Al Qaeda leader kidnaps 21 Afghan tribal leaders in Kunar


NE-Afgh-Qari-Ziaur-Rahman-thumb.gif

Qari Zia Rahman and a map of northeastern Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan. Map from the Asia Times; click to view.

A dangerous, dual-hatted Taliban and al Qaeda commander has kidnapped 21 Afghan tribal leaders in the eastern province of Kunar.

Qari Zia Rahman, a regional commander who leads forces on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistani border, summoned the tribal leaders to a meeting in the district of Marawara eight days ago, then kidnapped them.

"The Taliban first called them for a meeting at a mosque and after a discussion, the Taliban took all the elders away to an unknown place," a local Afghan official in Kunar told AFP.

Qari Zai claimed the kidnapping in a text message sent to an AFP reporter, and demanded local Afghans end their cooperation with the Afghan government and security forces.

"The reason behind this act is that some relatives, sons and close family members of these men, work in the Afghan army, Afghan police and some with NATO", Qari Zia text read.

"Unless these people do not resign their jobs with the army, police and NATO, we will not release the hostages."

The district of Marawara, which directly borders Pakistan, is a known haven for al Qaeda and the Taliban. The US and Afghan forces targeted Qari Zai in three raids in the district during the summer of 2010. On June 29, the US launched a battalion-sized operation. More than 150 Taliban fighters were reported killed in the operation. On July 20, US and Afghan forces launched another battalion-sized operation in Marawara to flush out Qari Zia. And on Aug. 2, combined forces conducted a raid, again in Marawara, that targeted the al Qaeda leader.

Qari Zia is the Taliban's top regional commander as well as a senior member of al Qaeda. He operates in Kunar and neighboring Nuristan province in Afghanistan, and he also operates across the border in Pakistan's tribal agency of Bajaur. In early 2010, the Pakistani government claimed they killed Qari Zia in an airstrike, but he later spoke to the media and mocked Pakistan's interior minister for wrongly reporting his death.

Qari Zia is closely allied with Faqir Mohammed as well as with Osama bin Laden. Qari Zia's fighters are from the Caucasus, Uzbekistan,Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and various Arab nations. He commands a brigade in al Qaeda's paramilitary Shadow Army, or the Lashkar al Zil, US intelligence officials have told The Long War Journal.

The terrorist commander has established training camps for female suicide bombers in both Pakistan and in Kunar in Afghanistan.

A female suicide bomber struck for the first time in Afghanistan in Kunar province on June 21, 2010. Two US soldiers were killed and two Afghan children were wounded in the attack. Qari Zia claimed credit for the bombing.

The next female suicide attack took place on Dec. 24, 2010, in Pakistan's tribal agency of Bajaur. The suicide bomber killed 42 Pakistani civilians in an attack at a World Food Program ration distribution point.

Kunar province is a known sanctuary for al Qaeda and allied terror groups. The presence of al Qaeda cells has been detected in the districts of Pech, Shaikal Shate, Sarkani, Dangam, Asmar, Asadabad, Shigal, and Marawana; or eight of Kunar's 15 districts, according to an investigation by The Long War Journal.



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READER COMMENTS: "Al Qaeda leader kidnaps 21 Afghan tribal leaders in Kunar"

Posted by Eric L at January 31, 2011 1:11 PM ET:

This seems to be more out of desperation than anything. Could this be "good" news in that sense?

Posted by blert at January 31, 2011 5:17 PM ET:

As a clear cut violation of Pashtunwali -- there will be blow-back.

Posted by Ranger at January 31, 2011 9:12 PM ET:

*hope it forces all the tribes involved in Kunar to rise against the Talibs

Posted by crusader at January 31, 2011 10:42 PM ET:

"The US and Afghan forces targeted Qari Zai in three raids in the district during the summer of 2010. On June 29, the US launched a battalion-sized operation. More than 150 Taliban fighters were reported killed in the operation. On July 20, US and Afghan forces launched another battalion-sized operation in Marawara to flush out Qari Zia. "

it seems his days are numbered, it is just a matter of time before he is dead or captured. he lost 150 taliban fighters under his command and that is a major blow.
how many can he have under him now? i think within two years he is gone...

are the afg talibans becoming desperate? or is it just him?

Posted by Nick at January 31, 2011 11:10 PM ET:

LMAO, there will be no retribution for this. Salafist Islamist groups completely overpower the tribal Pashtuns in Afghanistan and FATA. Al Qaeda will absolutely decimate these elders and it is kind of sad that the U.S. knows what district of Kunar he is in but can't find Qari Zia Rahman or his cohorts. That shows that they are either more powerful than the NATO forces or that NATO is completely incompetent in looking at maps and satellite imagery to track down key leaders.

Marawara district is less than half the size of the city I live in, Ottawa. With all the gadgets and technology we have you'd think we could clear the entire area of militants with ease, but we obviously are not capable of doing so.

Posted by sports at February 1, 2011 12:55 AM ET:

All things good come with time Grasshopper!

Posted by Bob at February 1, 2011 10:20 AM ET:

"NATO is completely incompetent in looking at maps and satellite imagery to track down key leaders.

Read more: http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2011/01/al_qaeda_leader_kidn.php#comments#ixzz1Cil0LBnr
"

Key leaders don't usually show up on google maps ;)

Posted by Tyler Dietz at February 1, 2011 10:40 AM ET:

Well Nick im guessing you have never seen up close the terrain in Afghanistan, much less how difficult it is to target someone. Early warning networks make it near impossible to do a "soft knock" during the day and night time raids are unpredictable. As for why ISAF and other SOF elements have trouble finding these people in small areas, it is a simple answer really. They have the ability to blend in with the population and EXTREME freedom of movement in this area. So be thankful you have all your "gadgets and technology" back home but dont take away from what people have died trying to accomplish simply because you fail to understand it.

Posted by Nick at February 1, 2011 10:57 AM ET:

Tyler, I have been studying this war for years now.

That doesn't make sense. If they had the true power then they could flush out everybody from these small districts, no matter how remote they are.

If we can find stranded animals and stranded hikers on massive mountain tops in Tibet and Mount Everest then I fail to see how Kunar is any different.

On a geographical scale Qari couldn't be more than maybe an hour or so away from coalition forces at all times. Marawara is small. There must be thousands of Afghan and coalition combined personnel there. Not being able to catch Qari either means they can't do it, they are incompetent and don't know where to find him, OR they want to keep him alive so they can continue to justify the war by trying to go after "Al Qaeda" in "Afghanistan".

Take your pick, I don't see any other reasonable explanation other than this.

Posted by blert at February 1, 2011 11:15 AM ET:

By violating Pashtunwali Qari Zia Rahman has put the crosshairs on his forehead.

The single most likely outcome is that he liquidates his hostages in frustration and then has a blood feud chasing him through the hills.

All too soon some relative will place a 'chip' on his location and he'll be RFID'd by the 'hand of allah.'

Posted by Bill Roggio at February 1, 2011 11:41 AM ET:

Nick,

Tyler is absolutely correct. It just isn't that simple. "Stranded hikers on massive mountain tops" want to be found, people like QZR don't.

There are absolutely not thousands of ANSF and ISAF personnel based in Marawara. You'd be lucky if that number was 100.

My advice to you is read a book called "Killing Pablo," by Mark Bowden to understand the complexities of hunting for an individual who doesn't want to be found, and who has a massive local network supporting him.

Technology only takes you so far. Many of our problems in this war stem from an over reliance on tech.

Posted by brookie at February 1, 2011 11:46 AM ET:

Nick your comments are comical really. Without having been there or seen the terrain you really shouldn't comment about incompetence. Sounds like you don't have any military experience either. Things are different when you are behind a book studying. I've never been there either, I spent my time in la jungla but finding an individual in primitive areas is much more difficult than you think. Ever hear of Eric Rudolph ?

Posted by ArneFufkin at February 1, 2011 12:07 PM ET:

The FBI had an intensive manhunt for domestic terrorist Eric Rudolph here in the U.S. and he successfully evaded capture for over 5 years hiding in the mountains of North Carolina.

There are indicted Balkan War Criminals who have been operating at large for 15 years. NATO and various International Police Agencies are on the hunt for them.

As stated, it is very difficult to find folks who don't want to be found in many parts of the world, especially when they are provided refuge by sympathizers.

Posted by crusader at February 1, 2011 12:08 PM ET:

nick: have you heard of a man called "matteo messina denaro"? if you havent perhaps you should look it up...

he is in hiding as well...and don't want to be found regardless of so much popularity and fans dying to meet him...

Posted by James at February 1, 2011 3:38 PM ET:

Nick, look how long it took for US to find and finally nail Zarqawi (in Iraq), even though there were over 150,000 troops in the region the whole time.

Have you ever been to Afghanistan? I trust those that have been there over those who have not.

They will not hesitate to cross dress (by putting on a burqa) to falsely appear as innocent civilian women.

Bill, as I've stated before, the above just shows that if we were to abdicate our responsibilities for the Afghan people, there would be a reenactment of Pol Pot's Killing Fields or even worse.

Posted by JRP at February 1, 2011 4:34 PM ET:

The reason this occurred is because people still have not mentally processed a truism of this WoT; namely, that AQ/Taliban are the World's best at conning people. One ruse after another, they keep beguiling their victims. I recall that the day before 9/11, on the pretext of a newspaper interview, they infiltrated the Northern Alliance and assassinated its then leader, whose name I forget. Look at December 30th, 2009, the FOB Chapman CIA massacre . . . What a stunning AQ victory! I sincerely wish commentators would cease painting lipstick on a pig and at least acknowledge when we get a you-know-what whooping. We are not going to win this WoT by telling each other how desperate our enemy is. The only "desperation" afflicting Al-Qaeda is their desperation to win. Coach Lombardi would tell you, if he were alive, that such single-mindedness of purpose is half the battle right there. We may have all the hi-tech tools, but until we muster a will to survive that surpasses AQ's will to win, we are losing.

Posted by Chuma at February 1, 2011 5:55 PM ET:

Im still at a loss as to why U.S. commanders are'nt telling the American people how inept the ANA is as a fighting force. This counterinsurgency will be in their hands in the coming years and if tracking down individuals such as QZR is difficult for coalition/ISAF forces now, how much more of a debacle will it be then?

Posted by blert at February 1, 2011 9:30 PM ET:

Chuma...

We don't need to be told.

We can see it on U-Tube.

Posted by Nick at February 1, 2011 11:54 PM ET:

blert, I have seen videos of Al Qaeda go into Pakistani FATA villages and hurt, intimidate, and subjugate the villagers. They blare jihadi music, plant their flags in the soil and declare Sharia law. Do the Pashtuns do anything to these Al Qaeda fighters? Nope. Let's face it, Pashtun tribalism is a weakling compared to Salafist Islamism. That is the reason why the Pashtuns have cowered to so many foreign terror groups over the years and let them use their soil for attacks and safe havens.

Also, blert, what do you mean by we can see it on U-tube? I would much rather get the analysis from someone like Bill who knows what he is talking about rather than someone who uploads specific videos because they hate the U.S. or have their own political agendas to fulfill.

Bill,

I don't know the exact figure, but that is stupid if they have only 100 guys there. Marawara is small! I found it to be less than half the size of my city. Bill, do you honestly think we could do any better without this high tech? More soldiers would probably be massacred and we would not be able to conduct air strikes with fighter air craft and drones. Besides, I have always said that the drones they use in FATA, some should be reallocated to Kunar and Nuristan so they can take out some HVT's there. It would greatly relieve the stress on NATO and Afghan forces in the East.

James,

I am of dual citizenship. I am Canadian and American. No, I have not been to Afghanistan before, but I do know people who have. I have many close friends who have enlisted and I have seen long helmet cam and video cam videos of them entering and leaving entire districts. I saw one video in Kamdesh district, Nuristan where 5 minutes upon entering the district, they got into a firefight with 5 Pakistani rebels. It lasted only about 3 minutes and there were no casualties on our side but the other side was completely eliminated. I have seen with my own eyes how blatant these fighters, along with their commanders, will approach the security forces. Upon seeing said videos and reading all these articles about how we can't kill or capture X leader, I can only come to the conclusion that ISAF is either unwilling or incompetent in going after them.

Also, James, what do you mean by "killing fields"? The jihadists claim to be the warriors of Muslims. Do you honestly think they would just start killing tribal people left right and center because they feel like it? Even THEY cannot do that.

I would like to make it clear to everybody that Qari Zia Rahman WAS captured and detained in Pakistan before. He was released as part of a hostage exchange deal. If the vastly inferior Pakistani army can take him out, then why can't we? Besides, Kunar is small compared to the entire FATA and parts of Kunar are under ISAF control while most of FATA is not any under control at all. Do you see my point? Qari is most likely definitely in Kunar somewhere. He does not want to go back over the border because he might be captured again. Since he is more than likely in Afghanistan, it is imperative that we take him out because he is a very dangerous recruiter and it is because of him that there are female suicide bombers in Afghanistan today.

Posted by crusader at February 2, 2011 1:08 AM ET:

james:

"innocent civilian women" i like how the US, well us always paint the picture of a woman always being innocent.

you think she can not hide an AK or explosives under her burqa? i reckon she can be as lethal as any man.

Posted by Tyler at February 2, 2011 9:17 AM ET:

Well i have been following this war closely as well, partly because i am there now with TF No Slack. I know this area well as well as the personalities and INS networks that operate there. We have targeted this man in the past and failed, multiple times. How would you suggest flushing these people out? The locals are way more scared of QZR then they are of us, so they dont help. We cant just go in everyday and use brute force it kinda works against the COIN aspect. There are actually very few ISAF in this area, mostly patrolled by ABP and they are incapable for the most part. QZR also moves back and forth from Konar and Bajaur agency at will, if anyone catches him it will be PAKMIL not us. He is wanted just as much in Pakistan. Trust me we are not keeping him alive, this war is the least understood in American history and its sad...I think its because less than 1 percent of our population fought it.

Posted by ArneFufkin at February 2, 2011 10:06 AM ET:

@Chuma: Perhaps the commanders aren't telling the American people what you state because it isn't altogether true?

The ANA commandos are very good according to all reports and selected ANA and ANP units are too. Just like the ISF in the 2006-2008 era, both units are works in progress that lack experienced NCO leadership and enabler expertise.

I've seen ISAF Brigade commanders there say the Afghans run TO the sound of weapon fire and in many respects are more eager fighters than the Iraqis were at similar stages of development.

A big problem with the Afghan soldiers and police is rampant illiteracy that severely hampers training. The ANSF is getting better daily.

Posted by Chuma at February 2, 2011 2:01 PM ET:

@ArneFufkin : If your talking about developmental stages then that means you have to factor in timetables ArneFufkin. coalition/ISAF forces will not be in region indefinitely, to indefinitely support the ANSF. And illiteracy is just one of many problems whithin the ANSF. There is drug use not just within the enlisted ranks but among the officers as well. The central government has had difficulties delivering the pay/compensation of ANA and ANP personnel frequently. Then there is the paramount issue of desertion. Your mentioning of a much needed stronger NCO core within the ANSF is evidence enough of there needing to be a reversal of the current top-down training/buildup method of the ANSF. Discipline within the ranks insnt instilled at Basic or one the many MOS schools they're currently building. It comes from the quality of recruitment, and a bottom-up strategy in training/buildup.

Posted by Rob at February 2, 2011 11:40 PM ET:

James,

Studying a war and being there on the ground are two diff things. You really have no clue what things have to happen to get this guy. Yes he was caught by the Pakistani Army and that is the reason he is hard to catch now. These guys are not stupid. They do learn. We will get this guy, it's just a matter of time. As far as there being no "blow back", again you are wrong. It may not be overt but people are pissed off. You make a lot of good points and you are deff well informed. That being said, you can study all you want and talk about how this area is smaller then "your city" but you really have NO CLUE what it is like to be over there working in that terrain. All I see with many of these comments is how we can't find this guy, or can't kill that guy. Maybe you should take a look at the long list of bad guys we HAVE taken out. As far as the ANA goes, they get better and better every day. The biggest issue is not that they can't fight. The issue is that they are just now learning what it means to have a "National Identity". The biggest problem that I have with your comments James, is that you act like everyone that doesn't agree with you is stupid or uninformed. Well I am not stupid or uninformed and I have been to Afghanistan and will be heading there again very soon. Maybe you should do the same before claiming to be a subject matter expert on what we are and are not doing right over there. Oh and James, having "friends" who have been there doesn't count. I have friends who are cops, but them telling me about it and me reading about it doesn't make me a cop and it doesn't make me an expert on what they are or are not doing right.

Posted by James at February 3, 2011 12:08 AM ET:

Rob, I thank you for your service to US and the Afghan people. I think you are responding to the wrong poster though. Maybe you are responding to Nick?

Anyways, as I've said before, if it takes US a thousand years to achieve success in Afghanistan, then so be it.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going; they don't just "cut & run."

Posted by Nick at February 3, 2011 12:09 AM ET:

Rob,

You need to calm down first. You are addressing the wrong person in your post, for one.

I never said you are stupid or misinformed. All I said was that geographically, Marawara is smaller than Ottawa.

Yes, I know looking at videos and being there are two different things, but what's your point? I see them entering and leaving entire districts. If they can do that then they should be able to scrape ever square inch of Marawara for Qari and AQ. What, do you think Qari is hiding in some cave in a low lying mountain top? Doubt it.

