How Best Can the International Community Support Security in Pakistan?

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
April 24, 2009
Taliban Walking in Pakistan

The Taliban pose a serious threat to Pakistan and its neighbors. The United States is working with the governments in Afghanistan and Pakistan to counter these violent extremists and strengthen civil society and governance.

How best can the international community support security in Pakistan?

Comments

Comments

Rizwanul
|
Canada
April 24, 2009

Rizwanul in Canada writes:

I am a Canadian citizen of Pakistan origin living in Toronto.

The purpose of my writing this article to you is that I am greatly concerned with the recent development in Pakistan regarding growing influence and advancement of Taliban. As a concerned citizen of the world and due to my link with that country I am greatly concerned and saddened with this development.

Taliban who are uneducated, illiterate and unaware of the modern society, science and technology are trying to impose their version of strict Islamic law (sharia) on the general public of Pakistan through the use of gun, murder, beheading, slaughtering and using inhuman tactics. They are acting against the basic human rights. General people are afraid of these terrorist and has no power or capacity to cap their growing influence. Day by day they are multiplying and grabbing more and more land in NWFP. The speed with which they are advancing shows that soon they will be coming to the settled areas of Pakistan and the days are not far when they could take control of Islamabad.

I have lost my confidence with the government and armed forces of Pakistan because the way they are handling the situation is simply ineffective and nothing as compared to the threat posed by these terrorist. The authority seems to be hesitant to act against the terrorist even though terrorist are challenging the writ and authority of the Pakistani government. Government of Pakistan and the establishment seems to be unwilling to fight these terrorist. Each time they sing a peace deal with them, this simply give them chance to regroup, reorganize and then move ahead with more force and pressure. This is really very strange not only to me but also to so many other people.

After signing deal to implement Sharia (Islamic) law in Swat with the force of gun barrel Taliban seems to have emboldened. This has given them a clear signal that the government and armed forces cannot fight with them. The general people are also like chicken to them. They can slaughter anybody, anytime, anywhere and nobody is there to check them.

These band of terrorist are against anything which is from the modern world. They are destroying the art, culture, tradition, historical sites in the name of religion.

This is simple and clear that Taliban are not only enemy of U.S.A. but also enemy of the people of Pakistan and the world in large. The speed with which they are growing and the ideology on which they are working is simply disastrous for the whole world. Probably the biggest threat to the world is not Al Qaida but the Taliban.

I request the government of U.S.A. to act with full force to crush these extremist. Ask the Pakistani government to act accordingly. The real enemy of Pakistan is not India but the extremist therefore, they should move the forces from the Indian border and bring them to fight these terrorist who are not more than few thousand. If Pakistani government does not take action then U.S.A. should take the matter in its hand and should root out this menace forever.

Syrian P.
|
Syria
April 25, 2009

SNP in Syria writes:

Tell the CIA to stop cutting deals with Talibans and the Defense Dept. to stop cutting deals with Shia Iran. One can understand that the Caspian pipeline project requires eventually U.S. forces on ground occupying Pakistan, to get rid of the menacing Talibans Sunni extremist terrorists and stop Shia from taking over...LOL. Give the CIA credit for the dealing intellect and knowing how to find useful idiots in the world to use as patsies.

Rose
|
New Zealand
April 25, 2009

Rose in New Zealand writes:

Do all you can to encourage moderates in Pakistan to reverse policy of allowing Taliban any control. The security concerns for western democracies should be of ultimate concern. All the best with your efforts Sec Clinton.

Rajeendra P.
|
Australia
April 25, 2009

Rajeendra in Australia writes:

Answer is simple.

International community should pressure U.S.A. to withdraw from Afghanistan and Iraq. U.S.A. has been the curse of modern world for ages. They have not learnt lessons from Vietnam and continue to slaughter innocents as they killed 220,000 people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

U.S.A. has orchestrated murders over 01 million civilians including hunderds of thousand of children in Iraq and Afghanistan. Let us be united to uproot this menance for ever.

Let the afghanistan, iraq or any country to run their countries as the way they like. As long as they are not a threat internationally, let them have their own way.

joe
|
Tennessee, USA
April 25, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

This may sound peculiar, but why did we provide Pakistan, or any other country a weapon we could not take back or disarm that could be used against us or any of our allies?

China started manufacturing their counterfeit SUKs when they found Russia had imprinted a program to render them unusable. -- did that slip by you?

The push shows evidence of a third party or a collective much more united Internationally than is recognized. The move may have been like the first push of the Tent offensive to see reactions and level of resistance and make adjustments.

It did exhibit a more concerted effort of unity overall then expected. I say this as it came at the same time we unfocused on Iraq and they had the worst day in a year by a proposed outside terrorist group. This shows consolidation and methodology as well as a communication system we have not cracked. It supports there is a world effort. Thus, it provides credence for the International community to not let their guard down and work in conjunction with the U.S.

The war may seem abstract, but there is now more than enough evidence to see there is a common matrix which must be found as our weakness is in being simply reactionary after the fact.

To answer the question: We need unification and improvement of International Intelligence gathering.

ralph
|
District Of Columbia, USA
April 25, 2009

Ralph in Washington, DC writes:

CIA does not make those type of arangements.

SNP:You watch too many movies...or take Al Jazeera as truth. By the way, for those who seem to think there are no changes for women out there in the great sand box, even Al Jazeera has a woman on staff....by the way SNP where are you actually located that your knowledge base provides proff of such violations of International law and the U.S. Logan Act...as some actions may represent a subversive act to destablize a government, which your eluding too...and in this case that is not the goal. These are some pretty smart guys your attacking....Stick with movies...

syrian P.
|
Syria
April 25, 2009

SNP in Syria writes:

@ Ralph in D.C. -- Ok I will be quite and report that it is campaign to bring freedom, democracy and human rights to Pakistan.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
April 25, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Ralph, Joe and SNP, The truth is easy enough to find if you do the research.

In the interest of the truth, I'm posting the full congressional testimony of one who knows the bottom line.

