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Obama's Afghanistan strategy

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Alistair Burnett Alistair Burnett | 17:04 UK time, Friday, 27 March 2009

President Obama has announced his long-awaited new strategy for trying to stabilise Afghanistan and Pakistan and to defeat the violent Islamists of al-Qaeda and their Afghan and Pakistani Taleban allies.

This review actually began last year under President Bush by the Defence Secretary Bob Gates working with General David Petraeus, who was credited with reducing violence in Baghdad and Sunni areas of Iraq. Both these men have stayed on under Mr Obama.

The World TonightOn The World Tonight, we have tracked this story closely - both when there has been a significant news development, and also in several special programmes.

We returned to look at the review on last Friday's programme, asking what the new policy was likely to look like towards both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

It'll be interesting to see how much of our experts' advice and predictions are included in the new strategy, and of course to see whether it will succeed - though we probably won't be able to assess that for some time to come.

However, that will require patience - something we journalists are not renowned for.

On another note, our presenter Robin Lustig is now able to put audio excepts from The World Tonight on his blog, and I'd be interested to know whether readers of this blog and his blog find this a useful innovation.

Alistair Burnett is the editor of The World Tonight.

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    On Sky you can see the Taleban operating in Pakistan
    But it looks a bit too staged to me for the camera's

  • Comment number 2.

    Afghanistan -- what is it about this place that everybody who thinks they're someone tries to impose themselves there? the Brits in the 19th century, the Russians & the Americans in the 20th.

    personally, I would like to hear the voices of the Afghans, not Obama's or his soldiers'.

    how about it BBC: can you present us with authentic voices of the people of Kabul, Khandahar, Herat, etc?

    perhaps we'll be able to have a better informed debate then.

  • Comment number 3.

    "This review actually began last year under President Bush by the Defence Secretary Bob Gates working with General David Petraeus, who was credited with reducing violence in Baghdad and Sunni areas of Iraq. Both these men have stayed on under Mr Obama."

    But how can this be? The media told us again and again that Bush/Iraq were failures and that all traces would be swept away under an Obama administration!

  • Comment number 4.

    "We returned to look at the review on last Friday's programme, asking what the new policy was likely to look like towards both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    It'll be interesting to see how much of our experts' advice and predictions are included in the new strategy, and of course to see whether it will succeed - though we probably won't be able to assess that for some time to come."

    I am intrigued. Most News channels have been concentrating a lot of emphasis on Afghanistan and Pakistan in the knowledge that Obama would be making his announcement any time soon. But isn't there something missing?

    As #2 suggests, no one has managed a convincing canvass of what "ordinary" Afghans want, rather like Iraq before it. It has been suggested by seasoned journalists in Afghanistan that the people will never accept Western style democracy. Surely that poses a very thorny problem for the US; this means Afghanistan will be every bit as tricky as Vietnam (if not more so) and that the links with Pakistan means that the chances of sorting the mess through military action negligible.

    I am more interested in the game plan Obama has behind the scenes rather than the one he announces on days like today. Pacifying Iran seems high on his agenda so that at least he can turn away from Gaza and the West Bank for a while. But what if a surge equivalent is used in Afghanistan and manages to move the "extremists" across the border into Pakistan? Isn't that inviting more trouble for the west than they can handle especially if the increased instability affects India?

    The US cannot invest the kind of money into Afghanistan and Pakistan that the military would require to bring about a reasonable chance of successfully culling the power of the extremist movement given that it is growing with every mistake the west makes. However the US can invest the kind of money needed to improve the infrastructure of both countries if they could get a handle on corruption and the drugs trafficking. Isn't an offer of financial support (with no strings apart from guarantees on corruption and drugs) a much better way to go? Strangely it would seem that Obama seeks to appease Iran whilst continuing to attack Afghanistan when he should be seeking conditional appeasement with both of them, and perhaps even extending this to Pakistan.

  • Comment number 5.

    [b]Would it be letting the cat out of the bag to say that Obama will be sending ground troops into Pakistan?[/b]

  • Comment number 6.

    President Obama has announced his long-awaited new strategy for trying to stabilise Afghanistan and Pakistan and to defeat the violent Islamists of al-Qaeda and their Afghan and Pakistani Taleban allies. I hope and pray for this strategy in Afghanistan, that President Obama is working on, will work out....

    ~Dennis Junior~

  • Comment number 7.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 8.

    IMO Mr Obamas strategy is not a good one.

    This is what I think they should do:

    --

    Get the troops out. Use intelligence to locate terror training camps. Take them out using special forces and air support.

    Buy the opium.

    10 years time the situation will be much better.

    --

    And while we're at it why was that comment rejected on the HYS forum? It breaks no house rules and was bang on topic. And why has my previous comment on this forum been referred to the almighty "moderators" who are getting more like the governments thought police every day?

    If it breaks no house rules and is on topic it should be published.

  • Comment number 9.

    Largely unreported by the BBC, the US has won the war in Iraq and now the same military team intend to use a similar (not the same) strategy to do the same in Afghanistan.

    Surprise, surprise: that strategy is military, political and economic. It involves protecting local people, not killing them. It involves recognising local tribal structures, rather than just western style elected governments. It involves bringing local people over from the insurgents to our side, paying them if needed, and talking to leaders who used to be our enemies.

    Sadly the British people have not been informed of the events in Iraq and nor are they informed of the opinions of ordinary Afghans, who are terrified of the return of the taleban.

    If only BBC reporting would split from the anti-war movement and start providing a more balanced view, people would be better placed to judge these issues.

    It sounds like you guys have tried to have a proper look at the issues, but most people are just seeing the ordinary news and websites like this one.

  • Comment number 10.

    #9

    I am unsure where you get your information from. The war has not been won in Iraq. It continues and most people live in constant fear of violence. The US are committed to withdraw its combat troops by the end of 2011. For most "ordinary people" in Iraq their daily lives are a continuous cycle of poverty, survival and avoiding violence. Amnesty International has consistently drawn attention to the levels of violence which are at an all time high. The difference may be that the violence is being perpetrated by "officials" rather than "terrorists" a strategy that could have been used without putting one troop into Iraq.

    Women and children are now specific targets in Iraq and need basic security and support from official sources. They are not receiving support from the rebuilding funds and even lack daily access to water. Suicide bombings have increased to very high levels in the past few months. The situation is every bit as horrific as Gaza.

    While the Pentagon was arming militias bent on removing Iraqi women from public life, the US State Department was busy brokering the new Iraqi Constitution. Hailed as "progressive" and "democratic" in Washington, the new Constitution designates religious law, which discriminates against women, as the basis of all legislation. It also restricts women's rights by upending one of the most progressive family status laws in the Middle East - a law that Iraqi women fought for and won in 1959, before Saddam Hussein took power.

    So do I expect the US to conduct itself in Afghanistan as it has in Iraq? Yes and No. The US will attempt to impose its styled democracy but may find it much harder to do. Afghanistan also has an opposition to the US that is considerably stronger and united than the opposition in Iraq. It will not take much of a murmur of misgivings in either Afghanistan or Iraq to set the whole thing off again. Then what will Obama do?

  • Comment number 11.

    The people of Afghanistan and Pakistan derserve some degrees of peace and stability in their lifes,and they cant offer that to themselves,without the aid of some individuals, President Obama announcing his long-awaited new strategy to stabilise in Afghanistan and Pakistan and to defeat violent Islamists of al-Qaeda and their Afghan and Pakistani Taleban allies is a welcomed development.The world is waiting to see peace in those lands once again.

  • Comment number 12.

    #8

    1. Your ideas are not at all absurd- they are too intelligent for the military mindset.

    2. Your experience with the WHYS management is not unique and very unfortunate- WHYS management is fostering its own agenda and is lacking in both background and ethics. Only a change in its management can restore editorial integrity there.

    3. Obama's message made clear that an attack on Pakistan is coming. Apparently, Pakistan, despite the promise of billions, does not like the idea

  • Comment number 13.

    10. ObsoleteExocet wrote:

    The situation [in Iraq] is every bit as horrific as Gaza.

    Not sure how you worked that one out.

    In Iraq, terrorists send handicapped women with bomb belts into crowded markets and blow them up by remote control, killing scores of innocents. They send suicide bombers into mosques, again killing scores of their own people. And this has been happening on a daily basis for years.

    Hamas is less efficient. Yes, Hamas recently killed quite a few Fatah supporters and kneecapped others, kills collaborators and occasionally targets and kills Gaza Christians and destroys their churches. But to equate Gaza with the killing fields of Iraq is ridiculous.

    Still, I agree that Iraq is a big problem and I don't think the invasion was a good idea. The Americans should have just got Saddam and then got out. Not a good idea to hang around in places like that.

  • Comment number 14.

    Since you asked about posting audio in blogs... please don't I don't have time to listen and can read faster than Mr Lustig can speak. If I want listen to what he writes I have an application on my computer which I use for that purpose. Instead let the Radio internet support people provide a speech to text application to save him and other bloggers time

  • Comment number 15.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 16.

    yes you are right, AMerica has realised it has few pakistanis, and so it will be ok for them to attack pakistan for whatever reason (some crazy advisor to Bush now telling Obama what to do...) They have hardly any Pakistanis in America, Britain has many so Britain stands to suffer if it is dragged into a NEW conflict created by the Americans.

    I lived there for twenty years, www.josieg6.wordpress.com.

    Just send me home. I was stuck in a US jail with a pakistani girl, they put her through hell, she was a christian who could not return to pakistan. They set her free then rearrsted her, she was losing her mind.

  • Comment number 17.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 18.

    0. At 12:32pm on 28 Mar 2009, ObsoleteExocet wrote:

    #9

    I am unsure where you get your information from. The war has not been won in Iraq.
    ....

    Sorry, whats all this stuff about women's rights? Thats equivalent of saying the lack of womens rights in Iran means Khomeni & the fundamentalists didn't win in the Iranian revolution. I made a comment about the war having been won, not peace on earth and good will to all. Long and short of it in Iraq: the regime is changed, sadam is dead, an elected government is in place, al-qaeda came (after the invasion) and were defeated by fellow Muslims. You might not like to hear it but it's won.

    Was it worth it? Thats a different question.

  • Comment number 19.

    12. At 2:22pm on 28 Mar 2009, luosquery wrote:

    #8

    1. Your ideas are not at all absurd- they are too intelligent for the military mindset.
    .............

    Petraeus and many of his senior commanders have a PhD in subjects like international relations. They don't give those away in cornflake packets.

    But of course the media haven't really told anyone about that.

  • Comment number 20.

