The real meaning of the Camp Bastion attack

On 9/11, the Taliban, in an operation most likely planned and supported by the Pakistani military, executed their own version of a SEAL Team assault of Camp Bastion in the middle of the Afghan desert.

Camp Bastion was placed in a Godforsaken place so that no one could easily assault it. It is a huge, sprawling base with British, American and other ISAF compounds. From a few flights per day 18 months ago, the base now handles 600 missions per day ranging from helicopter assaults to resupplying COP’s to close air support to C-17’s flying in troops and logistics directly in from the UK or States. As Joe Biden would say, it’s a big f’ing deal.

So somehow a Taliban assault team of approximately 17 troops managed to blow a hole in the 30′ high double fencing, drive across the base to the U.S. Marine Harrier squadron’s area of operations, and then blow up most of that same squadron while killing its commanding officer and several others.

It was a one way mission regardless with 17 virgins at the end of the line, but it was textbook planning and execution that set it apart. Our military would have known this 30 minutes after the last shot was fired and people at Eighth & I and Quantico would be encountering severe gastroenterological problems passing large clay objects through their systems.

And yet our president and our media skipped over it like it never happened. No one from the White House met the coffins as they  arrived at Dover. They would just as soon forget it ever happened.

But the fact is that our enemy launched one of their most successful assaults on our forces on the anniversary of 9/11 and it’s like it never happened. Funny how that works with this administration. Orwellian, even.

There is no cry for retribution or even investigation. There has hardly been an acknowledgment from either the White House or the Pentagon. We knew where, generally, the mission was planned within 48 hours and perhaps even who planned it. This kind of operation has fingerprints all over it and the after action reports on our side would have been thorough.

This, combined with the assassination of our ambassador in Libya, was a coordinated effort by the Salafists to regain the initiative and instead we are entertained by commercials on Pakistani networks paid for by our embassy with the President and Secretary of State calling for reason with the crazies.

The enemy has the measure of our leadership and finds it perfectly suited to their agenda.We can expect more, and more daring assaults as the date for withdrawal draws near.  Sun Tzu and Machiavelli are bywords for strategy and tactics, and instead we have the My Little Pony School of Leadership at the highest levels.

The criticism of our nation’s policy in the Middle East is now coming from experts on all sides and yet the President and his sycophants have rather successfully covered up probably the worst week of the Global War on Terror in 10 years.Instead, it seems from his actions in the aftermath that he is pursuing his own global war on our own objectives.

The indecisiveness when General McChrystal begged for more troops for the Surge; the refusal to confront Pakistani complicity and support for the Taliban and their allies; even the almost complete refusal to pursue the narcotics traffic responsible for 95% of the heroin that scourges the West; how much more pathetic can it get?

The Camp Bastion attack is a symptom of what has been wrong with our strategy in Afghanistan for a very long time. From the withdrawal from engagement with the Afghan people to the sprawl and waste to the Pollyanna power point presentations and restrictions on engagement to the refusal to pursue the enemy to their safe havens, this is no way to run a war.

Wars are on or they’re off. There is little or no middle ground. This war has been on autopilot for a very long time and as troops die or come home missing limbs, our leadership has failed both their trust with them and with ourselves completely.


What is really going on in Egypt?

The demonstrations have died down for the moment, but Friday, demonstration day, is only a few days away. If you follow the Middle East, the demonstrations usually follow Friday’s prayers at the mosques, when the more outspoken mullahs perform like Elmer Gantry in stirring religious and political fervor at times.

Unlike in the West, religion and politics are deeply intertwined, whether it is the opposition in Syria or Hezbollah in Lebanon or the nascent Salafist movement in Egypt. The crowds stream from the mosque and into the streets and things start burning and people get hurt.

The anger began in earnest when Khaled Abdullah, known for his incendiary television sermons against Christians and secularists, demanded justice and retribution. Al Nas, the satellite television station from which Abdullah broadcasts, was originally founded  by businessman Mansour bin Kadesh broadcasting music and entertainment, but became first a Sunni outlet, and then later a Salafist station broadcasting across the Middle East. The pot began stirring on September 8 with Abdullah’s first rants. On September 11, he was joined by Mohammed al-Zawahiri, the brother of Ayman, leader of al Q’aeda. Ayman had issued a call for revenge for the death of Abu Yahya al-Libi, AQ’s operational commander,  at the wrong end of an American Hellfire missile.

Last weeks riots began on 9/11, if you didn’t notice and were in my opinion nothing to do with an obscure Youtube video. The timing is self-explanatory much as Jay Carney and Susan Rice would like you to believe otherwise.

Our Embassy in Cairo has been under daily assault by protesters. Now it turns out that many of them; the professional thugs and even the young and unemployed have been being paid £50/day ($8.50) in a country where that is a lot of money. Hundreds if not thousands of the protesters are being paid, and no one knows where the money is coming from. Saudi interests? The Gulf? Pro Mubarak factions?

The majority in Egypt are angry with the government and Muslim Brotherhood. Not for what you might think, but for not having done enough to stop the violence. But as elsewhere in the Middle East, it is dangerous to speak out, especially against the thugs.

The worst riots have occurred in Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen. The focal point for American interest in Benghazi seems to have been a planned mission using a small protest as cover according to the latest reports. The timing has become obvious, but the links are still unclear.

What has become clear, though, is that this was not an accident. The majority of people in Egypt are just as concerned as we are. Invisible hands are moving the chess pieces and building upon the violence.

As the Pope visits Lebanon to pray for peace, itself a bold move, denial is not just a river in Egypt; it is our government’s policy.