The Taliban are gearing up for their "spring offensive" in Afghanistan.Cheney and Bush continue to be led by the nose by bin Laden's declaration that Iraq is the central front in the war:
Bloodthirsty propaganda is everywhere in northern Pakistan near the border with Afghanistan. Virtually every CD salesman in Peshawar is selling the latest films released by the Taliban leader. "Oh, you want the Dadullah tapes," says one. "They're very popular right now." ... He says Pakistani police already causes him enough trouble when they find terror DVDs in the suitcases of journalists at the airport.
The films herald a bloody spring in Afghanistan, one in which Western troops will face a newly strengthened Taliban army under a re-organized leadership. Well armed and better logistically organized than ever before, the Taliban are preparing for their fight against the hated NATO troops, whose alliance has recently shown signs of internal division.
Western intelligence agencies believe the Taliban have used the winter to thoroughly tighten their organizational structure.
Almost all the DVDs feature footage of the brutal execution of alleged CIA spies. The "helpers of the infidels" have their heads removed while still alive. About 250 such murders have occurred in recent months.
Mullah Abdullah has been a genuine nightmare for the foreign troops and intelligence agencies in Afghanistan for quite some time. The videos are analyzed with a meticulousness that matches their menacing character. "We know from experience that many of his pronouncements are not propaganda," says one Western anti-terrorism agent. "He's carried out most of his threats." Dadullah already threatened a wave of suicide attacks in 2006. No one took him seriously at first. By the end of 2006, the CIA's statisticians counted about 139 such attacks throughout the country -- five times more than in 2005. 2007 could be even bloodier.
NATO expects a rough year
Experts on the conflict believe the new Taliban tactic will cause serious difficulties for NATO. "If suicide attacks are carried out all over the country, it becomes difficult to decide on how to allocate troops," Pakistani Taliban expert Ahmed Rashid points out. NATO could quickly be demoralized, like the United States in Iraq, since it is already internally divided and disposes of no military reserves, much less a rapid reaction force. "2007 will be a very serious year," Rashid predicts.
Some Politicians See Iraq As A Diversion From The War On Terror – But Osama Bin Laden Has Proclaimed That The "Third World War … Is Raging" In Iraq. Ayman al Zawahiri has called the struggle in Iraq "the place for the greatest battle," and terrorists from Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and elsewhere have come to Iraq to fight democracy.Are they falling for a sucker's bet? Will America have troops ready to respond if the threatened summer offensive occurs? Or will they have been spent on the surge in Iraq?