Monday, March 06, 2006

By the sword

Bill Roggio has a fascinating post entitled The Rise of Talibanstan, which illustrates the truism that states which use terrorist organizations as proxies eventually wind up destabilizing themselves.

The Taliban and al-Qaeda provided an embarrassing scene for Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf as President George Bush visited the country last week. Eager to demonstrate Pakistan’s commitment to fighting the Taliban and al-Qaeda ... the Pakistani military launched an offensive against a terrorist camp in Danda Saidgai, North Waziristan. The Islamists responded by murdering a U.S. diplomat in a suicide strike outside the U.S. Consulate in Karachi, as well as launching a counteroffensive against the seat of government in Miranshah, North Waziristan.

Despite the Pakistani military’s boasting about retaking the city and inflicting high casualty rates on Taliban forces, the military essentially lost control of Miranshah. The Taliban is openly is flaunting power in Waziristan, and boldly amassed hundreds of fighters to strike at one of the few government strongholds in the region.

The resurgence of the Taliban is often credited to their resilience in Afghanistan, however the truth is the Taliban is not very popular within Afghanistan proper. The Taliban’s power is derived from Pakistan, as it always has since its inception in the early 1990s. The fighting in Afghanistan is largely being fueled in Pakistan’s lawless border region, and Pakistan has proven unable to establish government control five years after the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Daniel Byman, in his book Deadly Connections : States that Sponsor Terrorism, noted that state sponsors have always been aware of the danger of biteback. For example, Syria consciously strove to limit the power and influence of each of its terrorist proxies in Lebanon and Palestine, sometimes setting one against the other in order to prevent any single one from becoming a threat to Damascus. But for Pakistan, the temptation to extend it's influence westward grew too great; it nurtured the Taliban as its chosen instrument without anticipating the danger to itself. Excerpts are from Byman's book from page 195 onwards.

The extent of Pakistan's role in the Taliban's creation and initial successes remains unclear, but as the movement gained strength it increasingly became Islamabad's favored paoxy. Pakistan's military and intelligence service provided arms, ammunition, supplies for combat, financial aid, and training. Pakistan also helped recruit fighters for the Taliban, often working with domestic religious associations.  ...

Support for the Taliban went far beyond official government circles and included major political parties, religious networks, and many ordinary Pakistanis. ... Larry Goodson estimates that Pakistanis comprised one quarter of the Taliban's forces ... The JUI (Jamiat-e Ulema Islam) ... established religious schools that gave birth to and natured the Taliban and shaped its ideology. Parties like the JUI did not distinguish between Kashmir, Pakistan, and Afghanistan when pursuing their ambitions. Over time, these parties and privately run schools provided much of the manpower for the Taliban ... the "madrasa network" ... set "thousands" of recruits ...

The Taliban also weakened the Pakistani state ... encouraged both Pashtun nationalism and Islamic extremism in Pakistan itself, further fraying an already weak social fabric.

The Taliban's eviction from Afghanistan in 2003 had the effect of turning the Taliban's aggressive ferocity back on Pakistan itself. Although the war on terror is often described with the United States and its allies on one side there is in fact intense and armed competition for supremacy within the "terrorist" side. For example, Fatah and Hamas are contending for supremcy within the Palestinian Authority; and various factions both Shi'ite and Sunni are at each other's throats in Iraq. Wars normally end in a new legitimacy codified in peace treaties and constitutional arrangements. But terrorism, however perfect it may be as an instrument of war is the worst possible vehicle upon which to construct a peace. Countries which use terrorism as a primary weapon will be trapped in it.

96 Comments:

Blogger Sean Hurly said...

You would think that with those fighter jets we gave to them, instead of India, that maybe they should be doing a lot more bombings than that! I think maybe if they can be dead on accurate while Bush is there, maybe he should be visiting about every other day.

3/06/2006 09:49:00 PM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

Pakistan is a failed state because of the way it was born. Any state that has to be partitioned from its origins because of the inherent Islamic superiority of its inhabitants is doomed from the first breath...

All we can do is hope it doesn't suck too much along with it when it goes.

One thing this proves: good thing the South lost our Civil War or we'd look like Pakistan today: backward, suspicious, and super-sensitive. Easy place to get people to mob and riot...and chaotic with a miserable outlook for its hordes of unemployed. There but for the grace of God...

Meanwhile, India is pulling ahead of everyone in the region and will eventually outstrip China: when the CP (Communist Party) is anchored to a policy that censors PCs, you know they're running in the race with a big, fat lead weight tied to its foot.

Pakistan will far further and further behind...because it's dragging all those theocratic, supremacist groups on its coat tails.

Well, they got their partition. A good lesson in what happens when you get what you pay for...

3/06/2006 10:03:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Agree w/Lady D~ about it's crippled origin.
The mystery is what we will do when the inevitable happens and the General is no longer there, but the Nuke Missiles are.

Have those F-16's Aloysius refers to been delivered yet?

3/06/2006 10:26:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Whys is there not more concern in China about Pakistan?

3/06/2006 10:57:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Talibanistan and Pashtunistan are much the same place, at least on the Pak side of the Durand Line. Zawahiri married into the Mohmand tribe of Pashtuns. Many of the Arabs, Chechens and Uzbeks who came to Afghanistan to fight the Soviets married in to the tribes. Osama bin Laden married one of his sons to Mullah Omar's daughter.

The Pastuns owe all these Extra Territorial Elements melmastia.

The Pashtuns on the Afghan side are tired of the Taliban. To the Pashtuns in the F.A.T.A., the talibs and mad mullahs are just carrying on an old tradition.

