Thu Feb 7th, 2008 at 08:49:15 PM EST
I don't get it... Some three weeks ago, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates faced the world media and accused Britain and US NATO allies of inexperience in fighting the Taleban that made me go almost ballistic.
These last 24 hours print and broadcast media have bannered stories about US State Secretary Condi Rice meeting with PM Gordon Brown and UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband demanding NATO allies in Europe for more troops on the Afghan front lines, warning that unless more troops were deployed in the South, Afghanistan would risk becoming a 'failed state.'
New York Times reports: Condoleezza Rice Visits Afghanistan
With criticism of the war in Afghanistan increasing on both sides of the
Atlantic, Secretary of State said Wednesday that European governments needed to convince their people that sending troops to Afghanistan -- and keeping them there -- should remain a priority for NATO.
The Condi Rice initiative prompted NATO to make a rebuttal dismissing the Afghanistan crisis.
And while the US foreign affairs circus is going on in Khabul, we now hear from US blogger The Vigil a report that Mr Robert Gates testified yesterday before a congressional hearing that all was well in Afghanistan and that the Talebans had been routed, "thrown out", booted out, etc.!
General Petreaus has left me confused about Iraq, and now Secretary Gates has me stumped about Afghanistan...
In a congressional hearing yesterday, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates implied that the U.S. military had routed the Taliban from Afghanistan. Gates blathered out a rosy assessment that the Taliban has "lost" in Afghanistan and that they had been "thrown out" of the country...
I may be in need of some assistance here, in squaring what Gates's testimony with what I read in the world press and media ...
The Vigil also posted a video link of Mr Gates' testimony at the hearing in which you could hear Gates declaring the following verbatim:
"The Taliban no longer occupy any territory in Afghanistan. They were thrown out of Musa Qala a few weeks ago before over Christmas. And the Taliban have had some real setbacks. Probably 50 of their leaders have been killed or captured over the past year, and we know that that's had an impact on their capability and also on their morale."
Is that so? Then WTF got into this ex American spook 3 weeks ago when he accused America's NATO allies virtually of incompetence in routing out the Talebans?
Watch the video link in Think Progress and see, er, hear for yourself!
WTF is going on?
Has Secretary Gates covered himself in guano again? Are we sure that POTUS knows what's going on under his very nose? We have two top US guns all over the place giving contradictory assessment of the Afghanistan situtation, i.e., Rice saying to Europeans, "We need more troops in Afghanistan to fight the Talebans or we will have a failed state" and Gates in Washington bombastically declaring before US Congress that "The Taliban no longer occupy any territory in Afghanistan."
Have these two top US guns become confused or debilitated like POTUS that they probably think that Afghanistan is in Iraq or vice-versa? Has ineptitude become the order of the day in the Pentagon and in the US State Department?