This way to the 'Gates of Hell'

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John McCain has said he'd go to the "Gates of Hell" to get Osama bin Laden. Well, someone might -- and soon.

Under recently deposed Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, our supposed ally in the Afghanistan war, U.S.-led NATO troops were prohibited from crossing the border into Pakistan to do battle with Taliban and al-Qaida forces. In effect, this provides a safe haven for Muslim terrorist leaders like bin Laden not only to hide, but to recruit and train new terrorists to cross the border and wage war against Afghanistan.

As long as that safe haven exists, NATO and Afghan troops will not be able to make the country safe for democracy. Indeed, since the Taliban were run out in the wake of 9-11, they've regained control of large swaths of Afghanistan. Without those safe havens, this couldn't have happened.

But earlier this month, as Musharraf was slowly being shorn of his presidency, President Bush, for the first time, gave the green light for ground forces to chase the enemy across the border into Pakistan. Led by attack helicopters, U.S. troops killed 15 terrorist leaders. Meanwhile, the U.S. Air Force has stepped up the use of Predator drones to bomb suspected Taliban and al-Qaida compounds in Pakistan's northwest mountains.

Despite these cross-border attacks by the U.S., there's been no sign of the widespread "street" upheavals that Musharraf warned of which, he claimed. would likely overthrow his military government, to be replaced by an extremist Muslim leadership that would then be in control of the country's nuclear bomb arsenal -- a scary prospect indeed.

Musharraf has not been replaced by extremists, but by a democratic government led by Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of slain pro-U.S. leader Benazir Bhutto. Of course, for domestic reasons he cannot publicly approve of the U.S. raids, but his "disapproval" has been remarkably muted, as have the anti-U.S. street demonstrations; only hundreds have rioted in Islamabad and elsewhere around the country, not the hundreds of thousands that Musharraf warned of.

In fact, it looks as if Musharraf played Uncle Sam for Uncle Sucker all those years he was in power. Our government shelled out billions in aid so he could stay in power because he seemed to be the only person around who could keep Pakistan's nuclear program out of the hands of terrorists. Now we know that's not true.

In actuality, those "safe haven" border areas are not under control of the Pakistan government. They are a part of Pakistan only in a geographic sense. Pakistan's enemies control the region now. Hence, there's no reason why, if Pakistan's own government can't respect its own borders, why anyone else should.

Both U.S. presidential candidates say it's time to step up the war in Afghanistan, particularly as the Iraq war winds down. That should mean not only sending in more troops, as President Bush is already doing, but getting rid of the safe havens.

It's good if we have the covert support of Pakistan's government, but even if that should be lost, there's no excuse not to continue going after those enemy enclaves. The Afghan war is simply not winnable until the "Gates of Hell" are breached and broken.

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donnymack
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donnymack 09/15/08 - 11:12 pm
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It is a war on terror and

It is a war on terror and needs to be fought. If this mentality would have taken place seven years ago I believe that we would be in a much better climate militarily than we are now. Afghanistan's borders be damed the World is after criminals and they need to be erradicated.

donnymack
1
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donnymack 09/15/08 - 11:12 pm
0
0
It is a war on terror and

It is a war on terror and needs to be fought. If this mentality would have taken place seven years ago I believe that we would be in a much better climate militarily than we are now. Afghanistan's borders be damed the World is after criminals and they need to be erradicated.

DrGunby68
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DrGunby68 09/16/08 - 02:11 am
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Ahhhhh, Barack said we should

Ahhhhh, Barack said we should have been doing this a year ago...great way to catch up GDub...

HTN007
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HTN007 09/16/08 - 05:02 am
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those "safe haven" areas

those "safe haven" areas should have been the first place we went into after 9-11, and long before Iraq. And Musharraf, a classic "good cop bad cop" regime. Thankfully he is gone. Finally, "Uncle Sucker"...........I think this has to be the Bush administration for allowing it all to go on for such a long time.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 09/16/08 - 05:33 am
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No widespread street

No widespread street upheavals in Pakistan? The Augusta Chronicle editorial staff (ACES) needs to turn the channel from FOX News and look beyond the headline news. Pakistan is in a state of massive turmoil particularly in the FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas). George W. Bush's misguided War on Terror has destabilized the entire Middle East and south Asia as well. Pakistan's govt has objected strenuously to incursions by U.S. ground troops. Pakistan's army has vowed to protect the territorial integrity of Pakistan from U.S. incursions. Yesterday a helicopter carrying U.S. troops was fired on by the Pakistan military and forced to turn back. Blunders by U.S. forces in Pakistan that result in the deaths of civilians only aids Al Qaeda. I document news reports about Pakistan here:
http://z15.invisionfree.com/Augusta_Alternative/index.php?showtopic=13&s...
Americans eager to "step up the war in Afghanistan" had best heed the words of Gen. David Petraeus: 'In a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Sunday, Petraeus said experience in Iraq shows it will take political and economic progress as well as military action to tackle increased violence in Afghanistan. "You don't kill or capture your way out of an industrial strength insurgency," he said.'

christian134
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christian134 09/16/08 - 05:40 am
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Hind-sight is a great

Hind-sight is a great wonderful gift unfortunately it does not exist for most of the masses...

standtall
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standtall 09/16/08 - 06:58 am
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Interesting comment - "Hence,

Interesting comment - "Hence, there's no reason why, if Pakistan's own government can't respect its own borders, why anyone else should." Could have been written about our own borders with Mexico and Canada, eh?

