Same pattern over and over: the 'duty' of individuals to sacrifice to the collective:
CNN: "U.S. military: Taliban killings prompted airstrikes"
Afghan civilians were killed in U.S. airstrikes during fighting this week in western Afghanistan, local officials and the Red Cross said. The reports come as concerns mount over noncombatant casualties in the war against the Taliban. But the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said the U.S. military suspects the incident started when Taliban militants entered the area and beheaded three civilians. And another senior U.S. military official said Taliban militants may have killed as many as 15 civilians with grenades and then paraded their shrapnel-riddled bodies through villages in western Afghanistan.(...) The International Committee of the Red Cross said in a news release that its "impression was that dozens of people, including women and children, had been killed." The ICRC workers were told that some of the dead had already been buried by the time they arrived on the scene. (...) But U.S. officials believe the Taliban deliberately engineered a ground attack against Afghan and U.S. forces, expecting the United States would call in airstrikes. They said the Taliban were then prepared to kill the civilians. A senior U.S. military official said there was "very reliable intelligence" that Taliban fighters rounded up three families, including women and children, and killed them with grenades. (...) Their bodies, shrapnel wounds visible, were then put into the backs of trucks and driven through the area in an effort to convince villagers that the U.S. military operation had killed them. The official said he did not know who drove the trucks -- other Taliban or local Afghans forced into duty. (...) >>>
May 8, 2009
The Daily Beast: "Obama's Murderous Guest", by Fatima Bhutto
Besides ruining my country, I believe my aunt's husband, Pakistani President Zardari, orchestrated my father’s murder. Is Obama really going to offer him billions more when they meet today?
Something rotten has arrived in Washington.
Today, President Barack Obama will shake hands and stage Oval Office photo ops for the first time with the man who many believe stole billions from the Pakistani treasury, empowered Pakistan’s newly formed Taliban by imposing Shariah law without a vote or referendum, and whom I have publicly accused of orchestrating the murder of my father, Murtaza Bhutto, an elected member of parliament until he was killed in 1996. (...) >>>
May 6, 2009
The recent Taliban developments in Pakistan’s Swat Valley sound a lot like what happened when another oppressive regime tried to bargain with another country, only to crack the door to its own downfall. Clever little Hitler, aware of Czechoslovakia’s well-fortified border, came up with his own ingenious solution to break inside. Take up the Sudeten German cause. The Sudeten Germans — a small group between Czechoslovakia and Germany — were already suffering the Depression-era blues and were particularly susceptible to extremist views. It was the perfect ruse. (...) >>>
May 4, 2009
Townhall: "Pakistani government does deal with Taliban on sharia law"
Taliban militants who had seized a district just 60 miles (100 kilometers) from Pakistan's capital began pulling out Friday after the government warned it would use force to evict them. The withdrawal from Buner, if completed, eliminates the most immediate threat to a peace agreement in the neighboring militant-held Swat Valley that the U.S. government worries has created a haven for allies of al-Qaida. But it is unlikely to quell fears that Islamabad is failing to deal forcefully with Islamist militants slowly expanding toward the heart of the nuclear-armed country from their strongholds along the Afghan border. (...) >>>
Apr 24, 2009
Feb 16, 2009
Memri: "Pakistani Daily: "More People Have Been Killed in [Taliban-Led] Violence... In the [Swat] Valley Than In The Israeli Onslaught on Gaza"
As international attention is focused on Gaza, Taliban militants are enforcing Islamic shari'a in the SwatValley of Pakistan's North West Frontier Province (NWFP). Since January 15, 2009, the Taliban have enforced a complete ban on female education in the Swat district. The forced Islamization in the Swat district, which was once compared to Switzerland for its picturesque valley, has been underway in recent months, and was stepped up after the Pakistani government released Islamist leader Maulana Sufi Muhammad last year under a deal with the militants. The Taliban in the district are led by Maulana Sufi Muhammad and his son-in-law Maulana Fazlullah. Some 400 private schools have been shut down, depriving about 40,000 girls of their right to education. (...) >>>
Jan 26, 2009
Free Republic: " Dossier Gives Details of Mumbai Attacks"
“(...) don’t saddle yourself with the burden of the hostages. Immediately kill them.” (...) These are some of the grim details of the Mumbai attacks compiled by the Indian authorities and officially shared with the Pakistani government on Monday. (...) The dossier also includes photographs of materials found on the fishing trawler the gunmen took to Mumbai: a bottle of Mountain Dew soda packaged in Karachi, pistols bearing the markings of a gun manufacturer in Peshawar, Pakistani-made items like a matchbox, detergent powder and shaving cream. The dossier was shown this week to diplomats from friendly nations; one described it as “comprehensive,” another as “convincing.” (...) Pakistan’s information minister, said in a statement, according to Reuters. “It is our firm resolve to ensure that nonstate actors do not use Pakistani soil to launch terrorist attacks anywhere in the world.” (...) >>>
... an interview today on Times Online with the MI5 spy chief confirms connections with the UK's terror network: "MI5's spymaster Jonathan Evans comes out of the shadows" ... great article: read it all >>>
Jan 7, 2009
Miami Herald: "Scenic Pakistani valley falls to Taliban militants"
Taliban militants are beheading and burning their way through Pakistan's picturesque Swat Valley, and residents say the insurgents now control most of the mountainous region outside the lawless tribal areas where jihadists thrive. (...) the valley lies away from the areas where al-Qaida and Taliban militants have traditionally operated and where the military is staging a separate offensive.
