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View Full Version : Pakistan...the new...not-so-good place.



Mr. Hyde
November 2nd, 2007, 04:49 PM
It wasn't long ago (two weeks I believe from the Newsweek article I read at the time) when it seemed like Iran was a ticking time-bomb set to go off at some point next year (with Israel's stance that next year would be the one for action). I flipped through a Newsweek this week and what do I find: Pakistan is the most dangerous place on earth!

Granted, I would argue Antarctica (it's got polar bears and chilly will weather), but the article had some "WTF!?" points that got to me thinking.

The first thing it talked about was that basically, the Taliban has been working with Al Qaeda (both Pakistani intelligence officials and US gov. officials know this) to continue turning Pakistan into what basically amounts as a weigh station for all things terrorist in nature.

What's happened is basically this: Over the course of a long time, Pakistan has been sympathetic with radical Islamists. THey helped them (with American support) while the Taliban and various radicals were fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan. They're using the mountains and tribal areas to train new terrorists before sending them off to fight in Afghanistan. They've gained support from major cities to the point that when the fighting dies down in Afghanistan during the winter, they go to Pakistan and rearm, heal up, get more fighters, get new information, etc, everything they need, and then go back to war.

Musharraf, Pakistan's president, is in a Catch-22 over the issue from what I can see. If he tries to crack down, he'll face a civil war (even his military is kind of "Kill our own people?" over the issue). If he does nothing, he loses the country. Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't.

Now my question is, why are we bothering with Iran over something that might not happen (and Israel can handle if it does) when we're talking a potential "Terror-Country" type deal in the coming years?

Honestly, why not just pull back from Afghanistan (since we're stonewalling from the sounds of it there) and from Iraq (I just don't see it going anywhere positive) and rethink our strategy towards handling the middle east since we have to deal with this sooner or later anyways.

Snoop
November 2nd, 2007, 06:25 PM
I have to wonder if any of the drug profits from Burma/Myanmar is finding it's way to terrorist groups in Pakistan or elsewhere (Burma has always been a main trafficking route).

I thought India was supposed to be our hedge against Pakistan?

If there is a oil/gas pipeline nearby, you can bet we'll be watching it closely.

Ivan
November 2nd, 2007, 09:35 PM
Now my question is, why are we bothering with Iran over something that might not happen (and Israel can handle if it does) when we're talking a potential "Terror-Country" type deal in the coming years?

Honestly, why not just pull back from Afghanistan (since we're stonewalling from the sounds of it there) and from Iraq (I just don't see it going anywhere positive) and rethink our strategy towards handling the middle east since we have to deal with this sooner or later anyways.


The way I have looked at this is that the US and its allies have been forced to deal with an issue that has been ignored for way too long. The ME, over the last two decades, had become increasingly unstable. I think the US decided to deal with this in steps. Remove the Taliban and al Qeada from Afghanistan. For all intents and purposes, we own it for the time being. Step two, remove an already hostile regime in Iraq. For all intents and purposes (though I am sure there are some who will refuse to admit it) we own it for the time being.
It is not news that Pakistan has a history of harboring and incubating the Islamic fascist movement. We have long known that Musharraf is walking a very thin line. However, Pakistan does have nuclear weapons.

Strategically speaking, we have Afghanistan to the north. We have Iraq to the west and we own the sea. They are effectively cut off. A pincher movement.

From my perspective it would be a mistake to pull back. We have a very strong footing in Afghanistan and a very strong footing in Iraq (except that the weak of heart left and the global media are doing everything in their power to force us out). When the Sh*t does finally hit the fan we need to be right there in the middle of it.
Pulling out would be an absurdly ignorant move. One I would expect from someone like John Edwards, Kusinich, Obama, Richardson, Dodd and Ron Paul.

FruitandNut
November 3rd, 2007, 02:03 AM
Ivan - Pakistan is at present caught between a rock and a hard place. The problem is that we have a clash of 'civilisations' stewing and brewing, and that western non-Muslim forces are percieved by a significant proportion of the Islamic diaspora as being invading, invasive, arrogant and imperialist. Whether this is true or not is largely beside the point, since percieved 'truths' are what folks all too readily act upon. The task of being policeman to a fragmented, emotive and irrational part of the world is stretching even the vast resources of the US. It is a task that tends to spin at least as many enemies as friends, and one that also has the coffins of dead military personnel returning home with monotonous regularity.

