16
Feb
10

On air: Does Mullah Baradar’s capture mean anything?

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who is thought to be the Taliban’s top military commander, has been captured in Pakistan.

U.S government sources say that the prisoner is the most significant Taliban figure to be detained since the US-led war in Afghanistan began in 2001. And analysts seem to agree that the Baradar development is a ‘big deal’.

US intelligence services are hoping he’ll cough up information that will help them in their fight against the hardline Islamic movement.

So, does this capture really make a difference? Or is one leader likely to be replaced by another? And how is the capture likely to help the battle to win hearts and minds?

Jczeroman comments on this blog “Doesn’t mean a thing. The Taliban is not an official army – they are a decentralised resistance force. It is an unwinnable war.”

But Tom Sileo in his blog says,  ‘this is clearly a fantastic development that we can all celebrate. A vicious terrorist, behind many of the IED’s (improvised explosive device) which have killed brave soldiers you read about every day on this site, is now in U.S. and Pakistani custody.’


84 Responses to “On air: Does Mullah Baradar’s capture mean anything?”


  1. February 16, 2010 at 11:36

    “Does Mullah Baradar’s capture give you confidence that the mission is working?”

    What exactly IS the mission? Is it to take back “control” of Marja from the Taliban and give it to the corrupt Karzi government?

  2. February 16, 2010 at 11:45

    No it doesn’t . Al Qaeda is a like a malignant growth cut down one part and it will produce more. Furthermore, this obsession with the Taliban stems from the fact that they turned on America. The Taliban are no worse then or rather just a bad as the other Afghan war lords . This country cannot be forced into a democracy from a tribal pre medieval existence. This surge into Afghanistan is IMO hopeless. I feel so very sorry for its women who suffer the most from the depth of violent psychosis that this whole culture has descended into.

  3. February 16, 2010 at 11:47

    God is great!!! With the capture of Mullah Abdul Ghani, I think the game is over! He has been the man who kept the fire of Taliban banning in Afghanistan killing innocent people how. With his capture the world will become a safer place to live in and he should be executed. This will serve as a warning to the rogue militants from Yemen and Somalia. They will know that they are not wanted in the civilized world and their time has almost come to an end with the capture and execution of their friend, Mullah Abdul Ghani. Thanks be to God.

    • 4 Henry Flynn
      February 16, 2010 at 17:03

      Within a week, probably unnoticed, there will be a replacement for the captured terrorist.
      There will be a slight delay in tactics, but overall, the war will go on. The only advantage in capturing this guy is that he will no longer be giving orders. He will be treated as an American, given his “rights” and be jailed. No real interigation because our famous weakling of a president took away the tactics used in getting any useful information. As far as I am concerned, the people who voted for Obama elected a home grown terrorist because he and the AG are doing everything possible to protect the terrorists, plus trying to overthrow our government, but, of course, that is not the PC thing to say, so did I say that, yes, because being PC is getting Americans killed here in America. Foot Hood shooting is a good example!

      • 5 Mike in Seattle
        February 16, 2010 at 18:12

        You must have missed yesterday’s show. There was a guest who was an Army interrogator who stated many times that the torture you advocate delivers no real intelligence and only puts others at risk.

  4. 6 Crystal Ball
    February 16, 2010 at 12:24

    As we have seen many times before, a specific terrorist leader is never missed for long. There are always several stand-ins waiting to take over should the “expected” happen. The Taliban are certainly not stupid and plan for such events just as other military commands do. He won’t be missed for long!
    The real problem is that we have seen terrorist groups band together and when the going get’s tough they simply slide into another country and start an insurgency there!
    Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan have become the outer zones of a terrorist tornado that will continue to spin for as long as the populations of those countries are sympathetic to the terrorists cause. Until the West fully understand that “one size does not fit all”, we will continue down a path that leads only to death and destruction and drives the disinherited and uprooted into the waiting arms of these religious zealots!

  5. 7 Ibrahim in UK
    February 16, 2010 at 12:49

    What is the mission?
    To get the Taleban into the government sharing power with the rest of the warlords that tore the country apart?
    To defeat any resistance to the occupation of Afghanistan?
    To catch Bin Laden?
    To destroy Al-Qaeda?
    Or are they all tied in together now?

    If the reports are true, then what is significant is that he was captured in Pakistan which justifies Obama’s focus on getting Pakistan to fall in line.

  6. February 16, 2010 at 12:51

    @ pdxmike February 16, 2010 at 11:36

    Good point mike.

