GEORGE W. BUSH, ATTEMPTED MURDERER : LUSENET : Unk's Troll-free Private Saloon : One Thread


Wed May 15, 9:09 PM ET

By Ted Rall

When Idiocy Meets Evil Outside Kabul

NEW YORK-This is fair to say: Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a 55-year-old Pashtun warlord, is a bad man. Evil, even. "What we're talking about here is someone at the absolute margin of violence in Afghan society-in his own way someone as extreme as Osama bin Laden (news - web sites)," Anthony Cordesman, a defense analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said in an interview. "He has a history that has proved about as conclusively as anyone can that this is a violent, vicious man who deserves to be a target."

A target of what? A target of whom? Hang tight through the next 124 words:

When his Hezb-e-Islami faction was part of a coalition fighting the Soviet army during the `80s, Hekmatyar earned a reputation for treachery and over-the-top violence that shocked even war-hardened Afghan sensibilities. His forces, according to more moderate warlords, killed more innocent Afghans than Soviets. Notches on his gun include the murders of at least two BBC journalists and Dr. Sayed Burhannudin Madjruh, an intellectual who was one of the nation's leading poets. As prime minister for the Northern Alliance government, he ruled the city of Kabul for a few months during 1996 before being ousted by Taliban troops; in an effort to out-Taliban the Taliban he banned movies, music and soccer. He was financed in these exploits by both the CIA (news - web sites) and Pakistani intelligence.

None of this, however, explains why the CIA tried to assassinate him on May 6.

"We had information," an anonymous Pentagon (news - web sites) official told The New York Times' Thomas Shanker, "that he was planning attacks on American and coalition forces, on the interim government and on [interim president Hamid] Karzai himself."

You and I, faced with such information, might have had Hekmatyar picked up for questioning. We might put him and his pals on trial for conspiracy and, if he were found guilty, thrown in prison. But the guys in the White House aren't like us. They're gangsters. Gangsters are above the law. Gangsters don't bother with judges and juries. They pay off judges; they have their enemies whacked.

And so your illegitimate gangster government, less than a month after it attempted to overthrow the democratically-elected government of Venezuela, sent up one of those unmanned Predator drone planes. Some dude punched a button on an iMac at an undisclosed location in the Virginia suburbs and fired a Hellfire missile at Hekmatyar's car convoy on a road just outside Kabul. "I believe some others were killed in the strike, but the target escaped," an unnamed U.S. official told Reuters. Hekmatyar's spokesman and son-in-law Ghairat Baheer in Islamabad said: "He is in Afghanistan...but there was no attack."

Experts speculate that the missile hit a group of cars that had nothing to do with Hekmatyar.

Just when the Bush Administration seems to have achieved the ultimate combination of hubris, stupidity and viciousness, it outdoes itself. First the U.S. government, despite repeatedly being suckered by Afghan factions into attacking their rivals, chooses to believe Karzai's accusations of a Hekmatyar plot. (Hekmatyar had, in February, pledged loyalty and support to Karzai's interim regime.) Then, rather than letting the Afghans sort out their internal politics for themselves (in Afghanistan (news - web sites), warlords are the politicians), the Bushies decide to murder the guy. But rather than send a sniper to do an assassin's job, they use an electronic remote-controlled blue-bottle fly...which misses.

"While foreign troops are present, the interim government does not have any value or meaning," Hekmatyar said in a February statement calling for the U.S. to leave Afghanistan. "We prefer involvement in internal war rather than occupation by foreigners and foreign troops." Don't be surprised, now that we've tried to kill him, if Hekmatyar really does go after Americans. Naturally, the Bushies' circular logic would view that as vindication.

"The attack on Mr. Hekmatyar...was the first confirmed mission to kill a factional leader who was not officially part of the fallen Taliban government or Al Qaeda terrorist network," the Times wrote May 9. In fact, Hekmatyar was militantly anti-Taliban and anti-Al Qaeda. He was targeted solely because he opposes the U.S. occupation and because his support for America's hand-picked Afghan leader, Hamid Karzai, has been less than wholehearted.

Ironically, Hekmatyar's Afghan street cred is infinitely broader than Karzai's. Karzai has no militia and no experience fighting the Soviets. He spent the late `90s as a Unocal oil employee sucking up to the Taliban in the hopes that they'd allow his company to run a pipeline through their territory. Were the U.S. to pull out today, Karzai would be out of power tomorrow.

Hekmatyar, on the other hand, is a sort of Afghan John McCain-an influential member of the party in power, out of favor with the current president but respected by a substantial portion of the population.

But that's not the point. The point is this: Article 2 of the U.N. Charter, as well as the U.S. Army's field manual, prohibit "assassination, proscription, or outlawry of an enemy, or putting a price upon an enemy's head, as well as offering a reward for an enemy `dead or alive.'" Beginning in 1976, after the CIA was implicated in the death of Chilean President Salvadore Allende and at least eight attempts on Fidel Castro (news - web sites), Presidents Ford, Carter and Reagan all issued executive orders banning political assassinations. Reagan's Executive Order 12333 states that "no person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination." That executive order, confirmed by Bush Sr., Clinton and Bush Jr., remains the law.

Bush broke that law. He should step down and face prosecution for attempted murder.

-- (just say no to @ criminal. president), May 16, 2002


Ted Rall for President! What a brilliant fellow.

-- (Howdy Doody@Buffalo Bob's.boudoir), May 16, 2002.

Ted Rall was born in Cambridge MA in 1963, raised in Kettering OH and graduated from high school in 1981. His first cartoons were published in the Kettering-Oakwood (OH) Times in 1980. He majored in physics at Columbia University’s School of Engineering from 1981 until 1984, where he drew cartoons for the Columbia Daily Spectator.

In 1984, Rall was expelled from Columbia Engineering for both disciplinary and academic reasons. Giving up cartooning, he became a trader/trainee at Bear, Stearns brokerage firm and a loan officer at the Industrial Bank of Japan. He also moonlighted as a telemarketer and taxi driver.

Yep, Ted is a good source of unbiased political commentary, NOT!! Another bubble-headed liberal who enjoys hearing his own voice.

-- Free (head@case.analysis), May 16, 2002.

When you start quoting "Taliban Ted" Rall, you're really getting out on the fringes.

-- E.H.Porter (, May 16, 2002.

LOL, attack the messenger! Par for the course Repugs!

You don't seem to have much to say about the fact that your hero Dumbya is a lying, cheating, stealing, murdering bastard fortunate son.

-- LOL (typical @ Repug. babble), May 16, 2002.

Uh ... someone needs to tell Ted that Dubya *superceded* that old executive order with a new one that DOES permit seek-and-kill missions.

I'm sure he just overlooked that minor point. :)

-- Stephen (, May 16, 2002.

'Selective Spin' is what it is.

-- Free (head@case.analysis), May 16, 2002.

Rall is not a "messenger". He is another partisan ranter, of which there are many of all persuasions. It's how he makes his living.

-- (, May 16, 2002.

Actually, I'm a democrat. But, that doesn't make Taliban Ted Rall any less of a nut case (any more than my voting republican would make Ann Coulter any less of a lunatic harpy).

Some people are just too out on the fringe to be taken seriously by anyone who's not out there with 'em

-- E.H.Porter (, May 17, 2002.

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