    #18

    Given that the reason for going to war has been changed as many times as GWB swapped his underwear during his two terms then I don't see how anyone can claim the war has been "won". If we take "regime change" in its strictest sense then changing from an unrepresentative regime to another is not a "win". If on the other hand we wanted a more stable Iraq then again the war has not been "won". The only war that has been "won" was about WMD and we all know now that was won before the USA or the UK sent their forces into action.

    Our reason for being in Afghanistan was to deal with the oppressive Pashtun Islamic Terrorists - whose regime is decidedly oppressive to women. So we have downgraded the status of women in Iraq as we continue a fight against their oppression in Afghanistan. Kind of makes sense if you are sitting in an Ivory Tower I guess.

    But the real point I am making here is the Iraqi people have not won at all - in fact they have lost and lost heavily. They will continue to lose heavily until the troops are removed and we see what kind of stability remains. The you can claim your "win" if you really must.

  • Comment number 21.

    #13

    I am sorry TrueToo; I withdraw the comparison.

    In a nutshell it is far from obvious just what benefit anyone has got from the bombing of Baghdad, the removal of Saddam, or the continuous pressure to impose a democratic Constitution that few Iraqi's want outside of those controlling it.

    Many people in the US complain about their electoral college and seek to change it. Likewise in the UK we are far from content with a system that keeps giving us "bad" government. So much for Iraq democracy being a progression from what existed before. If the US hadn't so much egg on their faces they wouldn't be claiming anything of the sort.

  • Comment number 22.

    #19

    "Petraeus and many of his senior commanders have a PhD in subjects like international relations.."

    Can we have a list, showing the subject and source of the degree?

  • Comment number 23.


    I think what Obama is doing by putting more forces on the ground is to escalate the war initially and put pressure on the insurgents and then bribe people away from Taliban. This is classic stick and carrot policy and how much it will succeed; only time will tell.

    Another very important aspect is the increase in Afghan national army from 80000 to 134000. I believe that this is most important aspect of his speech as a strong central force will definitely have some impact on the overall situation. If the situation in Afghanistan stabilise to the extent that local army takes charge of the situation (even if the Taliban are not totally defeated) and foreign forces leave than situation in Pakistan will cool down as well.

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    By Sikander Hayat

  • Comment number 24.

    #22

    Petraeus is confident of winning the war in Afghanistan, so confident indeed that he quietly handed over command for Afghan forces to General David McKiernan last week. A part of the issue appears to be Afghan anger over the quantity of civilian casualties in strikes against Taliban targets. Petraeus claims (in his papers on FIST) that his strategies pinpoint targets so accurately that collateral damage to his own side or that of civilians is minimised to a point where it is insignificant and yet this has not been the case in either Iraq or Afghanistan.

    There are Afghan presidential elections coming up in late summer, and the situation could be like a tinder box if civilian casualties continue to grow. Obviously Petraeus is already an astute politician.

  • Comment number 25.

    22. At 11:38am on 29 Mar 2009, luosquery wrote:

    #19

    "Petraeus and many of his senior commanders have a PhD in subjects like international relations.."

    Can we have a list, showing the subject and source of the degree?
    ..............

    Petraeus has a doctorate from Princeton, faculty of of Public and International Affairs. Petraeus was in command in Iraq during the 'surge' and is now in command of CENTCOM which runs both the Iraq and Afghan wars.

    Lt Col David Kilcullen: doctorate from the university of new south wales (he's Australian) his thesis is on applied ethnography in relation to counter insurgency in traditional societies in east timor. Kilcullen was one of the key counterinsurgency advisors for Petraeus in Iraq, he is now in Afghanistan.

    Colonel Michael Meese: Phd from Princeton

    Colonel Charlie Miller: PhD in political science, Columbia University

    Lt Colonel Suzanne Nielson: PhD Harvard, political science, also has an MA.

    There's more, but you can look them up yourself (if you know how). Be blowed if I'm doing it for you.

    Petraeus is an academic, he skipped some apparently more senior officers to build a team of fellow academics (plus a few kick-butt soldiers to lead to fighting).

    There's something new for you. You didn't know it because our media always tells you Americans are stupid, particularly the soldiers.

    There are lots of other things they haven't told you as well.

  • Comment number 26.

    20. At 11:07am on 29 Mar 2009, ObsoleteExocet wrote:

    ..... But the real point I am making here is the Iraqi people have not won at all - in fact they have lost and lost heavily. .....

    ==========

    I never said that the Iraqi people have won, I said the US has won.

    I think people are confusing two questions:

    1) 'has the US won the war?'

    2) 'was it a good idea to have the war in the first place?'

    Sounds like we disagree on the first question. We probably don't disagree on the second question.

  • Comment number 27.

    Accountable! Who? Pakistan?
    A big joke. To run Pakistan, they want $. They just get US aid. 50% of the $ goes to politicians, 25% to ISI. From ISI the route is either Laskar or Taliban. After bread, Pakistan needs anti-Indian spirits to survive.

    Less than 10% goes to military fighting with Al-kaida/Taliban, so that next lot of US aid should come. If Pakistan shows accountability, they stop their own incomming bread, hence not possible. Who will stop his own bread? Instead they can afford kill their own soldiers in the hands of Taliban/al-kaida, but not inform about the knowhows as US wants.

  • Comment number 28.

    #25

    "Petraeus and many of his senior commanders have a PhD in subjects like international relations.."

    Are colonels and Lt. colonels on the staff of a four-star general now called "senior commanders"?

  • Comment number 29.

    #26

    I presume you mean a "win" under the Duckworth Lewis method where the US are behaving a bit like the West Indies cricket coach (couldn't quite find the right column), or perhaps one in which the match officials are part of a criminal betting syndicate based somewhere in Washington.

    While the Iraqi "officials" continue doing what the US troops did before them then I don't think that quite adds up to a victory - not until the US are not there anymore anyway.

    BTW your remark I first responded to was a bit more flourishing than just the US "win" - and as my response indicated was misleading.

  • Comment number 30.

    I just do not understand why we have to give chapter and verse as to the precise details of a strategy. We and everyone else now knows exactly what is going to happen and when and where, even with a map to show the exact location of the reinforcements. Also this info is given a thorough airing by the BBC interviewers who go into every detail covering the new strategy. The struggle in Afghanistan will never be over if we go on like this. Please stop telling the whole world what is going to happen next and where and when. It is awfully exasperating to see this detail on display all the time whatever conflict is going on. Obviously this information should not be for the public domain. Enough to say that new strategy's are in place. We don't need to know the details. They should be secret. This is so obvious that I should not have to be typing this. This is not a case of careless talk but of info that is preventing any progress and putting the soldiers' lives at risk. I am sure that they must feel very exposed and vulnerable. Please give them cover instead of adding to their risks. WE DON'T NEED TO KNOW.

  • Comment number 31.

    #25

    "Petraeus is an academic, he skipped some apparently more senior officers to build a team of fellow academics"

    I didn't realise Princeton handed out medals with PhDs.

    As for his academic warfare strategies it is interesting that Petraeus was shot in the chest by one of his own soldiers who tripped over a loaded rifle. Seems quite apposite really given his track record for same side casualties.

  • Comment number 32.

    28. At 9:57pm on 29 Mar 2009, luosquery wrote:
    #25

    "Petraeus and many of his senior commanders have a PhD in subjects like international relations.."

    Are colonels and Lt. colonels on the staff of a four-star general now called "senior commanders"?
    =================================

    in #12 that you presented a stereotype that the US military were too stupid to understand something like withdrawing the ground troops and bombing AQ from the air. The reality is that the strategy is set by people like Petraeus (read again - he's the top guy) and his staff. They are far from stupid.

    If you want ground commanders try officers like H.R. McMaster - he was a divisional commander in Iraq and has a PhD.

    Unfortunately the media have spent the last 8 years promoting the stereotype that Americans are stupid. The media don't usually lie to you, but they do pick what they tell you. They won't tell you about things like the above because that is off message.

  • Comment number 33.

    31. At 04:16am on 30 Mar 2009, ObsoleteExocet wrote:
    #25

    ...

    As for his academic warfare strategies it is interesting that Petraeus was shot in the chest by one of his own soldiers who tripped over a loaded rifle. Seems quite apposite really given his track record for same side casualties.
    ==========================

    If you feel a negligent discharge in a war proves someone is stupid, my guess is that would be the person with the rifle rather than the person that got hit.

    I'm not aware he had a reputation for blue on blue casualties? Certainly the early stages of the 'surge' had significant increases in US casualties (reported) as they left out of town bases and engaged the insurgents. Later the US casualties dropped massively (unreported) as ordinary Iraqis started telling them where the IEDs were and the guys with the guns started patrolling alongside the soldiers rather than shooting at them. Having your former enemies fighting on your side is an example of a smart strategy.

  • Comment number 34.

    Winning the war was the easy bit. With vastly superior air power and weaponry even the US couldn't mess that one up. But having ousted al-Qaeeda in Afghanistan and Saddam in Iraq, it seems that we were hopelessly unprepared for what came next.

    How much longer can we stay? It looks from the reporting that our forces are paralysed - they can't leave but there's nothing there they can usefully do, other than just shoot at shadows. The Taleban aren't stupid enough to engage our forces properly. They know they won't win. They'll just melt away into Pakistan and bide their time until we go. And when will that be? If we're waiting for some form of guarantee that whatever 'democratically elected' government we leave in either country will remain there for longer than a week after the forces leave, then I'm afraid we are going to be waiting for a very long time.

    If I were Obama, I'd be pulling my troops out right now, praising them for winning the war, and congratulating Iraq and Afghanistan for their efforts in ushering in a new era of democracy. Sure, it would be like sticking a fake MOT on a complete write-off, but we're almost certainly going to do this anyway at some point in the future. Maybe if Clinton had got the job this might have happened. But Obama won't. He's too honourable. And that's precisely why the only way our troops will leave is in body bags.

  • Comment number 35.

    Obama like Bush has now realised that the only way to defeat the Taleban or any other terror group ,is to destroy them. In Iraq Britain, thanks to this Labour government's "winning hearts and minds "strategy meant British troops lost control of their sector and virtually gave the terror groups control of the British sector.In Afghanistan the same rules of engagement have applied and the enemy have been able to walk away from engagements and regroup, instead of being destroyed on the battlefield. This allows them to strike when it suits them and British soldiers die as a result.

  • Comment number 36.

