Them 100 al Qaeda Must be Some Real Badasses

by jhwygirl

The U.S. has 57,000 troops in Afghanistan, and we’re going to add 30,000 more – many of which will be deployed by Christmas – all for an estimated 100 al Qaeda?

I’m not saying we shouldn’t be working on al Qaeda – Lord knows I’ve long made the distinction between the war in Iraq (which I didn’t support) and the war in Afghanistan (which I saw with some purpose) – but they’re down to 100 guys holed up on the border? Considerably neutralized already, lacking buildings or bases?

Obviously, the good news that Americans should feel at least good about in Afghanistan is that the al-Qaeda presence is very diminished. The maximum estimate is less than 100 operating in the country. No bases. No buildings to launch attacks on either us or our allies.

Now the problem is, the next step in this is the sanctuaries across the border. But I don’t foresee the return of the Taliban and I want to be very clear that Afghanistan is not in imminent danger of falling.

That, from Obama’s national security adviser and NATO’s former supreme allied commander in Europe, General James Jones.

A thousand Army Rangers can’t take care of that? Or even 2,000? What about the Marines?

Oh, how government loves the war machine. One big ole’ stimulus package, wrapped up under the guise of patriotism and democracy.

And speaking of democracy – I can’t help but wonder how committed the newly re-elected President Karzai is to democracy. It’s one thing to finish the job, it’s a whole other thing to make pals with someone who doesn’t seem to have a lot of friends – or at least enough to get him elected fair-and-square.

Human rights? Women’s rights? Shouldn’t we expect those things from democracies?

This sure is starting to look like some other country’s war to me. Either that or, like I said, those 100 al Qaeda holed up there in those caves must be some real badasses.



  1. Whatever the ragtag group that Americans labeled “Al Qaeda” really was, it was destroyed long ago, like in October of 2001. Osama is probably dead. He’s gotten younger in his infrequent public appearances.

    But without Osama and Al Qaeda, they would have to devise completely new public justifications for the wars, a whole new propaganda campaign. Why ruin a good thing?

    So they keep Osama alive, and Al Qaeda real. The exposure of the existence of a mere 100 AQ is a screwup somewhere, and will soon disappear from the public memory.

  2. Is America forever going to be in 9/11 Emergency Mode? Looks like it.

  3. We’ll be fighting a war against terrorism forever.

    We’ll never win it with tanks and troops and massive bombings.

    We’d be far better off paying more attention to the home front, given history and all.

    We aren’t fighting less than 100 al Qaeda in Afghanistan with nearly 100,000 troops. No way, no how. It does not take 90,000 American troops to defeat 100 al Qaeda hanging out on desolate harsh rocks caves.

    These 100 badass al Qaeda are Obama’s weapons of mass destruction.

  4. JC

    Forgotten in all of this is the reason we went to Afghanistan: to get Osama bin Laden.

    Obama mentioned his name once in passing, and not in an attempt to remind that our #1 goal was to get the mastermind behind 9/11.

    The rest of the speech was a smokescreen to hide the failure to get him, and the shifting of the mission to other goals. WHich if you read between the lines is to prevent Osama from returning to Afghanistan to strike another day.

    I for one can’t believe that the CIA is so inept that after 8 years it hasn’t infiltrated al Qaeda to a point where it knows bin Laden’s whereabouts, and taken him out.

    Take that 30 billion dollars/year for the “surge” and go grease some Pashtun palms, and I’m sure Osama’s head will show up on a stake somewhere.

    • Osama was originally one of those Pashtuns with a greasy palm, and Karzai is…well, who knows.

      Which I why I’m kinda pissed off.

      And I feel
      like I’ve been here before
      like I’ve been here before
      And you know?
      it makes me wonder
      What’s going on under the ground

      Do you know?
      Don’t you wonder?
      What’s going on down under you?

      We have all been here before

    • Forgotten in all of this is the reason we went to Afghanistan: to get Osama bin Laden.

      If you start with a faulty premise, all that follows will be faulty as well. The idea that we sent in troops and bombers to rake a countryside, kill peasants, overthrow a government, is a concoction of that branch of the Pentagon whose job it is to provide reasons to the American public for military endeavors – and hide the real reasons. It is what was once rightfully called the Ministry of Propaganda, but is now shrouded in secrecy.