The Islamic diaspora is one that has yet to come to terms with pluralism and democracy, even in places such as Malaysia and Turkey the forces of Islamic reactionism appear to be making inroads - often as a result of Islamist politics that spin and massage accounts of the 'occupation' of Iraq and Afghanistan by 'infidel crusaders'. They also put out across the world media and websites, and in the mosques and madrassas, a very different message about 'The War on Terror'. What is required is more intelligent thought and less reflex action on what is in anycase fast becoming an intractable problem. Pakistan is just one of a number of flash points in the making - here in Europe we have French police asking for armoured cars with which to patrol the Islamic quarters of some of their cities. By the middle of this century the population of 19-40 year olds (military service age) in France is projected as being about 50% Muslim, mainly of African and North African stock and culture. Oh, and the French have about 400-500 nukes, some of which are in subs and capable of targetting most of the US!

As you have alluded, the sh*t will hit the fan - probably within the next 2-3 decades. Happy days :knuppel2: :undecided: :cry:

Zorak
November 3rd, 2007, 02:41 AM
Indeed, F & N. The Muslim world was primarily divided against itself. Fortunately, Bush has managed to refocus Muslim wrath onto the United States. I think if we just invade a few more Muslim countries in a totally paranoid fashion, employ a little more torture and be sure to lie about it all and refer to them as "evil" a lot . . . perhaps then we can ensure our own destruction.

Squatch347
November 3rd, 2007, 08:35 AM
Wow, zorak, interesting that that hasn't actually happened. Actually now that there are places in the Islamic world that are more open to moderate thinking, the conflict has actually intensified within Islam. I'm going to ignore the rest of your post here as it kinda just runs off into talking points.

On a side note, what ever happened to the vaunted 'Spring Offensive' Newsweek was saying was coming. I remember predictions that Kabul would be overrun and hundreds would die. All that seems to have happened is taliban defeat after defeat by local afghan forces.

Zorak
November 3rd, 2007, 04:41 PM
Wow, zorak, interesting that that hasn't actually happened.

It didn't? Oh, wait, no. It did after all:


"Over time, our surveys have found that anti-Americanism around the world is driven first and foremost by opposition to U.S. foreign policy. Four policies are particularly relevant to countries in the region. First, the ongoing conflict in Iraq continues to fuel anti-American sentiments. America's global popularity plummeted at the start of military action in Iraq, and the U.S. presence there remains widely unpopular. Strong majorities in all five nations where we surveyed believe their country's decision not to use force in the Iraqi conflict was the right one. Majorities also think the war has made the world a more dangerous place.


Second, the war on terror is perceived negatively in the region; majorities in all five countries oppose U.S.-led efforts to fight terrorism. The 2002 Global Attitudes survey found that the war on terror drew more opposition from Arab and other Muslim-majority countries than from any other part of the globe, and although the degree of opposition in specific countries has fluctuated somewhat over time, the overall picture is clear: the U.S. has not won the battle for Muslim public opinion on this important issue.

Third, anti-Americanism is driven by the perception that America acts unilaterally on the world stage. Majorities or pluralities in each of these countries say that in making foreign policy decisions, the U.S. pays either "not too much" or "not much at all" attention to their country's interests. In Lebanon, there has been some progress on this question the United States is seen as less unilateralist than it was two years ago. Nonetheless, nearly six-in-ten Lebanese still feel the U.S. does not take their interests into account.

Finally, perceptions of U.S. policy in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict feed anti-Americanism. A 2003 Pew Global Attitudes poll found that enormous majorities in Arab and Muslim countries (at least 90% in Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, Morocco, and Lebanon) believed the U.S. favors Israel too much. Although our most recent survey did not ask this same question, it did find strongly negative views towards Jews in the Arab world. For example, no respondents in either Lebanon or Jordan had a favorable view of Jews (on the other hand, 91% of Lebanese and 58% of Jordanians had a favorable view of Christians)."

link: Pew Global Attitudes Project: How the United States is Perceived in the Arab and Muslim Worlds (http://pewglobal.org/commentary/display.php?AnalysisID=1001)

Furthermore, the majority of insurgents in Iraq are Sunni, and the increased tension with Iran is Shiite based. We're not making friends over there, Squatch, as much as you'd like to believe that.

