A new generation of Taliban fighters has taken over in Pakistan’s tribal regions near the Afghan border. Their leader, Baitullah Mehsud, is believed to be the master mind behind the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. If a subordinate disobeys him, Mehsud, gives him some money, sends him home with needle and thread and tells him to sew his own shroud within 24 hours– before time elapses, the man is dead. No known photos of the phantom leader are available and he shuns visitors. An ally of al-Qaeda, he has transformed the remote valleys of South Wazirstan into safe havens for terrorists.
Toward the end of last year, a council of high-ranking Taliban leaders appointed Mehsud the leader of the newly formed “Tehrik-Taliban Pakistan.” The new leader is not a person who is versed in religion, war is his speciality. His aliance is creating anger among the more conservative tribal chieftains who are more concerned over their own feudal areas and are much more religious minded.
Ironically, American bombing drove the Taliban into Pakistan where they found a new refuge. Turning away from creating a safe Afghanistan in order to delve into the madness of war in Iraq enabled the Taliban, not merely to regroup inside Afghanistan, but to establish safe bases in Pakistan and now turn that nation into a war zone. As one reviews what has transpired over the past six years, it is clear Bush policies in Afghanistan and the Middle East have proved to be the greatest recruiting drives for terrorism in modern history.
Posted in Asia, Human Rights, Iraq War, Peace, Politics, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Bush Policies, Mehsud, Pakistan, Taliban
At a recent roundtable discussion held at Instabul’s Bilgi University, a group of Turkish academics and the former US Ambassador to Turkey s well as American government experts examined Bush’s policies toward Turkey. The participants described Bush’s policies toward Turkey as “I want what I want when I want” was very counterproductive to establishing trusting bilateral relations between the two nations. The group felt Bush had an attitude that could best be described as “Turkey will always be there since Turkey has always been there.” Participants felt the Bush approach was a sharp divergence from Clinton’s policy of making Turkey a key player in strategic issues within the Middle East, and that channels of communication were always open to Clinton and Gore. A consensus was that Turkey must accept the reality that a Kurdish entity was now on its border because Bush will not back away from clamping down on Kurdish rebels. The group explored long term policy changes that might emerge if Turkey is denied entry into the European Union such as turning toward forging close relations with either Russia or Iran or the emergence of a new tripartite alliance of this group.
One of the major failures of Bush foreign policy is being immediate centered and not considering long term projections. The invasion of Iraq was an emotional reaction to some immediate conclusions without any consideration as to its impact on the Middle East. Hopefully, a new Democratic Party led government in 2009 will begin to make long term foreign policy decisions such as the famous Marshall Plan and Truman Doctrine which set in motion US foreign policy for half a century.
Posted in Democrats, George Bush, Military, Peace, Politics, Republicans, Turkey, United States, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Bush Policies, EU, Foreign Policy, US-Turkey