Special Update #12
IN THIS ISSUE:
1. Where Is Bin Laden?
2. Liberals Turn Hawkish On The War.
3. Who Will Capture Or Kill Bin Laden?
4. Does Russia Now Control Afghanistan?
5. Did Bush Play Into Putin's Hand?
6. Maybe Bush Wants The Russians In Control.
7. Quid Pro-Quo? You Get Afghanistan, We Get Out Of TheABM Treaty.
8. The Most Damning Allegations Ever About Bill Clinton!
WHERE IS BIN LADEN?
President Bush keeps saying we are "tightening the noose," suggesting that they know generally where Osama bin Laden (OBL) is at. The media makes it sound like they know OBL is in the Tora Bora area where the bombing and fighting have intensified in the last week. Videotapes of OBL continue to surface, again suggesting he's in a cave, supposedly still in Afghanistan.
But why would he still be there? We have been told from the beginning that he has tens of millions of dollars and control over, or links to, terrorist networks all around the world. There has been no doubt what the US response to 911 would be. Even if he doubted us in the beginning, he no doubt got the message weeks ago.
So I ask, why would OBL still be in Afghanistan? The media would have us believe that no one else will take him. I seriously doubt this. After all, this is the man who convinced at least 20 fellow terrorists to give up their lives to crash airplanes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and kill thousands of innocent people.
The media reported this week that they "think" OBL is personally leading the last battle of the al Qaeda forces in the Tora Bora area. Geraldo Rivera, the former ultra-liberal, gun control advocate who quit his talk show job at CNN to go to Afghanistan to report for FOX, is now packing "heat" and says he would like the chance to kill OBL himself. What a turnaround!!
Anyway, I will be very surprised if OBL is still in Afghanistan. I suspect he is hiding out somewhere well away from Afghanistan. I hope I am wrong.
LIBERALS TURNING HAWKISH ON THE WAR
Speaking of turnarounds, I have been amazed at how many liberals I know that have turned into rabid HAWKS on the war on terrorism. I have to be very discreet about this, but there is a person who is very close to me who is one of the most liberal people I know. Over a decade ago, we figured out that if we were going to remain friends, we could NOT talk about politics, so we haven't done so even once since then. Believe me, it was tough for me to keep my mouth shut during the Clinton years!
At Thanksgiving, however, I just about fell over when I heard this person talking about the war on terrorism. From an adjacent room, I heard this person say the following to a group of other people (not verbatim, but very close to):
What we've got to do is just KILL 'EM. . . KILL 'EM ALL! These people are not like us. They have no morals. They will continue to kill, until they are killed - ALL OF THEM. They've taught their kids to hate us and want to kill us, so we're just going to have to wipe them out - ALL OF THEM!
I have to tell you, you could have blown me over with a feather! I could NOT believe what I heard. Yet this is not uncommon among liberals since 911. I have a theory on why this is happening, but I will save that for another time. . . more pressing topics to discuss now.
WHO WILL CAPTURE BIN LADEN,
OR CONTROL HIS BODY IF DEAD?
Whether OBL is still in Afghanistan or not, the race is on to find him and capture or kill him. The US reportedly has some 3,000 forces in Afghanistan working with the Afghan anti-Taliban forces. As you probably know, the British have special forces in Afghanistan as well. What you may not know, because the media has largely avoided reporting it, is that there are also some 6,000-8,000 (and maybe more) Russian-controlled forces in the war.
You will recall back in early November that the US did not want the Northern Alliance to occupy Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. They wanted them to wait, reportedly as long as next spring to take the capital. All of a sudden, however, the Northern Alliance stormed Kabul after Nov 7 and took the city, virtually without a shot. Initially, we were left to believe that the Northern Alliance simply ignored Washington's orders and stormed Kabul anyway.
What we now know is there was MUCH MORE to this story. I will come back to it below.
One of the big questions circling out there is, which group will be the one that captures and/or kills OBL - assuming he is still in Afghanistan? What will they do with him or his body if he is killed? Will they turn him or his body over to the US, if we don't capture or kill him first?
This issue is a sticky one for several reasons. Most Americans want nothing less than for OBL to be captured, returned to the US, tried, convicted and executed. However, this issue is not so simple for the Bush administration. They do not want OBL to become any more of a martyr than he already is, and bringing him to the US and executing him would certainly do just that.
If the Brits happen to be the ones to capture OBL alive, they also have a problem. The Brits do not believe in the death penalty. There has been speculation that if they capture OBL alive, they might not hand him over to the US. That would be extremely messy!