"You can't imagine how bad it is," said Muzaffar ul-Mulk, a federal lawmaker whose home in Swat was attacked by bomb-toting assailants in mid-December, weeks after he left. "It's worse day by day." The Taliban activity in northwest Pakistan also comes as the country shifts forces east to the Indian border because of tensions over last month's terrorist attacks in Mumbai, potentially giving insurgents more space to maneuver along the Afghan frontier. (...) >>>
Dec 30, 2008
... "apparently 500 jihadi terrorists have been trained to commando level by the Pak secret service; ISI. So, ten down, only 490 to go." ... read the entire horror story below, and Memri relays an interview with the leader of the most likely suspect group, Lashkar-e Taiba and surprise ... "Indians Will Continue to Mislead the World Community By Linking Us to ... us, ISI, Even Al-Qaeda' ...
PJM: "Mumbai Attack Was Tip of the Iceberg - Terrorists are working around the clock planning the next deadly urban assault. ", by Shlok Vaidya
The latest open source intelligence reveals that the late November attack in Mumbai was designed to replace another plot that Indian government counter terror forces successfully disrupted earlier this year. Examining the evolutionary track of these attacks provides insight as to how the threat is evolving and hints at what is coming in the uncertain future.It seems the first group of attackers conducted preliminary reconnaissance of the same locations that were targeted by their successors. (...) >>>
Dec 8, 2008
... Attention, President-elect Obama: the Indian massacre has huge implications for U.S. foreign policy. (Also, Phyllis Chesler asks when Islamic clerics will condemn the attack) ... typically the projection machine has already deflected blame to the usual suspects: "Western Zionists, Hindu Zionists" ...
PJM: "Post-Mumbai, War on Terror Takes a New Direction", by Patrick Poole
They are still counting and clearing the dead in Mumbai, and the final toll could exceed more than 300 dead and hundreds more injured. (...) Perhaps the largest developing issue is the escalating tensions between India and Pakistan. The group claiming responsibility for the attacks, the “Deccan Mujahideen,” has never been heard from before, but many fingers are pointing at Pakistan. The coordinated attacks were well-planned and bear hallmark traits of the Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist organizations, and they are on the top of most analysts’ lists of suspects. (...) Predictably, Pakistani officials will vehemently deny any role whatsoever in response to accusations by India about their involvement. But even U.S. authorities are assessing Pakistan’s possible culpability for the attacks. The question of Pakistan’s involvement is critical because of its hair-trigger relations with India, and vice versa. (...) Another issue will be the fallout with respect to India’s internal politics. (...) As noted by Somini Sengupta in Saturday’s New York Times, the attacks will strengthen the hand of the Hindu extremist opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BPJ). (...)
As proved time and again during Musharraf’s presidency, the government itself is divided on its relations with the terrorist organizations operating within its borders, including al-Qaeda. While the administration claims to oppose terrorism, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) agency has actively cooperated with these groups, providing training, weapons, and funding. At best, the Pakistani government’s handling of terrorism has been weak and ineffective. (...) As I observed here at Pajamas Media this past weekend, the trial and convictions last week of five officials of the Holy Land Foundation, the country’s largest Islamic charity, on charges of terrorism support demonstrated how many of the most prominent Islamic organizations in the U.S. are closely associated with extremist and terrorist organizations. Some of these organizations were even listed by federal prosecutors as unindicted co-conspirators in the case. (...) LeT terrorists are known to be operating inside the U.S. A number of LeT operatives trained in Pakistani terror camps have been arrested, tried, and convicted here at home, most notably those involved in the Northern Virginia jihad network. Other U.S. citizens have trained in LeT camps and been killed in operations (...) Not only may this situation escalate into all-out war between Pakistan and India, while tens of thousands of U.S. servicemen and women are in neighboring Afghanistan, but the terrorist networks behind this attack are not a distant threat, but right here among us. With so much potential fallout from this situation, the U.S. cannot be a passive observer to these events.