I never said anything about the ANA. If we train them until 2014, maybe they could take over some districts but they would still be rusty. If we leave in 2011, the entire country will fall back into jihadist hands, let me just assure you of that. Only with the right training can they actually be a competent force... they are getting better, but that progress is drained every time they have groups of deserting soldiers.

If I wanted to, I could go right now and either enlist as a Canadian Soldier or an American one. The option is there, although I am doing other things right now. The point is, is that with all our technology and powerful military you'd think we could dominate the enemy. When we can't even capture a guy like Qari, that should give you a hint as to who really controls the country and who really has access to the main roads and freedom of movement. The answer isn't that surprising, but it isn't all that comforting either.

Posted by Chris at February 3, 2011 1:16 AM ET:

Nick, apparently it is so easy for you to sit back in the comfort of your own home and Monday Morning Quarterback the war. Why don't you grab a ruck and strap on a pair to join the fight... instead of playing CIV V with your college buddies online quoting article after article that you’ve READ and movies that you were shown Afghanistan (which you have NO need to know about, none the less see with out violating OPSEC Regs). Until then, thanks for manning the drive thru for the folks back home. See you in a few months as I’ll be the guy order the #4…. With a Diet Coke please, I don’t need all those calories.

Posted by Nick at February 3, 2011 11:40 AM ET:

Chris,

It would do better for you reputation NOT to go on incoherent rants online against people you don't even know. Just a tip.

Hmmm.... Civilization V. Good thing I don't play that game. The only PC game I play at all is Counter-Strike 1.6 and I can't even do that much since my ISP has capped me off and I have almost reached that limit for my monthly plan now.

I'm sure it makes you feel better implying I work at a fast food job, but I do not... if your plan was to boost your own morale by making this post to me then just know that almost everything in said post contains false information. That's what you get when you go off on a limb like you did.

In a free society, one has the right to criticize anything they like. If you don't wish to see me criticize NATO for their inability to kill/capture key leaders, then maybe you shouldn't read my posts then. I will say it again: I hope they get him, but based on past experiences they do not seem competent enough to do it. The day that Qari Zia Rahman is killed or captured, I will retract the part of my post(s) that talked about how we are too incompetent to catch this guy. For now, we'll just have to sit back and see. Deal?

Get well, Chris.

Posted by James at February 3, 2011 9:59 PM ET:

"Also, James, what do you mean by "killing fields"? The jihadists claim to be the warriors of Muslims. Do you honestly think they would just start killing tribal people left right and center because they feel like it? Even THEY cannot do that."

Nick, with all due respect for your statement(s) above, they (AQ/Taliban) ARE committing the above atrocities right now.

I believe there may be in fact two Talibans. One is of local and true Afghan descent, while the other one is wholly of foreign origin.

If there is ever going to be a "Sunni Awakening" (or equivalent) in Afghanistan, it will have to be engendered within the ranks of the Taliban that is of true local and Afghan descent.

Posted by Tyler at February 4, 2011 3:14 AM ET:

Nick,

Do you really think there are not things that go on over here that you have no the slightest idea about? There is a reason things are classified and people dont know, so everything you are saying sounds great in theory however in practicallity your wrong. It isnt your fault your wrong it is societies because this war is the most misunderstood and falsely interpretted in our history. You have the right the say and think whatever you want and if all i had access to was the media i would probably think the same thing. Just know there are a million things that happen and go on that prevent " Scraping every inch of Marah Warah" and in response to your question if hes living in a cave somewhere the answer yes i do believe that is the truth, because when it comes down to it that IS what he has to do to survive.

Posted by Chris at February 4, 2011 3:50 AM ET:

Nick,

Please do us all the favor and watch your verbiage of your responses. The first part of your response appeared to come very close to a threat.

In what part of my last post did I mention that I didn’t want to read your posts? Its posts like yours that make people like me smarter. Thanks for taking all the information that you’ve gathered from open sources and put them in one place. What else have you studied up on? Egypt is big news right now, I’m sure you can collect some info on North Africa and post that somewhere to appear smart. Ever serve your country Nick? To much of a decision to figure out which country that is I guess.

I am tired of reading posts from people that have opinions on what ISAF should do next with regard to the opposition. The PC responses are nice and friendly for you Nick, making you feel like you are contributing to the effort. Bravo. I applaud Tyler and Rob for telling it like it is. You think because a region is geographically smaller than Ottawa, that it would be easier to find a person hiding there? I have never been to Ottawa and frankly don’t care to, however if I had to go there and find someone that didn’t want to be found, it would be pretty darn difficult, especially if the locals there are assisting in his effort. By the way, the person that paved the way for female suicide bombers was not QZR, it has been a proven tactic in guerilla warfare for years.

You stated that my last post may make me feel better about myself, well it does. But what really makes me feel better is knowing that my job, in actuality, is working beside everyday people that are striving to overcome obstacles to tackle the problems that you have NO IDEA about. Do you think that QZR is the only person of interest in the region? You see Nick, it’s people like you that continue to express your opinion (which is fine, we do live in a “free society”) about subjects that you THINK you know about. Like I mentioned earlier in this post, the fact of attempting to locate an individual that does not WANT to be found is absolutely correct. You wouldn’t know that Nick because you sit there in the safety of your home or Starbucks writing idiotic rants about a subject you read about, heard about, and have seen online. Sprinkle in a few television shows and there you have it, a minion opinion. You have no real world experience to back up your posts and do not plan on obtaining it.

Have you ever seen what a Talib looks like? Ever talk to one? How about a resident of Dangam? What do they look like? Didn’t think so. Do you know the difference from a Pashtun, Tajik, or Uzbeck (among others)? How about Turkmen? Wait, let me help you….NO. You do not. You could, but you are “doing other things right now”. Please, you think that anyone that is serving their country ANYWHERE doesn’t have other things to do? Get over yourself.

I’m not sure if I’ll see a response from you soon Nick. I hope I do, but it may be that your ISP has cut your access. Maybe time to step up to an unlimited plan, satellite or something. I know an Afghan guy in Laghman that can hook you up……

…..and “get well”? Please.

I’m fine and will be great in a few months. Until then, have fun lying with the sheep like so many others.

Posted by Paul J at February 4, 2011 4:39 AM ET:

Nick: “I don't know the exact figure, but that is stupid if they have only 100 guys there. Marawara is small! I found it to be less than half the size of my city. Bill, do you honestly think we could do any better without this high tech? More soldiers would probably be massacred and we would not be able to conduct air strikes with fighter air craft and drones. Besides, I have always said that the drones they use in FATA, some should be reallocated to Kunar and Nuristan so they can take out some HVT's there. It would greatly relieve the stress on NATO and Afghan forces in the East”
First, how many people do you think we have over here? We have several hot spots all over the place and many are in Kandahar, Helmand, Khost, Paktya, and Paktika. There’re also hot spots in Kunduz, Faryab, Logar, etc. We do not have enough people to blanket the entire country. This shows your ignorance of the situation on the ground here. Second, Bill didn’t say we could do better without this high tech. Third, we have a limited amount of UAVs and fighter aircraft. Lastly, you show your naivety by thinking high tech is the answer for everything. Nick, there are many places and things which eyes in the sky do not see. You need boots on the ground. SIGINT can not do it all alone, HUMINT is much more valuable. And that is what we lack there.

Nick: “Upon seeing said videos and reading all these articles about how we can't kill or capture X leader, I can only come to the conclusion that ISAF is either unwilling or incompetent in going after them.”
Then your conclusion is based on incomplete data. Tell us your experience in this arena. How many Afghans you’ve talked to? Tell us how many houses you’ve searched. Tell us how many times you have humped an 80 pound ruck up a steep darn mountain. Tell us how many nights you slept out in the freezing cold with only a ranger roll to keep you warm. How many firefights have you been in? How many times have you been shot at? Tell us how many times you have shot at another human being? How many have you killed? How many missions have you led? What have you personally done to help our men over here in Afghanistan….besides of course denigrating their sacrifices and their service with your ignorant insults saying they are incompetent? Who are you to tell us we are incompetent when you’ve never been here and done this stuff?

Posted by Paul J at February 4, 2011 4:41 AM ET:

Nick: “It is kind of sad that the U.S. knows what district of Kunar he is in but can't find Qari Zia Rahman or his cohorts.”

Apparently it’s only “kind of sad” to people who don’t actually have any experience in combat or in conducting manhunts or in the intell world.

Nick:”That shows that they are either more powerful than the NATO forces or that NATO is completely incompetent in looking at maps and satellite imagery to track down key leaders.”
Or it shows that you don’t have all the facts. Tell us Nick, when you’re looking at a map and satellite imagery to find a man; what exactly are you looking for? Seeyun’s how you have been studying this for a long time then please teach us so that we can find the guy.

Nick: “Tyler, I have been studying this war for years now”
Try living “this war for years now.” Obviously your “studying” leaves a lot to be desired.

Nick: “There must be thousands of Afghan and coalition combined personnel there”
Wrong. Your flawed supposition shows that you have not studied this war enough since you assume something so blatantly erroneous.

Nick: “Not being able to catch Qari either means they can't do it,”
This is circular reasoning and as such is fallacious and worthless. You’re saying if they can’t catch him then that means ….they can’t catch him. That’s funny.

Nick: “they are incompetent and don't know where to find him, OR they want to keep him alive so they can continue to justify the war by trying to go after "Al Qaeda" in "Afghanistan".”
Which do you think it is, Nick? Are we incompetent or do we want to keep him alive?

Posted by Paul J at February 4, 2011 4:43 AM ET:

Nick: “Do the Pashtuns do anything to these Al Qaeda fighters?”
Yes, they do. Since you do all that studying, how about you read up on the Shinwari tribe. Or the Khogyani.

Nick: “I have seen with my own eyes”
You’ve watched TV with your own eyes. That gives you a total of zip for experience and as such your opinion counts for nada.

Nick: “Also, James, what do you mean by "killing fields"? The jihadists claim to be the warriors of Muslims. Do you honestly think they would just start killing tribal people left right and center because they feel like it? Even THEY cannot do that”
Wrong again Nick. They do and they have. You obviously haven’t studied much about this war. Read up on what happened in Mazar-i-Sharif with the thousands of Hazara killed. Read up on the genocide in the Shamali plains.

Nick: “Qari is most likely definitely in Kunar somewhere. He does not want to go back over the border because he might be captured again.”
“Most likely definitely”??? That is an oxymoron and is silly. And it’s another assumption of yours based on limited information. He probably slips back and forth across the border at will just as Haqqani and son do. They have safe havens in FATA.

Nick: “Yes, I know looking at videos and being there are two different things, but what's your point? I see them entering and leaving entire districts. If they can do that then they should be able to scrape ever square inch of Marawara for Qari and AQ. What, do you think Qari is hiding in some cave in a low lying mountain top? Doubt it.”
The point is you’re dealing with incomplete information and unless you’ve ever been over here and seen the terrain, humped a ruck over here, froze your butt of over here, or been shot at, your opinion that we are incompetent counts for squat.

Nick: “The point is, is that with all our technology and powerful military you'd think we could dominate the enemy”
Spoken like a guy who’s never actually been in combat. Son, technology does not ensure success. If you’re gonna opine on something, at least study it in full. You obviously know next to nothing about combat.

Posted by Paul J at February 4, 2011 4:44 AM ET:

Nick: “If I wanted to, I could go right now and either enlist as a Canadian Soldier or an American one.”
Then go ahead. We need the extra body. And you might actually learn how naïve and uninformed you are in the process.

Nick: “It would do better for you reputation NOT to go on incoherent rants online against people you don't even know. Just a tip.”
Why? Why would it be better? What would happen to his reputation otherwise?

Nick: “In a free society, one has the right to criticize anything they like. If you don't wish to see me criticize NATO for their inability to kill/capture key leaders, then maybe you shouldn't read my posts then.”
Yep, you have a right to your opinion, even if it has no foundation in facts, logic, and common sense. And in a free society, we have a right to show you how your opinion has no merit.

Nick: “I will say it again: I hope they get him, but based on past experiences they do not seem competent enough to do it.”
Then what exactly do they need to do that they are not doing? Tell us exactly if your mission was to kill Rahman, how exactly would you do it? How many men, what assets would you have at your disposal, what tactics would you use? Tell us how. You apparently have led men into combat otherwise you wouldn’t be able to opine with any validity whatsoever upon the competence of our soldiers.

The day that Qari Zia Rahman is killed or captured, I will retract the part of my post(s) that talked about how we are too incompetent to catch this guy. For now, we'll just have to sit back and see. Deal?
Get well, Chris.”
Why is it you never answered anybody else’s questions about Rudolph, Zarqawi, etc?

Posted by Nick at February 4, 2011 10:46 AM ET:

"Please do us all the favor and watch your verbiage of your responses. The first part of your response appeared to come very close to a threat."

Then you should watch your threatening tone as well.

In what part of my last post did I mention that I didn’t want to read your posts? Its posts like yours that make people like me smarter. Thanks for taking all the information that you’ve gathered from open sources and put them in one place. What else have you studied up on? Egypt is big news right now, I’m sure you can collect some info on North Africa and post that somewhere to appear smart. Ever serve your country Nick? To much of a decision to figure out which country that is I guess."

I already said I have never served in the forces before. What's your point? Are you just trying to feel better about what you have done/will do? Seems like it?

"Have you ever seen what a Talib looks like? Ever talk to one? How about a resident of Dangam? What do they look like? Didn’t think so. Do you know the difference from a Pashtun, Tajik, or Uzbeck (among others)? How about Turkmen? Wait, let me help you….NO. You do not. You could, but you are “doing other things right now”. Please, you think that anyone that is serving their country ANYWHERE doesn’t have other things to do? Get over yourself.

I’m not sure if I’ll see a response from you soon Nick. I hope I do, but it may be that your ISP has cut your access. Maybe time to step up to an unlimited plan, satellite or something. I know an Afghan guy in Laghman that can hook you up……

…..and “get well”? Please.

I’m fine and will be great in a few months. Until then, have fun lying with the sheep like so many others."

I'm going to ignore the other paragraph in your post since it is filled with personal attacks against someone you do not even know. Yes, I said get well because for someone who portrays himself as a smart person you sure make a lot of gambles that are not true.

You say I don't know the difference between the ethnicities when yes I have talked to Afghan refugees and immigrants here. It doesn't even feel necessary to address your posts when all you do is go off on a rambling tangent about how I know nothing and you know everything.

"Please, you think that anyone that is serving their country ANYWHERE doesn’t have other things to do? Get over yourself."

You certainly don't, otherwise you wouldn't be throwing a fit here.

Get well Chris, I hope in a couple of months, if you come back alive, that is, you will have matured and realized that it is unhealthy to judge someone you don't know without ever talking to them or testing them on certain things.


Posted by Nick at February 4, 2011 10:56 AM ET:

Paul J:

"Apparently it’s only “kind of sad” to people who don’t actually have any experience in combat or in conducting manhunts or in the intell world."

Why? The Pakistani army caught him, do you know that? He has been in Kunar for years and we haven't gotten one single break on him? Besides, do YOU collect intelligence? What do YOU do?

"Or it shows that you don’t have all the facts. Tell us Nick, when you’re looking at a map and satellite imagery to find a man; what exactly are you looking for? Seeyun’s how you have been studying this for a long time then please teach us so that we can find the guy."

If I had access to the same monitoring and satellite technology as NATO/ISAF did then sure, I would go into the control room with you and we'd look for the guy. Besides; people are taking this "studying" aspect WAY too far; what is wrong with having read up on a war you've found interesting for years?

"Try living “this war for years now.” Obviously your “studying” leaves a lot to be desired."

Oh please. There is nothing wrong with reading up on a war at all, if you don't like it then that's too bad. As for serving in the forces, I am glad that we have people willing to volunteer so it doesn't come to the scenario where a draft is conducted.

"Wrong. Your flawed supposition shows that you have not studied this war enough since you assume something so blatantly erroneous."

Nah. I just thought that maybe, they would do the rational thing and evenly spread forces throughout districts that are not a high threat level, while allocating forces to the districts that ARE a high threat level. That was what I thought the rational thing would be, oh well, I guess that's another blasphemous thing I have said here.

"This is circular reasoning and as such is fallacious and worthless. You’re saying if they can’t catch him then that means ….they can’t catch him. That’s funny."

Obviously you have trouble reading and than in itself is hilarious. What I meant, Paul, was that there are TWO DIFFERENT SCENARIOS where they either want to keep him alive to justify a threat, or they just simply can NOT catch him. That is what I meant, and it is erroneous and pathetic that you quote me out of context and put your own emphasis on the post so you can justify another attack.

"Which do you think it is, Nick? Are we incompetent or do we want to keep him alive?

It could be either or at this point. Let's face it, we are in Afghanistan for many reasons and if the threat were to go away tomorrow that would upset many Generals, private "defense" contractors and corporations that are involved in the resource managing there.

Posted by Nick at February 4, 2011 11:02 AM ET:

"First, how many people do you think we have over here? We have several hot spots all over the place and many are in Kandahar, Helmand, Khost, Paktya, and Paktika. There’re also hot spots in Kunduz, Faryab, Logar, etc. We do not have enough people to blanket the entire country. This shows your ignorance of the situation on the ground here. Second, Bill didn’t say we could do better without this high tech. Third, we have a limited amount of UAVs and fighter aircraft. Lastly, you show your naivety by thinking high tech is the answer for everything. Nick, there are many places and things which eyes in the sky do not see. You need boots on the ground. SIGINT can not do it all alone, HUMINT is much more valuable. And that is what we lack there."