      , … WHich if you read between the lines is to prevent Osama from returning to Afghanistan to strike another day.

      JC, I am quite surprised at this line of reasoning. It is entirely comprised of received wisdom, lacking insight and surely the ability to read between the lines.

      I for one can’t believe that the CIA is so inept that after 8 years it hasn’t infiltrated al Qaeda to a point where it knows bin Laden’s whereabouts, and taken him out.

      Osama was, in fact, offered to the US in 2001 with this proviso: The Taliban would turn him over to a third country for trial, as they did not believe that the US was capable of coming to fair judgment as to whether he was actually involved in 9/11 (he denied any involvement). The CIA is not inept – no more so than any other intelligence agency. Osama is likely long dead.

      • JC

        Let’s clarify that premise. We were told, and most acceded, that we were going to afghanistan to get Osama. Now, it has been shown that Bush & Co. pulled back from that mission early on, if indeed they ever really had that at the forefront of their intentions.

        I’m not going to engage in conspiracy theories about what really transpired, because it really isn’t important to what’s happening on the surface here. Obama’s speech and strategy are wide open to criticism without delving into deeper, darker matters.

        And I think that if Osama bin Laden were really dead, that it would have made some real news.

        (oh, and I cleaned up your quote)

        • Your failure to delve into “conspiracy theories about what really transpired” is a normal posture, safe as all get-out. I want to know why, however, thinking about the real motives of leaders is considered odd-duck behavior in this country. If there were more of it going on, we might not be so damned susceptible to every cockamamie hero/villain tale thrown our way.

          Yes, JC – leaders lie. They consider eh American people to be like children who have to be fed fairy tale versions of reality, but certainly not be be consulted about anything.

          The last known tape of Obama where the voice is definitely identified as his was back in late 2001, and in it he denied involvement in 9/11. If he were dead, he might be kept alive in our eyes, as he is useful as an archetype for promotion of various policies. When he “dies”, there will be closure on 9/11, and I don’t think our government wants that quite, yet.

          Anyway, you presume a functioning news media. Good luck with that.

          • Lizard

            didn’t see your comment before i made mine, mark, but it made me chuckle to see both of 4&20’s resident wack-jobs chime in with similar bents.

            personally, my favorite part of the speech on tuesday was when obama said america ain’t about global domination. of course he said it so much more eloquently than that, because that’s what he does.

            unfortunately reality betrays the rhetoric: with 700+ bases around the world, and the unique position of our currency in the global market (exploited by wall street and the fed), and our proven track record of regime changing non-compliant countries (markets), exerting as much global influence as possible has been the explicit goal. the hawks on the right called it full spectrum dominance, but i’m sure obama’s team can rebrand it to make it sound nicer, for democratic consumption. total response capability?

        • Lizard

          what’s happening on the surface is we’re being lied to. it doesn’t take much mental energy to figure that out.

          but JC isn’t going to “engage in conspiracy theories.” what a cop out.

          JC, just because we’re told something and most of the people believe it, doesn’t make it more credible than alternative theories put out there.

          why is speculation about the geopolitical implications of invasion/occupation perceived as too wacky for your consideration? is it not worth your time to delve just a little deeper beyond the surface where politicians spin their worthless rhetoric?

          • JC

            I never said whacky. It’s just I didn’t need to go there to be angry about what I heard–or didn’t hear–from Obama on tues.

            Yes, I know that the story is much deeper than most Americans realize, or want to explore. So sometimes it is good to comment on what is happening at the surface. So it’s easy to throw out a snide one-liner every once in a while.

            Don’t make any more or any less out of my words than that. If I had more time to dive into, and look at the situation from every angle, I’d do so. But I’ve been busy trying to put food on the table lately.

          • Lizard

            you don’t have time to educate yourself about the imperial ambitions of the govt you support with your tax dollars, but you dohave time to post content on a local blog?

            yes, you never said whacky, but you certainly dismissed mark’s line of criticism as being “not important”

            I’m not going to engage in conspiracy theories about what really transpired, because it really isn’t important to what’s happening on the surface here.