It's my hope that he Dept. of State will take due note of it, and act accordingly.

CHALLENGE FACING AMERICA -- (House of Representatives - September 17, 2001) [Page: H5707]

---
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of January 3, 2001, the gentleman from California (Mr. ROHRABACHER) is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader.

Mr. ROHRABACHER. "Mr. Speaker, it is in deep sadness that I rise today to speak to my colleagues and to set down a record that is, I believe, necessary to understand the horrible loss that we have suffered.

During these last few days, most of us have experienced a deep and painful sadness. Now that sadness, rightfully, is turning into anger. It is anger, as it should be, at those who perpetrated this monstrous crime against us; and those people who committed this crime will feel the wrath of the American people, a wrath that has not so been unleashed since Pearl Harbor. We must and we will avenge our countrymen. Anyone with a hand or even a finger in this mass slaughter of innocent Americans will pay the ultimate price. We do this because it is our duty, and nothing will deter us.

One note of warning, Mr. Speaker: we must not permit our rage, and there is rage in my soul and the soul of all of our fellow Americans, but we must not let this rage lead to actions that will [Page: H5708] strengthen the hand of the fanatic terrorists with whom we now do battle. These monsters are counting on us to strike out blindly and to attack people who are our potential allies and friends, thus alienating them and turning them into enemies.

What bin Laden wants is for the United States, us, to turn this into a battle between us, the United States, and every Muslim in the world. He wants to push the world's Muslims, into his camp. We must not do that, and, in order not to, we must have a restraint and fortitude on our part so that we can guard against that outcome as we seek our retribution against the terrorists who have committed such a crime against us.

Thus, as we proceed to do our duty, we must recognize that there are Muslims throughout the world who are on our side. These people, too, have been victimized by these terrorists and gangsters. We need to reach out and enlist freedom-loving Muslim people in the world to join us; and especially we must recognize that the many Muslim-Americans, our fellow citizens, are with us and feel even a greater sorrow for the despicable crime that has been committed against us, because they, too, are us, the United States.

Our greatest strength as a Nation is that America is a land of people of all races and religions and ethnic groups. At the prayer service at our National Cathedral, all faiths, including Islam, were represented; and we can be very proud of that. Now is the time for all of us to stand together.

So how is it that this land of liberty, this free and open society, should become the target of such hatred that it led to the slaughter of thousands of helpless, innocent, kind-hearted, working American people? Those folks were at their desks at work before 9 a.m., so why is it that they and we and America is so hated?

Let us not forget that the Nazis knew that the light of freedom from America was a force which would derail their evil plans. Hitler then declared war on us. Similarly, the Japanese militarists of the 1930s knew full well that the only force in the world that stood in their way of ruling Asia and the Pacific with an iron hand was the United States of America; and they, too, attacked us. The attack on New York was, of course, worse than Pearl Harbor. Then our Navy, our military personnel and their weapons, were the target. What happened in New York was far more cowardly an attack, a ruthless slaughter of civilians, of unarmed and totally innocent men, women and children.

A united America rose up after Pearl Harbor and righteously struck down those evil forces that threatened the world at that time. During the years after the Second World War, it was America that stood tall and faced down the last great totalitarian evil that threatened this planet, communism. Communism, like Naziism, was defeated in a Cold War that sometimes was very hot. Victory was assured by our resolve, by our courage, and by tough decisions made by our leaders, America's leaders.

I worked in the White House during the years when Ronald Reagan brought an end to the Cold War, culminating with the dismantling of the communist dictatorship that controlled Russia and its puppet states. Essential to that great victory was President Reagan's support for various people who were fighting to free themselves from communist tyranny."

cont...

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
April 25, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

CHALLENGE FACING AMERICA -- (House of Representatives - September 17, 2001)

Mr. ROHRABACHER- (Cont...)"The bravest and most fierce of these anti-Soviet insurgents were in Afghanistan. The American people can be proud that we provided the Afghan people the weapons they needed to win their own freedom and independence. That Cold War battle was a major factor in breaking the will of the communist bosses in Moscow, thus ending the Cold War, making almost everyone on this planet in these last 10 years, especially in the Western democracies, safer and more prosperous.

This, however, is where we must begin to understand the grotesque crime that has now been committed against us. One of the common errors found in news reports in these last few days has been the suggestion that those holding power in Afghanistan today are the same people who we supported in the war against Soviet occupation in Afghanistan back in the 1980s. This, by and large, is wrong.

Yes, some of those currently in power in Kabul also fought the Russians. But, by and large, we are talking about two different groups, two different sets of people. Those who fought the Soviet occupation were called the Mujahedin. During my time at the White House during the 1980s, I had the opportunity to meet and get to know most of their leaders. The current Taliban leadership does not include any of those wartime leaders.

After I left the White House and was elected to Congress, but before I was sworn into Congress, I knew I had that two months between November and January to do things that I could never do once I was elected to Congress. I chose to hike into Afghanistan as part of a small Mujahedin unit and to engage in a battle against the Russian and communist forces near and around the city of Jalalabad. The Mujahedin I marched with were incredibly brave, but they were not senseless killers. Their religious faith was devout, but they were not fanatics. They prayed daily, but I did not see them chastising those who were not joining them in prayer. They faced death, but their dreams were of life.

I will never forget one moment as I hiked in from the Khyber Pass and around to the other side of Jalalabad to join this battle. As we marched forth into the night with the Mujahedin unit, the nights were lit up by, and you could hear the thunder, of cannons and see the flash of the cannons in the distance. We knew we were hiking into a battle. [Time: 12:15] One of the Mujahedin in this unit with which I marched rushed to my side, and he was probably around 16 or 17 years old, with an AK-47 strapped across his back. He talked to me in perfect English saying, I understand that you are in politics in America. I said, yes, I am a political person in America. He said, I need to know, are you a donkey or are you an elephant?