I am aware of the hot spots around the country. I never said Bill said that, I was merely asking him what would be the alternative to a high tech war. Kind of like asking, how would the war in Chechnya fair out if Russia decided not to use as much high tech weapons and fighter aircraft?

I am aware that there are places which drones can not see. Why do you keep mentioning already established knowledge? If the drones could do this good of a job in taking out AQ so far, couldn't they also get Qari?

As for the exact personnel there, not sure exactly how many. I would have to get a census on that but I can't find any source so far.

"Then your conclusion is based on incomplete data. Tell us your experience in this arena. How many Afghans you’ve talked to? Tell us how many houses you’ve searched. Tell us how many times you have humped an 80 pound ruck up a steep darn mountain. Tell us how many nights you slept out in the freezing cold with only a ranger roll to keep you warm. How many firefights have you been in? How many times have you been shot at? Tell us how many times you have shot at another human being? How many have you killed? How many missions have you led? What have you personally done to help our men over here in Afghanistan….besides of course denigrating their sacrifices and their service with your ignorant insults saying they are incompetent? Who are you to tell us we are incompetent when you’ve never been here and done this stuff?"

You know exactly how many times I have done these things and I have explained that in previous posts. Repeating the fact that I have never served to score brownie points isn't exactly something someone with "honor" would do, would they? You know the answer to your questions and it has been answered above, find something else to pick at.

Posted by Nick at February 4, 2011 11:15 AM ET:

"Yes, they do. Since you do all that studying, how about you read up on the Shinwari tribe. Or the Khogyani."

If you had actually read my posts word for word you would understand I was watching As Sahab, not PashtunWali Tv. I saw the Al Qaeda fighters establish dominance over that village and completely subjugate it, and I heard of no backlash. Perhaps that incident was isolated but I somehow doubt that.

"You’ve watched TV with your own eyes. That gives you a total of zip for experience and as such your opinion counts for nada."

My opinion certainly seems to count for something when you break apart every piece of my posts and respond with minute detail. If my opinion really counted for "nada" then you would have found it to be worthless and not even bothered to reply, but you did. Nice cheap shot ad hominem there though. And yes, I have seen the helmet cam videos as I explained up there before. As for me having experience there, even though you keep milking that point to win your argument I have explained it numerous times up above.


"Wrong again Nick. They do and they have. You obviously haven’t studied much about this war. Read up on what happened in Mazar-i-Sharif with the thousands of Hazara killed. Read up on the genocide in the Shamali plains."

No, you are wrong and it is hilarious how far you go in your false assumptions. I DO know about the Hazara massacres, however, I did not feel the need to mention it in context since most Pashtuns are not Shia, and since I was talking about mostly Sunni Afghans/Pakistanis in the context of Al Qaeda killing them. When I said they "claim to to be the warriors of Muslims", I meant that they fight for Sunni Muslims and Salafist ones, not Shia. That is the underlying point you glossed over.

"“Most likely definitely”??? That is an oxymoron and is silly. And it’s another assumption of yours based on limited information. He probably slips back and forth across the border at will just as Haqqani and son do. They have safe havens in FATA."

I know about the safe havens, they have been covered extensively before. It is no oxymoron and it is not silly. I meant that MOST LIKELY, he is definitely in Kunar due to past occurrences. Yet another thing you nitpick to put yourself over as this knowledgeable combat savvy soldier who knows more than more. Qari has already been captured in FATA before and he would be a fool to go back there.

"The point is you’re dealing with incomplete information and unless you’ve ever been over here and seen the terrain, humped a ruck over here, froze your butt of over here, or been shot at, your opinion that we are incompetent counts for squat."

Nah, it doesn't. If it counted for "squat" then you wouldn't spend so much of your time replying to it, now would you? You keep pushing the fact that I've never been there when you know before you even posted that was the case.

"Spoken like a guy who’s never actually been in combat. Son, technology does not ensure success. If you’re gonna opine on something, at least study it in full. You obviously know next to nothing about combat."

Once again, you stress this talking point. I'm sure it will boost your morale to know more than me about combat. It will be a real morale booster before you really are back there getting shot and your convoys exploded. I never claimed to know more than anybody about combat, I am a civilian reading up on a long, misunderstood war.

If I had a nickel for every time you failed to see that... I would have made some good cash off these posts!!

Posted by Nick at February 4, 2011 11:24 AM ET:

"Then go ahead. We need the extra body. And you might actually learn how naïve and uninformed you are in the process."

Well, it's my choice. Why bother though? They are drawing down in July 2011 and leaving in 2014 anyway. What's the point in joining a war that will ultimately fail because of our leadership? At this pace, the Taliban WILL regain control of the country since were leaving too soon. Look at their renewed strongholds in the North, particularly Kunduz province for an example on that.

"Why? Why would it be better? What would happen to his reputation otherwise?"

Well, people who know Chris and who knows he posts here might not take him as seriously next time he posts something. Come on. "Calories"? "CIV V"? That was petty ad hominem garbage and you know it. He's knows nothing about me personally and to resort to such attacks says something about his conduct.

"Yep, you have a right to your opinion, even if it has no foundation in facts, logic, and common sense. And in a free society, we have a right to show you how your opinion has no merit."

With all the times you have dished out personal cheap shots and attacked me as a person I don't think you are in any position to say my opinion "has no merit". I would have been more inclined to take you seriously if I couldn't feel your anger on my keyboard as I replied to you. Can you calm down a bit?

"Then what exactly do they need to do that they are not doing? Tell us exactly if your mission was to kill Rahman, how exactly would you do it? How many men, what assets would you have at your disposal, what tactics would you use? Tell us how. You apparently have led men into combat otherwise you wouldn’t be able to opine with any validity whatsoever upon the competence of our soldiers."

Dunno. Give me a briefing first and we'll go from there.

"Why is it you never answered anybody else’s questions about Rudolph, Zarqawi, etc?"

Because I was not around during the era of those two. I have read about Zarqawi's life and death and I think it was good that they got him, but I really just don't know enough about the circumstances of his death to comment at this time.

Posted by Bill Roggio at February 4, 2011 11:47 AM ET:

Let me remind everyone o the comments policy. I've allowed you all to stretch the rules, but enough with the personal attacks. I'll close down this comments thread if it continues.

Nick,

Qari Zia Rahman has been spotted in Bajaur, Mohmand, and Swat numerous times since his release from prison.

And if you believe the half-cooked conspiracy theory that the US military wants to keep him alive, you are are not paying attention. I know people personally involved in the hunt.

The reality is it just isn't as easy to capture someone who doesn't want to be captured, is working on terrain that favors them, and has the ability to shelter in another country at will. Technology is an enabler, and not the answer. Talk to an soldier or commander, and they will tell you that HUMINT beats SIGINT any day of the week. This is what those who have first-hand experience in these matters are trying to tell you.

Posted by Rob at February 4, 2011 12:13 PM ET:

James,

Sorry about that, I did respond to the wrong person. I'm with you on the "it takes as long as it takes". If we are fighting them there then they are not crashing planes here.

Nick,

Yes do AQ (even the top guys) do hide in caves, I have had to clear a few so I know that for a fact. When they are not in caves, they change locations every few hours so tracking them is a bit of a problem. It takes "boots on the ground" and "eyes on target" to know for sure if a person is where you think they are. technology will only get you so far. Don't take anything I say the wrong way please. I'm not upset in the least by what you have to say. I just think you should join up and see for yourself. It doesn't even have to be full time. My 2nd time will be as a part of a NG unit. I can even suggest a few MOS that will put you in the right places so you can better understand the challenges involved in doing the things you suggest. (That is if you can qualify for a TS clearence). Heck,I will even let you come work for me. you prob won't make this deployment but we will be heading back again in 2014-15. The offer is for real so don't think I'm being a jerk.

Posted by Infidel4LIFE at February 4, 2011 3:36 PM ET:

When Pablo Escobar was taken down, that operation is the blueprint for taking down an organization and killing #1. Recall the "Los Pepes" killings? Pablo's bankers, bagmen, hit men, the infrastructure of the organization was hollowed out, killed by Colombian para militaries with US help. Its a bloody business, but thats how its done. Iam sure some of these tactics may have used, but not on the scale needed to take a guy like this down.

Posted by Chris at February 4, 2011 10:03 PM ET:

Bill, I apologize for the attacks. You know as well as I do that you cannot sit back and have the names of those fallen smeared by people like Nick. Everyone on here sees through his banter... except him.

I guess the "LMAO" comment with his first post set the tone for me and I took it from there.

Enough said on that.

Be safe.

Chris

Posted by Nick at February 4, 2011 10:05 PM ET:

Bill, everybody,

I do not believe that they actually are keeping him alive, I just thought that as a last resort to our situation we are currently facing. I do not believe that Al Qaeda is a creation. I think that people who believe that have never had their family members killed by Al Qaeda and have never seen things aside from their conspiracy tinted lenses.

Bill, I accept that you know more than me on this war and it's tactics. In fact, the very fact that you know more than me is the reason why I come here almost everyday. Even recently I have stopped by here more than a couple of times a day to read your analysis and info you provide. Based on articles and different sources I have recently read into, it could be possible QZR is in Kunar right now. I wouldn't doubt at all that he has been spotted in the various Pakistani agency hideouts over the years. If you know people involved in the hunt for people like QZR, then I really wish them the most absolute best of luck for now and the future. I really hope they get guys like him, and I know he is a real threat that needs to be dealt with.

Rob,

Yes, I could imagine they would hide in caves, houses, and anything that would help conceal their presence. Moving around every few hours is only the smart thing to do on their part. And I have not taken anything you have said so far in a negative light at all. I think you are one of the most respectable posters here when it comes to giving me your .2 cents. Rob, you are not the only one to ask me to sign up but you are the most polite when it comes to it.

Many people seem to have taken hostility to the point, but I am of dual citizenship AND I COULD JOIN EITHER SIDE IF I WANTED TO. But Rob, I am not that knowledgeable in military enrollment. Do you get to choose where you want to go? Or who you wish to deploy with? These are legitimate questions.

Many people seem eager for me to experience the combat first hand. While I am going through school right now, I have not ruled out a future military career at all and it is definitely a possibility down the road for me. But not right now.

Also, Rob, with the troop drawdowns and talk of completely leaving by 2014, what would be the point of signing up for that timeframe?

Posted by Chris at February 4, 2011 10:41 PM ET:

Bill, I apologize for the attacks. You know as well as I do that you cannot sit back and have the names of those fallen smeared by people like Nick. Everyone on here sees through his banter... except him.

I guess the "LMAO" comment with his first post set the tone for me and I took it from there.

Enough said on that.

Be safe.

Chris

Posted by Paul J at February 5, 2011 5:38 AM ET:

Nick: “Then you should watch your threatening tone as well.”
Chris’s tone was not threatening, it was funny. If you disagree, then simply support your assertion with fact by showing how and where his tone was threatening. No biggie, bruh.

Paul: “Apparently it’s only “kind of sad” to people who don’t actually have any experience in combat or in conducting manhunts or in the intell world."
Nick: “Why? The Pakistani army caught him, do you know that? He has been in Kunar for years and we haven't gotten one single break on him? Besides, do YOU collect intelligence? What do YOU do?”
It is irrelevant that the Pakistanis caught him in the past. If you would bother to research and learn how they caught him then you might understand why it was so easy for them to do so and why it’s harder now.

As for what I do: I am an investigator in Afghanistan. I’ve been here for 6 years. Prior to that I was in the US Military for 21 years. I’ve talked to literally thousands of Afghans from just about every single province, as well as Pakistanis, Indians, and a slew of other nationalities as part of my job. At last count I have conducted 12,260 interviews. My job is to ensure that people coming onto post do not pose a threat to US and Coalition forces. During the course of my interviews, I tend to come across certain information which I share with the appropriate agencies (obviously not going to go into more detail other than that). I am also the trainer for all investigators and interpreters coming here to do this job. Additionally, some of the agencies from around here like to come by my office to pick my brain about things concerning Afghanistan (and they like the chill atmosphere with the peace signs, lava lamps, my Ohm tapestry, etc). They come by to ask for information because I have been studying this for quite a while myself, up close and personal; not learning solely from hearsay and third-hand sources such as what you have done. I read Long War Journal, SAIR, and quite a few other sites as well as talk to Afghans and Pakistanis about these things; and of course I talk with other professionals from different organizations involved over here.

Paul: "Or it shows that you don’t have all the facts. Tell us Nick, when you’re looking at a map and satellite imagery to find a man; what exactly are you looking for? Seeyun’s how you have been studying this for a long time then please teach us so that we can find the guy."
Nick: “If I had access to the same monitoring and satellite technology as NATO/ISAF did then sure, I would go into the control room with you and we'd look for the guy.”
You avoided answering the question. I’ll ask again. So you go into “the control room” with me; you’re looking down at the map and the satellite imagery. What are you looking for? What visual clue will tell you where Rahman is hiding? Simple question here; why are you evading?

Nick: “Besides; people are taking this "studying" aspect WAY too far; what is wrong with having read up on a war you've found interesting for years?”
Nothing at all is wrong with it; as a matter of fact I encourage it. However you can’t say with any validity that a person is incompetent unless you’ve “been there and done that” because logically speaking you have no way of knowing all the facts when you are limited solely to third hand sources, TV, the internet, and books. I’ve asked you already if you’ve had any experience hunting a man down or clearing buildings. You implied that you have not; thus you clearly do not have all the facts at your disposal and as such your opinions on the subject have little to no value when compared with someone who has “been here and done that”. That’s simply basic common sense, Nick.

Paul: "Try living “this war for years now.” Obviously your “studying” leaves a lot to be desired."
Nick: “Oh please. There is nothing wrong with reading up on a war at all, if you don't like it then that's too bad. As for serving in the forces, I am glad that we have people willing to volunteer so it doesn't come to the scenario where a draft is conducted.”
You’re correct, there is nothing wrong with reading up on the war. There is however, something wrong with implying you have more knowledge of the situation than all of us over here who are actually in the mix. There is something wrong with you accusing others of incompetence when you are unwilling and/or unable to actually come over here and help us. We have a saying: “Lead, follow, or get the hell outta the way.”

Paul: "Wrong. Your flawed supposition shows that you have not studied this war enough since you assume something so blatantly erroneous."
Nick: “Nah. I just thought that maybe, they would do the rational thing and evenly spread forces throughout districts that are not a high threat level, while allocating forces to the districts that ARE a high threat level. That was what I thought the rational thing would be, oh well, I guess that's another blasphemous thing I have said here.”
Nope. You assumed something and you were shown to be wrong. That is one of the many reasons why your opinion has little value because you’re making assumptions based off of limited information thus your reasoning, logic, and judgment will quite naturally be faulty.

So how about we play a little game of “General Nick” to illustrate a point, eh?

Tell us General Nick; How many soldiers do you have at your disposal? How many men are you going to send to Faryab, which districts? How many to Kunduz, which districts? How many to Kapisa; to Laghman, to Kunar, to Nuristan? Oh, bear in mind we still have to maintain a large bulk of our soldiers and marines down in Khost, Paktya, Paktika, Helmand, and Kandahar as well as many in Ghazni, Zabul, Logar, Wardak, Kabul, Parwan, Baghlan, I’m willing to bet also soon in Takhar and Ghor, and other places (such as Farah and Nimroz). Oh yeah, what are you gonna do about protecting the main cities of Hirat, Mazar-i-Sharif, Jalalabad, and Kabul city? How many of our soldiers are you gonna keep there? What about those districts in the more quiet provinces which are stepping stones for Taliban, Haqqani, and HIG? Are you gonna put anyone there? (Have you ever played Whack-a-Mole?).

How many combat soldiers do you have at your disposal? How many combat support and combat service support soldiers will you need for these operations? Once you clear these areas (or think you have them cleared, that is), you’re gonna have to keep soldiers there to ensure Taliban won’t pop back in. (Cause they don’t stand and fight most of the time, they simply blend into the population or go to another district or province or into FATA, Peshawar, and Baluchistan.) How many troops are you gonna leave in each place? Any? Are you just gonna leave ANP and/or ANA?

How many UAVs do you have? What about satellite imagery? What exactly will that show you? What HUMINT resources, if any, do you have in each of the many hotspots and future hotspots? How are you gonna get HUMINT capabilities in some of these places where we’ve not had any before? How are you going to clear each village? House to house, rounding up everyone? How do you single out a Taliban fighter from an innocent villager? Are you erroneously assuming that only the bad guys have weapons? Are you gonna forcibly enroll all Afghans into the BAT system? How do you locate tunnels? How do you know 100% when a village is totally cleared of insurgents (let alone an entire district)?

If you have a source who tells you his neighbor is providing safe haven to the Taliban; are you gonna believe him? Perhaps he’s a rival warlord who wants us to take out his competition (BTW, that happens a lot).

What about when you go into a house and they say they’ve never seen any Taliban, they don’t know where Rahman is hiding. How do you tell if they are lying? Are you gonna torture them to make them tell you? Have you ever interrogated anyone?

These are just a few considerations of many to think about.

