Friday, November 9, 2007

New crises sap Bush's 'war on terror'

By Jim Lobe
Asia Times

"WASHINGTON - Just as the White House claims it has finally turned the corner in what it defines as the "central front" in the "war on terror" - Iraq - it has found itself desperately trying to contain new crises on the war's periphery stretching east to Pakistan, west to Turkey and south to the Horn of Africa.

Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf's latest "coup" last weekend, combined with the continuing threat of a Turkish invasion of Iraqi Kurdistan and the looming probability of war between US-backed Ethiopia and Eritrea, have added to the growing impression that Washington has ever more become hostage to forces and personalities far beyond its control or understanding......

But "the situation we face today is much more difficult," one former senior State Department official told Inter Press Service this week. "Back then, we didn't have 200,000 US troops fighting on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan; nor did we have the anti-Americanism that now pervades the entire region. And, frankly, to deal with all this, we don't even have the regional expertise in the government that we had in 1979.".....

Both Ethiopia and the Bush administration have been infuriated by Eritrea's alleged support for Somalia's Islamic Courts Union that was ousted from power in Mogadishu and other parts of the country by an invasion of Addis Ababa's powerful, US-backed military 11 months ago. The Ethiopians have since been bogged down in an increasingly bloody occupation that many analysts have compared to the US occupation of Iraq......"

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