Did We Just Lose?

By sideways | Related entries in The War On Terrorism

Waziristan

I don’t think people are getting the seriousness of this.

In a move that some say appears ‘a total capitulation’ to pro-Taliban forces, Pakistan signed a peace deal with tribal leaders in the North Waziristan region of Pakistan Tuesday, and is withdrawing military forces in exchange for promises that militant tribal groups there will not engage in terrorist activities.

To understand what this means, go back to our original purpose in invading Afghanistan. The government of Afghanistan, the Taliban, had an intimate relationship with Al Qaeda in the years leading up to 9/11. The Taliban gave Al Qaeda a safe haven in which to train and house recruits, a ‘home’ where Al Qaeda leaders could meet and plan.

After 9/11 we set out on a course of punishing the Taliban and denying Al Qaeda the use of this safe haven. Our purpose was not primarily to bring democracy to Afghanistan, or build schools for Afghan girls, but to improve our own security by denying Al Qaeda a secure base of operations.

The Taliban were overthrown. Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri escaped, along with a number of Taliban, over the border (we believe) into the Waziristan region in southern Pakistan. The Pakistani government — formerly the chief Taliban sponsor, but now an ally-of-convenience in the War on Terror — vowed to root them out, while forbidding us to do any of the rooting ourselves.

Now, after five years of futile efforts by the Pakistani government, they’ve signed a deal in which they promise to walk away if the Taliban behave themselves. It is a Pakistani surrender. They got beat, and now they are walking away.

But Waziristan — Talibanistan — is still legally under Pakistani sovereignty. So any US military action there will be a violation of same, and any tacit acquiescence by Pakistan’s military dictator, General Perfez Musharaf, would most likely bring down the general’s government.

In other words, Al Qaeda and the Taliban have traded Afghanistan for Waziristan, and gained this huge advantage: we dare not attack them there for fear of bringing Musharraf down.

Why are so we worried about General Musharraf? Because the Pakistanis have at least 15, and perhaps as many as 100, nuclear warheads. These aren’t maybe-in-five-years nukes, these are right now, tested, mounted-on-functional-missiles nukes. That single fact alone (and other factors as well) means we have to tread carefully in Pakistan because we cannot be sure that Musharraf’s replacement would be an improvment, and it’s quite likely we’d get something worse. Maybe a lot worse. Maybe about as bad as you can get.

Our goal was to deny Al Qaeda a safe haven in the near east. If this deal is what it looks like, we appear to have failed.

If this deal is what it looks like, we aren’t even back at square one: we’re wishing we could get back to square one.

In fact, if this deal is what it looks like, we just lost a war.


This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 6th, 2006 and is filed under The War On Terrorism. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

71 Responses to “Did We Just Lose?”

  1. Kevin Says:

    Yes, we just lost and bigtime. We lost the opportunity to destroy the Taliban and deny Al Qaeda a sanctuary. The Taliban can now bide it’s time and decide whether it wants to go back into Afghanistan or just hang around and destabilize Pakistan. We lost the (questionable) assistance of Pakistan in any of our future endeavors of the war on terror. And we’ve allowed terrorist organizations to get that much closer to acquiring nuclear weapons. This will bite us in the ass much harder than the Israel-Lebanon/Hezbollah cease fire.

    To anyone who might say, well Pakistan lost this not us. Wrong, we blew it by not crushing the Taliban when we had the chance and putting in the maximum effort to root out Al Qaeda from Tora Bora and the surrounding areas. Instead we let it feaster while we screwed around in Iraq. Now it’s going to keep right on festering. Yes I’m bitter.

  2. reader_iam Says:

    I don’t think people are getting the seriousness of this.

    Must be, ’cause it’s not like there could be any other possible reason for people–even if they realize all of the implications–to slow down and engage in presentation of information (which news outlets should, by God, be doing, generally, for crying out loud), much less undertake analysis more dispassionately, and, you know, seriously according to their own lights. Or maybe it’s all just too slow–hell, it’s been a whole day, give or take! What’s wrong with you people! Nail all the facts already. Go with the immediately obvious implications (the slower-leaking ones–they can wait). And conclude, damnit, conclude!”

    Tak, I’m just sure that’s not what and how you really think, in the broader sense. Is it?

  3. reader_iam Says:

    Oh, hell. I didn’t close the italics correctly after the final conclude. Here, that might mean I’ve transformed the typeface for the entire comment section. If that turns out to be true (and I’ll know in two seconds, when I post this, but not before), I’m sorry. Can someone fix it, please?

    Sigh.

  4. Jeremy Says:

    your pessimisim might well be be justified. On the other hand ‘talibanistan’ as you call it is probably nothing near as good a base of operations as afghanistan was, the latter being an actual state with decent amounts of arable territory and all. So the “wishing we were back at sq.1″ is probably going a bit far. It’s more like we’re slightly along the road, but behind where we have been previously…

  5. Michael Reynolds Says:

    Reader:

    It’s a hurry-up world, breaking news, breaking analysis. My God don’t you realize that Paris Hilton has been arrested for drunk driving?

    Seriously, I’d be interested in a positive spin on this. We start out to deny Al Qaeda safe haven and now they have a safe haven. If there’s a pony hiding in that pile I’d love to know where.

  6. Left Flank - Post details: Seriously Playing With Maps Says:

    [...] I don’t care who does the destabilizing, governments, intellectuals, or anarchists, but anarchy costs lives and business. If Waziristan is indeed the final home for al-Qaeda and the Taliban, it was a very expensive experiment in nation-building. [...]

  7. reader_iam Says:

    My God don’t you realize that Paris Hilton has been arrested for drunk driving?

    Nope. But then, I have considered her a train wreck from the git-go and thus have been consciously averting my eyes for years from that crash site.

    (And thank you for so beautifully setting up that last line [of snark].)

    ; )

  8. Eural Says:

    “In fact, if this deal is what it looks like, we just lost a war.”

