Saturday, September 30, 2006

Musharraf threatens the west - as India reveals the Pakistani government's role in the Mumbai bombings

Some ally, eh?

It was a bad day for the Pakistani dictator, even if he does have a 7 figure book deal.

First of all, British intelligence revealed the role of the ISI,Pakistan's infamous intelligence service when a leaked Ministry of Defence report accused the ISI of helping the Taliban and al-Qaeda. The report blamed Pakistan and the ISI for sabotaging allied efforts in Afghanistan. The report blamed the ISI for 'indirectly and directly supporting terrorism and extremism, whether in London on 7/7 or in Afghanistan or Iraq.'

And then A.N. Roy, Mumbai’s police chief bluntly accused Pakistan of having a major role in the Mumbai bombings. At a news conference on Sept 30 he said: "We have solved the July 11 bombings case.The whole attack was planned by Pakistan's ISI and carried out by Lashkar-e-Taiba and their operatives in India."

Not only that , but the Pakistan-based Lashkar e-Taiba was assisted by operatives belonging to the Students Islamic Movement of India. Another four arrests were made yesterday, 15 in all...and I'm sure the Indian authorities have their ways of eliciting information. What's been revealed so far is that eleven Islamic terrorists came across the border from Pakistan, 2 of whom were killed and 9 who are still at large. They brought with them some of the RXD, which together with ammonium nitrate, was packed in pressure cookers which teams of two planted on the trains. The blasts on rush-hour commuter trains killed 208 people and wounded hundreds more.

Musharraf, frankly, got unhinged and said a lot more than he intended.

"You'll be brought down to your knees if Pakistan doesn't co-operate with you," Gen Musharraf said in an interview with Radio 4. "That is all that I would like to say. Pakistan is the main ally. If we were not with you, you won't manage anything. Let that be clear. And if ISI is not with you, you will fail."

He also took time out to blame the West for Islamic terrorism: "Now we keep blaming Pakistan again and I take again strong exception to that," he said.

"That a man who's 30 years old or 25 years old comes to Pakistan for two months, everything has gone wrong in two months, the man is indoctrinated here, and then he goes there but the problem lies here."

All of which doesn't explain why Pakistan is basically a training ground and a finishing school for Muslim terrorists, and why so many have originated from there.

Or why Pakistan still won't allow its scientist AQ Khan, the father of the Islamic bomb to be interrogated by either the US or the IAEA. No country has done more for nuclear proliferation to rogue states like Iran and North Korea than Pakistan. Khan was even using army planes to transport the parts.

Or why, in the almost five years since the fall of the Taliban in Kabul, not a single Taliban leader or commander has been arrested in Pakistan. Yet they operate openly from there, particularly around the town of Quetta, long known as Taliban Central.

If we're going to get serious about winning this war, we had better understand that `allies' like Pakistan and Musharraf are part of the problem, not part of the solution.


Anonymous said...

Part of the problem, huh? And how do you suppose we should deal with Pakistan, may I ask?

Freedom Fighter said...

Hi Nazar,
First of all, if you don't think Pakistan is part of the problem, we're not going to agree in the least, so let's talk baseball instead.

If you DO find Pakistan's, then we have a legitimate basis for a discussion.

The Bush Doctrine, which is a typical example of our president voicing appropriate and necessary policy and then failing to implement it, says that we are at war against Islamic terrorists and the nations that harbor them - or, as President Bush put it `You're either with the terrorists or with us.'

If Pakistan IS an ally, they should be more than willing to coordinate strategy totally with us, allow US troops to engage in hot pursuit of the Taliban over their borders, be arresting Taliban and al Qaeda figures in Pakistan, be curtailing and arresting jihadi Imams in the country and disallow jihadi rhetoric and sermons, control what goes on in the madrassahs, purge the ISI of its rogue elements, end support of terrorist groups targetting India and allow us to interrogate AQ Khan.

That's how an ally behaves.

In fact none of this has been done.

Of course, one could argue that Musharraf is in a `difficult position', that he doesn't have the power to do more than he's doing.