3/06/2006 11:34:00 PM  
Blogger Sparks fly said...

Hey, what's happinin?

It is wet here in L.A.

From the Bible; the book of Genesis, chapter 16, verses 11&12.

11) And the Angel of the Lord said unto her, Behold, thou (Hagar) art with child, and shall bear a son, and shall call his name Ishmael; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction.

12) And he will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.

This is why the Bible is famous even among non-believers. Somehow the Bible knows who all these people are and tells it bluntly so it is easy to understand.

Hey, Dude! Maybe there is a God!

The plain truth of this Bible verse is witnessed every day in almost every newspaper and TV news program etc. etc over and over again; especially this latest post. That's the way these people are. Who wants to live with them? I for one would be more comfortable if we asked them politely to leave this country; and then insisted.

This country only works with Christianity providing a solid Bible based foundation for it to stand on.

And the Bible stands on the book of Genesis; the book of beginnings.

The six days of creation are the foundation of Genesis and all that makes America free.

Why do the Evolutionists think that something is missing?

Satan is the Father of the religion of evolution. Lies are his native tongue. It is a secular, evolution believing press in this country that is siding with the Islamists against America and against George Bush and his administration.

The Bible allows you to keep track of who all the players are in the world today. Interesting, the Bible was completed about two thousand years ago. I wonder who wrote it.

God bless y'all.

3/06/2006 11:40:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Where the Taliban still rule - Waziristan

3/06/2006 11:48:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

The Taliban's bloody foothold in Pakistan

3/06/2006 11:58:00 PM  
Blogger Jhn1 said...

Well, part of the problem is the current administration's absolute refusal to demonize even the extreme factions of our enemies.
Bin Ladin "the Vile"
Al-Queda practices Human Sacrifice. (see berg and Pearle videos)
All the supporters of such are as part of the same tribes, and Mohammed himself performed genocide on the tribes practicing human sacrifice during his own lifetime. IIRC, it was writen that every man, woman, child, and infant was irredeemably soiled by Human sacrifice.
Pally terrorosts bragging about drinking Jews blood, should be identified as cannabals. If the Islamists want to glorify them as martyrs, then we should be identifying those want to glorify Pally cannabals accordingly.

We are losing the propaganda wars by a stubborn refusal to "play the game"
One of the US lottery programs has a jingle about "you can't win if you don't play". Those supporting Western Civilization are refusing to play, at the same time those wanting to end it are playing the game for their very lives and souls.
The whistle has blown and the "game" is on, whether we lay in the grass behind the starting line or participate.

3/07/2006 01:14:00 AM  
Blogger Jhn1 said...

sorry for the mis-spellings. it is late and I am calling it a night.

3/07/2006 01:15:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Don't miss all the pictures in cannoneer's 11:58 PM link:
Memories of what a sweet and civilized lot those guys are.

Reminded again that there could be few targets on earth better suited to massive fuel-air weapons.
Just hope we have the sense to use them before it's too late to avoid more avoidable damage to the civilized world.

3/07/2006 01:16:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Al Qaeda Sees Resurgence in Pakistani Tribal Areas
Videotape Shows Terror Network Actively Recruiting, Plotting Attacks

3/07/2006 01:23:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Cannoneer links to a Gutenberg e-book by Churchill you can download:
---
"Every influence, every motive, that provokes the spirit of murder among men, impels these mountaineers to deeds of treachery and violence.
The strong aboriginal propensity to kill, inherit in all human beings, has in these valleys been preserved in unexampled strength and vigour.
That religion, which above all others was founded and propagated by the sword--the tenets and principles of which are instinct with incentives
to slaughter and which in three continents has produced fighting breeds of men--stimulates a wild and merciless fanaticism.

The love of plunder, always a characteristic of hill tribes, is fostered by the spectacle of
opulence and luxury which, to their eyes, the cities and plains of the south display.
A code of honour not less punctilious than that of old Spain, is supported by vendettas as implacable as those of Corsica.
---
...These are but a few instances; but they may suffice to reveal a state of mental development at which civilisation hardly knows whether to laugh or weep...
---
Their superstition exposes them to the rapacity and tyranny of a numerous priesthood--"Mullahs," "Sahibzadas," "Akhundzadas," "Fakirs,"
--and a host of wandering Talib-ul-ilms, who correspond with the theological students in Turkey, and live free at the expense of the people.
More than this, they enjoy a sort of "droit du seigneur,"
and no man's wife or daughter is safe from them.

Of some of their manners and morals it is impossible to write.
As Macaulay has said of Wycherley's plays, "they are protected against the critics as a skunk is protected
against the hunters."
They are "safe, because they are too filthy to handle, and too noisome even to approach."

3/07/2006 02:10:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Among the hundreds of recruits at a military parade last week stood Hassan Gul, 25, who happily admitted that he had previously fought under the Taliban.

"I like to fight for everyone," he said with a smile.
"Whichever government comes along, I will serve with it.
"

3/07/2006 03:19:00 AM  
Blogger Cybrludite said...

A real Louie Renault, that one...

3/07/2006 03:25:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Marxist ideology split Korea North and South, then later Vietnam. While the Vietnam conflict was resolved with the ascendancy of the Ho Chi Min government, Korea remains split to this day.

If Lebanon is the prime example of factionalization within a state then the Balkans has been the poster child of regional destabilization.

Political, ethnic, and religious identity are the forces that draw together nations and they are the forces that pull nations apart when those nations are founded on less cohesive principles.