    I’m sorry but after viewing the highly factual ABC docudrama I must revise your last sentence for accuracy:

    “In fact, if this deal is what it looks like, {Clinton} just lost the war.”

    Because I’m sure that’s what the Bushies will start screaming if they’re cornered on this.

    And, please, please, someone post a defense of the Bush doctrine based on this development. I need a good laugh.

  9. Other Side Says:

    The Times of London says that this is a deal created between Pakistan and the local tribal leaders in exchange for which the local leaders will allow a route and eviction of Al Qaeda by Pakistan and Afghanistan.

  10. Godwin’s law, etc. » The Allen Almanac Says:

    [...] BTW – check out this article on Donklephant. Al Qaeda and the Taliban have traded Afghanistan for Waziristan, and gained this huge advantage: we dare not attack them there for fear of bringing Musharraf down. [...]

  11. Tristan Says:

    OK Eural, here goes. I know it’s pissing into the wind arguing on the Internet, but here goes. Why I support action in Afghanistan and Iraq:

    1. World Trade Center attacked twice (2nd try worked). And please, don’t wiggle off into the we-blew-it-up-ourselves-to-galvanize-the country-into-war drivel to dodge the fact that these people want to kill us, using any means possible. I *saw* the planes crash into it.
    2. We sit our large American ass down in the Middle East and proceed to politely kick ass. ‘Polite’ meaning avoiding as many civilian casualties as possible and we haven’t used nukes. Bin Laden called our bluff and stepped on his crank. As much as it ties up their forces over there, OK it’s a strategy. To me, it’s punishment for attacking us, attacking Kuwait, dumping tons of oil in the Gulf, killing two of my friends on the USS STARK, and essentially trying to drag Western civilization back to the 14th century.
    3. Aside from some Muslim driving SUVs into a crowd of people, there haven’t been any more terror attacks on US soil.
    4. As much as Bush is the leader, remember the Democrats in Congress voted for this action (oh yes, they were *so* deceived by the WMD statements — that were repeatedly supported by previous administrations).
    5. I have not heard any rational ideas on how to handle this conflict from the administration’s detractors — just ‘OMG! Bush is such an idiot.’
    6. I have been to the Middle East & smelled the smells. My guess is that your political leanings are derived from the prevailing cynical opinion and you have no real world experience to base you opposition other than ‘Jon Stewart said the war was bad and he’s funny.’

    There’s a general rejoicing by our own population that the US is going to be defeated, I’ll point to this article as Exhibit A. Perhaps the detractors consider themselves ‘citizens of the world’ before they are Americans & lie awake worrying about why Islam hates us and ‘when can we be friends with the French again?’ I don’t. However, I’m sort of perversely looking forward to the day when YOUR guy gets elected. He (or she) have us all converting to Islam before the term is half finished as his solution to the problem.

    There you go, Laughing Boy.

  12. sideways Says:

    Tristan:

    Excuse me, but you don’t point to my post as evidence: I have been 100% behind the war in Afghanistan. 100% From the start.

    And as a point of information, I also strongly supported Gulf War 1, and with misgivings supported Iraq.

    But support for the war does not require me to deny reality. On the contrary, support for our entirely just and righteous desire to exterminate Al Qaeda and protect American security requires that I see reality and demand that our leaders acheive victory, and when they fail to say so.

    It is not somehow patriotic to pretend that Mr. Bush is doing well at running either the Afghanistan war or the Iraq war. Delusion does not yield sound policy. Reality is the starting point, not fantasy.

  13. comprak.net » Blog Archive » Alone v1.3? 1.4? Says:

    [...] Anyway, as I was mentioning yesterday, it appears that we’ve hit a snag with this war on terror. Article here. [...]

  14. mike Says:

    Hi Tristan,

    Miind if I butt in…

    1. Did you also *see* the investigation of WTC. Forensics?
    2. It was probably rich people that benefitted from your friends death, not radical terrorists. But keep blaming scapegoats, that’s easy.
    2. Did you forget the anthrax letters, sent to senators who voted against Patriot act, and the National Enquirer-what were they investigating?
    4. There are many more similarities between these two. I don’t put my faith in any man.
    5. “Give peace a chance” is more than just a catchy tune! The alternative to war is peace, man! But first you have to not want to kill the stranger. This might be too much for you to handle. You can accuse me of not living in the real world, if you want to, BUT Check out Jordan Maxwell first. There are some good vids of his lectures on youtube.
    6. You’ve been in the Middle East. Good for you, were you ever there as part of a humanitarian mission or were you there on a milatary mission? The theatre of war is just that, a theatre.

    I don’t think this article is gloating that we lost. I think it was written for people who still think there was a connection between 9/11 and Saddam.
    How many people need to die before you’re happpy? If all of them, what makes you any better?
    How can you blame some peasants on the other side of the world-who happen to be sitting on the largest remaining oil reserves left on the planet-for hating you. Its their own people doing it to them, too. Guess who they blame. They blame you! See a pattern?

  15. P.V. Says:

    Politely kicking whose ass? Afghanistan was done half assed (politely) and Iraq was secular country from which no terrorists of 9/11 originated. If we were going to attack anyone in the guise of terrorism, it should’ve/could’ve been Iran, Saudia Arabia, or Pakistan. Iraq was a safe target, and the motivation to attack still isn’t clear. If it was to remove a brutal dictator, we should’ve attacked a few of the 30 members in the ‘coalition of the willing’.

    For someone who has actually seen the planes fly into the building, you would think you would be angry that this war has been this badly mishandled. There has yet to be *any* justice in all of this. I know my anger at this administration has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with repeatedly broken promises. I lived in New York, I saw the smoldering ruins of downtown Manhattan with my own two eyes, and I see the phrase 9/11 bandied about for a cause that does not equate to justice.

    Misguided patriotism does not equate to justice, either.

