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Osama bin Laden offered sanctuary in Pakistan
September 5, 2006 5:33 PM   Subscribe

ABC News: Osama bin Laden offered sanctuary in Pakistan:
If he is in Pakistan, bin Laden "would not be taken into custody," Major General Shaukat Sultan Khan told ABC News in a telephone interview, "as long as one is being like a peaceful citizen."
Offer comes as truce is concluded between Pakistan and Al Queada:
The Pakistani military will no longer operate in the area where Osama bin Laden and other top al Qaeda operatives are believed to be hiding, according to terms of what the Pakistan government calls a "peace deal," signed today with militant tribal groups allied to the Taliban and al Qaeda.
San Jose Mercury News reports Bush Administration approved truce, will offer millions in aid:
The Pakistani military is striking truces with Islamic separatists along the country's border with Afghanistan, freeing Pakistani militants and al-Qaida fighters to join Taliban insurgents battling U.S.-led troops and government forces in Afghanistan..... when the military failed to crush the separatists, the Bush administration agreed to support Pakistan's truce-making efforts and pledged millions of dollars in additional aid.
posted by orthogonality (155 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
So the lesson to bin Laden is, apparently:
"Attack the US and kill thousands of innocent civilans, and we'll withould aid from you for 5 years."
posted by spazzm at 5:38 PM on September 5, 2006


This has to be a joke.......

Bush is getting creamed for this in November.
posted by dibblda at 5:42 PM on September 5, 2006


OK, I give up. There is nothing redeeming about George W. Bush. I'm going to freeze myself until January 2009. People, the election is in your hands.
posted by DragonBoy at 5:42 PM on September 5, 2006


Only six day short of the fifth anniversary of 9/11, and we've surrendered in the war on 9/11's architect. Because we've been too occupied with occupying Iraq.

But still this very day, President Bush insists we must stay in Iraq, because "Iraq is not a distraction in their war against America" but the "central battlefield where this war will be decided."
posted by orthogonality at 5:43 PM on September 5, 2006


A staunch ally in the war on terrah!
posted by uncle harold at 5:44 PM on September 5, 2006


Don't call me Shirley.
posted by Zozo at 5:44 PM on September 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


It really says " Pakistan gives free pass to bin Laden" on ABCNews.com. On BBC they have Bush comparing him to Hitler.

It seems crazy. Can they not keep their story straight?
posted by jam_pony at 5:46 PM on September 5, 2006


Makes you wonder if Bush & Co.:

1. Honestly thought nobody would find out about this;
2. Honestly thought (and still think) that they can spin this effectively;
3. Honestly thought this was a good idea somehow,
and/or 4: Honestly thought at all.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 5:48 PM on September 5, 2006


Wait, what? You're serious?
posted by fet at 5:49 PM on September 5, 2006


Second, we have made it clear to all nations, if you harbor terrorists, you are just as guilty as the terrorists; you're an enemy of the United States, and you will be held to account.
posted by uncle harold at 5:49 PM on September 5, 2006


Bush has done everything Bin Ladin wanted--from moving our troops out of Saudi Arabia to removing Saddam who Bin Ladin hated--i'm sure he's well aware of this safe haven thing too (altho it doesn't mean that he won't be hauled in if the GOP needs it to win an election).
posted by amberglow at 5:50 PM on September 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


Man, I picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue.
posted by Divine_Wino at 5:51 PM on September 5, 2006


How can this be serious? I gotta check this....
posted by toma at 5:52 PM on September 5, 2006


they keep talking about Al Qaeda #2s being captured---the real #2 is in the White House.
posted by amberglow at 5:53 PM on September 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


I wonder if Bin Laden likes movies about gladiators?
posted by basicchannel at 5:54 PM on September 5, 2006


we're actually funding the Taliban--again

... In return, Pakistani officials are promising to restrict the country's troops in the area to major bases and towns and to pour huge amounts of aid - much of it from the United States and other nations - into the destitute region, according to American officials.
...

posted by amberglow at 5:55 PM on September 5, 2006


Well, it makes a lot of sense. The last thing you want is a destabilized nuclear Pakistan being overrun by Al Qaeda sympathizers. We should be striking more truces. Ideally the War on Terror could be conducted with gentlemanly airs, just like the Cold War. A bit of tit for tat, a lot of press releases, the ocassional scare, and everybody profits. We could even work out a deal with Osama perhaps, we've done business with him before, and everything could go well as long as he doesn't go and do a Saddam.
posted by nixerman at 5:55 PM on September 5, 2006


It was all getting too much
posted by strawberryviagra at 5:56 PM on September 5, 2006


It's funny that people are surprised by this. It's even funnier that, after everything which has occurred so far, people keep saying stuff like "Bush is getting creamed for this in November."
You people haven't stood up to them so far, after everything they've done, what makes you think you'll start now?
posted by nightchrome at 5:56 PM on September 5, 2006


This reminds me of a cartoon from about 2003. The tin man is pointing at a map of the middle east and saying "Oil can! Oil can! Oil can be found here." Bush is saying "If I only had a brain."
posted by jam_pony at 5:57 PM on September 5, 2006


Not to brag but I called this two years ago.

The mouth breathers were on me about being anti-war and debunking the Bush administrations justifications for attacking Iraq.

I pointed out that, unlike Saddam, we have 100% proof of an a unelected despot who shelters our enemy, sells nuke technology to our enemy, and makes war on his neighbors. Yet we are ALLIED with him. That guy is Pervez Musharraf.

So why do we attack an impotent Iraq? OIL and strategic position! It has nothing to do with "terror." The logic is inescapable.

I also asserted that Musharraf has, or WILL, likely strike a deal with Bin Laden and will play both sides. He is too powerful and his position as the only Islamic Nuke Power is too prestigious for Bin Laden to directly fuck with overtly. And for Musharraf, Bin Laden is the perfect judas goat.
posted by tkchrist at 5:57 PM on September 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


Uhm so let's spin the wheel....."So all the dead soldiers, deficit expense on bullshit, when we could have had an agreement ? " And that's just the first the runs to mind.
posted by elpapacito at 5:58 PM on September 5, 2006


PS. You guys need to post ALL of this to UseNet. They are the guys who need to read this.
posted by tkchrist at 5:59 PM on September 5, 2006


i hear (for a while now), tkchrist, that Musharraf would be dead and gone and overthrown already if it wasn't for Bin Ladin and extremist Muslim support. He overthrew to begin with. Why Bush loves him so is something else, unless he's just the go-between to Osama.
posted by amberglow at 6:02 PM on September 5, 2006


Well, the AP is reporting roughly the same thing...
posted by toma at 6:04 PM on September 5, 2006


Surely ...