Marxism provided the organizing principles of state for North Korea and Viet Nam, ethnic identification for the Balkans, religion for the Taliban, but perhaps the strongest organizing principle and threat to national unity in the Middle East is tribal identity.

Rivalry can be exploited to create instability amongst tribes but a nation can never expect to gain the loyalty of one at the expense of the other. In part, geography and the reach of civilization will determine if tribes can be made a part of a national identity.

The reach of Iran’s multi-tiered totalitarian state within the boundaries of its geography enables it to spawn non-state actors while being able to maintain plausible deniability and resistance to blowback. Pakistan has dabbled with the same experiment and has failed because its ideology of state is not as strong as the tribes that it seeks to organize and its civilizing reach cannot penetrate the geography nor the hearts and minds of its tribal inhabitants.

3/07/2006 04:06:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

W
For example, Fatah and Hamas are contending for supremcy within the Palestinian Authority; and various factions both Shi'ite and Sunni are at each other's throats in Iraq. Wars normally end in a new legitimacy codified in peace treaties and constitutional arrangements.

Wars normally end that way in the West.

In Arab culture, it's me against my brothers, my family against my cousins, our line against the tribe, our tribe against...

Without end. Or at least, a very sorry end.

ADE

3/07/2006 04:09:00 AM  
Blogger ledger said...

The Foy killing is just another example of failure to use all of our strengths to attack the enemy.

Nobody just backs an explosive laden car into a US diplomat's vehicles and self-explodes without thorough planning. This is a high level activity.

We should focus on the enemy as if it were a state sponsored Criminal Gang. We should neutralize the "godfathers" and squeeze the "family."

In this case, it means squeezing the sponsors who finance the "godfathers."

Wetchard has identified the soft-spot of enemy and now it's time to hit it.

"Wars [are] normally end in a new legitimacy codified in peace treaties But terrorism... is the worst possible vehicle upon which to construct a peace. Countries which use terrorism as a primary weapon will be trapped in it."

Basically, the "gang" is going after Pakistan and its leader Musharraf. They are trying to snuff him out.

He is probably having a hard time holding on. Some of his inner- circle are infiltrated.

That is where we need "Humit" and cooperation from locals. And, I would guess it will be a brutal dirty fight.

Let examine the killing of US Diplomat David Foy:

'Timing'

'"Pakistani officials said the bombing could have been timed for Bush's two-day visit. "All international media are eyeing Pakistan at this time, and terrorists are using this to defame Pakistan and Muslims," said Ishratul Ibab, the provincial governor.

'The attacker was driving on a road that leads to the consulate but a paramilitary guard signaled him to stop at a checkpoint, said Niaz Sadiqui, the provincial police chief. The bomber then saw the American official's car and rammed into it 65 feet from the U.S. Consulate's gate, igniting high-density explosives, Sadiqui said.

'Diplomats' cars are usually marked by red-colored plates, which could explain why the bomber was able to target the official. Falak Khurshid, a deputy inspector-general of police in Karachi, said the plates allow diplomats to avoid routine checks, although they can choose not to have them for security reasons. It wasn't clear if Foy's wrecked car had such plates.
'

See: Pakistani officials & Bombing

[The timing could not have been better - but the Target could have been Better]

FBI team discussed the postmortem details with two local doctors... While only the upper half of US diplomat David Foy's body was retrieved from the scene of the crime and has one arm missing, the postmortem has yielded some results... The FBI made an unexpected discovery... from the parts of Foy's body that were retrieved... were embedded with small wires. These wires are normally found in car tires but this has yet to be confirmed.

The FBI also discussed the remains of the suicide bomber. It is believed that his scalp was found in two parts with both ears attached... The prints of one finger.... "We are 100 percent sure that the finger belongs to the attacker..."

Sources said that the CC camera footage has revealed that a white Toyota Corolla, the same at the attacker's car, was also reportedly part of the operation. This second car was traveling in front of Foy's vehicle before it turned into the Marriott road. However, it slowed down deliberately, thereby forcing the [a]takhar to slow down also, which apparently gave the suicide bomber enough time to put his car in reverse and remain ready for the diplomat's vehicle.


See: Attacker

We have a well planned sophisticated bombing with a visual recording of the actual attacker in a very heavily populated city.

One would conclude multiple people were involved in the bombing and an even greater number of people knew of the attack.

Good counter terrorism tactics would question those who were directly or indirectly involved in the plot - including businessmen, associates and family members - and the interrogate said persons. Those closely involved should the Highly questioned.

The failure to interrogate said persons would lead to the assumption that internal security had been compromised.

Backtracking through said internal security should be done discretely to determine where the breakdown in the security chain occurred.

One thing is certain. If there is cover-up it can be traced and evaluated.

If said cover-up is not traced and evaluated, the top structure of the host government will be in danger - or the top structure of the government is unstable.

Either way, correctional action should be immediately taken.

3/07/2006 04:31:00 AM  
Blogger Goesh said...

Yeah, time for some serious air strikes on some of those strongholds

3/07/2006 04:43:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

wretchard said "Although the war on terror is often described with the United States and its allies on one side there is in fact intense and armed competition for supremacy within the "terrorist" side. For example, Fatah and Hamas are contending for supremcy within the Palestinian Authority"

Follow the money. Terrorists need funding. The group that will best succeed in getting funding is the one with the most spectacular successes, or the one which has eliminated all other competitors for funding.

You think the terrorists are cut-throat competitors? Try looking at academics trying to get grants.

