Monday, July 23, 2007

The problem with Pakistan. Back to the stone age.

"We were sent to provoke a fight, but it was essential that Mexico should commence it. It was very doubtful whether Congress would declare war; but if Mexico should attack our troops, the Executive could announce, 'Whereas, war exists by the acts of, etc.,' and prosecute the contest with vigor. Once initiated there were but few public men who would have the courage to oppose it. Experience proves that the man who obstructs a war in which his nation in engaged, no matter whether right or wrong, occupies no enviable place in life or history. Better for him, individually, to advocate 'war, pestilence, and famine,' than to act to obstructionist to a war already begun."

--- Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs (chapter IV, pg 30)

It looks like the advocates for "war, pestilence and famine" were out in full force on the Sunday yack shows yesterday. While he's supposedly trying to end one war in Iraq, Harry Reid is all for starting another one in Pakistan. Regarding al-Qaeda's safe haven in Pakistan's tribal areas on the Afghan border, Reid said on Face the Nation: "I don't think we should take anything off the table. Wherever we find these evil people, we should go get them."

Yes, escalating the war in Afghanistan by overtly launching attacks into Pakistan won't destabilize that rock of stability in South Asia at all. As if we don't have enough problems right now, let’s get tangled up in Pakistan's ethnic and religious gumbo. We've done such a great job of decoding Iraq's intricate tapestry of tribal and ethnic alliances, Pakistan should be a cake walk.

I'm all for going after the real al-Qaeda, the ones who attacked us on 9/11, but the strategy of taking pot shots from Predator Drones at mud huts in Pakistan where OBL may or may not be staying is not a winner. More than likely we'll just kill more civilians like we did in October of '06 when we had Ayman al-Zuwahiri in our sites. One really bad mistake involving scores of dead Pakistani women and children could bring Pervez Musharraf's teetering house of cards down on our heads.

Sending in the Special Forces is an equally rotten idea, although, we're already doing that so go 'war, pestilence and famine!'

Francis Townsend, W.'s Heitmat security adviser, kind of let the cat out of the bag saying, "Just because we don't talk about things publicly doesn't mean we're not doing things you talk about."

The Times of India reports today:

"American air power, special forces, and intelligence operatives have begun operating inside pakistan’s [sic]western borders in their hunt for fleeing al-qaeda fighters, extending the war on terrorism . . . washington has forced the musharraf regime to open its border territory for u.s scrutiny. . . the secret deal will allow u.s. troops to hunt the fighters on the ground and fire on them from the air, but it will also be on a case-by-case basis, with the united states required to ask permission each time . . . pakistan had begun its 'cooperation' in the war on terrorism by offering intelligence and over-flight facilities to the u.s, but rejecting operations by ground forces or attacks on its territories . . . it now appears all bets are off as washington gradually expands its sphere of action into pakistani territory."

And if this pussy footing around with Musharraf doesn't work, ANI reports:

"American intelligence officials have said that should a resurgent al-Qaeda think of attacking the United States again after a gap of six years from Pakistan's volatile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), the Bush Administration would not hesitate to move in troops to 'flatten' the area."

Back to the stone age, again.

How about helping the Pakistanis get their democratic house in order by talking to Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif. A huge turn out for the return of democratic rule in Pakistan would be a lot more effective than sending more bombs.


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