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Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by zimv20, Jul 8, 2004.
from the New Republic
Something like this is to come as a surprise to us?
Strange that after Reagan gained office the Iranian hostages were released. Some say it was due to Reagan's "hawkish" stance. Given the Iran-Contra Affair how far fetched that there were pressures to release the hostages after Reagan got in to office? It was the hostage crisis that hurt Carter (among other things of course), and the release that buoyed Reagan during his "honeymoon".
I am also sure that after 3-11 in Spain, that there was renewed pressure from the Bush administration to do what ever to "appease" the American voter. Capture of bin Laden and others would accomplish that.
As a 10 year I can very clearly remember Reagan giving Carter complete credit for the release of the hostages.
You are right. But it doesn't change the feelings that people had with Carter on the issue. Or the "crowing" at the time, and the "revisionist" history that Reagan was the true reason for their release.
At the time Reagan's credit was an "olive branch" to unite the nation during troubled times with the hostages and a poor economy during the Carter years.
As a child it was obvious to me that it was Carter's doing, not Reagans. I never blamed Carter and never saw CArter blamed for the taking of hostages. As for the crowing I wasn't aware of any, but my family isn't particularly apolitical. Apparently my parents also gave Carter credit
Somehow this doesnt seem strange to me. While I find that the timeframe named is despicable I also believe that if the administration can finally get its act together and catch the man we started 2 wars over then by all means get it done.
That would have been nice if he'd done that 3 years ago!
To be honest, I'd rather see UBL caught under a Kerry administration or in a manner that doesn't score Bush the political points to put him back in office. This country doesn't need four more years of George on top of a threat from terrorists.
Additionally, I find unsettling the kinds of deals (especially on arms sales) that Pakistan could receive in succeeding at this. By all means, I think that they should help to catch Bin Laden and if they can do it, they should go for it. I don't think we should be rewarding them by selling them F-16's that they will use to threaten India. Of course, India could still whomp Pakistan in a conventional war, but I don't think the US should be stoking the fire, especially not when relations between the two nations are beginning to heal, if ever so slightly.
Now, if a unique window of opportunity opens and we've got a short-term chance of catching bin Laden, of course we should. But I have a feeling that he's sitting pretty in the Northwest Frontier and has been for a relatively long period of time. It's when the Pakistanis actually make a close move that he'll start moving.
If we can actually avert terrorist attacks by nabbing him and can nab him with ease, then we should.
I'm disappointed and angered, though, that Bush didn't show the same vim and vigor in the past couple of years, if the story's allegations are true.
The question becomes that if the Bush administration has the ability to order the capture of bin Laden or any other al Qaeda official with this kind of specificity, why haven't they done it by now? I think the answer is that they can't, but what they can do is order the Pakistanis to put more heat on the tribal areas of Pakistan. Why haven't they done this already? They felt they had more important business in Iraq. More than anything this shows that the administration is running scared of the possibility of Kerry victory in November.
Very true. If the administration had the means, this should have been done earlier, not as some sort of political ploy.
It's doubtful that the Pakistanis will go into the NW Frontier, though, because it could incite a revolution. Even when Pakistan was part of India, the NW Frontier was left to its own devices.
I seriously wonder about the loyalties of Pakistan, considering their interests and pressures.
It is true that Pakistan has much to benefit from a decent relationship to the US, from aid in weapons and cash, logistic and intelligence sharing on the "common" goal of the WOT, and oil interests in the region. The US also, subsequently, has a certain amount of leverage against them. Whether we have been applying it behind the scenes either w/ regards to either UBL/Al Qa'ida/Taliban and/or Afghanistan. Since, as mentioned, Pakistan is poorer, less populous and less advanced militarily vis-a-vis India, this aid is especially helpful and imo gives the Government more stability by having an obvious benefit from US aid. Although there is a strong Islamic strain in Pakistan (more later), I would think that the benefits of increased strength against India would quell anti-US sentiment, by appealing to Cultural or Nationalistic sentiments w/in the population...
On the other hand, Pakistan is under strong pressure from Islamic groups to further Islamicize and reject the West. The Islamic network of madrassas and the underground financing and recruitment network, give these groups, as a whole, a lot of power against the government ( as well as the grass-roots public services)...and the government is in no place to stand up to them, or to police them...nor do I feel they necessarily desire to as a matter of pragmatism...
So, imo this leads to a deliberate policy of duplicity on the part of the Pakistani government. This is a government who supported the Taliban before the US forcibly removed them (back to Pakistan). More than that, imo I beleive the government has limited powers in many rural areas, or the government intself has Islamic leadership in many areas. I seriously doubt their ability to capture UBL, or their will to do so. As attractive as the aid from the West is, ultimately I would assume the government has a bigger interest in national cohesion and staying in power...
As for the timing of this announcement (or it's existence), I chalk it up to just political rhetoric...much like the Tom Ridge announcement. I do not believe this is about substance, only perception...which this Administration is keen on managing...
Just an Opinion...FWIW
If your surmise that a revolution, of the fundamentalist kind, would occur if the Pakistanis move in force into these areas, that means that we are putting Pakistan at risk in order to win some points in the political polls for Bush. Any way you slice this, it doesn't look good for explaining the administration's motives.
which should be serious cause for alarm. personally, i feel pakistan is this->| |<-close to falling to islamic fundamentalists, giving them direct access to nukes.
how carefully are they guarded, i wonder?
I totally agree. The other question, though, is whether Pakistan would even bother to listen. Sure, it wants the F-16's. Sure, it wants the 3 billion dollar aid packages to keep coming in. But Musharraf has been walking a fine line both to please the Americans and not to piss off the Pakistanis too much. Busting into the NW Frontier could mean a lot of trouble for him and for his government.
Bush might have to deal with the negative press from this story without the positive press of grabbing an HVT. Somehow, I don't feel bad for him.
ask and ye shall receive
i'm having a hard time believing the timing of this is just a coincidence, w/ kerry making his acceptance speech tonight...
Give me a break. Is the world supposed to grind to a halt during the convention and the weeks leading up to it? So far everything that has happened this week has been called "suspicious timing."
All of these events (Berger, the capture of Ghailani) are fairly minor and provide little if any bounce to the Bush campaign. Any bounce they do provide will evaporate after about 5 days.
If Bush wants to time events to win the election he will capture Bin Laden, smear Kerry, etc. about 10 days before the election.
I'm not sure why so much credit is being placed in the claims of an anonymous ISI agent in the original article. You're more likely to get the truth out of a member of the Mafia than a Pakistani intelligence agent.
I just saw this story on the BBC news and thought of this thread. Thanks for reviving it and reminding us of the amazing coincidence this capture represents. I hope someone sends the original story to every news desk in the country.
I frankly didn't give any credit to these claims until one of them came true.
So someone in the News Media seems to raise an eyebrow at the timing...FWIW
- By Howard Kurtz
keith olbermann had an update on this story yesterday on msnbc. his guest was an assoc. editor of the new republic ( ackerman?) and they discussed the amazing timing of this capture...or actually, the delayed announcement.
what i found amusing was that no one discussed the significance of the person captured...which leads me to believe the whole PR ploy was a failure.
ackerman also implied he had further info about some future "amazingly coincidental" captures that will occur.
so i guess we'll just have to wait for OBL to magically appear in u.s. custody sometime in november.
It is a shame how voters can be swayed by simple news. Reagan is given the credit for the hostage release, rightly or wrongly.
Well, it didn't make the dent they wanted it to, because the major news channels haven't been reporting it as prominently as the White House would probably like.
Hey, Pakistan, "No F-16's for you!"