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Tilting at Windmills

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February 18, 2010

TALIBAN SUFFERS ANOTHER 'SIGNIFICANT BLOW'.... We learned this week about the capture of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban's top military commander. Baradar was the most significant Taliban figure to be detained since the war began, making this a key success story.

Better yet, it was the start of an apparent trend.

Two senior Taliban leaders have been arrested in recent days inside Pakistan, officials said Thursday, as American and Pakistani intelligence agents continued to press their offensive against the group's leadership after the capture of the insurgency's military commander last month.

Afghan officials said the Taliban's "shadow governors" for two provinces in northern Afghanistan had been detained in Pakistan by officials there. Mullah Abdul Salam, the Taliban's leader in Kunduz, was detained in the Pakistani city of Faisalabad, and Mullah Mir Mohammed of Baghlan Province was also captured in an undisclosed Pakistani city, they said.

When combined with the Baradar arrest, the developments represent "the most significant blow to the Taliban's leadership since the American-backed war began eight years ago." It also points to an unprecedented level of cooperation between U.S. officials and the Pakistani government.

And it gets better still.

Pakistani authorities using U.S.-gathered intelligence arrested up to nine al-Qaida-linked militants in a series of overnight raids in the southern city of Karachi, officials said Thursday. [...]

They said eight or nine militant suspects were arrested. One was identified as Ameer Muawiya, who the officials said was in charge of foreign al-Qaida militants operating in Pakistan's tribal regions near Afghanistan and was an associate of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

Go ahead, Republicans, tell us again about why we should question the Obama administration's approach to national security and counter-terrorism.

Steve Benen 9:25 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (17)

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Comments

We've all joked about repeatedly killing the #3 guy, but this really starts to look like a good trend. it is great to see the Pakistani cooperation.

Posted by: Rathskeller on February 18, 2010 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK

one wonders what all these Afghans are doing across the "border" in Pakistan. . .

Posted by: DAY on February 18, 2010 at 9:35 AM | PERMALINK

Agreed. This is really starting to look like progress.

Posted by: Scott F. on February 18, 2010 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

Just goes to show you once you stop supporting a military dictatoship and keeping them in power as the past administration did, you can get results. This speaks volumes on how to conduct the war against these criminals who go on the run to hide and you work with their law inforcement/intellegence officials to capture them in their hiding place. (Yes, I called them criminals and not terrorists because once you admit you're terrified, then they rule.)

Posted by: del on February 18, 2010 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

Have none of you played chess? The Taliban are trying to lull us into a false sense of security by sacrificing a few pawns. We have to remain vigilant.

Posted by: Al on February 18, 2010 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

"Arrested?" How can you call that a success? This is a war, not law enforcement!! Shouldn't we be torturing them to death instead?

Posted by: WAG on February 18, 2010 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

Here's something I saw posted on the "Cheers and Jeers" section of Daily Kos just now:

Republican logic: all the terrorists captured and interrogated so far during the Obama administration should've been killed on sight, and all the terrorists killed on sight so far during the Obama administration should've been captured and interrogated.

Posted by: Eeyore on February 18, 2010 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

It might be too much to hope for, but I do wonder if we might get another chance to capture Osama bin Laden himself, like the chance we had and missed in Tora Bora back in the day.

I'd also really like to see a more conscious and direct effort at a PR war against Al Qaida in majority Muslim countries. It shouldn't be hard to paint them as a splinter group that seeks to fundamentally corrupt Islam. If we can bolster the (correct) impression that Al Qaeda is poisonous to Islam itself, then we won't have to destroy Al Qaeda; the greater Islamic world will do it for us.

Posted by: badpoetry on February 18, 2010 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

The Republicans have an easy answer: we haven't waterboarded Nancy Pelosi. To them, the Taliban and al Qeada are nothing compared to Pelosi. They know damn well she has bigger balls than they do. And they are scared. Too bad the rest of the Democrats can't be so bad ass.

Posted by: fostert on February 18, 2010 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

If we can bolster the (correct) impression that Al Qaeda is poisonous to Islam itself, then we won't have to destroy Al Qaeda; the greater Islamic world will do it for us.

I have often daydreamed the same thing. Then I realize I live in a country which itself is poisoned by a major political party, and yet, the greater U.S. population does little to diminish fundie conservatism. Indeed, we seem prepared to reward it.

Posted by: oh well on February 18, 2010 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

Let us pray we get the big boys soon. In addition to killing off terrorism as a winner for the Rethugs, it might generate so much political capital for Obama that Democrats could take the offensive on other issues again.

I'm guessing that we have a menu from the Pakistanis:

Target --- Supplement to military aid

Taliban #2 --- $ N billion

Mullah Omar --- $2N billion

Al Zawahiri --- $3N billion

Bin Laden --- $4N billion

You can be sure we are paying our fine Pakistani allies for all this.

Posted by: bob h on February 18, 2010 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

New Republican talking point:

"If Obama was serious about national security, he'd quit capturing these small frys and get bin Laden."

Posted by: TonyB on February 18, 2010 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

. TALIBAN SUFFERS ANOTHER 'SIGNIFICANT BLOW'.

er,,,um,,, I thought al-Qaida knocked down the TTs...

I can't remember or google any instance of the Taliban messing with any of the 50 states.

I guess we'll just cheer any old "good news" from any old war we started.

Posted by: cwolf on February 18, 2010 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

" 'Arrested?' Shouldn't we be torturing them to death instead?"
Posted by: WAG on February 18, 2010 at 9:43

Now now, the two are not mutually exclusive...
In fact, it's generally agreed within the profession that the latter is more easily attained once you've accomplished the former.
Our drone technology isn't quite that advanced... yet.

"It might be too much to hope for, but I do wonder if we might get another chance to capture Osama bin Laden himself, like the chance we had and missed in Tora Bora back in the day."
Posted by: badpoetry on February 18, 2010 at 9:51 AM

And if we do, you can be confident that, per Eeyore's post, the Publicans and the media will portray it as a failure of the Obama administration, as opposed to the deliberate policy of the wise and strong CheneyBush junta that kept Americans safer by allowing ObL to... do something or other... thinking he was a free agent, when actually they had him right where they wanted him... And Mary Landrieu, Ben Nelson, Max Baucus, and of course Joe LIEberman will agree. Rahm Emanuel will concede they may have a point, and tell the fucking retards of the far-left who disagree to STFU; he knows what he's doing.

Posted by: smartalek on February 18, 2010 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Hey now; there's something familiar about that second guy's name. Wasn't Mir Mohammed part of Omar's inner circle back in the pre-invasion days?

We might be starting to see a bit of light at the end of this troublesome tunnel....

Posted by: S. Waybright on February 18, 2010 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

Why, if we keep this up, we may be able to leave Afghanistan some time soon.

Wouldn't that be nice?

Posted by: terraformer on February 18, 2010 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Taliban? I thought we were at war with Al-queda. Or islam, or brown people, or something. Who are the bad guys again?

Posted by: uzza on February 18, 2010 at 10:44 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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