“Eerily Similar”: In 1999-2000, It was Afghanistan. Today, Pakistan

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A Hill staffer correspondent comments, in response to this:

Read your post. It strikes me that we are in an eerily similar situation to 1999 and 2000.

— The United States is fully aware of Al Qaeda training camps operating openly, with links to cells and operatives in Western Europe elsewhere;

— Our government is picking up increasing signs of communications, movements of money, and other signals indicative of planning for future attacks;

— An internal debate is occurring over whether to take action against those training camps, including military strikes; while those who are forward leaning are pushing for more aggressive risk-taking, others are cognizant of not wanting to violate sovereign territory and risking large civilian casualties;

In 1999 and 2000, we were talking about Afghanistan. Today, it is Pakistan. The Clinton Administration was savaged after 9/11 for “treating terrorism as law enforcement”, excessively taking into account the diplomatic sensitivities of other nations, and too much regard for civilian lives when we could have killed the bad guys with a missile strike. The Bushies said that would not happen on their watch.

So why is it happening again? At least the Clintonites did not have “the lessons of 9/11” as a backdrop.

He adds, “Every Pakistan expert I know is confident that, if Musharraf were overthrown or assassinated, he would be replaced by another military man with a similar pro-Western bent. The Islamicists make a lot of noise, but do not have any real power base. It does look like the Shah situation where the U.S. is left holding the bag.”

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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