Posts tagged ‘Tanzania’

05/06/2011

Bin Laden Intel: Thank Bill Clinton

During Bill Clinton’s Presidency, bin Laden was suspected, in the first World Trade Center bombing (2-26-93), a car bombing against U.S. forces in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (11-13-95), a truck bombing at the USAF Khobar Towers housing complex in Saudi Arabia (6-25-96), the U.S. Embassy bombings, in Kenya and Tanzania (8-7-98), and the USS Cole attack in Yemen (10-12-00).

Under President Clinton, the CIA established a special operation in 1996 called the “Bin Laden Unit,” which started collecting intelligence on his whereabouts. After the embassy bombings, Clinton’s Atty. Gen. used the Intel to indict bin Laden, on Nov. 4, 1998, and the FBI was able to put him on their “Most Wanted” list.

George W. Bush was sworn-in on Jan. 20, 2001. If it had not been for the five years of groundwork done by Bill Clinton and his people, Bush would have had no idea bin Laden was a Sept. 11, 2001 suspect, and no clue he might be hiding in Afghanistan. It was Bill Clinton’s Intel that made possible Bush’s prompt invasion of Afghanistan on Oct. 7, 2001, just one month after 911.

While President Obama and his team deserve 90% of the praise for the recent operation that eliminated bin Laden, if credit is to be shared with earlier presidents, then Bill Clinton must be included. Clinton started bombing suspected bin Laden sites on Aug. 20, 1998. Although Republicans accused him at the time of diverting attention away from his personal issues, it was Clinton in Aug, 1999, who first ordered the CIA to take out bin Laden.

While Clinton did not find him under his watch, neither did Bush, despite having eight years to do so. When U.S. intelligence pinpointed bin Laden’s precise location on Dec. 16, 2001, during the Afghan Battle at Tora Bora, Bush inexplicably denied a Delta Force permission to drop in over a mountain range to capture or kill him, and bin Laden was able to escape into Pakistan.

Bush later said at a March 13, 2002 Press Conference: “I just don’t spend that much time on him…I don’t know where he is…I truly am not that concerned about him.” By 2005, Bush had re-directed Delta Force away from the bin Laden objective to other unrelated missions in Iraq. The NY Times reported Bush closed the CIA unit that had been looking for bin Laden, in late 2005 (7-4-06). This was the same time bin Laden had opened his Pakistani hideaway.

The partisan desire of the right-wingers to praise Bush for a mission Obama carried out is illogical. If they want to give some credit to their former president, for whatever they think he might have done during his eight years in office, then it only logical to also give Bill Clinton credit for the work he did, during the last five years of his presidency. They can’t have it both ways.

05/03/2011

Bin Laden’s 20-Year War

Bin Laden’s 20-year War started when the first President Bush made the mistake, in the Gulf War (1990-91), of stationing American troops in Saudi Arabia. Since Saudi Arabia is to Muslims, as the Vatican in Rome is to Catholics, bin Laden was outraged that the infidel was permitted on his sacred Holy Land.

Bin Laden’s Army took the offensive, and fought their first battle against the U.S. at the World Trade Center, where they had only minimal success, as a bomb went off at the base of the buildings, but they withstood the blast, and only six Americans died (1993).

Bin Laden’s Army next won two battles on Saudi Arabian soil. A car bomb exploded at the U.S. military base in Riyadh, where five Americans died, and 60 were wounded (1995). The next hit was a more forceful blast at the USAF Khobar Towers complex, near Dhahran, where 19 Americans died, and 372 were injured (1996).

While U.S. forces held their ground at the Saudi bases, Bin Laden’s Army opened an East African Front, and scored two more victories, as bombs went off at the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania (1998). 224 were killed and 4,000 were injured in Kenya, and 11 died and 85 were wounded in Tanzania (1998).

As bin Laden became enemy number one, his Army strategically retreated into Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. President Bill Clinton counter-attacked against bin Laden’s suspected sites, with air strikes, but Osama avoided harm, as the Taliban refused to cooperate, despite sanctions against Afghanistan (1999).

Bin Laden’s Army next hit U.S. forces on the Arabian Peninsula Home Front, in Yemen, where they attacked the USS Cole, as it was docked at the Aden port, killing 17 American sailors (2000).

Emboldened by their successes, Bin Laden’s Army struck at the heart of his enemy’s capitol in Washington, and again in New York. Like the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor (1941), bin Laden scored a dastardly victory on Sept. 11, 2001, as the Pentagon burned, and the World Trade Center came down, killing 3,000. Bin Laden’s Army had won a major battle, but America was awakened, and bin Laden had now signed his own death warrant.