  16. Josh Says:

    You’d have to assume we were going to win in order to think we lost. The fact is while both of these bogus wars are going on, rich old white men are sitting back enjoying their cigars, laughing because this doesnt effect them. Wars are always made on purpose and not always because someone attacked someone else. Id say we are right where we belong, treading in the middle. Both of these wars are just to shake up the middle east…. if you keep the fighting over there it is harder for it to come here (US). Pakistan hasnt been known for good judgement anyway. You saw how fast they jumped when we offered aid in return for their help… they arent ready to give that up. Not to mention the big picture…. If the Taliban group in one area…. BAM… no more taliban, beats constantly chasing them and fighting small groups!

  17. sideways Says:

    I don’t think this article is gloating that we lost. I think it was written for people who still think there was a connection between 9/11 and Saddam.

    You know what would be great? If people responded to what I actually wrote and not what they magically intuit. No, I did not believe Saddam was involved in 9/11.

    As for your conspiracy theories they place you much further from reality than I care to be. In fact, you know the fine line between “imagination” and “insanity?” I think you’re standing on it.

  18. Afghanistan and the Problem of not Enough Cure « My Thinking Corner Says:

    [...] First, Take a moment to some excellent writing on this subject by Sideways Mencken’s here (cross-posted here) and here.  Check out the Donklephant link if you want to read my rant in the comments section.  Still with me, OK here goes. [...]

  19. Tristan Says:

    Thanks to all for the responses — and not reactions. Well written and reasoned.

    Sideways:

    Allow me to apologize and retract my statement that your article was celebrating US defeat. I knew I felt weird while typing that in my previous post. I should pay more attention to those alarms. I have a hard time believing that Pakistan’s leaders are willing to cede authority over any portion of their country. There’s a loophole in this ‘hands off’
    agreement and those guys are going to stick their neck in it, I think.

    Mike:

    Thirty years ago my hair was shoulder length and had there been an internet, your post would have been in lockstep with mine. Experience tends to turn down the saturation values in the rainbow a bit though. I support your outlook and perhaps at the end of the day, I’ll return to the flock. I have followed the WTC conspiracy ‘evidence’ and you can call it cognitive dissonance if you like, but in that way lies madness. Anthrax, who knows? How does it apply here? Can’t say I’ll be checking out Jordan Maxwell; his words won’t negate my experience anyway. Again, thanks for your reply.

    PV:

    I wasn’t talking justice, I was talking punishment. If the ‘democracy experiments’ don’t stand up, I’m OK with that. I won’t put a Defeat label on it either if they revert to the Taliban when we leave. What I want understood is that there is a huge price tag for carrying out an attack on this country, its ships, its embassies, its planes, the whole schtick. I want as our unspoken national policy, at the very minimum — five times more destruction and mayhem meted out to the attackers than was inflicted. No random Tomahawk missiles lobbed over the horizon, followed by an OJ Simpson-style trail starring some Mullah quoting the Koran at me in his defense. Speak softly. . .

    I don’t anticipate changing anyone’s mind, but having had access to classified message traffic in the past, there’s only a few who have what they regard as the total picture. I don’t envy anyone who’s taken responsibility for guiding this country

  20. Tristan Says:

    Thanks to all for the responses — and not reactions. Well written and reasoned.

    Sideways:

    Allow me to apologize and retract my statement that your article was celebrating US defeat. I knew I felt weird while typing that in my previous post. I should pay more attention to those alarms. I have a hard time believing that Pakistan’s leaders are willing to cede authority over any portion of their country. There’s a loophole in this ‘hands off’
    agreement and those guys are going to stick their neck in it, I think.

    Mike:

    Thirty years ago my hair was shoulder length and had there been an internet, your post would have been in lockstep with mine. Experience tends to turn down the saturation values in the rainbow a bit though. I support your outlook and perhaps at the end of the day, I’ll return to the flock. I have followed the WTC conspiracy ‘evidence’ and you can call it cognitive dissonance if you like, but in that way lies madness. Anthrax, who knows? How does it apply here? Can’t say I’ll be checking out Jordan Maxwell; his words won’t negate my experience anyway. Again, thanks for your reply.

    PV:

    I wasn’t talking justice, I was talking punishment. If the ‘democracy experiments’ don’t stand up, I’m OK with that. I won’t put a DEFEATED label on it either if they revert to the Taliban when we leave. What I want understood is that there should be a huge price tag for carrying out an attack on this country, its ships, its embassies, its planes, the whole schtick. I want as our unspoken national policy, at the very minimum — five times more destruction and mayhem meted out to the attackers than was inflicted. No random Tomahawk missiles lobbed over the horizon, followed by an OJ Simpson-style trail starring some Mullah quoting the Koran at me in his defense. That’s not defending the country.

    The world wants us to be Canada. Unfortunately, there already is one.

  21. Tristan Says:

    Double post. My face is red.

  22. jim in austin Says:

    Jeremy: “On the other hand ‘talibanistan’ as you call it is probably nothing near as good a base of operations as afghanistan was, the latter being an actual state with decent amounts of arable territory and all.”

    It was apparently good enough for the Afghani “Freedom Fighters” to kick the Soviet Union’s butt from.

    Tristan: “As much as it ties up their forces over there, OK it’s a strategy.”

    It took what, 19 terrorists to pull off 9/11? Are they really that short of good help? In any case, the next bunch that blows something up over here will predominantly have blond hair and blue eyes and will have never been east of Coney Island anyway.

    Tristan: “As much as Bush is the leader, remember the Democrats in Congress voted for this action (oh yes, they were *so* deceived by the WMD statements â€â€? that were repeatedly supported by previous administrations).”

    Even the staunchest anti-war Democrat figured they’d find enough stuff lying around in Iraq to justify the pre-war fear mongering, at least for the public. The entire world was stunned that they found nothing, zilch, nada. Where Congress (not just the Dems) was deceived was in the promise the force option was simply a bargaining chip to bring Iraq into compliance with the UN resolutions.

    Tristan: “I have not heard any rational ideas on how to handle this conflict from the administration’s detractors â€â€? just ‘OMG! Bush is such an idiot.’”