Aw, fuck.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:06 PM on September 5, 2006


I think a nice handshake between bin Laden and Bush would clear this whole mess right up. Sometimes when dudes get into a fight, afterwards they give props to one another and hug.
posted by Falconetti at 6:07 PM on September 5, 2006


this is just a trick to lull Bin Laden into complacency and then we'll go in a snatch him up in the middle of the night and bring him to justice!

right? yeah, that's got to be right.
posted by photoslob at 6:10 PM on September 5, 2006


strawberryviagra writes "It was all getting too much"

That guy really should use the long form "Benjamin" instead of the abbreviated...
posted by clevershark at 6:10 PM on September 5, 2006


The comments on the ABC blog are even more terrifying than the ranting here...

That's fine. Send troops into Pakistan from Afghanistan at the same time we send troops from Iraq into Iran, then Syria. If we're going to fight a war on terror, let's not go halfway. We have to dedicate ourselves to this 100% and do it the right way. The problem is that the anti-American left will never let this happen.
Posted by: Pete | Sep 5, 2006 6:38:19 PM


Or how 'bout...

Under Rove, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Rice, and Bush and their so-called "War on Terror" has been a complete failure. TIME FOR CHANGE IN OCTOBER, RIGHT? Vote Democrat!
Posted by: Zak | Sep 5, 2006 5:08:55 PM


Sigh...
posted by AspectRatio at 6:11 PM on September 5, 2006


ranting, Aspect? The one thing all the country was united on (and the only thing) has been to get Osama and Al Qaeda. That's it--left, right, middle--everyone wanted revenge.

We never got it because Bush is playing games with our lives, our money, our safety, and the world. Enough already.
posted by amberglow at 6:14 PM on September 5, 2006


Ditto sigh....
posted by mr.curmudgeon at 6:14 PM on September 5, 2006


amberglow: we're actually funding the Taliban--again

... In return, Pakistani officials are promising to restrict the country's troops in the area to major bases and towns and to pour huge amounts of aid - much of it from the United States and other nations - into the destitute region, according to American officials.
...


Well, isn't this what the US should ought to have done at the outset instead of pursuing war? Funnel money into helping the poor become self sufficient and to educate the uneducated? Give people power to ignore the radicals instead of relying on them for help or joining radical causes out of despair?

Realistically, though, yeah. What you said, man.
posted by porpoise at 6:17 PM on September 5, 2006


Of course, this comes out while everyone is breathlessly pawning for Katie Couric to show us pictures of some celeb's baby.
posted by moonbird at 6:18 PM on September 5, 2006


This just can't be right.
posted by jcking77 at 6:21 PM on September 5, 2006


Mission Accomplished!

The second ABC News story on the truce goes on to explain the Pakistani Army will return to its barracks, leaving the Al-Qaeda sympathetic tribes alone in return for their not attacking Pakistani government troops.
basically, this is a victory for Pakistan's own version of fundamentalist Islamic insurgency:
Though the military will not release exact figures, they also killed and injured hundreds of Pakistani soldiers in roadside bombs and suicide attacks....
Witnesses in North Waziristan said tribal leaders hugged each other and fired guns to celebrate the deal, which is widely being viewed as a victory for their camp and a humiliating retreat for the Pakistan military.
In exchange for cutting and running, the Pakistani government will, to turn the famous Ronald Reagan quote on its head, will "trust but not verify";
Under the agreement, the Pakistan military will stop monitoring the activity of the militants, who will pledge to "live like good citizens,"....
Yeah, sure.

So let me get this straight: Pakistan, a country that wasn't invaded, didn't have its infrastructure destroyed, and isn't under the de facto rule of a foreign occupier, nevertheless can't win militarily against tribesmen and Al-Qaeda terrorists armed with improvised bombs.

But in Iraq, occupied, already is a civil war in all but name, riven with sectarian strife and ethnic cleansing, chafing under a non-Muslin and foreign occupation, will "stand up" -- real soon now, you betcha, last throes! -- so our US Army can stand down?

Come on, get real.

All along, the real threat's been Al-Qaeda. We could have crushed Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, we should have crushed Al Qaeda and killed Osama bin Laden there, but rather than finish the job there, Dubya the Distracted Decider decided to accomplish a "quick, easy, just need a handful of soldiers" mission in Iraq -- a nation with no real WMDs, which had nothing to do with 9/11, a side-show everywhere except in the fevered dreams of the neo-con-job Project for a New America Century.

But now Afghanistan, which was supposed to be a show-case of American might is, as the New York Times reports today "one of the most troubled fronts in the fight against terrorism".

Three years after "Mission Accomplished", Al Qaeda terrorists run free in Afghanistan, because we didn't have the foresight, the will, or an available army to finish the job there. Pakistan has concluded a peace treaty with Al-Qaeda, because we've been occupied in occupying Iraq. Iran, unchecked with our army tied down next door, has become the main beneficiary of our misadventure in Iraq.

But still this very day, President Bush insists we must stay in Iraq, because "Iraq is not a distraction in their war against America" but the "central battlefield where this war will be decided."



This isn't a matter of Democrats being "soft on terror"; it's not a matter of wanting to "cut and run". Tell everyone, Republican, Democrat, independent -- hell, tell all three members of "Connecticut for Lieberman" --, this is yet another Bush screw-up: he's continuing his obsession with fighting the wrong enemy in the wrong place for the wrong reasons. He's destroying our Army by continuing this disaster occupation of Iraq, while our real enemy -- Al-Qaeda -- has regained and is consolidating its power in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

This is the same obliviousness to what's really going on that brought us "Heckuva job, Brownie!" and "nobody expected the levees to break".

You want to fight Al-Qaeda? You want to finally bring Osama bin Laden to justice? Then we need new management, not Captain Ahab Bush demanding that we continue to chase the white whale Moby Iraq.


We're losing to Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan because our military is tied down in Iraq. We're losing to Al Qaeda because President Bush can't see anything but Iraq.

Bush has lost Afghanistan, he's lost Pakistan, and the situation on the ground in Iraq is untenable. How many more mistakes can we afford? How many more truces with terrorists by President "cut and run the into a quagmire instead of getting the job done"? How many more defeats do we need to show us that the only patriotic course is to dump this "Decider" and elect new management?
posted by orthogonality at 6:22 PM on September 5, 2006 [7 favorites]


They want us to pay Osama's pension? & we're going to do it?
posted by taosbat at 6:27 PM on September 5, 2006


Screw it.
Do we have enough nukes to flatten south asia from the Red Sea to Cashmere?
posted by Dillenger69 at 6:27 PM on September 5, 2006


We certainly have more than enough nukes to take out the White House and the Capitol.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 6:28 PM on September 5, 2006


Remember, it's not appeasement, it's...uh...trucement. Yeah.
posted by uosuaq at 6:29 PM on September 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


Sounds like a plan this guy would have cooked up.
posted by emelenjr at 6:29 PM on September 5, 2006


Sounds more like a James Baker "family fixer" special to me.
posted by amberglow at 6:33 PM on September 5, 2006


Dillenger69 writes "Do we have enough nukes to flatten south asia from the Red Sea to Cashmere?"