I will never forget that young person. He knew more about our politics, and certainly none of our young people could know that much about what was going on in that part of the world. As he marched into this battle, he told me of his dream to be an architect so that someday he could help rebuild his country, Afghanistan, into a decent place for families and for people to live, and expressed to me how grateful he was to me and to all Americans for the help that we were giving them to throw off the Soviet occupation forces that were so brutal to their countrymen. I do not know if that young man ever survived that war.

It was a year later when the Russians retreated from Afghanistan and the Russians left. The United States, which had been providing $1 billion a year to finance that war, we simply walked away. We walked away and left Afghanistan to its own fate."

cont..

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
April 25, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

CHALLENGE FACING AMERICA -- (House of Representatives - September 17, 2001)

Mr. ROHRABACHER -- (cont...) After years of death and destruction, we walked away; we left them with no guidance and no resources to even rebuild. We did not even help them clear the landmines which we had personally given the Mujahedin to help them defeat the Russians, much less clear the Russian landmines that were still there. We left these brave heroes who helped us end the Cold War; we left them to sleep in the rubble. Most importantly, we left them with no leadership, except that of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, two countries that have played a shameful role in Afghanistan over these last 10 years.

After the collapse of the Communist regime in Afghanistan, the Mujahedin factions who fought the Russians, but with no direction from the United States, began bickering and fighting among themselves. This went on for several years.

Then, in 1996, a new force appeared, seemingly out of nowhere: the Taliban.

These were fresh, well-equipped forces who had, by and large, sat out the war in Pakistan. They had been in Pakistan in what they called schools. ``Taliban,'' by the way, means student, even though most of these are older men who are totally illiterate. All of the money America provided the Mujahedin during the war had to be sent through; that is, the war against Soviet Union occupation, had to be sent through the equivalent of the Pakistani CIA, which is called the ISI. But apparently, the Pakistanis had siphoned enough off to create a third force, and since the war was over and [Page: H5709] the other factions had been bled white, they could use this third force to dominate Afghanistan.

Also behind the Taliban is and was Saudi Arabia. During the war against the Russians, the Saudis provided the Afghan resistance with hundreds of millions of dollars. For that we can be grateful. They are one of the few countries that stepped up to the plate during the Cold War to actually confront the Soviet Union aggression. Unfortunately, however, the Saudis were financing antiwestern as well as AntiCommunist Muslims, and one of those who they financed was bin Laden.

I cannot forget also as I marched with that Mujahedin unit to the battle of Jalalabad and, by the way, that battle was a long-time siege that had been taking place around the city, we at one point in that march came across a camp of tents. They were white tents and you could see them in the distance, and I was told at that point I must not speak English for at least another 3 hours, because the people in those tents were Saudi Arabians under a crazy commander named bin Laden, and that bin Laden was so crazy that he wanted to kill Americans as much as he wanted to kill Russians. Thus, I must keep my mouth shut or we would be attacked by those forces, by those forces under bin Laden.

Later, much later, after I had become a Congressman, I met with the head of Saudi intelligence, the man responsible for providing that money to the Afghans during the war, the $200 million or so, or whatever it was that the Saudis provided to the Afghans. His name was General Turkey. I suggested to General Turkey that what we needed to do now that the Russians had left Afghanistan was to bring back to Afghanistan the exiled king of Afghanistan. It was King Zahir Shah who was overthrown in 1972. It was that overthrow of this king who had been a very good person and a good man, it was his overthrow that started the bloody cycle of events which eventually led to the Soviet Union invasion of 1979 and the subsequent war against Soviet Union occupation.

I suggested to bring back the king of Afghanistan because he was a wonderful person and beloved by his people. He was a person who was a moderate in his approach and never killed other people. He, in fact, was truly a moderate and, I might say, pro-western or western oriented, although a devout Muslim. But the Saudis wanted nothing to do with bringing back a moderate good-hearted king from exile. They and their Pakistani allies were in the process of creating a secret third force that I did not know anything about: the Taliban. But during my conversation, it was mentioned that a third force was being created, one that could take over Afghanistan and bring stability, but, of course, one that would do the bidding of their Pakistani and Saudi handlers."

cont...

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
April 25, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

CHALLENGE FACING AMERICA -- (House of Representatives - September 17, 2001)

Mr. ROHRABACHER-(cont...) "One must wonder why the Saudi Arabians and the Pakistanis are even to this day so involved in Afghanistan. This is an important fact of history that we need to understand. Number one, the type of religious fervor they have and the type of Islam they have in Saudi Arabia is very similar to that in Afghanistan.

It is unbending and intolerant and they do not permit any other faith in their country. Also, the Pakistanis, a large number of the Pakistanis, especially those who were the Pastuns up near the border of Afghanistan, they too share the same type of extremist and fanatic branch of Islam, even though that has nothing to do, it is an aberration, with the rest of Islam throughout the world.

So that is number one. They have that in common.

But the Pakistanis and the Saudis have two other things in common. As long as chaos was able to reign and continues in Afghanistan, there will never be a pipeline built through Afghanistan that permits the oil from central Asia. This vast quantity of oil that we know exists in central Asia, it cannot be brought to market because a pipeline will never be built through Afghanistan while the Taliban is in power and while chaos reins. What does that mean? That means oil prices have been much higher, maybe $5 a barrel higher, than they would have been had Afghanistan been under a good king and a stable government and a pipeline built that would have brought that oil out into the world market; and there are vast quantities of oil in central Asia waiting, just waiting to come to market.

The other factor is drugs. Unfortunately, there are many corrupt people and there are corrupt people all over the world, but there are many corrupt people in the Pakistani intelligence system, people who have been involved with drugs right up to their eyeballs. And what has Afghanistan produced in these last 10 years? Sixty percent of the world's heroin. Sixty percent of the world's heroin comes from Afghanistan. That huge amount of money, I knew, would bring down the government of Pakistan, the democracy of Pakistan.

Today, instead of a democracy, Pakistan has a military government because of the instability that is created by a Taliban regime of fanatics right next door. But there were people in Pakistan that profited by that regime.