    Try this on for size: First we need an independent analysis of exactly what the hell is going on. Perhaps the GAO or some non-partisan commission of military professionals with the power to get what they need and talk to anyone and demand answers. The result of this investigation will have one of three possible outcomes:

    1) We are making meaningful progress in Iraq. “Stay the course” is a rational choice.
    2) We are at a stand-still in Iraq. “Stay the course” is at least keeping us even but it needs to be tuned and refined in order to produce positive results.
    3) We are in decline in Iraq. “Stay the course” is not a viable option, no matter how politically well it polls. The two probable alternatives are:

    a) Withdraw forces and suffer the consequences
    b) Ramp up forces and suffer the consequences.

    At this point in time there are no “good” options for Iraq. The administration has seen to that. The best we can hope for now is something that works. Kinda…

  23. mgroves Says:

    Did everyone miss this then?

    Pakistan Denies Bin Laden Gets a Pass

    “The ambassador said a Pakistani military spokesman, Major General Shaukat Sultan, had been “grossly misquoted” when he told ABC News Tuesday that bin Laden would not be taken into custody…”

  24. sideways Says:

    Tristan:

    No sweat. I’ve popped off myself on one or two occasions. Or maybe a hundred.

  25. sideways Says:

    Mgroves:

    That’s actually just a side controversy. The main point is this truce. If the Sherriff says he won’t ride into outlaw country it pretty much means he’s not planning on arresting any outlaws.

  26. Eural Says:

    Tristan:

    Just got from work and couldn’t post a response all day.

    Basically, I don’t believe any of the things you claim I do. I got the idea you were arguing with some “liberal” stereotype you’ve concocted in your head. (And what’s with the WTC conspiracy stuff – I don’t believe it and it has nothing to do with the Waziristan stuff!)

    Here’s my point – we do need to be politely “kicking ass” but after 5 years we are not doing so. Meanwhile we spend trillions, thousands of US soldiers die and terrorist recruiting and attacks go up world wide creating a problem for generations. So why keep supporting a failed administration with a failed policy which is accomplishing the opposite of our stated goals?
    Not only do you support it but when I question the effectiveness of letting our enemies win, you question my patriotism and turn me into some leftwing nutbag! (WTC conspiracies? Jon Stewert?)

    Just take this news – Pakistan is basically caving into pressure to allow our arch-enemies a safe haven and we are impotent to prevent or stop it. When I – and others – point this out, you attack us. How about the failed CinC whose allowed this to happen?

    WTC attack 1993 – all terrorists imprisoned for life
    WTC attack 2001 – none captured and world-wide jihand strengthened; “Honestly, I don’t think much about Bin Laden – he’s just not that important.” Bush, 2003.

    Notice the difference? In what world would you argue that Bush’s policies are more effective than Clinton’s?

  27. Eural Says:

    Tristan:

    Just got from work and couldn’t post a response all day.

    Basically, I don’t believe any of the things you claim I do. I got the idea you were arguing with some “liberal” stereotype you’ve concocted in your head. (And what’s with the WTC conspiracy stuff – I don’t believe it and it has nothing to do with the Waziristan stuff!)

    Here’s my point – we do need to be politely “kicking ass” but after 5 years we are not doing so. Meanwhile we spend trillions, thousands of US soldiers die and terrorist recruiting and attacks go up world wide creating a problem for generations. So why keep supporting a failed administration with a failed policy which is accomplishing the opposite of our stated goals?
    Not only do you support it but when I question the effectiveness of letting our enemies win, you question my patriotism and turn me into some leftwing nutbag! (WTC conspiracies? Jon Stewert?)

    Just take this news – Pakistan is basically caving into pressure to allow our arch-enemies a safe haven and we are impotent to prevent or stop it. When I – and others – point this out, you attack us. How about the failed CinC whose allowed this to happen?

    WTC attack 1993 – all terrorists imprisoned for life
    WTC attack 2001 – none captured and world-wide jihand strengthened; “Honestly, I don’t think much about Bin Laden – he’s just not that important.” Bush, 2003.

    Notice the difference? In what world would you argue that Bush’s policies are more effective than Clinton’s?

  28. Scott Suchorzewski Says:

    We didn’t ‘just’ lose. We lost at the start. We’re not fighting a conventional army, we’re fighting an ideology. Unless we address and fix the problems that force people into radicalism and religious fundamentalism, we’ll never be rid of the terrorist. And what about the lessons we’re supposed to have learned from as Rumsfeld says? What about the lessons of Vietnam? Bogged down, no end in sight. Remember how they said if we bailed, Communism would take over the world? Is this Russia? This isn’t Russia is it Danny? (light-hearted aside – Caddyshack quote) What about the Russians in Afghanistan in the 80′s? That’s not a lesson? And last but CERTAINLY not least, let’s take a close look at our own history, shall we? We defeated the then inconquerable British army to win our freedom. Why did all these wars go to the home team? Partly because they’re the home team and partly because when someone is very willing to die for what they have and/or believe, you cannot win. Cannot. Cannot. Cannot. Can anyone imagine if in the 1980′s the Russians took over Texas? We’d still be fighting them back if Communism hadn’t fallen. THAT’S the lesson we should learn from history. This whole ‘war on terror’ is idiotic. Their side is lead by religious nuts and Bush isn’t too far off that base. Our only hope, and this is unlikely to happen before we kill off our own species – is to get rid of God altogether. I know, I know, not the most popular opinion but 400 years ago everyone believed the world was flat. That didn’t make it so. We’re not very good at judging fact based on mass opinion – history proves that. So…as long as the mutants believe that ‘their god’ is coming back to save them, or they’re going to heaven to live forever in peace and happiness, we’re all doomed. Why at this point in history are we right about god? We look at past beliefs and call them stupid. If people survive, won’t they look back at us and say the same thing? Belief in god forces us to give up the very thing that makes us human, the only thing that separates us from the ‘lesser’ animals on the planet – the power to reason. We’re doomed as a species. End of story.

