Commentary: Missing pieces
By ARNAUD DE BORCHGRAVE
UPI Editor at Large
WASHINGTON, June 17 (UPI) — The late Stephen Ambrose, the noted author of World War II heroics, put it best of all when he said, “God gave man a penis and a brain but only enough blood to run one at a time.”
In a culture that calls Southern California’s adult film industry “the other Hollywood,” the best and the brightest of porn stars gather in Las Vegas once a year for Porno Oscars night.
So it was hardly surprising that U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., thought he could put his brain on hold while he Twittered his proudest achievement. By the time the brain kicked in again, he was toast. But the electronic media decided to put the world on hold to report the battle of the bulge 24/7 for a week.
Some of the less important developments:
— “It’s time for us to bring our troops home as soon as we possibly can, consistent with the word that comes from our generals that we can hand the country over to the Taliban military in a way that they’re able to defend themselves,” said GOP front-runner Mitt Romney at the Republican primary debate in New Hampshire.
— There wasn’t enough time for Taliban leader Mullah Omar to get too excited as Romney quickly corrected himself: “Excuse me, the Afghan military … That’s an important distinction. But not for a 65 percent majority of Americans who simply want out.
— Not one of the seven GOP candidates advocated fighting the Afghan war to a successful conclusion.
— In fact, no one made the case for success in Afghanistan .
— And nary a word for the ill-fated NATO campaign to topple Moammar Gadhafi from his underground throne, protected by African “mercs” paid from the $70 billion he had stashed underground for a rainy day.
— A decade of war in Afghanistan and eight years in Iraq have taken their toll. Limbering up as he prepared to announce his candidacy for the GOP next week, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, recently back from a tour as ambassador to China, asked, “When you look at Afghanistan, can we hang out until 2014 and beyond? You can if you’re willing to pay another quarter of a trillion dollars to do so and an (unknown) cost in human lives.” Huntsman is among “the majority of the American people who want to be out of there as quickly as we can get it done.” Music to Mullah Omar and Pakistan .
— Pakistan “is approaching a perfect storm of threats, including rising extremism, a failing economy, chronic underdevelopment and an intensifying war, resulting in unprecedented political, economic and social turmoil,” says a report by pre-eminent strategic thinker Anthony H. Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
— Rebellious Pakistani generals isolated Army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Pakistan ‘s most powerful figure, in the dunce’s corner for his close working relationship with the United States . The U.S. Navy SEAL raid that captured and killed al-Qaida supremo Osama Bin Laden, a short walk from Pakistan ‘s West Point , embarrassed and humiliated army leadership.
— “These failures in Pakistani governance and development interact with a growing wave of Sunni-Deobandi radicalization that manifests in anti-state violence and sectarian intolerance,” says the CSIS report. “A significant resulting uptick in terrorist violence has been accompanied by a gradual perversion of the Pakistani social fabric, intimidating secularism to the benefit of militant Islam.”
— Pakistan ‘s Fazle-ur-Rahman Khalil is a notorious extremist religious leader who heads Harakat-ul- Mujahedin and lives quite openly in a suburb of Islamabad . He was bin Laden’s spiritual adviser before Osama disappeared after the battle of Tora Bora in mid-December 2001. Khalil was arrested twice and twice released on orders from Inter-Services Intelligence, Pakistan ‘s all-powerful intelligence apparatus. He is still a key relay point for messages to different guerrilla groups.
— At a nightlong meeting with some of Pakistan ‘s politico-religious leaders, Maulana Hamid ul-Haq, a deputy director of the “University for the Education of Truth,” told this reporter that “Oscar awards for porn stars in Hollywood as one of the most repulsive aspects of American culture.” I responded this was a figment of his imagination. I now stand corrected.
— In Iraq , where the world’s largest U.S. Embassy has a staff 1,400 strong, which made sense when the United States was in charge and today simply multiplies targets of opportunity for terrorists, a 400-member anti-government militia brazenly occupied the Interior Ministry — the same group that assassinated an undisclosed number of government officials to deter others from serving. More than a year after national elections, several Cabinet ministers, including defense, are yet to be appointed.
— Palestinians are caught up in the new empowerment of the Arab individual — and their first demand is independence with a U.N. resolution that will garner all the world’s votes — minus the United States and Israel . Between now and then and also after the vote, thousands of civilians will be taking it in turn to demonstrate their demands up and down the length of the 440-mile-long wall of separation, which jigsaws in and out of the West Bank for 85 percent of its length.
— The June 16th issue of Nature reveals for the first time that, “Now we know black holes are there and they are growing like gangbusters.” Astronomers pointed NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory at a strip of sky for six weeks, searching for black holes among 200 galaxies distant enough to represent the universe when it was between 800 million and 950 million years old. They found “throngs of hyperactive black holes,” that inhabit the center of large galaxies, including one in our own Milky Way.
Weiner’s gone — and news is back.