February 17, 2009

Say, Let's Nuclearize the Taliban!

Hatched by Dafydd

Yesterday was a wonderful day in Pakistan... if you're a militant Islamist terrorist, that is. If you're a fan of civilization, however, it's a day of somber reflection for some -- and atonement for others.

Yesterday, the craven, new government of Pakistan signed a deal with the Taliban and al-Qaeda... this time handing Malakand over to them; the region includes the Swat Valley area of Pakistan, which used to be one of the nicest, calmest, and least violent tourist areas of that very troubled country:

Pakistan agreed Monday to suspend military offensives and impose Islamic law in part of the restive northwest, making a gesture it hopes will help calm the Taliban insurgency while rejecting Washington's call for tougher measures against militants.

A U.S. defense official called the deal "a negative development," and some Pakistani experts expressed skepticism the truce would decrease violence. One human rights activist said the accord was "a great surrender" to militants.

It has become increasingly clear that the endpoint of the current government's pathetic "war" against the Taliban -- which seems to be fought primarily using Obamic principles of defensive apology punctuated by frequent concession -- will be complete surrender to Mullah Omar, allowing the Taliban, having been kicked out of power in Afghanistan, to take over Pakistan instead... a nation that possesses actual functioning nuclear weapons.

It also possesses an actual functioning mad scientist: A.Q. Khan was just released from house arrest by the Islamabad High Court this month; Khan confessed to helping Libya, Iran, and North Korea's nuclear weapons programs by sending them centrifuges and other components for building nuclear bombs (he later recanted his confession, saying he misspoke). Khan is now free to travel about Pakistan or out of the country, and even to take control of the Pakistan nuclear program again, should the government decide to invite him back, either before or after they hand Pakistan over to the Taliban.

Why would Pakistan commit such a devastating act of appeasement against a group that is trying to violently seize control of the country itself? Because the government of Pakistan is increasingly afraid to fight for the country. As bad as Pervez Musharraf was, the new tag-team of President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, both of the Pakistan Peoples Party (formerly led by Benazir Bhutto), and behind-the-scenes khan-maker Nawaz Sharif of the Pakistan Muslim League (N) -- the "N" is for Nawaz -- is staggeringly worse. At least Musharraf actually fought against the Taliban and al-Qaeda, in between occasional "cease fires" allowing both sides to recover; the current government for the most part simply retreats.

And what did Pakistan get in return? They got a ten-day cease fire:

The Swat Taliban, which had said Sunday it would observe a 10-day cease-fire in support of the government's initiative, welcomed the deal.

"Our whole struggle is for the enforcement of Shariah law," Swat Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan said. "If this really brings us the implementation of Shariah, we will fully cooperate with it."

Pakistan officials hasten to add that the form of sharia they offer isn't quite as extreme or cartoonish as what the same Taliban enforced in Afghanistan:

Hoti said the main changes to the legal system promised by the accord already are included in existing laws stipulating Islamic justice. But he said they would be implemented only after peace was restored in the valley. [Aha, hence the "10-day cease-fire"!]

Hoti said the laws, which allow for Muslim clerics to advise judges when hearing cases and the setting up of an Islamic appeals court, would ensure a much speedier and fairer justice system than the current system, which dates back to British colonial times.

The rules do not ban female education or contain other strict interpretations of Shariah that have been demanded by many members of the Taliban in Pakistan -- restrictions imposed by Afghanistan's Taliban regime that was ousted by the U.S.-led invasion in late 2001.

The rules do, however, strengthen "Islamic justice," where secular judges are "advised" by "Muslim clerics," and where such harsh penalties can also be decided by "Islamic appeals court" judges; thus, while the rules do not explicitly call for, e.g., stoning "adulterers" (including rape victims) and homosexuals to death, allowing "honor" killings, and banning music and dancing, they likely would allow individual judges to impose such sentences themselves. Certainly nobody has gone on record saying they wouldn't allow such grotesqueries.

There is a certain "the biter bitten" irony to this; Pakistan helped create the Taliban in the first place, hoping a fundamentalist Islamist Afghanistan would support Pakistan's struggle to seize the part of Kashmir that is still controlled by India, to join it to the part already controlled by Pakistan.

In fact, it was Benazir Bhutto herself who initiated that policy when she was prime minister in the 1990s. She was later assassinated by the Taliban's ally al-Qaeda. Today, the government that appeases the Taliban is led by her widower husband (and partner in corruption) President Zardari; by the party she used to lead, the Pakistan Peoples Party; and by her former ally in bringing down Musharraf (and later rival for the presidency), Nawaz Sharif. Thus the gratitude of the Taliban.

Perhaps this should give Pakistan a clue of how satisfied the Taliban and al-Qaeda will be by controlling but a few regions of that country and imposing only partial sharia law. I think it just barely possible that they will instead see Malakand and the Federally Administrered Tribal Areas as safe havens from which to launch increasingly savage and successful attacks on the rest of the country, until all of nuclear-armed Pakistan is in the hands of those terrorist groups.

Well, President Barack H. Obama -- what is your plan; do you still plan to launch a ground invasion of Pakistan?

"When I am president, we will wage the war that has to be won," he told an audience at the Woodrow Wilson Center in the District. He added, "The first step must be to get off the wrong battlefield in Iraq and take the fight to the terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan."

