Monday, February 11, 2008

We killed number 3! Number 7? 22! We are winning!

Pakistani forces kill one Taliban guy:

Islamabad, Pakistan (AHN) - The Pakistani military said government security forces shot and killed a key figure in the Taliban organization fighting Afghan and NATO forces and captured four others in an encounter Baluchistan province, southwestern Pakistan near the Afghan post Monday.

Lt. Col. Baseer Haider Malik said Mansoor Dadullah, brother of slain Taliban leader Mullah Dadullah and four others, were cornered in Qila SAifullah, Baluchistan town, province in Pakistan at around 10am local time.

Which proves that Musharraf is dealing with terrorism?:

But the second attack in eight months on Mr. Sherpao, 64, who was until recently his nation’s most senior law enforcement official, left him more frustrated and more outspoken about the failure of the government to respond aggressively to the rapidly spreading Taliban insurgency that is seeking to destabilize Pakistan.

The weakness of the Pakistani police and the army response to determined and religiously motivated Taliban fighters was allowing the insurgency to get stronger day by day, he said.

“The police are scared,” Mr. Sherpao said. “They don’t want to get involved.” The Frontier Corps, a paramilitary force that could help in tracking down leads on suicide bombers, was “too stressed, fighting all over,” he said. The Pakistan Army has forces in the tribal areas where the militants have built their sanctuaries but the soldiers have remained in their headquarters. “They are not moving around,” he said. “That’s their strategy.”

[snip]

In most cases, Mr. Sherpao said, the police have had a boilerplate approach to solving the suicide bombings. They have blamed them on Baitullah Mehsud, the leader of a new association of Taliban militia in the tribal areas, who has been cited by Washington as having links to Al Qaeda, and left it at that, Mr. Sherpao said. “Not one suicide bombing has been resolved,” he said. “They just link it to Baitullah Mehsud, and that’s all.”

The director of the C.I.A., Gen. Michael V. Hayden, said last week that he believed terror networks directed by Mr. Mehsud were responsible for the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the opposition leader and former prime minister of Pakistan.

In a measure of the fast moving strength of the jihadists, Mr. Sherpao said the militants’ bases were no longer confined to North and South Waziristan, two districts inside the tribal area that have long been considered training grounds for suicide bombers.

The militants were now spread across the entire tribal region, including the district of Mohmand, which abuts the village of Sherpao and is close to Peshawar, the capital of the North-West Frontier Province, he said.

Three months ago, Mohmand was free of the Taliban, Mr. Sherpao said. Now, he said, the district was being used as a base to strike at the area around his village, and the bigger town of Charsadda where Mr. Sherpao survived a suicide bomb attack at a political rally last April.

But in reality:
If victory is redefined as eliminating individual personalities rather than defeating a complex network or ideology, the bitter pill of failure can not only be sweetened but also showcased as a sweetmeat for citizens' consumption. This carefully crafted ruse of selling defeat as success begins with lionization of an al-Qaeda-affiliated leader through relentless coverage of his dreaded activities in the state-browbeaten media. The next step is to keep releasing stories that a hunt is on for the high-value target and that US/North Atlantic Treaty Organization intelligence is closing in on the star figure.

Since warfare is lethal, the likelihood of an operational commander being killed in combat is not far-fetched. After months or years of media buildup about the significance of a particular jihadi leader and the extent of havoc he has caused, when the subject does meet his maker, the event will be hailed by American spokespersons as a major milestone and feather in the cap for the "war on terror". The reality on the ground is likely that a replacement for the slain leader has already slipped into his new shoes, but Western media will be asked to raise a toast and self-congratulations will resound in Washington and London that they are one step closer to extinguishing the Islamist threat.
So Bush's attempt to show the War on Terror is being won by a secret court passing down the death sentence on some supposed 9/11 terrorists without addressing the cause, without a trial to educate and illuminate why such a sentence is needed and just, inflames people even further:

Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman said an announcement of the charges, which would be tried before a military tribunal, will be announced Monday.

Military prosecutors will ask for the death penalty for the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 Americans, according to a second official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the charges had not been announced.

[snip]

The men would be tried in the military tribunal system that was set up by the administration shortly after the start of the counterterror war and has been widely criticized for it rules on legal representation for suspects, hearings behind closed doors and past allegations of inmate abuse at Guantanamo. Original rules allowed the military to exclude the defendant from his own trial, permitted statements made under torture, and forbade appeal to an independent court; but the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the system in 2006 and a revised plan set up after Congress enacted a new law has included some additional rights.

Defense lawyers still criticize the system for it's secrecy.

The decision to seek the death penalty also is likely to draw criticism from within the international community. A number of countries, including U.S. allies, have said they would object to the use of capital punishment for their nationals held at Guantanamo.

Repeat until senseless: If you can kill all the terrorists, then you have won the War on Terror!

But the truth is more horrible: There can never be a war on a noun or a concept. Every time we kill someone, ten more terrorists are made. Killing the terrorists one by one by one is like trying to stop a flowing faucet by filling teacups of water. We need to address the source. Diplomacy is needed. Understanding is needed. Political and economic actions are needed. Education is needed. We will never stop the anger which creates terrorism until we address the wrongs done.

We cannot bomb our way to peace. We can only bomb ourselves to hell.

crossposted at Rants from the Rookery.