Nov 23 2008
In these last days of the Bush presidency it is no surprise President Bush is going all out to kill as many known, high valued terrorists as he can before the pacifist Dems take control. The good news is the efforts are paying off as the US is now launching regular attacks on terrorist hideouts in the tribal areas of Pakistan. The attacks have been primarily in the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA), where the remaining large sanctuaries are located for al-Qaeda and their radical Taliban allies.
A recent attack nailed a top level, infamous al-Qaeda terrorists who changed the face of air travel across the world in a close, but failed attack on commercial flights in 2006:
A British militant who was a liaison toÂ Al QaedaÂ and was a main suspect in the plot to blow up trans-Atlantic airliners in 2006 was killed Saturday in a missile strike by an American aircraft in northern Pakistan, senior Pakistani and American officials said.
The militant, Rashid Rauf, was among the five people killed in the attack by a remotely piloted aircraft in North Waziristan, close to the Afghan border, the officials said. He is perhaps the best-known of the figures killed in an American airstrike campaign there that has intensified since August and has caused increased strains between the United States and Pakistan.
In August 2006, Mr. Rauf, a Briton of Pakistani descent, was detained in Pakistan, leading to the arrest of 25 suspects in Britain in connection with what prosecutors said was a plot to destroy seven airliners headed for the United States and Canada. This September, a British jury convicted three of eight defendants of conspiracy to commit murder, failing to reach verdicts on the more serious charge of using beverage bottles filled with liquid explosives to blow up the aircraft.
I was traveling the day this happened, August 10th 2006. It was a nightmare for a while as security at airports across the world changed overnight. In fact I have an entire category of posts dedicated to this one attack. In the annals of history, this will always be a historic event because of how it changed the world, even though the attack itself was thwarted.
It was an attack that would have made 9-11 look pale in comparison. The idea was to have a thousands of bodies dropping from the skies across American cities. It is a testament to President Bush and his administration that this attack was foiled and it was amazing to see how security changed over night to protect the flying public.
Sadly, this was also the year the GOP got drubbed by the voters because of their inability keep the conservative governing coalition together. The far right was unreasonably harsh on George Bush from that time onward, giving the Dems the opening they needed to win Congress and then, this year the Presidency (which apparently Obama won because the self absorbed ‘true conservatives’ sat home and did not vote). It is a testament to the ‘true conservatives’ that on the heels of this amazing event, President Bush and the GOP were rewarded with falling public support from their supposed ‘base’.
Well, while some folks fiddle in the face of terrorism, Bush has been waging a war for the history books. It is good to see justice being brought against the man who forced airlines to change their rules overnight as a result of his almost successful attack on the West. It is also good to see Bush pushing to the bitter end, as he promised he would do. Since 9-11 al-Qaeda has gone from being the future of Islam to being the enemy of Islam to many (if not most) Muslims in the Middle East and inside Pakistan and Afghanistan. That too is an amazing turn of events it seems we will need to wait on history to recognize, since we as a people are absorbed with other, lesser issues at the moment.