When the Taliban fist arrived on the scene, people believed that they would be a force for stability. So, by and large, they were welcomed by many Afghan people, except in the northern provinces. And let me note that when the Taliban first arrived on the scene, they were carrying pictures of the old exiled king, Zahir Shah, claiming they were going to bring back the king, as I say, a much beloved figure. Well, the people in the northern provinces were not fooled, and the Taliban, they did not want the Taliban to take over their areas; and the Taliban were blocked by local commanders unwilling to permit these unfamiliar troops, as I say, many of whom totally sat out the war against the Russians. They were not going to let them just come in and take over their territory. And all too soon, the people of Afghanistan and the rest of the world were to discover that the Pakistanis and the Saudis had created a monster.

The Taliban were and are medieval in their words, in their world view, and their religious view. They are violent, they are intolerant, they are fanatics that are totally out of sync with Muslims throughout the world, even Muslims in their own country, and they are especially out of sync with Muslims living in the western democracies. The Taliban are best known for their horrific treatment of women, but they are violators of human rights across the board. They have jailed and threatened to execute Christian aid workers. And let us not forget those Christian aid
workers who are in Afghanistan being held under arrest as we speak. In fact, they have jailed and threatened to execute these Christian aid workers, people who came there to help their people, for allegedly, allegedly daring to espouse a belief in Jesus Christ. That is enough to get them executed in Afghanistan.

The Taliban have ended all personal freedoms. Freedom of speech and press are not even under consideration. And the Taliban ruled by fear and force and when they were asked, and I challenged them to have an election so the people of Afghanistan could choose their government and if they chose the Taliban, so be it, the Taliban only laughed and stonewalled and refused to even consider permitting the Afghan people to have an election and choose their leaders."

cont...

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
April 25, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

CHALLENGE FACING AMERICA -- (House of Representatives - September 17, 2001)

Mr. ROHRABACHER-(cont...) "Mr. Speaker, the Taliban are as big an enemy of the United States and, yes, as big an enemy to the Afghan people as they are to the people of the United States. The Talibans believe they have a private line to God, and the rest of us, with our religious constrictions are, according to the Taliban, we are not only wrong, but we are evil. That is why they have been willing to give safe haven to the likes of bin Laden, the Saudi terrorist who has been now in Afghanistan for several years. About 5 years he has been in Afghanistan, we have
known he has been there, he has been visible. And while he has been there, he has been clearly training terrorists and planning out his attacks. This is nothing new. We have known about that.

And oh, yes, bin Laden has an army of several thousand gunmen who he has brought in from various parts of the world, so they are foreigners to the people of Afghanistan, and this group of gunmen have been running around Afghanistan like a pack of mad dogs killing anyone who is an enemy to Taliban power. These foreign religious fanatics have killed thousands of Afghans, so the Taliban and bin Laden are as despised [Page: H5710]in that country as they are in our country today.

For these last few years, the Taliban, with the support of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, have captured control of all but a small portion of Afghanistan. Only the Panjshir Valley territory in northeastern Afghanistan and the Shamali Plains north of Kabul are under the control and have been under the control of a legendary and dashing leader named Commander Massoud and they remain free of Taliban domination.

The day before the attack on the world trade towers and the Pentagon, there was an attempt to kill Commander Massoud. Many of us thought he was dead, he was reported dead, but he struggled for life for another 5 days and just died 2 days ago. [Time: 12:30]

However, the attack on Commander Massoud; and I knew him, I had met him in Afghanistan. By the way, I will just say that I have been in and out of Afghanistan several times in these last few years. The last time I went in was to see Commander Massoud. The attack on the commander told me something terrible was about to happen, something terrible was about to happen, because Massoud was someone that bin Laden understood that if he did something that would make the United States or someone else very angry at him, that Massoud was someone that would be turned to immediately by our side to ally with.

So before the attack on the World Trade Towers and on the Pentagon, bin Laden and his terrorists attacked Commander Massoud and, unfortunately, succeeded in killing him and eliminating Commander Massoud from the equation today.

I was so concerned about this, understanding that this was telling us that something horrible was going to happen, that I made an appointment to see the top officials in the White House in the National Security Council. My appointment with the National Security Council at the White House was to warn them that this attack on Massoud obviously meant something big was about to happen.

My appointment was for 2:30 that afternoon. Unfortunately, at 8:45 that morning, the first plane slammed into the World Trade Center."

Cont...

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
April 25, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

CHALLENGE FACING AMERICA -- (House of Representatives - September 17, 2001)

Mr. ROHRABACHER -- (cont...) "But the Taliban domination of Afghanistan was something that we could have ended long ago. Commander Massoud and the Northern Alliance were fighting the Taliban unsupported, with no help from the outside for years.

As a Member of Congress, for years I pleaded with the previous administration, I pleaded with them at the highest levels to provide some kind of help for the Northern Alliance, which was then fighting almost without bullets and weapons against the Taliban. They could have done something, and no one in that administration was willing to do it. So I believe that in many ways the previous administration was responsible for keeping the Taliban in power, even though during this very same time period, this very same time period, bin Laden was openly declaring war in the United States, planning attacks against us and building a terrorist network.

Every time I suggest that the last administration was in some way acquiescing to the Taliban being in power, there are those who just go ballistic because they believe I am being partisan at a moment when national unity is obviously the order of the day.

Let me emphasize that I am not being partisan. As a senior member of the Committee on International Relations, I officially requested State Department documents that would prove or disprove my suspicion that the last administration was secretly supporting the Taliban, and I was stonewalled in that request.

Let me make this clear. I am a senior member of the Committee on International Relations. It is my job to oversee the State Department. Other people have other committees, and they oversee those agencies and departments.

As a member of that committee, that is part of my job.

The gentleman from New York (Mr. GILMAN) joined me in a request for these.

Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State, promised I would have the documents. I wanted the documents pertaining to the development of our government's policy toward the Taliban. Yet, as an elected official, I had unelected officials, executives at the State Department, refusing to grant me the access to understand what our policy was toward the Taliban. I was instead given meaningless documents.

Members will hear in answer to this charge: ``We gave the gentleman from California (Mr. ROHRABACHER) documents,'' but these were meaningless documents that had nothing to do with the development of the Taliban strategy. I never saw any of the documents about how we should approach the Taliban.

The State Department made a joke out of Congress' right to oversee America's foreign policy, especially towards Afghanistan. I pleaded with my colleagues to back me up in that demand. I will say that several Democrats did back me up in demanding that the previous administration provide me with that documentation.

But why? Why is it that I was stonewalled? Why is it that they never gave me those documents? I have to believe because those documents would show that the previous administration did consciously acquiesce to having the Taliban in power, probably as some kind of agreement with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan that they would be permitted to dominate this country, even though it was clear that a terrorist network was being set up there and that America was the target of that terrorist network. Americans had already been murdered by that time, in Saudi Arabia, with barracks blown up and such.

By the way, in Afghanistan and in that region, it is commonly believed by the people that the United States created the Taliban and that we support the Taliban. There are reasons that they believe that we supported the Taliban."

Cont...

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
April 25, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

CHALLENGE FACING AMERICA -- (House of Representatives - September 17, 2001)

Mr. ROHRABACHER -- (cont...) "We need to lead this world, as our President, George W. Bush, is doing, to set a new moral standard. We have to keep to that moral standard as we proceed to seek justice and vengeance for the death of our people. That new moral standard has got to be that noncombatants will not be attacked. We will not kill unarmed innocent people in order to achieve a political objective.

Now, when people attack other people's military, as the Japanese did in the beginning of World War II, that was an act of war; it was not an act of terrorism. Yes, people can commit acts of war; but let us set a standard, a moral standard that we will proceed and demand and enforce that no longer will anyone be able to set a bomb off in a pizza place or retaliation will not take place against unarmed civilians, no matter what that crime was. And there are legitimate concerns in the Middle East by all sides that both sides of the Palestinian-Israeli battle have over the time of this conflict attacked unarmed people or retaliated against unarmed people when someone else's unarmed people were attacked.

The new standard should be for this world that we will not tolerate women and children be used as targets or unarmed combatants being used for targets for any reason. First, our dead Americans, yes, they will be avenged; but they will be avenged by establishing this new standard. Hopefully, that will deter at least some of those swine who contemplate such attacks in the future. And by affirming that the targeting of unarmed combatants anywhere in the world for whatever reason will not be tolerated, we have taken a major step forward.

We will be building a better world even if it is being built on the ashes of this tragedy. We will do it by seeing to it that the bin Ladens of this planet are never again, which is a corollary to this, those people who are committing such terrorist attacks against unarmed people, nowhere will they be given safe haven. And any country that provides safe haven for the terrorists who target these innocents, that will not be tolerated; and they will be held responsible for the terrorist acts that are being committed by people who use their country as a staging area. And those countries which harbor the criminals, those countries which help them launder their money, those countries that give them support, they themselves will pay a heavy price for this criminal disregard for the victims of terrorism. There will and must be an accounting across the board.

At home, those top government executives whose policies protected the Taliban must be held accountable. Those people who stonewalled the Congress' efforts to get that information of what our policy was; those officials who in the Taliban were vulnerable convinced their enemies not to attack. The intelligence officers who were supposed to be protecting us, those people in the State Department who should have been adhering to America's moral and ethical and political standards and supporting those opposed to the Taliban rather than acquiescing to leaving the Taliban in power because of the argument of stability, those State Department people, those intelligence officers, these are executives, are not political appointees. These are top-level executives who have been there for years. They need to be cleared out. They need to be held responsible for the slaughter of thousands of Americans without any warning."

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
April 25, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

CHALLENGE FACING AMERICA -- (House of Representatives - September 17, 2001)

Mr. ROHRABACHER -- (cont...) "We had no warning here in Washington, D.C. at all. They could have destroyed this Capitol building. We had no warning. With a massive operation like this, and we had no warning. It is incompetence on our side. We have to do that; we have to correct this in order to make sure it does not happen again. All of this pounding of our chests and expressing our moral outrage means nothing unless we are willing to take that type of action. And it is not easy telling someone, I am sorry you're out of your job because you were incompetent.

Those countries, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, they have a price to pay. We will figure out what it is. First and foremost they have to do a reversal on what they are doing to protect the Taliban and protect the terrorists right now. And we will figure out what they have to do to make up for what they have done that led to this crime.

And, finally, the murdering terrorists themselves will pay the ultimate price. They will pay this price. We will have victory over those ghouls who murdered our defenseless fellow Americans. We will win, because we are united as never before, and because this generation of Americans, as these terrorists will find out, have the courage, the tenacity, and the ideals that have always been
America's greatest source of strength.

It is up to us to do this. Past generations of Americans met the challenge. They saved the world time and again. It is up to us to do it again, and we will. We will do it because it is our duty and nothing will deter us.

END

---

The way forward:

Pakistan must face the fact that the "Frakenstein" they created has now turned on its creator.

They can either accept the help offered, or risk all, including America's physical armed intervention in a major way on Pakistani soil. They must know their soveign rights are secondary to ending the threat posed to one and all.

In fact , the Taliban are the biggest threat to the soveregnity of Pakistan they could possibly imagine.

So we must proceed to include Pakistan as a provisional member of NATO, by providing the democraticly elected government there the same status of protection "an attack n one is an attack on all", as international policy, implemented in full, including the removal and safeguarding in a third country, such as the U.S...all fisile material, nuclear weapons, and delivery systems.

Monitoring is not sufficiant to prevent access to these weapons by their very proximity to the threat posed by the Taliban, al quaida, and others interested in destabilizing the region.

At the same time the Packistan government becomes willing to give up its nuclear weapons, we provide an nuclear umbrela of security (a la NATO doctrine)to them so they won't be feeling naked, and without recourse if a regional power tries to threaten them.

