President Obama has made it very clear that he intends to pursue the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan. In fact, he is basically following the Bush era policy in that regard and is effectively, recreating the Bush surge that turned the tide in Iraq. However, the members of the Taliban do not seem to care and do not seem to be alarmed by this.
Why? It is very simple. The Taliban has decided that Afghanistan is just a pawn in their little game against democracy. They have bigger goals. Or, at least that is what seems to be the case right now. Every piece of evidence suggests that the Taliban are going after the government of Pakistan and its reward of nuclear weapons.
Since the beginning of the year, the Taliban has pretty much invaded Pakistan. It all started when the democratically elected president of Pakistan, Ali Arif Zardari, permitted Islamic fundamentalist rule of law in parts of the country as a result of threats from the Taliban. Since then, the Taliban has encroached on Pakistani land more and more with each passing week. As of Sunday, the Taliban had established a position in Pakistan only 70 miles from the capital city of Islamabad. Just a little bit further and these radical Islamist crazies will have control of the country.
This cannot happen! Should the Taliban gain control of Pakistan, they will be able to reap the reward of Pakistan’s arsenal of nuclear weapons. What do you think they will do with them? Let’s start with the obvious. These weapons will be used against our armed forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. They will probably be used against Israel. And, I am sure there will be some threat to India.
Remember, the Taliban protects Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden. The War on Terror or whatever euphemism President Obama has decided to call it will be basically lost. Once the Taliban and Al Qaeda have control of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, we will have to negotiate with them if they even choose to negotiate. If we continue to prosecute the war, the Taliban and Mr. Bin Laden will use their weapons. Don’t kid yourself by thinking they will not.
Based upon this, I am only left to wonder. What is President Obama waiting for? At some point, and it better be soon, the encroachment into Pakistan has got to be stopped. Whether this is done by the United States on its own or through UN action or through a combined military operation, we cannot wait any longer. President Obama is going to have to commit military troops to Pakistan and, unfortunately escalate the War on Terror (whatever he chooses to call it). Negotiation will not work with these radicals.
On another matter, my tirade against Nancy Pelosi must continue based upon the incidents of the past week. How does this women continue to be elected and more important, remain Speaker of the House? There is evidence that she knew about water boarding and enhanced interrogation techniques as early as 2002. Further, Ms. Pelosi and a group of Congressional leaders from both parties, where briefed continually on interrogation techniques from 2002 until, evidence suggests, 2006.
Once this story broke in the Washington Post last week, Ms Pelosi went on the record stating that she did not know about the water boarding and would never have acquiesced to it. However, she did not deny the briefings occurred. In fact, she stated that she did attend briefings but alluded to the fact that the material briefed was classified and only involved whether there was legal precedent and not that water boarding and other forms of enhanced interrogation techniques were used.
Come on? Does anyone believe her? I agree with Dick Cheney on this issue. If we are going to declassify some documents regarding the above, then it is time to declassify everything relating to the enhanced interrogation techniques. Whether they be about what was done; the legality of what was done; and who knew about what was done. Let’s find out whether Ms. Pelosi is telling the truth. And, if she is playing fast and loose with the truth, she should be prosecuted in the same manner she wants to prosecute the people responsible for the policy. Jack Cafferty of CNN should keep his mouth shut on this issue. Cheney has got a right to speak his piece just like every other citizen in this country.
According to Fox News, the clash of accounts (regarding the above) has stirred Republican claims that Democrats have selective and politically motivated amnesia when it comes to who knew what, and when, about the Bush-era interrogation programs.
Of course, the other alternative is to take President Obama’s position before he caved to the far left last week. We are beyond this and what happened in the past should be left in the past. The time now is for reconciliation.
Speaking of reconciliation, whatever there was of bipartisanship is pretty much completely gone now because of the above and because of a little known Congressional Rule called reconciliation. It is a process that can be used in budgetary legislation that eliminates the power of a filibuster in the Senate effectively giving the Democrats the power to pass budgetary legislation even if they do not have the sixty votes needed to end a debate.
The Democrats are now threatening to use reconciliation to ram through President Obama’s health care initiative even though they know it will increase the deficit and will have little, to no support from the Republican Party. If this happens, you can guarantee that any nascent bipartisanship is dead. Or, is that really a bad thing?
By the way, if you agree or disagree with me, please post comments on this page. One of my main reasons for writing this column is to create an open dialogue with people who have opinions that are either in agreement with me or inapposite. I do not believe that either side is 100% correct and the only way debate can be had is with continual comment and criticism. Until next week!
©2009 by Frank T. DeMartini. Permission to be copies will be granted freely upon request.