Friday :: Apr 25, 2008

Case Study

by Turkana

Pakistan provides a case study of Bush Administration incompetence.

Partly because they were tired of their government's continued backing of Bush's failed policies in the region, the Pakistani people, in February, badly defeated Bush-backed President Pervez Musharraf, in parliamentary elections. Even though the victorious parties were mostly secular, they clearly had no interest in continuing to back Bush's failed policies. They quickly expressed an interest in negotiating with Islamic militants. The Bush Administration brilliantly continued to back Musharraf, furthering angering the Pakistani people. The Bush Administration brilliantly opposed the plans for negotiations.

In March, the new Pakistani government announced plans to begin negotiations with the militants. They told the Bush Administration they were tired of hosting the Bush Administration's war. The Bush Administration brilliantly responded by stepping up unilateral attacks on the militants with whom the Pakistani government was about to negotiate. Unilateral attacks on Pakistani soil. There were already clear warnings that the Bush Administration's brilliant strategy would backfire. A few days ago, Pakistan released a top militant, who had been leading young men to support the Taliban against U.S.-backed forces. Two days ago, the Bush Administration again brilliantly expressed anger at the Pakistani negotiations. And today, the New York Times is reporting this:

The Pakistani government is close to an agreement to end hostilities with the most militant tribes in its turbulent border area, whose main leader is accused of orchestrating most of the suicide bombings of recent months and the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

A 15-point draft of the accord, which was shown to The New York Times, called for an end to militant activity and an exchange of prisoners in return for the gradual withdrawal of the Pakistani military from part of the tribal region of South Waziristan.

Even as the accord, a far-reaching draft that essentially forbids the tribes from engaging in nearly all illegal actions, was being negotiated by the government through tribal elders, the militant leader, Baitullah Mehsud, ordered his fighters to cease their activities in the tribal regions as well as the adjoining North-West Frontier Province, warning of strict punishment of any violators.

American and Afghan officials were immediately skeptical of a deal with Mr. Mehsud, one of Pakistan’s most hard-line militants. They have blamed past accords for allowing the Taliban and Al Qaeda to regroup, fortify their ties and use Pakistan as a base to plot attacks here and abroad. Previously, members of Pakistan’s new coalition government had said they considered Mr. Mehsud irretrievably hostile.

Will the deal hold? Will the violence end? Who knows? But the Bush Administration has completely failed in neighboring Afghanistan. The Bush Administration has completely failed in the Pashtun border region. The Bush Administration has completely failed in Pakistan. It's the Pakistani people and the new Pakistani government who have a right to be skeptical. Who can blame them for wanting to try something different?

Turkana :: 12:09 PM :: Comments (6) :: Digg It!