Do you have any specifics? Will you settle upon the Colin Powell approach, taking six months to build up a huge invasion force in the Indian portion of Kashmir? Have you any serious thoughts about the following issues:

  • Where we are to get those forces in the first place?
  • How we are to get India to allow them to march across their country to threaten all-out war with Pakistan?
  • Do you anticipate India will eagerly join the expedition to launch Armageddon between the two unfriendly neighbors?
  • How we are to support and supply them in the field?
  • What is the goal -- to conquer Pakistan?
  • What then... nation rebuilding? Do you have a plan for that?
  • How we should respond if the Islamists drop a nuke, which we know Pakistan has, on our expeditionary force? Should we nuke Islamabad in retaliation, a city with a population of 1.5 million, 4.5 million in the metro area?
  • Have you consulted with Gen. David Petraeus, who is the commander of CENTCOM? Or even offered him cookies?
  • Have you figured out how to sell to the American people a war that would utterly dwarf the Afghanistan and Iraq wars combined?

Afghanistan has 33 million people, Iraq has 25-30 million. Pakistan has a population of 173 million, three times the GDP of Afghanistan and Iraq combined, 1.4 million men in its military forces (including paramilitary and reserves, which would surely be activated in such a war), an air force of 523 combat aircraft (the entire United States has but 2,604)... and those pesky nukes.

If President Obama no longer wants to invade Pakistan, then is he willing to accept a nuclear nation controlled by al-Qaeda and the Taliban? If not -- then what is his plan? He doesn't seem to have commented. Or noticed.

In the meanwhile, Pakistani immigrants living in America -- some of them American citizens -- are being threatened, both directly and by proxy attacks against their families, into sending ransom and tribute to the Taliban and to cease protesting or organizing against terrorists... even to cease speaking about the subject right here in America.

But Zardari, Gilani, and Sharif are hoping the Islamist terrorists will be satisfied with sharia-lite in some areas of Pakistan, that the agreement will bring peace in our time. Well, perhaps; but if so, they would be the first fanatics ever to be bought off by partial appeasement. I think others are more foresighted (from the AP article above):

Critics asked why authorities were responding to the demands of a militant group that has waged a reign of terror [and has specifically fought to overthrow the Pakistan government, both under Musharraf and under Zardari, Gilani, and Sharif].

"This is simply a great surrender, a surrender to a handful of forces who work through rough justice and brute force," said Athar Minallah, a lawyer and civil rights activist. "Who will be accountable for those hundreds of people who have been massacred in Swat? And they go and recognize these forces as a political force. This is pathetic."

President Obama has proven himself an adept at Bush bashing, al-Arabiya kowtowing, and Ahmadinejad fawning. Now let's see him in action in the real world. We'll see if, like his hero Franklin Roosevelt, he excoriates his predecessor... then apes every one of his major policies -- but on steroids.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, February 17, 2009, at the time of 3:49 PM

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The following hissed in response by: Dick E


Today The One ordered an additional 17,000 troops sent to Afghanistan.

I understand they will be issued sabers, thence to be deployed to the Pakistani border for a mass rattling.

The above hissed in response by: Dick E [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 17, 2009 5:22 PM

The following hissed in response by: Baggi

If this was the Bush Administration, i'd think something tricky was going on here.

For example, you declare a certain area of your country to be under Islamic Law and encourage all of your extremist to go there, and then when they're all together in one place, you wipe them out. Kind of what we did with the Iraq strategy.

The above hissed in response by: Baggi [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 17, 2009 8:54 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh


Oh how I wish! Alas, I fear it'll be more like the Dick E scenario...


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 17, 2009 9:59 PM

The following hissed in response by: Davod

"When I am president, we will wage the war that has to be won," he told an audience at the Woodrow Wilson Center in the District. He added, "The first step must be to get off the wrong battlefield in Iraq and take the fight to the terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan."

Won by whome. His first action was to put the Jews behind Muslims in his innauguration speech. The next was to talk about changing the way we do business with Muslims. And now his people are working on DurbanII on how better to kill democratic freedoms.

The above hissed in response by: Davod [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 18, 2009 3:40 AM

The following hissed in response by: Davod


"And now his people are working on DurbanII on how better to kill democratic freedoms." and Jews.

The above hissed in response by: Davod [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 18, 2009 4:15 AM

The following hissed in response by: Karmi

The Taliban and al-Qaeda have survived 7 years of war against the USA, and they had won the 9-10 years of war against the USSR. Obama now shows up - looking like the newly arrived ‘Fat-b*tt-young-boy’ in any prison – after having ran his mouth against ‘W’ and Pakistan.

Perhaps, by now, Obama has finally looked at a map of Asia/Middle East, and wishes he hadn’t ran his mouth…though I doubt it.

The above hissed in response by: Karmi [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 18, 2009 5:41 AM

The following hissed in response by: Davod

"the government of Pakistan is increasingly afraid to fight for the country"

The Pakistanis will go to war, but with India over Kashmir. What better way to keep most of the Pakistani Army busy while ratbags in the Army, and ISI, plus the Taliban and Al Qaeda take over Pakistan.

The above hissed in response by: Davod [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 19, 2009 10:53 AM

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