    In response to dhimmi, removal of all foreign policy vistages of the Bush Administration while keeping Gates and the General are not necessarily mutually exclusive as your comment may suggest. Perhaps it is very pragmatic and shows a moderation on the part of the US President in ensuring the stability of the region during this transition period from full peacemaking occupation to eventual total withdrawal. Full changing of the military guard would be an open invitation to seasoned terrorists on all sides of Iraqi conflict including Sunni,Shiite, and Al Queda Sunnis, to work their mortal demogoguery.

  • Comment number 37.

    Obama is not out to destroy the Taliban. He wants to educate them to the fact that we as the citizenry of the US does not want to change their culture but for bringing it current with what is considered by most worldwide to be inalienable rights of health, education, and welfare, male or female, Sunni or Shiite, Muslim or not. The Taliban through its ignorance, inherited at least in part to the illiteracy of Mohammed, is being used by groups such as Al Queda in a totalitarian dogmatic way to spread Islam by making groups such as the Taliban believe that the ulterior motive of the west is to corrupt the totemic purity of Islamic peoples in all countries. In other words, we want their women, and then their Allah bestowed riches, which surely they believe are inextricable.

  • Comment number 38.

    This retired officer quotes a lot of inside information to illustrate that the generals are playing politics, rather than having anything other than intentions of long term occupation in Afghanistan.

    Further, he shows how the combat brigades are to remain in Iraq, but to be renamed as training units.

    See what you think:

    http://www.atlargely.com/2009/03/yes-we-have-no-bananastan.html

  • Comment number 39.

    The biggest obstacle to peace within Iraq is and has always been the Iraqi Parliament. War reparations are in order.

  • Comment number 40.

    Maybe once Iraq is made to pay up, Afghanistan will fall into line concerning quality of life issues such as equal education and social mobility whether male or female.

  • Comment number 41.

    #33

    It really doesn't matter what I think, except that you need to get your facts straight. The incident in which Petraeus was shot was not "war" it was a training exercise using live rounds. Petraeus' whole strategy, at the time and subsequently, was around training, training, training, to prevent such events happening. That may explain why, in his eyes, "accidents" happen but "mistakes" do not. There is no word about why the loaded weapon was in such a position as to be discharged "accidentally".

    #37

    It is arrogant of anyone to believe they have discovered the "only way", and worse to try to impose their ideals on others. We have had plenty of examples of what goes wrong when you go into "god" mode. I am all for every person having a right to vote with a real choice of "ideals" they can choose instead of our wafer thin, non-democratic parody that we think is so "perfect". It has long been established that there are many "free" people who do not go along with the American dream or how it has turned out. Capitalism and freedom do not run along the same road anymore than does communism, socialism or even totalitarianism.

    Put a proper choice of constitutions to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan and see what happens. That way all of us will know what the indigenous population find acceptable, rather than having the US tell them what they are going to get. Of course there is a risk that it'll all go pear shaped but isn't there some honour in defeat that way?

  • Comment number 42.

    As a "nuclear state", the instability of Pakistan represents the greatest potential threat to international peace. Will the international community take action, if extremist fanatics get their hands on Pakistan's nuclear weapons and delivery systems? If so, what action will they take? Does the US, for example, have a plan to invade to preclude such an eventuality? After all, we KNOW weapons of mass destruction ARE there THIS time.

  • Comment number 43.

    #42

    It is an important point and one that Obama must grapple with in the knowledge that western forces are stretched too far and without strategic cohesiveness. The knee jerk reaction post 9/11 to finding bin Laden was always going to place the US at a disadvantage given the history of Afghanistan and its neighbours. The ambition to secure cheap oil at whatever human cost was never going to be as effective as choosing a more measured and thoughtful approach to the Middle East. Joined up thinking (as the new buzz phrase goes)has been absent from global strategy for too long in a world where we no longer have clear cut enemies except for ourselves.

    History may one day demonstrate how stupid we were to hunt down and dispose of Saddam Hussein when all we really did was turn an ally into an enemy. That sent out the message that today's world is fickle unless you happen to be passionate or obsessive in whatever it is you believe. Terrorists have always been either passionate or obsessive (depending on point of view) in their desire to destabilise and that is why it is wrong to be fickle in challenging them.

    There are far too many fickle leaders and fickle regimes for the world to continue as it is, and many of those who will toss a coin before taking action are too close to home for us to be complacent about it. The world needs a strong and charismatic leader and unfortunately we do not have one. The folly is to believe that Obama is here to change any of it. Maybe one day he'll be a fit man to lead but I do not believe that time is now. That may be the bitterest pill we all have to swallow.

  • Comment number 44.

    # 43 Makes great sense!

    I am interested in hearing whether US troops in Iraq are simply being "relabeled" and will remain

    and whether the occupation of Afghanistan is really to be permanent.

    Recall the three objection of the Mid-Eastventure" oil, Israel and advanced bases!

  • Comment number 45.

    #44 Of course:

    the three objectives of the Mid-East Venture!

    Oil, Israel and advanced bases.

  • Comment number 46.

    Union of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    Only solution to present problem of Instability in Afghanistan and Pakistan is in the Union of Afghanistan and Pakistan, based on the basics principles of Democracy in which Government should be composed of representatives of all sections of society and regions, No one will be dominant to each other, and that country will be easily governable by Government, In history Durani Empire was composed of all areas in which today Pakistan and Afghanistan are located, During Mughal Empire both Afghanistan and Pakistan were a single country, During initial period of British Empire they were also same country, During British Empire, some vested interest forces kept at distance to both these lands from each other , Due to which borders between these two countries have become hiding place for criminals of both countries and theft automobiles and others stolen assets are stored in this region, this large uncontrollable region is basis of many evils , Narcotics are grown in these areas ,and addiction of which is destroying youths and humanity and due to poverty and non development, people are going towards extremism and militancy, Union of both countries will make the single government of this region more responsible in stabilizing the region and in satisfying the nationalistic pride of people and people will be able to serve humanity as other large nations of world are serving the humanity, other wise this region will always remain as a nuisance for world, as this region already has destroyed Soviet Union it may also take down to western world which will be a great blow to development of Science and Technology specially Medical science.

    Advantages to world.
    Control of Terrorism:
    Instability in this region is causing great damage to humanity, soldiers of USA and NATO are sacrificing their lives just to eliminate Terrorists from these countries, while by unification it will become sole responsibility of the people and government of unified nation to control terrorists and it will be more convenient for that government to administer as there will be unity in chain of command.

    Control of Extremism:
    As unified nation will be composed of multiethnic groups such as Punjabies,Sindhies,Baloachs, Pukhtoons,Urdu speakers,Tajiks, Persians and Hazaras and will be composed of multisectarian society such as Sunni and Shiites it will become impossible for any ethnic group or religious sect to find any future in extremism

    Stabilization of Region:
    Although now a days in this region there is problem of terrorism but infact from a long time (about 50 years) this region is suffering from instability, reason is that people of this region are finding no hope and future for themselves due to division of this region and interference of large nations such as Soviet Union, USA, China and India but when the people of this region were unified at the time of Durani Empire this region was stable and same was case during Mughal Empire..
    As there are three main groups in Asia i.e. Chinese, Hindues and Muslims. Chinese and Hindues are satisfied with their Dominion states of China and India, but as there is no large state of Muslims in Asia while their numerical population is greater than Chinese and Hindues, therefore Muslims are suffering from distress which is causing instability and irritation in common Muslims, therefore by creation of a unified state of Pakistan and Afghanistan a sense of satisfaction and respect with the existence of a national state will be achieved

    Solution to Economic Problems.
    At present both countries are burden on other countries and in fact are a barrier in exploring the resources of Central Asia by world. After stabilization it will be useful for not only for Central Asia and World but also for the new unified nation itself

    Advantages to Pakistan:
    It was the vision of Founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam to unify region of West Pakistan with Afghanistan and East Pakistan with Malysia and Indonesia and that is still the need of time.
    • By unification with Afghanistan, areas which are included in Pakistan will be stabilized, and migration of people from disturbed areas will be stopped,
    • Law and order situation due to smuggling of weapons from Afghanistan will come to an end.
    • Similarly illicit drug trade will be minimized.
    • Whole areas of Pukhtoons speaking population will become unified and which will be helpful for development of culture and language of that group which is now divided in two nations.
    • Security measures expenses on borders will be minimized which may be used for welfare of people.
    • Interference of other nations in this region will be stopped.
    • Due to historical and unique region and having importance for Buddhism and Hindues religion, tourism industry will be flourished and business activity in the region will be increased,

    Advantages to Afghanistan:
    • By unification status of Afghanistan as land lock country will come to an end, and Union will increase the freedom of people of Afghanistan for travel and economic activity,
    • Extremism and terrorism will come to and end, as the people will become more engaged and involved in adjusting themselves in new union. it will increase the utilization of raw products of Afghanistan ,
    • Security and military expenses will be minimized,
    • Doors of job for people of Afghanistan in Pakistan will opened ,the desire of unification of people of Afghanistan with people of Pakistan will be fulfilled.
    • Shortage of food products in Afghanistan will be decreased and it will increase the utilization of raw products of Afghanistan in the region.
    • Due to linkage of central Asia via Afghanistan, will cause extraordinary development in the whole region.

    From all above points it is clear that unification of Pakistan and Afghanistan will be fruitful for every one and for world at large by each and every angle.


    Written By:
    M.AKRAM KHAN
    Baldia Town,Karachi.Pakistan.

  • Comment number 47.

    The occupation of Afghanistan, I suspect, will be as permanent as long as bin Laden and or Al Queda remain at large. On the issue of US objectives in the ME, you have two out of three. Under the prior administration, you would have been batting one thousand. Under the Obama administration, oil is not an interest. As to Israel, the US considers the ME plight to be both a human interest and a special interest that must be pacified. Jewish people have huge international media influence, are over represented in American and in global society as a whole, represent a potential for mobilization of huge voting blocks as well as huge amounts campaign funds. In other words, they are influencial private and public constituents of our US system of governance. Many people may not realize that they are significant constituents within even Muslim country systems of governance. Finally, we would like more advanced strategic bases to defend ourselves and the rest of international society from the ravages of all religious extremism, at this time, particularly from the Muslim world.

  • Comment number 48.

    What must also be realized is that under the current adminsitration, Palestinian interests in the ME are just as important as Israeli. This is a policy position mandated by the US people through their election of Obama.

  • Comment number 49.

    What makes one think that either would be amenable to such unification? Even one from Pakistan?

  • Comment number 50.

    #46

    What I like about this piece is that it seeks to "join up" people rather than the "divide and rule" attitude prevalent for the past three decades or more. We have seen divide and rule punch huge holes in robust communities to the point where some groups of people have been literally destroyed.