  7. 9 Linda from Italy
    February 16, 2010 at 12:52

    Surely the majority of us who subscribe to WHYS and have critical thinking skills are just plain sick and tired of this sort of propaganda?
    Bump off one terrorist “leader” and there will plenty more to take his place, no one really has a clue what the mission actually is, so claims of “victory” just induce one more big cynical yawn.
    There’s nothing we can do about it, even poor old Pres. Obama has found out the hard way how much his hands are tied by various lobbies, such a pity he didn’t have the bottle to pull out of Afghanistan when he had the chance, i.e. on the day after his inauguration.

  8. 10 D in Indiana
    February 16, 2010 at 13:36

    I’m with pdxmike on this one.

  9. 11 Henry Flynn
    February 16, 2010 at 14:25

    The capture will make no difference. If Bush were still president, we could get vital information and save more lives. With Obama in office and being soft on terror along with his AG also being very soft on terrorists, they might as well let him go back to fighting. He will get his “rights” as am American citizen, perhaps be put in jail, given a lawyer, cost us a couple million $, all for nothing. This terrorist would just as soon slit their throats and laugh at his captures instead of talking. He is a murderer without a conscience, but we will treat him as a victim, since he is innocent until proven guilty and we can’t do that.
    Af far as I am concerned, we might as well walk away from this war because the Obama people will not allow terrorists to give up information. I believe that Obama and his cronies are also terrorists and that’s why they are protecting them. Obama’s associates and friends, before his was elected, were terrorists and anti American types, but no most were too taken in by his personality and his lies. Now, we have a bunch of people in power who are trying to overthrow our form of government and one of the very people who should be doing something about it, is one of the culprits, our AG!!! The way I see it, instead of firing the AG, Obama will keep him in power and we will loose the war because we will not prosecute the terrorists. Obama and the AG are doing everything possible to protect the murderers because they are also anti America. Of course, they can’t admit to such!!

    • 12 Rob C
      February 16, 2010 at 17:11

      @ Henry Flynn

      If the Republicans are voted back into power and carry on the same slippery slope into hell as before, I’ll become a rebel and outlaw.

    • 13 Tariq
      February 16, 2010 at 19:58

      i think taliban can never be ended.i think taliban are engaging forces in karachi.and will increase its activity in afghanistan and will enter other region of pakistan.

  10. 14 @guykaks
    February 16, 2010 at 14:26

    A big NO!This is alie to world..What was the mission in the 1st place?I thought it was to net Osama Bin Laden..Mullah is a nobody in the hunt for Laden.keep fighting guys and remmber the terrorist are everywhere!

  11. 15 audre
    February 16, 2010 at 14:32

    15,000 US, NATO and Afghan forces are trying to clear insurgents from the Marjah and Nad Ali areas of Helmand. They are meeting with more than anticipated resistance. This hype around the ‘capture’ of Mullah Baradar is just another PR ploy designed to demoralize the Taliban and keep the West thinking that they are actually accomplishing something.

    When will the nonsense stop?

  12. 16 dan
    February 16, 2010 at 15:56

    After his 3 minute “intensive interrogation” did they Mirandize him and give him a court appointed lawyer before talking to him?
    Did he get his beachside condo, HD cable TV, new car and retirement account from the Obama administration too?
    I understand that they ripped his clothing in the capture and he is now claiming that to be torture by the Americans and we will give him $5 BIllion to make it all better.

  13. 18 Robert Macala
    February 16, 2010 at 16:01

    Linda, unfortunately there aren’t many critical thinkers out there. “The capture” is another
    desperate attempt to make some sense out of this major disaster, to rationalize the
    750 billion America spends on national defense fighting biblical wars in the middle east against warriors who don’t possess tanks, planes, navies or nuclear weapons. Unfortunately,
    “fighting terror” has become a major American industry employing lots and lots of Americans
    in tough economic times…America can’t afford not to “fight terror”…

  14. 19 Tony from Singapura
    February 16, 2010 at 16:12

    The only value in capturing this fellow would be if they get some useful info from him that is to NATO benefit in the war.

    I suspect that there is a fairly decent command structure in place by the Taleban and I think you would need to knock out a fair chunk of it to damage the organization.

    Otherwise the Taleban seem to be like cockroachs – you squish one, and another soon takes its place and the infestation continues.

  15. 20 AJ Carroll - Cleveland US
    February 16, 2010 at 16:28

    capturing the Taliban is similar to killing flies on a summers picnic; when you kill one another one comes back, but this is not to say that killing one didn’t help. it is no great victory over all but it is one less. while people enjoy saying chop off one head to sprout two more, the truth is is that it already has all of these heads we just don’t see them until we cut one down. By his capture there is small victory to be found but no great George W style “mission accomplished”. no one in the government or NATO is trying to claim this either, it is just the typical backlash of the critics.