Fine..but then why call him an ally? Why make deals with somebody that can't or won't deliver?

We should make these choices clear to Pakistan, in accordance with the Bush Doctrine. In fact, we should have insisted on it from day one, and made the consequences VERY clear for making the wrong choice - and follow through if necessary. Our hedging in the matter had made Pakistan feel that it can play both ends against the middle, and results in statements like the ones made by this pumped up little tinpot Islamofuhrer.

Failing to do so means they will continue to be part of the problem..and one armed with some very dangerous toys that should be taken away from them before they hurt themselves.


Clovis Sangrail said...

Until this latest outburst, and despite many suggestions to the contrary, I (and many others in the UK) had always assumed (and I think, given the sources and my lack of expertise, that assume is the right word) that Musharraf was doing the best he could in a somewhat chaotic country where his grasp on the reins of power was less than strong.
It now seems pretty clear that we were deceived and that he has, at least, been playing both ends against the middle.

This is a bit of a shame (he said in the tones of the Black Knights saying "it's only a scratch").
Now if the US (and allies) want to recognise this betrayal, then it seems to me that they could "indulge" in hot pursuit without Pakistan's sanction.

The problems are that
1) India would clearly have to be squeaky clean (for much the same reasons as Israel had to stand well back during the Gulf Wars);
2) we lose the benefit (if any) of Musharraf continuing to try to keep the USA a little bit happy.

Anonymous said...

"Islamofuhrer." Love that phrase, can I use it, pretty please with cherries on top?

Now on to more, ah, serious matters. Yes, I do agree that Pakistan hasn't cooperated with us fully, and hasn't been really acting as an ally. However, they do allow some Americans on their territory, mostly intelligence types. Better than nothing, methinks.

I think it's better to let Musharraf know that we demand something from him, and even if he's not fully willing to comply, he should at least feel pressured, like he is right now. And in any case, the thought of Pakistan being taken over by Islamists scares the bejeezus out of me.

That's my 2cents, but I suppose you know more about this than I do.

Freedom Fighter said...

You're welcome.

OK, so we agree that Pakistan has not been acting like an ally.

Now the question is, what do we do about it?

On way to handle it is to allow somebody like Musharraf to play both ends against the middle, contributing to jihad and giving lip service to the west while throwing us an occasional bone..usually, if you believe Musharraf, for a whole lot of money.

In this method, while Pakistan is not OVERTLY taken over by jihadis, they pretty much do whatever they feel like doing as long as Musharraf is allowed to stay in power as a figurehead.

It's worked well, hasn't it?

The other way to handle it is to make no bones about what is necessary if Pakistan is to be a western ally, and force them to make a clear choice which side they're on. And treat their choice appropriately.

Allowing them to have it both ways sends a message to other `moderate' Muslim states that we're not serious about victory.

As you know, I prefer clarity to the appearence of agreement or concensus; you're almost always better off knowing where you stand.


Freedom Fighter said...

Hello, Canker!

I fully concur.

I also recommend we seek out the services of a certain Killer Rabbit and let him loose in Waziristan.

HE'LL sort them out.

Anonymous said...

The way it seems to me, it's better to have Pakistan as a fake ally than an overt enemy. In that scenario, we would be forcing Musharraf to make a choice between the West, and the Islamists. Y'know, bin laden said it best when he said that "if a person sees a strong horse and a weak horse, he will instinctively go for the strong horse." I fear that right now, we are perceived as a weak horse. Many factors contribute to this, but mostly our inability to stabilize Iraq and the political squabbling back home, are the main culprits, IMO.

In short, I think it's better to have a Saudi Arabia on the right of Afghanistan than another Iran. It's a shitty deal, but I can't see any other alternative that wouldn't result in further destabilization of the region. Now, I realize we should be in this to win, and not to submit in order to have peace, but with all the stuff going down in Iraq, perhaps it's better to keep the lids on Afghanistan, for now...

I'd love to know what you think.

