Belmont Club

Return To Sender

There’s good news: an American ally is finally going to take charge of Afghanistan. For keeps too. The bad news is that ally is Pakistan.

(Reuters) – The United States military has said in a secret report that the Taliban, backed by Pakistan, are set to retake control over Afghanistan after NATO-led forces withdraw from the country, Britain’s Times of London newspaper said Wednesday …

Citing the same report, the BBC reported on its website that Pakistan and the ISI knew the locations of senior Taliban leaders and supported the expulsion of “foreign invaders from Afghanistan. Senior Taliban leaders meet regularly with ISI personnel, who advise on strategy and relay any pertinent concerns of the government of Pakistan,” it said.

In the meantime, another long-time friend of the United States, Egypt, has refused to even accept a letter from the US ambassador on the subject of American citizens being prevented from traveling home. The Washington Post writes:

CAIRO — The Egyptian justice minister returned a letter Tuesday from the U.S. Ambassador to Egypt asking him to re-examine the issue of Americans barred from leaving the country. The snub is the latest in a spat between the allies over a politically charged Egyptian investigation into foreign funded groups.

Elvis anticipated this situation long ago. But the President didn’t. He selected Afghanistan with the idea that he was going to end the War on Terror where it began. What he achieved was to move the best part of American strength from the Middle East to Southwest Asia where it is dependent on Pakistan for re-supply. But in a manner of speaking his actions have succeeded to the extent that we now know who masterminded the September 11 attacks on New York City; it is now abundantly clear who sheltered Osama Bin Laden and who engaged in chronic treachery against the United States. The bad news is that the knowledge cannot be acted upon.

In another brilliant act of “smart adhocracy” he decided to lead from behind in Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood is poised to obtain dominant influence if not control. Now the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies look set to sweep most of the Sunni Middle East. He surely has “led from behind”. But toward what end? That’s the rub.

By these acts he was going to restore America’s prestige in the world. But it didn’t work out that way. These amazing feats of geopolitical genius will be studied by strategists for decades to come and doubtless they will conclude, “it’s Bush’s fault.” How could it be otherwise? So let’s hear it from Elvis again.

I gave a letter to the post man, he put it his sack.
Bright and early next morning, he brought my letter back.
Egypt wrote upon it:

Return to sender, address unknown.
No such number, no such zone.
We had a quarrel, a lovers’ spat,
I’d write “I’m sorry” but my letter keeps coming back.


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