Paul: "This is circular reasoning and as such is fallacious and worthless. You’re saying if they can’t catch him then that means ….they can’t catch him. That’s funny."
Nick: “Obviously you have trouble reading and than in itself is hilarious. What I meant, Paul, was that there are TWO DIFFERENT SCENARIOS where they either want to keep him alive to justify a threat, or they just simply can NOT catch him. That is what I meant, and it is erroneous and pathetic that you quote me out of context and put your own emphasis on the post so you can justify another attack.”
You said: “Not being able to catch Qari either means they can't do it, they are incompetent and don't know where to find him, OR they want to keep him alive so they can continue to justify the war by trying to go after "Al Qaeda" in "Afghanistan".”

Thus you gave three different scenarios for why they couldn’t catch him: 1. They can’t catch him because they can’t catch him, 2. They can’t catch him because they are incompetent, or 3. They can’t catch him because they don’t want to catch him.

The first scenario is circular reasoning (and again, it’s rather humorous). The second scenario is an amateur’s inexperienced opinion and is based on incomplete and third hand information. The third scenario is an accusation of dishonesty without having all the facts and is a silly conspiracy theory equivalent to Elvis being seen in Pakistan hanging with UBL. None of the three scenarios are of any value.

Paul: "Which do you think it is, Nick? Are we incompetent or do we want to keep him alive?”
Nick: “It could be either or at this point. Let's face it, we are in Afghanistan for many reasons and if the threat were to go away tomorrow that would upset many Generals, private "defense" contractors and corporations that are involved in the resource managing there.”
And I saw Elvis down in Kabul back in 2005. haha
-----------------------

Paul: “First, how many people do you think we have over here? We have several hot spots all over the place and many are in Kandahar, Helmand, Khost, Paktya, and Paktika. There’re also hot spots in Kunduz, Faryab, Logar, etc. We do not have enough people to blanket the entire country. This shows your ignorance of the situation on the ground here. Second, Bill didn’t say we could do better without this high tech. Third, we have a limited amount of UAVs and fighter aircraft. Lastly, you show your naivety by thinking high tech is the answer for everything. Nick, there are many places and things which eyes in the sky do not see. You need boots on the ground. SIGINT can not do it all alone, HUMINT is much more valuable. And that is what we lack there."
Nick: “I am aware of the hot spots around the country. I never said Bill said that, I was merely asking him what would be the alternative to a high tech war. Kind of like asking, how would the war in Chechnya fair out if Russia decided not to use as much high tech weapons and fighter aircraft?”

Actually you did. You implied Bill said it when you asked a rhetorical question in response to his statement. You said: “do you honestly think we could do any better without this high tech?” Bill originally said: “Technology only takes you so far. Many of our problems in this war stem from an over reliance on tech.” You used a straw man by replacing his argument of “over reliance in tech” to insinuating he said “totally without any high tech”. That is an error in reasoning and as such does nothing to help win your argument. Try using fact next time, not fallacy. Furthermore, you failed to address the rest of my paragraph in reference to logistics. Do you know anything of logistics at all or do you assume we have unlimited manpower, unlimited resources, we are omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent?

Nick: “I am aware that there are places which drones can not see. Why do you keep mentioning already established knowledge?”
Because by your continued talk of them, it appears that you think the drones and satellites can indeed see everywhere and everything. As has been mentioned by me and others, HUMINT is better than SIGINT.

You said: “….NATO is completely incompetent in looking at maps and satellite imagery to track down key leaders.
Marawara district is less than half the size of the city I live in, Ottawa. With all the gadgets and technology we have you'd think we could clear the entire area of militants with ease, but we obviously are not capable of doing.”

That sure sounds to me as if you have an over-reliance in the drones and satellites; and assume they can see anywhere and everywhere. Why have you not mentioned one iota about HUMINT?

Nick: “If the drones could do this good of a job in taking out AQ so far, couldn't they also get Qari?”
There are quite a few people we haven’t been able to get yet. It takes time. Plus, we are not fighting a stagnant entity that is incapable of learning and adapting. I suggest you read Sun Tzu, Nick. Furthermore we have assets on the ground in some places, not in other places. Those UAVs aren’t the end all beat all because we have to have some information to start with…that’s where HUMINT comes into play. Obviously OPSEC precludes further talk on this subject but suffice it to say that you are totally discounting HUMINT and this is one of the main reasons you are incapable of understanding the reality on the ground.

Nick: “As for the exact personnel there, not sure exactly how many. I would have to get a census on that but I can't find any source so far.”
Then you are positing an opinion with incomplete data. Do you know logistically speaking how many boots on the ground it would take to secure and hold one district? How about one village? Do you have any idea how many villages in how many districts we need to clear and hold? In order for you to say with any accuracy that we are incompetent, you should at least know the answers to those questions. Sun Tzu said:
“The line between disorder and order lies in logistics.”

As General Robert Barrow said: “Amateurs talk about tactics, but professionals study logistics.” ….apparently you are cognizant of neither.

Paul: "Then your conclusion is based on incomplete data. Tell us your experience in this arena. How many Afghans you’ve talked to? Tell us how many houses you’ve searched. Tell us how many times you have humped an 80 pound ruck up a steep darn mountain. Tell us how many nights you slept out in the freezing cold with only a ranger roll to keep you warm. How many firefights have you been in? How many times have you been shot at? Tell us how many times you have shot at another human being? How many have you killed? How many missions have you led? What have you personally done to help our men over here in Afghanistan….besides of course denigrating their sacrifices and their service with your ignorant insults saying they are incompetent? Who are you to tell us we are incompetent when you’ve never been here and done this stuff?"
Nick: “You know exactly how many times I have done these things and I have explained that in previous posts. Repeating the fact that I have never served to score brownie points isn't exactly something someone with "honor" would do, would they? You know the answer to your questions and it has been answered above, find something else to pick at.”
Yep, and that is the entire point we are all trying to get across to you. You have no experience in this arena therefore you have very limited information regarding combat; ergo your opinion that someone over here is incompetent has no merit. I’m not doing this for “brownie points”. I’m not trying to insult you either. I’m simply showing you logic and common sense. How can you tell a person they are incompetent unless you have been in their position? You are implying you can do better but you do not have any training, any experience, any education in this field and you do not have all the facts.

And apparently honor is an empty word to you, a word you feel you can bandy about without ever actually knowing what it truly is to have honor; without ever actually putting your butt on the line for honor.

Paul: “Yes, they do. Since you do all that studying, how about you read up on the Shinwari tribe. Or the Khogyani."
Nick: “If you had actually read my posts word for word you would understand I was watching As Sahab, not PashtunWali Tv. I saw the Al Qaeda fighters establish dominance over that village and completely subjugate it, and I heard of no backlash. Perhaps that incident was isolated but I somehow doubt that.”

You said:
“Do the Pashtuns do anything to these Al Qaeda fighters? Nope. Let's face it, Pashtun tribalism is a weakling compared to Salafist Islamism. That is the reason why the Pashtuns have cowered to so many foreign terror groups over the years and let them use their soil for attacks and safe havens.”

You made a broad sweeping statement about all Pashtuns. You asked if Pashtuns do anything to these fighters. You said no. I say you are wrong because the Shinwari and the Khogyani are two examples of tribes which fought back. Thus you are wrong.

Paul: "You’ve watched TV with your own eyes. That gives you a total of zip for experience and as such your opinion counts for nada."
Nick: “My opinion certainly seems to count for something when you break apart every piece of my posts and respond with minute detail. If my opinion really counted for "nada" then you would have found it to be worthless and not even bothered to reply, but you did. Nice cheap shot ad hominem there though. And yes, I have seen the helmet cam videos as I explained up there before. As for me having experience there, even though you keep milking that point to win your argument I have explained it numerous times up above.”
Actually you are correct Nick….for a change. Your opinion does indeed count for something since I do so enjoy shredding and totally annihilating misinformed opinions in my spare time. Its quite good entertainment, thanks. And the point is still valid that you are speaking from a position of ignorance and inexperience and therefore your opinion lacks merit, value, and substance.

Paul: "Wrong again Nick. They do and they have. You obviously haven’t studied much about this war. Read up on what happened in Mazar-i-Sharif with the thousands of Hazara killed. Read up on the genocide in the Shamali plains."
Nick: “No, you are wrong and it is hilarious how far you go in your false assumptions. I DO know about the Hazara massacres, however, I did not feel the need to mention it in context since most Pashtuns are not Shia, and since I was talking about mostly Sunni Afghans/Pakistanis in the context of Al Qaeda killing them. When I said they "claim to to be the warriors of Muslims", I meant that they fight for Sunni Muslims and Salafist ones, not Shia. That is the underlying point you glossed over.”
You originally said:
Also, James, what do you mean by "killing fields"? The jihadists claim to be the warriors of Muslims. Do you honestly think they would just start killing tribal people left right and center because they feel like it? Even THEY cannot do that.

Don’t try to back peddle and claim you meant something that you did not say. You say “even THEY can not do that”. Why can they not? Is it any different to kill a Hazara than it is a Pashtun? Do they bleed any differently? Do they scream less loudly? They seem to have no problem killing fellow Pashtun truck drivers in large numbers.

Yes, they will kill Hazara for being Shia; just as they will kill Tajik for being Tajik, or other Pashtun for not being of their tribe or simply because the Pashtun is working indirectly for the government as a truck driver trying to feed his family. Or just because they do not give their due (one boy per family to a Mangal Bagh in Pakistan). Why did you omit any reference to the Shamali plains? Most people there were Sunni; many of them were Pashtun; yet the Taliban killed them in huge numbers, burnt their grape vines to the ground. Hundreds of thousands fled as refugees to Panjsher, to Gulbahar, to Pakistan, and Iran as a result.

Yes, Nick, the Taliban can and do indeed kill “tribal people left right and center because they feel like it”.


Paul: “ “Most likely definitely”??? That is an oxymoron and is silly. And it’s another assumption of yours based on limited information. He probably slips back and forth across the border at will just as Haqqani and son do. They have safe havens in FATA."
Nick: “I know about the safe havens, they have been covered extensively before.”
Are you now saying that Rahman uses safe havens in Pakistan? Then why did you say:
“He does not want to go back over the border because he might be captured again.” Do you think he does not go back into Pakistan or do you think he does go to his safe havens in Pakistan. Please make up your mind.

Nick: “It is no oxymoron and it is not silly. I meant that MOST LIKELY, he is definitely in Kunar due to past occurrences.”
Most likely and definitely are two separate concepts. Using the two together is like saying “same difference” or “military intelligence” or I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

Nick: “Yet another thing you nitpick to put yourself over as this knowledgeable combat savvy soldier who knows more than more.”
No, I just like picking on people who try to pass themselves off as experts but aren’t.

Nick: “Qari has already been captured in FATA before and he would be a fool to go back there.”
So you’re saying there is absolutely no way he is in FATA? Really? Then why has he been spotted there many times recently? Simply google his name and Mohmand Agency. Or Bajaur. You’re proven wrong again, Nick. Sorry.

Paul: "The point is you’re dealing with incomplete information and unless you’ve ever been over here and seen the terrain, humped a ruck over here, froze your butt of over here, or been shot at, your opinion that we are incompetent counts for squat."
Nick: “Nah, it doesn't. If it counted for "squat" then you wouldn't spend so much of your time replying to it, now would you?”
You’re right, your opinion is of limitless value…..as an example to others of the dangers of assuming you know something without having enough knowledge, experience, and training to speak with any authority.

Nick: “You keep pushing the fact that I've never been there when you know before you even posted that was the case.”
That’s because it is a very important point and one which you need to understand….but obviously don’t.

Paul: "Spoken like a guy who’s never actually been in combat. Son, technology does not ensure success. If you’re gonna opine on something, at least study it in full. You obviously know next to nothing about combat."
Nick: “Once again, you stress this talking point. I'm sure it will boost your morale to know more than me about combat. It will be a real morale booster before you really are back there getting shot and your convoys exploded. I never claimed to know more than anybody about combat, I am a civilian reading up on a long, misunderstood war.
If I had a nickel for every time you failed to see that... I would have made some good cash off these posts!!”
You would have made less than a dollar. That’s good money to you? Okay. Also, you are criticizing combat soldiers and yet you admit you have no experience or knowledge about combat; ergo, your critique is pointless.

Paul: “Then go ahead. We need the extra body. And you might actually learn how naïve and uninformed you are in the process."
Nick: “Well, it's my choice. Why bother though? They are drawing down in July 2011 and leaving in 2014 anyway. What's the point in joining a war that will ultimately fail because of our leadership? At this pace, the Taliban WILL regain control of the country since were leaving too soon. Look at their renewed strongholds in the North, particularly Kunduz province for an example on that.”
And your choice is to criticize others who are doing something you have no idea how to do rather than you actually enlisting and coming over here to help. If you’re not going to do anything to help, then all you are is an annoying heckler from the sidelines of no use to anyone. And I agree that the Taliban may indeed regain control; not because of our leadership but because we cannot legitimize this Afghan government in the eyes of the populace because of the pervasive corruption in every level of government.

Paul: "Why? Why would it be better? What would happen to his reputation otherwise?"
Nick: “Well, people who know Chris and who knows he posts here might not take him as seriously next time he posts something. Come on. "Calories"? "CIV V"? That was petty ad hominem garbage and you know it. He's knows nothing about me personally and to resort to such attacks says something about his conduct.”
Actually I know Chris and he’s quite competent so people do in fact take him seriously. Just because he hurt your feelings does not mean his reputation has been tarnished. What does it say about his conduct?

Paul: "Yep, you have a right to your opinion, even if it has no foundation in facts, logic, and common sense. And in a free society, we have a right to show you how your opinion has no merit."
Nick: “With all the times you have dished out personal cheap shots and attacked me as a person I don't think you are in any position to say my opinion "has no merit". I would have been more inclined to take you seriously if I couldn't feel your anger on my keyboard as I replied to you. Can you calm down a bit?”
Don’t take things so personally and get angry. It is simple logic that your opinion has no basis in facts, logic and common sense. That is not an insult, just the truth. Additionally, it has been shown quite often that your opinion has no merit because you are forming it without all the facts, and with no experience whatsoever. I’m not angry at all; simply showing where your opinion is based on presumptions, assumptions, misconceptions, theories, and fallacies and are therefore worthless. It is not an insult, just the truth. It is possible you are erroneously projecting your anger onto me and others. I reckon the anger on your keyboard is emanating from your own body, eh? ;)

Paul: "Then what exactly do they need to do that they are not doing? Tell us exactly if your mission was to kill Rahman, how exactly would you do it? How many men, what assets would you have at your disposal, what tactics would you use? Tell us how. You apparently have led men into combat otherwise you wouldn’t be able to opine with any validity whatsoever upon the competence of our soldiers."
Nick: “Dunno. Give me a briefing first and we'll go from there.”
You evaded again. You said you’ve studied this and you imply that you could do it better, so let’s hear your suggestions. Let’s hear how you’d do it. Why do you keep eluding, dodging, ducking, bobbing and weaving? Simply answer the questions.

Paul: "Why is it you never answered anybody else’s questions about Rudolph, Zarqawi, etc?"
Nick: “Because I was not around during the era of those two. I have read about Zarqawi's life and death and I think it was good that they got him, but I really just don't know enough about the circumstances of his death to comment at this time.”
Yet another evasion. Answer the question.


Nick: “I do not believe that they actually are keeping him alive, I just thought that as a last resort to our situation we are currently facing.”

Then why did you say:

“Let's face it, we are in Afghanistan for many reasons and if the threat were to go away tomorrow that would upset many Generals, private "defense" contractors and corporations that are involved in the resource managing there.”

and

“What I meant, Paul, was that there are TWO DIFFERENT SCENARIOS where they either want to keep him alive to justify a threat, or they just simply can NOT catch him.”

If you don’t really mean something then why say it? If you didn’t actually think that as a possible scenario then why accuse people of dishonesty in the first place? How about you say exactly what you mean from now on, Nick? Thanks. (Or are you as usual, back peddling and contradicting yourself?) ?

Nick: “I wouldn't doubt at all that he has been spotted in the various Pakistani agency hideouts over the years.”
If you have no doubt at all of that then why did you say earlier:

“Qari has already been captured in FATA before and he would be a fool to go back there.”

and

“He does not want to go back over the border because he might be captured again.”

You’re contradicting yourself again.

It appears it’s easy for some to criticize and say we are incompetent but when asked for specifics, they back out, back peddle, contradict themselves, use fallacies, evade, elude, and avoid actually supporting their accusations and assumptions with fact, logic and common sense.


Just sayin’………. :)

Posted by Nick at February 5, 2011 11:47 AM ET:

"You’re contradicting yourself again."

HOW am I contradicting myself by saying that??? That he doesn't want to go BACK over the border to get caught again? You are cherry picking my words and then simply saying I am contradicting myself. It is getting almost pathetic.

I'm not going to bother to reply to the entire thing because I simply do not have the time. If you feel it's this important that you need to do this then be my guest.

"You evaded again. You said you’ve studied this and you imply that you could do it better, so let’s hear your suggestions. Let’s hear how you’d do it. Why do you keep eluding, dodging, ducking, bobbing and weaving? Simply answer the questions."

I DID answer the questions, but "contradicting" seems to be your favorite word of the week and thus you insert it in every quote of mine you paste. If you want the answer then look through my posts, I'm not bothered to say it again.