We will continue to get an unlimied stream of terrorists as long as they have sources of funding

3/07/2006 05:11:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

2164: Traditionally, China and Pakistan have been allies. The Pakistani Air Force was equipped with both American F-86's and F-104's and Chinese made Mig-15's and Mig-19's.
China saw Pakistan as an ally largely because it saw India as an enemy. With the closer ties between the U.S. and India, you can bet that this attitude will persist.

Let us not forget that the day that the Iranians captured the U.S. embassy in Tehran that a mob attacked the U.S. embassy in Pakistan and killed two Marine guards.

The Pakistanis may yet be sympathetic toward the Taliban but they also have Afghanistan as a nearby example of what can happen -in all of its phases.

Pakistan can be transformed into a duplicate of wrecked Talibani Afghanistan in about an hour and a half of military action. The General President knows this full well. Interestingly enough, he is also one of the very few leaders anywhere to stand up before the world's Islamic leaders and say in effect "What in the Hell is our problem, people? Did you ever notice how everywhere that Islam is the primary religion the country is practically a basket case?" A brave man, indeed.

3/07/2006 05:15:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/07/2006 06:46:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Pakistan's Costly 'Other War'

3/07/2006 06:54:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Re Wretchard's "Countries which use terrorism as a primary weapon will be trapped in it."

Unless the stronger faction mounts a "night of the long knives" or chases other factions down and kills them.

The two examples are of course just the biggies, other examples are collectively known as the 'history of the second and third worlds'.

Hey, wonder if the second and third worlds make their politics, or their politics makes them the second and third worlds?

3/07/2006 06:58:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Bush, Karachi and the "Pakistanization" of Al Qaeda; Terror Organization Belived to Be Drawing Less From Arabs

3/07/2006 07:18:00 AM  
Blogger Rune said...

Have you heard of this man: Badshah Khan - also called the Muslim Gandi or (sadly) The forgotten Muslim Hero. A pasthun a devout Muslim and a great man.

Wikipedia

Badshah Khan: Nonviolent Soldier of Islam

Amazon: Nonviolent Soldier of Islam: Badshah Khan: A Man to Match His Mountains

"There is no- thing surprising in a Muslim or a Pathan like me subscribing to the creed of non-violence." He was an ally of Gandhi and once persuaded 100,000 of his countrymen to lay down their arms and vow to fight nonviolently. His profound belief in non-violence came from the depths of his experience and his belief that these principles lay at the heart of Islam.

Khan and Gandhi worked hand in hand using the tactic of non- violence to free their land from British oppression. Khan opened schools and brought women out of their homes to become a part of society. For over two decades Khan and his followers dominated the Northwest Frontier without resorting to violence as a means for independence. “


How sad that 70 years after this great man of Islam started his work that it has become increasingly hard to reconise in Islam a Religion of Peace, and believing Muslim subscribing to a creed of non-violence - even one inspired by the concept of Jihad (and more sad still, that his story should be found on a site dedicated to forgotten history).

Even so, right there in Taliban mainland they only need to look back to their own recent history for the men that could lead them out of their own current misery. When reading of such a man, one is forced to wonder whether Pasthuns themselves, have not been subjected to a foreign religious tradition brought in by the Islam warriors and Wahhabist money.

3/07/2006 07:33:00 AM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...

Cannoneer No. 4's citation at 7:18 AM would seem to support many of Desert Rat's contentions about the nature of this conflict.

Jamie Irons

3/07/2006 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Jamie, excewpt Rat seems to hold Mushareff to be Vichy. I've seen the guy's videoconferences with global investor groups, and he's pitching hard to get Pakistan into the modern world.

Of course it could be a straddle. Maybe I just think he's with us because I so want him to be.

OTOH, playing such a vast double-game would present an awful lot of problems--not the least of which is our own hard people knowing his game full well. And this points to our own war-effort being a double-game. I just can't go there. It's madness to contemplate.

3/07/2006 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger Starling David Hunter said...

Rune said..."Have you heard of this man: Badshah Khan - also called the Muslim Gandi or (sadly) The forgotten Muslim Hero. A pasthun a devout Muslim and a great man."

I had not heard of him. I thank you for this information because many times I have heard asked the question "Where's the Muslim Gandhi?" "Where is the Muslim MLK Jr.?" I'd even asked it myself. Countless times. Until now I always thought the answer was that one had never emerged. Now I know that one did but was quickly and sadly forgotten.

Now the question to ask is "where are the heirs to Badshah Khan's legacy?"

3/07/2006 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Buddy 6:58 AM,
Study the relationship between personal financial situation and divorce.

3/07/2006 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

Observations:
1. Musharraf has barely escaped two assassination attempts and is walking a tightrope in his own country. President Bush's trip may have been a personal assessment of the security situation and a sit down to discuss a two front offensive against the tribes/al qaeda/fundies who themselves have been threatening a spring offensive in Afghanistan. The Afghanis have been blaming the Pakis for poruous border conditions and harboring the terrorists. Now the Pakis are blaming the Afghanis. Hopefully, the President was pointing out to Musharraf that if he wishes to continue participating in events like the World Economic Forum in Davos, he better get serious about the problems in Pakistan.

2. Thinking about Benazir Bhutto as Prime Minister of Pakistan reinforces my belief that Saudi money has destabilised all of South Asia. How could Pakistan have had a woman leader just a short time ago?

Now, I am really beginning to wonder about the true nature of the relationship between the Royals and Al Qaeda. Could they have been collaborating all along? Are the attacks in Saudi Arabia staged? Why are the terrorists always killed and never captured?

Inquiring minds want to know.

3/07/2006 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Whit,
I guess a Car Bomb is the ideal solution to the Trotsky problem:
"Trotsky was successfully attacked in his home by a Stalinist agent, Ramón Mercader, who drove the pick of an ice axe into Trotsky's skull.