  16. February 16, 2010 at 16:32

    The capture of a general is always significant.Yes of course he will be replaced,but with what? And when will the Taliban run short of good leaders? They are not all military wizards,in fact,good leaders are not that easy to find.Mullah Baradars capture means the Taliban are now headless,for the time being.Not only have the Taliban lost a leader they are also losing great areas of Helmand,not a good portfolio for a new leader to pick up.So yes,his capture is very significant at this particular time.

  17. 22 Danny
    February 16, 2010 at 16:37

    The war in Afghanistan goes on because America is soft on Pakistan. Why do the Americans deceive themselves by caressing Pakistan to help them in this war? They know well that it is the Pakistani Intelligence that harbors the Taleban, arm them and give them military support to fight in Afghanistan against the NATO. Do you think a bunch of religious students have any knowledge of military operations?
    You have to be realistic; it is Pakistan which has the root of the evil in it. Eradicate the root, the branches in Afghanistan will die by itself… .

  18. 23 John in Salem
    February 16, 2010 at 16:41

    Sure it does. It means the commanders in the field can go back to their governments and point to it as a sign that we’re winning so they can get more funding to capture whoever replaces Baradar.
    Heck, at this rate we’ll be out of Afghanistan by 2511. Way to go, guys!

  19. 24 loudobservant
    February 16, 2010 at 16:41

    responsiWho knows if what they claim is true,as Pakistani responsible official has nor admitted that as yet.May be,this is a war strategy to scare talebans and alqaeeda? Then same way BUSH went on air to boast” mission accomplished”,while the war is still raging to date.!!!

  20. February 16, 2010 at 16:46

    Of course his capture matters . Not only will it demoraliize the Taliban but it will also mean the terrorists will have to appoint another ruthless master strategist! Pakistan and Afghanistan are reeling just because of the location of terrorist stong-holds in the countries The terrorists are difficult to dislodge. The coalition will have to keep eliminating these ruthless men if peace is to stand a chance.The war on terrorism has to be won. We need to bequeath a safer world to our children and to generations to come. Nato will have to continue its operations till the Taliban are completey eliminated. The Taliban are callous and cruel to the very core. What America spends on counter-terrorism is worth every dollar and die-hard critics need to realise the principles involved. Capitulate to terrorists and you will have anarchy, violence and hatred to dog you to your grave;

  21. 26 steve
    February 16, 2010 at 16:58

    The US has been killing Afghan civilians, yet I don’t hear any calls for Obama to be tried for warcrimes or him to be impeached like was done for Bush. So civilians killed under Bush = bad, civilians killed under Obama = look the other way?

  22. 29 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    February 16, 2010 at 16:58

    Until and unless the civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine, Yemen, Somalia et al ad infinitum stop supporting people who commit indescriminate murder in the name of an ideology or nationalism, the capture of one individual will make little difference.

    The Taliban murders civilians without cause or care, then cynically exploits every civilian death accidentally caused by NATO and other forces. I personally have come to believe that these so-called “civilians” are not in fact innocent bystanders, but are in fact the enablers of all these terrorist’s murderous behaviour. Terrorists cannot exist without the active or tacit support of local “civilian” populations, and until the enablers finally get fed up with the death cult of the Islamists, the terror will go on and on, no matter how many terrorist leaders are caught.

    • 30 Ibrahim in UK
      February 16, 2010 at 17:42

      That is a slippery road to argue. It’s one the terrorists use to justify their attacks on Western civilians. After all, Western civilians live in a democracy and so we are responsible for the actions of our governments; any crime that an elected government commits, is a crime committed by the electorate themselves or at least has their tacit support… which makes us all legitimate targets?

      But I agree that the civilians are they key to this war. We need to take into consideration what the Afghan civilians themselves see as a bigger priority: defeating the foreign occupation or defeating the Taleban (or any other group that springs up)

  23. 31 Russ
    February 16, 2010 at 16:59

    Yes, it means that fighting terrorism on an offensive basis is a slow but effective way of killing the beast!

  24. 32 Buraq
    February 16, 2010 at 16:59

    The capture or death of anyone in a leading position causes disruption. Also, the Taliban will have to reorganise in case he talks. That takes time and effort. Then, anyone who steps into his shoes will spend a lot of time looking over his shoulder. More disruption and delay. And finally, as each one of the Taliban leadership is caught or ‘droned’, the myth of their invincibility becomes more threadbare.
    All in all, it’s a good day for democracy.

