A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

More terror plots likely

Getting to know the localsThe New York Times is in a quandary. They are trying to answer this question - "Does the United States need a large and growing ground force in Afghanistan to prevent another major terrorist attack on American soil?" - and they don't seem any nearer the answer.

The trouble is that the powers-that-be have completely muddled up the Taliban with al-Queda. It is rather like linking Hitler's Lebensraum with Mussolini's prancing fascism. Mussolini was only tenously linked to the Nazi war effort. The British described the Italians as being "co-belligerents" as if they could be conveniently unhitched from Hitler's bandwagon without too much trouble. "Let the Eyeties sort it out after the war" seemed to be the slapdash approach.

Similarly the Muslim fighting forces that are the Taliban and al Queda have very different agendas. If I live to be 1000 I doubt very much if I will be bothered by a Taliban bomber in Solihull. al-Queda is another matter. But they are not in Afghanistan, but in that terrorist haven that is Pakistan. Trouble is that Pakistan is a former British colony and loads of Pakistanis live in Britain. Whereas the Afghan Taliban gets shot at for causing an anti-democratic regime to have been created (and for wanting it back!), the Pakistani al-Queda groups just get a wigging from half-hearted Pakistani generals (always with one eye open for a possible coup in Islamabad).

It would be totally inappropriate to invade Pakistan and root out the real terrorists, wouldn't it? Expensive trials that have convicted demonic would-be bombers have proved the point. Not one Afghan has been lifted by the Metropolitan police for being a terrorist in action.

So what are we doing in Afghanistan? It appears we are hopelessly inadequate when it comes to checking up on the democratic process. Ballot stuffing under our noses! We are woefuly inadequate in destroying the poppy crops, so the cocaine trade carries on as usual and we have not found a single al-Queda terrorist in Kabul or the whole of Afghanistan. The Taliban may be a cruel and crazed mob, but they are just that and keep to the hills. It is the terrorists in Pakistan, linked to the "home-grown" bomb plotters that we have to be concerned with.

So maybe the answer to the question that the New York Times poses is this. Look for the terrorists in Pakistan and not Afghanistan. Tell the Pakistani government they've got a month to clean up or they face a desert storm. That's the real answer. However, I suspect this present cloud-cuckooland battle will continue and we will all be the worse for it.


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