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Author Topic: Taliban/Al Qa'ida get away, with US help
rasmus
malcontent
Babbler # 621

posted 13 February 2002 02:29 AM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Did I miss this, or has it not been posted yet?

The Getaway

quote:

Even before the siege ended, however, a puzzling series of reports appeared in the Times and in other publications, quoting Northern Alliance officials who claimed that Pakistani airplanes had flown into Kunduz to evacuate the Pakistanis there. American and Pakistani officials refused to confirm the reports. On November 16th, when journalists asked Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld about the reports of rescue aircraft, he was dismissive. "Well, if we see them, we shoot them down," he said. Five days later, Rumsfeld declared, "Any idea that those people should be let loose on any basis at all to leave that country and to go bring terror to other countries and destabilize other countries is unacceptable." At a Pentagon news conference on Monday, November 26th, the day after Kunduz fell, General Richard B. Myers, of the Air Force, who is the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was asked about the reports. The General did not directly answer the question but stated, "The runway there is not usable. I mean, there are segments of it that are usable. They're too short for your standard transport aircraft. So we're not sure where the reports are coming from."

Pakistani officials also debunked the rescue reports, and continued to insist, as they had throughout the Afghanistan war, that no Pakistani military personnel were in the country. Anwar Mehmood, the government spokesman, told newsmen at the time that reports of a Pakistani airlift were "total rubbish. Hogwash."

In interviews, however, American intelligence officials and high-ranking military officers said that Pakistanis were indeed flown to safety, in a series of nighttime airlifts that were approved by the Bush Administration. The Americans also said that what was supposed to be a limited evacuation apparently slipped out of control, and, as an unintended consequence, an unknown number of Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters managed to join in the exodus. "Dirt got through the screen," a senior intelligence official told me. Last week, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld did not respond to a request for comment.


[ February 13, 2002: Message edited by: rasmus_raven ]


From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 13 February 2002 09:42 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
rasmus, I don't think we discussed the fall of Kunduz in any detail here, but I remember that even Canadian TV was noting at the time reports of the exodus of large numbers of Taliban/Al Queda fighters by airlift to Pakistan. As Hersh says in the intro to this article, those reports were minimal and puzzling, and no one seemed to be trying to make this kind of sense of them.

Great article -- thanks for the link.


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ronb
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2116

posted 13 February 2002 10:27 AM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Many of the evacuees were Pakistani, rumour has it that a Pakistani General was among those airlifted out. It's no big secret that the Taliban was Pakistan's proxy.
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DrConway
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 490

posted 13 February 2002 11:20 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

This should surely make one wonder as to the exact reliability of Pakistan's leaders as well as their objectives.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
malcontent
Babbler # 621

posted 14 February 2002 04:14 AM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
rumour has it that a Pakistani General was among those airlifted out. It's no big secret that the Taliban was Pakistan's proxy.

Actually it's no secret that many of the "Taliban" were Pakistani regulars in Taliban clothes... but just curious, what is your source?


From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
ronb
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2116

posted 14 February 2002 01:22 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The escaping Pak General story is Hersh's. He's also pretty explicit about Pakistan's complicity with the rise of the Taliban, if I remember his Post Sept 11 string of New Yorker articles correctly. It's not hard to find articles linking the Pakistan Secret Police (ISI) to the Taliban... here's one in Janes

QUOTE] After the ignominious Soviet withdrawal from Kabul in 1989 the ISI, determined to achieve its aim of extending Pakistan's ‘strategic depth’ and creating an Islamic Caliphate by controlling Afghanistan and the Central Asian Republics, began sponsoring a little-known Pathan student movement in Kandhar that emerged as the Taliban.

The ISI used funds from Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's federal government and from overseas Islamic remittances to enrol graduates from thousands of madrassahs (Muslim seminaries) across Pakistan to bolster the Taliban (Islamic students), who were led by the reclusive Mullah Muhammad Omar.

Thereafter, through a ruthless combination of bribing Afghanistan’s ruling tribal coalition (which was riven with internecine rivalry), guerrilla tactics and military support the ISI installed the Taliban regime in Kabul in 1996. It then helped to extend its control over 95 per cent of the war-torn country and bolster its military capabilities. The ISI is believed to have posted additional operatives in Afghanistan just before the 11 September attacks in the US. [/QUOTE]

But really, the proxy story, geez, that's just years worth of following news reports out of the area. Ahmed Rashad(sp?) is a Pakistani journalist who has been featured in the Atlantic Monthly (& an English daily, which one escapes me at the moment) sounding the alarm for years. He tends to come at the story from a "Sunni/Shi'ite" perspective, with Iran, India and Russia supporting their Sunni proxies (non Pashtun) and Pakistan supporting the Shi'ite Pashtun and by extension the Taliban.

The Indian press has also been pretty explicit on this for years. Times of India is always good for a ringing condemnation of Pakistani misdeeds. To my shame, I can't name a single Indian journalist that I follow regularly, but I'm not great with names anyway.[


From: gone | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged

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