CNN: "Pakistani tribes rise up against militants"
Pakistani tribesmen are raising armies to battle al Qaeda and Taliban militants close to the Afghan border -- a movement encouraged by the military and hailed as a sign its offensive there is succeeding. The often ramshackle forces lend force to the campaign in the lawless and mountainous northwest region, but analysts question their effectiveness against a well-armed, well-trained and increasingly brutal insurgency. The extremists are increasingly targeting the tribal militias, an indication they believe the private armies to be a threat. (...) By encouraging the private armies, or "lashkars," the government is exploiting local resentment against foreign and Pakistani extremists in the area, considered a likely hiding place for Osama bin Laden and other al Qaeda leaders. "These Taliban call themselves Muslims. But they have been involved in all kinds of crimes," said Malik Mohmmand Habib, a leader of the Salarzai tribe, one of the largest of at least five tribes who have formed lashkars in recent weeks. "We want them out of our area." (...) The lashkars have drawn comparisons with government-backed militia in Iraq -- the so-called awakening councils -- that have been credited with beating back the insurgency there. But the lashkars are less organized and the tribesmen use their own, often aging, weapons. The government does not admit to funding the armies, but analysts suspect the leaders at least receive money. (...) >>>
13th October 2008
BBC: "US 'must target Pakistan havens'"
The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff has called for a new strategy in Afghanistan to deny militants bases across the border in Pakistan. (...) Admiral Mike Mullen called for a military strategy that covered both sides of the border. The US must work closely with Pakistan to "eliminate [the enemy's] safe havens" (...) Pakistan insists it will not allow foreign forces onto its territory. (...) the New York Times newspaper reported on Wednesday that President George Bush had approved orders in July to allow US Special Operations forces to carry out ground assaults inside Pakistan without Pakistani approval. "The situation in the tribal areas is not tolerable," an unnamed senior US official told the newspaper. "We have to be more assertive. Orders have been given." A surge of US attacks in Pakistan's border region over the past week has prompted outrage from the government and army. Now stating it as a strategy will only add to the pressure on Pakistan's new President, Asif Ali Zardari, as he grapples with the militants (...) >>>
Front Page: "A New Ally Against Terror"
America gained an import new ally in the War on Terror yesterday, with the swearing in of Asif Ali Zardari as Pakistan’s new president. (...) The previous president, Pervez Musharraf, took a lukewarm stance toward the growing Islamist threat in Pakistan. By contrast, Zardari has vowed to defeat the Taliban and al-Qaeda forces occupying the country’s frontier provinces. (...) for Zardari, the struggle against the Islamists is as much a personal battle as a struggle for security. Terrorists not only murdered his wife, but they also attempted to kill Yousef Gilani, Pakistan’s prime minister last week. Moreover, Pakistani civilians are now under brutal attack from jihadists who launch daily bombs into cities from their outposts in Pakistan’s North West province and tribal areas. (...) Zardari’s tough stance against Islamic extremism helped earn him the highest approval rating of the three candidates for the presidency (...) Afghanistan’s president, Hamid Karzai, had famously feuded with Musharraf, accusing the Pakistani of doing nothing to stop Pakistan-based attacks against his country. But Karzai seems much more impressed with Zardari. A White House spokeswoman confirmed Monday there was now “increased co-operation” between Pakistan and Afghanistan. As president, Zardari will make a good civilian complement to General Ashfaq Kiyani, who became Pakistan’s military chief last November. Like Zardari, Kiyani also believes in waging all-out war against the jihadists and launched an impressive, initial offensive against them several weeks ago in Pakistan’s rugged, mountainous tribal areas, killing hundreds. (...) For all his virtues, some questions remain (...) his well-known, but unproven, penchant for corruption, for which he served 11 years in prison (...) What is regarded as corruption in the West is simply patronage politics as usual in Pakistan. (...) Additionally, Pakistan is a difficult country to rule. With 160 million people, it is the second most populous Muslim country in the world after Indonesia. Besides the growing Islamist insurgency, an undeclared civil war exists between Sunnis and Shiites in some parts of the country as well as a militant independence movement in Baluchistan. Well-organized and large criminal syndicates also contribute to the country’s instability and corruption problem. On top of this, Pakistan’s economy is failing so badly (...) Zardari, however, may be just the person to tackle these seemingly insurmountable difficulties. (...) he showed unusual political skill and toughness in rising to the president’s office in such a short period of time. (...) Zardari’s success as a president, however, will depend on his ability to build on these initial victories. One analyst calls this looming, military confrontation his “real test,” on which Zardari will “stand or fall.” One might say the same thing about his country. >>>
Updated: 11th Sep 2008
... a must read - a real eye-opener ... reap what you sow ...
