Ranks of Al Qaeda swell, despite what Bush says

This is a real shocker. While our military is struggling to find recruits, the enemy is being flooded with fresh, able-bodied terrorists willing and able to blow themselves to bits in order to kill Americans.

Al Qaeda and its former protectors — the Taliban — are in the midst of a powerful resurgence, according to accounts by local officials and information contained in new al Qaeda videotapes obtained by ABC News.

U.S. troops are not permitted inside Pakistan, and the Pakistani army is barely seen in this part of Waziristan Province.The new videotapes show open recruitment for the jihad, or holy war, to kill Americans and their allies.

The narrator says, “Come join the jihad caravan.”

“The Taliban resurgence this year has been enormous and quite extraordinary,” said Ahmed Rashid, author of the book “Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil, and the Fundamentalism in Central Asia.”

The tape claims Taliban officials have taken over government functions. There is no date on the tape, but in the last month ABC News reporters have confirmed that Western aid organizations have been forced out, their headquarters burned, schools shut down, teachers and journalists killed, and music banned.

The tape shows men described as thieves being dragged through a village behind a truck, and later beheaded.

“We’re seeing a complete breakdown of law and order,” said Rashid. “The army is holed up in its barracks or in its bunkers.”

A much rosier picture was described at the White House today as President Bush met with Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, thanking him for all his government is doing.

“We’re working closely to defeat the terrorists who would like to harm America and harm Pakistan,” Bush said during a news conference.

Bush’s denial of reality is simply staggering. Is there no assesment of the actual happenings on the ground? Is it all just pre-packaged, mildewed talking points? (No need to answer, I already know.)

The War on Terror. The War on Drugs. The War on Pornography. So many wars, and so little to show for them. Maybe it’s because such wars can never be won. If they serve any purpose, it’s a political one.

The Discussion: 20 Comments

Seems like we should save a bit of anger for the fundamentalists themselves.

Either way, there is not enough competence or national resolve to win this war on the nascent Caliphate in America right now, and there will not be until:

-a new President is elected (GOP or Dem, it really doesn’t matter. W is a lame duck for a variety of reasons)
-America is attacked once more.

Yes, I really feel it is going to take another major attack on America to mobilize for a prolonged war in which there can only be one victor. I can only pray that the city of choice is not one I or my loved ones happen to be in.

Does anyone actually think this is a war on “terror” itself? Of course not. Tis just PC doublespeak that will have to be imposed until the entire corrosive concept of PC is finally put to rest. The War on “terror” is a war on militant Islamic fundamentalists who seek to harm the United States and its allies, and impose their wholly backwards, and inferior (take THAT, cultural relativism!) way of life on others. (i’d like to imagine our policy truly extends to defeating them in their own territory, but i fear we may just get lazy and give up after assuring our own illusory safety)

January 26, 2006 @ 1:55 am | Comment

The only question is, how many horrible things will happen before 2008 finally rolls around?

January 26, 2006 @ 1:57 am | Comment

The Jihad Caravan? Sounds like a bad ride at some low-grade amusement park.

January 26, 2006 @ 2:31 am | Comment

Bush called it The War on Terror, and never gave any parameters – a foolish mistake. The problem is that with Iraq and now Pakistan, the new terrorists are often the people themselves, those we are supposed to protect or work with. How can we win? How can we win when our strongest ally in Iraq says he believes it’s the people’s rights to fight against the Americans?

January 26, 2006 @ 3:05 am | Comment

I love it! You don’t believe a single word that our government or the allies say, but you swallow hook, line and sinker of the first piece of leftist drivel you come across.

Speaks multitudes.

January 26, 2006 @ 6:33 am | Comment

What has Bush done to earn my trust? And what are you referring to as “left-wing drivel”? Please be specific, and prove you can really be a soldier for once, macho man. Are you saying the article on Al Qaeda is left-wing drivel? Based on what – that it doesn’t conform to your worldview, in which we are winning the war on terror and in which Bush and Michelle Malkin actually tell the truth? Oh brother. As if I’m the one swallowing things “hook line and sinker.”

January 26, 2006 @ 6:40 am | Comment

Richard, how would you know what it takes to be a soldier of any kind?

I’m not claiming to know whether or not the ranks of Al Qaeda are swelling or not, but I do believe we have made sufficient progress in our efforts against them. I believe we just successfully took out their top bombmaker and a couple of other high-ranking members.

I love the way you keep throwing Malkin into the picture as if I were a daily reader of her website or if I actually really cared what she had to say. Yawn….

January 26, 2006 @ 7:18 am | Comment

I’m not arguing with Malkinites anymore. It’s too painful.

Well, one last shot, then to bed.

I’m not claiming to know whether or not the ranks of Al Qaeda are swelling or not, but I do believe we have made sufficient progress in our efforts against them. I believe we just successfully took out their top bombmaker and a couple of other high-ranking members.

Sufficient progress for what? To call it a day and end the “war on terror”? We made no progress. We killed a bombmaker, and 50,000 new recruits are lined up out the door, a hydra where slicing off one head breeds a hundred. Wake up. Only you and bush belkieve we are “winning,” an insane belief when the war is unwinnable to begin with, when no parameters have been drawn to prove we have triumphed. We can defend ourselves, we can take steps to stop attacks, we can be sensible, we can marginalize terrorism, but we can’t pick up arms and end terrorism. It’s too massive, it’s too amorphous, and our moves have been too clumsy and Bush-like, breeding more terrorists everyday in a never-ending game of whack-a-mole. I’m glad you’re lovin’ it. Most Americans are sick of it as it bleeds us and embarrases us, year after year after year. “But we killed their top bombmaker!” You’re as rational and as realistic as a mustachioed old German kook in a bunker in 1945.

