Cole in Salon: “Bush’s incompetence gives al-Qaida new life”
My column is out in Salon.com on Tuesday, “Bush’s incompetence gives al-Qaida new life”:
The White House hints at military action as the terror organization regroups in northern Pakistan and the Musharraf government begins to wobble.”
‘ not only has al-Qaida reconstituted itself in the tribal areas of northern Pakistan, and not only did a sort of Pakistani Taliban make a play for control of some of the country’s capital, but the Taliban allies of al-Qaida are resurgent in southern Afghanistan. In recent weeks they have pulled off destructive suicide bombings against NATO troops and Afghan civilians. On Monday, Taliban forces killed six NATO troops, four in a roadside bombing. On July 18 and July 19, they had kidnapped two Germans and 23 Koreans. One of the German hostages was found shot on Saturday. The presence of NATO forces and more than 20,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan has not stopped the Taliban from attempting to regain control of the Pashtun regions.
The resurgence of al-Qaida, and the usefulness of Bush’s Iraq war as a recruiting tool, were further demonstrated by events in Europe. On July 21, Italian authorities announced the arrest of three Moroccans, whom they charged with running a terror-training program from a mosque and of being linked to al-Qaida. It is believed that their trainees were placed throughout the world, including in Iraq.
In an ideal world the United States could deal with such a threat by close cooperation with Italian counterterrorism officials. But the 2003 kidnapping of an Egyptian terror suspect named Abu Omar in Italy by Central Intelligence Agency operatives without Italian permission has roiled relations between the two countries. “
Read the whole thing.