Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Faking an Osama drama

Reliably sympathetic to non-Western lies, the BBC reported yesterday that a prisoner in Pakistani custody knows a guy who saw Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan last January.


Now, Osama may, indeed, pop over the border into Afghanistan now and then -- but this report is a shameless Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence agency concoction.

Why? Because the Pakistanis have taken a lot of heat recently over suspicions -- including those raised in The Post -- that they know where Osama is but shield him for their own benefit.

Even party-line US government officials have grown skeptical about the Pakistani government's deaf-and-dumb show.

The Pakistani solution? With remarkable luck, you suddenly discover a captive who knows somebody who recently dusted Osama's slippers -- in Afghanistan, not Pakistan.

As long as Osama's at large in the AfPak border area, the aid keeps flooding into Islamabad. But after we locate Osama's lair, the porkbarrel goes bare.

When the Pakistanis handed the "scoop" to the BBC -- which is only skeptical of Western claims -- they knew just what they were doing. Without pausing to raise a single question, our "mainstream" media rushed to report the "breaking news."

Score a major victory for Pakistani information warfare. Of course, we shouldn't be surprised: They learned the value of media manipulation from the Taliban and al Qaeda.

Again, I'm not claiming that bin Laden never slips across the border into Afghanistan. I wouldn't be surprised if he traveled with a protective escort provided by Pakistan's intelligence mafia.

But as a former intelligence officer, I'd stamp this report "Bogus."

Another reason the Pakistanis "leaked" this now was that President Obama's statement that we'd start exiting stage left in July, 2011, shocked them. They want us to leave Afghanistan eventually -- but not before they've milked us dry and rebuilt "their" Taliban sufficiently to seize power.

Make no mistake: The only "take-away" from Obama's West Point speech for Pakistanis, Afghans, the Taliban and al Qaeda was "July 2011." That's all they heard.

And it doesn't matter how many US Cabinet officers, generals and admirals backtrack and claim that our president didn't really mean it, that any troop withdrawals will be "conditions based."

Forget it. The Taliban's new recruiting slogan is simply, "July, 2011. Join now, or pay later." And how Obama thinks he's going to attract more young Afghans to join the Karzai government's (in)security forces is beyond my mental faculties.

They weren't joining in adequate numbers before, so why would they sign up in hordes after our president sent them an advance bye-bye note? Meanwhile, 25 percent of the Afghan army we've already trained deserts rather than fight.

It's disheartening to see how much smarter the Taliban spinmeisters and even the Pakistanis are than our president's inept speechwriters -- who focused purely on the US audience, never asking how Obama's West Point soliloquy would play in the war zone.

Of course, the Obama crowd spins everything as a triumph. The White House claims of success remind me of Saddam Hussein's information minister insisting that America's military had been annihilated -- as our Army and Marines entered downtown Baghdad.

As for NATO's display of cooperation at yesterday's session in Belgium, well, all our strong-arming to get allied troop increases finally paid off -- thanks to the West Point speech. Our NATO partners, too, heard "July, 2011." They figure they can afford a brief show of solidarity, now that they won't be expected to produce results or fight.

We'll get 7,000 more NATO troops. They'll show up, but they won't step up. This is Obama's Afghan Farewell Tour, with supporting acts. Seats are going cheap.

Afghanistan's over. More splendid American men and women in uniform will die or suffer terrible wounds, but it was over when our self-absorbed president put the 2012 presidential election above our national security last Tuesday. It was over the moment he uttered the words that doomed his presidency: "July, 2011."

It's enough to make you trust the Pakistanis.

Ralph Peters' latest book is "The War After Armageddon."


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