Post-9-11 events and analyses
Thursday, July 22, 2004
: This NGO's updated site contains a paper
by Sanjana Yajitha Hattotuwa
detailing how Groove was used in the Sri Lanka peace process and subsequent elections. Many illustrations. Great example of ICT to facilitate collaboration in a developing country. Inspiring work. 11:43:50 PM
Iraq guerillas not foriegn: "Some honest US officials in Iraq are finally admitting that US forces are not meeting a vanguard of international terrorism there but rather some 20,000 angry Baathists who fear for the fate of Sunni Arabs in the new regime. [And, ] the number of guerrillas is not stable. It can grow or shrink easily" (e.g., in response to US operations against Fallujah, al-Sadr). In other words, Iraq has not been a front line in the anti-jihad war, but rather has developed other sources of Islamic resistance to the US.
In a related vien, David Wright, a former Defense Department analyst and former Army Reserve strategic intelligence analyst argues that the jihadist Zarqawi is not Al Queda, either, and thinks we ought to consider him an additional, distinct foe. "There is no evidence that Zarqawi, a Jordanian operating in Iraq, has ever been an Al Qaeda member - although Cheney and a few others in the Bush administration continue to try to paint him that way, apparently for political reasons. Zarqawi is a dangerous, highly effective militant Islamist. His tactical and strategic abilities have been behind perhaps 50% or more of the most effective attacks against the U.S. and Coalition forces (and the UN, Red Cross and peaceful Iraqis) over the past year. Zarqawi makes common cause with Osama Bin Laden (UBL) and Al Qaeda in some respects. So far, however, there does not appear to be any evidence whatsoever that Zarqawi has received ANY money, personnel, direction, or support of any nature from UBL or Al Qaeda... Zarqawi did go from Jordan to Afghanistan for training back in the Eighties, in the days when the U.S. wanted help in pushing the Soviets out - guess who provided the money for his training! But Zarqawi thereafter created camps separate from those of UBL; and has ever since been seen as a competitor, not a member of UBLís team." He predicts that Zarqawi will be captured or killed in Iraq within 60 days, reducing the insurgency. (Hmm, our October surprise?) 10:01:07 AM
From Juan Cole: "Clinton had worked out a deal with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in summer of 1999 that would have allowed the US to send a Special Ops team in after Bin Laden in Qandahar, based from Pakistan. I presume you need the Pakistan base for rescue operations in case anything went wrong. You also need Pakistani air space. The plan was all set and could have succeeded.
But in fall of 1999, Gen. Pervez Musharraf made a coup against Nawaz Sharif. The Pakistani army was rife with elements protective of the Taliban, and the new military government reneged on the deal. Musharraf told Clinton he couldn't use Pakistani soil or air space to send the team in against Bin Laden.
Look at a map and you try to figure out how, in fall of 1999, you could possibly pull off such an operation without Pakistani facilities. Of course, you could just go in by main force. But for those of you tempted in that direction, please look up Carter's Tabas operation. It should be easily googled.
Clinton tried, and tried hard." 9:19:10 AM