  25. 33 Rob C
    February 16, 2010 at 17:06

    So is this Baradar fellow, in any way, related or connected to Bin Laden and the ghosts of enemies past?

    • 34 Henry Flynn
      February 16, 2010 at 17:39

      I am very confident that he is. Orders come from the top. I have full confidence that we will not find out because we have in our AG another home grown terrorist who will protect this guy just like he protects all terrorists. Give them their “rights” quickly, so that they will not tell anyone about who else is involved. We have to protect our presidents “brothers”!
      The bottom line is the terrorists are being treated like American criminals. Of course, they aren’t Americans nor criminals. They are terrorists. Home grown terrorists will protect their “brothers” at all costs. I know, I not supposed to call our leaders home grown terrorists, but if you protect terrorists, as far as I am concerned, you are as guilty as they are. Besides, I am not one to be PC. I tell it the way I see and understand the situation. If the truth hurts, deal with it!

      • 35 Mike in Seattle
        February 16, 2010 at 18:16

        That’s really a strange thing to say, considering that after we captured Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab he’s been singing like a canary. Why do you say otherwise?

  26. 36 DOLAPO AINA
    February 16, 2010 at 17:22

    WHAT EXACTLY IS THE MISSION?
    The recent capture might not mean much, given the fact that he would be replaced. What is the newest aim of the allied forces or NATO in Afghanistan? Considering the fact that the Taliban are been considered to join the government.
    What guarantee does the west have that those whose would be vetted and cleared won’t jeopardize the effort s of the government?
    Is there really a plan for the country? Considering the fact that aims have been changing?
    Would his capture demoralize the Taliban? NO. Because the Taliban would appoint a new person by the end of this week.
    Besides, isn’t the war in Afghanistan about OSAMA? Then, why the hype about a n unknown subordinate? The focus should be on OSAMA and MULLAH OMAR please. Enough of this PR stunts.

    Dolapo Aina,
    Lagos, Nigeria

  27. February 16, 2010 at 17:24

    Let’s wait and see. We are living in a very uncertain world these days where nothing is guaranteed.

  28. 38 Andrew in Australia
    February 16, 2010 at 17:25

    How could it really have an effect, other than to slow things down.

    Ultimately unless you entirely defeat the enemy forces or they surrender you cannot claim any victory. Remove a leader, a new one will be installed. Remove a key player, many more will replace him. If he had experience or some expertise, then that vacancy can be replaced in time.

    If Obama suddenly disappeared, would the US grind to a halt, of course not. So why would foreign forces think this will do anything other than slow the resistence down or inc rease resolve against them?

  29. February 16, 2010 at 17:27

    Everyone knows and agrees, I dare say, that we’ll never rid the world of militants/insurgents, whether they be the Taliban or Al Quaeda. We definately can reduce their absolute numbers through operations such as the current one though. On second thought, I suggest the NATO troops should leave Afghanistan as soon as they can. The more this war goes on, the more unpredictable it gets. It actually does acquire a life history of its own; Such that how it proceeds doesn’t depend on planning or superb military tactics. It just might never stop. The billions spent on it could be used on other projects. Is anyone listening? I doubt!

  30. 40 pendkar
    February 16, 2010 at 17:45

    It makes a difference, to the extent that it was the first time Pakistan has allowed/facilitated the capture of a Taleban.

  31. 41 John Smith - Jamaica
    February 16, 2010 at 17:57

    Mullah who??

    Everyday a new person is captured and the authorities claim success is being achieved, yet the occupation still continues. Mullah “Yesterday” will be replaced by Mullah “Today” with Mullah “tomorrow” waiting in the wings. The Taliban is now a non-entity, it is the media and the military who continue to give them legitimacy. Just do your jobs and be quick and quiet about it.

  32. 42 John
    February 16, 2010 at 17:58

    Just interrogate him. Then execute him. Don’t waste money imprisoning him.

  33. 43 ARTHUR NJUGUNA
    February 16, 2010 at 18:15

    Its not my war and justification does not necessarily make others expendable.

    A monoculture world is flat and tasteless – let others be.

    Whose hands are not bloody now?

    If any gold will come out of this, it is the only gold that ever took to rust.

  34. 44 BILLY WACHAKANA
    February 16, 2010 at 18:15

    Catching him doesnt help a thing. let them engage in talks with the taliban.

