything about Afghanistan is Michael Yon. He has spent a lot of time there and has the contacts to find out the truth, and because he reports for himself, he is free to tell the truth.

Michael posted an article today about the recent poisoning of Afghanistan girls because they were attending school. His article posts the emails between him and one of the Taliban leaders. He relates the correspondence:

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid fully owned up to their terrorist attacks that unfolded just days ago in Kabul and elsewhere.  He emailed to me, and contacted large media, and took credit for multiple suicide and other attacks.  And so it was natural to ask Mujahid if the Taliban (there are many groups, and there are lone wolves) was behind this atrocity against the girls yesterday.

His answer today:

“we are respecting womens .  taliban movement became in power againt those who kidnape womens and rap girls .  we don,t know about these girls , who and for what reason they kidnape. we are not support this .  Their arae a  lot af those creminals who were involve in that kind of cases b4 , now they are in power . and I personly sure that  in this case they will be involve”

And so I responded to Mujahid’s answer with a question.  Will the Taliban bring these criminal(s) who poisoned the girls to Islamic Justice?  Mujahid answered minutes ago:

“As I wrote u in my last mail we are agaist this criminals activety , so of corse we will bring them to islamic justice.”

Of course, not everything that happens out there is in accordance with the policies of the Afghanistan government, or our troops, or the Taliban.  When a Soldier or Soldiers apparently murdered 17 Afghans, those murders were not sanctioned by our side, though it looks like we own it.  Likewise, the Taliban did abolish opium and the use of boys for sex, and they did hang people for raping women.  Meanwhile, the government of Afghanistan is more apt to make a woman marry someone who rapes her.  This is a complex mess.  There is no black and white in this.  The more you learn the more your head spins.

If there is any good news out of this, it is that many girls are in school.

The bottom line here is that Afghanistan is a mess.

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

This Really Bothers Me

I have supported the war in Afghanistan. I believed that we needed to go in and clean out the Taliban and Al Qaeda. I am disappointed that we have not been willing to commit the manpower to do so and that the rules of engagement have prevented us from doing so. I am now at the point where I think the only time we should send our military anywhere is when we arm them to the teeth and tell them to take no hostages. Well, I really must be in the minority on that one.

The UK Telegraph reported today that American soldiers were barred from bringing guns into a talk given by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at Camp Leatherneck in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

The article reports:

Around 200 troops who had gathered in a tent at Camp Leatherneck were told “something had come to light” and asked abruptly to file outside and lay down their automatic rifles and 9mm pistols.

“Somebody got itchy, that’s all I’ve got to say. Somebody got itchy – we just adjust,” said the sergeant who was told to clear the hall of weapons.

Major General Mark Gurganus later said he gave the order because Afghan troops attending the talk were unarmed and he wanted the policy to be consistent for all.

This is just not smart. What would have happened if there had been an attack on the base at that particular moment? Now we are sending our soldiers into harm’s way and taking their guns away. Whoever made that decision should immediately be relieved of his command.

Enhanced by Zemanta