            JC, respectfully, you’re totally backwards here, because what really isn’t important is what’s happening on the surface.

            the narrative obama regurgitated on tuesday is way past its expiration date, and really starting to stink.

            for eight years it was all fuck bush and the republicans for driving this country into the ground, and while that assessment still applies, obama’s capitulation puts him in the exact same place.

            and if you really want to keep yourself up at night worrying, consider this: by selling out so soon, and so completely, obama is paving the way for a failed one term presidency, and the result will be an even more dangerous right wing war monger in 2012.

  5. problembear

    about 18 months ago, in a belated attempt to confront the saudi arabian minister of oil about high prices, 60 minutes asked him if he wanted the average price of a gallon of oil in america to be above 5.00 per gallon. his answer….
    “no”, he said with a shrewd smile, “we would prefer it to be between 2.75 and 3.00”. the reporter was too vapid to ask the obvious question of why? but it was obvious that the saudis do not want higher oil prices to spur the us to get serious about seeking alternatives.

    since the arabs possess at least 50 years worth of oil, they would prefer that we continue to pay them as much as they can get without reducing waste or inventing alternatives.

    guess what the price of gas has remained now for the past 9 months? any questions about who is really running this country when it comes to the price of fuel should also be addressed in the same context of who is running this country when an ex-saudi prince named osama bin laden was once in the sights of our special forces units in the mountains at the border of pakistan in ’01 and donald rumsfeld aborted the mission.

    since we are addicted to the saudi’s oil, we must obey. sad. and now we send more of our youngest and bravest to pretend to carry on this sham of a mission.

  6. Big Swede

    I want to know when the Obama bumper sticker comes off the Prius.

    • goof houlihan

      Swede, you ARE so funny! I spit dinner on the keyboard.

    • Lizard

      i guess all you care about is scoring cheap political points over a situation where more american men and women will be dying. asshole is the first word that comes to mind.

      • Big Swede

        Yea, that bumper sticker glue a b*tch, huh Liz.

        • Lizard

          i don’t think anything i’ve ever said here would indicate i’m a bumpersticker supporter of obama, but if that’s what you want to think, swede, go right ahead. it’s not like reality has ever stopped your side of the political spectrum from concocting all kinds of crazy bullshit to justify your warped ideology.

          this topic of escalation, though, has serious ramifications for lots of people, and making jokes about it is beyond poor taste.

  7. JByrd

    The Saudis also finance (with money we pay them) all those Madrassas all over the world that teach Wahhabi Islam to all those future suicide bombers.
    Then you’ve got lawmakers like Denny Rehberg and many others doing the bidding of multinational oil companies to stop any move in the U.S. to renewable energy, which is the only way we can stop financing our own enemies.
    We’re about to spend $1 billion a head annually to go after the 100 al Qaida operatives in Afghanistan. (I’ve heard it costs $4,000 to get a gallon of fuel into a Humvee there — talk about your high fuel costs!)
    Of course we put it all on the national credit card, so who cares what it costs?

  8. Lucky

    They’re mean suckers. And there are 20,000 Taliban as well, and they have guns!

    I want to know why we can’t stop the drug trade that finances these guys. Are they growing those poppies in caves? I thought we had aerial recon and satellites that could read your license plate. Why can’t we find thousands of acres of poppy fields? ABC news doesn’t have any problem when they need a photo backdrop.

    • We have found the poppy fields, and we’ve destroyed many with aerial burns. Napalm, one would guess. The problem is that we’re just pissing off the Afghan farmers whose only source of decent livelihood is growing that crap.

  9. There’s a very large body of data here for analysis. Starting with the post itself and all the comments that follow, there isn’t much I take away-most just stays there.

    What was that line from the Holy Grail … “It is a very silly place”?