  35. 45 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    February 16, 2010 at 18:29

    @ Ibrahim in UK –

    This obsession with “Occupiers” is irrational. The USA occupied both Germany and Japan after they, the agressors, lost WWII. As you might remember, it was the Afghan Taliban that harboured El Quada and enabled the attacks of September 11, 2001. The USA is still trying to defeat the agressors of the 9/11 attacks.

    Now have a look at Germany and Japan today. There are still “occupiers” in both of countries. Both countries are among the most peaceful and prosperous nations on earth. The victors worked hard to help re-establish the vanquished.

    It seems like every time the USA builds a school or a hospital in “occupied” Afghanistan, the Taliban blow it up. Why? Because, contrary to the examples of Germany and Japan, they irrationally believe that “occupiers” must be defeated at all and any cost.

    Why?

  36. 46 Mike in Seattle
    February 16, 2010 at 18:32

    In the end I think it will give the NATO effort a few weeks of breathing time. It’s certainly a distraction for the Taliban, and I have a feeling we’ll be able to make some important gains in the mean time.

  37. 47 Alan in Arizona
    February 16, 2010 at 18:50

    Hopefully they will handle this opportunity in a positive friendly way. We need to make friends not enemies.

  38. 48 ARTHUR NJUGUNA
    February 16, 2010 at 18:59

    Which plan are we following now from Washington?

    Disengaging to engage or engaging to dissengage?

    If dialogue is working now in Yemen in less than a month where Almutarab last visited, why can’t it be allowed to take root in Afghanistan and Pakistan?

  39. 49 Idris Dangalan
    February 16, 2010 at 19:02

    Why? Taliban leader turned to prisoner, something is wrong with their leadership,may be London-summit caused argument and confusion among them on Taliban legacy and peace talks with Afghan leaders.Mullah may open reconcillation deals with Kabul and assist them on war-of-terror.

  40. 50 Pritt Kopalan
    February 16, 2010 at 19:19

    Capture of any taliban leader is just like a “Small Biscute” trown to a “Huge hungry Beast” …It does not solve the problem. ISI and Pakistan have always reponded throught the history when ever pressure is applised by USA or by the UK or by G5 it has a history of giving up a lower level source or some people of lower value of interest to ISI and of no use to them any more. So , the actual question should be should we keep trusting Pakistan for ever but instead put max presure on Pakistan and say if you do not hand over all the high level Mullahs and targets including Osama immeidatly. Everyone knows where Osama is. so why not put pressure on them . Pakistan has always been a bigest perputator and also harbourer of terroist and has no real interst in helping to restore peace to Afganistan or to the North west Region because of their fear of India and their growth. Please go back and listen to President Musarafs interview with Ms. Amanapore and with Stefen Suckar a few months ago.

  41. 51 EchoRose in Florida
    February 16, 2010 at 19:23

    Wondering why we’re not talking about the murder of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a senior Hamas official by eleven assassins in Dubai?

    Modern day Cloak & Dagger…interesting…

  42. February 16, 2010 at 19:23

    This is just one of those periodic report cards to assure the U.S. public that we are getting something for our money in the phony “war on terror.” For more on this, I recommend watching the 3rd part of the BBC video, “The Power of Nightmares” which is now available online.

    Connecting him in the news with the bin Laden bogey man is especially suspicious.

  43. 53 Tom D Ford
    February 16, 2010 at 19:33

    Your guest makes a good point about de-fanging the Conservative American KKK and making them essentially irrelevant.

    If they can de-fang and marginalize the Taliban so that they become the equivalent of the Conservative American KKK, it will be of great benefit to the Afghan people.

  44. 54 Audrey
    February 16, 2010 at 19:47

    If Taliban members are indeed like cockroaches or flies or malignant tumors as has been asserted on the air and in blog comments, why do we not treat the problem as such? When faced with an infestation, you can’t just stand in the kitchen and slap at insects, but you seek out the source of the problem and attack there — in this case, a lack of proper educational resources and viable options for making a living aside from joining the Taliban forces. A sustainable solution needs to be built from the ground up so that while we are exterminating the flies, like Mullah Baradar, one by one, we are simultaneously cutting off the source of new forces and enabling the new generation to prosper in their own right. Otherwise, we are fighting a losing battle, no matter how big or small this capture turns out to be.

  45. 55 @guykaks
    February 16, 2010 at 19:50

    Mullah on this context is afake creation on the fight of terrorism.On what basis can we put our record straight on the hunt for Osama Bin laden and fighting terror.Washington is doing ashuddy job.

