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It's All About Factions

wuming's picture

After the killing of Bin Laden, there have been a lot of questions about how much the Pakistani government knew about the situation. One thing to keep in mind is that Pakistan's political environment is riven with factions, each with its own agenda and armed supporters.

For example, from one of the latest Wikileaks cables:
"MQM's armed members, known as "Good Friends," are the largest non-governmental armed element in the [Karachi]. The police estimate MQM has ten thousand active armed members and as many as twenty-five thousand armed fighters in reserve. This is compared to [Karachi's] thirty-three thousand police officers."

MQM is a Pakistani political party.

Factional struggle is something that is prevalent in many governments and large organizations; it means that there may not be one single organizational policy. When viewing events as an outsider, it's important to remember that we see is the result of factional struggles, in which any group's dominance may only be temporary. When the factions are all armed, then, the potential outcomes are potentially more lethal than otherwise.

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Submitted by jawbone on

I worried back in the Bush/Cheney administration that US raids into Pakistan, then drone strikes within the borders might lead to a national meltdown such as happened in Cambodia.

Could that happen in Pakistan? It hasn't happened...yet.

The audacious Taliban attack on a naval airbase in the middle of Karachi looks...pretty serious.

Yet, Obama felt it necessary to state a couple days ago that he would do another bin Laden-type incursion and attack within Pakistan if he felt there was another high value target in the nation. How's that going down in Pakistan? How's the trust and support for the government doing among the people?

Alex01's picture
Submitted by Alex01 on

kill Osama Bin Laden. That's why there are no photos, no video, no nothing.

It is quite transparent that the Obama administration is trying to make BHO into something he is not with this fairy tale about killing a terrorist that's been dead a while.

All Obama is is a Republican Trojan horse.

So are you, as a Democrat, and a *progressive* Democrat at that, going to countenance Barack lying through his teeth about Pakistan? That is completely disgusting, not to mention extremely disheartening as to the state of progressives in this country, or at least in this blog.

Get it together! Demand from this president what you would from an actual Democrat! That's the only way we're going to make any "progress."

wuming's picture
Submitted by wuming on

You don't know me, so don't make assumptions about what I believe and what I don't.

I wrote the post to give insight to people about how political factions can play out in a nation state.

Regarding the killing of Bin Laden--- we don't know the whole story yet, though I suspect there is plenty of video and photos. Could it be fake? Sure. But I think it's pretty unlikely.

I do know that orchestrating a fake killing would be pretty difficult. Military and intelligence people talk to each other, their families and reporters. It is pretty hard to keep a secret in the long term, especially for an elaborate military operation with a lot of parts. The Pat Tillman story, Gitmo torture, rendition and Abu Ghraib all came out eventually. So did a lot of material about the activities of Tier 1 special operations forces. In the past, the information about CIA assets running dope has eventually come out too, as have stories about ''black'' military units.

Ease up on the disgust. I'll keep a relatively neutral stance on this story until I hear more-- jumping to conclusions is just a way of playing yourself.