Only you have the knowledge to pick the targets, Nr. President! But in Cashmere, the Sweaters are our friends and the Socks are our enemies.

(Cf: Ambassador claims shortly before invasion, Bush didn't know there were two sects of Islam: Galbraith reports that the three of them spent some time explaining to Bush that there are two different sects in Islam--to which the President allegedly responded, “I thought the Iraqis were Muslims!”)
posted by orthogonality at 6:33 PM on September 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


emelenjr, I was thinking the same thing. Free zones.
posted by birdherder at 6:34 PM on September 5, 2006


This reminds me a bit of the end of Ronin. "It was never about the case", was it. Now, if only someone could discover oil in Pakistan, those appeasers would be getting the what-for from this fearless President!
posted by clevershark at 6:37 PM on September 5, 2006


Second, we have made it clear to all nations, if you harbor terrorists, you are just as guilty as the terrorists; you're an enemy of the United States, and you will be held to account.

Except, of course, if you have nuclear weapons and thus could seriously fuck us over should we try anything. So Pakistan, you're off the hook!
posted by eriko at 6:46 PM on September 5, 2006


from Kos: Come on, Bush. It's time to invade Pakistan...THE PRESIDENT: Well, as I say, we haven't heard much from him. And I wouldn't necessarily say he's at the center of any command structure. And, again, I don't know where he is. I -- I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him. I know he is on the run. I was concerned about him, when he had taken over a country. I was concerned about the fact that he was basically running Afghanistan and calling the shots for the Taliban. ...
posted by amberglow at 6:48 PM on September 5, 2006


did anyone mention that the terrorists have officially won?
posted by snofoam at 6:48 PM on September 5, 2006


orthogonality, you have outdone yourself on this post. Excellent context. Also, very good point tkchrist.
posted by caddis at 6:53 PM on September 5, 2006


we're actually funding the Taliban--again

No, amberglow, that was the Mujahadeen, which was headed by ... um ... Osama bin Laden.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:54 PM on September 5, 2006


did anyone mention that the terrorists have officially won?



There.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:57 PM on September 5, 2006


"Stay the course!"
posted by ZachsMind at 6:58 PM on September 5, 2006


I don't know about you folks, but I'm learning Arabic and Farsi right now-stat 911!!!
posted by snsranch at 6:58 PM on September 5, 2006


It must be true, it's on YouTube [via].
posted by taosbat at 6:59 PM on September 5, 2006


Hmmmmmm.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 7:03 PM on September 5, 2006


This hasn't hit CNN or my Reuters RSS yet. What gives?
posted by tylermoody at 7:04 PM on September 5, 2006


OK -- this is baffling. I see the story in a few places from Google News but basically people have left it alone. What the heck is going on there?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:11 PM on September 5, 2006


"did anyone mention that the terrorists have officially won?"
Yeah, I wonder when osama is gonna do his "mission acomplished" speach.
posted by Iron Rat at 7:21 PM on September 5, 2006


Except, of course, if you have nuclear weapons and thus could seriously fuck us over should we try anything. So Pakistan, you're off the hook!

North Korea's good to go, too.

Ah, you sweet altruistic Americans, how you selflessly and bravely dance and mug on the precipice of fiery death for the rest of the world's amusement!

Yeah, I wonder when osama is gonna do his "mission acomplished" speach

Probably after the banner can read 'Fission Accomplished'.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:22 PM on September 5, 2006


tylermoody writes "This hasn't hit CNN or my Reuters RSS yet. What gives?"


Well, while Pakistan offered Osama bin Laden a safe house, and the Taliban/Al Qaeda their guns back and a safe base on the Afghanistan border. the REAL NEWS was that President Decider gave a great speech!
Bin Laden and his terrorist allies have made their intentions as clear as Lenin and Hitler before them. The question is: Will we listen? Will we pay attention to what these evil men say? America and our coalition partners have made our choice. We're taking the words of the enemy seriously. We're on the offensive, and we will not rest, we will not retreat, and we will not withdraw from the fight, until this threat to civilization has been removed.

. . . .

Second, we're determined to deny weapons of mass destruction to outlaw regimes and terrorists who would use them without hesitation. Working with Great Britain and Pakistan and other nations, the United States shut down the world's most dangerous nuclear trading cartel, the AQ Khan network.

. . . .

Third, we're determined to deny terrorists the support of outlaw regimes. After September the 11th, I laid out a clear doctrine: America makes no distinction between those who commit acts of terror, and those that harbor and support them, because they're equally guilty of murder. Thanks to our efforts, there are now three fewer state sponsors of terror in the world than there were on September the 11th, 2001. Afghanistan and Iraq have been transformed from terrorist states into allies in the war on terror.

. . . .

Fourth, we're determined to deny terrorist networks control of any nation, or territory within a nation. So, along with our coalition and the Iraqi government, we'll stop the terrorists from taking control of Iraq, and establishing a new safe haven from which to attack America and the free world. And we're working with friends and allies to deny the terrorists the enclaves they seek to establish in ungoverned areas across the world. By helping governments reclaim full sovereign control over their territory, we make ourselves more secure.

. . . .

And now, freedom is once again contending with the forces of darkness and tyranny. This time, the battle is unfolding in a new region -- the broader Middle East. This time, we're not waiting for our enemies to gather in strength. This time, we're confronting them before they gain the capacity to inflict unspeakable damage on the world, and we're confronting their hateful ideology before it fully takes root.
Shorter Bush: Osama bad, Pakistan and Afghanistan and Iraq our allies, but we must forget Osama and our little war in Afghanistan to concentrate on Sunni and Shia terrorists in the "broader Middle East" war on terrorism, i.e., in Iraq and Iran.


Mr. President, your "ally" is hosting "Hitler". Do you care?

Word counts in Bush's speech today:
Afghanistan: 9
Pakistan: 1
Iraq: 28
Iran: 19
posted by orthogonality at 7:25 PM on September 5, 2006


Who's going to break the news to these guys?
posted by madamjujujive at 7:25 PM on September 5, 2006


Are you kidding, lupus? If ever there was a story the US govt wanted to suppress, it's this one. Hopefully, it'll spread far and fast, but it wouldn't surprise me one bit if it went nowhere.
posted by nevercalm at 7:26 PM on September 5, 2006


This is all Clinton's fault.
posted by homunculus at 7:27 PM on September 5, 2006


Is this PakTribune article describing the same accord? If so, it sounds quite different.
posted by swell at 7:34 PM on September 5, 2006


terror terror 9/11 gay marriage terror the ten commandments 9/11 gay marriage terror 9/11!
posted by mcsweetie at 7:36 PM on September 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


I think that the PakTribune article describes one and the same event. Look up exactly who the players are and read it again carefully -- for example:

"Similarly they have resolved that all foreigners in North Waziristan will leave Pakistan, albeit those who are unable to do so for certain genuine reasons shall respect law of the land and abide by all conditions of the agreement. They shall not disturb the peace and tranquility of the area."

