Saturday, August 02, 2008

Patrick Seale on Afghanistan -- Heads up, Senator Obama!

Via Agence Global, international agency for The Nation, here are snips from an article by Patrick Seale indicating that Obama (and others) are on the wrong track suggesting that what Afghanistan needs is a stronger US military presence.

No doubt, Obama senses that the American public yearns for some sort of victory against Al-Qaeda, the elusive terrorist group that dared strike at America’s heartland on 9/11. “Losing is not an option when it comes to Al-Qaeda…” he told CBS. He wants to look tough on security issues, where his rival John McCain seems to have an edge.

But this is the old thinking from a view of doubtful validity -- accepted as gospel by many Western politicians -- that Western security depends on locating the ageing Osama bin Laden in some remote mountain fastness, and destroying him.

This is to mistake the nature of the threat to Western societies. Far more dangerous than Al-Qaeda is the mass of angry tribesmen and city-dwellers in the Afghan provinces of Helmand and Kandahar, in Pakistan’s Baluchistan, in the tribal agencies of North and South Waziristan, in and around the teeming city of Peshawar, and even further afield in neighbouring Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

He makes a strong case.
Winning hearts and minds is not rocket science, if you'll forgive a bad but obvious metaphor.

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