  29. Scott Suchorzewski Says:

    I almost forgot – Tristan, your comment about ‘we haven’t been attacked’ is idiotic. Before 9/11 we weren’t attacked for what, 10 years? Still got 5 to go by your logic. And let us NEVER forget – IT HAPPENED ON BUSH’S WATCH. That my dear…is that.

  30. mike Says:

    Uhh, Geez, sideways, bite my head off!

    I was responding to Tristan (point by point, as in item #1, item #2,etc.)

    I was saying that I thought you wrote this article for people who were still making a connection; not that you yourself were making one.

    I brought up the anthrax because Tristan said there had been no more terror attacks since 9/11. (point #2 by tristan)

    Lastly, is it also my imagination that 30,000 children die every day from hunger and other preventable causes.
    Or that the US national debt is 8,528,918,391,741 and rising by an average of $1.74 billion per day since September 30, 2005! Sideways, your portion is over 28,000. Don’t you ever question to whom you owe this money?
    Shall I go into wealth distribution? Top 10% own 80% of wealth while bottom 40% own 1%.
    What else do you need to know…educational system, “working-class poor,” Secret societies…if you think this is all just fraternity prank stuff-then you’re correct, my reality is much diffrent from yours.

    I was asking tristan to check out maxwell jordan, but thanks for turning me down anyways.

    Connect the dots, step out of the matrix. You (sideways) can begin your journey at FREEDOM DOMAIN. However, it is easier to live within the matrix and not to question “reality.” Remember the Joe Pantoliano character…

    Got any more glib responses? Like you said, it would be nice if you actually read the comments.

  31. mike Says:

    BTW,

    I agree with the earlier post. This will just help to round-up and seal in the Taliban. As long as we continue to control access to and fro…

    Does anybody know anything about Pakistani intelligence agencies meeeting with Porter Goss on the morning of 9/11?
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO206A.html

  32. mike Says:

    I meant to thank tristen for turning down my offer to check out jordan maxwell.

    sideways, sorry about that.

    mike,
    from crazyland, it’s better than “reality”

  33. daryoush Says:

    You need to defined who “we” is. There are two “we”s here, a winner “we” and loser “we”.

    We as in the People yes, we have lost the day Geroge Bush got elected.

    We as in the neocons, and Geroge W’s administration, no they have not lost. The loser “we” have been spending billions of dollars, and the winner “we” is laughing all the way to the bank.

    By having a safe heaven for the Al Queda, the winner “we” would have a permanent boogie man to arouse fear among the masses and guaranteeing their elections.

  34. Tannishblog » Blog Archive » Looks Bad… Says:

    [...] Donklephant asks: Did We Just Lose? How did this story slip my radar? I must have been bamboozled by Paris’ hijinks (or is that high-jinx). Or maybe TomKat’s baby, or the resurrection of the Princess’ death, or some other exceptionally important stuff I dunno… [...]

  35. m.takhallus Says:

    Mike:
    Sorry if I snapped. Long day. Let’s shake and have a virtual Scotch. (Actually, I’ll have a real one.)

  36. m.takhallus Says:

    Mike:
    Oh, and I’m “sideways.” The transition from using my real name Mike Reynolds, to pseudonym is bumpy.

  37. Blah_McJones Says:

    Scott,

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but the power to reason is actually WHAT allows humans to have a belief in God. If reason wasn’t necessary for a belief in a Being that is a step above us in the creative food chain, you’d see otters, ponies and iguanas all genuflecting when they pass a church and fasting on their respective holy days.

    Also, the Communists in Russia did a pretty good job of extinguishing quite a few life forces during their heyday–hey, you mentioned one instance yourself!–and they didn’t have religion on their side. As a matter of fact, their policy was to stifle religion in all of its forms and to keep its people blissfully atheistic. :) Wait, did that stop them from killing and almost nuking the world at various points during their reign? Heyyyyy, the answer is ‘no’! :) Religion won’t destroy the world, it won’t doom our species. Man has been religious ever since he acquired the power to reason. Of course, at first he may have worshipped rocks and fire, but he did worship something and that never accelerated his path to eventual doom. Quite the opposite–man has thrived during his religious tenure. Heck, do you see a shortage of people when you look around? 6.5 billion people couldn’t be wrong. ;)

    No, it won’t be religion, but I will tell you what WILL doom us as a species: our clever little minds that keep whipping up this fantastic world-destroying/polluting/raping technology. THAT is what will doom our–and every other, ‘cept maybe everyone’s little friend the cockroach–species. Yep, ’nuff said.

  38. Endurer Says:

    It is too early to predict anything at this point of time. Pakistani law enforcement agencies are indeed taking action against these fascists.

  39. Dyre Portents Says:

    Have We Lost the War on Terror?

    Justin Gardner at Donklephant has a great post on recent events regarding Pakistan’s involvement in the our War on Terror. If you read only one blog post today, make it this one…

  40. Crabapple.cc Says:

    Did We Just Lose?

    I donÂ’t think people are getting the seriousness of this.

    In a move that some say appears ‘a total capitulationÂ’ to pro-Taliban forces, Pakistan signed a peace deal with tribal leaders in the North Waziristan region of Pakistan Tuesday, and i…

  41. Kevin Wood Says:

    To say that we lost the War or that the Bush doctrine has failed is fool-hardy. Our Intelligence in this War has been disasterous and our bitter parisanship has become our achille’s heel, but this War is far from over. Whether you like it or not, Iraq is our problem now (see my previous remark on intelligence) and defeat there is not an option. NATO forces have been fighting in Afghanistan and reportedly killed 200 Taliban, if it’s true that puts the Taliban back at square one.

  42. Jeff Says:

    Pakistan is our #1 partner.
    They are the only country that supported us 100% in the Cold War then we abandoned them.
    Now they are supporting us 100% with the War on Terror and we are not doing our part in supporting them.
    We need to support Pakistan 100% with more aid and more investment.
    India was busy funding the Soviet Union and now is being rewarded by American business. We need to let them know they will not be rewarded for supporting the communists who had nukes pointed at us.
    Support Pakistan 100% its the only country that supported the USA during the Cold War and the War on Terror!