The blow was poorly delivered, however, and failed to kill Trotsky instantly, as Mercader had intended.
Witnesses stated that Trotsky let out a blood-curdling cry and began struggling fiercely with Mercader.
Hearing the commotion, Trotsky's bodyguards burst into the room and nearly killed Mercader,
but Trotsky stopped them, shouting,
"Do not kill him!
This man has a story to tell."

Trotsky died the next day.
"
---
The presence of mind we find under the most dire of circumstances!
The old focusing ability, among others.
A time to "Get Serious!"

3/07/2006 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Doug, right, good analogy. A third party always profits--I guess the divorce lawyer is the first-world. Would account for the lack of affection.

Whit, your question--the House of Saud vs AQ as nothing more or less than a fractal of the overall split among the various groupings of jihadis: Yikes.

3/07/2006 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

And while we contemplate Pakistan, we have a recruiter setting himself up for the prison system in Chapel Hill, NC. The battle for us is still here and in Australia so we can continue to fight over there. Kudos to dymphna and the baron on that.

3/07/2006 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Bhutto attended Lady Jennings Nursery School and then the Convent of Jesus and Mary in Karachi. After two years of schooling at the Rawalpindi Presentation Convent, she was sent to the Jesus and Mary Convent at Murree.
She passed her O-level examination at the age of 15. In April 1969, she was admitted to Harvard University's Radcliffe College.
In June 1973, Benazir graduated from Harvard with a degree in political science where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She attended Oxford University in the fall of 1973 and graduating with a masters degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. She was elected to the standing committee of the prestigious Oxford Union.

On November 16, 1988, in the first open election in more than a decade, Benazir's PPP won the single largest bloc of seats in the National Assembly. Bhutto was sworn in as Prime Minister of a coalition government on December 2, becoming the youngest person (35 years old) and the first woman to head the government of a Muslim-majority state in modern times.

Afghanistan policy
It was during Bhutto's rule that the Taliban gained prominence in Afghanistan.
Bhutto and the Taliban were openly opposed to each other.
According to the Taliban codes, as a woman she had no right to be in power.

The Pakistan military, however, were insistent and Bhutto agreed to provide some support.
She and her government have said that they only provided moral support and nothing more.
The Taliban took power in Kabul in September 1996.

3/07/2006 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Complexity. When we speak of Pakistan, we must keep in mind 'complexity.'

Whit speaks of Benazir Bhutto, a woman of courage who spent many years in jail as the leader of the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party. The PPP (now the PPPP) is currently the second most influential political party in Pakistan.

Counterfactual: Benazir Bhutto was deposed for corruption, and still faces charges in Switzerland. And it was during her rule that Pakistan's support for the Taliban reached an apex (she was, of course, leaned on by the Pakistani military--she was personally opposed to the Taliban's politics).

A couple other thoughts and observations:

Pakistan is the third most populous country that has English as an official language. Like the French-speaking courts in the Britain of old, English is widely used in Government and by the educated elite. This fact alone makes Pakistan something of a bridge into the Muslim world.

Pakistan used the Organisation of the Islamic Conference "as a forum for Enlightened Moderation -- a plan to promote a renaissance and enlightenment in the Muslim world." (Wiki)

In 2004, three years into the War on Terror, the National Assembly voted Shaukat Aziz into the position of Prime Minister. Mr. Aziz was a former Vice President of Citibank.

Pakistan's GDP growth rate in 2005 was 8.5%, second only to China among the most populous nations in the world (Iraq's growth rate was actually much higher during this time).

Pakistan has a strong, consumerist middle class. It also has a vocal, virulent illiterate class. The middle class is by far the more powerful of the two.

In essence, Pakistan must be thought of in two ways. At the bottom are some of the worst Islamic fundamentalists you will find, but at the top are some of the most enlightened, forward looking Muslims around. Right now the top has the wheel. If they can steer it long enough, Pakistan may end up being almost as important as America among England's progeny.

3/07/2006 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

Doug, Aristedes:

It's the Wahhabists, I tell you!

3/07/2006 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

And a split country may just reflect a split image of our own foreign policy relationship.

3/07/2006 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Gone With the War?
Ideas whose time has passed.
- Victor Davis Hanson

The more Americans learn about the world of the madrassas; the six or seven varieties of Islamic female coverings; and the murderous gangs in Somalia, the Congo, and Rwanda — the more, not less, they are appalled by societies that are anti-Western. Indeed, we now know that advocacy for multiculturalism depends upon romance, ignorance, and isolation — studying about Islamic fundamentalism in tree-lined Marin County rather than in Pakistan or Saudi Arabia; role-playing in costumes at safe and upscale suburban schools rather than avoiding the lash under burqas in Kabul; or lecturing about religious diversity on ivied campuses rather than witnessing Buddhas blown up in Afghanistan.
---
If we didn't learn from the horror in Bosnia and Kosovo, then at least we should have seen in Afghanistan, Somalia, the Congo, and elsewhere these last few years that wherever people give allegiance to skin color, religion, language, and tribe first, and the common culture second — corpses pile up. The same logic used to defend racial enclaves in the United States leads elsewhere to Uzbek and Pashtun warlords, Indian Muslims against Indian Hindus, and Shiites versus Sunnis. Bilingual education, Al Sharpton's antics, reparations, separate graduation ceremonies and ethnic dorms, La Raza, the shake-down industry of Jesse Jackson, racial quotas, and unassimilated and illegal immigration all lead not to promised utopias, but to Kosovo, Kandahar, and Mogadishu.