Even though fundamentalist bin Laden was born, raised and indoctrinated in Saudi Arabia, and 15 of bin Laden’s 19 attackers on 911 were also Saudi Arabian, President Bush II decided not to overthrow the backward Saudi Kingdom. He instead entered Afghanistan (2001). After initially wanting bin Laden dead or alive, Bush II announced he abandoned the hunt for bin Laden. He then lost his compass completely and started an unrelated war in Iraq (2003).

Meanwhile, Bush II gave bin Laden what he had always wanted. He withdrew all U.S. troops from the Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia (2003). Upon doing this, the offensive phase of bin Laden’s War against the U.S. ended. There were no longer any attacks against U.S. Air bases, U.S. Navy ships, U.S. Embassies, or U.S. cities. Bin Laden himself simply slipped into seclusion.

After President Obama won the presidency (2008), U.S. troops levels in Afghanistan increased by 30,000 (2009). Bin Laden was located in neighboring Pakistan (2010). The 20-year war that had begun in 1991, when an Islamic fundamentalist was offended by Bush I and his decision to open U.S. military bases in Saudi Arabia, ended on May 1, 2011, as Special Forces for a President named Barack Hussein Obama, finally took out Osama bin Laden.

04/21/2011

Nigeria: On The Muslim-Christian Divide

Nigeria held a presidential election in which incumbent Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian from the South, sought to continue in office as the replacement for the previous president, who was a Muslim from the North. The issue now is whether the Africans along the Christian-Muslim divide in Nigeria can live in peace?

Africa is divided along the Sahara, between Arabs Muslims and Christian Blacks. Along the north and west side of the divide, 13 nations have large percentages of Muslims: Morocco (99%), Algeria (99%), Tunisia (98%), Libya (97%), Egypt (90%), Somalia (99%), Djibouti (94%), Mauritania (99%), Mali (90%), Niger (80%), Senegal (94%), Gambia (90%) and Guinea (85%).

West Africa also has 3 states where the Muslim percentage is only about half, but they greatly outnumber the Christians: Sierra Leone (60%), Burkina Faso (50%) and Guinea-Bissau (40%).

On the south and east side of the divide, 20 states have few Muslims: South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Angola, Rwanda, Congo-Brazzaville, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome, Zambia (5%), Kenya (10%), Swaziland (10%), Burundi (10%), Congo-Kinshasa (10%), Uganda (12%), Malawi (13%), Central African Rep. (15%) and Mozambique (18%).

There are also 2 West African states where Christians greatly outnumber Muslims: Cape Verde and Ghana.

This leaves 11 African Muslim-Christian battleground states, along the sub-Saharan front line, listed below, from west to east:

Country               Muslim            Christian
Liberia                     20%                     40%
Ivory Coast            39%                     33%
Togo                         20%                     29%
Benin                        24%                     43%
Nigeria                     50%                    40%
Cameroon              20%                     35%
Chad                         53%                     34%
Sudan                   Muslim (N)      Christ (S)
Eritrea                      50%                   50%
Ethiopia                   33%                   61%
Tanzania                  35%                   30%

Many battleground states have already had conflicts. Ivory Coast had a 5-year civil war, between Southern Christians and Northern Muslims. Chad had two civil wars of 14 and 10 years, between Northern Muslims and Southern Christians. Eritrea historically was a battleground between the two faiths, and Ethiopia recently had a Holy War against Islamic forces from neighboring Somalia.

Sudan was perhaps the biggest battleground of all, where the Arab Muslims in the North, fought the black Southern Christians for 16 years, and then tried to force them to use the Arabic language and Islamic religion. After another 18 years of war, the Muslims expelled Christian missionaries and imposed Islamic Sharia law, as part of an Arabization policy. Sudan’s ultimate solution was for the Christian South to secede and become an independent state.

What about Nigeria? Will it become a battleground like Sudan, or remain united? It is the largest state in Africa, with 149 million people, and it is evenly split, as to religion and tribal heritage. 50% are Muslims from the northern Hausa Tribe; 40% are Christians from the southern and western Igbo and Yoruba Tribes.

The Nigerian Muslim-Christian conflict has flared on and off for 30 years. Islamic law was imposed in several Northern provinces in 2000, causing Igbo Christians to clash with Hausa Muslims. An Islamic leader from the northeast was assassinated in 2009. Muslims and Christians battled again last year, in the City of Jos.

Unless Nigeria is willing to splinter in two, like North and South Sudan, they will have to allow all Christians and Muslims to enjoy the free exercise of religion, and stop the provinces from establishing official religions. If they wish to remain at peace and united, they will need to respect the viewpoints of all.