"Then why did you say:

“Let's face it, we are in Afghanistan for many reasons and if the threat were to go away tomorrow that would upset many Generals, private "defense" contractors and corporations that are involved in the resource managing there.”

and

“What I meant, Paul, was that there are TWO DIFFERENT SCENARIOS where they either want to keep him alive to justify a threat, or they just simply can NOT catch him.”

If you don’t really mean something then why say it? If you didn’t actually think that as a possible scenario then why accuse people of dishonesty in the first place? How about you say exactly what you mean from now on, Nick? Thanks. (Or are you as usual, back peddling and contradicting yourself?) ?"

Are you really going to deny that private defense contractors make a killing off of Afghanistan? Ah yes... contradicting, the word of the week springs up again. If I had a nickel....

What you are attempting is called circular argument and is quite dishonest on your part. You requote what I say over and over again and repeat your own catch lines to discredit me.

Instead of expelling empty rhetoric, maybe you should come up with some evidence to show that I am "contradicting" myself about that. Do you honestly think that these massive corporations with contracts on the line in Afghanistan would want to pull out so soon and ditch all their money and projects? If you really think so, then you have much to learn about how private corporations have a stake in this war.


"Yes, Nick, the Taliban can and do indeed kill “tribal people left right and center because they feel like it”."

Evidence? Just saying it does not make it so.

"Tell us General Nick; How many soldiers do you have at your disposal? How many men are you going to send to Faryab, which districts? How many to Kunduz, which districts? How many to Kapisa; to Laghman, to Kunar, to Nuristan? Oh, bear in mind we still have to maintain a large bulk of our soldiers and marines down in Khost, Paktya, Paktika, Helmand, and Kandahar as well as many in Ghazni, Zabul, Logar, Wardak, Kabul, Parwan, Baghlan, I’m willing to bet also soon in Takhar and Ghor, and other places (such as Farah and Nimroz). Oh yeah, what are you gonna do about protecting the main cities of Hirat, Mazar-i-Sharif, Jalalabad, and Kabul city? How many of our soldiers are you gonna keep there? What about those districts in the more quiet provinces which are stepping stones for Taliban, Haqqani, and HIG? Are you gonna put anyone there? (Have you ever played Whack-a-Mole?)."

We are playing Whack a Mole because we are too nice to actually go into Pakistan and carpet bomb the entire tribal areas until we get our desired outcome. Due to our current strategies which inevitably lead us to play Whack a mole, I can guarantee you Paul, the Taliban WILL be back SOON and all the deaths, sweat and tears will be for nothing.

As for the words of Chris, you thinking they are funny is just YOUR opinion. Nevertheless what you think, his words were false and I believe that has already been established numerous times.

Paul, I can just tell you are extremely angry at me. Why? Because the strategy for the war was a failure???? Paul, I have listened to Mullah Omar interviews on As Sahab media and he even says that "our blessed sanctuaries have remained untouched", and he is talking about the Pakistani ones. Paul, trust me, and mark my words when I say that the Taliban WILL be back with their friends. Remember I told you this. I do not mean this in a negative way but only because our strategy has been a failure. They will be back!!!! They are stronger than ever and our efforts have done very little to weaken them. Blame the leadership, not me.


Posted by Villiger at February 5, 2011 1:34 PM ET:

Not being able to get OBL or Zawahiri in nearly 10 long years is incompetent, say what you will.

Not being able to hollow out AQCentral while they have resided in, and operated from, a (couple of) relatively small area(s) in Pakistan in nearly 10 long years is incompetent.

Not having managed the relationship/alliance with Pakistan, a small broke third-world country, to a winning advantage despite the financial costs of tens of billion dollars is incompetent.

Announcing a drawdown date (even) beginning mid-2011 was incompetent. Looking at that date from where one is now, it would appear to be either laughable or a charade or both. Whatever, ISAF is certainly not in any kind of a position of confidence militarily or otherwise to stay with that decision with any assurance.

Has ISAF won enough ground in this war to be able to say outright, unequivocally that this war is being fought by them fully ably?

At this point i'd say that AQAM has fought rather more competently than one would've expected given their primitive rag-tag status and resources.

I don't claim to be the last word on warfare, or on this war; i don't believe anyone here is.

Posted by Nick at February 5, 2011 2:15 PM ET:

Villiger,

I appreciate your output. Very perceptive.

The posters above have failed to realize that I am not anti military or anti US, I am just calling it how I see it.

You can not put lipstick on a pig.

You can not sugarcoat a barbecue steak.

All appropriate metaphors for what we are doing right here and now.

I almost wish that I would HAVE TO retract my posts above like I said I would. I made a deal with the posters above that if we kill or capture the top terrorist brass then I would retract the part of my post(s) saying we are too incompetent to get them.

I WISH the day would come where I WOULD HAVE TO DO THAT.

But based on available data and past circumstances, it might not ever come.

Best regards.

Posted by Bill Roggio at February 5, 2011 4:06 PM ET:

Nick (and Villiger),

You are confusing the tactical (the hunt for individuals) with the strategic (the US' staying power in the region and the ability to influence regional players). A failure (perceived or real, there are good arguments to be made for both in the strategic) in one area does not make for a failure in the other.

If you've read this site for any amount of time, you'd see ISAF SOF and CIA/JSOC Predators have indeed killed or captured plenty of top level Taliban and al Qaeda leader and operative, on both sides of the border. If you want a taste for the Pak Predator kills, see here:

http://www.longwarjournal.org/pakistan-strikes-hvts.php

If you want an example of some AQ operatives killed in Kunar, see here:

http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2010/09/isaf_kills_senior_al.php

And here:

http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2010/10/wanted_saudi_al_qaed.php

You're focusing on one guy, Qari Zia Rahman, and you're saying the inability to get him means US/ISAF/CIA/etc. are incompetent. Sometimes you get the bear, and sometimes he gets away. And sometimes, like at COP Chapman, he gets you. War isn't a zero sum game. We're dealing with an experienced enemy that has many advantages and decades of experience fighting on this turf. I hope you see the problem that many, myself included, have with your arguments.

My advice is to listen to what people like Paul and Chris are trying to tell you about the difficulty with hunting for individuals. These are people with decades of experience in the theater and in the business. I listen to them. You should to.

Again, my advice to you is to read Killing Pablo. Bowden is a great read, and if you want to know how hard it is to hunt for someone, he lays it all out.

As far as your conspiracy theory, you clearly don't understand the military, and its relationship with the government, contractors, etc. If there was even a hint that we were sandbagging the hunt for QZR, OBL, or anyone else, you can be damned sure people would be paying a price for that. My advice is to drop that one if you want to be taken seriously around here, lest you get lumped in with 9/11 Truthers and other crackpots.

Just my $.02 and worth neither penny.

Posted by Ranger at February 5, 2011 9:26 PM ET:

Well said, Bill. I was going to remark that you can't say that the failure to get OBL etc is the mark of "incompetence" if we haven't ever been allowed to follow certain strategic paths...like into Waziristan, Iran, etc.

I blame the "delays" of this war on the stupidity of most Western citizens, and the need to "finesse" the war in order to maintain support among the PC crowd.

I save my cries of "incompetence!" for the politicians who have sacrificed the interests of this country for their political fortunes.

@Nick

I did take something away from your posts. Now I want to play "Counter Strike". Been awhile.

Posted by Chris at February 5, 2011 10:10 PM ET:

Bill, I’m sorry – I can’t help it…..

Paul, please stop giving Nick a hard time. You seem like an intelligent person, but picking on lil’ ole’ Nick is just unfair. Yes Nick, that was tongue in check. Just making sure you didn’t misread that as well.

Nick, please stop posting now and just stop, read, maybe talk to people that are there or have been. I know you have a friend(s) that have, but in what capacity? I’m not questioning them or their experience, just merely stating that maybe they were not in a position to understand the orders they were following. Sometimes the orders from the leadership seem a bit ridiculous to the boots on the ground. The big picture drives their decisions (and yes, there are times when THEY even think the orders from above are without merit).

-- Paul - "Yes, Nick, the Taliban can and do indeed kill “tribal people left right and center because they feel like it”."
Nick - Evidence? Just saying it does not make it so. –

This is what I’m referring to. Please stop. Yes, your opinion counts and yes you have read about the war. It’s just comments like this where you are losing your credibility. You DO have points of value, but not like that.

-- Nick – “As for the words of Chris, you thinking they are funny is just YOUR opinion. Nevertheless what you think, his words were false and I believe that has already been established numerous times.” --

Please explain where my words were false. Also, you stated, “numerous times”. How were my words proven numerous times to be false? That… I would like to read.

-- Paul, I can just tell you are extremely angry at me. Why? Because the strategy for the war was a failure???? Paul, I have listened to Mullah Omar interviews on As Sahab media and he even says that "our blessed sanctuaries have remained untouched", and he is talking about the Pakistani ones. Paul, trust me, and mark my words when I say that the Taliban WILL be back with their friends. Remember I told you this. I do not mean this in a negative way but only because our strategy has been a failure. They will be back!!!! They are stronger than ever and our efforts have done very little to weaken them. Blame the leadership, not me. --

Nick, have you any idea of who the Taliban really are? Are they really “stronger than ever”? I’m sorry to say that the propaganda has gotten to you and why should Paul listen to you? If anything you should be (like I wrote before) just reading and learning. When you sit down with the Taliban and talk with them, let me know what you think.

Also, with regard to Rob’s offer on enlistment. I would tell you to go for it as it would be a great experience for anyone that has a desire to join the fight. HOWEVER, if your heart is not in it, do us all a favor and stay out. You’ll only get someone or yourself killed. Not bashing you here man, but that is as much of the truth that can be told. Seriously, why don’t you look for an analyst position somewhere and fight the good fight that way. Either way, you’ll gain an understanding that you don’t have now and you may find yourself loving what you do…..

…..like the rest of us.

Posted by Chris at February 5, 2011 10:15 PM ET:

Bill, I’m sorry – I can’t help it…..

Paul, please stop giving Nick a hard time. You seem like an intelligent person, but picking on lil’ ole’ Nick is just unfair. Yes Nick, that was tongue in check. Just making sure you didn’t misread that as well.

Nick, please stop posting now and just stop, read, maybe talk to people that are there or have been. I know you have a friend(s) that have, but in what capacity? I’m not questioning them or their experience, just merely stating that maybe they were not in a position to understand the orders they were following. Sometimes the orders from the leadership seem a bit ridiculous to the boots on the ground. The big picture drives their decisions (and yes, there are times when THEY even think the orders from above are without merit).

-- Paul - "Yes, Nick, the Taliban can and do indeed kill “tribal people left right and center because they feel like it”."
Nick - Evidence? Just saying it does not make it so. –

This is what I’m referring to. Please stop. Yes, your opinion counts and yes you have read about the war. It’s just comments like this where you are losing your credibility. You DO have points of value, but not like that.

-- Nick – “As for the words of Chris, you thinking they are funny is just YOUR opinion. Nevertheless what you think, his words were false and I believe that has already been established numerous times.” --

Please explain where my words were false. Also, you stated, “numerous times”. How were my words proven numerous times to be false? That… I would like to read.

-- Paul, I can just tell you are extremely angry at me. Why? Because the strategy for the war was a failure???? Paul, I have listened to Mullah Omar interviews on As Sahab media and he even says that "our blessed sanctuaries have remained untouched", and he is talking about the Pakistani ones. Paul, trust me, and mark my words when I say that the Taliban WILL be back with their friends. Remember I told you this. I do not mean this in a negative way but only because our strategy has been a failure. They will be back!!!! They are stronger than ever and our efforts have done very little to weaken them. Blame the leadership, not me. --

Nick, have you any idea of who the Taliban really are? Are they really “stronger than ever”? I’m sorry to say that the propaganda has gotten to you and why should Paul listen to you? If anything you should be (like I wrote before) just reading and learning. When you sit down with the Taliban and talk with them, let me know what you think.

Also, with regard to Rob’s offer on enlistment. I would tell you to go for it as it would be a great experience for anyone that has a desire to join the fight. HOWEVER, if your heart is not in it, do us all a favor and stay out. You’ll only get someone or yourself killed. Not bashing you here man, but that is as much of the truth that can be told. Seriously, why don’t you look for an analyst position somewhere and fight the good fight that way. Either way, you’ll gain an understanding that you don’t have now and you may find yourself loving what you do…..

…..like the rest of us.

Posted by Chris at February 5, 2011 10:28 PM ET:

Try asking the families of those killed recently by Talibs, Hezb-I-Islami, and others for the evidence. When they cry in front of you..... You weren't there for the Serbs' tragedy, did it actually happen?

Posted by Nick at February 5, 2011 11:08 PM ET:

Bill,

THANK YOU Bill. I remember reading about the airstrike that killed Quryashi and Kuwaitti in September. That was amazing. I also just learned through your link that a third top guy was killed, thank you for giving me knowledge.

Bill,

I wish people would understand me. I do not think we are actually keeping big shots alive. Many people have accused me of being a conspiracy theorist. I do not believe in the 9/11 conspiracy views and I am not generally involved in the world of conspiracy and half baked discussions on peculiar subjects.

Bill, what I meant was that people should not mis underestimate the thirst for profit that these wartime private corporate contractors can have. War may be a gruesome thing Bill but it is pretty common knowledge that someone always profits monetarily off wars and bloodshed. I do not see a difference with other wars, and our one being fought right now. It wouldn't surprise me if secretly contractors wanted to extend the war to maximize wartime profits. I absolutely do not believe however that they are keeping top figures alive, no no no.

Bill, I was reading yesterday about how DynCorp is in trouble for supplying underage Afghan boys as sex slaves to Afghan policeman and other Afghan men for "bacha bazi". It was horrible. They are raking in massive profits and receiving gifts from their Afghan counterparts in return. This may not apply directly to our conversation here, but I do think it is proof of how this war is a disaster and is being poorly mismanaged AND MISUSED for profit and personal gains.

I appreciate your insight and I will go on Amazon to look for the book "Killing Pablo". I will also read more in depth on your site about targeting top leaders in spec ops and drone attacks.

Best regards, and thanks Bill.

Posted by Nick at February 5, 2011 11:46 PM ET:

Chris,

"Paul, please stop giving Nick a hard time. You seem like an intelligent person, but picking on lil’ ole’ Nick is just unfair. Yes Nick, that was tongue in check. Just making sure you didn’t misread that as well."

I think this was really just unnecessary. There is no need to attempt to belittle me to get your point across further.

"Nick, please stop posting now and just stop, read, maybe talk to people that are there or have been. I know you have a friend(s) that have, but in what capacity? I’m not questioning them or their experience, just merely stating that maybe they were not in a position to understand the orders they were following. Sometimes the orders from the leadership seem a bit ridiculous to the boots on the ground. The big picture drives their decisions (and yes, there are times when THEY even think the orders from above are without merit)."

Chris you are literally begging me to stop now. Why Chris? Chris, I do read and I always talk to people about the war whenever I can. Chris, reading and debating about this is interesting and exciting. I love the fact that Bill lets us do this and that you guys can post back and forth with me and come with me for this learning ride, this journey we are taking!!

"This is what I’m referring to. Please stop. Yes, your opinion counts and yes you have read about the war. It’s just comments like this where you are losing your credibility. You DO have points of value, but not like that."

WOW Chris. Really? I NEED EVIDENCE TO BELIEVE THAT. The Salafist Islamists claim to be the warriors of Muslims. They just cannot slaughter Muslims unless they disobey the SHARIA. This is what I have read on their forums before. This is the ideology Chris, this is what they believe. Show me a video of mass graves and dead bodies of civilians everywhere with a claim of responsibility from the Islamists and I will believe you, Chris.

Chris,

"Please explain where my words were false. Also, you stated, “numerous times”. How were my words proven numerous times to be false? That… I would like to read."

Chris, I wish you would admit your first post was so distasteful and inappropriate. It was so extreme and rude. Chris, I do not work for a fast food chain. I am not overweight and I am not into discussion or thought of calories. Chris, I do not play computer games that much and I hadn't really heard of CIV V until you mentioned it. They were proven numerous times Chris to be false because I am not in the situation you portrayed me to be in and I hope you understand this now. Thanks Chris.

"Nick, have you any idea of who the Taliban really are? Are they really “stronger than ever”? I’m sorry to say that the propaganda has gotten to you and why should Paul listen to you? If anything you should be (like I wrote before) just reading and learning. When you sit down with the Taliban and talk with them, let me know what you think."

Yes, I know who the Taliban are. They are Islamic students that were born of madrassahs primarily in Pakistan due to the Soviet invasion of the 80's. Mullah Omar fired up the movement by attacking a pedophile warlord with his mujahideen buddies and freeing the compound and hanging the warlord and his henchmen. This was in Kandahar around 1994/5. They are mostly Pashtun but this is quicly changing. What "propaganda", Chris? Yes, I read things from pro jihadi sources sometimes, but I NEED ALL OF THE PICTURE FROM BOTH SIDES. This is ESSENTIAL, CHRIS, to an informed understanding of world issues. Chris, many people have sat down with Taliban before in interviews and have gotten their views down and recorded on what they think of war, religion, the world, the west, culture, etc. Many journalists with the resources meet the Taliban. I have spoken EXTENSIVELY with their Internet wing before. All sides of the jihadist spectre, I have had civilized discussions with. Now, granted, I have had rare ones get upset about certain issues but it was never towards me and always towards the issue/problem. Now, how do you think the Taliban are NOT stronger than ever??? They are ravaging the Northwest of Pakistan. They control more territory than ever in Afghanistan. They are feared in the entire continent of Asia. They can wait us out forever. They almost took out THE HEAD OF XE SERVICES LAST WEEK. How are they weaker? They are not, they are stronger Chris.