    For over four hundred years the planet has been busy culling what stands in the way of "progress" whilst it deals in corruption, blood money, reprisals and autocracy in all but ultimate identity. We have seen leaders preen those who collaborate and remove those who do not. The dirty deals driven by financial interest have left the global map in tatters when it comes to understanding who trusts whom. Gone are the days when you could tell the way a country stood on many disparate subjects simply from its history. Now it is difficult to see relationships lasting any longer than the average civil marriage.

    I would welcome anything that brings lasting security, peace and a share of wealth to those who work hardest for it - the ordinary citizen. That has not been achieved by any western power. If Pakistan and Afghanistan bucked the trend and taught the rest of the world something then I am all for it.

  • Comment number 51.

    #43

    The single mindedness of the terrorist as compared to the duplicity of democratic governments is an excellent dichotomy to make. To move the focus away from the elected seats of power towards the unelected "rabble" has long been a tactic to protect collaboration, dirty deals, corruption, and worse. The use of insurgency has been a tactic from deepest history. The infiltration of small groups of passionate "freedom fighters" to guide or mislead has been one of the more successful ways of "disturbing" comfort zones.

    Couple that with the "shock, horror" of a new "religious super-power bent on brainwashing everyone" and you can see how the status quo manipulates thinking over decades. Fueled by fuzzed up academic journalists (unable to see the big picture) with black ink and big letters at the ready the conditioning of loyal subjects is an easy task to accomplish.

    What if the ideals of the western powers are completely and utterly wrong? What if our democracies are a complete charade only obvious to those who despise it that deeply they will never succumb? What if "freedom fighters" are right and the rest "wrong"? What if Islam could unite the world at peace?

    I do not pose these questions to incite. I pose them simply to step back and put a wider focus on why we can never truly trust what our leaders tell us.

  • Comment number 52.

    Afganisthan cannot be won untill you have Afgans in your army.USSR tried in 1973 and USA in 2001.....Reach to the heart of common Afgan and win hearts in Afganisthan.........

  • Comment number 53.

    The BBC described G20 protesters as anti-capitalist. No doubt some were. However this reporting was incorrect as many were not in this camp. Also, isn’t it odd that the money being pumped into banks is suddenly taxpayers' money but the same taxpayers' money is not mentioned when they are reporting about public projects that we are funding. Sorry to post this here but I can’t find an appropriate blog and official complaints do not work at the moment.

  • Comment number 54.

    So the Afghani situation continues. When will the world powers learn that Afghanistan is imposible to control.

    Time to pull out and let the Afghanis rule themselves, I note that Bankrupt Brown is offering more toops we can not afford to the Afghanistan war. What we need is less interferance in others businsee and more attention to the UK, then may be things would be better.

    We can not afford a war, we can not afford this government or the EU either.

  • Comment number 55.

    I listened to the Obama because he tells it how it is its the media that sees it differently like this country those who are leaders do as their masters tell them and everything is in place so they can not do anything differently like Blair set all this up then gave Gordon a go at playing MP but he has never been voted in so what he says means nothing. Well Obama is the same the man wants to do something different but can not liked this nuclear free world the USA set it up using it on Japan not once but twice to make sure that Russia got the message that they were the super power so everyone went and stocked up on WMD but Iraq had none and it was known by all Governments and guess what they got attacked by the countries whom they attacked Iran for, the motto is never trust the USA Govenment. Will the USA and UK who in 2008 sold Israel £27 million of WMD is this what Blairs true mission is in the Middle East after all the Friends of Israel (labour) see him as a true of off them a Zionist, The idea that one man can control those who want to set the New World Order in motion is a fool, this is what Hitler was after and the world leaders then were all for it those who have to much money and power are dangerous if allowed to rules and have such dreams the few totally ruling the many, mind blowing.

  • Comment number 56.

    When the Federal Reserve or other international counterpart, say the World Bank, or the IMF, prints money for projects, insurance bailouts, or the like, it is not taxpayer money, it is banking money which accumulates interest on the dollar, US, Euro, or otherwise. In the western world, governments generally do not print their own money but rather the national banks within respective countries or an international consortium thereof. The minute that money is injected into the economy of said respective nations, interest is owed to the banks for the printing of the money. So, the bottom line is that in some cases, this is not taxpayer money except at most, indirectly, through government payment of interest on units of currency.

  • Comment number 57.

    #53

    You make a very cogent point.

    For years the BBC has behaved like a "business" under New Labour and Tory mantras. But it isn't a "business" it is a Public Broadcasting SERVICE. The transition may seem irrelevant but is it? What if "business" style journalism thrives on being competitive, of picking its running mates carefully, and of not daring to bite the hand that feeds it (the Government)? Isn't that a significant departure from being a "service" to the people who fund it via the license fee?

    I also listen carefully to what the BBC have to say, and there is distinct bias in their coverage of many, many issues. They try to fool us into believing they are "balanced" by lobbing the odd few seconds into the opposing point of view but it is simply gestures.

    If one compares the attitude of the BBC towards the demonstrators on Wednesday to their keen need to cover Obama one hundred percent AND live, you get the sense that those who spent the day marching peacefully may just as well have stayed at home. The BBC looked only at the "rent-a-mob" actions as if to take a wholly sanctimonious approach to demonstrations.

    It would be nice if, for once, the BBC treated these "minorities" as they do the ethnic, religious, cultural and sexual orientation groups that can do "no wrong" in their eyes. The BBC are no longer worthy of our license fees. They make it obvious they want to run with the commercial wolves and I have no problem with that as long as they give me my cash back for letting me down over the last decade. It's time BBC that you stopped begging me to pay your blackmail money just to keep your lie running.

  • Comment number 58.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 59.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 60.

    It has always been difficult to fault the arguments against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. There have been many attempts to justify these war politically and strategically but they all founder on legality and morality. It has taken commercial outlets (like Channel Four in particular) to make serious effects to inform the public as to the futility of the western allies in talking up regime change when we all know that oil and revenge are still all that matter. Now that Pakistan enters the equation it is even more important for the media to up the ante to prevent horrendous mistakes being made. The lives of seriously large numbers of people are at stake. Indeed we could be seeing the seeds of a future nuclear war being sown.

    With that backdrop one may ask why the BBC has not had the courage or will to express the wholly worthy arguments against Obama and NATO. As has been expressed many times now the BBC has stopped playing the analytical hand in favour of obsequious gestures of support for the "first black president". We hear the cries of "listen to the man", "he has the crowds in the palm of his hand", "charisma oozes out of him", just like the frightened rabbit caught in the beams of headlights just before it is flattened. And these are from journalists behaving more like those who herald the "second coming" instead of keeping their feet on the ground. Obama is a man, vulnerable, fallible, and potentially culpable, but, unfortunately for him, carrying "originality" in the colour of his skin. It is a huge mistake for his supporters to load his shoulders (and his potential) via this purely chance identity.

    The BBC has completely lost objectivity and so why should it hold on to its public service franchise? Let it go and replace it with something very much more modest for the public sector role. Let us have an alternative to the host of public and commercial outlets that are crowded into the same slim philosophical groupings that besets all our political representatives. The BBC is a monolithic structure of the order that only privilege and indulgence can create. It is past its sell by date and it needs to be replaced with something that can exist on much more modest income in keeping with the lifestyles of the majority it serves NOT the minority it fawns to.

  • Comment number 61.

    any policy any plan won't work unless all parties involved give serious consideration to geo-political situation in afghanistan, it includes its history, culture, economic and political background. now at this milestone usa shdnt abondone afghan in the middle. dont forget afghanistan is a society on this same earth. we can ignore it but cant deny it.

  • Comment number 62.

    It'll be three-quarters of a decade next Tuesday (Apr 7) since the operation started. Take yourself back to June 1987, when the Soviets were at that stage: they could have shown us the same picture of a friendly regime governing Kabul, of schools, roads or hospitals being built (often to replace the ones destroyed by our Mujahideen friends). But we preferred to turn the TV cameras on the untiring "freedom fighters" and their readiness to fight the foreign intruders to the end. What would we see if we looked at the situation the same way today? Probably much the same. And while the President's "surge" will doubtless stabilise the situation for the US in the medium term, the lesson from Iraq is that its effects only last if you can win over some of the people you're fighting against. That's going to be a bitter pill given what they stand for. If only we'd left the Russians to drag the country into the 20th century back in the 1980s.

  • Comment number 63.

    Obama's true colours can be seen from the strident condemnation of North Korea's possible missile launch. He has inherited the same hypocrisy as his predecessors. Whilst "friendly" powers can spread the US nets ever wider it is not OK for a "dissident" power to try to do the same.

    It doesn't matter what colour there is on the map the same old double standards apply.

  • Comment number 64.

    #62

    It is of inestimable value to look back at history, especially of the turbulence that has been a feature of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the remnants of the old Soviet Union. The west has never set itself realistic targets in these regions and this latest forage is no different. The Soviet Union's "Great Game" with Britain over Afghan territories went on for decades, and Afghanistan benefited from heavy Soviet investment for twenty years from the mid-fifties prior to the fights against the Mujahideen.

    The Coalition should learn from this. They are repeating the doses, using the same failed medicines, and choosing the same virus to attack without having anything like the anti-viral solutions. The victims all along appear to be the indigenous, peaceful Afghans but are they so fussed about the Mujahideen? The US has already watered down the power of women in Iraq to less than that held under Saddam Hussein so what serious alternatives are they offering Afghanistan's female population?

    The US arguments supporting their continued presence in both Iraq and Afghanistan are disingenuous in the extreme. They are simply not interested in "peace" unless that "peace" supports Washington. It is simply not possible to have a majority of these two countries feeling that way and the US should consider that long and hard above anything else.

    It is time for the United Nations to get to grips with the US and NATO and pull them into line. Give the area a chance to sort its own problems without removing the investment needed to offer the populace a chance of rebuilding their lives. I am sure that both countries have had quite enough violence already.

  • Comment number 65.

    #18 jon112uk

    The war has not been won. Just viewing the entire thing as being somthing that can be won or lost makes any following statement you make somthing to be held as suspect.

    Why does Iraq not have a Shia pro Iran government? Iraq is 65% Shia in population, as such it does not have a democrasy. They voted for sure but the only choice they had were US vetted politicians most of which were criminals previously exiled from Iraq.

    So the US is still dictating politics and is still hated and is still at war.

    Iraq is also highly iradiated, around 35 tonnes of depleted uranium has fallen on Iraqi soil Iradiating the civillians and US/UK sodliers. Sad really, i hope no US/UK soldiers serving in Iraq expect to father any children when they come home. Because they won't be able too.