Front Page: "Pakistan vs. The Taliban"
Finally, it’s all-out war against the Taliban in Pakistan. (...) With former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf now out of the way, Pakistan’s new military chief, General Ashfaq Kiyani, wasted little time in sending the army in force against the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (the Pakistani Taliban’s proper name). For the Bush administration, the offensive fulfills a long-desired American objective to eradicate the Taliban and al Qaeda bases in Pakistan’s tribal regions. These rear areas provide major support for the enemy in the Afghan war, and it is hoped their destruction will substantially reduce that conflict’s intensity, if not end it. (...)
Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province is now almost entirely “in the hands of militants.” But the Pakistani Taliban’s efforts to undermine the state were most effectively felt last fall when its leader, Baitullah Mehsud, claimed responsibility for the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. (...) the military relationship with Pakistan is “growing every day.” Last week, a meeting was held on the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln in the Indian Ocean (...)
The reason for the long delay in taking the fight into enemy territory was former Pakistani president Pervez Musharaf, who resigned under threat of impeachment last August 18. (...) In contrast to Kiyani, he adopted a frustrating, hot-and-cold attitude to battling the Taliban and al Qaeda. Even Musharaff’s commitment to the War on Terror was questionable. Only six days after 9/11, Musharraf was noted saying in a television interview: “We are trying our very best to come out of this critical situation without any damage to Afghanistan and the Taliban.”
In reality, Musharaff was never America’s staunch ally in the terror war, as the media portrayed him after his resignation. Unlike the United States and its allies, Musharraf never regarded the Taliban and al Qaeda as enemies of civilization that had to be destroyed, but rather as tools to be used in Pakistan’s showdown with its arch-enemy, India. (...) He envisioned using its jihadists directly against the Hindu foe (...) Pakistan had used Islamic fighters from its tribal regions in its 1947 war against India when, led by Pakistani army officers, the tribesmen almost conquered Kashmir. As a result of his anti-India war strategy, Musharraf refused all American requests to allow its military to launch operations in its tribal agencies. (...)
Musharraf also did nothing to curb Islamic extremism or the madrassas that were teaching hate-filled doctrines and producing fighters for the Afghan conflict (and, hopefully, for a future war with India). (...) Musharraf’s responses on extremist issues were “unforthcoming, even misleading at times”, while the Human rights Commission of Pakistan called him “a silent spectator in the rise of the orthodox clergy and militant Islam.” Under General Kiyani, however, it now appears the war will be prosecuted the way it should have been for years. (...) >>>
Updated: 4th Sep 2008
CNN: "Claim: Coalition forces kill 20 in Pakistan"
(...) Officials with the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan said they were not aware of such an incident. (...) >>>
Updated: 3rd Sep 2008
... giving democracy a bad name...
WSJ: "Pakistan's Next President Is a Category 5 Disaster"
(...) Mr. Zardari is a caricature of everything that's morally bankrupt with the country's Westernized elite, and thus an inviting propaganda target for al Qaeda and the Taliban. It doesn't help, either, that they are working fertile political soil: 71% of Pakistanis oppose cooperating with the U.S. in counterterrorism, and 51% oppose fighting the Taliban at all, according to a June poll.