If the Russians capture him alive, there is little doubt they would hand him over to us. What a global image builder that would be for Putin and the Russians! But at what price? You can bet the Russians will secretly demand enormous concessions from the US to hand him over. And Bush would not be in much of a position to refuse them, given how our nation is so focused on getting this one man.
The Bush team has to hope that the Northern Alliance (NA) forces, or other native forces, find OBL and kill him on the spot. That way, he is killed by people of his own kind, rather than by US forces, and this, it is hoped, would minimize his martyr status.
Assuming OBL is even in Afghanistan, as discussed above, we'll just have to see how this plays out. Depending on who catches him (if he is caught alive), this could get very dicey!
IS RUSSIA OR THE US IN CONTROL
OF THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN?
While a few details have been reported in the mainstream media, we have learned through alternative sources a great deal about why the NA stormed Kabul, seemingly against the wishes of the Bush administration. As noted above, Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell reportedly wanted the NA to wait, possibly until spring, to occupy Kabul. But as we all saw, the NA stormed Kabul with virtually no resistance from the Taliban or al Qaeda.
Here is what we have since learned since the NA stormed Kabul. From sources other than the mainstream media we have learned that there are at least 6,000-8,000 Russian forces that have been fighting alongside the NA. Completely unknown by the Bush team, apparently, the Russians hatched a plan to get enough of the Taliban military leaders in Kabul to defect so that the rest of their fighters would simply flee the capital. Reportedly, certain of the Russian forces slipped into Kabul ahead of the NA and were successful in negotiating the defections of dozens of Taliban officers.
We are told that the Russian forces, on orders from Moscow, promised the Taliban officers cash, safe treatment guarantees, new clothing, weapons and the option to defect and join forces with the NA. Many took the offers, we are told, so many in fact that the rest of the forces fled Kabul in advance of the NA attack.
We now also know that Russian President Putin called President Bush on Nov 7 and reportedly told Bush that Russian forces had carried out this plan, and that it was now safe to take Kabul. Some reports have said that Bush UNILATERALLY gave the OK for the NA and Russian forces to go in, without even consulting Rumsfeld or Powell. I seriously doubt that!
Whether Bush consulted his advisors or not (and I expect he did), we apparently gave the OK, and we all watched the news unfold as the NA stormed Kabul, seemingly against US wishes, or so the media reported.
DID BUSH PLAY INTO PUTIN'S HAND & GIVE
OVER CONTROL OF THE REGION TO RUSSIA?
What follows is one analyst's view that the decision to let the NA and the Russians take Kabul was a MAJOR POLICY BLUNDER by the Bush administration, and maybe President Bush himself:
THE OIL CARD
Russia has been striving for regional influence in the Indian subcontinent for two centuries. This has been called the Great Game. The competition between Russia and the Anglo-American West in this region has never ended. If you have ever read Kipling's book, KIM, or seen the movie with Errol Flynn, you know how long this competition has
been in operation.
In the last two months, Russia has made greater gains in the region than it did during the entire twentieth century. The United States has opened the door to Russia for regional hegemony.
Pakistan has now been sacrificed by American foreign policy. Pakistan was closely tied to the Taliban, which it funded in the 1980's with CIA money. For the last five years, the U.S. also made deals -- or attempted to - with the Taliban. Now we have handed over control of the cities to the Northern Alliance, which is more closely connected to Russia. Pakistan and the United Front [Northern Alliance] have been hostile from the beginning.
Russia's client Muslim states in the Caspian Sea region are sitting on top of large oil reserves. This is common knowledge now. The implications for the West are enormous. Oil will flow into China and India when the pipeline is completed. Money will flow into Caspian Sea states.
It will also flow to the nation and company that control the pipeline. This will undermine the oil-based economies of the Middle East. This will also put domestic political pressure on the governments of the Middle Eastern oil states. The public's dreams of wealth will be cut back -- a classic condition for creating a revolution.
Downward pressure on oil has begun. This is recession-driven, but also the result of Russian oil output. Russia is making money, but it is also undermining the Middle Eastern Islamic kingdoms, which are perceived -- correctly -- as under America's domination.
Canadian columnist Eric Margolis, who has spent time in Afghanistan, has written a perceptive analysis of the return of the Russian bear in the region. On November 25,
"When Pakistan ditched its ally, Taliban, in September, and sided with the US, Islamabad and Washington fully expected to implant a pro-American regime in Kabul and open the way for the Pak-American pipeline. But this was not to be.