    Also the fact the baghdad nuclear research facility was not secured means lots of radioactive waste found its way to god knows where.

    You think the US has 'won'? Your deluded.

  • Comment number 66.

    Obamas Afghan strategy is and will be similar to Bush's. In any event in 100 years the majority of countries will have a muslim leader and the world will be a much more religious place dominated by muslims. In simple terms those who pray 42 times a week will always be more powerful than those who dont and those who try to pray once a week.The biggest challenge the world faces is to ensure that religion is not associated with Government and politics however this is a challenge that is constnatly being lost with the constant change of Governments worldwide.

  • Comment number 67.

    It will take a lot more than his speech to Turkish parliament to convince people that the US are not anti-Islam. In fact it will need the US to divorce itself from the more extreme Jewish elements that have been stoking the fires for far too long. If Obama can change the way the US thinks via its media then he may have a chance of making the world safer, but it is a hard and very lonely road ahead.

  • Comment number 68.

    #60 fillandfrowpist

    An excellent summation! Well said!

  • Comment number 69.

    HI names k.A and i might have a good point on this Obama might be doing the right thing how ever im not here to talk about Afgan. I'm here to say that North Korea will be setting up another nuke which will hit central Europe I got this from my self i always know things that are about to happen and the nuke on sunday was just a distance test it wasn't a satellite or any other type of thing it was a test to see if it will have long enough range to reach American West Coast. So please listen to this message do not persuade the pressing on North Korea because if Nato and UN keep pressuring this Kim Jon Ill Will launch the next nuke onto central Europe

  • Comment number 70.

    #62

    I agree. You will see from some earlier entries that there are people who think the war is "won" in Iraq. Perhaps it suits their political affiliation or their regard for the US, but it isn't a true reflection of the position Iraq finds itself in. As has been suggested already we do not know what would happen if no Coalition troops were in either Iraq or Afghanistan. Would it be better or worse? And who is best place to make that assessment? Certainly not the Coalition forces or their political masters.

    In essence the Coalition have kept changing the pictures fed to their people in keeping with what they are currently seeking and so the objective continues to change, often slightly but change nonetheless. That is not the way to conduct a war. Imposition of an unwelcome Constitution would not be acceptable were this any other regime except the US. Iraq's democracy has to be tested out in the cold light of day with no hidden deals, unpleasant pressures, or foreign troops on the scene. There must be no foreign propaganda. Is that going to happen? The answer is no, because Iraq has become a strategic area which will attract Iran, Pakistan and others once the US leaves.

    Wars never settle anything - they simply delay the peace.

  • Comment number 71.

    First of all, Bush had no Afghanistan foreign policy but rather a misplaced Iraq policy. The US under Obama does not believe the war in Iraq has been won. There are no winners when the sons of a country's ruler are hunted down in bounty hunter, dead or alive fashion, in contradiction to the tenets of US democracy. Likewise, Saddam, himself, got the short end of the stick or rope, if you will, in terms of due process, both procedural and substantive. Then, to conclude on the firstly, there are no winners in a conflict involving genocide, mortal religious factionalism, and loss of life of troops whether US and or Iraqi. Secondly, Obama was one of the only Senators against the Iraq war. It is largely his position in opposition to the Iraqi conflict that got him elected President. Third, the seeds of all out nuclear conflict had been planted long before the Obama election to the Presidency. Thank you Dickie Chainee with all of his defense industry interests, misinformation, and bad advice to the former President. Afghanistan and Pakistan, in that order, is where our focus, US and global, should have been from the onset. Here, there really is no Afghanistan strategy beyond the limited focus of capture, preferably, or termination of bin Laden, if not already deceased, or, in the alternative, the complete physical, political, paramilitary, and ideological dismantling of Al Queda. It would be nice if the Taliban advanced to the twenty first century by enabling females to be educated on an equal par as males. But, we are not there to mandate such commonsensical human rights advances. However, at least while there to quash bin Laden and or Al Queda to avenge nine eleven, the US military will not just stand by and watch schools with females be burned, have females stoned to death, or the inhumane like. Diane Sawyer did a special in which the Taliban in Pakistan publicly paddled a women for being alone with a man. Though there may have been international public outcry about that type of public punishment and its reason, it was and so appeared to be docile compared to the horrific events that all know take place at the hands of Pakistani and Afghani Taliban. It is my opinion that the Obama administration is not out to play the international politically correct police but that it has and will continue to have the narrow focus of addressing a political, religious, and paramilitary environment within Pakistan and Afghanistan that pose more than just an ideological threat to the US and the international community, but rather national security threats to countries throughout the globe.

  • Comment number 72.

    the way Pakistan is being handled by the US President Mr. Obama's Policies which are not different from the Ex-President Bush Policies, are not welcome to the government and people of Pakistan. On one side they told our agencies to make agreement with Talibans and share information with US authorities, and on the other hand there are Drone Attacks on Pakistani Tribal Areas which as a result worsens the living conditions of a mere Pakistani living in cities like Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad. People have a fear to go to their jobs or any other public places. No matter that India is 1000% involve with talibans to make living situations of living people more miserable.

  • Comment number 73.

    #71

    #46 in this blog makes an impassioned plea for the reuniting of Afghanistan and Pakistan, a situation that existed prior to the Great Game. The Pashtun have their roots in Eastern Iran and have long settled in the areas now encompassed by Pakistan. Their culture and religious beliefs have only become a focus of western politicians as a convenience in the "War on Terror", especially when the UK/USA duplicity over Saddam Hussein was exposed. Did Blair and Bush think about the longer term cost of their illegal invasions and wars? Were they and their military advisers even aware that the "war" may have repercussions far beyond securing cheap oil? Did they seriously believe that they could overcome Pashtun resistance and terminate AQ? Or were the US and UK administrations carried away by (the unsolved mysteries of) 9/11? Blair and Bush were seriously well matched - average IQ's, self seeking, self serving, and surrounded by "yes men". Their "can do" regimes were every bit a match for Hitler's "can do" henchmen. So what was "their plan"? They didn't have one. Bush and Blair majored in expedience, opportunism, and deceit. As long as we "look good" today, tomorrow will take care of itself. And look what happened to the economics as a result?

    So what of Obama? Well did the Republican's put up a serious challenger (given the economic crash did they want to)? Did the Democrat's (stupidly) seize their opportunity to field a black and a female candidate thus hedging their bets? So the opportunism didn't stop with Bush, it has continued. We need to know what Obama's long term plan is - and we are waiting, waiting, waiting.....

  • Comment number 74.

    The former President's Pakistani policy was not always the same as the current policy under the Obama administration. Remember Musharref. It appears that he may have been at least significantly responsible for the Bhuto murder and that he was at least complicitous in harboring bin Laden and or international Al Queda fugitives. It appeared as those he was fostering an environment within the region that would justify more and more US military aid, supplies, weapons and the like, solidifying his stronghold on the country of Pakistan. Divide and conquer was his MO and honest elections did not fit into a political environment that would be conducive to what was essentially his tyrannical rule of the country and people of Pakistan. The US was appearing to be hypocrites wanting democratic reform in Muslim countries while yet putting the same pressure upon Pakistani heads of State. To me, no wonder we in the US had been the object of so much Pakistani militant mortal vehemence. Even the Bush administration had to change. Obama is just following through on a Pakistan policy that evolved under the prior administration to one in which he as a democratic idealist would be in agreement.

  • Comment number 75.

    The man has been in office less than ninety days. Does one think it is stupid to field a black and or female Presidential candidate? I don't and I am a Republican. Louisiana has a Republican governor who is an US citizen of apparently Pakistani or East India, that is from India, descent. He will one day be their nominee for President. Would that be stupid? I do not think so and neither does the US public. In terms of ethnic, religious, and racial tolerance, we have grown by leaps and bounds in our short time of just over 200 years of national establishment. What is the excuse of much older national sovereignties, particularly those possessing nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons strikes capacity?

  • Comment number 76.

    SELLING THE (AF-PAK) WAR!

    Buying the (20th) August Election

    Now, what we have here are a lot of Pentagon Propagandist from the American Empire selling the (Af-Pak) War, and the (UK) United Kingdom, and the elections of (20th) August are the target, without British Armed Forces the (Af-Pak) War is a non-starter, the American Empire has to pull out every stop, and pay any price to purchase the election and make no mistake about that, without the (UK) purchased support, it remains the American Empires War on Islam.

    CENTRAL ASIAN PIPELINE

    (Af-Pak) War the reason

    The entire reason why the “American Empire” is in Afghanistan has nothing to do with terrorism and everything to do with natural resources, in this case (NG) natural gas from Turkmenistan which is rich in hydrocarbons and the building of the “Central Asian Pipeline” system transporting (NG) across Afghanistan to the ports of Pakistan, Karachi, and round the globe in (LG) Liquid Gas from, to waiting markets, with a branch line to supply the needs of India.

    The Russian Federation Support

    Now, the “American Empire” believes that the Russian Federation is willing to provide assistance in the (Af-Pak) War against Islam due to its fear of the Islamic threat posed to its boarders, and that could not be farther from the truth. The real reason is than in the end The Russian Federation knows that the “American Empire” can never hope to win, as it will be generations of warfare, and will bring down the “American Empire” economically, and be its second Vietnam, placing Turkmenistan back under the entire Sphere of the Russian Federation along with the “Central Asian Pipeline”. The Russian Federation is in a win/win situation, the “American Empire” leaves it obtains the “Central Asian Pipeline”, the “American Empire” stays and fights, it will lose, both militarily and economically, and the Russian Federation still wins. The losers will be those with large case reserves of “American Empire” Treasure Bill’s and Dollars, worthless pieces of paper.

    King David H. Betray “US”

    King David H. Betray “US”, the Butcher of Islam, and his staff have been referred to as the cream of the crop do to each having a (PhD.), meaning they when to college all the way and are able to write a thesis paper, good for them, all it means is they know how to PILED HIGH AND DEEP, they are book warriors. Now, the warriors they are coming up against are not book worm warriors they are intuitive warriors, they many never have learned how to read a book, and learned the Koran by Wrote, but they know their lands and they know their enemy, they know how he thinks, they know before they act what that action will be, then take their enemy to their battle ground and fight them on their terms. One of the greatest warriors of all history led (2) two American Armies with college educated officers around and around, was a College of Hard Knocks, Chief of the Chiricahua tribe of the Apache Nation GERONIMO. King David H. Betray US will fight by the book, More Money, More Time, More Troops, and Mission Creep, and his enemy will survive off the terrain, take their time, use fewer Islamic Freedom Fighters apply superior tactics, while adjusting to the mission, with patience, fortitude, love of their land, trust in their leaders, and faith in their God, and when they enter Paradise yet another Islamic Freedom Fighter will step up to take their place, day after day, week after week, year after year, decade after decade, never ending., Bet on it!