Very impressed with their writing skills.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:43 PM on September 5, 2006


Looks like the story has made it onto television. . .
posted by washburn at 7:48 PM on September 5, 2006


US puppet Pakistan signs peace deal with al Qaeda, guarantees Bin Laden's safety and channels US aid to al Qaeda and the Taliban, all with the knowledge and tacit approval of George Bush.

[crickets]

Sad about that crocodile guy, ain't it?

My fellow Americans, you are fucking idiots.
posted by words1 at 7:49 PM on September 5, 2006


I wanted to say something vitriolic, but nothing really comes to mind. It's just sad...
posted by c13 at 7:54 PM on September 5, 2006


They want us to pay Osama's pension? & we're going to do it?

I got it! I got it!

This is Bush's way to get us talking about getting rid of Social Security again! Yeah, that's the ticket!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:57 PM on September 5, 2006


These are parody websites, right? right?


Jesus Christ why isn't this anywhere else on the Internet?

Currently:
CNN: "Clemson Freshman Raising Brother"
MSNBC: "It's a Boy! Japan's Princess Kiko bears son, averting succession crisis"
FoxNews: "Bush Vows No Retreat in War on Terror"
posted by eraserhed at 7:57 PM on September 5, 2006


swell writes "Is this PakTribune article describing the same accord? If so, it sounds quite different."

The Pakistani government is trying to save face after getting kicked out of the mountain provinces by a native insurgency:
Extremist tribal leaders in North and South Waziristan had virtually taken over in recent months. They imposed Taliban-style law in their districts, held public executions and were openly recruiting fighters for 'jihad' against U.S. troops across the border in Afghanistan.

Though the military will not release exact figures, they also killed and injured hundreds of Pakistani soldiers in roadside bombs and suicide attacks. The ongoing military operations in the tribal belt were so unpopular here -- many accuse President Pervez Musharraf of fighting America's War on Terror with Pakistani blood -- analysts say the general had to stop the bloodshed, even if just for the meantime.

An earlier deal in 2003 dissolved after tribal militants failed to hold up their end of the bargain. Few expect this deal to hold either.
The same insurgency the afghans are losing to:
On a July morning, Taliban gunmen shot dead the province’s most powerful cleric as he walked to the main city mosque to lead morning prayers. Five months later, they executed a teacher at a nearby village school as students watched. The following month, they walked into another mosque and gunned down an Afghan engineer working for a foreign aid group, shooting him in the back as he pressed his forehead to the ground and supplicated to God.

This spring and summer, the slow and methodical siege of this southern provincial capital intensified. The Taliban and their allies set up road checkpoints, burned 20 trucks and slowed the flow of supplies to reconstruction projects. All told, in surrounding Helmand Province, five teachers, one judge and scores of police officers have been killed. Dozens of schools and courts have been shuttered, according to Afghan officials.
The same sort of insurgency we're losing to in Iraq.
posted by orthogonality at 8:00 PM on September 5, 2006


hmm, foxnews.com has no sign of it, neither does CNN. odd.
posted by mathowie at 8:02 PM on September 5, 2006


Forget Web 2.0. It's Cold War 2.0!
posted by ed at 8:12 PM on September 5, 2006


And yet, both the CBC and BBC have covered it. Hmm. . .
posted by Zetetics at 8:13 PM on September 5, 2006


Must be that evil lib'rul press.
posted by clevershark at 8:22 PM on September 5, 2006


BBC: Pakistan 'Taleban' in peace deal
posted by taosbat at 8:23 PM on September 5, 2006


The truce is being reported around the world: Iran, China, UAE. These articles tend to suggest there will be no free movement into Afghanistan. The Seatle Times reports:
Zia Mojadedi, a senior national-security aide to Karzai, criticized the Bush administration for accepting Pakistani assurances that the new truces include rebel promises not to join the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan. "The thrust of [Pakistan's] strategy remains the same: how to milk the Americans" for more money, he said.
posted by F Mackenzie at 8:26 PM on September 5, 2006


Happy Anniversary: U.S. deaths in Iraq, war on terror surpass 9/11 toll
posted by amberglow at 8:28 PM on September 5, 2006


I don't think bin laden is alive at this point. We've seen al zawahiri on a few videos in recent months, but no sign of bin laden.

And if this is true, please for the love of God somebody seriously explain what the hell anyone is going to do about it? How do you punish this administration? Bush hasn't mentioned getting bin laden, but the democrats haven't either.

And what's worse is the media doesn't want to ask bush these questions. For whatever reason reporters are scared to death to call this stupid alcoholic on the carpet for anything. He hasn't made minor mistakes, he'
s made colossal errors in judgment and told outright lies to pursue goals that make no sense in light of the truth.

I don't particularly care that pakistan announces a truce because they had a de facto one for months. But the fact that the administration is complicit and somehow trying to hide that from us is appalling, and what's worse is there is no opposition party to turn to.

A bunch of halfwits with second rate intellects have bungled the most important foreign policy challenge since the rise of the soviet union after world war ii.

Will the real democratic party please stand up? Will anyone in a postition of power actually speak up? OR do the citizens have to colelctively stop paying taxes before anyone pays us any attention?

God what a spectacular disaster...
posted by Pastabagel at 8:42 PM on September 5, 2006


MSNBC has the story
posted by Pastabagel at 8:49 PM on September 5, 2006


Why the fuck do we Canucks have forces in Afghanistan?

For that matter, why the fuck is Pakistan considered an ally?
posted by five fresh fish at 8:50 PM on September 5, 2006


Holy crap. That MSNBC story is a total whitewash.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:53 PM on September 5, 2006


why the fuck is Pakistan considered an ally?

They don't call it The Great Game for nothin'.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 8:56 PM on September 5, 2006


this is at CNN, but buried deep: In Pakistan, signs of al Qaeda all around
posted by amberglow at 8:56 PM on September 5, 2006


The real news today is that Katie Couric debuted on the CBS Evening News and showed the first pictures of Suri Cruise.
posted by jefbla at 8:57 PM on September 5, 2006


The real news story is that Katie Couric is emblematic of everything that is wrong and perverse in our culture.
posted by Pastabagel at 9:00 PM on September 5, 2006


So... do they make the checks out directly to the Taliban and OBL, or do they go to Musharraf with a 'To our BFFs' in the memo line?