Chris, trust me when I say I have not taken offense to ANY post posted here by anybody. The Internet is a tool of learning and discussion. I am excited by these posts Chris and I hope you know this, we can share knowledge with each other and grow in understanding. As for the deployment, well Chris, I have spoken to Rob but I have not seen him reply yet. I am going to school right now but a future military career is NOT ruled out at all. But Chris, what is the point of making the next deployment if we are leaving the entire country in 2014? This needs to be answered, Chris.

Chris, as for the "families" of people killed by Jihadist groups, I believe you are just over exaggerating Chris. Those groups do not kill anyone unless they violate Islamic law. If they were to cry in front of me then I would ask to know the entire story including the tragic incident of death in which happened, and I would also ask if their dead family member(s) were involved in any shady business or inciting trouble against said militant groups.

Ranger,

I appreciate your insight and analysis. Thank you. Ranger, I do not play Counter-Strike often. If you wish I can show you ways to get it, it has changed.

Ranger, CS is just a game. This is REAL life Ranger. REAL LIFE!!! Ranger, I think the reason people want out of the war is because they are tired of no results and their sons/daughters coming home in draped coffins. It may sound horrible but it is the REALITY of this war Ranger.

Thanks everybody.

Posted by Bill Roggio at February 6, 2011 1:33 AM ET:

Nick, you said:

"WOW Chris. Really? I NEED EVIDENCE TO BELIEVE THAT. The Salafist Islamists claim to be the warriors of Muslims. They just cannot slaughter Muslims unless they disobey the SHARIA. This is what I have read on their forums before. This is the ideology Chris, this is what they believe. Show me a video of mass graves and dead bodies of civilians everywhere with a claim of responsibility from the Islamists and I will believe you, Chris."

It is absolutely astounding that you claim to be educated about this war, and yet you can say such a thing.

Are you not paying attention to the daily suicide attacks against Muslims in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, etc.? I document them here regularly. Al Qaeda and its affiliates routinely take credit for these attacks. In statements released over the internet. So does the Taliban. You can read Voice of Jihad online and see for yourself; they publish it in English.

I've personally witnessed the aftermath of such attacks. Such as this one, at COP Inman in Mosul, on Easter Day, 2008:

http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2008/03/in_pictures_suicide.php

Those were Iraqis. And Muslims. And Sunni Muslims.

Al Qaeda took credit for the attack (it was carried out by a former Gitmo detainee), and even used my pictures in their propaganda statement. You can read about that here:

http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2008/06/released_guantanamo.php

AQ, the Taliban, and a host of Salafist, Deobani, Wahabist, whatever tag (or combination) floats your boat have killed tens of thousands of Muslims in suicide attacks since 9/11.

Do I need to present evidence of this? Is the problem with you believing all of this that the bodies aren't neatly piled up in mass graves?

Posted by Ranger at February 6, 2011 1:44 AM ET:

Nick, your talking to an 11B...

If people want "out of this war", it is because they don't understand that there is no way out except that achieved through victory.

They don't understand that because they truly don't understand the war in an Informational way, they don't have any "context" for anything, from OIF and Phantom Fury to the latest in Afghanistan.

Partly the fault of our officials, for not articulating it loudly and clearly, often. But also partly the fault of our populace, for not doing their own homework.

They don't understand that there ARE results. They didn't understand that they were supposed to rejoice when Saddam's sons got greased, or when Zarqawi got atomized.

They don't have "the long view." Impatient.

Whoever these people are that "want out", are the reason it's taking longer. They're the reason we had to hit Fallujah twice. The ones we have to "please" because they don't understand the necessity of paying the blood price.

If people don't understand the successes we've had, and how much work is left to be done, then it is simply because they are un-educated, naive, or disingenuous.

And when one particular snake slithers longer than you'd like, believe that there are REAL reasons for it.

Posted by Ranger at February 6, 2011 2:20 AM ET:

Rob,

What kind of employment opportunities are we talking about?

Posted by Ranger at February 6, 2011 2:29 AM ET:

And Nick, they can concoct a thousand reasons to kill civilians. By referencing the Sharia that you yourself reference...which they see themselves as the only true upholders of.

If you don't join the fight against the Americans, then your not "jihad" enough, and you die, and they raze your house, and steal your women, or whatever else they want to do.

That's just one case.

Get killed by a suicide bomber in the market? Justified by Mohammed's precedent of killing civilians with stones thrown from siege engines.

You keep referencing the fact that they are "Salafist warriors" yet you have not allowed yourself to fully apprehend the implications of that.

Posted by Paul J at February 6, 2011 8:17 AM ET:

PAUL:“You’re contradicting yourself again."

NICK: “HOW am I contradicting myself by saying that??? That he doesn't want to go BACK over the border to get caught again? You are cherry picking my words and then simply saying I am contradicting myself. It is getting almost pathetic.”

Relax Nick; don’t get yer bloomers in a bunch, buddy. Hahaha :-)

You contradicted yourself by saying he is in Kunar and insinuating he does not go into Pakistan. You stated :
“Qari has already been captured in FATA before and he would be a fool to go back there.”

Then you said:
“He does not want to go back over the border because he might be captured again.”

After being proven wrong by Bill, you hastily back-peddled and contradicted yourself by saying:

“I wouldn't doubt at all that he has been spotted in the various Pakistani agency hideouts over the years.”

You implied that you doubt he goes into Pakistan, then you say you have no doubt he does go into Pakistan.

That’s a contradiction, Nick. Plain and simple. That’s not cherry picking your words; it’s merely analyzing your statement to locate the contradictions, lies, evasions, errors in reasoning, and fallacies…(of which there are many, BTW.)

.……just sayin’…. ;-)

NICK: “I'm not going to bother to reply to the entire thing because I simply do not have the time. If you feel it's this important that you need to do this then be my guest.”

Thanks, don’t mind if I do. This is actually quite fun.

PAUL: "You evaded again. You said you’ve studied this and you imply that you could do it better, so let’s hear your suggestions. Let’s hear how you’d do it. Why do you keep eluding, dodging, ducking, bobbing and weaving? Simply answer the questions."

NICK: “I DID answer the questions, but "contradicting" seems to be your favorite word of the week and thus you insert it in every quote of mine you paste. If you want the answer then look through my posts, I'm not bothered to say it again.”

No sir; you did not answer the questions. And in this case it was not “contradicting” on your part; it was plain old fashioned evading. When called to task to support your accusations, you equivocated.

I’ve asked you to support your accusations of incompetence by showing what exactly you would do differently. You have not answered this.

You claimed Chris’s tone was threatening, I told you to support that assertion with fact by showing how and where his tone was threatening. You have not answered this.

You claimed we are incompetent when looking at a map and satellite imagery. You said if you had all the same equipment you could easily go in there and look for the guy. I asked you to tell us what exactly you are looking for on a map and satellite imagery. I asked you what visual clue will tell you where Rahman is hiding. You have not answered this.

You evaded…..again and again. Here’s another evasion of yours:

“Because I was not around during the era of those two. I have read about Zarqawi's life and death and I think it was good that they got him, but I really just don't know enough about the circumstances of his death to comment at this time.”

When asked how Zarqawi was able to elude capture for so long; rather than honestly answer, you evaded by saying you weren’t around during that era.

The “era” for Zarqawi was in June 2006 (that’s when we were finally able to locate and kill him). Now, earlier you claimed “Tyler, I have been studying this war for years now.” How many years? Two? Three? Obviously not since 2006 as you were “not around during the era” of 2006. So your “years” of study is not all that much is it? How about you simply answer the questions posed to you rather than dodging them, Nick? Your credibility here is shot all to pieces because of your evasiveness, fallacies, and contradictions.

PAUL: "Then why did you say:
Previous Quote by Nick:“Let's face it, we are in Afghanistan for many reasons and if the threat were to go away tomorrow that would upset many Generals, private "defense" contractors and corporations that are involved in the resource managing there.”
and
“What I meant, Paul, was that there are TWO DIFFERENT SCENARIOS where they either want to keep him alive to justify a threat, or they just simply can NOT catch him.”
If you don’t really mean something then why say it? If you didn’t actually think that as a possible scenario then why accuse people of dishonesty in the first place? How about you say exactly what you mean from now on, Nick? Thanks. (Or are you as usual, back peddling and contradicting yourself?) ?"

NICK: “Are you really going to deny that private defense contractors make a killing off of Afghanistan? Ah yes... contradicting, the word of the week springs up again. If I had a nickel....”

You’re using a red herring fallacy, Nick. No one here said anything about private defense contractors. You said (or more like shouted, internet style):

“TWO DIFFERENT SCENARIOS where they either want to keep him alive to justify a threat, or they just simply can NOT catch him.”

Then you told Bill:

“I do not believe that they actually are keeping him alive, I just thought that as a last resort to our situation we are currently facing.”

So at one point you believe it possible they want to keep him alive and you later contradict yourself by saying you don’t believe they are keeping him alive.

That is an obvious contradiction. Make up your mind, Nick. :-)

NICK: “What you are attempting is called circular argument and is quite dishonest on your part. You say over and over again and repeat your own catch lines to discredit me.”

Sorry, you’re mistaken again, Nick.
A circular argument is an argument that commits the logical fallacy of assuming what it is attempting to prove. It is also known as begging the question. Conversely, pointing out your plethora of contradictions using your own words as evidence is not circular reasoning. It is merely making an assertion then supporting it with facts. This is neither a fallacy nor dishonest. What you do however, is make a claim and fail to support it. That is indeed dishonest. Please research fallacies prior to attempting to call somebody on one; otherwise this same embarrassing situation may happen to you again. No offense or nuthin’…. :-)

NICK: “Instead of expelling empty rhetoric, maybe you should come up with some evidence to show that I am "contradicting" myself about that.”

Already did, several times. Work on your reading comprehension skills, Nick.

NICK: “Do you honestly think that these massive corporations with contracts on the line in Afghanistan would want to pull out so soon and ditch all their money and projects? If you really think so, then you have much to learn about how private corporations have a stake in this war.”

You’re using another red herring, sir. What point are you trying to prove here with that statement? Are you still trying to imply that “they” do not want to find Rahman and as “proof” you’re saying that the massive corporations are behind it? If so, then why did your earlier say you “do not believe that they actually are keeping him alive”? You sound confused.

How about honestly and unequivocally answering these questions for once: Do you believe they are keeping him alive? Yes or no.

Do you believe he goes back and forth into Pakistan? Yes or no.

No more evading, please.

PAUL:"Yes, Nick, the Taliban can and do indeed kill “tribal people left right and center because they feel like it”."

NICK: “Evidence? Just saying it does not make it so.”

The evidence is over here in Afghanistan, not necessarily on the internet. Do you assume that if it’s not on the internet then it is not true? This is yet another indicator that you are naïve and inexperienced. Do you think that the internet is the only proof of anything anyone says? Is it the end all, beat all proof of the existence of something?

Tell you what; I have been compiling a list of tribes in Afghanistan. So far I have about 371 main tribes and hundreds of subtribes, clans, subclans, divisions of clans, etc. I possibly have the most extensive list of Afghan/Pakistani tribes anywhere because I’ve compiled them from every available source I can find: books, internet, and people.

I’ve found many of them referenced on the internet, but not all of them. Does the fact that there is no mention of them on the internet mean they do not exist? Can you find the Aner Pashtun tribe on the internet? If not, then are they a myth? How about the Barizai tribe? I’ve got a bunch of them just like that. It appears that the only real source you have is the internet and a couple of friends.

My proof is what I see with my own eyes and hear with my own ears. We had a suicide bomber a while back who killed 23 people right here; just a few hundred meters from me and my coworkers. Of those 23 human beings who died, 2 of them were my friends that I saw every day. 21 of them were Afghans; some of them were Pashtun. The vast majority of them were Sunni. I talk to their family members from time to time. I have pictures of those who died in my computer system (when they were alive and working here with us) and gave copies of them to their brothers because they didn’t have anything to remember them by.

One lady was out there as an escort that day. She wasn’t wearing her ID and no one could identify who she was….because her face was blown off.

It took three days for us to discover that she was that nice lady (I think she was from Kyrgyzstan) who came by our office all the time. She was Sunni, not Shia.

I talk to Afghan truck drivers all the time. The majority of them are from Logar, Paktya, and Paktika and are Pashtun. They get attacked by Taliban all the time while driving their trucks. Some of them are beheaded by the Taliban. Several of them showed me their scars where they survived the attacks. One guy just three weeks ago showed me the horrible scars where he was burned on his legs when his truck caught on fire during one attack. He said three of his fellow Pashtun truck drivers were killed by the Taliban in that convoy attack. A few years ago, I was talking to an Afghan trucking company owner. During the conversation, his cell phone rang. His caller ID said it was from one of his truck drivers from down south. When we answered the phone, it was a Taliban fighter. He told the owner he was going to behead the driver and warned him to stop working for the Americans.

My evidence Nick, is not some sanitized harmless words and pictures on a computer screen or a TV; it is real life. It is the people I talk to every day, the reports my guys and I type up every day and forward to various agencies.

I talked to another guy about 5 years ago. He said during the fight in Kabul when he was a kid, he lost his entire family due to the Taliban. Long story short, they had put dead bodies in the villagers’ wells. His family had drunk the water (he was gone at the time) and they died within a month. Some prisoners were killed by driving a nail through their head while they were kneeling. They’ve sent Pashtun kids just barely in their teens, after being trained in madrassas, to various places with vests on to kill Afghan police, Afghan soldiers and American soldiers. One as young as 8 years old if I remember correctly. T

Yes, Pashtun; yes Sunni.

As for evidence for you; sure. Google the book: “Afghanistan, from terror to freedom”. Go to page 119 and read about what happened in 1997 with the Taliban’s scorched earth policy which included “poisoned wells, ruined irrigation channels and dams and uprooted orchards and farmlands and torched and demolished Tajik homes.” Read what Rabbani said later: “The Pakistani and Taleban troops continue to barbarously pursue their campaign of systematic ethnic cleansing and genocide by means of scorched earth policy.” …”the mass killings of hundreds of innocent civilians, mostly women and children and the forced displacement of over 40,000 …..” etc etc.

Or read: Human Rights Brief; A Legal Resource for the International Human Rights Community; Volume 9 Issue 2; Transitional Justice in Post-war Afghanistan. They say:

“The same report highlights the forced displacement of 65,000 to 150,000 civilians during a Taliban offensive in the Shamali Plains, an area north of Kabul controlled by opposition forces. The Special Rapporteur's report cites first-hand accounts of house and crop burnings, forced deportations, family separations, the separation and deportation of women, and arbitrary killing in southern Shamali.”

NICK: “We are playing Whack a Mole because we are too nice to actually go into Pakistan and carpet bomb the entire tribal areas until we get our desired outcome. Due to our current strategies which inevitably lead us to play Whack a mole, I can guarantee you Paul, the Taliban WILL be back SOON and all the deaths, sweat and tears will be for nothing.”

So what you’re suggesting is to kill all the men, women, and children in FATA? Is that what you would do, Nick? You’ve already said you’ve never killed anyone. Do you assume it is that easy to kill? Son, it is morally reprehensible to target civilians. Furthermore, it is self-defeating because it would be a colossal propaganda coup for AQ. If we were to take your suggestion and murder thousands of Pakistani civilians, we would supply AQ with an extremely valuable recruiting tool thereby creating vast amounts more enemy.

As for your “guarantee”; anybody who’s read even a smidgen of reports around here can tell you that is a distinct possibility. But your solution of genocide is not the answer, Nick. COIN is not the answer in this situation either, in my opinion. In COIN the main objective is to legitimize the current government in the eyes of the populace. They are corrupt as hell thus that is an impossible task. Since you say our leadership is incompetent and the only way they can win a COIN war is to do just that (legitimize the govt), then what is your solution to make this government less corrupt and more legitimate?

When you come to the table to critique, you should also come with the solution. Any fool can throw stones of contemptuous derision; heckling the players involved by saying they are incompetent. For your opinion to count however, your criticism should be accompanied by your solution. You’ve been asked before for this solution but you avoided answering, as is apparently your norm.

NICK: “As for the words of Chris, you thinking they are funny is just YOUR opinion. Nevertheless what you think, his words were false and I believe that has already been established numerous times.”

Great, then again I ask you to support your assertion with evidence. Which words of his were false; where are the “numerous times” you established this fact?

As you said, “Just saying it does not make it so.” Right, bruh? ;-)

NICK: “Paul, I can just tell you are extremely angry at me.”
You “can just tell”? Really? :-) Show us which of my words or phrases led you to form that opinion? Or are you just psychic? Support your assertion here. While you’re at it, how’s about supporting your assertion that Rob needs to “calm down”. He sounded neither angry nor irrational.

Obviously you can’t support those accusations of yours because you’re simply using a stale ad hominem attack similar to "You seem very emotional." This is a fallacy which tries to give the impression that your debating opponent is irrational with anger and therefore his opinion has no merit. Give that up, dude. No one here is angry except perhaps you. You seem to be the only one who persists in using all caps (which in the internet world signify shouting) and who keeps using exclamation marks. You appear to be the only one here who continues to sound as if you are hurt, offended, and bitter.

