Wednesday, October 22, 2003

RUMMY'S DISSENT: Apparently USA Today got their hands on a Pentagon-memo written by Rumsfeld to General Dick Meyers, Paul Wolfowitz, Pete Pace and Doug Faith. InstaHack goes on to call it a leak, but the article itself (remember--always click on the link!) suggests no such thing. The memo isn't likely to be classified or anything of that matter and was given to three different members of Congress. In the memo he wrote the following:

Are we capturing, killing or deterring and dissuading more terrorists every day than the madrassas and the radical clerics are recruiting, training and deploying against us?
I wonder too. But Iraq isn't the place to find them.

(**UPDATE: Leaks get published on the Pentagon's website now? Thanks to Jesse.**)

Rumsfeld also points to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. A quick refresher course on Gulbuddin (he's often referred to by his first name, like many Afghans are): Gulbuddin leads the Hezb-i-Islami, which translates to "Party of Islam." He's a Sunni Pashtun and he was an early member of the Khalq and Parcham. He became a disaffected Marxists and started his Islamist movement in Pakistan. He used to be the darling of Pakistani intelligence agency, the ISI and therefore received millions, if not billions, in CIA-money and a large amount of Stingers, I suspect. After the Soviet puppet-government fell in 1992, Gulbuddin became Prime Minister, serving under President, Burhanuddin Rabbani. Then in early 1994, he broke with the government and went on to shell Kabul together with Abdul Rashid Dostum, which was Gulbuddin's claim to fame. Liberate it and then bomb it once in a while. It was the most destructive of Kabul. Thousands were killed, while more were injured and forced to flee. A year later, Gulbuddin and Rabbani's Northern Alliance teamed together again, this time taking on Dostum and the Taliban. The Northern Alliance was forced north to Mazer-i-Sharif and Gulbuddin fled to take refuge in Iran. The Pakistanis switched sides and favored the Taliban. Some time after the Northern Alliance took Kabul; Gulbuddin returned to Afghanistan and was speculated to have teamed up with (mostly) Taliban and al-Qaeda. Although his relations with the Taliban went sour a long time ago, this claim is likely to be true. Technically, he isn't Taliban (as Rumsfeld claims he is part of) but another vicious power-mad warlord. The Hellfire missile that was fired at Gulbuddin in May of last year missed him, but it did send a signal.

Everyone claims that Gulbuddin is either the CIA's, Pakistan's or Taliban's puppet. But he's not. He has his own agenda and works for himself. As long as he's out there, he's a threat. And it's a good thing he's a target.

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