Saturday, May 30, 2009

Petraeus Says Bush Committed War Crimes And Warns About The Dangerously Deteriorating Situation In Pakistan


There was a lot of talk yesterday about General David Petraeus' jolting appearance-- jolting for Republicans-- on Fox News. The Fox talking head was apparently too shocked to put up that normal 'ole Fox anti-reality fight. He reiterated that its important for American national defense that the Guantánamo concentration camp be closed down. He told her that he "oversee[s] a region in which the existence of Gitmo has been used by the enemy against us. We have not been without missteps or mistakes [systematic torture] in our activity since 9/11 and again Gitmo is a lingering reminder for the use of some in that regard."

When she did try to come back with the standard, intellectually dishonest right-wing talking points, he swatted her away like a slow-moving fly. "I don't think we should be afraid of our values we're fighting for, what we stand for. And so indeed we need to embrace them and we need to operationalize them in how we carry out what it is we're doing on the battlefield and everywhere else. So one has to have some faith, I think, in the legal system. One has to have a degree of confidence that individuals that have conducted such extremist activity would indeed be found guilty in our courts of law."

I'm sure Limbaugh and Rove are plotting their response now. After all, his acknowledgment that we violated that Geneva Conventions-- and committed war crimes-- lead right to prison cells for Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush. If only! Actually, I was more interested in his assessment of the highly volatile situation in Pakistan-- a dysfunctional nation of 165,900,000 mostly impoverished and angry people, which has been crippled by mind boggling endemic corruption. During the Bush Regime, over 12 billion American tax dollars flooded into the country. Most of the money disappeared down the rathole of corruption and most of the rest of it went in developing a nuclear arsenal which is useless in the guerilla war the country is now mired in. On top of all that, Petraeus warned that anti-American sentiment there is growing. Pakistanis are angered, he wrote, by “cross-border operations and reported drone strikes” that they believe “cause unacceptable civilian casualties."

In today's Wall Street Journal former CIA agent and a top advisor on Pakistan to both Clinton and Obama, Bruce Riedel takes a look at the relationship between this savage hellhole and the U.S. through the prism of Pakistan's nuclear capabilities. The background: intense fighting in the Swat Valley just a couple hours from the capital; 2 million internal refugees; rebels bombing cities across the country (Lahore and Peshawar this week); a disgruntled populace; and a failing, hollowed-out political system ready to fall apart completely. And between 60 and 100 nuclear weapons which may or may not be secure.
Today the arsenal is under the control of its military leaders; it is well protected, concealed and dispersed. But if the country fell into the wrong hands-- those of the militant Islamic jihadists and al Qaeda-- so would the arsenal. The U.S. and the rest of the world would face the worst security threat since the end of the Cold War. Containing this nuclear threat would be difficult, if not impossible.

The danger of Pakistan becoming a jihadist state is real. Just before her murder in December 2007, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto said she believed al Qaeda would be marching on Islamabad in two years. A jihadist Pakistan would be a global game changer-- the world’s second largest Muslim state with nuclear weapons breeding a hothouse of terrorism.

Riedel has no answers that make the slightest bit of sense. His optimism is unfounded foolishness and I fear he's infected Obama with it as well. He's correct when he points out that "U.S. policy toward Pakistan in general and the Pakistani bomb in particular has oscillated wildly over the past 30 years between blind enchantment and unsuccessful isolation. President Ronald Reagan turned a blind eye to the program in the 1980s because he needed General Zia and the ISI to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. President George H. W. Bush sanctioned Pakistan for building the bomb in 1990, and Mr. Clinton added more sanctions after the 1998 tests [both having been forced to do so by Congress]. President George W. Bush lifted the sanctions after 9/11 and poured billions into the Pakistani army, much of it unaccounted for, in return for Pakistan’s help again in Afghanistan."

The rest is just pie-in-the-sky woolly headed nonsense that ends in tripling "aid" to Pakistan-- more and more billions of dollars annually that do nothing whatsoever to secure the country or make life more bearable for its pissed off population. The U.S. can't be the policeman of the world.

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At 5:57 AM, Anonymous Balakirev said...

What I want to know is what's caused Petraeus, one of the most canny of insiders--a man who tacks effortlessly and brilliantly to the wind, changing opinions seemingly overnight--to suddenly take the stand on these points? In other words, what does General Mendacity stand to gain from this?

At 8:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So tell me, what was it that the terrorists used prior to Bush and 9/11 to rally the troops?

What was it that Clinton did that was so horrible as to make them hate us and want to kill us?

Inquiring minds want to know?

At 8:48 AM, Anonymous Bil said...

Balakirev, maybe it is just as easy for him to run as a Democrat as a Republican?

At 8:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, they close Gitmo and then Obama opens a new detention center at Bagram Airbase and declares the right to detain prisoners indefinitely which you all claimed was a violation of our values and constitution when Bush declared the same thing.

So I assume that the Taliban & al qaeda are not going to use that as a recruiting tool because Obama is running it?

No, they will be pleased that our soldiers are still out there killing them as long as Obama shuts down Gitmo & opens another one.

Check out this report that Lib sent me about Bush torture at Gitmo he did not realize that it has been updated to say that torture has not only continued since Obama took office it has actually been intensified.

I bet you will believe the Bush part but discount the Obama part won't you?

At 9:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Savage Hellhole"?
Interesting words to use.. will go down well!!

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