Pakistan must be allowed to become a full partner in the global struggle against terror, and know they own the fight to the death.

Appeasement ain't the way to win hearts and minds.

Zharkov
|
United States
April 25, 2009

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

Let's talk about the trend of Pakistani soldiers refusing to fight the Taliban because they are fellow Muslims. Was this kept a secret from our intelligence services?

The best estimate is that from 2001 to 2007, the United States has given about $10.6 billion dollars in foreign assistance to Pakistan. The vast majority of current U.S. assistance goes to the Pakistani military. Why would anyone expect a different outcome from giving billions of dollars in aid to Pakistan?

"While Musharraf admitted the Taliban were being sheltered in the lawless frontier border regions, the declassified US documents released on Wednesday clearly illustrate that the Taliban was directly funded, armed and advised by Islamabad itself," the National Security Archives said. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/2283491.cms

Did we not arm the Taliban initially, and later, Pakistan and give them billions of dollars, similar to the deal Ambassador Sullivan gave Ayatollah Khomeini under the Carter Administration, when we switched sides and dumped the Shah of Iran?

Now with Khomeini, DoS knew as far back as 1973 that Khomeini advocated assassination of Americans, or shall we still pretend we had no idea that he didn't like us?

The Pressler Amendment required the president to certify that Pakistan did not have a nuclear weapon for the fiscal year in which aid was to be provided. Throughout the 1980s, President Reagan and George H.W. Bush certified that Pakistan did not. How could we have missed their nuclear weapons program and not known? Did someone forget to ask them?

Maybe we getting exactly what we paid for -- a nuclear-armed Pakistan run by a military loyal to the Taliban?

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
April 26, 2009

Donald in Virginia writes:

The country of Pakistan is the heart of Terrorism. They have trained Taliban, they continue recruiting and causing more problems around the world. The International Community should do more to prevent this country to do business until they can clean up their own backyards and root out all the terrorists. Otherwise this appears more transparent that people in high places want to keep sending them money but only to fight our troops in Afghanistan.

I don't trust the Pakistan Military is doing everything they can do to prevent the Taliban from existing in Pakistan. Were talking about a country thats about the size of Texas. How difficult is it for the Pakistan Government to start taking the right action and root out all the terrorists? Or is the Pakistan Government crooked as well?

I believe that the whole country of Pakistan needs to be re-evaluated and a stronger military force lead by the Pakistan Government to do the job needed once and for all. Stop playing games with peoples lives. Getting Resolve is most likely the best word for the Pakistan Government. Otherwise it looks more like the Leadership is in bed with the Taliban forces. How much money has the United States Government sent to Pakistan and yet how many of those dollars have been spent on weapons, devices and or other things which might have cost American lives!!! Think about that before you continue sending Pakistan more money in future!!!

Rizwanul
|
Canada
April 26, 2009

Rizwanul in Canada writes:

It is the responsibility of the International community to help Pakistan to fight terrorism. However, it is also the responsibility of Pakistan itself to realize that the growing extremism is the real danger for its own existence.

Action is needed now before its to late. This growing extremism in Pakistan is the single biggest threat for the whole civilzed society of the world. U.S.A. is in better position to press the Paksitani government to take action.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
April 26, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Donald in Virginia, one way to look at this is to consider the Pakistani people the victims of terrorism, just as we did the people of Afghanistan after 9/11.

They need our help, and we need theirs to solve a problem that affects us both.

What the Pakistani intel services did in the past in creating and supportng the taliban is not so important as what they do today to end the problem they helped create in the first place.

If the ISI is still involved in helping the al quaida or Taliban, or any government official is involved for that matter, the current democratic government has no choice but to root them out and charge the individuals with high treason.

As a matter of its own survival as a legitimate government that serves its people.

Texas isn't a good example, try putting 175 million in New Mexico and Colorado, with all the mountains to hide in, and lack of infrastructure, poverty, and real educational opportunity they live with, and we don't.

Over half living on 2 dollars per day or less, with the largest Muslim city of 17 mil. only getting a few hours electricity per day.

What do you think would happen here if the U.S. gov. had spent its money building nukes instead of taking care of its people, providing jobs and a means to better their lives?

No matter, the taliban and al quaida arn't soon to set up shop in the Rocky Mountains, and if they tried, we won't need hunting licences like we do for elk. It'll be open season year round.

If the Talban were smart, they'd cease and desist, go back to their homes and take care of their women and children, and give up the religion of the gun, and start practicing true Islam.

Far braver is the man who lays his weapons down to walk a path of peace than the one who clings to it in fear of coexistance and ignorance of a better path.

The Pakistan government tried to give them the choice, but made the mistake of allowing them to have any political or military control over any portion of Pakistan.

Kind of makes any complaints about U.S. drones and even troops on Pak soil "violating their soveregnity" ring hollow when they willingly ceade territory to terrorists.

Bad policy choice. I think they now realize what a mistake it was to do so..

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
April 26, 2009

Donald in Virginia writes:

@ Eric in New Mexico -- I can agree with most of your points but keep in mind, what did the Government of Pakistan do about Bhutto? I mean it was very clear they were out to get that woman. I also still believe that Usama bin laden is still alive and will always cause probems to the world. If he is nested their in Pakistan he certainly must have one big cave he's hiding in, maybe the oldest or largest in the world.

How many terrorist activity has happened in Pakistan over the years? If the Pakistan people are only making a few dollars and their walking around with AK-47's well something doesn't quite add up?

Maybe someone should be finding the Arms dealers who are selling the AK-47's from Russia to Pakistan? Then my friend Eric you explain to me how the average Pakistan has the money to buy an expensive assault weapon like an AK-47 on the market if he only has 2 dollars?

I can almost guarantee there is no assault weapons selling for 2 dollars anywhere in the world today. The real question is how and by whom is sending these weapons to support the Taliban in Pakistan? You find the Arms dealers and you put the Taliban out of business completely.

