Northern Alliance victories: too good to be true?as@.

From: Alex F. Bokov (
Date: Wed Nov 14 2001 - 11:30:11 MST


Hmm. Northern Alliance is having a rather productive week
today. Averaging *more* than one bastion of Taliban resistance per
day? After being beaten back to like 5% of the country? Some

1. (most likely) NA didn't control just 5% of the country to begin
with. The maps and numbers quote by the media reflected the confirmed
NA locations, not the scattered enclaves throughout the
countryside. The reason their advance seems so lightning quick is that
once a few crucial battles are won and a few critical defections take
place, there is a cascading effect of all the little pockets of
resistance condensing into one big area of NA control. Furthermore, it
isn't clear from the maps how much of that land is habitable or even
traversible. Perhaps a more accurate picture of how much of the
country is controlled by whom would emerge if such land was excluded
from the calculations.

2. (also likely) Hey, those daisy-cutters and tomahawks really do work
if you take the time to do it right. This has interesting implications
for the future of warfare-- that perhaps ground troops are now just
playing an auxiliary role (mop-up, spotting, psychological presence)
to that of the airforce rather than the other way around.

3. (maybe less likely, but disturbing enough to merit some thought)
It's too easy. The Taliban is not really retreating, just blending
into the countryside, perhaps along with Mullah Omar and Pig
Rottin. Perhaps with collusion from NA, and perhaps not. The thing
that appears to be the war front keeps advancing until it swallows up
the whole country, but the individuals we're seeking are nowhere to be
found. Meanwhile the Taliban starts doing the sort of hit-and-run
attacks they specialize in all over the supposedly conquered territory
(possibly targetting US military and humanitarian installations).

4. (unlikely but really disturbing) There is collusion going on, but
of a more sinister nature. We're letting the Taliban play breir
rabbit, because we know it will be bloody, expensive, and ultimately
useless to defeat them for real. We will set up a coalition
government, rescue our national prestige, and increase Bush's chances
of reelection. Then a few years later, the coalition government is
overthrown or subverted by former Taliban members or some equally
unsavory group, but by then, we will have forgotten all about them and
will have no mandate to get involved. Pig Rottin and his cronies
continue blowing shit up, provoking fear and outrage that will
continue giving Big Brother carte blanche to
regulate/sieze/search/ban/censor anything he wants, at home or
abroad. The revolution ushered in by cryptography and the internet is
narrowly averted.

- --
* I believe that the majority of the world's Muslims are good, *
* honorable people. If you are a Muslim and want to reassure me and *
* others that you are part of this good, honorable majority, all *
* you need to say are nine simple words: "I OPPOSE the Wahhabi cult *
* and its Jihad." *

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