Sunday, February 12, 2006

A Look Past First Glance

There is always a story behind the story. Just as a second look reveals much more than a first glance.

Breaking news on January 13th was that US missiles had struck a small village in Pakistan killing 26 citizens and possibly al-Zawahiri, bin Laden's mouthpiece for the last two years. Pakistani's were outraged and demonstrated over the US attack that penetrated their borders. Little support was given to the reason behind the attack - that being the targeted al-Queda members reported to be at the village. The President of Pakistan - while confirming that the attack was successful in taking out 5 al-Queda members - has lodged complaints against the US for breaching the sovereignty of their country. Pakistani government spokesmen have repeatedly assured the world of their position of fighting terrorism. If so, why is al-Queda there?

And this is where the story behind the story is found.

Along the Afghanistan border lies a mountainous strip of land that is ruled today by the Taliban and the al-Queda. It is called Waziristan and is about the size of Long Island. Divided into North and South regions, Waziristan is the homeland of the Taliban movement which came into existance in the 1990's. The Taliban eventually moved into Afghanistan gaining control there prior to the invasion of the US in it's hunt for bin Laden after September 11, 2001.

In the aftermath of the invasion of Afghanistan, the Taliban were once more pushed back to the land of their birth where they have dug in deeply. Militancy rules in the mountainous terrain where support and allegience is given to the Taliban and to al-Queda, not to the Pakistani government which has had little success in routing out the militants. Those fleeing the Taliban report that foreigners are increasing in numbers as the Taliban relationship with al-Queda deepens.

The Pakistan government is powerless to combat the Taliban whose guerilla fighters routed the 70,000 Pakistan troops that were sent into the region in 2003 to break up the militant organization. Sorties and attacks into Afghanistan by the Taliban are occurring at an ever increasing pace and the government of Pakistan is unable to curtail it.

So when you read or hear about the US lobbing missiles into Pakistan - think Waziristan, think Taliban, think al-Queda and don't think the US screwed up. We are only doing what we promised we would do after 9-11 which is - we will take out the terrorist's wherever they are. The Pakistan government is so weak that it will pacify the people by filing complaint after complaint against the US for firing into their country (as was the case today when we returned fire), but rest assured that a complaint (that is more like a whimper) is all you will hear from them. The leaders there know only too well that they can't beat the Taliban any more than they can join them.

Having OTB parties are: Third World County, Don Surber, Basil's Blog, and Bloggin Outloud - thanks for the link!

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posted by Is It Just Me? at 6:43 PM