  • Comment number 77.

    @75

    Just a few points to calm your excitement.

    1. Obama is a product of your middle classes, a chip off the old block, so to speak. Do you think no one in the Democratic party machine said "...and he is black..."? That is how far you haven't come in 200 years. Clinton is from a strong political background but was not popular with many ordinary people. Do you think no one in the Democratic party machine said "...and she is a woman..."? That is how far you haven't come in 200 years. Do you think the Republicans looked at Sarah Palin and thought "Goodness gracious she is tougher than steel and a good looker too."? The USA produces the glossiest cover images it can to the world but the gloss doesn't last once you are inside the book.

    2. Your presidential elections go on and on and on, and all the candidates are pretty much psyched up on everything before they even get to nomination. Obama did his "world tour"; do you think he was playing dumb until 21.1.09? It takes a few moments to make a decision and so ninety days is long enough to make an awful lot of them. But of course he has all his advisers to think about some of whom served Bush too.

    3. The main point about racism is that it goes away only when the colour of someone's skin matters not one iota - so how come the USA made such a big deal about Obama? Read MLK's speeches and maybe you'll get the message. The main point about gender is that it goes away when it doesn't matter what gender the other person is or what they look like. I think you'll find that the USA is very self conscious when it comes to gender, looks and images.

    But the biggest problem the US has is itself. It is so unsure of its core values that it has to "show its pride" to the rest of the world, just as the UK has its ceremony and pageant. Most western countries have the same problem and that is why they do not understand the Islamic states. You have at least four years of Obama and so I am not surprised you'll come to his defence. He is Your President after all.

  • Comment number 78.

    Anarchists were blowing up themselves and others 100 years ago. It was handled as a police matter.

    Is there any serious belief that eliminating hostiles in Afghanistan and Pakistan will stop terrorism?

    Perhaps the entire "military option" is bad strategy?

  • Comment number 79.

    (PPPPP)

    (PPPP) Power, Politics, Petroleum, and Petraeus, and the Plan, represents the dynamics of the (Af-Pak) War on Islam;

    THE POWER ISRAEL: The Power behind the Empire, is the (51st) State, Tip of the Spear, Manager State of the Islamic Crescent, the Eastern Half of the American/Israeli Empire.

    THE POLITICS (AIPAC/AZC): which thru its political arm (AIPAC/AZC) American Israel Public Affairs Committee/American Zionist Council, a (100K) One-hundred membership Jewish lobbyists group, control the (544) Imperial Court of the Empire, Its just two members of the same statist party fighting over whose friends will get the favors, Richard Epstein on (The Big Two) American political parties

    THE PETROLEUM: is the product most sought;

    (1) The Nabucco gas pipeline: which is to be laid through the territories of the Former Soviet Republic of (Georgia), into, Azerbaijan into the strategic Northwest Iranian territory or Shi-ite Persian Iran were currently (4) four- million Kurds are concentrated in Iran, waiting to declare a Kurdish state, and with Russian peacekeepers in place to protect the new formed Kurdish state from Georgian or Iranian aggression, onto Turkey and the Tabriz refinery, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria to connect Europe.

    (2) The Central Asian Pipeline: from Turkmenistan which is rich in hydrocarbons and the building of the “Central Asian Pipeline” system transporting (NG) across Afghanistan to the ports of Pakistan, Karachi, and round the globe in (LG) Liquid Gas from, to waiting markets, with a branch line to supply the needs of India.

    (3) The Caspian Sea Basin: to supply the Nabucco Pipeline with it’s estimated at (7.25 Trn.Cu.Mts.) Seven-two-five trillion cubic meters, yet to be developed underneath the Caspian Sea, along with (1/5th) One-fifth, (20%) Twenty-Percent of the remaining global oil reserves.

    PETRAEUS

    King David H. Betray US, the Butcher of Islam, represents the (extension of politics by other means, Karl von Clausewitz). Follow the pipelines and follow the action;

    (1) THE FORMER SOVIET REPUBLIC OF GEORGIA: The Former Soviet Republic of Georgia, Gen. David (Betray Us) Petraeus, trained three (3) Battalions of Georgians in Iraq, to prepare Georgian troops for service in Iraq and intended (NATO) North Atlantic Treaty Organization membership, the (3) Battalions of Georgians made up the third largest national contingent, behind the (US/MIC) and (UK) United Kingdom troops, in Iraq.
    At the same time an additional a (2) Battalion combined force of (BWI/IDF) Blackwater Inc. Mercenaries and Israeli Defense Force, (18K) eighteen hundred, troops, were training, (2) Battalions of Georgians in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia by. Were “Betray Us” conducted joint war game mock exercise’s between the (2) Battalions of Georgians, and (2) Two Battalions, some (1,650) troops from the United States Army. The joint Georgian-American military exercised had been held in mid-July, three weeks before the conflict. The (2) Battalions of United States Army troops were withdrawn, just prior to the Georgian Invasion of the Georgian attacked Tskhinvali, and breakaway states of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, as a show of force, but so much for a show of force as it turned into a major military defeat.

    (2) (Af-Pak) War: Tony Blair: To be truthful about it, there was no way we could have got the public consent to have suddenly launched a campaign on Afghanistan but for what happened on September (11th), (http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2003/sep/06/september11.iraq) 'Defense Secretary John Hutton told BBC radio in an interview broadcast Saturday that it was "very possible" that extra European contributions to the Afghan mission would be agreed, and that a further expansion of the (U.K. military) presence remained possible, the (UK) has, (8,600) eight-thousand-six hundred troops located in, (Kabul, Kandahar, Helmand), Afghanistan. Operation (UK) Temporary Uplift

    UNITED KINGDOM: The (“TEMPORARY UPLIFT”) of between (500-700) five to seven hundred increasing Britain’s military strength there to about (9K) Nine-Thousand, for a four month period until British elections to be held on August 20 , with a planned withdrawal of all British Forces upon completion of the elections.
    But, the “Imperial Media Messiah” by way of Robert Gibbs, the White House spokesman, the largest contingent of that force will be ... from Britain." (900) Nine-hundred troops will come from the (UK).
    The long-term plan of adding (2K) Two-Thousand, British troops to the (Af-Pak) Conflict bring British troop levels to (10K), Ten-thousand, has NO! Political chance or support.

    THE PLAN

    Simple buy the United Kingdoms Political Support by buying he August (20th) Elections.

  • Comment number 80.

    Regardless of whether the occupation of Afghanistan was justified or not we are where we are.

    How do we come to a relatively successful conclusion i.e. relative stabiity in the area leading to the return of our troops?

    Currently two factors are making matters worse rather than better.

    1. The Af/Pak border is virtually non existent on the ground(Drawn right through the middle of a tribal/national grouping.)

    2. Forces in Hellmand are spread far too thinly and have too many concurrent tasks to perform to be able to achieve any one effectively.

    Therefor the answer is, superficially, to increase the boots on the ground. This will only work, however, if it is done in close co-operation with diplomatic and structural recovery teams, properly following the "inkspot theory" where the military pacify and hold an area to allow the civilian teams to improve the inhabitants lives.

    The other area is for closer liason with the Pakistani military and a diplomatic push for the purging of ISI. This will cut funding for the radical groups based in Pakistan who can feed cannon fodder into Afghanistan and so help keep the country in anarchy.

    Also buy the opium direct from the farmers and then persuade them onto other crops using large subsidies.

    On the subject of perceived American trigger happiness. During the second world war British units mutinied rather than serve in the line next to American forces. To my mind this is rooted in the U.S. militaries taking of Clauswitz principle of friction too literaly and therefor not going the extra mile to avoid blue on blue.

  • Comment number 81.

    #80

    I think you are right about the border. Of course it hasn't moved an inch in a long time and so one wonders what Bush and Blair were thinking about before they went in guns-a-blazing. Some diplomacy with Pakistan at the time would not have been wasted. It proves that there was no "long term plan" just a show of military might that went decidedly wrong.

    The mistake now is to try to separate out the entities in this region. They are closely linked together with more than just historical culture to bind them together. Their lifestyles are similar, as are their beliefs and their structures. They form a formidable opposition to western style political and military pressure.

    To piece this together the west must be honest about their goals. If it is oil and gas pipelines (which it almost certainly is) then be honest with their own people and ensure that their citizens are behind them. Without that the US is just begging for another Vietnam, and, at the moment, that is what they have got.

  • Comment number 82.

    THE FULCRUM OF HISTORY

    Islamic Religious Pivot

    Both in Afghanistan and in the Pakistani tribal (area’s/ territories), where some of the most wanted jihadists are thought to be hiding, the (AIE) American Israeli Empire is up against a centuries-old tradition called (pashtunwali)

    Pashtunwali is the Pashtu code of conduct that makes tribesmen resent any uninvited intruders, while protecting those seeking shelter.
    The Pakistan high commissioner in London Asif Durrani, has stated (I can tell you when it comes to honor, kicking the door itself is the biggest insult, so that also invites a sort of revenge, No one can dare kick my door, it's not allowed, because you are then declaring war against my household.)

    Anyone caught betraying a fellow Muslim risks finding their family dishonored for generations, and for (AIE) American Israeli Empire troops to persuade local people to reveal the whereabouts of those accused of terrorism, is naïveté and presumptuous, indicating a total lack of understanding of the Islamic culture, two cultures which pivot off of two separate philosophies, the (AIE) American Israeli Empire pivots on money, were as in the Islamic world of Osama Bin Laden, it pivots off of religion

    (AIE) American Israeli Empire Pivot

    The (AIE) American Israeli Empire a tiny splinter group of the global community, Like (16th)-century Paduans, believed themselves to be the center of the universe, the final and perfect form of human government, viewing themselves as God's chosen people, with divine rights, the pivotal fulcrum of history itself, with an indifference to reality, and not only does not realized of the crimes against humanity committed by the (AIE) American Israeli Empire, but is totally incapable of even recognizing them.

    The Fulcrum of History

    This generation to whome much has been given, and therefore from whome much is expected, has a rendezvous with destiny, were peace, brotherhood, friendship, and cooperation will have to be set aside to settle the differences in the fulcrum of pivot

    DONNE, JOHN:

    No man is an island,
    Entire of itself.
    Each is a piece of the continent,
    A part of the main.
    If a clod be washed away by the sea,
    Europe is the less.
    As well as if a promontory were.
    As well as if a manner of thine own
    Or of thine friend's were.
    Each man's death diminishes me,
    For I am involved in mankind.
    Therefore, send not to know
    For whom the bell tolls,
    It tolls for thee.
    Each is a piece of the continent

  • Comment number 83.