January 26, 2006 @ 7:31 am | Comment

Hi guys,
I think Mr. Bush should say “We are fighting for gasoline! If our soldiers can control those area, we will get plenty of gasoline and your petrol bill will be cheaper and america’s economics situation will be better.”

If you don’t mind I comment about usa here.

I have seen or heard some news that american people or even soldiers are confused about purpose on iraq. I just think soldiers are who must know what core reason they are fighting for.

While in korea war, China mentioned an old saying “Chun Wang Chi Han”, which means if lips (chun, north korea) are removed, chi (teeth, china) would feel cold and unprotected. In another word, if north korea gone, then we are f**ked. See? Soldiers knew they are not fighting for commuism or liberating south korean.

I’d love to see japanese are fighting freedom over there. Not those americans to be honest. Especially those american who have ONE house to live, have ONE car to drive, and have ONE woman to have sex with. You know what I mean.

January 26, 2006 @ 7:34 am | Comment

“I think Mr. Bush should say “We are fighting for gasoline! If our soldiers can control those area, we will get plenty of gasoline and your petrol bill will be cheaper and america’s economics situation will be better.'”
Where have you been, Mr. Xin? The U.S. is fighting for freedom and liberation and a better way of life for the Iraqi people. Just like when the PLA nobly liberated the people of Tibet.

January 26, 2006 @ 8:37 am | Comment


January 26, 2006 @ 9:36 am | Comment

“America has simply become too politically correct to deal with these terrorists the way they should be dealt with.”
Like Abu Ghraib.

January 26, 2006 @ 10:03 am | Comment

Linklets 27th January

In absence of Simon’s Daily Linklets as well as my own lack of time to contribute anything lately, I’ve decided to throw a few links of my own to some of the posts I’ve been reading around the Asian blogosphere.China sends ripples of fear through …

January 26, 2006 @ 2:09 pm | Comment

On the plus side, atrocities like Abu Ghraib are freely criticized and condemned, while in China they are official state policy and shall be questioned by nobody.

January 26, 2006 @ 3:07 pm | Comment

“while in China they are official state policy and shall be questioned by nobody.”

Johnny, I got you! Haha, that’s NOT true! If you got many chinese official website, fulll of articles critisizing current policies including medicare, education, inter-city immigration, etc.

You really think we are Third Reich, do you? That’s not nice.

January 26, 2006 @ 7:38 pm | Comment

Xin, what you’re saying is true to a point — the media, especially non-mainstream media like medical journals can go pretty far in criticizing CCP policy. But you can still go to jail if you write about the wrong things, and that is a fact. I can show you lots and lots of shocking stories of people’s lives ruined by writing about democracy.

January 26, 2006 @ 7:43 pm | Comment


You should know that 20 years ago, even an article in medical journal could get you in trouble, while today is not. After 20 years, I know china gonna be much better.

I actually knew a lot of story about what you knew, or maybe even more. Like I said before, you can’t think china as an “USA before democratic”. Western democracy is not suitable for China, the more I read about it, the more feel it in australia, the more I hold this point. Those domocracy advocates:
1, They hate CCP emotionally and seek revenge because of culture revolution.
2, They do not really learn western legal theory well as you thought.
3, They do not have a detailed plan of “if china is not communism, what do we do”; why? I never heard any people who escaped from tiananmen today writing book about democracy theory. All they can writes are horrible stories to attract attention. Isn’t that true?
4, As a chinese, I am not communist party member mind you. I don’t trust those tiananmen people can do china any better. When that happened, I was young. when I am getting grown up, I found I hardly value them.

Many student leaders in tiananmen are in USA today, if you got a chance to speak them, I recommend to test them, how much they know about western democracy. I am saying those crap from politicians, I am saying the true legal theory from classic textbooks, from western phylosophers’ mouth. How much do they know????

They will get my point. They are repressed by a pretty chinese way. But their influence on china, is unfortunately not valid. Today I think you read horrible story from them a lot, but have you ever heard a blueprint about how china should go from them? There must be some people after escape to USA, usa government sponsored them for some studies. But I am sure, after a formal western legal theory study, they will have the same understanding as me, something like “well, now i know, that kind of western things not gonna work in china today. ..”

January 26, 2006 @ 8:15 pm | Comment

Pakistan is a strange situation, where the tribal lands are becoming more pro Al Queda because the Musharaf has side lined the moderate opposition and entered into a pact with religious conservatives that won control of a district so he can continue being in power.

In other areas of the world Al Queda seems to be losing ground (Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Afghanistant, Egypt), due so Suicide Bombings that also hurt the local people. If Al Queda starts doing suicide bombings inside Pakistan the situation could change. Or if Al Queda upsets the Pakistan Army enough.

January 26, 2006 @ 8:52 pm | Comment

Agreed that their inane, insane policy of slaughtering Moslems has hurt Al Qaeda. But they sure are having no problems finding new recruits. And there’s more to Islamofascism than Al Qaeda. Hezbollah and Hamas have made huge strides both in recruitment and in consolidating and increasing their power – legally. As terrorists gain increased political power thanks to bush’s glorious campaign to bring democracy to the world, expect terror to become more institutionalized and mainstream.

January 26, 2006 @ 8:58 pm | Comment

When you write that Western style democracy is not suitable to China, do you mean to say that this is so because a large, diverse country with a huge population needs a strong central authority or because of cultural elements unique to China?

January 27, 2006 @ 5:58 am | Comment

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