Annals of National Security: The Redirection: Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/03/05/070305fa_fact_hersh)


Actually now that there are places in the Islamic world that are more open to moderate thinking, the conflict has actually intensified within Islam. .

I would love for that good news to be true. Hit me with a reference. I want to believe that.

Mr. Hyde
November 3rd, 2007, 06:09 PM
On a side note, what ever happened to the vaunted 'Spring Offensive' Newsweek was saying was coming. I remember predictions that Kabul would be overrun and hundreds would die. All that seems to have happened is taliban defeat after defeat by local afghan forces.

I didn't catch the article about the spring offensive. But as far as taliban repeated defeats, we (and/or Afghan forces) might be beating them back over and over, but the problem is that they can continue to come back beating after beating.

Our strategy for dealing with terrorism and terrorist groups definitely needs a bit of rethinking.

Snoop
November 4th, 2007, 09:50 AM
I think Pakistan did a no-no by declaring Marshall Law (Emergency Rule) - there goes another ally:



U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Sunday the United States would review billions of dollars in financial aid to ally Pakistan after President Pervez Musharraf declared emergency rule.

Rice, who was speaking to reporters in Jerusalem, also urged Musharraf to call elections and reiterated U.S. displeasure at emergency rule, which she advised against in two phone calls with Pakistan's president on Oct. 31.

"Obviously we are going to have to review the situation with aid, in part because we have to see what may be triggered by certain statutes," Rice said. U.S. reviews aid to Pakistan, demands poll | Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSN04192352)



Washington has generously backed the general, sending him more than $10 billion in aid since 2001, mostly for the military. Now the administration finds itself in the bind of having to publicly castigate the man it has described as one of its closest allies in fighting terrorism. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/04/world/asia/04pakistan.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin

nemesis
February 24th, 2008, 08:46 AM
Pakistan does not seem to have benefitted at all from the partition. Maybe the unrest and potential civil war may lead to a merge with India, Afghanistan or Iran?

dbogjohnson
February 25th, 2008, 05:20 AM
Indeed, F & N. The Muslim world was primarily divided against itself. Fortunately, Bush has managed to refocus Muslim wrath onto the United States. I think if we just invade a few more Muslim countries in a totally paranoid fashion, employ a little more torture and be sure to lie about it all and refer to them as "evil" a lot . . . perhaps then we can ensure our own destruction.
Youre right....
maybe we should just get the troops out of iraq now...
or maybe we should contine with iraq and see if we can convert it to democracy
ERROR419 The above italic text was not from me im being hacked

CaeserAugustus
July 22nd, 2008, 06:23 PM
Zurok. Yes the majority of muslims don't like the US. Unfortunately our stature in the eyes of the world's people is less than respectable. But you listing off all the crap you don't like about Bush, as far as I can tell, hasn't done anything to change that or accomplish anything at all. You seem like a potentially very smart person but unfortunately just like the majority of Americans, you have been lulled into shortsightedness. You don't like whats going on so you complain and expect somebody to just make it all go away. But when in the history of America has backing down ever made any progress. If you think America and the world has problems then you have no idea what is coming. This, whether you choose to believe it or not is still the calm before the storm. Things are gonna start getting really interesting in the next few decades around the globe.

As for Pakistan itself? The US can't interfere because technically we are friendly to the government but unfortunately the government can't control the people that aren't friendly to us. Musharraf is trying desperately to hold onto power by appeasing the militant groups that are, at this point, stronger than his armies. Not to mention the many in his armies that are sympathetic to the militant groups. The only way Pakistan will be stable is if Musharraf does lose control. If you can create a power vaccumm then those that would be disloyal choose sides. If you ask me some people need to go in there and stir things up a bit. Cause civil war. Cause chaos. Have teams ready to help those civilians that wish to flee. While they concentrate on eachother we can focus on trying to stabilize Afghanistan and begin plans for who will win the civil war.