The civilized work of creating a multiracial society under the aegis of one nation and culture is difficult, while the disintegration into multiculturalism is easy
.

The former requires men and women of genius and humanity, the latter little more than provocateurs and the half-educated. I
f this war has taught us anything, it is that there are valuable and enriching diversities — of food, literature, music, fashion, and art — that are quite different from the murderous and core diversities, such as the rejection of nationhood, a common language, and such shared political and intellectual traditions of the West as democracy, personal freedom, and secular rationalism. Mr. Karzai needs something like the U.S. Constitution and an Abraham Lincoln a lot more than he needs $15 billion.

Fire — not conferences — is the touchstone of any purported metal, and separates glitter from gold. And so this war has shown many of the creeds of the past to be mostly slag and dross. What, then, will replace the present bankrupt and amoral assumptions and ideologies? Let us hope perhaps that we can return to the honesty and realism of classical 19th-century Western liberalism, which, for all its naiveté and self-centeredness, still did not cause a fraction of the carnage as did the utopian promises of our most murderous 20th century.

3/07/2006 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Great Minds, Bud.

3/07/2006 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

Doug, Buddy:
So when do we see the President paying a visit to Saudi Arabia?

3/07/2006 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"In essence, Pakistan must be thought of in two ways. At the bottom are some of the worst Islamic fundamentalists you will find, but at the top are some of the most enlightened, forward looking Muslims around."
---
And in the USA we have Bush versus the Democrats.
As well as
The People versus the Public Schools, Universities, Media, and Hollywood.

3/07/2006 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Yep, ole VDH always faces into the freshening winds--when there is one.

Whit--when and if he does, he better take his iPod, or NYTimes will make up their own story of the meeting.

3/07/2006 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"80% of Iraqis See Civil War as Inevitable"
---
Opps, make that Americans, as divined by the most scientific of polls.

3/07/2006 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Ah, Doug, I did not realize you beat me to the punch re: Bhutto.

3/07/2006 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

American Future has links to three excellent articles. Just scroll down.

3/07/2006 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

"There is no doubt that the Pakistani government is keeping the terrorist threat alive on its territory to secure from the United States government the guarantee of a long term relationship not unlike the one that has been so easily offered to India. President Bush will have little choice but to deal with that diplomatic blackmail. But giving Pakistan what it wants will involve some very tough decisions on the part of the President, his advisers, and -- most important -- his few remaining supporters on Capitol Hill. As usual, the war on terror starts in Washington." IndiaMonitor


Thanks for the interesting link canoneer

I think Bush visits Afghanistan and Pakistan to show that we are allies to both, because it is a diplomatic feather in the cap of Karzai and Musharraf, that it isn't a us or them situation (it was probably an exclamation point on some particular US policy)and to helped to fears of isolation from the US while the administration visited India with promises of cooperation.

3/07/2006 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Aristides,
Cohen has amazed me before, he continues in your excellent link.
Hadn't read Schulman before.
---
The threat perceptions of registered Democrats
are of great concern to me and bear little resemblance to mine.
Unless and until I conclude that the politicians who represent these voters put the national interest above partisan politics,
I'll be voting for the GOP, despite my reservations about Republican positions on social issues.

3/07/2006 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"There is no doubt that the Pakistani government is keeping the terrorist threat alive on its territory to secure from the United States government the guarantee of a long term relationship not unlike the one that has been so easily offered to India."
---
OK, Stupid Question time:
Why wouldn't their HELPING us better secure a long term relationship?

3/07/2006 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

I'm puzzled by that comment. As I was reading it it occurred to me that this is the slant from India and they have historical reasons to be circumspect of Pakistan. The article as a whole sheds some light on internal Pakistani affairs.

3/07/2006 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

That's funny, Mouse, while you were writing that, I was talking to my wife about it, and how often Indian editorials that aren't overtly Anti-American still are hard for this American to understand.

3/07/2006 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

geee, is the US stable? Were contras "terrorist proxies"? muhjahdeen? Is that truism - "states which use terrorist organizations as proxies eventually wind up destabilizing themselves." true all the time or just when we want it to be?

3/07/2006 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Ash--it's better to be on your own side, no?

being against yourself is sorta crazy, hey?

3/07/2006 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

What are you saying Buddy? It is baaaad if they do it, but US, hey whatever gets us what we want is just fine? We are the 'good guys' so whatever we do is necessarily good?

3/07/2006 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

In the 80s, Ash, the Sandinistas were allied with the USSR, and plans were afoot to install Soviet military bases if the area could be secured. The Contras kept the pot boiling, and this was definitely not in the USSR's interest. So, in that bipolar cold-war world, the Contras were operating in our interests, on the geopolitical front.

3/07/2006 01:07:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Another fine thread relegated to the Ash Heap of history.

“The Dangers of Fairness”

3/07/2006 01:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Yeah, Mouse, Aristedes link refered to that:
A TOTAL LIBERAL, ASH, Richard Cohen, sees the "good sense" (just a value judgement) of BEING ON YOUR OWN SIDE.
(It also helps when your side is the right side:
See my VDH post above.)
---
Will Ash stoop to reading Richard Cohen?

3/07/2006 01:25:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

wretchard wrote:

"the truism that states which use terrorist organizations as proxies eventually wind up destabilizing themselves."

We are agreed that the US has used terrorist proxies in the past. Now, about this truism which is supposed to be a self evident truth, is the US now or will it be destabilized because of the use of those terrorist proxies? The terror of 911 was that the 'destabilization'? The blowback from our support of the mujahdeen?

