Because public discussion about Afghanistan is heated in the wake of another corrupt Afghan parliamentary election, as well as because of rising U.S.-NATO casualties and the start of General Petreaus’s long-delayed Kandahar “offensive,” I have posted below a talk that I recently delivered. The talk deals with how al-Qaeda’s role in the Taliban’s war against the U.S.-led coalition has shifted from mostly combat to mostly support since 2006-2007. It argues that the smaller role al-Qaeda now plays is as vital as the larger role it played earlier, and that it is, indeed, more dangerous to the United States and its European allies both inside Afghanistan and externally.
On 12 September 2010, the Washington Post published a much-discussed and highly praised OpEd by former ABC journalist Ted Koppel. The gist of the article is that Washington’s response to 9/11 amounted to playing into bin Laden’s hands. Well, no kidding.
A number of items over past week caught my attention, and, being a bear-of-little-brain, they added to my confusion about why those brilliant folks who lead us seem so many times to have even less brains than I do.
I started out to write a piece about the whole of President Obama’s predictable and deceitful speech last night about Iraq. On reflecting a bit more, however, I came to focus on the president’s phrase: “It is time to turn the page on Iraq,” a phrase which underscores how woefully ignorant Obama and his colleagues in both parties are about the power of history and the world that exists outside of their closed minds and Washington, D.C.