  43. Blah_McJones Says:

    You’ve made some very interesting points, Jeff. A bit all-encompassing, but relatively truthful and accurate. I agree that the recent action deserves some more scrutinizing than perhaps what we’ve given it. Maybe we’ll find out some more and revealing news about it within the weeks to come. I hope that the news is positive.

  44. DeadFromLaughter Says:

    Yes, you lost. You lost the war when you supported torture in Abu Grahib,
    You Americans should really ponder about what 9/11 meant.
    To be factual, just about everybody hates you, Why? Oh, because you’re the most irritating factor on Earth since Hitler and the 3rd Reich.

  45. Eural Says:

    Wow, that was over the top. Don’t know much about Hitler and the 3rd Reich do you?

  46. Scott Suchorzewski Says:

    Blah_McJones,

    To your point about reason being the ‘reason’ we believe in God. I disagree. The reason we believe in God, IMHO is two-fold. One, it makes it easier to live because it gives everything some sort of reason in all the chaos. Without belief in an afterlife, what’s the point of all this, right? Wrong…again, if we’d just reason it out instead of just saying, “God wants it.” That’s the opium of the masses. Why can’t we just say, “Gee…I don’t want people to hurt me or steal from me so I shouldn’t do it to them.” Realizing that our time here is all we have and it all comes down to quality of life at the end of the day – maybe we’d be quicker to share and help people. But no, we say God wants these things and that’s that. Sports each week – both sides pray, only one side wins. That’s a 50/50 shot. In other words – it makes no difference. Why, when people win, do they say, “Thank you Lord.” But when they lose they don’t say, “Why’d you pick the other guy, God?” It’s hypocricy, just like the bible. You know, the bible that says a guy lived in a whale and people lived to be 900 years old and the dead rose and you should stone people to death for working on Sunday…that bible. If it’s the word of God, it’s ALL the word of God. You don’t get to pick and choose parts that fit your view. Secondly – people told ‘bible stories’ to kids to help them cope with unanswerable questions. But clergy noticed an interesting side-effect – people actually took the stories to heart and believed them as fact. Viola! Social Control. Think about it – if you do what WE tell you God says you should do, you’ll die and live forever in ultimate happiness. But if you don’t do what we tell you God says you should do, you’ll be doing the backstroke in the lake of fire for all eternity. Religion has actually convinced people that an invisible man sitting in the sky watches everything you do every minute of the day. And the invisible man has a special list of 10 things he does not want you to do. And if you DO any of these 10 things you’ll burn in hell forever! But he loves you…. Give me a break – sounds like Santa Clause.

  47. Scott Suchorzewski Says:

    Geez, did it again – getting too excited here

    Blah – I didn’t mean our belief in God would destroy the world. Though if terrorists get their hands on some nukes, it just might. What I actually meant was, our greed, selfishness, and slowness to change will doom our species. Personally, I think it’ll be global warming but that’s another thread. And don’t think I’m excluding myself from the greed, selfishness, and slowness to change. I freely include myself and that’s what gives me the confidence that I’m right. We’ve been around a couple million years – the dinosaurs were around for 100′s of millions. I doubt we’ll be as successful as a species.

  48. m.takhallus Says:

    Kevin:

    I start to worry when I hear body counts. I don’t know if you’re old enough to remember Vietnam, but according to the body counts of the day we killed every Viet Cong and NVA soldier about a dozen times each. And yet, there they were waving goodbye as we flew off into the sunset.

    When we started in Afghanistan and Iraq we said we wouldn’t be doing body counts.

  49. Kevin Wood Says:

    @Sideways

    I disagree. I think we should, because most mainstream media outlets have been seemingly and disturbingly gleeful in reporting our own body counts back to us!

    Which brings me to my next point. We haven’t lost the War, but I think we did lose a huge battle on the propaganda front. When we have a media machine with a lack of integrity and moral boundaries reporting the “facts,” a president that fails to communicate the threat we’re all facing, and democrats who are willing to do anything in order to regain power. It really should come as no surprise.

  50. TM Lutas Says:

    The great advance of national sovereignty has allowed the highly fractured West to ally without actually uniting into some monolithic entity. Undo that and you create a huge roadblock for the current functioning core of the international system. This includes all the favorite right wing parts of the international system as well as all the left wing parts. This is the prize for AQ. If they kill sovereignty, they give the ummah a great leg up in the struggle to catch up to the West. We have to defend the Westphalian solution set until we come up with a better one.

    The Westphalian response to the current situation is that Pakistan must either control its territory and stop the Taliban from coming to Afghanistan to die or Pakistan has to cease to exist. It is not our business how Pakistan accomplishes this within its borders. They can sign all sorts of internal political “treaties” if they want. If the Taliban keep coming over the border, Pakistan must die and that has to be the bottom line.

  51. FeelingNoSafer Says:

    In response to Kevin Wood, your assumptions are pretty well rooted in the FoxNews propaganda morass. You say we haven’t lost the war but you have no facts and no undestanding of the situation. Even your boys at FoxNews have said that IF the situation deteriorates into Civil War we have to leave. Only the foolheardy would still cling to some notion that the country is not in the midst of a Civil War.

    “A President that fails to communicate the threat we are all facing.” Why is it that Republicans still cling to that one?? What more does he have to do? The truth is that Democrats and most Americans are VERY well aware of the threat we face. The insane part is that Republicans and other Neocons have ZERO idea as to how to combat that threat! Democrats have been slandered by FoxNews and others and folks such as yourself buy in to it. What Democrats and logical thinking Americans want is a policy that in fact DOES keep us safe. In case you didn’t recognize the situation, Iraq posed ZERO threat to us. Even if they HAD a nuclear program they gave no indication that they would use it against us. One could certainly argue they may have some day used it against a neighbor but is that really what we are about, killing people that may some day be a threat? I can almost swallow that except we have the REAL threat of a soon to be nuclear Iran and little Mr. Quickdraw didn’t exactly jump into that did he? Why did GWB really attack Iraq? Because he is a coward and Iraq posed no real threat to our VASTLY superior armed forces. Oh and by the way, when Democrats oppose the war it does NOT have anything to do with anti-Americanism, or anti-Patriotism, and it certainly has nothing to do with not supporting our troops.