3/07/2006 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

It seems bizarre that the distinction between friend and enemy should have to be explained.

3/07/2006 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Careful ash, that link also points to the LA TIMES.
Wouldn't want to sully your purity with a Conservative Rag like that.

3/07/2006 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Right, AQ is at least partially blowback on us. Maybe it would've been better to have the USSR still around, and garrisoning the Persian Gulf. Who knows, hindsight is "hind" sight.

3/07/2006 01:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Bud,
Or, as my VDH post, difference between policies that result in piles of corpses vs Civilizations that have allowed human progress.

3/07/2006 01:33:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

How far will the blowback go toward destabilizing the US? The debacle that is now Iraq, is this just more blowback from our support of terrorism? Truisms really aren't that helpful in understanding the world it seems.

3/07/2006 01:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The debacle that is now Iraq
???

NO WAR IN THE STREETS.
By RALPH PETERS
THE reporting out of Baghdad continues to be hysterical and dishonest.

There is no civil war in the streets.
None.
Period.
Terrorism, yes.
Civil war, no.
Clear enough?
---
Not for Ash, evidently.
---
A QUESTION FOR ASH:
Do you EVER read ANY of our links?

3/07/2006 02:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I repeat, for emphasis, begging the question, as it were:

Do you EVER read ANY of our links?

3/07/2006 02:03:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

Sure Doug, I read some of them (note - just because I read something on the internet doesn't mean it is true). You post so often, speaking primarily to insiders, that I usually scroll on by. I'm suprised that you are clinging to the fiction that Iraq is simply US vs the terrorists and all else is peaceful and calm in Iraq. There is much to suggest that this is false. Heck, even the ever optimistic ITM bros are writing of mortars being lobbed back and forth in their neighborhood.

3/07/2006 02:16:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

He is there, Ash, pointing out the discrepancy between the reporting and the REALITY.
---
But that was ONE VERY SHORT piece how about the others?
Richard Cohen for starters.
VDH for desert.
You might get more respect that way than by just dropping nits for us to pick out.

3/07/2006 02:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

wrt to skipping you in the past.

Normally I don't waste my time:
My nonsense seems more valuable to me than yours, you seem to take yours seriously.

3/07/2006 02:31:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

I hate these dueling factoids threads, but the Saddam tapes coming out now and in the future should be able to prove to even the most ardent anti-OIF folks that the status-quo ante-bellum was intolerable. To use the dialectic approach to argument, the word 'intolerable' means, "do something".

3/07/2006 02:33:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"I'm suprised that you are clinging to the fiction that Iraq is simply US vs the terrorists and all else is peaceful and calm in Iraq."
---
If you separated your fantasies from our realities, that would also be helpful.
All is peaceful and calm in Compton too, in my dreams.

3/07/2006 02:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Larsen 2:33 PM,
Please cite an Ash "Factoid"
Steaming excrement won't pass the smell test.

3/07/2006 02:39:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Well, that encounters with a capable enemy are unpredictable?

3/07/2006 02:44:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

Buddy, doing something, sure, but the US (with a smattering of other nations) invading and occupying was the wrong thing to do. That was not the only option available.

3/07/2006 02:45:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/07/2006 02:46:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

What’s Up In Pakistan?
Maybe Bush can play the Great Game. He can play Texas Hod 'Em.

3/07/2006 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Yep, there were other options. And the enemy has been very capable. But some rather important positive changes have been achieved, and none of the other options have ever really passed the first few efficacy questions. Action is action, and it always forecloses other options--that is certainly true.

3/07/2006 02:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Mouse was right at 1:14 PM,
Otherwise all is lost to the samo samo.
Ignore the Ash heap of non-history or perish the thread.
---
Since the initiation of the war of the Facts...., all additional information has come to a halt.

3/07/2006 03:06:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

I read the Peshawar papers frequently when Afghanistan was hot. Reports were that tribal leaders on the Paki side of the border provided about 10,000 fighters to the Taliban.

Only a handful made it back and they complained about being treated very badly by the "Arabs" (AQ) who left them in place as cannon fodder while the Arabs skedaddled East. Tribal leaders indicated they would be reluctant to again be so generous with their young men.

I think even a heavily garrisoned Wazaristan would be ungovernable. Alexander couldn't do it and things really haven't changed since then. The Pushtans won't turn AQ over to Musharraf but they're probably unlikely to wage jihad against the Afghans either.

3/07/2006 03:12:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

"the wrong thing to do"

I think what you mean is "risky".

You can't make categorical value judgments yet, Ash, because we simply don't know how Iraq is going to turn out. If you read US diplomatic memos from 1946-1947--when Europe was an absolute disaster--you will see words like "catastrophe", "unending", "falling apart", etc. I bet you might even find words like "wrong thing to do".

But we stuck with it. Things went up, things went down, but we always gained more ground than we lost.

If Iraq turns out to be a success, I suppose you're justification will be, "It was the wrong thing to do before it was the right thing to do."

3/07/2006 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"I think even a heavily garrisoned Wazaristan would be ungovernable."
Boston,
Maybe that's the Real Answer to Mouse's Indian piece, but AQ and the Taliban still grow there from most reports, and that can't be good for us or the Afghans.

3/07/2006 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Only a handful made it back and they complained about being treated very badly by the "Arabs" (AQ) who left them in place as cannon fodder while the Arabs skedaddled East."
---
That's when we had B-52's and the Northern Alliance in an offensive role.
Now we are being replaced by Brits who promises not to "kick down doors" and be mean like the US Army, and are pledged
NOT TO GO ON OFFENSE against the Taliban.
I worry.