In a dazzling coup, Russian leader Vladimir Putin stole a march on the Bush administration, which was so busy trying to tear apart Afghanistan to find bin Laden it failed to notice the Russians were taking over half the country. The wily Russians achieved this victory through their proxy Afghan force, the Northern Alliance. Moscow, which has sustained the Alliance since 1990, re-armed it after 11 Sept with new tanks, armored vehicles, artillery, helicopters, and trucks.
The Alliance's two military leaders, Gen. Rashid Dostam and Gen Muhammed Fahim, were stalwarts of the old communist regime with close links to KGB. Putin put Chief of the Russian General Staff, Col. Gen. Viktor Kvashnin, and the deputy director of KGB, in charge of the Alliance.
During the Balkan fighting in 1999, the hard-charging Kvashnin outfoxed the US by seizing Prishtinas airfield, thus assuring a permanent Russian role in Kosovo. Now, he's done it again. To the fury of Washington and Islamabad, in a coup de main, Kvashnin rushed the Northern Alliance into Kabul, in direct contravention of Bush's dictates. The Alliance is now Afghanistan's dominant force, and, heedless of multi-party political talks in Germany this week, styles itself the new 'lawful' government, a claim fully backed by Moscow.
The Russians have regained influence over Afghanistan, revenged their defeat by the US in the 1980s war [in Afghanistan], and neatly checkmated the Bush Administration which, for all its high-tech military power, understood little about Afghanistan. America's ouster of the Taliban regime meant Pakistan lost its former influence over Afghanistan and is now cut off from Central Asia's resources.
So long as the Alliance holds power, the US is equally denied access to the much coveted Caspian Basin. Russia has regained control of the best potential pipeline routes. The new Silk Road will become a Russian energy super-highway.
By charging like an enraged bull into the South Asian china shop, the US handed a stunning geopolitical victory to the Russians and severely damaged its own great power ambitions. Moscow is now free to continue plans to dominate South and Central Asia in concert with its strategic allies, India and Iran.
The Bush Administration does not appear to understand its enormous blunder, and keeps insisting, 'but the Russians are now our friends.' The president should try to understand that where oil is concerned, there are no friends, only competitors and enemies." END.
This is just one view on this subject. It is possible that Margolis's view is the correct one. Maybe the Bush team, despite its wealth of experience did make a crucial blunder. But you have to wonder, on the other hand, if this was not a tactical blunder, and that the Bush administration had a much larger plan in mind.
MAYBE THE BUSH TEAM WANTED
THE RUSSIANS TO BE IN CONTROL
Some may consider this a stretch, but there may be reasons why the US would want Russia in effective control of Afghanistan. As discussed previously, there are dozens of warring factions in Afghanistan. Few are optimistic that any new government can bring peace to the country, and that it may only be a matter of time before fighting and chaos resume.
The Bush administration knows that if it is to maintain public support for the war on terrorism, we need to finish the job in Afghanistan and move on. Yet the job in Afghanistan may never be over. So perhaps they have decided to conveniently let the Russians do it. While we still don't totally trust the Russians, they can be dependable when they have a vested interest in doing so.
Obviously, the oil gives them a huge vested interest to maintain a certain level of peace in the region. And since the NA is already allied with the Russians, this might be the best chance for a new government to survive.
Again, this is just a possibility that I have considered. I have not seen this discussed elsewhere. In any event, I seriously doubt that letting the Russians be in charge, as opposed to using our own forces, was a major blunder by the Bush team. And as discussed below, we may have won far greater concessions from the Russians than they won from us.
COULD THERE HAVE BEEN A QUID PRO-QUO --
THE ANTI-BALLISTIC MISSILE TREATY, PERHAPS?
Given the geopolitical implications of the analysis above, I have to wonder if there was not some kind of quid pro-quo (you give me this, and I'll give you that) reached between President Bush and Russian President Putin when he visited the US recently.
Yesterday, Bush announced that the US is scrapping the ABM Treaty. For decades the Russians have cried foul and threatened loudly every time the US has even hinted of ditching the ABM Treaty. Even Ronald Reagan, as much as he wanted to, would not take the leap of scrapping the ABM Treaty. Now Bush has done so. Putin had only a token response, calling Bush's decision a "mistake."