NICK: “Why? Because the strategy for the war was a failure???? Paul, I have listened to Mullah Omar interviews on As Sahab media and he even says that "our blessed sanctuaries have remained untouched", and he is talking about the Pakistani ones.”
So what you’re saying is you listen to As Sahab media (which is AQ’s media production house and biggest propaganda tool. While it is always a good idea to take information from there and other similar sites, it may not be the best idea to bank all of your ideas and assumptions on that one source. By the number of times you talk about As Sahab, it sounds disturbingly like that is your primary source and that you believe them unquestioningly. I could be wrong; you tell me. Do you believe everything you see from As Sahab? Most of it? Some of it? None of it? How can you discern which of their claims are true and which is not?

Do you believe Mullah Omar when he said the above? Or do you believe other reports which say we’ve been bombing the heck outta FATA? Earlier you said:
“I am aware that there are places which drones can not see. Why do you keep mentioning already established knowledge? If the drones could do this good of a job in taking out AQ so far, couldn't they also get Qari?”

So either you believe Omar when he said "our blessed sanctuaries have remained untouched". Or you believe the drones are doing “this good of a job in taking out AQ so far”. Please clarify your stance as it appears slightly possible that you may be contradicting yourself ….yet again. Ya see what I’m asayin’ here, buddy-ro? haha

NICK: “Paul, trust me, and mark my words when I say that the Taliban WILL be back with their friends. Remember I told you this. I do not mean this in a negative way but only because our strategy has been a failure. They will be back!!!! They are stronger than ever and our efforts have done very little to weaken them. Blame the leadership, not me.”

Trust you? I think not, Buddy. Your repeated fallacies, erroneous assumptions, transparent evasions, red herring distractions, dishonest deflections, blatant ad hominems, and yes…numerous contradictions tend to deter my trust in you. No offense or nuthin’ bruh. ;-)

But I do agree with you that our strategy has been a failure. Our strategy has been one of COIN; a strategy which I agreed with a while back. That is until I saw the extreme level of corruption in this entire country. I fight it every single day. The populace does not in any way trust the officials. They do not go to the police when they report a crime many times. Many times they come to me and my guys instead. People come to me every day with info about corrupt civilian leaders all over the place: village elders, Shura leaders, governors, police, warlords, big business owners. The corruption is what helped push the Afghans into the arms of the Taliban in the early 90s. History is repeating itself.

One of the tactics the Taliban do in many districts is to foment crime, insecurity, and violence through “sponsoring” gangs. These gangs post Night Letters (threats posted usually on mosque doors at night instructing the villagers to not work for the Americans, not allow their daughters to go to school, give money to the Taliban, don’t come out after a certain time of night, etc); they kidnap wealthy villagers and hold them for ransom, they engage in highway robbery, assaults, hijackings, intimidation, throwing hand grenades into peoples’ houses, etc. The villagers at first try to go to the police or the district officials, the wakil, the malek, the wali, the local warlord; anybody and everybody. They almost always get no justice, no resolution. Sometimes they pay off the police. Sometimes they simply intimidate the police to the point that they are useless because they are spending all their time simply trying to stay alive. And of course since the police get paid squat, they usually use their position of authority to accept shireeni (gratuities, bribes, and tips which over the past few years have become “forced bribery”...in other words, extortion). Some of the officials themselves are also harassed and have to pay protection money. Many of the officials spend their time not helping the populace but helping themselves. They know that eventually we will be gone and they are only concerned with ensuring their own survival in the coming trouble. They spend their days amassing as much money as they possibly can. That is their main priority. They ignore the people. For example, USAID gives a malek enough money to build a well for their village. The malek pockets the money and since USAID seldom leaves the safety of their offices in Kabul, the malek is free to email pictures of the progress of his village’s well. Those pics are of another well from another village. USAID thinks the project is done and moves on. The well never gets dug, the irrigation canals, the dams, the schools, the roads don’t get built many times. We promise the district people that we will deliver these things, and never do. Because of the corruption.

Later, once the people in the district are thoroughly intimidated and do not trust the police or officials anymore; the real Taliban come in and offer hope. They offer security, they offer government services, they offer justice for crimes. And they deliver.

That’s why our COIN strategy is losing.

We keep killing and capturing Taliban all over the place. Taliban keep surrendering. Just Google these incidents which have been happening in Kunduz, Faryab, Baghlan, Takhar, etc. but is really doesn’t matter unfortunately. Our soldiers are doing a damn good job, they are not incompetent. The problem is we can not win a counterinsurgency war in a country that’s reportedly the third most corrupt in the world.

You say you like to study? Great. For a more well-rounded outlook on this war, please study a little about counterinsurgency operations if you have not already, Nick. This may help you a bit. Also, read Killing Pablo as Bill suggested. And you could also read up on how many insurgent leaders we have already eliminated so far as bill suggested.


VILLIGER: “Not being able to get OBL or Zawahiri in nearly 10 long years is incompetent, say what you will.”

Great, tell us your solution.

VILLIGER: “Not being able to hollow out AQCentral while they have resided in, and operated from, a (couple of) relatively small area(s) in Pakistan in nearly 10 long years is incompetent.”

Okay, tell us your solution. Where do we look? How do we look? What exactly should we be doing?

VILLIGER: “Not having managed the relationship/alliance with Pakistan, a small broke third-world country, to a winning advantage despite the financial costs of tens of billion dollars is incompetent.”

Cool, what would you have done differently?

VILLIGER: “Announcing a drawdown date (even) beginning mid-2011 was incompetent. Looking at that date from where one is now, it would appear to be either laughable or a charade or both. Whatever, ISAF is certainly not in any kind of a position of confidence militarily or otherwise to stay with that decision with any assurance.”

That’s politics for you.

VILLIGER: “Has ISAF won enough ground in this war to be able to say outright, unequivocally that this war is being fought by them fully ably?”

Possibly not. There’re quite a few things I might do differently. But I am not stupid enough to assume I know all the facts nor do I have all the answers.

For one, I’d love to say, “Stop all money going to Pakistan right now until they get off their butts and go into North Waziristan. Problem with that is they got us by the low-hangers regarding our supply line. And they know this. Our northern supply line through Khairatan, et al; is not sufficient enough for all our supplies to come through should Pakistan again stop all trucks at Khyber and Chaman.

I’d love to force the Pakistanis to go into Quetta. We’ve known for years that the Taliban were operating openly there. I heard from a returning refugee back in 2006 about the Taliban’s activities there. The problem, though, is the Baluch. It’s too long and complicated to go into detail here but suffice it to say that I think the Baluch are on the fence. They are peeved at the Punjabis in power but they’re not too keen on the Pashtuns either. Will they side in large numbers with the Taliban, or will they be our allies? Big question. If we insist Islamabad send their soldiers into their capital city, will this drive the Baluch into the arms of our enemy? There is a long history of Baluch-Pakistani govt animosity. If played the wrong way, it could bite us in the fourth point of contact. Hell, as far as I know, there may already be a large Baluch-Taliban or Baluch-AQ relationship.

VILLIGER: “At this point i'd say that AQAM has fought rather more competently than one would've expected given their primitive rag-tag status and resources.
I don't claim to be the last word on warfare, or on this war; i don't believe anyone here is.”
You’re correct; nobody here is the expert on this darn thing; least of all me. I have limitations on what information I have access to as well. Do I like the way this war is going? Nope. Do I think I could do better? I really don’t know; I do have some possible ideas for some things though. Some of my ideas and opinions have ended up being correct in the past and resulted in some good things happening but just because I got lucky a few times does not mean I have all (or any of) the answers.

NICK:”Villiger, I appreciate your output. Very perceptive.
The posters above have failed to realize that I am not anti military or anti US, I am just calling it how I see it.”

Unfortunately since you don’t see all of “it” then your calling it has quite a few errors and false assumptions.

NICK: “You can not put lipstick on a pig.”

How do you know? Have you ever tried?

NICK: “You can not sugarcoat a barbecue steak.”

Why can’t you? You take a BBQ steak and put a coat of sugar on it. Pretty easy, no?

NICK: “All appropriate metaphors for what we are doing right here and now.”

Aaaah, one o’ them thar metaphor thangs. I see now.

What are you doing right here and now? Sounds to me as if you are opining upon a subject which you clearly have no full knowledge about and have as a result, been proven wrong by me, by Bill, and by quite a few others. It appears to me as if every time you have been proven wrong, you got offended and angry.

It appears to me that what you are doing right here and now is you are constantly operating under the fallacy of “argument by laziness” (also called Argument By Uninformed Opinion). This is where the arguer (that would be you in this case) hasn't bothered to learn much about the topic. He nevertheless has an opinion, and gets insulted if his opinion is not treated with respect. When shown where his opinion is belied by the facts, he gets defensive and angry and claims he has a right to his opinion, he equivocates, he contradicts himself, he back peddles, he throws in red herrings, straw men….shoot fire and save matches…they do pretty much everything you have already done on this thread. It fits you to a T.

NICK: “I almost wish that I would HAVE TO retract my posts above like I said I would. I made a deal with the posters above that if we kill or capture the top terrorist brass then I would retract the part of my post(s) saying we are too incompetent to get them.”

You “almost wish” or you do “wish”?

If you almost wish, then this implies you almost (but not quite) wish to be proven wrong by their capture or death. In other words you would rather be right than have these terrorists killed or captured?

And you didn’t say “we are too incompetent”. You said: “NATO is completely incompetent in looking at maps and satellite imagery to track down key leaders.”

Then you said “they are incompetent”. You are not part of NATO; you are not part of “we”. Otherwise you would not have said “they”. Furthermore, you have made it clear that you do not wish to be a part of “we” to assist us in this fight; instead you would rather jeer, heckle, and harass us from the bleachers.

NICK: “I WISH the day would come where I WOULD HAVE TO DO THAT.
But based on available data and past circumstances, it might not ever come.
Best regards.”

Your opinion is based only upon severely limited data, not all available data.

One, obviously you are not privy to a large amount of data which is closed source; that’s a gimme. (That is, unless of course you wish to now claim you have been reading all the classified data regarding Rahman and Kunar???? Just wonderin’. )

Two, (and this is the kicker) you are severely lacking in knowledge of available open relevant source data. This is evidenced by the distinct possibility that you failed to read all available relevant open source data on this subject prior to opining. The evidence for this possibility is the fact that you obviously didn’t know Rahman has been reported in Bajaur, Mohmand, and Peshawar several times. Otherwise, logically you wouldn’t have said:

“Qari has already been captured in FATA before and he would be a fool to go back there.”

And you would not have also said:

“He does not want to go back over the border because he might be captured again.”

Be patient, young Nick. It took us a while to get other people too.

And I’m still waiting for you to tell us your solution on how to find Rahman. What are you looking for on the maps and satellite imagery? How will you clear the villages? How many people do you need for each district? Why do you keep evading these basic questions, Nick?

Posted by Nick at February 6, 2011 10:14 AM ET:

Bill,

Yes I am paying attention to those daily attacks. But Bill, those attacks are mostly always on government employees, foreigners or security forces. All those countries you mentioned have suicide attacks conducted against those targets. Yes, Bill. They DO routinely take credit, but only against the types of people mentioned above, or munafiq - people who have betrayed the MUJAHIDEEN and Islam for the disbelievers. As for the suicide bombing on Mosul, your answer is in this post Bill: They WERE what I mentioned above Bill. The Salafist Al Qaeda operatives concluded that they were munafiq security forces and that operations against them were NEEDED. This is their way of thinking, Bill.

And WOW Bill about the mass graves comment. Bill, when you say "AQ, the Taliban, and a host of Salafist, Deobani, Wahabist, whatever tag (or combination) floats your boat have killed tens of thousands of Muslims in suicide attacks since 9/11.", you are mistaking ordinary Muslim civilians for soldiers and politicians killed. These groups do not target civilians on purpose and they do their best to make sure they don't do die. If they can't help it and a civilian will die, they pay the families compensation and appreciate what the civilian did for them.

Ranger,

You are not processing that THERE ARE MORE IMPORTANT NATIONAL ISSUES AT HAND. Don't forget that we are a society bathed in entertainment and petty things. It may sound bland but it is true. Instead of people focusing on the war in the right way they are thinking about the super bowl or the next upcoming Miley Cyrus concert. This will be, and already is, the reason for our downfall.

Ranger,

THEY CAN ONLY KILL THEM IF THEY VIOLATE THE LAWS OF ISLAM. Ranger, it would do you good to study As Sahab and the salafist materials and read on their justifications for killing "puppets" who support invading forces.

Ranger, they can not damage your property if you have not violated the laws. In conclusion, if they kill civilians on purpose for no reason or if they damage their property they themselves would be disobeying the Islamic law.


Posted by Bill Roggio at February 6, 2011 11:45 AM ET:

Nick,

You are absolutely wrong, civilians are intentionally targeted (most of them Sunnis too) by AQ and Taliban in suicide attacks on a routine basis. And they are not just collateral damage as you imply. And nor do these terror groups pay compensation. That's laughable.

And you said they "do their best to make sure they [civilians] don't do die." Please pardon my bluntness, but son, are you on crack? Do you know they pack suicide bombs with nails and ball bearing to maximize casualties. Are you aware AQ used crude chlorine poison gas suicide bombs on Sunni civilians in Fallujah, Ramadi, and elsewhere in Iraq? Do you know that AQ has turned mentally handicapped children and adults into suicide bombers?

If you are not aware of the above, they you aren't paying attention, and you really shouldn't be making such statements as you have. Your ignorance on these subject is on display for all to see, and it ain't pretty.

When you're in a hole, you need to learn to stop digging. Cause you're half way to China.

Posted by Nick at February 6, 2011 12:39 PM ET:

Thanks Bill.

No, I'm not on crack or any type of drugs. I know some people who are on drugs and they go to certain websites. They are drunk or under the influence and they still post.

Bill, with all due respect, I can not believe your statements. Yes, they pay money to the families for their loved ones becoming "martyrs". I can not be sure but I am almost certain I remember a video where a Taliban fighter is handing a father money in bills for his son's "martyrdom". Also, Bill, I think you are just trying to cover up for crimes committed by US soldiers in Iraq. Bill, you do know that depleted uranium was used to bomb major cities in Iraq, right? Bill, this caused health defects and cancerous tumors for many poor and innocent Iraqis.

Bill, I see no evidence that Al Qaeda or other groups are using chemical weapons. Yes they may pack the bombs with ball bearings but only when security forces are around. They do not intentionally target civilian gatherings and civilians who have done nothing wrong.

Bill, I read a report by "MUJAHIDEEN OF THE ISLAMIC EMIRATE OF AFGHANISTAN", recently, and they were describing how it is baseless propaganda that they are using mentally handicapped people as suicide bombing weapons. They say there is no record proof of such action and it is against their Islamic morals to do such a thing.

Bill, it might not have anything to do with ignorance and simply a different perspective. You and your friends above read things from pro military sources while I read from many materials coming from the mujahideen. Of course there will be a difference in reporting.

And sorry for the yelling in ALL CAPS but I was just making a point, that I wish I could retract my posts very soon. But Bill, I have yet to see any pertinent evidence that jihadists target Muslim civilians.

Thanks Bill.

Posted by Bill Roggio at February 6, 2011 1:00 PM ET:

Nick,

You've officially worn out your welcome here. You comments on "war crimes" is absurd, and it shows what you are truly about, and who you really believe.

As far as evidence of AQ & the Taliban intentionally attacking civilians, or AQI using chlorine gas to attack civilians, you clearly DON'T WANT TO BELIEVE IT. Alas, I've reported on multiple chlorine suicide attacks in Anbar, some are listed here:

http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2007/03/al_qaedas_chlorine_a.php

For your information, many of these attacks were carried out in neighborhoods, not against military or government targets. AQ knew, and didn't care, that plenty of Sunni civilians, women, children, and the elderly, would be killed or poisoned in the attacks. And they didn't care one bit.

Now you can choose to believe what you want to believe, but we've had more than our fair share of your ignorance, your dishonesty, and your refusal to accept the facts here. Go pollute another site's comment threads.

Posted by crusader at February 6, 2011 2:13 PM ET:

nick:

are you for real? what you are doing is so lame.
how do you permit yourself mocking our troops fighting this sordid war over there?
you have the right to say what you want under the freedom of speech and we sure have the right not to listen to it anymore...

how can you deny the fact that AQ have no honor or rules of engagement?

AQ was formed and ruled by OBL a spoiled rich prick that do not give a damn about his underlings doing his dirty deeds for him.

you say that AQ do not harm innocent civilians? heard of 9/11 in new york, times square in new york? madrid? london? stockholm? that was all AQs doing, failed or successful they always target civilians...thats their filthy business...

i pray that you will be the eyewitness of an attack in ottawa and you could see for yourself how many "military targets" they strife for attacking?

you and i argued the whereabouts of OBL and you did not follow my theory.
do you have an exact location of Qari Zia Rahman?
if not do a better job finding him instead of mocking everyone over there trying...

i wish you would leave this site soon and stop bad mouthing everyone here with your superior rhetoric.

you can tell your palls later how you "won" over all us inferiors here with your skilled and cunning words but it does not change the fact that you are ignorant about a lot of facts about this war.

there is a vicious adversary out there and i respect those fighting that monster...