  46. 56 Sam Kansas c ity
    February 16, 2010 at 19:50

    Mulllar who….? I have never heard of him anyways it makes no big diffence except for the inteligence and pride in capturing him alive.

  47. February 16, 2010 at 19:51

    @Alan in Arizona

    Alan, its hard to know how to be positive when faced with a psychotic. The Taliban by any stretch of one’s ability to empathise have by almost all human standards developed a psychotic attitude to females. Poverty, war, deprivation, cannot be used as an excuse for this pathological development

  48. 58 clamdip
    February 16, 2010 at 19:52

    The U.S. is in Afghanistan to build a pipeline. Cutting the Taliban in on the deal might stop the war sooner so our troops can come home and the oil industry can continue business as usual. Everyone has a price. What is the Taliban’s?

  49. 59 gary indiana
    February 16, 2010 at 19:53

    War is not a remedy for evil, and the capture of one man isn’t a remedy for either.
    g

  50. 60 loudobservant
    February 16, 2010 at 20:00

    Well done,Jon Salem. I estimate time out from Afghanistan to be year 3000.
    Who knows,they may “create” many more Mullahs,and, do you know, OBL is still at large?
    Terrorist Bush will nor rest in peace in his Texas ranch until and unless Iraq and Afghanistan are fully controlled and colonised.

  51. 61 B.B. Bista
    February 16, 2010 at 20:09

    Hi.. It’s good to know that one of the top leader of Infamous organazation is captured. We need to know that such Criminals & Traitors have no Hearts & Minds. They are Heartless as well as Mindless They are just Brutal Terrorists. Of course, it makes a sense in Civilized World that he is no more harmful for Civilized World. I do believe that it’s a great Success against the Terrorism.

  52. February 17, 2010 at 00:44

    This man is not a terrroriest he was opposing an invading armey. many in the UK think illegal . However his capture only provides a bargining platform for prisoners to be realised. In the end it will cause more problems than solve them.

  53. 63 Cheshire Pete
    February 17, 2010 at 01:04

    BB, You might have to change your attitude a bit if Baradar suddenly re-emerges as the chief negotiator to get the Taliban a share of power, as has been suggested by some commentators. The legitimate politicians of most ‘new’ nations started off as reviled terrorists. It would be better for us if they really were ‘mindless’. I agree about the ‘brutal’ and the ‘heartless’.

    The entire question of how to deal with armed gangsters is interesting. Some armed groups, like drugs gangs in Mexico are just that, criminals. However far more are ambitious chancers trying to gain personal power by latching onto genuine complaints of the people. Generally these would be leaders label themselves as representing ‘isms’ to give rhemselves credibility, like communism, or nationalism. Wars and insurgencies are just an extremely bloody way of opening negotiations with other groups of armed men who already have the power in most cases. If the people in power were willing to listen to complaints from the people at the outset, and act to solve them, most terrorist movements would never get off the ground. An example is the IRA in Northern Ireland in the 1960s, who are now government ministers. The Vietcong, Castro and the Ayatollahs are all examples of ‘terrorists’ and ‘rioters’ who have had to be accommodated after lots of deaths, leading to a bloody aftermath, and years of problems.

    You have to accept the fact that even in Democracies, it is ambitious and usually ruthless, and sometimes ‘heartless’ elites who gain power, and become self perpetuating. They are usually reluctant to give it up other elites without a struggle. Afghanistan is a prime example of voting by bullet not ballot.

  54. February 17, 2010 at 01:11

    Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar’s capture will surely make a difference, because he has got the skills to recruit and terrorize or kill innocent lives; raise fund for their operations; plan and carryout the operations of their organization and was a brave man among his followers. Whoever takes his place may not have the exact skills to oversee these responsbilities. There is a wise saying which says, “if you cut off the head of a snake, the rest of the body is a rope.” I am not saying the battle is won or over, but this would persuade some of his followers to back down and discourage some from taking-after him. For those who are fighting against the Talibans, it is a boost for them. Bravo! Keep up the fight in order to capture their grand-father as well.

  55. 65 Rodney
    February 17, 2010 at 03:39

    Does it makes any difference to the Taliban if they lost such a high profile mastermind?certainly no,this have just reignite them to keep up their senseless fighting.The only real solution to this problem is this “an out stretch arm of peace to those who want to stop the fighting and an a iron fists to those who want to keep fighting”

  56. 66 Tan Boon Tee
    February 17, 2010 at 04:01

    It must be hard to believe that every militant caught is either a top commander or second-in-command.

    Even if that is true, more top commanders and second-in-command will emerge in no time.

    Could there be an end? When?