Some kind of deal had to have been made. There is no doubt that Putin, the former KGB chief, would have demanded some huge concessions in order to agree to let the US out of the ABM Treaty. Maybe he demanded effective control over Afghanistan. Maybe Bush agreed.
Obviously, this is just speculation on my part. But I can't imagine the US got nothing for the Russians getting effective control of the oil in the Caspian Basin area. If what we got was the end of the ABM Treaty, it might well have been worth it. I couldn't say for sure, one way or the other. History will tell us.
The first step toward building a missile defense system is the abandonment of the ABM treaty. I think President Bush is correct that if terrorists develop nuclear weapons and the delivery system to get them here, they will do so. We have the technology to combat this threat. We had it back in the '80s when Reagan wanted to implement the "Strategic Defense Initiative" (SDI). Today, that technology is far more advanced than it was in the '80s.
Now, for the first time since Reagan proposed it, the Russians are not loudly objecting. Bush is committed to doing it. Now, only Congress can stop him. And you can bet they will try! Get ready for it. You'll hear the liberals making all kinds of outlandish claims about how "star wars" (remember that from the Reagan era?) won't work, how it will destabilize the world, how it will increase, not decrease, the nuclear threat, etc., etc.
I thought SDI was a good idea when Reagan first proposed it. I still think it is. Imagine in 5-6 years (or however long it takes) if the US was safe from the threat of intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear or otherwise.
On this point, you either agree or disagree, so I won't belabor it. However, if the US has really decided to hand over effective control of Afghanistan to the Russians, and in return for doing so Bush got Putin to consent on the ABM issue, that might not be a bad deal. In fact, it might someday be George W. Bush's legacy!
THE MOST DAMNING REVELATIONS YET
ABOUT BILL CLINTON & TERRORISM
The following editorial contains, in my opinion, the most damning allegations ever made about Bill Clinton. Never mind Travelgate, Filegate, sales of sensitive technology to the Chinese, Monica Lewinski, and the looting of the White House when he left office. All pale in comparison if the following article is true.
I believe it is true as it comes from a senior member of the COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS (CFR). Most of you are familiar with the CFR. If you are not, let me say that the CFR is an organization of some of the most powerful and influential people in America. This article was written by a man who says he voted for and supported Bill Clinton. Now he is blowing the whistle! If true, THIS is Bill Clinton's LEGACY!! Yet other than the L.A. Times, the mainstream media has buried this information.
Rather than link to the article, I reprint it in full below. It first appeared in the L.A. Times on December 5, 2001.
"CLINTON LET BIN LADEN
SLIP AWAY AND MATASTACIZE"
Sudan offered up the terrorist and data on his network.
The then-president and his advisors didn't respond.
By MANSOOR IJAZ
President Clinton and his national security team ignored several opportunities to capture Osama bin Laden and his terrorist associates, including one as late as last year.
I know because I negotiated more than one of the opportunities.
From 1996 to 1998, I opened unofficial channels between Sudan and the Clinton administration. I met with officials in both countries, including Clinton, U.S. National Security Advisor Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger and Sudan's president and intelligence chief. President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir, who wanted terrorism sanctions against Sudan lifted, offered the arrest and extradition of Bin Laden and detailed intelligence data about the global networks constructed by Egypt's Islamic Jihad, Iran's Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas.
Among those in the networks were the two hijackers who piloted commercial airliners into the World Trade Center.
The silence of the Clinton administration in responding to these offers was deafening.
As an American Muslim and a political supporter of Clinton, I feel now, as I argued with Clinton and Berger then, that their counter-terrorism policies fueled the rise of Bin Laden from an ordinary man to a Hydra-like monster.
Realizing the growing problem with Bin Laden, Bashir sent key intelligence officials to the U.S. in February 1996. The Sudanese offered to arrest Bin Laden and extradite him to Saudi Arabia or, barring that, to "baby-sit" him--monitoring all his activities and associates. But Saudi officials didn't want their home-grown terrorist back where he might plot to overthrow them.
In May 1996, the Sudanese capitulated to U.S. pressure and asked Bin Laden to leave, despite their feeling that he could be monitored better in Sudan than elsewhere.
Bin Laden left for Afghanistan, taking with him Ayman Zawahiri, considered by the U.S. to be the chief planner of the Sept. 11 attacks; Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, who traveled frequently to Germany to obtain electronic equipment for Al Qaeda; Wadih El-Hage, Bin Laden's personal secretary and roving emissary, now serving a life sentence in the U.S. for his role in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya; and Fazul Abdullah Mohammed and Saif Adel, also accused of carrying out the embassy attacks.
