Chocolate and Gold Coins

Thursday, July 07, 2005

London Attacks, Al Queda, and Pakistan

What do these three have in common? Well, maybe nothing, but probably they have a lot to do with each other. The coordinated attacks in London on the underground (subway) and the buses look like the kind of coordinated attacks that only al-Queda seem to be capable of. The Washington Post reported:

Several claims of responsibility followed during the day from groups saying they were connected with al-Qaeda. None could be authenticated though experts interviewed agreed that the assault bore the hallmarks of an al-Qaeda operation.

Here’s what Amit Varma of India Uncut said about the terrorists:

Concepts like personal freedom, equality of women and, in fact, human rights are alien to those behind the attack, and they must be defeated. In that sense, the battle that al-Qaeda - I am assuming they are behind this attack - is waging against the world is more significant than any other terrorist movement in history, both in its scope and in its final objective. It must not be allowed to succeed.

emphasis added. Read the full thing.

What is the connection between al-Queda and Pakistan? We have searched Afghanistan for years and have not found bin Laden or his cronies. Those al-Queda terrorists that we have found have been found in Pakistan. A few weeks ago, the CIA director, Porter Goss made the following cryptic statement:

"I have an excellent idea of where he is. What's the next question?" Goss said in the interview.

"In the chain that you need to successfully wrap up the war on terror, we have some weak links. And I find that until we strengthen all the links, we're probably not going to be able to bring Mr. bin Laden to justice," Goss said. "We are making very good progress on it."

He cited some of the difficulties as "dealing with sanctuaries in sovereign states, you're dealing with a problem of our sense of international obligation, fair play."

The bottom line: the U.S. hasn’t taken the war to al-Queda because it doesn’t want to tread in Pakistan. Furthermore, the threat of al-Queda violence is very useful for Republicans, and it’s the single biggest reason why George W. Bush is still the U.S. President. What better proof do you need to know that the U.S. is not really serious about catching bin Laden than the fact that we only put a ridiculously measly $25 million bounty on his head.

If I were the President of the U.S., I would tell Musharraf that he has exactly two months to find bin Laden. If can’t find him, we’ll find him. If the Pakistan Army stands in the way, we will remove it. You cannot be a sanctuary for terror and expect others to respect your sovereignty.

Update: Vikram Arumilli has more detail on the Pakistan - al-Queda connection in an interesting and quote-filled post.

4 Comments:

  • Hi Michael,

    Very well said. It's not only Bin Laden who is being sheltered by Pakistan. Dawood Ibrahim also takes refuge in the country, yet Musharraf continues to feign ignorance about the role his country has played in abetting these terrorists. I am not saying Musharraf is a terrorist, but he needs to do something, sooner than later, to get these men out of his country's protection and into the hands of justice.

    Vikram

    By Blogger Vikram A., at 11:24 AM  

  • Hi Vikram
    Probably in a couple of day I won't feel so beligerent but these attacks only remind me that finding and destroying al-Queda is unfinished business. I don't know how in control Musharraf is in Pakistan, but I have the strongest feeling that he could find Dawood Ibrahim and bin Laden and many others if he were more motivated. It is high time someone motivated this fellow.

    By Blogger Michael Higgins, at 11:44 AM  

  • Problem is...I don't think Bush or anyone else can tell Pakistan's dictatorship anything. It'll just create more "...you're against Islam...." kind of rabble rousing.
    Tragic....this latest bombing. And it's always the common man who suffers most.

    Going on a tangent though.....why is it that a terrorist act in India or Nepal or Sri Lanka doesn't even make it to the middle pages (the recent attack in Ayodhya just barely did)?

    By Blogger Sunil, at 2:35 PM  

  • Hi Sunil
    I that is a valid point that terrorism outside the developed world is largely ignored. I was surprised to find out that the country with the most terrorist acts in the last year was India and not Iraq. [link].

    Since Pakistan is the country of origin of most of the terrorists who operate in India, this seems like another very good reason to lean on Pakistan.

    By Blogger Michael Higgins, at 3:40 PM  

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