Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Losing "the right war."

Barnett Rubin's updated entry on the bombing of India's Embassy in Kabul, is enough of a gloss on Juan Cole's suggestion that the Haqqani group was responsible to conclude that this is at best speculation. Shahzad's view that Haqqani was a bad target reveals that the dialectic between "Too little, too late" and "The Wrong Stuff" continues.

The slaughtering of civilians on both sides of the border (New Evidence on Azizabad Sep 9 08) is bound to have consequences. Gareth Porter suggests that Pashtuns in the regular Pakistani Army may defect to the Taliban, but that may be an optimistic view of the risks. The flow of members out of the normally effective Pashtun branch of the Frontier Corps has been going on since the Red Mosque massacre. The US-India nuclear deal, which just passed its penultimate obstacle, is an additional aggravation to US-Pakistan relations, not made easier by newly-increased tensions in Kashmir.

Porter also suggested in an interview with Amy Goodman this morning that the raids are speculative and hope to gather (rather than being based on) solid intelligence. No indication yet whether the Americans have learned anything from the raids, but the list of much larger actions from which they have evidently learned nothing is growing daily.

Combine the Bush decision to interpret NIC warnings by ordering actions they believed would have the effect of destabilizing Pakistan with Cheney's "let's you and him fight" message in Ukraine, and it seems possible that the lame duck has decided to stir the pot. I was hoping--against all evidence--for more grown-up behavior.

Since the Embassy bombing in Kabul, the Sarposa prison release, the expansion of the insurgency to the north, and now the closing of the Pakistan border, it should be clear that NATO is losing the war in its "most distant abroad" while the most progressive of the top two American presidential candidates declare it to be the right war.
Recommend this Post

Sphere: Related Content