Allies and enemies of convenience
“The Taliban’s ability to provide Bin Laden a haven in the face of international pressure and UN sanctions was significantly facilitated by Pakistani support,” the report said. “Pakistan benefited from the Taliban-Al Qaeda relationship, as Bin Laden’s camps trained and equipped fighters for Pakistan’s ongoing struggle with India over Kashmir.” [Daily Times]
On the same day, President George Bush officially rewarded Pakistan with the status of a ‘major non-NATO ally’.
The 9/11 investigation concluded that there was no evidence at all connecting Saddam Hussein to 9/11. And the US is still holding him in custody, and intends to continue to do so even after the end of the formal occupation of Iraq later this month.
Orwell just got it wrong by 20 years.
The Plain Truth: This is not just a matter of the president’s diminishing credibility, although that’s disturbing enough. The war on terror has actually suffered as the conflict in Iraq has diverted military and intelligence resources from places like Afghanistan, where there could really be Qaeda forces, including Mr. bin Laden.
Mr. Bush is right when he says he cannot be blamed for everything that happened on or before Sept. 11, 2001. But he is responsible for the administration’s actions since then. That includes, inexcusably, selling the false Iraq-Qaeda claim to Americans. There are two unpleasant alternatives: either Mr. Bush knew he was not telling the truth, or he has a capacity for politically motivated self-deception that is terrifying in the post-9/11 world. [NYT]