Bombs in 48 Hours?

by Patrick Cockburn And Rupert Cornwell

The Independent

The US will strike at Osama bin Laden’s supply bases “in days rather than weeks” a senior opposition leader in northern Afghanistan, in daily contact with Washington, predicted yesterday.

Abdullah Abdullah, foreign minister of the opposition Northern Alliance, said US intervention in Afghanistan may involve the insertion of special forces combined with the bombing of Taliban troops at a later stage.

But he dismissed American claims that US special forces were already in Afghanistan in significant numbers. “They might be in the southern deserts, or in the border area between Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the frontier is not properly delineated,” he said.

The Pentagon and the Taliban both dismissed reports that a US special forces unit had been captured in western Afghanistan, near the Iranian border. The Pentagon said it gave “no credence” to the story as officials insisted no US units are in the country.

Several hundred people protested in Washington yesterday against US retaliation. Attacks would “only increase the cycle of violence,” Larry Holmes, an organiser, said.

But a new Newsweek poll shows 65 per cent support for military action, even if innocent civilians are killed, and in his weekly radio address yesterday, President Bush vowed “war will be waged wherever terrorists hide, run or plan”.

The promised “hot pursuit” is expected to consist of limited air strikes targeting suspected terrorist bases and Taliban military installations, supplemented by commando-style operations and increased support to the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance.

As the build-up continued, a British submarine and a destroyer passed through the Suez Canal yesterday, joining more than 20 British ships sent earlier to the Gulf. The US has sent up to 130 warplanes and 2,000 marines to the Gulf, as well as a naval battle group led by USS Theodore Roosevelt.

Three Muslim men suspected of belonging to a fundamentalist group plotting fresh attacks were arrested in Germany yesterday. The men were tracked down through a website which calls for Muslims to enlist in the war in the Caucasus, and raises money for the Taliban. CP

CounterPunch: Complete Coverage of 9/11 and Its Aftermath

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
August 31, 2015
Michael Hudson
Whitewashing the IMF’s Destructive Role in Greece
Conn Hallinan
Europe’s New Barbarians
Lawrence Ware
George Bush (Still) Doesn’t Care About Black People
Joseph Natoli
Plutocracy, Gentrification and Racial Violence
Franklin Spinney
One Presidential Debate You Won’t Hear: Why It is Time to Adopt a Sensible Grand Strategy
Dave Lindorff
What’s Wrong with Police in America
Louis Proyect
Jacobin and “The War on Syria”
Lawrence Wittner
Militarism Run Amok: How Russians and Americans are Preparing Their Children for War
Binoy Kampmark
Tales of Darkness: Europe’s Refugee Woes
Ralph Nader
Lo, the Poor Enlightened Billionaire!
Peter Koenig
Greece: a New Beginning? A New Hope?
Dean Baker
America Needs an “Idiot-Proof” Retirement System
Vijay Prashad
Why the Iran Deal is Essential
Tom Clifford
The Marco Polo Bridge Incident: a History That Continues to Resonate
Peter Belmont
The Salaita Affair: a Scandal That Never Should Have Happened
Weekend Edition
August 28-30, 2015
Randy Blazak
Donald Trump is the New Face of White Supremacy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Long Time Coming, Long Time Gone
Mike Whitney
Looting Made Easy: the $2 Trillion Buyback Binge
Alan Nasser
The Myth of the Middle Class: Have Most Americans Always Been Poor?
Rob Urie
Wall Street and the Cycle of Crises
Andrew Levine
Viva Trump?
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Behind the Congressional Disagreements Over the Iran Nuclear Deal
Lawrence Ware – Marcus T. McCullough
I Won’t Say Amen: Three Black Christian Clichés That Must Go
Evan Jones
Zionism in Britain: a Neglected Chronicle
John Wight
Learning About the Migration Crisis From Ancient Rome
Andre Vltchek
Lebanon – What if it Fell?
Charles Pierson
How the US and the WTO Crushed India’s Subsidies for Solar Energy
Robert Fantina
Hillary Clinton, Palestine and the Long View
Ben Burgis
Gore Vidal Was Right: What Best of Enemies Leaves Out
Suzanne Gordon
How Vets May Suffer From McCain’s Latest Captivity
Robert Sandels - Nelson P. Valdés
The Cuban Adjustment Act: the Other Immigration Mess
Uri Avnery
The Molten Three: Israel’s Aborted Strike on Iran
John Stanton
Israel’s JINSA Earns Return on Investment: 190 Americans Admirals and Generals Oppose Iran Deal
Bill Yousman
The Fire This Time: Ta-Nehisi Coates’s “Between the World and Me”
Scott Parkin
Katrina Plus Ten: Climate Justice in Action
Michael Welton
The Conversable World: Finding a Compass in Post-9/11 Times
Brian Cloughley
Don’t be Black in America
Kent Paterson
In Search of the Great New Mexico Chile Pepper in a Post-NAFTA Era
Binoy Kampmark
Live Death on Air: The Killings at WDBJ
Gui Rochat
The Guise of American Democracy
Emma Scully
Vultures Over Puerto Rico: the Financial Implications of Dependency
Chuck Churchill
Is “White Skin Privilege” the Key to Understanding Racism?
Kathleen Wallace
The Id(iots) Emerge
Andrew Stewart
Zionist Hip-Hop: a Critical Look at Matisyahu
Gregg Shotwell
The Fate of the UAW: Study, Aim, Fire