By Brian Dowing
That Osama bin Laden has been living comfortably in Abbottabad and evidently directing al Qaeda from there – all within earshot of a Pakistani military facility – has been a tremendous embarrassment to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), but it comes as no surprise to Indian or many other intelligence services, though realization in Washington has been too long in coming. Paradoxically, US intelligence's recent success in Abbottabad has underscored a long-running failure.
ISI has long been complicit in aiding al Qaeda, the Afghan Taliban, Lashkar-i-Taiba, Jaish-i-Mohammed, and a slew of other militant groups operating along the Af-Pak line and in Kashmir. It organized Sipah-i-Sahaba to intimidate and kill Shia and Christians inside its country.
By Numerian posted by Michael Collins
On December 7th of this year – the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor – the United States will celebrate seventy years of perpetual war. September 11th will commemorate one aspect of this long war – the War on Terror – but the calendar could be filled with other bellicose starts and stops: the Korean War, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, the War in Iraq (parts I and II), the Afghanistan War, and various incursions into places like Nicaragua, Grenada, the Balkans, and even South America as part of something called the War on Drugs.
What’s it like to be at perpetual war for nearly three-quarters of a century? Americans have become a fearful people. They are so alarmed at the possibility of a terrorist attack they have willingly given up important Constitutional liberties, even to the point of submitting to intrusive and degrading inspections at airport security. Fear of crime is such an undercurrent of American society that all new cars come with theft alarms. Americans spend billions of dollars yearly to protect themselves from identity theft, and they are greeted at supermarkets with sanitary wipes because of the fear that some stranger left dangerous bacteria on the shopping cart. Fear has caused Americans to turn upon themselves: Democrats against Republicans, Red states against Blue states, liberals against conservatives, Christians against the non-religious, rural against urban, South against North, blacks against whites, the middle class against poor people, and so on. This is a fractured nation, but at the same time a highly militarized nation, and is it any wonder that Americans love their guns, even though firearm violence kills 39 Americans every day?
The underpants bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, is a curious terrorist. He became disillusioned with his privileged life as the son of a bank chairman and member of the Nigerian elite, it would seem. Rather than pursuing his studies in London, he retreated to Yemen to learn the ways of al Qaeda inspired terrorism.
Farouk was so indiscreet that his father reported him to the U.S. Embassy as a potential terrorist in November. A month later, he managed to get on a jumbo jet headed for Detroit to complete a terror mission. Despite his training in engineering at the prestigious London School of Economics, Farouk failed in his mission. He couldn't mix his explosives to achieve the desired effect. He apparently forgot to detonate the explosive device in mid flight, waiting until just before landing in Detroit to start his task. He retrieved and set off the chemicals to create the explosion in full view of passengers.
What kind of terrorist is this? He doesn't know when, how or where to conduct his criminal enterprise.
Walking into any “court” of late one might have a distinct impression that one has walked into a monarch's domain. The rule of law only applies at the discretion of the monarch. And that would be the judge sitting in that particular court.
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