    You speak of Democrats doing anything to gain power. Wow! You say that while GWB and his ilk stooped to the lowest possible low and used the Gay Marriage fiasco to not only use God’s name for their own gain but to tear the rights of these Americans from them in the bargain. I don’t care how you feel about gays to do something so wretched to our own people is about as sick as it gets. I am a heterosexual and an Agnostic, but at times I hope there is a God so that when you folks get to the pearly gates, he can ask you how it is that YOU decided that GOD had made a mistake by creating these people and YOU needed to make it right by making them miserable. Your answer no matter how well thought out by FoxNews will sound fairly pathetic even to your own ears I guarantee it.

  52. Joe Katzman Says:

    Dear FeelingNoSafer,

    I think it’s time to take your meds now.

  53. JFTDMaster Says:

    What does this actually change?

    Did Pakistan ever actually “control” those territories i.e. Waziristan? The short answer is no.

    Has there been the “threat” of jihadists being in charge of the nukes for as long as Pakistan had them? Yep.
    Was the ISI the most likely power behind Taliban’s rise to power, with all of the support? Yep.
    Do we know to what extent they still may or may not support them? Nope.
    Do many analysts have doubts about the degree of Pakistan’s support for the “war on terror” i.e. is it possible that there are forces in Pakistan that are only allowing the arrest of the competitor non-pakistani terrorists? Yep.
    Wasn’t it the Pakistani scientists’ “nuclear underground” that gave Iran nuclear technology, after which Khan was forgiven and called a national hero by Musharraf? Yep.
    I have nothing against Musharraf, he seems like a courageous man in a difficult situation. This recent “change”, however, only exposes the reality on the ground, I am not sure if it creates any new danger.

    This reminds me of Hizbollah being basically a separate state of a ~ 3 million people, but the rest of the world pretending otherwise. It also reminds me of the situation in Africa, where we pretend that cental governments do in fact control “their” territory more than other forces. However, in Pakistan the additional complications are the nukes, general support for jihadism, and the fact that we do not understand the Pakistani government factions very well. That is reality, as well as I see it.

  54. Donklephant » Blog Archive » Afghanistan and Fantasy Says:

    [...] I’m going to impose on Justin’s kindness and do a self-serving pointer to post to this piece where I follow up on an earlier post: Did We Just Lose? [...]

  55. montysano Says:

    To kick ass or not to kick ass? Are we kicking ass properly? Are we kicking the correct ass? Has our ass been kicked?

    As others have pointed out, much more eloquently than me, there will never be a military solution to the War on Terra. It will not happen. That being the case, shouldn’t we ask ourselves a question: what is it these people want from us? OBL’s grievances were fairly simple: a square deal for the Palestinians, the US off of holy ground in Saudi, and an end to the murderous Iraq sanctions. With a fair deal for the Palestinians and the US out of Iraq, I’d predict that terrorism would be reduced drastically.

    That leaves one problem, of course: our oil is still under their sand.

    In years past, we talked to Stalin, to Chiang Kai Shek, et al. We had diplomats who sat at a table with bad people and tried to sort things out. But now, all who oppose us are “terrorists”, and Jeebus knows we don’t talk to terrorists.

    Here’s the deal: Iran will get nukes. The Palestinians will eventually get a deal. 6 million Israelis will not prevail against 250M Muslims. the US will be booted out of the Middle East. The only real question is how much blood and treasure we will leave behind before we face these inevitabilties.

  56. JFTDMaster Says:

    “there will never be a military solution to the War on Terra.”
    - We do not need to wage “war on terror”, just on jihdaists, or to use an alternative name, islamo-fascists.

    “That being the case, shouldn’t we ask ourselves a question: what is it these people want from us?”
    - To create a jihadi caliphate, with Taliban-controlled afghanistan as the model. To persecute all who disagree. To use the caliphate to fight us. To kill and to defeat us. To kill and to defeat everybody who disagrees with their version of islam. To spread Islam by the sword.

    “With a fair deal for the Palestinians and the US out of Iraq, I’d predict that terrorism would be reduced drastically.”
    - Your prediction would in my opinion be wrong, because it would be seen as a weakness. And your weakness is an invitation to your enemies to attack you. As for the US being out of Iraq, the US also wants to be out of Iraq, but only after the Iraqi people can govern themselves in a demcoracy, and defend themselves from Baathists and their neighbours. What they want is not just the US out of Iraq, but what they want is a terrorist-sponsoring or terrorist-controlled government in Iraq, while the US does not want that.

    And what exactly would constitute a “fair deal” for the palestinians, Israel’s destruction? The difference between pragmatists like Abbas and the ‘radicals’ was mainly that Abbas, while wanting Israel destroyed, did not believe it was practical. If Israel acts with sufficient weakness, he would believe it would be practical to destroy it, and will be in complete agreement with Hamas on that issue.

    Reality is that every time Israel offered more to the palestinians, the result was more violence, not less. To end the violence, Israel must defeat its enemies decisively enough to have a few more decades of peace.

    “6 million Israelis will not prevail against 250M Muslims.”
    - They have prevailed in the past, and since the early 60′s they have also had nukes, and now they have enough to destroy every city in the arab world. They have not used them, however, even when they weren’t doing so well in the Yom Kippur war.

    The reality is that “we” (i.e. “civilized” countries), are much stronger than our enemies, but sometimes lack the will to use our weapons to keep destroying our enemies until they surrender. If we “withdraw” for a while, the result will be that our enemies will grow bolder, and there would be more violence, not less. If we do not decide to defeat them now, we will be forced to defeat them in the future in a much more bloody conflict. If it becomes a nuclear conflict, we might in the end up killing everybody in any area that oppose us. If we act with more determination and with a clearer purpose now, we would not let it get that far.