Someone has to be off their meds
posted by Talanvor at 9:06 PM on September 5, 2006


re Couric: all I saw of her big show tonight was a pretty good and forthright (albiet not too long) piece on the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan. I'm trying trying trying to give her the benefit of the doubt. Anyone Matt Drudge hates that much can't be all bad, I'm hoping.
posted by washburn at 9:15 PM on September 5, 2006


Oh, here's Couric's piece.
posted by washburn at 9:17 PM on September 5, 2006


PS. You guys need to post ALL of this to UseNet. They are the guys who need to read this.
posted by tkchrist at 5:59 PM PST


Net.Bizzare was lost in the great net reorg, so there is no place for it to go.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:21 PM on September 5, 2006


Hey, it could be worse. Whoops, it may be.
posted by ryoshu at 9:27 PM on September 5, 2006


Screw it.
Do we have enough nukes to flatten south asia from the Red Sea to Cashmere?
posted by Dillenger69 at 6:27 PM PST


How about you are just TOLD that your desire was done and lock you in your hovel. Claim its part of the new security...for your safety. Then you get to breath radioactive isotopes (pumped into your hovel) while lowering the temprature (per nuclear winter). After you've eaten whatever food you have lying about, you can starve due to the lack of transportation of the store re-supply network.

After you've died in your hovel under "the government lockdown", your remains will get shoveled out and thrown into the dustbin of history.

And the rest of us can mock your idea and where it got ya.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:28 PM on September 5, 2006 [2 favorites]


How do you punish this administration?
God what a spectacular disaster...
posted by Pastabagel at 8:42 PM PST


You work in DC. Why not talk a walk and ask someone at 1600 penn. ave?

Be sure to take PP along, as he was gonna work really hard on accountability.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:31 PM on September 5, 2006


Is There Still a Terrorist Threat?
posted by homunculus at 9:31 PM on September 5, 2006


It might surprise you to know that you can't just knock on the front door.

And who is PP? Is that supposed to be some tiny dog that I pet like Dr. Evil?
posted by Pastabagel at 9:35 PM on September 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


"Is There Still a Terrorist Threat?"

Disgusted as I am with all of the fear mongering going on in this administration, yes, there is still a terrorist threat. Attacking Iraq, unfortunately yet predictably, did not lessen the threat and likely increased it. Eliminating civil rights in the States probably does very slightly lessen the threat but is hardly worth the loss. Your opinions might differ if you never valued civil rights to begin with.

I don't proclaim to have all the answers, but I think that focusing more effort on the people who funded and directed 9/11 rather than on Iraq which is frankly now a lost cause would seem to be a better strategy than our current staying of the the sinking course.
posted by caddis at 9:45 PM on September 5, 2006


PP=ParisParamus, former liberal turned neocon on 9-11 and oft MeFi conservative foil. I think the real PP sold his account for beer money to a neocon and that this username represents in fact two separate people. Anyway, he is now just MeFi history. Dios is far, far more formidable an opponent to the MeFi left wing cabal.
posted by caddis at 9:51 PM on September 5, 2006


People behave like terrorism originated on September 11th. Is there still a terrorist threat? When has there not been a terrorist threat? We used to make fun of the idea: someone who would wrap dynamite around himself and hijack a plane: "Take me to Disneyland!" Then terrorists realized there is no destination when you hijack a plane. The civilized world had outsmarted them when they tried to hijack a plane. Wherever they landed, we were there to stop them. Nine eleven didn't invent terrorism. All that happened was we learned desperate people just got a little more desperate.

Terrorism is the last desperate bastion for those who have lost the political argument. If one can't fight on the battlefield of diplomacy, one tries brinkmanship. If that doesn't work? Upset the chess board. Blow up the playing field.

Terrorism is the temper tantrum of bad sports who lost the argument of decency and common sense already, yet have too much pride to concede. Thereby changing the argument and the rules. Anyone who grapples with a bad sport is playing their game by their rules, which is all they wanted in the first place.

Did the terrorists win? Bush gave them the bloody ball, let them score, awarded them the trophy, and named the stadium after them. If that's not treason, then the word no longer has meaning.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:09 PM on September 5, 2006 [4 favorites]


caddis writes "Eliminating civil rights in the States probably does very slightly lessen the threat but is hardly worth the loss."

In the short run, probably.

In the long run, precisely the opposite: as civil liberties are eroded and police gain more and more power with fewer and fewer check on it, the citizen because increasingly fearful of confiding in the police (witness the fear of Chekists in Russia or later the Soviet Union, or even the fear of illegal immigrants in some contemporary US cities to report crimes to the police. as the citizen becomes more fearful of the police exercising arbitrary power over him, possibly for the state, possible for their own gain, that legitimate fear increasing the citizens' secretiveness, which in turn creates the need for more police.

Eventually, the police spend a majority of their resources watching and regulating otherwise law-abiding citizens who are acting suspiciously out of fear of overzealous or corrupt police. Again, think of the Soviet Union; even if what you were doing was completely legal, getting the attention of the police could open you to being denounced, blackmailed, or extorted by those same police or by fellow citizens eager to divert police attention from themselves.

With the always-increasing "need" to minutely regulate the citizenry for real and imagined and manufactured transgression, actual criminals and real terrorists thrive -- there's by necessity a ready-made underworld and black-market accessible by almost all citizens, almost all citizens can be blackmailed by criminals and terrorists by threatening to denounce them to the police, and the police attention is focused on superficially visible social control rather than crime fighting or terror prevention.
posted by orthogonality at 10:18 PM on September 5, 2006


orthogonality: Imagine a man watching a CCTV feed of a boot stamping on a human face, forever.
posted by loquacious at 10:27 PM on September 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


Pakistan army spokesman denies report that bin Laden wouldn't be captured if in country
posted by taosbat at 10:27 PM on September 5, 2006


Why the fuck do we Canucks have forces in Afghanistan?

Why not?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:28 PM on September 5, 2006


loquacious writes "orthogonality: Imagine a man watching a CCTV feed of a boot stamping on a human face, forever."


loquacious, stop spying on what I'm watching on my CCTV!
posted by orthogonality at 10:42 PM on September 5, 2006



This is a highly curious development.
posted by Skygazer at 11:22 PM on September 5, 2006


Alvy: Because Pakistan and the USA are both basically releasing their front on the Taliban extremists. AFAIK, our boys are there as a peacekeeping force, recently pressed into what can only be termed military action. I do not believe we belong there in a military role.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:42 PM on September 5, 2006


How did the USA go from hunting down bin Laden and destroying the Taliban religious regime, to playing silly buggers in Iraq? Why the sudden switcheroo?

