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Meanwhile, in Pakistan

chicago dyke's picture

"300,000" seems like a fairly large number, no? I know there's all sorts of exciting things happening in Denver right now, but I'm not alone in viewing Pakistan as a sort of lynchpin to what happens in the Middle East/Central & South Asia. Reuters:

By Mian Saeed-ur-Rehman

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - Authorities in northwest Pakistan are urgently seeking millions of dollars to help up to 300,000 people who have fled from fighting between government forces and militants.

The displaced people are one more problem for a coalition government riven by disputes and grappling with mounting militant attacks and a sagging economy.

Pakistani troops launched an offensive against militants in the Bajaur region on the Afghan border early this month. The region is a haven for al Qaeda and Taliban fighters.

The folks over at Moon of Alabama have more to say:

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) umbrella group involved in the fighting has offered a ceasefire but it is unclear if the government or the army will talk with them at all. After the suicide attack on an ammunition factory on Friday, the government, with applause from the U.S., banned the TTP as a 'terrorist organization'.

Sice today it is even unclear if there is a government in Pakistan at all. Nawaz Sharif's PML-N party just left the governing coalition with Asif Zardari's PPP. The main issue between them is still the restoration of the judges kicked out by former military dictator and president Musharraf. Zardari fears that those judges would again pursue corruption charges against him.

It is yet unknown how any vote for a new President, which should take place within the next four weeks, could happen or how the usual government business can proceed. The best for now to to overcome the blocked situation would be new elections in Pakistan. But as Sharif's PML-N would likely win those in a landslide, Zardari will do everything possible to prevent a new round of voting.

Meanwhile the killing goes on and, unlike in Georgia, the U.S. planes that might come to the Bajaur region will not carry help for the refugees.

I won't go so far as to call the crisis in Georgia 'unimportant,' but I think it's fair to say that Pakistan is at least as worthy of our attention. What disturbs me is that the new Pakistani government seems hardly to be in control at all, and between our forces and NATO's, it's hardly clear that there is any direction or strategy to military operations there.

There are days when it seems like our leaderz have no memory at all, and perfectly willing to ignore the very same conditions that led to 9/11 building up all over again. I hope some Dems can step out of the bright lights for a minute or two and start formulating a strategy of how to deal with this.

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Submitted by lambert on

Gotta get some threads going for when I go cold turkey on the horse race!

Of course, it's not like Pakistan has nuclear weapons or anything.

Or, OTOH, that there was a recent massive protest by lawyers in favor of the rule of law.

Or that they just "impeached a sitting President."

No, no, nothing to see, nothing to learn, move along, move along, there's no story here.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on


Russian authorities informed the Norwegian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday that officials in Moscow were immediately halting, cancelling or postponing all planned military cooperation with NATO's members.

Russia's relation to NATO would then be re-evaluated, reported Aftenposten.

The warning from Russia signals a further deterioration in relations between Russia and western nations. It comes a day after NATO members meeting at a summit in Brussels criticized Russia's military aggression in Georgian territory and voted to suspend cooperation with NATO’s Russian council.

"There’s no doubt that our relationship to Russian has now chilled," Espen Barth Eide, state secretary in the Defense Ministry, told Aftenposten.

Barth Eide was working Wednesday afternoon to determine the actual effects of the Russians' announcement to halt cooperation.

...but i'm sure none of this is very important.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

I'd hate for CD and VL to think they're the only Cassandras, I'll link to my post a couple of days ago in which I agree with Chris Floyd and Pat Buchanan. That's right Chris and Pat agree - we're fucked. This is largely true regardless of the horse race outcome since all of Washington seems intent on doubling down in Afghanistan. Have to have some sort of "good war" win come out of all of this, you know, or else American pride might be hurt. And whatever else, we can't have that.

Submitted by lambert on

Steve Soto:

No one should be shocked, especially the Times, that the administration is working to install Zardari as Musharraf’s successor, while Khalilzad himself wants to move from the Bush Administration into contention as a future Afghan president to succeed Hamid Karzai. Keep in mind that both Karzai and Khalilzad worked for Unocal and with Dick Cheney to secure energy pipelines through Afghanistan before the Bush Administration came to power in 2001. As such, it makes perfect sense for Khalilzad to be freelancing now to succeed Karzai as Afghanistan president, and to covertly work towards getting our next guy installed in Pakistan. Karzai may have outlived his usefulness to us, and with Zardari installed in Pakistan and Khalilzad installed in Afghanistan, Big Oil would be assured of pipelines. Our intelligence community would find once again that we are installing folks who already have a track record of putting oil politics ahead of bagging the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

That could also be what the new cold war is about. Russia is the new oil power in Europe. Trying to marginalize them or distract them or (think big!) get sanctions against them would help their competitors. At least that's my theory.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

can we all get together for the EndTimes party? i am shuddering with fear at that last comment of yours i read, in which you, me, and pat b. agree with chris floyd. seriously, i can't think of another, greater sign of our Impending Doom.

...bring some good smoke, will ya? i'll provide the dance music and we can watch the war of angels from my back porch together, which has a nice garden view.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Funny how in this season of hope, I've become if not hopeless, then at least incredibly pessimistic. I could really use a party!