3/07/2006 03:39:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Waziristan IS ungovernable, unless you're a Waziri. From a Federation viewpoint, the Klingon Empire is ungovernable.

The Pashtuns have their own code of conduct, their own tribal armies, their own courts. Pashtunwali is older than Islam.

The Taliban are a Pashtun phenomenon. Understand Pashtunwali and you understand how they have lasted this long.

I wish GEN Abizaid was in Islamabad coordinating fire support for a big incursion into whatever valley Osama is hiding in.

3/07/2006 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I wish we'd launch a massive Aerial Fuel-Air Assault.

3/07/2006 04:28:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Score 1 for Civilization.

3/07/2006 04:28:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Ordnance won't get him. A guy with an M4 and a bad attitude will get him, just as soon as Bush, Karzai and Musharraf decide his scalp is worth taking the heat to go get it.

Probably know what valley he is in. Probably don't know which cave.

3/07/2006 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Peterboston's comment that Waziristan is ungovernable is historically true, as he says, from Alexander onward. Unfortunately, Doug, FAE's are not in their best conditions in high altitude ravine. And of course, we used the B's in Afghanistan just 4 years ago, so we're not going to pull them out of the revetments for another 20 or 30 years.

While it's grueling as a migraine, we can only continue to repeat history, and surround the ungovernable areas with safe, civil societies. The world's too big and crazy for anything more audacious than that.

The thing is, in the new globalism, that if we're going to let certain places go ungoverned, the people inside those places can't go anywhere. That's the problem in a world where a cynical Talabani can become a celebrity Yalie.

I find your ancient VDH link to 2002 to be a perfect bookend to Eggplant's Suicidalism post. In a world where there is no absolute good/bad reality, Good is doomed. By choice, we don't live in that world.

And it gives me the creeps that half of Americans do seem to live in that world of relative, mutable, "sensitive" values. As Buddy says, "Yikes."

3/07/2006 04:51:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Bush and Mussharraf have an enemy at their backs back home to take into account, don't know how bad that is for Karzai.

That's why an aerial assault might be politically better here, even if it only wiped out his supporters.

Seems we'd eventually smoke him out, or folks would tire of being supporters.
You know more than I,
I'm interested in your thoughts on that.

3/07/2006 04:55:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Tony,
So the one's used before against Osama did not work well?
...then we damn well better have Oxygen Enabled FAE's by now! ;-)
...or just empty out our inventories of Iron Bombs and see what happens next.
What are B-52's for?
They never die.
We can't let them fade away, can we?

3/07/2006 05:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Eggplant's Suicidalism post"
---
I think I remember that, can you tell us where it is?

3/07/2006 05:02:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

This may be the link he was referring to:

http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=260#more-260

3/07/2006 05:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Thanks, Whit, that might be it.
If not, we *expect* an answer from Tony?
Right?

3/07/2006 05:37:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Sorry Doug, but American Idol called.

And Whit accurately cited the post I referred to. I am so amazed that Eggplant gets his post to rank so high on Google! Just search for "Suicidalism" and see what you get!

I offer homage and honor to Eggplant for creating a UNIQUE WORD IN GOOGLE.

Okay, enough about my personal obsession - Web Information
Retrieval Integrity.

The thing about FAE's is that they need to gather the fumes in a discrete area, ideally in underground bunkers, where the penetrator digs in through 20 or 30 feet of layered defenses, and then disperses its Fuel forcefully into all Air available, like a butane lighter in your front pocket. Even the big ones, the non-penetrating
Daisy Cutters, the massed formation killers, wouldn't really do the job in the high mountains of the Hindu Kush.

That's why we saw the B's dropping GPS-guided Mk.82 2,000 pounders onto specific trails, bunkers and who knows what in Afghanistan. We'd never do that in Bagdahd, or even Fallujah.

But wait a minute!
We're talking remote mountain redoubts like Tora Bora in Waziristan ... or are we?

Anyway, FAE's not effective - smart bombs effective - but apparently we only use the heavy stuff against the specific individual "criminals" who carried out 9/11.

Yes, Suicidalism is the reason half our country thinks we're not really at war, or at least it's an amusing theory why half our friends are acting so weak. They sincerely hope 9/11 was a one-time dealy-o.

They weaken America.

They don't know what the B's can do, and they don't want to know, or God Forbid - do.

3/07/2006 08:01:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

Aristides wrote:

"You can't make categorical value judgments yet,"

Weeeellll, we've got to make them at some point. I've been consistent in my opinion that this whole Iraq adventure was the wrong approach toward solving the problems faced with Iraq and the war on terror. I've read countless reports of "tipping points" and "turning the corner" ect. regarding Iraq and the war on terror. If you take a good cold hard look at the situation in Iraq it is not....very good. At what point would you deem it reasonable to make a judgement? Past behaviour suggests you will only acknowledge a problem... when....well, never.

3/07/2006 08:08:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

This is a Test Google Bomb:

Ash

3/07/2006 08:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"But wait a minute!
We're talking remote mountain redoubts like Tora Bora in Waziristan ... or are we?
"
---
Oops, you caught us.
...again.
Gives fuel to the 'Rat argument, for sure.

3/07/2006 10:51:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Incidentally, I'm fascinated with the object of your obsession, not obsessed, mind you, but fascinated.

If only Google was on our side.
(and it sure would be valuable to be able to search the comments again!)
Why don't you help him figure out a way to rid them of spam, then he lets us turn them into a public datadump, and we can download and attack it with Google Desktop?

3/07/2006 10:56:00 PM  

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