Were Bush's buttons pushed? Did the House of Saud tell Bush to back off? Did bin Laden reveal some doomsday device? Did someone pull some strings in the Administration?

It does seem an odd thing to do.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:47 PM on September 5, 2006


Why the fuck do we Canucks have forces in Afghanistan?

Well at least I know why we have forces in Afghanistan, it is to drum up support for a New Zealand Meetup.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 1:36 AM on September 6, 2006


Well the conspiracy theorists were right after all.
posted by rishey at 2:19 AM on September 6, 2006


It does seem an odd thing to do

P*cough*NAC*hack*

Iraq was sweet, sweet low-hanging fruit that the neocons really wanted to take a bite of.

The only argument to NOT move in is what we see today, but this is just one of many possible outcomes, and $3 gas and $500B defense budgets have their upsides; not just if you've got your money invested in the right places, since a lot of this money is will come back to you via the VRW network that everyone in power is plugged into.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 2:21 AM on September 6, 2006


Dios is far, far more formidable an opponent to the MeFi left wing cabal.
posted by caddis at 9:51 PM PST


Dios hasn't said "If X turns out to not be true, I'll lead the fight to (insert some action)"

Besides, how much of an opponent is someone who is so cowardly not to respond?
posted by rough ashlar at 3:18 AM on September 6, 2006


Terrorism is the temper tantrum of bad sports who lost the argument of decency and common sense already, yet have too much pride to concede.

Terrorism is the last desperate bastion for those who have lost the political argument.


All very nice statements. But exactly WHAT paths exist for foreigers to lodge a complaint, then obtain correction for some real or precived damage from US actions?

Its not like there is a functioning world court, and it can be argured that US citizens lack the full protection under the law (wire taps, signing statements, ethic-based detentions, people in prison without charges who disagreed with exeuctive branch views, closed down newspapers which exposed executive branch constitutional violations, deadly force against rioters opposed to the draft, land grabbed from people who the court granted title, wars in lands not approved by The congress per the constitution, and on and on)
posted by rough ashlar at 3:32 AM on September 6, 2006


Official US Allies in the GWOT include Saudia Arabia, Pakistan, and Egypt.

This Bush Doctrine, does it vibrate?

I had the TV on in the background this evening. Chris Matthews was interviewing Tony Snow in one of his usual puff pieces. But I swear to god, one little thing stood out above the white noise before I got to this thread--when asked about Bush's inability to actually capture and punish bin Laden in light of recent tough-guy rhetoric about how much safer Americans are now than five years ago, Snow blurted something about how the war on terror isn't about "what's going on in Waziristan," but much bigger and global and monumental, etc. Little backwater Pakistani provinces don't matter in the face of big, bad terrorist number two's we keep capturing over and over and over in Iraq.

Turns out, it really is about Waziristan, potentially. Personally, I've though ObL was dead for years, but if he's still alive, someone is paying someone else off. If all this is true, it turns out my tinfoil was justified.

So again, it's trying to repackage the goods after the sale. The war on terror hasn't failed, citizen, it's simply moving on to new boogie-monsters like Iran (and a few years from now, it will be China and India as they begin to dominate global markets).

Wahabbi extremism in KSA and Egypt? AQ Khan in Pakistan, selling nukes to DPRK? Nothing to see here. Move along. George Bush is a man of principle, even though he's wrong about every single fucking thing having to do with the safety of the American people.
posted by bardic at 4:21 AM on September 6, 2006


WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

So, we're no longer at war with Eastasia? We're at war with Eurasia now? I thought we'd always been at war with Eurasia? Wait, I hear a knock at the door. BRB.
posted by kcds at 4:32 AM on September 6, 2006


abc 9.05.06 reporting gb dayorder doubleplusungood refs unpersons rewrite fullwise upsub antefiling
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:36 AM on September 6, 2006


Curses! Where did kcds come from?
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:37 AM on September 6, 2006


Billmon ftw.
posted by bardic at 4:38 AM on September 6, 2006


North Korea's good to go, too.

Yep. Note the pattern -- ramp up speechs, increasing threats, axis of evil, strange explosion in North Korea -- sudden silence from the US for months, then a little "You're being bad, please stop" sort of speech.

There's been lots of denial (see the Vela Incidient for how this works) but the actions of NK and the US make it clear that there was a nuclear detonation in North Korea. They were enemy #1, right up to the moment they fired their first device. Then, well, Iran, bitches!

Why do you think Iran wants the bomb now?
posted by eriko at 5:28 AM on September 6, 2006 [1 favorite]


How, exactly, is this not letting the terrorists win?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:54 AM on September 6, 2006


hil-F*cking-larious. is there anything left for these guys even to screw up?
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:56 AM on September 6, 2006


Rough Ashlar: closed down newspapers which exposed executive branch constitutional violations

WTF? Huh? Please explain. I don't remember reading anything about this.
posted by Skygazer at 6:58 AM on September 6, 2006


ABC is now saying: The ambassador said a Pakistani military spokesman, Major General Shaukat Sultan, had been "grossly misquoted" when he told ABC News Tuesday that bin Laden would not be taken into custody "as long as one is being like a peaceful citizen."
posted by honeydew at 7:02 AM on September 6, 2006


"Hooray for the Confederacy! Hooray! Down with General Grant!"
posted by davy at 7:06 AM on September 6, 2006


"Dead or alive!"
"Smoke 'em out!"
"Mission Accomplished!"
"Fords is better than Chevys!"

Dear Leader, please shut the hell up.
posted by nofundy at 7:21 AM on September 6, 2006


This thread is sort of why the left mounts no serious or credible opposition to the administration. Mixed in with the reasonble comments about how this is a failure of the war on terror are comments about how the administration is taking away y7our civil rights.

They aren't doing anything of the kind. You are able to say whatever you want, where ever you want, and no one can stop you. But freedom of press does not mean you are entitled to have a multinational entertainment conglomerate voice your point of view. If the media seems too pro war, jesus, stop watching it.

There was illegal wiretapping (and this was done long ago under Democratic presidents too), and the courts struck it down. The system only promises redress for wrongs you suffer, it does not, and has never, promised that you will never suffer wrongs.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:39 AM on September 6, 2006


The system only promises redress for wrongs you suffer, it does not, and has never, promised that you will never suffer wrongs.

Pastabagel: Oh well, in that case, I guess the people are just being uppity when they try to reform "the system" to redress what they perceive as wrongs. We should all just sit back, wait to be wronged, and then be grateful "the system" still let's us bitch about it on MeFi.