    You are right about party misgivings but, it is the US people, the public that has spoken and overridden the predispositions of the "Good Ole Boys" system of governance, pork barreling, and earmarks. On all fronts, we have yet a long way to go. But, the people have spoken. As to remarks concerning our real intentions in the "Af-Pak" region, what one states are half truths. If someone were responsible for killing 3000 plus Pakistanis, you would be after him as well. Of course, the US has what might be termed imperialist objectives, more so under Bush and Blair, than under Obama and Brown. Yes, we need the UK. We need you all. This is a global economy with a more international interdependence than ever before. This mutual need will keep growing and carry us all to other parts of the universe. Too bad the Bush administration was not as candid about our economic objectives, perhaps because of ChainKnee ulterior motives, and I hope that Obama will be more frank. The US has expertise in pipelines and modernization in all areas. We are capitalists and interested in exporting our skills as well as our products. We do not want to be shut out in any area or region of international commerce. On 60 Minutes, this evening, to paraphrase a Pentagon research scientist and technician regarding a new prosthetic arm that is all ready very precise in its functioning and still being tweaked, this is science and technology that benefits the whole world financed by the US taxpayer to the tune of $100 million, so far. We are a very generous and altruistic people with many foibles. Stop slamming US and show at least some appreciation.

  • Comment number 84.

    #83

    Perhaps if the US stopped "slamming" anyone who challenges its "authority" then it would not be such a target for some "slamming" itself. If you wish to live by the sword then you are going to get cut.

    I am appreciative of any person who contributes their life in the furtherance of the human spirit and to help their fellow beings. But the US is far from altruistic in its dealings in the world as is demonstrated in its thirst for cheap products, energy and fuel, even at a heavy cost to lost jobs for its own citizens. As long as the US has its huge underclass one must question its belief in dashing around like some medieval knight on a white charger.

    "If someone were responsible for killing 3000 plus" is something that the US needs to find out the facts of and you know it. The convenient finger was far too quick to pick out AQ without factual and substantive evidence. There has been no criminal investigation into 9/11 and the two year old discovery of thermite in the dusty remains of WTC 1,2 and 7 by a Danish scientific symposium furthers the mystery of this whole shady tragedy. Far too many unanswered questions, presumptions, incorrect scientific analysis and a botched NIST report do nothing for the memory of those who died.

    I am interested in just how far Obama is prepared to go in changing the face of the US. Will he end the appeasement of Israel? Will he quieten the extreme Jewish elements in the US media? Will he turn to his ghettos and lift his fellow beings out of their miserable and criminal misery? Will he give work back to all his unemployed?

    I feel for the ordinary citizen of the US as much as I do for those in the UK who are not being giving real democratic choices. There are many ways to run capitalist economies and the current methods have failed us all on a global scale. That is a much more serious problem for us all than playing soldiers for the sake of a pipeline to secure cheap energy and fuel. If we really want to sort the Middle East out then support those involved in an even handed way and we may start to get some results. Oh, and by the way, find whoever it was who was responsible for what happened on 9/11. They are closer to home than your politicians would have you believe.

  • Comment number 85.

    THE EMPIRE’S GRAND STRATEGY

    The (544) Imperial Court

    The sad fact of truth is the so call voters of the Empire never speak but are spoken for, there are no term limits, there are no age limits, there is no limit or oversight upon any of the so called elected officials of the Empire. It has been, is and will continue to be a sham Republic. Districts were these so called elected officials are so called elected from are “Gerrymander” set up in such a way that at no time can they ever be remove from office, the system is rigged, the public has not spoken, it has been spoken for, and remains the under the control of political arm (AIPAC/AZC) American Israel Public Affairs Committee/American Zionist Council, a (100K) One-hundred membership Jewish lobbyists group, control the (544) Imperial Court of the Empire, Its just two members of the same statist party fighting over whose friends will get the favors, Richard Epstein on (The Big Two) American political parties, and pork barreling and earmarks are just the tip of the iceberg. Its nothing less than a French Court.

    The Patsy

    Osama Bin Laden has claimed responsibility for the attacks of (911), and unlike the Imperial Media Messiah President of the Empire, Osama Bin Laden has time and time again proven to be a man of his word, which is more than the Messiah can claim. The question is was Osama Bin Laden as much a Patsy, as the Japanese Fleet when it attacked Pearl Harbor? What did the Empire know, before that attack on (911), and was it seen as an acceptable loss for the greater gain? Did Osama Bin Laden become the pawn in a much bigger game, the game of geo-economic, geo-political, geo-military, and global domination by the Empire? And the (AIE) American Israel Empire is not guilt of the genocide of (1,453) One-thousand-four-hundred-and three people estimated killed in the war, (1,440) One-thousand-four-hundred- and forty were Palestinians, including (431) four-hundred and thirty-one innocent children and (114) one-hundred-fourteen women, an attack The (UN) United Nations called a disproportionate response by the (IDF) Israeli Defense Force. And making light of its by the manufacture of anti-Palestinian t-shirts, one such shirt showed a child in the cross-hairs of a rifle with the caption, (The smaller they are, the hard it is), While another with the words (1 Shot 2 Kills), shows a pregnant woman in the rifles crosshairs, others depicted a mosque being blown up by a soldier and Palestinian women weeping over a gravestone. And, the (AIE) American Israeli Empire just what blames those who where slaughtered for being slaughtered, by (105) One-Oh-Five Howitzers, (DIME), and (Willie Peter), White Phosphorus? The only mercy shown was of the Arabic saying which says (death in a group is a mercy).

    The (UK) Patsy’s

    Yes, the (AIE) American Israeli Empire does need another Patsy, but this time the (UK) is to be used as the (AIE) can do no wrong after all the (UK) is partnered with them no guilt by association, and yes this is a global economy but not at the expense of those who sit upon the wealth that the Empire covets, and the Empire is not the only so called expert in town, the Russian Federation is every much as capable of perform to high standards in pipelines and modernization, and without leaving (50K) Fifty-Thousand troops of occupation on Islamic soil. The (AIE) does not want to be shut out in any area or region of international commerce, and will use military force to ensure that does not happen, unlike the Russian Federation. The (AIE) is built on Greed Is Good, mentality, the hall mark of the (AIE) National Security Strategy, is based upon pre- emptive wars, actually preventive war – the (AIE) can attack anyone who it ultimately thinks is going to be a threat to it. (A new imperial grand strategy), the doctrine is that the (AIE) has the right to use force, unilaterally, to preserve access to (resources and markets),

    (1) The Nabucco gas pipeline: which is to be laid through the territories of the Former Soviet Republic of (Georgia), into, Azerbaijan into the strategic Northwest Iranian territory or Shi-ite Persian Iran were currently (4) four- million Kurds are concentrated in Iran, waiting to declare a Kurdish state, and with Russian peacekeepers in place to protect the new formed Kurdish state from Georgian or Iranian aggression, onto Turkey and the Tabriz refinery, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria to connect Europe.

    (2) The Central Asian Pipeline: from Turkmenistan which is rich in hydrocarbons and the building of the “Central Asian Pipeline” system transporting (NG) across Afghanistan to the ports of Pakistan, Karachi, and round the globe in (LG) Liquid Gas from, to waiting markets, with a branch line to supply the needs of India.

    (3) The Caspian Sea Basin: to supply the Nabucco Pipeline with it’s estimated at (7.25 Trn.Cu.Mts.) Seven-two-five trillion cubic meters, yet to be developed underneath the Caspian Sea, along with (1/5th) One-fifth, (20%) Twenty-Percent of the remaining global oil reserves.

    Gods Chosen People

    The (AIE) is totally based upon Greed is Good, again believing themselves to be the center of the universe, the final and perfect form of human government, viewing themselves as God's chosen people, with divine rights, the pivotal fulcrum of history itself, with an indifference to reality, and not only does not realized of the crimes against humanity committed by the (AIE) American Israeli Empire, but is totally incapable of even recognizing them, ask a million dead Vietnamese, the thousands of Latin Americans living under the North American Yankee threats begging for Russian Federation assistance, the dead of Argentina were Yankee Offices and (CIA) Central Intelligence Office tortured and raped Argentinean Women, and the list goes on, appreciate what the atrocities committed in the name of freedom and democracy, and the greater good, the Empires Grand Strategy?

  • Comment number 86.

    Now, we are finding many points of agreement in our subalternative views of the world. I am personally going to investigate a possible US conspiracy and or coverup that you suggest may be the case regarding the matter that I would say is the truth about the half truth I stated in terms of why we are in the Af-Pak region of the world. I am also anxious to see whether Obama will lift his own people, white, asian, hispanic, but particularly blacks, out of what you term their ghettos and their criminal misery. Finally, I am also waiting with baited breath to see whether he will deal with the Palestinian-Israeli ME crisis with an even hand and stop pacifying extremist fanatical Jewish interests particularly as fueled by the mass media significantly to largely controlled by Jewish Israeli loyalists.

  • Comment number 87.

    The one who fancies himself as part of a great mythological Greek entity rambles on with diatribes that make absolutely no sense. As for Mea Copa, now that he mentions it, it is quite disturbing indeed that no criminal investigation has been launched, but rather, it would seem, an international witchhunt.

  • Comment number 88.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 89.

    I, for one, enjoy the fresh and different worldview expressed by Hercule, as well as CoalPit's comments. Our uptight attorney is also quite rational, so do let this thread continue to open our views!

  • Comment number 90.

    Just crept in from "Caught up in the Conspiracy theory" next door and might I suggest to No 85 that Osama Bin Laden has not claimed responsibility for 911, far from it, he denied involvement and the FBI do not have him on their list for being wanted for 911, as they have stated that they have no evidence against him. Bit more homework needed I suggesty. No, the alleged Bin Laden tapes are not him! For more, come on over.

  • Comment number 91.

    #86,87 & 89

    I am sure that you, USAttorney, and I share much in common; perhaps we just express ourselves a little differently but at the core is our wish for a better world. I am mindful that by far the majority of Americans I have met are friendly, worthy people and I have absolutely no issues with them.

    I am appreciative of Hercule's input too. Although the prose is sometimes a little cluttered (OK somewhat cluttered ;-0) there are many pearls of wisdom and I can put up with the more biased bits for the sake of them.

    Indeed reading through this blog you get a sense that the media has not exactly rolled over every rock to do their work and could do a lot better.