  57. 67 Dennis Junior
    February 17, 2010 at 06:10

    Helen:

    I have to say that the capture of Mullah Baradar capture will not
    change anything *and* in reality…Means, that there is one less terrorist in the arsenal.

    (Dennis Junior)

  58. 68 Ibrahim Bello Zauma
    February 17, 2010 at 09:36

    Taliban? Not in any way like coakroaches which you can terminate with a spray of chemical because they live in group. They are earthworms you may succeed in cutting into pieces and foolish boast you get rid of them only to discover later the each piece regenerate into full active adult.
    No premature conclusion. Who is even sure the story of Mullah’s capture is not one of the concocted American propaganda?

  59. February 17, 2010 at 10:44

    I find quite sickening about how the media,the government and the military keep bragging about the capture of a Taliban commader in Pakistan.I’m freightend about how successful they might be in winning the war against the Taliban as this will most probably lead to war with Iran as the United States,Great Britain and France are endeavorimg to gain contol of the Middle East.

  60. February 17, 2010 at 12:51

    i think we should to be assured that its this man who is a top taliban leader….without necessarilly torturing him…because just having a 50-50 thought could make him a new insurgent after thwe interrogation.

  61. 71 Ibrahim in UK
    February 17, 2010 at 12:59

    @Donnamarie in Switzerland

    Afghanistan has been occupied by several countries before the US, and for longer periods. The Soviets also built schools, roads, hospitals etc, but the Afghans still fought against them. Was that an illogical thing to do? The West didn’t think so. We helped them (and Bin Laden) to fight the Soviets.
    The Japanese and Germans fought until they were defeated, then they surrendered and accepted Allied occupation. The Taleban have neither surrendered nor been defeated. Why would they stop fighting a war they think they can win, and have indigenous support for, against a foreign force occupying their country, who kicked them out of power and promises to crush them? What’s in it for them?

    In any case, I think there is a big difference in mindset:
    On the one hand, the West appears to believe they have a right to occupy other countries (“aggressors” or not) and/or change their regimes to fit their interests. This has been going on for decades before 9/11, but anything the West does is not called an act of aggression (in Western media anyway)
    On the other hand, some people in countries like Afghanistan and Iraq don’t want to be occupied and don’t want foreign interference in their affairs; resistance is not only legitimate, it is a duty.
    If the West wants the indigenous populations of Afghanistan to assist with the occupation of their country, then the West has to underestand and address their motivation (logical or not) for fighting against the occupiers.

  62. 72 Afghan
    February 17, 2010 at 13:20

    As an Afghan I can answer the question the best. Afghans have never liked occupiers throughout the history and have always fought them. We have been the victim of the wars between different superpowers. If you want to understand the problem of Afghanistan you must know the history of the region first. Most of the people who have posted comments have no idea about the root of the problems.
    As the British were in India they try to occupy Afghanistan three times. They were defeated every time. They knew that it is not possible to capture and hold Afghanistan, so they cut the modern North West Frontier Province from the Afghan territory as a “buffer zone”. There is a contract to return the territory in one hundred years (1893 -1993). But it never happened. Maybe you have heard about the Durand Line, which is never recognized by Afghanistan. Britain created Pakistan and granted this Afghan soil to it. Now, from day first as Pakistan came to exist, it has tried to destabilize Afghanistan and make it as weak as possible so that it never get the idea to have its territory (its correct name is Pashtunistan) back.
    So Pakistan has always and will always help foes of Afghanistan. It not only brings military advantages but brings a lot of American Dollars, too.
    Now, the solution to the Afghan problem is to deal with Pakistan first. Beside that you must understand Afghans don’t like foreigners to kill their children and destroy their houses. This is exactly what the Taleban propagate. But if it was the Afghan Army itself then there will be any excuse for neither the Afghan people nor for the Taleban to say foreigners have occupied Afghanistan.
    Remember you in Switzerland can’t stand to have a couple minarets. How would you feel if foreign Muslim forces occupied your country?
    Unfortunately no one listens to what Afghans themselves say and the West ignores the facts about Pakistan although it knows that 95% of problems are generated there.

  63. 73 ahmed
    February 17, 2010 at 15:29

    remember the reaction after one of the Al-shabab leaders(aden hashi) was killed in somalia,it was beyond extreamism and brainwashing teens from usa and other euro countries to take there part in the fight against the west and the limping transitional govt which they called it (Jihad),actualy i dont think if milatary operations, capturing or killing any taliban will bring any sort of improvement in the midle east until fact is unveil,usa and its cronies must do it.