(Systems aren't really capable of promising things, you know--it's a nice figure of speech, but it obscures the reality. See, because systems aren't really alive, they don't have intentions. People have intentions and so people create systems--which are kind of like machines made out of ideas--to achieve specific ends, which may or may not include redressing wrongs. But systems don't really care. So systems, like any other machine, can be misused. Democratic systems are supposed to give the people they govern some meaningful input into how they're governed, which requires they be allowed to talk about just how they want to be governed without a bunch of jackasses telling them they should quit complaining.)

But back on the topic:

.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:21 AM on September 6, 2006


"lets"
posted by saulgoodman at 8:21 AM on September 6, 2006


So Pakistan now sez:

"If someone is found there, we will see what is to be done," General Sultan said today. "Pakistan is committed to the war on terror, and of course we will go after any terrorist found to be operating here," he said.

But this is what they did:

Under the terms of the peace agreement, the Pakistani Army promised to cease action in the area and to return captured Taliban weapons and soldiers.


Reports on the ground from an embedded ex-army soldier (via Ryoshu's comment):

The truce meeting was essentially an event designed to humiliate the Pakistani government and military. Government negotiators were searched for weapons by Taliban fighters prior to entering the meeting. Heavily armed Taliban were posted as guards around the ceremony. The al Rayah – al-Qaeda's black flag – was hung over the scoreboard at the soccer stadium where the ceremony was held. After the Pakistani delegation left, al-Qaeda's black flag was run up the flagpole of military checkpoints and the Taliban began looting the leftover small arms. The Taliban also held a 'parade' in the streets of Miranshah.


Astonishing and head swimmingly confusing. The internal pressures on Mussharef and he's gotten the go ahead from the U.S. that that area is no longer a priority even though the slow boil of the American people goes on as scheduled via all the spurious Hitler/WWII comparisons Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld have been spewing lately.
posted by Skygazer at 8:25 AM on September 6, 2006


They aren't doing anything of the kind. You are able to say whatever you want, where ever you want, and no one can stop you.

Ever heard of something called the Patriot Act?
posted by blucevalo at 8:31 AM on September 6, 2006


You Americans realize that it is becoming essential to the future of the world that you get your shit together and vote in some honest, smart, responsible people to your government, eh?

In bygone years you'd have been in the streets, perhaps even marching on Congress. You used to be a people who actually fought to uphold freedom, safety, and personal rights.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:55 AM on September 6, 2006


BBC News: Pakistan denies Bin Laden 'gaffe.'
posted by blucevalo at 9:06 AM on September 6, 2006


saulgoodman - thanks for the exposition about political systems. I had no idea they weren't actually alive, I mean I've been keeping a political system as a pet, but boy do I feel silly now!

which requires they be allowed to talk about just how they want to be governed without a bunch of jackasses telling them they should quit complaining

Actually, it requires precisely the opposite. That they can't provide an effective response to people telling them they should quit complaining is probably the root of the problem.
posted by Pastabagel at 9:09 AM on September 6, 2006


You Americans realize that it is becoming essential to the future of the world that you get your shit together and vote in some honest, smart, responsible people to your government, eh?

Yep, because there's such an obviously glaring surfeit of "honest, smart, responsible" politicians in other countries of the world, Canada included.
posted by blucevalo at 9:12 AM on September 6, 2006


That they can't provide an effective response to people telling them they should quit complaining is probably the root of the problem.

I cannot understand your logic at all.
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:14 AM on September 6, 2006


Saulgoodman - thanks for the exposition about political systems. I had no idea they weren't actually alive, I mean I've been keeping a political system as a pet, but boy do I feel silly now!

Glad I could clear that up for you! It's a more common source of confusion than you'd expect. (Still, be careful how you handle that thing: As pets go, political systems are slightly more dangerous than pet rocks--they've even been known to bite the hand that feeds them every now and then!)
posted by saulgoodman at 9:34 AM on September 6, 2006


That they can't provide an effective response to people telling them they should quit complaining is probably the root of the problem.
posted by Pastabagel


They went home.
posted by taosbat at 9:52 AM on September 6, 2006 [1 favorite]


Just on Reuters - Pakistan vows to help Kabul crush Taliban
posted by tylermoody at 9:54 AM on September 6, 2006


From the Reuters link:

Islamabad says it does all it can and on Tuesday struck a deal with pro-Taliban rebels in a tribal region bordering Afghanistan under which the militants agreed to stop raids in both Pakistan and across the border.
....
Musharraf pointed to that deal as proof of his commitment.
....
The United States and other Afghan allies reject accusations that Pakistan continues to "formally support" the Taliban.


See? No worries. The deal itself is proof of their commitment not to formally support the Taliban. Duh.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:32 AM on September 6, 2006


I cannot understand your logic at all.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:14 PM EST on September 6 [+] [!]


The logic is this. Whenever the war or some anti-terror meaaure is criticized, by anyone at any level and in any context, the response is to dismiss the speaker as weak/soft on terrorism, anti-American or unpatriotic, or in league with some imagined liberal hollywood conspiracy.

These are not difficult arguments to respond to, but the national debate has never progressed beyond this, because the opposition has never collectively issued that response.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:35 AM on September 6, 2006


I disagree pastabagel.
The "opposition" often issues responses, that they are not reported/covered is the problem.
For example, just yesterday, Wesley Clark "issued" an excellent response but did you hear about it? But Bush's fuc*ed up speech about all us terror loving fascist pinko commies, I bet you heard about that!
Now, who's fault is that, Wesley Clark's or the posters at Mefi?
Seems you're doing a bit of blaming the victims.
posted by nofundy at 11:23 AM on September 6, 2006


So, I think I'll start a dead pool--when and where the Pakistani "broken arrow" will go off.
posted by MikeKD at 12:07 PM on September 6, 2006


comments about how the administration is taking away your civil rights. They aren't doing anything of the kind. You are able to say whatever you want, where ever you want, and no one can stop you.

In your mind, then, freedom of speech is the only civil right that matters?

What about the privacy implications of the new random stop-and-searches on subways and major landmarks? What about the PATRIOT act? What about the illegal wiretapping which if you have some evidence that the NSA wiretap order was instituted before Bush -- as if that would justify it anyway -- I'd really love to see a citation? What about warrantless searches? What about the suspension of habeus corpus? What about military tribunals and Guantanamo Bay and "extraodinary rendition" circumventing the judicial process? What about the frickin' Geneva convention?

None of those matter to you?


Of course, these are all targeted at terr'ists, so it's fine for the rest of us. Civil rights only belong to the deserving, not terrorists. Or drug dealers, they're bad too. And sex offenders, gotta protect the chilluns. And environmentalists, they might do some terror, better use the PATRIOT act to keep an eye on 'em. And people who look like they might be arab. And... so on.
posted by ook at 12:16 PM on September 6, 2006


I suspect Pastabagel’s point was about diffusion and coherance of message - as in a more effective means of communicating disatisfaction would be a measured response focused on a point by point basis rather than a sort of broadside of bringing all the issues to the table at once and thus watering down the points overall. That there is enough damning evidence to support nearly any given case against the administration and making an argument to convince or an emotional appeal based on the plethora of negative issues that exist is redundant to the point of being self-damaging, but that it seems to be how the Democrats (and various hangers on) have operated in the past.

