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Bin Laden reacts to Obama's speech

December 12, 2009|By LLOYD "PETE" WATERS

President Obama has just delivered his speech to the nation. Thirty thousand additional troops will be sent to Afghanistan to target the Taliban insurgency and secure key population centers. Five thousand of these new troops will be used to train the Afghan military.

The president continued, "We will begin withdrawing American troops from Afghanistan in 2011."

Meanwhile in a dark Pakistani cave, another conversation was occurring.

"Assalamu Alaykum. Brother bin Laden, have you heard the latest news? In America, President Obama said that he was sending additional troops to Afghanistan to fight the Taliban. He also said that American troops would soon be going home ... sometime in 2011."

"Wa alaikum assalaam. It appears, from his words, that he has created a serious contradiction," bin Laden said. "How can he support the military activities by committing more troops in 2009 and withdrawing them in 2011?"

Obama's words will certainly create some confusion and mistrust within the current Afghan government, and even in his own country.

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Bin Laden was very quiet for a moment and then directed that his lieutenants be gathered so he might disseminate an updated strategy to confront the plans being broadcast from across the great sea.

Bin Laden was very deliberate as he dissected the young American president's message to the world.

"It is very good that we know the American strategy," bin Laden shared with his lieutenants.

The cave's dampness was warmed by the glowing fires and even the shadows on the walls seemed to rejoice in the upbeat mood of their leader.

Now is the time to develop a new plan that will benefit our side and destroy the American interests in Afghanistan. Our strategy will be simple.

We will discredit the Karzai government and use those issues of corruption and fraudulent voting practices as liabilities to put a fissure between Karzai and the people.

In the meantime, we will increase our attacks within Pakistan. This will become yet another problem for America.

Since it appears that President Obama has committed his country's support only until 2011, this will make the government of Afghanistan leery.

They will look back to history and remember Vietnam. The present Afghan government will fall in the same manner as South Vietnam.

As the Americans are withdrawing their troops in 2011, we will only "then" begin a new military offensive in Afghanistan, which will add to President Obama's woes.

Americans will become more critical of their government, and we will beat them psychologically and then our military victory will follow.

"We have the resolve, they do not," bin Laden concluded. "We are just like the North Vietnamese and we, in the end, will prevail."

America's commitment in Vietnam did not last very long, and its commitment in Afghanistan will be short-lived as well.

Bin Laden was becoming more confident.

He dusted off his favorite book, "The Art of War" by the great Chinese General Sun Tzu. He remembered a favorite thought of the leader - "the supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting."

Bin Laden was familiar with Sun Tzu's essays, which conveyed many messages, and one of those lessons was that "numbers alone confer no advantage." Bin Laden wondered if President Obama had ever read the book.

Relying on sheer military power to prevail in a country with the personality and culture of Afghanistan would be a huge mistake for President Obama. It was the same for the Russians.

Sun Tzu, and bin Laden the student, knew that military victory resulted from the intense study and analysis of the enemy. He studied the speech and the words of the young president over and over.

As he watched and read the many news reports coming from America, he could see the increasing dissension of its citizens.

He was pleased that a young, inexperienced president was directing the war.

Bin Laden continued to read the words of Sun Tzu.

"Victory is the main object in war. If this is long delayed, weapons are blunted and morale depressed." America lost in Vietnam because of this very reason.

"The same will happen in Afghanistan," bin Laden said.

His cave and home seemed warmer than ever.

Lloyd "Pete" Waters is a Sharpsburg resident who writes for The Herald-Mail

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