  10. problembear

    vote vets tells it like it is for military families who are being asked to do too much by a nation that appears to have forgotten them…..;jsessionid=A0C2DCA664033D6E762C12CDED32215B?diaryId=3520

  11. Lizard

    this whole conversation is sad. sure, swede and goof tried to lighten the mood by snickering over a bumpersticker smothered prius, but it came off, at least to me, as a petty, callous response to a critical mistake we are watching unfold before our eyes.

    and if you’re a soldier it’s a mistake you are pledging yourself to die for.

    but this is suppose to be the “good war”, the “war of necessity” we must fight because of–what was that? oh yeah: 911-osama-al-qaeda-terrorism.

    I’m not saying we shouldn’t be working on al Qaeda – Lord knows I’ve long made the distinction between the war in Iraq (which I didn’t support) and the war in Afghanistan (which I saw with some purpose) – but they’re down to 100 guys holed up on the border? Considerably neutralized already, lacking buildings or bases?

    working? no, killing. neutralized? no, dead.

    and in order to accomplish this crucial killing of our enemies obama is sending 30,000 more troops into the imperial graveyard where an election rigging warlord with family drug ties has our full support.

    remember all the left leaning lamenters of iran’s supposedly fraudulent election going all a-twitter over the horrible injustice? i do. but i guess when the fraud is in a country we’re currently occupying, we apply different standards.

    oh well, we all believe what we’re going to believe, and when it comes to what oozes from washington, i don’t believe a goddamn thing.

    • Don’t kid yourself -these guys like their wars, phony justifications and all. It’s glorious, what with the jets screaming in and dropping bombs, the bad guys looking up at them and running in terror. Never mind about the old people, woman and kids – one, it’s carefully kept out of the news – we are never allowed to see an image of what we are really doing, or these guys might lose their hard-ons, and two, I don’t even think that those oppose the war realize that killing civilians is a deliberate strategy in any counterinsurgency campaign. Terrorizing the population is part of the job.

      Read some time about the startegy in Iraq – to go house to house in the middle of the night and bust in, guns aimed at heads, line the family up against the wall, tear the house apart, and if they find what they are looking for – a fighting-age youth, they take him away. They don’t say where. They put him in an Abu-Ghraib-like facility (there were (still are) many of them), and they torture him.

      Sometimes they never see him again. But most times he is released again into the population, and he reports to his family and friends what happened to him, and they are scared they are next.

      That’s terrorism. That’s how it is done, and the reason is simply – they want to terrify the population, make them stop resisting.

      These guys you are dealing with are good Germans. That’s all.

      • goof houlihan

        You should go, Mark, and live there a while. The people I’ve talked to who have done that have a very different view than you do.

        Who killed more cambodians, us, or them? You’re over here trying the hasten the next genocide.

        • Soldiers are like all of us-mostly good. The military and a rigid authority and indoctrinary structure that forces them to do unconscionable things. Black Flag reminded me of torture experiments that were done where people were ordered to apply electric shocks to perfectly innocent people, and almost all did so. (The shocks were fake, the people receiving them actors.)

          The US dropped more bombs on Cambodia alone than in all of World War II. The people there were in shock and destitute and very angry, and turned to the worst SOB around to protect them Pol Pot. It’s called the “shock doctrine”- people in terror turn to the toughest kid on the block to protect them. Why Pol Pot? Because of the US.

          As to who killed mre Cambodians – us or him, him. We only killed half a million or so.

          Learn history.

          • goof houlihan

            I knew it; wanted you to acknowledge it. And who kills more muslims in Afghanistan, us, or them?

            We pull out, the schools get closed, the children have their hands cut off, the teachers are raped and murdered, the women covered, and night falls.

          • You’re knee deep in US propaganda. Can’t much argue with you until you somehow break free.

  12. Thats’s 87,000 times $1,000,000 (cost per soldier per year), that is $87 Billion/annum. Certainly the target is NOT those 100 guys but the country next door:

    Tarpley: Obama Declares War on Pakistan
    Remember, Blackwater, WackenHut, etc. are already here. Black Ops and Salvador Option is in full swing. US Bases are already here. Massive US Embassy as big as one in Baghdad is already under construction. The Pakistan Army is already being weakened fighting Taliban….

    Are any more hints needed?


    • “Salvador Option” = death squads, as the US used in that country’s counterinsurgency operation.

      Nota knows his stuff, guys … anyone listening? JC … Swede … Goof … PB? Anyone?

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