  64. 74 ms_cellaneous
    February 17, 2010 at 16:59

    Congratulations

    This is brilliant news!

    Now that they have him they should never let him go.

  65. 75 Imtiyaz
    February 18, 2010 at 06:46

    All are really very fool people beleiving in a very real propaganda.

    Reality is ISI(pak intelligence) is playing its cards vry successfully against CIA.

    Pak intelligence officials had fooled CIA by arresting those members of Afghan Taliban who wer approaching to NATO to surrender and give up arms.
    If PAK intelligence can arrest such No. 2 taliban leader thn why cant they arrest NO 1
    top leader. Reality is they knew vry well who is staying where.

    Again ISI played really a succesful strategy by securing their own assets(Omar, Haqqani, Hikmatyar) and arresting those elements who are tryng to surrender on their own terms.

  66. 76 Rustam
    February 18, 2010 at 08:02

    This is just another proof that Pakistan and its allies support extremist groups. I don’t think they will change their rules in this game so soon. Mullah Baradar and the likes of him are used in this game as pawns, sacrificed when demanded by interests.
    I am a pessimist in this case. It took the magnitude of 9/11 for the Taliban to be dismantled. It will take another such groundbreaking reason for Pakistan and its allies to change their positon towards Afghanistan or the region.
    This could be an important development if only it is the start of a process to stabilize Afghanistan and terminate extremist groups supported traditionally by Pakistan and this is too optimistic and naive an assumption.

  67. February 18, 2010 at 10:47

    Like others i have that significant question ringing in my head too “What is the mission?”
    One leader is always replaced by another and then what purpose will this serve?
    Has it won hearts? Probably yes- it depends on how extensively the media captures people’s imagination on what this capture can do.

    Importantly where does this put the “war against terror” in the whole context?

    Megha Bhagat
    India

  68. 78 JanB
    February 18, 2010 at 15:26

    We hear this one sentence all the time: “He’ll just be replaced by someone else and they’ll consider him to be a martyr.”

    That’s true to a degree: eventually someone else will fill the spot and hardcore supporters will consider the man to be a martyr. However, to most of the supporters and sympathizers it will be considered a sign of weakness (nobody wants to play for the losing team) and the new leader will likely be less experienced, weakening the organization. Finally, this sign of weakness may convince others (such as armed local tribes) to side against the Taliban.

  69. February 18, 2010 at 21:03

    We don’t know under what circumstances he was captured? Is there a deal behind it? Was he himself trying to make a deal and did his own kind split on him to be rid of him because they thought he was negotiating with the enemy?

    Who knows, but Afghanistan is lost for decades, maybe longer. You cant pull this country out of its pre- medieval poverty until it liberates and educates its women. These tribesmen Taliban or any other Warlords easch much the same as the other wont do that, so they are doomed, not because of feminism, but because no country can survive 21stC economics with half its population uneducated.

  70. 80 Subhash C Mehta
    February 19, 2010 at 14:33

    It may turn out to be a big deal, if his interrogation is handled efficiently and wisely, followed-up by properly planned and coordinated actions.

  71. February 20, 2010 at 09:07

    i think his capture is a big step in the restoration of peace in the middle east. in addition his millitants have also got a set back if sincerly they didn’t have prior notice of his capture.

  72. February 20, 2010 at 12:42

    Sun-Tzu, the ancient, chinese military strategist said ,” all warfare is based on deception”.

  73. 83 Peter of Calabar
    February 21, 2010 at 07:20

    There are many funny people about these days. There really are those who think the capture of an enemy leader don’t mean zilch. Crazy! How do these dingos then propose wars should be fought? Molly-coddle the enemy, kiss their corp commanders, bear-hug their arms-suppliers, or what?

    I don’t know what the world is coming to, but believe me – until hell freezes over – wars will be fought on this earth and the rules will little change. And whatever those rules will become, it will always mean a great deal if the command-structure of the enemy is taken out no matter how many times they are re-spawn.

    So my congrats go to the allied forces, please.

  74. 84 loudobservant
    February 22, 2010 at 01:09

    Mike in Seattle: tell this to Chenney,Rumsfeld and Bush,and, see if it sinks into their hard coconuts.
    Ibrahim in UK,It is the Occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan in the first place.Bush and Blair were probably thinking they would remain in power forever.!!But, little they knew:The old order changeth,yielding place to new,
    And God fulfills himself in many ways,
    Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.
    Well done Rob C. I think majority would follow suit, and in that case; what a horrible mess this poor world of ours would then be in !!


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