But that’s just my take.

We have seen much of this kind of thing at metafilter. More emphasis on response (pithy or otherwise) than reading and understanding and indentification of oneself and others with assumed position(s), etc. But that’s a hazard of the medium. We’re just a bunch of people blogging at each other. And it’s pretty damned entertaining most of the time. In addition it’s very often insightful and well-reasoned, but it’s not a method to emulate in responding to policy. And indeed whatever the ultimate reasons for the defeat of the democratic response, it’s relatively obvious that it is being defeated. Which would be the problem to overcome by whatever means.
(I myself like to employ bullets propelled by the expansion of gases at high velocity, but since that’s the moral equivalent of Winston Smith volunteering to throw acid in a child’s face to overthrow Big Brother, I’ll stick to the wry snarky comments and injecting GW Bush’s breakfast with my fromunda cheese.)
posted by Smedleyman at 1:37 PM on September 6, 2006


If that actually was PastaBagel's point, then it's a good one. Not one I happen to agree with, but cogent and well-stated in your formulation.

(Personally I think the failed democratic response -- and I agree it's failed -- is less to do with an overabundance of evidence leading to diffusion of the message, than with the fact that "War On Terror" is a much easier soundbite to sell than "The World Will Always Contain Interests Inimicable To Our Own So The Best We Can Do Is Use Diplomacy To Minimize The Inevitable Dangers And Good Police Work To Bring Bad Actors To Justice Without Wrecking The Structure Of Our Society In The Process." But that's just my take.)
posted by ook at 2:41 PM on September 6, 2006


I suspect Pastabagel’s point was about diffusion and coherance of message -

I know, I know... And it's a good one. Trouble is, to some (and I count myself one) "coherence of message" and all the ideological uniformity that necessarily goes with it is the enemy. Just the notion that everyone should embrace the same preconceived principles and messages in accordance with some established party-line smacks of totalitarianism. To me, those who would foster ideological purity are the problem, not the solution.

But consistency of message does seem to sell pretty well these days. So how do you fight totalitarianism effectively without embracing it? That's the million dollar question. I'd like to see more reforms aimed at encouraging the participation of lots of different political parties with different interests and points of view (a democratization of democracy, i guess). But there's just no political will for that, and there likely never will be. Instead, everyone in politics just keeps dreaming of catching the brass ring for themselves--of having a permanent one party nation with their party firmly in control. Gives me the heebie jeebies.

So does anyone really think the official disavowals coming out of Pakistan amount to anything more than empty doublespeak? I don't.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:44 PM on September 6, 2006


“soundbite” - ook
“purity” - saulgoodman

Yeah, I don’t have a clue m’self. Wish I was smarter (or far far richer). If folks with big big money support the situation, it’d require organization, etc. It’s been done. But you get a lot of busted heads and such.

I think Pakistan doesn’t have a Rove.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:53 PM on September 6, 2006


*pats self on back for avoiding ‘Quasimodo’ joke*
posted by Smedleyman at 3:22 PM on September 6, 2006


"War On Terror" is a much easier soundbite to sell than "The World Will Always Contain Interests Inimicable To Our Own So The Best We Can Do Is Use Diplomacy To Minimize The Inevitable Dangers And Good Police Work To Bring Bad Actors To Justice Without Wrecking The Structure Of Our Society In The Process."

Bloody hell. The world is complicated. If we can't handle a full sentence worth of complexity we really are doomed.
posted by dreamsign at 5:37 AM on September 7, 2006


Propaganda by Edward Bernays
posted by sonofsamiam at 5:43 AM on September 7, 2006


Ah, dammit wrong thread.
posted by sonofsamiam at 5:43 AM on September 7, 2006


closed down newspapers which exposed executive branch constitutional violations

WTF? Huh? Please explain. I don't remember reading anything about this.
posted by Skygazer at 6:58 AM PST
"Hooray for the Confederacy! Hooray! Down with General Grant!"
posted by davy at 7:06 AM PST


Davy got the reference. Back in the days of Lincoln, papers were shut down by the force of government. A long string of laws being broken lead to an argument that claims of "protection of the rule of law" are false.

Today, the executive doesn't need to do that...the IRS rules and regs can get ya shut down.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:05 AM on September 7, 2006


NATO chiefs agree need for Afghan reinforcements
Sat Sep 9, 2006 12:01pm ET166

By Pawel Kozlowski

WARSAW (Reuters) - Defense chiefs from NATO's 26 nations agreed on Saturday they needed more troops and fewer limitations on the use of their forces to step up the fight against insurgents in the violent south of Afghanistan.

No pledges of extra troops were announced after two days of talks in Warsaw but NATO officials said national defense chiefs had agreed to consult with their capitals on reinforcements to tackle fiercer-than-expected Taliban resistance.

They will meet again on Wednesday at NATO military headquarters in Mons, southern Belgium, for a so-called force generation conference aimed at matching the call by alliance commanders for between 2,000 and 2,500 extra troops.

...

General Ray Henault, the Canadian general who chaired the Warsaw talks, told reporters earlier that defense chiefs were broadly satisfied with the progress made by NATO's 18,500 troops in most of Afghanistan "but less so in the south".

Asked whether any countries had indicated they would come up with the extra troops, attack helicopters and transport aircraft which NATO planners say they want to pursue an offensive against Taliban insurgents in the south, he replied:

"I can't give you the exact number, but the chiefs of defense are very aware of requirements...Raising the number of troops will be a political decision."

...
posted by taosbat at 9:34 PM on September 9, 2006


...President Pervez Musharraf's government had authorised the release from jail of thousands of Taliban fighters caught fighting coalition forces in Afghanistan.
Five years after American-led coalition forces overthrew the Taliban during Operation Enduring Freedom, United States officials have been horrified to discover that thousands of foreign fighters detained by Pakistan after fleeing the battleground in Afghanistan have been quietly released and allowed to return to their home countries.
Pakistani lawyers acting for the militants claim they have freed 2,500 foreigners who were originally held on suspicion of having links to al-Qa'eda or the Taliban over the past four years. ...

posted by amberglow at 2:15 PM on September 16, 2006


Now waittasec... did they release Taliban fighters or a bunch of ordinary joes who got caught up in a big sweep?
posted by five fresh fish at 6:27 PM on September 16, 2006


they released all of them--ordinary, and real, known bad guys like Daniel Pearl's kidnappers/killers.
posted by amberglow at 8:43 AM on September 17, 2006


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