Which leads me to the other point, how hard would it be for the Pakistan Government to funnel the money, allow the Arms dealers in the country, and support terrorist and to the news media they report a completely different story. How they are out trying to gather up all the terrorists. Sounds alot like the old PLO Arafat who told his people one thing and shined to the West.

Edite
|
Canada
April 26, 2009

Edite in Canada writes:

It might be helpful to arrange the formation of a type of oversight committee comprised of interested nations from NATO who could provide necessary training of police and military, justice department officials to formulate a viable court system to deal with civil and military matters,provide Pakistan with a good reason to disavow the Taliban's activities and not give them succor.They need to understand that the international democratic society wants stability and economic and financial responsibility which will yield benefits for Pakistan's future as a whole. They must be assured that America, especially, is a friend and not a foe and is concerned for the security of the region so that its population can live in peace and harmony. Baby steps are the only way to go. A baby needs to learn to sit, then crawl, then walk and finally run. Respect and an undeniable concern for their inner dignity is a must-do. A constant, coherent, running dialogue is imperative and gives an opportunity to correct errors and missteps along the way, The path will not be easy. It will have twists, turns, potholes, and bumpy travels and near collapses into ravines, but the play must go on or the international community will have to face a much more serious and worrisome future. It will be an onerous task to take on but with perseverence and conviction and the right people to do the job, the help will be gratefully received even if reluctantly.

John
|
Greece
April 26, 2009

John in Greece writes:

@ Donald in VA -- QUOTE: I can almost guarantee there is no assault weapons selling for 2 dollars anywhere in the world today. Maybe someone should be finding the Arms dealers who are selling the AK-47's from Russia to Pakistan? END OF QUOTE!!!

You are RIGHT Donald -- Although I am not in the "gun business or info" -- I can theoretically agree with you that there are plenty of Russian assault weapons selling -- they give it for free -- not only for 2 dollars, but FOR 0 $s in order to destroy West. Let's call it "ex-Soviet Romantics give aways".

I got no proofs, but you "sound" very logical!

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
April 27, 2009

Donald in Virginia writes:

Thanks John in Greece

I believe the FBI should be INVESTIGATING and involved in finding those Arms Dealers who are selling illegal weapons to foreign countries like Africa and Pakistan. Notice how it was the Pirates who suddenly have these AK-47 Weapons as well. I also heard they have RPG'S as well, which most likely is made in Russia. Shutting down the Arms deliveries to foreign countries.

It shouldn't be difficult to find out how many Russian Bussiness people go into Africa and Pakistan. Then figure out how they are deliverying these weapons into the countries.

Pressure should also be placed on the country of Russia for selling these weapons to foreign countries. The biggest problem in the world about weapons is, How a country can MASS Produce and sell them and take no responsibility for the amount of innocent lives they have taken.

GREED - WEAPONS DEALERS - LOSS OF HUMAN LIFE!

Remove the Arms Dealers and YOU HAVE NO WAR - NO CASUALITIES - NO DEATHS!!!

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
April 27, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Donald, Does the U.S. military make you buy your weapon when you sign up? No. Neither does the taliban, who get them from all over and pay in opium, lapace and other semi precious stones, preferably from Iran, since the Iranian made AK-47 comes with a grenade launcher. Chinese weapons have been smuggled in too.

What Iran was/is doing in Iraq, it is doing in Afghanistan, this is why you see more suicide bombers, and IED's. The Iranian made Dragon land mine is not a black market item, but comes directly through the Rev. Guard to the Taliban , and Karzai needs to do a rethink about Afghan/Iranian relations because while he thinks the Iranians hate the Taliban, The Iranians are more than willing to use them as proxi against US/ISAF forces, and supply them with all the arms and munitions they need for all the opium they can get. Gotta keep the Iranian masses stoned oblivious to keep them from rising up against the mullahs in numbers sufficiant to have a second revolution.

"Which leads me to the other point, how hard would it be for the Pakistan Government to funnel the money, allow the Arms dealers in the country, and support terrorist and to the news media they report a completely different story. How they are out trying to gather up all the terrorists. Sounds alot like the old PLO Arafat who told his people one thing and shined to the West."

Had you substituted Iran for Pakistan, you would be more correct.

But be careful about making assumptions, Pakistan is not a homogenous entity. Nor is it a state sponsor of terror. There are elements that are corrupt, seek personal gain through position held, and undermine the government they work for officially. Some of these individuals may have ideological motive and sympathies, but greed is the common denominator in arms smuggling.

Bhuto was killed by a taliban/ al quaida associated leader who took responsibility for the deed, not by a rival political faction within Pakistani society.

The transition from military rule to civilian went about as smoothly as one could expect under the circumstance, and it's no suprise that al quaida and the taliban are testing the metle of the new government, being diametricly opposed to democracy as a threat to the spread of their brand of religious totalitarianism.

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
April 27, 2009

Donald in Virginia writes:

@ Eric in New Mexico -- There are no assumptions when it comes to all the Terrorist activity that Pakistan has been involved with, or the countries it has effected. The last country was in India. Which we lost 2 Virginians because of those people.

It's a known fact that AN/AK-47's are Russian Made Assault Weapons. The fact that Pakistan was never added to the list of countries who continue having terrorism is beyond myself. How many acts of terrorism must you have before being declared a state sponsored of terror? What more evidence do you need? If the CIA was right and Usama bin laden is in Pakistan, who would be supporting him there?

I can also agree about Iran but then both these two countries have been guility of operating terrorism. They both continue breeding more and more terrorists. The Government of Pakistan in my opinion is not doing enough to stop it. Until they do, I won't change my mind. They put alot smoke n mirrors for the news media. Otherwise, they would have rooted out all the terrorists by now? It's been going on now for how many years?

The International Community can get involved by removing the Arms Dealers who make big money sales on weapons and by preventing those weapons getting into the countries, which no doubt would be used against our foot soldiers. We will never win this war unless the Arms Dealers are put out of business.

