Monday, November 19, 2007



In the past I've written somewhat disparagingly about Pakistan with reference to my two trips to that country which I found so thoroughly unpleasant. Today I'll save my disparagement for George Bush and his bumbling, criminally incompetent regime. The highpoint of Bush's Pakistan policy was when he was asked in 2000 to name that country's president and he looked like a deer in the headlights; completely clueless. His regime has become no less clueless even though they now know very well the name of the Pakistani dictator. They have been dealing with the Pakistanis not just paternalistically, but as though they were just some bumpkins from western Nebraska. Bush, who has regretted most of his assessments of the foreign leaders who have effortlessly pulled the wool over his empty eyes, once called Pakistan's military dictator "a man of courage and vision." (Apparently Bush was impressed by Musharraf's charm, that he speaks English with more fluency than Bush himself, and that he made vague promises about democracy and other nonsense his advisors told him Bush was eager to hear.)
“He didn’t ask the hard questions, and frankly, neither did the people working for him,” said Husain Haqqani, an expert on Pakistan at Boston University, who has advised two previous Pakistani prime ministers, Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto. “They bought the PR image of Musharraf as the reasonable general. Bush bought the line-- hook, line and sinker.”

Bush chit-chatted with Musharraf and came away believing he was a democratic reformer instead of a savvy and brutal dictator. Their relationship began right after 9/11 when an aide showed Bush a map of Asia and pointed out the proximity of Pakistan and Afghanistan, collectively, al-Qaedastan. Bush demanded Musharraf's pledge of assistance and Musharraf told Bush, who he views as a kind of pathetic clown, how many billions of dollars it would cost. Bush happily paid, Musharraf happily pledged... and that was the end of that. I guess that's unfair. There were a couple of times when it was expedient for Musharraf to do something that seemed to also help the childish Bushies. But just a couple.

The management of the crisis around A.Q. Khan, father of Pakistan's nuclear program and a hero to those Bush blithely refers to as "the terrorists," was Bush's first disastrous blunder with Pakistan. Yesterday's Washington Post glosses over the abysmal handling of Khan by the Bush Regime. "Though Musharraf had a mixed record in delivering on promises to Bush, such as extracting information about the nuclear network operated by Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan, the president appeared to cut him a break on the theory that he was doing the best he could in an extremely dangerous and complicated political environment, the officials said." Musharraf's contempt for Bush grew by leaps and bounds as he correctly assessed that Bush is a weak and cowardly man, who was always eager to be given a face-saving, albeit meaningless, way out of any confrontation.

I was watching the Daily Show when Stewart asked Musharraf who would win an election for mayor of Karachi, Pakistan's most "westernized" city-- bin-Laden or Bush. He said they would both lose, "miserably."
Meanwhile, American taxpayers have been rooked for another $100 million, shoveled by the Bush Regime into keeping Pakistan's nuclear arsenal safe.
But Pakistan still refuses to allow US experts into its nuclear sites, the newspaper said, revealing information it first obtained three years ago but, due to a White House request, had not reported until now.

Headlines today around the world, though not in America, point out that when Bush sent a thuggish, supposedly scary deputy secretary of state, John Negroponte, to demand Musharraf "restore Democracy" (as though it ever existed in Pakistan to begin with; I mean Musharraf's military coup in 1999 was far more openly contemptuous of democracy than Bush's judicial coup the following year), Musharraf was defiant and stared him down.

Instead, Monday found Americans reading about how the Bush Regime, not having learned from past mistakes about arming our sworn enemies to fight other sworn enemies-- meet Osama bin-Laden-- is now planning to bribe and arm Pakistani tribesmen to "fight" al-Qaeda.
Ever since Sept. 11, 2001, the Bush administration has used billions of dollars of aid and heavy political pressure to encourage Gen. Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan’s president, to carry out more aggressive military operations against militants in the tribal areas. But the sporadic military campaigns Pakistan has conducted there have had little success, resulting instead in heavy losses among Pakistani Army units and anger among local residents who have for decades been mostly independent from Islamabad’s control.

American officials acknowledge those failures, but say that the renewed emphasis on recruiting allies among the tribal militias and investing more heavily in the Frontier Corps reflect the depth of American concern about the need to address Islamic extremism in Pakistan. The new counterinsurgency campaign is also a vivid example of the American military’s asserting a bigger role in a part of Pakistan that the Central Intelligence Agency has overseen almost exclusively since Sept. 11.

...The training of the Frontier Corps remains a concern for some. NATO
and American soldiers in Afghanistan have often blamed the Frontier Corps for aiding and abetting Taliban insurgents mounting cross-border attacks. “It’s going to take years to turn them into a professional force,” said one Western military official. “Is it worth it now?”

At the same time, military officials fear the assistance to develop a counterinsurgency force is too little, too late. “The advantage is already in the enemy hands,” one Western military official said. Local Taliban and foreign fighters in Waziristan have managed to regroup since negotiating peace deals with the government in 2005 and 2006, and last year they were able to fight all through the winter, he said. Militants have now emerged in force in the Swat area, a scenic tourist region that is a considerable distance inland from the tribal areas on the border.

When is enough enough? When will the constitutional mechanisms the Founding Fathers put into place specifically to solve the problems caused by someone like George Bush getting into the White House, be allowed to go into effect? How much blame will be due Nancy Pelosi for the rest of the disasters Bush visits on this country because of her unwillingness to do her duty and allow impeachment to for forward?


America's weak and imbecilic excuse for a president, George Bush, was stamping his feet in support of Pervez Musharraf today. But who exactly cares what Bush says about this disastrous situation the two of them created? Pakistanis know that the brutal military dictator who rules their country with an iron fist isn't, as Bush called him, truly "somebody who believes in democracy." Like Bush, Musharraf hates and fears democracy. Bush has been clear that he wishes he could "suspend" it the way Musharraf has. But with his approval ratings down in the mid-to-low 20's his time for that has passed. Americans-- though not the creatures of the Beltway apparently-- finally know what's up.

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At 10:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's right. The triangulation that Pelosi and Reid are pushing in congress, in order to improve their majorities, is backfiring.

By not ending the war by defunding, they own part of it. They also show themselves to be inefective.

DiFi will retire. We may see Pelosi and Reid take the hint, or suffer tremendous loss of support from the voters. In another year or two, they will be fighting to keep their jobs.

At 12:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"criminally incompetent regime"

Surely you mean "criminal AND incompetent".


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