Anonymous said...

mushroom for all the US support will not be around forever.
we are left with the options of who do we want to deal with, i.e., uday or quasay?
what do we do about paky?
what we should have done from day one.
but we don't have a president to do it.
we have a saudi lap dog.
what do we do about paky?
go roman.

Anonymous said...

mushroom, for all the US support, will not be around forever.
we are left with the options of who do we want to deal with, i.e., uday or quasay?
what comes next in say, 1936, er ah 2036.
what do we do about paky?
what we should have done from day one.
but we don't have a president to do it.
we have a saudi lap dog.
what do we do about paky?
go roman.

Freedom Fighter said...

Hi Y'all,
Nazar, in all candor I don't think Pakistan is `another Saudi Arabia'.

Both nations have a major part in jihad, but are working in different parts of the equation.

Both would be cowed by a forceful US stance, those proving us a `strong horse' as you put it.

When we allow them to get away with what they're pulling OF COURSE we're perceived as weak!

You see, I think that victory is more important than `destabilization of the region' and thus would prefer to work towards victory with our real friends rather than muddy the waters and deceive ourselves.

After all, the first rule of war is to define your objectives.

I'm sure you've dealt with bullies in school at some time.Face one of them down, forcefully if needs be and the rest of the crowd become surprisingly accomodating.

This is especially true is honor/shame cultures.

Anonymous said...

Good answer, ff, as always. I think this is a first, but I have to concede to you on this one.

Clovis Sangrail said...

Assuming, as I do, that Freedom Fighter is right still leaves a choice, at least if I understand things correctly (and I have no military experience at all so I could be talking complete rubbish).

1)the US (or coalition if you prefer) could overtly claim to respect Pakistan's sovereignty and still implement the "killer rabbit option" - special forces in Waziristan under a detached command, coupled with inadvertent border crossing by large forces in hot pursuit;
2)the coalition get very sniffy and go the "if you're not with us, you're against us route".
2a)They then spend six months assembling forces to attack Waziristan and force all the nations in the region to support Pakistan or be ripped apart by the subsequent anti-Imperialist backlash.
2b)They do nothing further, allowing the complete Talibanisation of Waziristan.

Have I failed miserably to understand the options?

If not, then option (1) has the advantage that it fits well into an Islamic world-view: everyone knows that the USA/coalition is showing its strength, but it is also admired for being subtle and playing the right sort of politics.

Freedom Fighter said...

Hello Canker!

Actually, I'm much more concerned withpressuring Musharraf to pick sides, vet the ISI and eliminate the terrorist jihad networks in Pakistan as a haven.

If that isn't going to happen, I think we need to retaliate forcefully.

In reference to the Taliban, option one would certainly work, as it is a `face saver, while still getting the job done.

However, Pakistan and Musharraf have been quite clear that they will NOT allow this as an option.

If that remains true, and the coalition does in fact pursue the `killer rabbit' option (G-d, I really think we might have lost the others here!)without Pakistan's imperituer, will Pakistan have its army attack us?

If not, we're no worse off. If so, than the question on treating the Musharraf government likewise becomes moot.

What we call a `win-win sichawayshun' on this side of the pond!

Clovis Sangrail said...

I had assumed that Musharraf was a lost cause: he's publishing his memoirs and ranting about how the West is nothing without Pakistan's wholehearted support. Surely this means he thinks he's on the way out?
If not, then we could surely pressurise him. The problem would be that he doesn't seem to be the sort to "stay pressurised".
If he is on the way out, then until a successor appears, isn't it the case that we can only pursue something like the options above?

However, I very much like the sound of a win-win situation; the coalition seems to have had too many of the opposite sort recently.

Freedom Fighter said...

Oh. I agree, Canker, this may very well be his `retirement' money.

Actually, it doesn't matter since he was just a figurehead to begin with, as far as I can see.

No matter who the next figurehead is, we will again be faced with the same choices.

BTW, read what you sent me on Iraq and Afghanistan. Many thanks..much food for thought.

The pressure of work calls, but I will be examining these onsite shortly.