[DailyBeast] In his eagerly anticipated memoir 'Duty,' former Defense Secretary Robert Gates pulls no punches about President Obama, a threat from David Petraeus, and Nancy Pelosi's bad side.
Famous for the decisions he made in two wars as well as for serving two presidents of opposing parties, Robert Gates's memoir leaves little room for misunderstanding how he saw people or events during his time as secretary of defense. Here are some of the juiciest bits from the memoir.
the judgment of history on a single decision he believed was the right thing for our country. He clearly admired Bush never looking back on it or having second thoughts...Gates makes clear he viewed the president as a mature leader who was also intellectually strong and confident in his abilities.
Gates must have been the only one who thought this. But then again, the perceptions of the current WH seem to be shared less and less by people.
Around 2007, I gave a lecture at the Defense Department. One of the attendees presented a scenario suggesting that the "problem of Islam" was not political but a problem of verbiage.
There was a secret debate happening in the Defense Department and the CIA in which some people thought that all Moslems were a problem, some believed that only al-Qaeida was a problem, and still others thought the Moslem Brüderbund was a problem.
The main problem, however, was that all Islamism was a political threat, but it was the second position that eventually won over the B.O. regime. Take note of this; since 2009, if you wanted to build your career and win policy debates, only al-Qaeda was a problem. The Moslem Brüderbund was not a threat; after all, it did not participate in September 11. This view was well-known in policy circles, but it was easy to mistake this growing hegemony as temporary.
[DAWN] WE all do what we believe is the right thing to do. But what seems right to you can be so different from what the next person believes to be right. Let me explain what I mean.
Fifteen-year-old Aitezaz Hussain was standing outside his school gate last Monday, according to one account, when a man arrived, trying to gain entry into the Hangu school. There was something attached to his body. Aitezaz must have realised it was an bomb similar to the ones he'd probably seen on the media strapped to the bodies of abortive jacket wallahs.
Faced with such danger, in what must have been a split-second decision, Aitezaz attempted to stop the suicide bomber. In that moment, it isn't clear whether young Aitezaz made the conscious decision to save the lives of hundreds inside the school premises. What is clear is that his instinct pushed him to do what he thought was the right thing. Aitezaz couldn't have been unmindful of the consequences. Who would have blamed him for running for his life? But he didn't.
In 2011 when his DHA Bloody Karachi ...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It is among the largest cities in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous... home was attacked by a suicide bomber driving an explosives-laden vehicle, one of Karachi Police's high-profile Taliban hunters Chaudhry Mohammad Aslam stood on the rubble of his badly damaged house to say he'd hunt down the forces of Evil and not be cowed.
"The forces of Evil are cowards to target my home, family and children. But they don't scare me. I will continue this 'jihad' against the forces of Evil till the last drop of my blood," the brave yet controversial police officer had said. He captured or killed in shootouts dozens of alleged Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP) terrorists.
As recently as last Wednesday, a team led by him, engaged and shot three TTP krazed killers. On Thursday, his fight and life ended in a bombing claimed by the TTP. Media reports suggested that in the past week alone he received 12 alerts about possible attempts on his life. But he chose to carry on the fight; he did what he thought was the right thing to do.
Media interviews with Chaudhry Aslam's fellow coppers establish that his death hadn't dealt a blow to the morale of a police force which lost nearly 200 members last year alone. All those interviewed had a common refrain: we'll fight terror. We have to for the country's sake.
I wish I could pay a named tribute to each of the thousands of our men in uniform who have embraced death while fighting for Pakistain as they believed it was the right thing to do. It is a measure of their valour that the ratio of army officers and other ranks killed in action is one of the highest in the world.
Our officers, young and old, have led from the front and fought the forces of Evil shoulder to shoulder with their men because they believed it was the right thing. Why else would they risk their lives?
In Pakistain's war against these terrorists, whether it is our men in khaki or police or paramilitary forces, each has written chapter after chapter with their blood. Once this conflict ends and its history is written, some of the tales of valour will make us sit up.
This spectacular bravery is particularly mind-boggling when viewed against the backdrop of government policies which represent no more than indecision and statements by our elected leaders amounting to no more than capitulation to the terrorists.
Is there any point in naming these leaders who appeared to mourn, some even called him a martyr, when TTP mass murderer-in-chief Hakeemullah Mehsud was killed in a drone attack -- this outrage because the imaginary talks with the TTP had been scuttled. Yes, imaginary because the terror group never agreed to talks and even killed an army general days after the talks offer was made. I'm sure our politicianship thought it was the right thing to do. The latest talks' red herring is represented by Maulana Samiul Haq ...the Godfather of the Taliban, leader of his own faction of the JUI. Known as Mullah Sandwich for his habit of having two young boys at a time... (teacher of the Afghan Taliban emir and the TTP naib emir), who has been asked by the prime minister to approach the terror group again.
He emerged from the prime minister's meeting to tell the media that the TTP's three demands are just -- Pakistain should 'stop US drone attacks; stop helping the foreigners' war and enforce Sharia'. In fact, he claimed, these were the demands of '16 crore' Paks.
The maulana also termed 'mazhaka khez' (laughable) the government's expectation that the TTP should lay down its arms without getting anything in return. These are the views of the 'mediator' chosen by the prime minister and backed by the PTI leader and not of the TTP leadership, in case you're wondering.
Everyone, including duplicitous political parties such as the PPP and MQM that signed the all-party conference declaration endorsing talks with the TTP and did not withdraw their support despite the terrorists' categorical 'no' to a ceasefire, must believe they're doing the right thing too.
Can our elected leaders set us, once and for all, on the right course? Why should hundreds, thousands of men in uniform and an untold number of civilians have to offer the biggest sacrifice there is for a cause whose legitimacy has been obfuscated to near-oblivion?
It's incumbent not just on the elected government but on all of us individually and collectively to stand up and be counted. Our heroes on the frontline in the war with the TTP and its allies are brave and selfless. They should never be made to feel they're alone or that their cause isn't just.
Posted by: Fred ||
01/12/2014 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan
Thought the article was about the U.S. at first blush. Whoops.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.