Some of these men are now among the FBI's 22 most-wanted terrorists.
The two men who allegedly piloted the planes into the twin towers, Mohamed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi, prayed in the same Hamburg mosque as did Salim and Mamoun Darkazanli, a Syrian trader who managed Salim's bank accounts and whose assets are frozen.
Important data on each had been compiled by the Sudanese. But U.S. authorities repeatedly turned the data away, first in February 1996; then again that August, when at my suggestion Sudan's religious ideologue, Hassan Turabi, wrote directly to Clinton; then again in April 1997, when I persuaded Bashir to invite the FBI to come to Sudan and view the data; and finally in February 1998, when Sudan's intelligence chief, Gutbi al-Mahdi, wrote directly to the FBI.
Gutbi had shown me some of Sudan's data during a three-hour meeting in Khartoum in October 1996. When I returned to Washington, I told Berger and his specialist for East Africa, Susan Rice, about the data available. They said they'd get back to me. They never did. Neither did they respond when Bashir made the offer directly.
I believe they never had any intention to engage Muslim countries--ally or not. Radical Islam, for the administration, was a convenient national security threat.
And that was not the end of it. In July 2000--three months before the deadly attack on the destroyer Cole in Yemen--I brought the White House another plausible offer to deal with Bin Laden, by then known to be involved in the embassy bombings. A senior counter-terrorism official from one of the United States' closest Arab allies--an ally whose name I am not free to divulge--approached me with the proposal after telling me he was fed up with the antics and arrogance of U.S. counter-terrorism officials.
The offer, which would have brought Bin Laden to the Arab country as the first step of an extradition process that would eventually deliver him to the U.S., required only that Clinton make a state visit there to personally request Bin Laden's extradition. But senior Clinton officials sabotaged the offer, letting it get caught up in internal politics within the ruling family--Clintonian diplomacy at its best.
Clinton's failure to grasp the opportunity to unravel increasingly organized extremists, coupled with Berger's assessments of their potential to directly threaten the U.S., represents one of the most serious foreign policy failures in American history."
* Mansoor Ijaz, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, is chairman of a New York-based investment company. END.
If you want to see the story for yourself, click here:
I cannot believe this news has not spread like a firestorm across America and the world! But other than Rush Limbaugh making a big deal out of it for a couple of days, I have not seen anyone in the mainstream media say a word about it. Even FOX News didn't pick it up to my knowledge.
Now some in the mainstream media have questioned whether the Clinton administration did all it could to prevent terrorism. Sandy Berger was on one of the Sunday talking head shows this week. He was well prepared. He claimed that the Clinton administration thwarted numerous terrorist attacks in the US and overseas, among them being the attempted bombing of the LAX airport, numerous bridges and buildings and even an assassination plot on Pope John Paul!
He was never asked about the allegations made by Mansoor Ijaz.
You know that if the Clinton administration had managed to prevent all these so far unsubstantiated terrorist acts, as Berger claims, they would have held press conferences to gloat about them. Imagine if they actually saved the life of the Pope. Can you believe for a moment that Bill Clinton could have kept his mouth shut about that??? After all, this is the same guy who bombed Afghanistan (and hit the wrong targets) just to divert attention from his Monica problems!
Some would argue that the media hasn't run with this story because it is not true. I believe it is true for several reasons. First, Ijaz gives plenty of specific names, specific dates and specific places. His story can be confirmed rather easily.
Second, and perhaps more important, the Council On Foreign Relations is very, very careful about what information they let out and what is kept secret. If Ijaz was simply a "loose cannon" and his story was false, the CFR would have made a statement about it. They have not.
Third, if this story were false, the media would trash Ijaz in a heartbeat. A very few in the media have called Ijaz's story "unfortunate" but I have heard NO ONE say it is false!
I hope this story makes it into the mainstream media. Americans need to know that we had multiple chances to get bin Laden. All Clinton had to do was make a state visit to an Arab country and they would have handed him over, according to Ijaz. But as he says, "Radical Islam, for the administration, was a convenient national security threat."
Now over 4,000 Americans are dead. Clinton and his security advisors should be held accountable!
That's enough for this week, although there is a lot more I could write about. Maybe I will try to get another Update out next week before Christmas.
Let me wish you joyous holidays and a happy New Year!!!
Hope you're not as behind in your holiday shopping as I am!
All the Best!
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