Posted by crusader at February 6, 2011 2:15 PM ET:

bill:

can you show me some link about how AQ uses mentally disabled people for their dirty deeds?

i want to know more how vicious they indeed are.

Posted by Ranger at February 6, 2011 4:15 PM ET:

PAUL - "Can you find the Aner Pashtun tribe on the internet? If not, then are they a myth? How about the Barizai tribe?"

Well...now he can can :) Great post.


NICK -

Seriously, do I have to just repeat myself? Once more, you have not apprehended what it means to be a Salafist warrior.

I'll elaborate...please actually mull over what I say this time.

"Ranger,

You are not processing that THERE ARE MORE IMPORTANT NATIONAL ISSUES AT HAND. Don't forget that we are a society bathed in entertainment and petty things. It may sound bland but it is true. Instead of people focusing on the war in the right way they are thinking about the super bowl or the next upcoming Miley Cyrus concert. This will be, and already is, the reason for our downfall."

Glad you agree then. Since these are the people who "want out", right? These are the ignorant and naive people I'm talking about. So clearly we agree that their opinions aren't worth a cent :)

All that leaves is the disingenuous people...The real reason for our downfall :)

"Ranger,

THEY CAN ONLY KILL THEM IF THEY VIOLATE THE LAWS OF ISLAM. Ranger, it would do you good to study As Sahab and the salafist materials and read on their justifications for killing "puppets" who support invading forces."


Nick, once more, and this is important... These Salafist/Wahabi/AQ/Taliban/etc types see themselves, and their particular mullahs issuing their particular fatwas, as the ONLY legitimate guarantors/protectors/enforcers of true Sharia.

That is what makes them Salafists in the first place, god dang it!!! Seriously man!!!! Are you just messing with us?!?!?!?!

They think nothing of killing an individual simply for not joining the jihad in a proactive way. And they themselves continually, habitually, violate all known laws. Because they are beyond Self Righteous. One last time, they believe they are justified, and that others fall short of the "glory of Allah" to twist a phrase.


Do you know nothing of what happened in Iraq, and what eventually spurred the Anbar Awakening?????

Beyond routine kidnappings, enforced marriages, house theft, etc, it was the routine disregard for life by a bunch of callous, sanctimonious thugs which prompted the citizenry to rise.

"Ranger, they can not damage your property if you have not violated the laws. In conclusion, if they kill civilians on purpose for no reason or if they damage their property they themselves would be disobeying the Islamic law."


Yes. And they do it all the time. Because they claim that they people who they "violate" have themselves failed the Muslim ummah by not joining the jihad, which they see as the first, primary, #1 mission for any Muslim.

They blow up historical monuments just because they were built after the time of Mohammed.

They think very little of the "educated, moderate" Muslim, Arab, Pashtun, or otherwise, unless he engages in jihad.

Thus they kill wantonly. And thus they become despised. As it has ever been, since the House of Submission first emerged and declared war against the unfaithful in the House of War, with the ghazis on the vanguard always demanding more fanaticism from the rest of the ummah. At the point of a sword, if need be. Which often makes the ghazis taqfiris, in the eyes of the rest of the ummah.

So you are right, but for the wrong reasons. Yes, they DO violate "law." But because they believe they are the only ones whose interpretation of the "law" matters.

Posted by Ranger at February 6, 2011 4:18 PM ET:

Nick -

Here's a "blast from the past" for you.

http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/040427/2004042714.html

"Jordan discloses persons involved in the chemical attack that would kill 80,000 persons"

Chew on that. Does the casual (narrowly avoided) slaughter of 10s of thousands of innocents make you think?

I hope so.

Posted by Rob at February 6, 2011 6:33 PM ET:

Thank you Bill!!! That guy really has no clue.

Posted by Paul J at February 6, 2011 9:53 PM ET:

Thank you very much Bill. It is extremely obvious Nick's number one source for information was As Sahab media and he apparently believes them 100%. Several of his statements clearly indicated he may be an AQ sympathizer.

Posted by Paul J at February 7, 2011 5:19 AM ET:

Totally awesome! There is a plethora of red flags here. Let’s all delve into Nick’s statement and analyze it a bit, shall we?

NICK: “Yes I am paying attention to those daily attacks. But Bill, those attacks are mostly always on government employees, foreigners or security forces.”

Wrong….as usual.

December 25, 2010:
Suicide bomber kills dozens in Pakistan aid line
Attacker, thought to be a woman, may have been targeting anti-Taliban tribe
A suicide bomber attacked a gathering of people receiving aid in northwest Pakistan on Saturday and at least 40 people were killed and 70 injured, officials said……. "The attack took place when hundreds of people were gathered to receive food rations for people displaced by fighting," Wisal Ahmed, a government official in the Bajaur region on the Afghan border told Reuters news agency…[snip]…those waiting for food rations included hundreds of people from the Salarzai tribe, who may have been the target.
SOURCE: MSNBC

And

October 5, 2010
“A suicide bomb killed five at a WFP office in Islamabad on Oct. 4.”
SOURCE: MSNBC

And

Suicide bombers kill 41 in line for food at Pakistani camp
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Two burqa-clad suicide bombers attacked refugees from a Pakistani offensive against the Taliban, killing 41 lined up to register for food and other relief supplies.
The victims were among around 200,000 people to have left the Orakzai region along the Afghan border since the end of last year, when the Pakistan army began offensive ground and air operations against militants based in the remote, tribally administered region.
SOURCE: USAToday

These were innocent civilians simply trying to get food to feed their families. They weren’t “government employees, foreigners or security forces.” They were “Pashtun tribals”. They were Sunni. And they were murdered by the Taliban. You use of rationalization, which is strikingly similar to what I’ve heard from terrorists, is belied by the facts and is our first big red flag (from this latest post of yours, anyway.)

These red flags of yours indicate you are not who you portray yourself to be and are most probably an terrorist sympathizer who has been indoctrinated into militant islamist teachings (probably just through the internet but also perhaps a touch of personal contact with a muslim extremist or two.)

NICK: “All those countries you mentioned have suicide attacks conducted against those targets. Yes, Bill. They DO routinely take credit, but only against the types of people mentioned above, or munafiq - people who have betrayed the MUJAHIDEEN and Islam for the disbelievers.”

Ah, so what you’re saying is those people standing in line to get food betrayed the Mujahideen and Islam for the disbelievers? How; by trying to prevent their families from starving to death?

Aaand you use of munafiq and calling the terrorists Mujahideen (practically screaming it at us actually); along with using the term disbelievers are three red flags.

NICK: “As for the suicide bombing on Mosul, your answer is in this post Bill: They WERE what I mentioned above Bill. The Salafist Al Qaeda operatives concluded that they were munafiq security forces and that operations against them were NEEDED. This is their way of thinking, Bill.”

Apparently it is also your way of thinking, Nick. It is quite evident that you believe As Sahab media (AQ’s propaganda team). That is yet another red flag.

NICK: “And WOW Bill about the mass graves comment. Bill, when you say "AQ, the Taliban, and a host of Salafist, Deobani, Wahabist, whatever tag (or combination) floats your boat have killed tens of thousands of Muslims in suicide attacks since 9/11.", you are mistaking ordinary Muslim civilians for soldiers and politicians killed.”

You are wrong yet again, Nick. All you have to do is look at the news from around the world. They have indeed killed ordinary Muslim civilians. They weren’t soldiers, they weren’t politicians. They were innocent people going about their every day business. In Kabul, in Kandahar, in many places in Pakistan, Iraq, and various other places around the world. You sound as if you are in severely deluded denial. I’d be willing to bet there is a good reason for that. Your attempt to rationalize the criminal behavior of the terrorists by vehemently denying they are killing civilians is another red flag.

NICK: “These groups do not target civilians on purpose and they do their best to make sure they don't do die. If they can't help it and a civilian will die, they pay the families compensation and appreciate what the civilian did for them.”

Again, you are wrong, dude. See above. These civilians in food lines were directly targeted by the Taliban. Show where any of their families were compensated. Just saying it does not make it so, Nick. Surely you remember that phrase, buddy??? You can plug your ears, shut your eyes, and stomp your feet in wretchedly ignorant and pathetically deceitful denial but Islamic terrorists (to include the Taliban and AQ) do indeed murder innocent civilians. It is highly evident that you admire them, you believe them, and possibly even support those terrorists. They are not “mujahideen”, they are not “salafist warriors”, they are not freedom fighters nor “warriors for Islam”; they are murderers and criminals; they are terrorists. Why do you shun using those terms, Nick? Why do you sugarcoat who they are? Why do you sound exactly like you’ve been brainwashed into believing their bull? Have you been to madrassa in Pakistan? Which one? Or which mosque in Ottawa do you attend? What is the imam’s name? Is he Salafist/Wahhabi, or is he deobandi? What nationality is he?

Or do you only get your Islamic fundamentalist teachings and extremist beliefs from the militants’ various internet forums?

Just wonderin, bruh. :-)

You transparently obvious belief that the Taliban and AQ are honorable warriors is one of the biggest red flags so far.

NICK: “You are not processing that THERE ARE MORE IMPORTANT NATIONAL ISSUES AT HAND. Don't forget that we are a society bathed in entertainment and petty things.”

Dude, chill out. Calm down, you know? You really shouldn’t get so upset and yell at everybody. You sound very irrational and immature here. You also seem to be parroting key phrases used on jihadist websites such as “society bathed in blah blah blah.” Another red flag.

NICK: “It may sound bland but it is true. Instead of people focusing on the war in the right way they are thinking about the super bowl or the next upcoming Miley Cyrus concert. This will be, and already is, the reason for our downfall.”

Wow, yet again you’re sounding distinctly as if you have been reading up on propaganda websites with all this “reason for our downfall” malarkey. Red flag….dang how many does that make? I lost track.

NICK: “THEY CAN ONLY KILL THEM IF THEY VIOLATE THE LAWS OF ISLAM.”

Spoken (More like yelled) like a true Islamic fundamentalist, buddy. They should only kill them if they violate the laws of islam, unfortunately, they do in fact continue to kill innocent people even though they haven’t violated the laws of Islam. You are in denial, bruh. Red flag.

NICK: “it would do you good to study As Sahab and the salafist materials and read on their justifications for killing "puppets" who support invading forces.”

Yep, you’ve been brainwashed alright. “puppets”??? “Invading Forces”. Golly, now where have I heard those terms before???........Oh yeah, from terrorists. Gee, you actually sound like you agree with them.

Do you, Nick? This flag is most righteously fire engine red……ya see what I’m sayin’?

NICK: “they can not damage your property if you have not violated the laws.”

They should not, but they do. When I first got here, I saw the proof of their damaging property all over Kabul and Parwan. Are you telling me all of those farmers who had their land and homes destroyed “violated the laws”? Okay, which laws, specifically did they violate? Living? Trying to feed their families? Oh, wait, they were growing wheat, corn, and grapes; and helping to build others’ homes occasionally….OMG those are crimes against man and god. Give me a break, dude.

NICK: “In conclusion, if they kill civilians on purpose for no reason or if they damage their property they themselves would be disobeying the Islamic law.”

Not IF they kill civilians WHEN they killed civilians for no reason and damaged their property. They have disobeyed Islamic law. Talk to Afghans here in Afghanistan. Ask them what the Taliban did. I’ve talked with Taliban; many of them do not even know the Koran; only what they’ve been told in deobandi and wahhabi madrassas in Pakistan. I’ve argued with them and proven them wrong numerous times. Some of them can’t even say the five pillars of Islam. Many don’t know basic terms. All they know is the same propaganda BS that you’ve been spewing on this thread. They use the same exact words, the same exact terms, the same exact reasoning as you do in deceitful and dishonorable attempts to justify, to rationalize their murders, their criminal actions, their robbery, their use of little kids as suicide bombers.

NICK: “No, I'm not on crack or any type of drugs.”

No, you’re just brainwashed and believe the militants’ propaganda from the internet forums.

NICK: “with all due respect, I can not believe your statements.”

That’s because when faced with facts, evidence, logic, and common sense, you do the same as the other deluded militants and their supporters, you retract into your denial mode. But you keep failing to explain away all the evidence. You futilely cry “It’s all lies.” But you supply no proof. The flag is red again.

NICK: “Yes, they pay money to the families for their loved ones becoming "martyrs". I can not be sure but I am almost certain I remember a video where a Taliban fighter is handing a father money in bills for his son's "martyrdom".”

Let me guess….the video was from As Sahab media, huh? Do you believe them? I’d be willing to bet it was staged. It’s called propaganda, Nick. And you fell for it? What’s this make; 20 red flags or so? haha

NICK: “Also, Bill, I think you are just trying to cover up for crimes committed by US soldiers in Iraq. Bill, you do know that depleted uranium was used to bomb major cities in Iraq, right? Bill, this caused health defects and cancerous tumors for many poor and innocent Iraqis.”

“crimes committed by US soldiers”??? Well, that’s a huge red flag there, Nick. I’m glad we finally made you frustrated enough to be honest about how you feel. You’ve been posing. With this (accidental?) admission, you show us you are on the side of the terrorists. Cool.

NICK: “I see no evidence that Al Qaeda or other groups are using chemical weapons. Yes they may pack the bombs with ball bearings but only when security forces are around. They do not intentionally target civilian gatherings and civilians who have done nothing wrong.”

Wrong again, Nick………or would you prefer I call you Nek Mohammad? ;-) Here’s your evidence:

“By blowing up three consecutive following trucks loaded with chlorine-laden explosives in three of al Qaeda‘s notorious hotbeds in the western Iraqi Anbar province: Falluja, Amiria and Ramadi, the terrorists signaled their determination to bring their Jihad onto new terrifying horizons. In all three attacks, eight people died and over 500 suffered severe toxic casualties. The attacks were coordinated, so that all three happened within half an hour, causing chaos among rescue services, coping with chemical injuries.

In fact, last week's attacks were not the first in Iraq, in which terrorist used chemical weapons material: The first attack happened on January 28 in Ramadi, when several trucks, each containing small quantities of explosives mixed with chlorine gas exploded among a crowd, killing 16 people and wounding several dozens. Less than one month later, a similar attack was staged in Baghdad, in which five people died and over a hundred were wounded.”
SOURCE: Defense Update News Analysis, Mar 22, 2007

Your blatant and adamant denial of the facts to support your friends in AQ and the Taliban is extremely strong evidence to show you are in favor of the Islamic jihadists.

NICK: “I read a report by "MUJAHIDEEN OF THE ISLAMIC EMIRATE OF AFGHANISTAN", recently, and they were describing how it is baseless propaganda that they are using mentally handicapped people as suicide bombing weapons.”

Aaaand obviously you believe them from the sound of it. This is yet another red flag indicating you are just another Al Qaeda sympathizer and you’ve been brainwashed into believing those terrorists’ lies.

“The bodies of suicide bombers who strike in the Afghan capital, Kabul, are taken to a morgue where the senior doctor has noted the presence of people with impairments such as muscular dystrophy, amputations, blindness, skin conditions and signs of mental health problems. It seems that in the disrupted and fractured society of Afghanistan, the Taliban insurgents seek out disabled people because they are on the margins of the country's society. Being disabled, possibly ending up living on the streets and with an inability to support one's family are equated with great shame. The Taliban offer money to the families of suicide bombers, and if these disabled men have not been able to earn very much - as is usually the case - the option of helping one's family financially whilst also seemingly dying for a noble cause can appear an attractive one.”
SOURCE: BBC

NICK: “They say there is no record proof of such action and it is against their Islamic morals to do such a thing.”

Then your friends in Al Qaeda lied.

Google “handicapped suicide bombers” you will find all the “record proof of such action” as you need. Reports from sources such as longwarjournal, NPR, Foxnews, BBC, MSNBC, and Outsidethebeltway just to name a few.

Obviously it is not against their Islamic morals to do such a thing since they can always find something in the Koran or Haddith to support and rationalize their crimes against humanity.

NICK: “Bill, it might not have anything to do with ignorance and simply a different perspective. You and your friends above read things from pro military sources while I read from many materials coming from the mujahideen. Of course there will be a difference in reporting.”

I agree with you here (in part). Your perspective is skewed by propaganda from jihadist websites and AQ’s own propaganda wing. You clearly have been indoctrinated into their beliefs, you find them admirable and you feel they are in the right to wage their “jihad”.

Your continued use of the term mujahideen to describe these terrorists is another red flag. Your preference to believe them over all other contradicting sources, show unquestionably that you are a terrorist sympathizer….or a terrorist yourself.

NICK: “And sorry for the yelling in ALL CAPS but I was just making a point, that I wish I could retract my posts very soon. But Bill, I have yet to see any pertinent evidence that jihadists target Muslim civilians.

Well, now you have been shown the pertinent evidence that these terrorists have in fact targeted Muslim civilians; by Bill and I.

Nick; it is now undeniable that your sympathies lie neither with the Canadians nor with Americans but with the dishonorably disgusting terrorists. You have been caught in your evasions, contradictions, lies, erroneous beliefs, pitiably fragile attempts at rationalization, and deceitfully fallacious bull.

Please commit all the way. Come to Afghanistan and join your friends, the Taliban. Fight against us Americans.

You will be caught. :-D

Bye now.

Posted by Mark Stevens at February 8, 2011 6:05 AM ET:

Gentlemen;

Sufice it to say that you cannot argue with idiots. It is futile and inconsequential. Nick and his ilk, by their very natures are incapable of hearing and understanding strong, coherent thought.