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 09/16/08 - 07:12 am
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Different methods are being

Different methods are being tried in this difficult terrain that lends itself to a warlord society. The Soviet Union tried the "bums rush" method and it failed. Second guessing is silly from this distance.

donnymack
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donnymack 09/16/08 - 08:00 am
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I don't know why you call it

I don't know why you call it second guessing. Maybe it's your way of saying oops W might have lied to us!

I4PUTT
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I4PUTT 09/16/08 - 08:16 am
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Afghanistan is a difficult

Afghanistan is a difficult battlefield. It will be a war fought with remote controlled drones, devastating missles directed from afar and counter intelligence. It will be painfully slow and expensive. But don't worry, as soon as we lose a few men the Democrats will be ready to cut and run from the war they claim to have wanted for seven years.

PLAYLIKETHUNDER4
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PLAYLIKETHUNDER4 09/16/08 - 08:28 am
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prove it gunby....what

prove it gunby....what publication,what date, give a link to this,i want to see it.

dani
12
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dani 09/16/08 - 09:07 am
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Drgunby..Never have I seen

Drgunby..Never have I seen someone who has said so much and done so little as your idol, BHO.

augustalawyer
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augustalawyer 09/16/08 - 09:37 am
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We know where the insurgents

We know where the insurgents are in Pakistan and have been prevented from going in after them. If Pakistan will not take care of the problem and if Pakistan will not allow us to strike specific targets under threat of attacking US forces then we need to disregard the civilian losses and carpet bomb the villages where the Taliban are staging.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 09/16/08 - 09:42 am
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donnymack, I'm sorry you find

donnymack, I'm sorry you find my posts so confusing.

angiesdad
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angiesdad 09/16/08 - 10:09 am
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pakistan has been ordered to

pakistan has been ordered to shoot if americans start shooting at them,well well! they've finally had enough of us coming into their country and blowing up buildings because some rogue informant said taliban folks were in there.people are sick of this country pushing them around.how would the us react if china, or russia went into our "territories"and started shooting, and blowing up buildings? we would have another war going.why is the us constantly meddling in everyones business?you had 7 years to find binladen,you haven't even tried.how does one survive in a cave with no electricity,water,no heat in brutal winters,yet he does,makes videos,is on dyalisis,and not one satellite spotting,no pictures from drones,and not one agent on the ground can find a 6'6"beanpole who is moved daily,and NO ONE SEES ANYTHING SUSPICIOUS? bull....! oh! and lets not forget his fbi poster which doesn't mention 911 anywhere on it! strange wouldn't you say? no, more a big hoax played on a country full of dolts.

jack
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jack 09/16/08 - 10:31 am
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We should have been attacking

We should have been attacking al Queda in Pakistan as soon as we knew OBL had retreated there and was launcing attakcs from thee. It took us years to invade and kick the NVAs azz in Cambodia that they were using the same as OBL has from Pakistan. You go bush!

jack
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jack 09/16/08 - 10:35 am
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Yonce, had BJ Cliton done his

Yonce, had BJ Cliton done his job, we wouldn't be worried about OBL being in Pakistan.

angiesdad
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angiesdad 09/16/08 - 02:13 pm
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jack, clinton had no evidence

jack, clinton had no evidence against obama.which probably explains why 7 years later his most wanted poster says the same thing,nothing.he's wanted in connections with bombings in 1998.in other words they have no proof or evidence he did anything.he just has name recognition. i guess clinton was responsible for letting his family leave ny days after 911 when all other planes were grounded?also?

watching
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watching 09/16/08 - 03:28 pm
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" . . . Pakistan must be

" . . . Pakistan must be dealt with . . . ." those were the words of the Great Sen. Barack Obama months ago. So, AC writers are finally seeing the light?

JesusIsComing
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JesusIsComing 09/16/08 - 05:39 pm
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If you think you know what is

If you think you know what is going on in Pakistan, you are wrong. Just a day or so ago a drone took out some terrorists. The public posture from the Pakistani leadership has to balance what they say for Western ears and their own resident radical extremists. What is actually going on will not be known until it is declassified many years from now.

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