    There is an excellent blog on this site about 9/11 here

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2008/10/caught_up_in_a_conspiracy_theo.html

    I do not want to be repetitious about the content of that blog so I'll be brief.

    There seems to be a number of events concerning the WTC attacks on 9/11. First we have the planes flying into the buildings. Then we have what happened next - the disbelief, the fires, the panic, the rescue attempts etc. Then we have the "dustification" (see following) of the structures known as WTC 1,2, and 7.

    Dustification is a word used by Dr Judy Wood to describe what she observed from photographic and video evidence. In my opinion her claims of what may have actually happened on 9/11 are closest to trying to understand the events I have described above. Not only is her work very detailed, painstaking and admirable it also opens a Pandora's Box into what may be possible using available technology now. It is interesting that the BBC's documentaries on "Conspiracy Theories" do not include her work. You will find the explanation for this as you look deeper into what happened.

    As for Obama and his underclasses I really hope that all American people will try to lift their fellow citizens up to a new and fulfilling level. Once that is started I hope that the UK government of the day is moved to do the same with its smaller but no less important underclass.

  • Comment number 92.

    Added: Tuesday, 14 April, 2009, 10:17 GMT

    Is the UK society 'increasingly fearful'?

    Considering all the rejections that I get from BBC editors on Have Your Say, I can only conclude that the above is probably true. Yes, there's seems to be a lot of fear in Britain... and speaking candidly and forthrightly, speaking one's mind, even in a civil manner, is one of the casualties.

    There needs to be some major changes with the editorial staff.

    Frankly... I've had enough. This is my final posting (#3333) with the BBC. Good-bye!

    RICHARD RALPH ROEHL


  • Comment number 93.

    Don't quit, OldCoyotenose!

    Fortunately, the BBC is a large organization and the problems on World Have Your Say are not generally shared by others in the Organization.

    The WHYS problems go far beyond "fearful" editing and will eventually cause trouble for the BBC as a whole. Until that cell is cleaned out, why not post here instead?

  • Comment number 94.

    #92 & 93

    I agree. I get intensely irritated by HYS and WHYS which are apparent failures when it comes to moderating with care and consideration. However you can complain (officially) stating a "good" example and hope that eventually the BBC will see sense and introduce fairer methods. You will find other commercial broadcasters that are far less petty with the management of comment.

    All of us should acknowledge that "giving up" is precisely what the powers-that-be want us to do. If your contribution is rejected, try again with something a little different.

    To point up Afghanistan once again and the problems the west may face the BBC carry a report of a young couple who tried to elope after their families disapproved of their relationship. The couple are reported to have been publicly shot in a Mosque. It is further reported that there may be Taleban links within the families involved.

    Although this is a tragic story one wonders why western media are so concerned with it. Are there not enough horrendous things going on in our own backyards? Or are our journalists only prepared to perpetuate what is required of them by their political masters, mistresses or paymasters? When it comes to reporting on the cultures of foreign lands do we only deserve to hear the downsides? Afghanistan has lived this way for centuries - why is it suddenly so important to bring it to the fore?

    It makes me very concerned as to what we are about to witness in the name of the so called "War on Terror".

  • Comment number 95.

    I did read the conspiracy posting. It had no influence upon my perceptions. However, your blog in response to mine did and does. Everyone, pardon blog number 74 with its mispellings, typos, and omissions. I was in a hurry having to get out of the library as the 4:30 closing time was approaching. It should have read in most significant part, "...while not putting the same pressure on ..."

  • Comment number 96.

    As I promised, I am personally investigating. I already have an answer. I have a quick, effective, and pretty sure fire accurate methodology for doing so. Right now I am verifying some logistics, both physical and historical. If you are interested, I can do the same for London's 7/7. I will not transmit on this site the results of the 9/11 investigatory research but it is possible it may find its way back to thee in the near future. On 7/7, I would be willing to so transmit immediately. Right now, I will go find out the year.

  • Comment number 97.

    I have a feeling that some to many or most of these postings are from the editors and or their staff. The economy is quite sluggish and I am hurting. Quid pro quo on the results of 7/7 with you going first.

  • Comment number 98.

    (911) to (Af-Pak)

    (911) Theory

    If one accepts the theory that (911) was in fact a terrorist act, the (AIE) American Israel Empire was aware of it, and accept the poet laurite of New Jersey’s, having said that on the day of the attack (400) four-hundred Jewish-American’s did not show up for work on that day as truth, then it all begins to paint a completely different picture up to and including why attack Iraq, and not Afghanistan. In (WWII) World War Two, many of the American older generation to this day feel that (FDR) Franklin Delano Roosevelt knew about the Pearl Harbor attack before it happen, but made the mistake of trusting his senior officers words that the attack would cause minor to moderate damage. And, in Vietnam it was an attack upon a United States Naval Ship that never happen that opened the door to the widening of the war into North Vietnam, the Twin Towers leads into the (Islamic Crescent). The (AIE) needed a boggy man and it is Osama Bin Laden, they need him alive, and that’s why at Tora Bora the door was not closed allowing Osama Bin Laden a way out.

    IRAQ

    Iraq, had to be the starting point, the Straits of Hormuz, is the choke point for oil coming out of the middle east, and the pipeline from northern Iraq to Basra, had to be secured, and then its all about Kurdistan, the control of the northern part of Iran, Kurdistan, into Turkey for the The Nabucco gas pipeline, running from The Caspian Sea Basin, and the former Soviet Republic of Georgia is part of this and still is. Once again those at the top placed to much confidence in their military commander King David H. Betray US, The Butcher of Islam. It had been expected that the Iraq War would be a short term operation, and (7+) Seven year plus its proved to be a quagmire were (UK) United Kingdom troops are being held in place for (2) two reasons, security is falling apart, and once they leave the region it will be harder to get them back into the region for the (Af-Pak) campaigne. King David H. Betray US, failed in the Former Soviet Republic of Georgia, along with the help of a New York City Wall Street, Investor Georgia President, to take control of a vital part of the puzzle. The (AIE) is going to leave a buffer force of (50K) Fifty-Thousand troops of occupation, between Shi-ite Persian Iran, and Israel. But, time is running out do to the failures of Betray Us, as Iran is closing the gap rapidly to having a nuclear device to be place upon delivery systems that Iran has, changing the balance of power in the region.

    (Af-Pak)

    The Afghanistan-Pakistan campaigne serves (3) three goals, the removal of Nuclear Weapon from the hands of an Islamic State Pakistan, ending its threat to India, The Central Asian Pipeline, and last but not least, providing a third entry point of attack into Shi-ite Persian Iran, from the west thru Iraq, from south, the sea the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea, and the east Pakistan thru Afghanistan into Iran. The only problem is (AIE) troops after (7+) seven plus years of combat are broken, suffering from (PTSD) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, coupled with the highest suicide rate in its military history, and a (DRAFT) of fresh American Troops is out of the question having sold the concept of a highly paid professional military. This is were the (UK) United Kingdom the Commonwealth comes into play, fresh (COMBAT) front line troops, which goes to the August (20th) elections in the Commonwealth that is crucial, allowing the (UK) troops from Iraq to be repositioned into the (Af-Pak) theater of operations, along with increasing numbers of commonwealth troops as the situation deteriorates, which is will as this is a (TRAP), and King David H. Betray US, The Butcher of Islam is going to stick Commonwealth troops heads into it. Iran may agree to help the (AIE) but once the (TRAP) has been sprung will turn its interests toward Iraq, and The Russian Federation, well pay backs for the Soviet Afghanistan War is a (Bee-Itch).

    The Islamic Crescent

    If you follow the pipelines you follow the action, you follow the reasoning, you follow the geo-regional, economic, political, and military actions now taking place, or its all about Osama Bin Laden, rejecting the idea that The (AIE) is built on Greed Is Good, mentality, the hallmark of the (AIE) National Security Strategy, is based upon pre- emptive wars, actually preventive war – the (AIE) can attack anyone who it ultimately thinks is going to be a threat to it. (A new imperial grand strategy), the doctrine is that the (AIE) has the right to use force, unilaterally, to preserve access to (RESOURCES AND MARKETS).

    The Wild Card

    “In an interview conducted shortly before he was sworn in today as prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu laid down a challenge for Barack Obama. The American president, he said, must stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons—and quickly—or an imperiled Israel may be forced to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities itself. “
    “Neither Netanyahu nor his principal military advisers would suggest a deadline for American progress on the Iran nuclear program, though one aide said pointedly that Israeli time lines are now drawn in months, “not years.” These same military advisers told me that they believe Iran’s defenses remain penetrable, and that Israel would not necessarily need American approval to launch an attack. “The problem is not military capability; the problem is whether you have the stomach, the political will, to take action,” one of his advisers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told me.” ((RT) Russia Today Interview)
    The question then is if Netanyahu does make good on his threat, what will be the response of the regional players, Netanyahu, feels it will only be a short term political problem, if so that makes him a geo-mind of unparallel repute if not what then?

  • Comment number 99.

    Absent an Iranian declaration that Israel has no right to exist, there would be no justification, in my opinion, for an Israeli preemptive strike. To paraphrase what the US President said, Iran is the descendant of a great civilization, Persia. It is surrounded by potentially hostile nuclear powers and is accessible by sea. It should have nuclear energy capabilities even if they do or should rise to the level of weaponry, particularly defensive or strategic. Should said declaration cease to exist within Iranian foreign policy, any strikes by Israel should be condemned by the UN. Again summarizing what the US President stated, violations must be met with punitive action not just verbal condemnation. There are many Iranian Jews who love the Persian landscape, geographically and sociopolitically. So, the solution seems to apparently lie in Iran presumably appeasing what would be that part of its "constituency." Concerning the pipeline that Iran would finance in the Af-Pak region of the world as well as further modernization of the Great Game region, Persian and or US contributions including benefits are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Netanyahu is a strident warhawk.

  • Comment number 100.

    THE GAME HAS CHANGED!

    "Perhaps it is an interpretation that Israel is never going to go along with the idea of a nuclear-free Middle East.
    And now that Iran is at least a latent nuclear weapons state, it doesn't make any sense to proceed in that direction anymore, rather to the extent that strategic considerations are at work."

    "It seems that the leading Arab countries think that they need to have their own long-term security. It should be a contingency option for them."(First Iran, now Arabs going nuclear, Al Jezeera)

    Now, the question becomes just how much of a warhawk is (PM) Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, is it now absolutely necessary that in Netanyahu's mind and example of Shi-ite Persian Iran be made to discourage other Islamic nations, in the geo-region from even thinking of becoming a nuclear state, the odd are YES! The only question remaining is when.


 

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