  57. alexking.org: Blog > Around the web Says:

    [...] Donklephant – Did We Just Lose? – love the slogan on this site, subscribed. [...]

  58. Kevin Wood Says:

    @FeelingNoSafer

    What’s with all the personal attacks?

    I can speak (and think) for myself, thank you very much!

    I’m guessing if I hadn’t mentioned the word, “democrats” in a negative manner, I might’ve escaped your “neo-con-alert” radar! :)

    1.) The reason Iraq was chosen was because it was the most promising for regime change. Our chances of regime change would’ve been far worse with Saddam in power, that’s a fact. If we could establish a democracy in the middle east, this would be a huge thorn in the side of islamo-fascism.

    2.) Iraq breaking out into civil war is not a good enough reason to coward and accept defeat. The consequences would become twofold for America. Iraq would become a terrorist state and we would appear weak in the mind of our enemies (including Iran).

    3.) Our enemy deliberately choses to fight and hide amongst innocent civillians. This idea that we should’ve fought them in the mountains of Afghanistan is silly, because they’d never let that happen to a level that would become effective. Instead the terrorists would disperse and cause havoc amongst civillian life to force us into civillian occupied battlefields. While Iran would most certainly be a gamble for on our intelligence and most likely a death trap for our troops. Bottom line is we are not fighting a conventional enemy and never in our history have we fought our dreamed of fighting an enemy like this.

    @JFTDMaster

    Excellent points about the crisis in the middle east.

  59. Scott Suchorzewski Says:

    Bwwwahahahaha – Even the Pope knows the difference between faith and reason!

    Pope Warns Against Secularization in Germany

    MUNICH, Sept. 10 ­ Pope Benedict XVI attracted some 250,000 people to an outdoor Mass on Sunday, urging his largely secular home country not to let science and reason make it “deaf� to God.

    “Put simply, we are no longer able to hear God ­ there are too many frequencies filling our ears,� he told the crowd, at a former airport on the outskirts of this city where he once served as archbishop. “What is said about God strikes us as pre-scientific, no longer suited for our age.�

  60. Donklephant » Blog Archive » 9/11 Reflection and Rage Says:

    [...] Why am I am angry? Because our government squandered the international good will and national bipartisanship born on that day, because 5 years later ground zero is still a hole in the ground, because 5 years later we still haven’t succeeded in Afghanistan, because 5 years later Bin Laden isn’t in custody and we missed the chance to bag him and now he is quite possibly out of our reach, because America was mislead into a war against Iraq and as a result Al Qaeda in Iraq now controls FIFTY THOUSAND square miles of territory within Iraq’s borders 3 years after our leader declared “Mission Accomplishedâ€Â?, because the wars that we have waged in the name of those that died this day five years ago have been so grossly mishandled that real victory is no where in sight. [...]

  61. Dyre Portents Says:

    9/11 Reflection and Rage

    I tried to avoid commenting today. I really really did. Because as sad as this day was 5 years ago those feelings do not exceed how angry I am now. I am not normally prone to anger. Most people would describe me as a mellow, happy go lucky, funny, thou…

  62. Donklephant » Blog Archive » Did We Just Lose? Says:

    [...] Michael Reynolds (aka sideways) wrote a great post last week about Pakistan’s surrender to the Taliban that got a lot of attention around the web. More than 12,000 people viewed the post thanks to the site reddit.com. [...]

  63. Donklephant » Blog Archive » Pakistan Releases Terrorists. Says:

    [...] I asked the question when this accord was first announced: have we lost this war? (The Donklephant version here.) [...]

  64. Aamir Ali Says:

    This deal ended fighting between Pakistani government and tribesmen. it did not cede any territory and neither did it create any sort of haven. You folks are clueless as to what is happening in that part of the world other than “Kill the bearded man”.

  65. Donklephant » Blog Archive » Dembliviousness Says:

    [...] The question I asked on September 6 was Did We Just Lose? [...]

  66. Please please please! Vote this November!!! « Go Apathy! It’s all about Democracy! Says:

    [...] Major Bush blunder- http://www.tpmcafe.com/blog/coffeehouse/2006/sep/06/out_of_the_mouths_of_idiots_one_of_the_hardest_parts_of_my_job Middle East work around to bring everything back to square 1- http://donklephant.com/2006/09/06/did-we-just-lose/ British Support by Tony Blair going going gone- http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/08/world/europe/08blair.html Bush admits to the existance of secret prisons- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/5321606.stm [...]

  67. Donklephant » Blog Archive » Yes, We’ve Lost Afghanistan Says:

    [...] And to answer your question Sideways, yes, we just lost. [...]

  68. Donklephant » Blog Archive » We Forget Afghanistan At Our Own Peril Says:

    [...] Lump this information with Pakistan’s surrender of Warzistan to the Taliban and I keep just shaking my head with each story that comes down the pike. Just when I think it can’t get any worse, there’s a military guy or a Senator saying, “Umm, yeah…thing aren’t so hot over here…” [...]

  69. First Europa Says:

    Uw online verzekeringsmakelaar Eerst Europa Doelstellingen: De Ci2i Verzekering (Ci2i) zal het nummer een gebrandmerkte pan Europese commoditized online verzekeringsmakelaar door 2010 zijn.

  70. Donklephant » Blog Archive » Did We Just Win a War? Says:

    [...] early September, 2006, I wrote a piece at my own blog, and here at Donklephant, (more here) asking whether we had just lost a war. Afghanistan was the subject, and sadly, I think [...]

  71. Pajamas Media » Blog Archive » Pakistan: A New Approach to Fighting Terrorism Says:

    [...] as a concession. The blogger Michael Reynolds characterized it accurately when he asked: “Did we just lose?” In the truce, Pakistani military returned all the weapons and released all the men it had [...]

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