Tad
|
Ohio, USA
April 27, 2009

Tad in Ohio writes:

@ Donald in Virginia. First of all Donald, go back to Geography class. Africa is a CONTINENT, not a COUNTRY. And as for the FBI investigating arms dealers in foreign countries. Why waste the FBI's time like that?

AK-47's and RPG's have been manufactured around the world since the bad old days of the Cold War. Arms dealing, legal and illegal has been going on for thousands of years. War is defintely a BAD thing and I'd like to see it end. But let's be realistic, that is not going to happen. Period.

War is going to be a fact of life in this fallen world for as long as it exists. And no amount of peace, love, and happy thoughts coming from clueless politicians like Secretary Clinton and President Obama is going to change that. The best we can hope for is to shorten the duration of wars when we can by WINNING them.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
April 27, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Donald, If you were correct we would have declared war on Pakistan at the same time we removed the Taliban from power in Afghanistan. Instead Pakistan became our ally in the global war on terror through making the correct strategic choice to cut all ties with the Taliban. This did not sit well with some in their intelligence service, who are to this day opperating in a covert manner outside the government's ability to root them out.

The mistake you make is not differentiating between the government of Pakistan in power today and the taliban/al quaida who have been opperating out of ungoverned tribal areas of Pakistan for years.

It is well known that elements within the Pak intelligence services have supported the Taliban, and bin laden is a fellow who'll play a situation for all it's worth.

Think back to the timing of the attack on the Indian Parliment, and note the following:

Pakistan at the time had thousands of troops on the Afghan border helping the U.S. box in al quaida, as soon as the attack happened, India and Pakistan came very close to war, and Pakistan pulled a majority of its troops off the Afghan border to meet India's troop buildup.

Who gained? It would not have been in the Pakistani government's interest to incite a possible nuclear war with India, nor did they. Would it have served bin laden's interest? You betcha.

This was done by Taliban/al-quaida associated terrorists in order to help bin Laden escape Tora bora. Naturally the Indian government had the same question you do regarding whether the Pakistani government was behind it, because of their ISI having a history of supporting the Taliban, but that was not found to be the case, or there would have been a war. Fortunately U.S. diplomacy helped "stop the car in time" as Dep Sec. Armitage put it in congressional hearing testimony.

Such efforts to widen the conflict only serve al quaida's destabilization agenda in the region.

Nor was the Pak government involved in the latest attack you referenced. Their level of cooperaton with the Indian government on this has been unrecedented in their bilateral history.

I share your view that the Pak goverment has not done enough, so does the U.S. gov. Ths is one reason why we've been working with their military to help them build the capacity to deal with it for some time, both the internal and external threats the Pakistani government faces today.

That assistance involves all elements of our intelligence community by the way, including the FBI and State Dept.

Where in the world is bin Laden? Hanging out with his wives and son in Iran as the Rev. Guard's "guest", is my best guess.

By the way, the Kalishnikov AK 47 has been copied and produced by a number of nations , including Iran. They are not all of Russian origin.

Pakistan buys a lot of Chinese weapons for its military, and some of these weapons with their serial numbers filed off have been found on Taliban casualties. Which means the Pakstani government has more problems than it can shake a stick at, internally.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
April 27, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Tad, we don't have a problem winning wars, we have problems winning the peace. State has asked for a thousand addition people funded from the people's tax dollars in congress recently. 10,000 would be ideal, but I doubt if the foreign service institute could handle training that many new hires at once.

Fortunately, Obama isn't cut from the same cloth as Sen. Harry "the war is lost" Reed, nor is his Sec. of State.

Considering the vast amount of intel they get in briefings, it's hard to accurately describe them as "clueless".

I used to share your doubts, but the more I see in the way of results, the more they earn my trust.

Give them the time to earn your's.

SA
|
New Jersey, USA
April 27, 2009

S.A. in New Jersey writes:

The situation has to be handled by implementing a short term tactical response as well as a medium to long term strategic solutions to stabilize the region. I believe President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and Ambassador Hoolbroke have identified this imperative. The key is how to execute against this.

In the short-term Pakistan assisted by the international community has to forcefully disarm and dislodge the militants from tribal and settled Northern area. Pakistan government has to send a clear and consistent signal that it will not accept any parallel authority and law in its territories. Unfortunately I feel that Pakistan Army is part of the problem; it is ill equipped to deal with the insurgency and is laden with conflicting agendas. Therefore, the military assistance should instead be provided to regional law enforcement agencies, FC may be a solution if it can be flushed clean of serving Pakistan Army officers. Support for local police and levy forces will also be effective. People in the region have to see this as their own fight by local individuals.

The longer-term solution is more regional and has to include Afghanistan, India and China. Pakistan should feel unthreatened by its neighbors, especially India. India as a regional superpower has to understand the benefits of a peaceful secure neighborhood in its own long-term interest. The international community can place Pakistan on this path by helping reduce the influence of Pakistan Army, allow establishment of credible institutions, i.e. judiciary, local governance, police force, media, etc., helping find a solution for territorial disputes in Kashmir and Durand Line.

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
April 27, 2009

Donald in Virginia writes:

The one great thing about America is we all can agree to dis-agree. However, I read everyones comments and respect your words. As I would hope you would understand that we all want less wars, less deaths and less terrorism in the world today. The real question was how the International Community was going to proceed. My theory was simple by removing the very weapons from the Taliban you would have success. Yes Eric I agree the FBI, CIA State Department including DIA or any other intelligence gather measures need to be used in order to stop terrorism before it happens. If the weapons came from Iran or China then they need to be stopped in futue. Ending the shipments of weapons is a good start to ending the Taliban's mission.

@ Tad -- Well you can place alot of your faith on one person, but guess what Just like Hillary said once, "It takes a villiage to make something work" we all have to work together finding peace for everyone! By the way it's not wasting the FBI's time because this is the kind of investigations they know how to do very well. I'm sure they will get to the bottom of this.

Peace out and Godbless!!!

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