Al Qaeda and the Taliban feed on chaos, and a Zardari presidency will almost certainly provide more of it. For Pakistanis, this is a self-inflicted wound and a rebuke to their democracy. For the rest of world, it's a matter of hoping that Pakistan will somehow muddle through. For now, however, this looks like a Category 5 hurricane, dark and vast and visible just offshore. >>>
Updated: 2nd Sep. 2008
Asif Ali Zardari, the leading contender for the presidency of nuclear-armed Pakistan, was suffering from severe psychiatric problems as recently as last year, according to court documents filed by his doctors. The widower of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto was diagnosed with a range of serious illnesses including dementia, major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder in a series of medical reports spanning more than two years. (...) >>>
Updated: 26th Aug. 2008
So the Pentagon and the State Department are assuring Americans that Islamists will not get a foothold in Pakistan anytime soon? Well since the Musharraf resignation banned Islamofascist terrorist organization have become unbanned in preparation for them to be involved in the political process in Pakistan. Memory jogger: Currently Pakistan is the only Mohammedan nation (Iran is knocking at the door) that his nuclear WMD. (...) >>>
Updated: 25th Aug. 2008
Front Page: "Finally, Farewell To Pakistan," by Steve Schippert
So were the final words of Pervez Musharraf in his address to the Pakistani people as he ultimately chose to resign rather than face impeachment before an unfriendly Pakistani parliament. They may also be America’s final words, with its most trusted Pakistani conduit now gone and the future status of the Pakistani-American relationship up in the air. There has been much criticism of Musharraf’s actions – and at times inaction – as the leader of an unlikely but crucial American ally since 9/11. The criticism has generally been warranted (...) Yet there is simply no clear alternative to Musharraf – either from a US policy standpoint or from the standpoint of proven, trustworthy stewardship of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. Pakistan itself is also likely to suffer growing instability in the coming months. (...) If they cannot resolve the struggle ahead, and Pakistan begins to sink under the weight of a ‘coalition’ government incapacitated by infighting, the military may well step in again, nearly ten years after the last time – under Musharraf. (...) >>>
Updated: 19th Aug. 2008
Financial Times: "Pakistan’s Musharraf announces resignation"
Pakistan’s embattled president Pervez Musharraf, under mounting pressure to quit in the face of an impeachment motion by the ruling coalition government, announced his resignation on Monday. ”My resignation will go to the speaker of the National Assembly today,” he said in a televised address most of which was devoted to a lengthy defence of his nine years in office. Mr Musharraf’s speech came twelve days after leaders of Pakistan’s ruling coalition government announced plans to impeach him, on charges that still remain unclear. (...) >>>
Updated: 18th Aug. 2008
Following the swearing in of the new government in Islamabad under Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in March 2008, Pakistan-U.S. relations have come under strain. The key areas of dispute involve the new government’s policy of dialogue with the Taliban and the Taliban’s attack on Afghan, U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan. During the past few months, a number of cartoons in Pakistani press have reflected the strain on Pakistan-U.S. relations. (...) >>>
Updated: 20th July 2008
Morning Bell: "Going on the Offensive in Pakistan"
Earlier this week, the New York Daily News caught the Obama campaign purging their website of any evidence that Obama ever believed the surge in Iraq was not working. Obama’s new position on the surge is that there is an “improved security situation” in Iraq due to “our military’s hard work, improved counterinsurgency tactics, and enormous sacrifice by our troops and military families.” Obama is right: the security situation in Iraq has improved. Unfortunately, the situation in Afghanistan has been deteriorating. Just this past week(...) >>>
Updated: 17th July 2008
Memri: "Pakistani Military Drive Avoids Targeting Taliban"
(...) On June 28, 2008, the Pakistani government ordered a military operation against Islamist fighters in the tribal district of Khyber Agency, which borders on the North West Frontier Province (NWFP). (...) this military operation was aimed at the Taliban and was launched as a last resort. (...) government's policy vis-à-vis the Islamist militants was based on three components: launching a dialogue with the Taliban; offering a development package to the regions in which it is active; and ordering military action as a last resort. (...) It should be noted that the Islamist groups targeted by the military operation in Khyber Agency - namely Lashkar-e-Islam and its rival, Ansarul Islam - are not formally part of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (the Pakistani Taliban Movement). However, their objectives and actions are identical to those of the Taliban. These groups also constitute a good example of how small groups of criminals develop muscle over the years and acquire a set of ideological objectives, depending on the social context in which they evolve. (...) This district, which borders Afghanistan on one side and the NWFP on the other, is important not only because the main supply route of the U.S. forces in Afghanistan passes through it, but also because of its proximity to Peshawar, the NWFP capital. In fact, the operation focused on the town of Bara, just five km from Peshawar, where Lashkar-e-Islam headquarters are located. The immediate reason for the military operation is the Taliban's gradual encroachment on this city. The Taliban Is Moving on Peshawar (...) >>>
Updated: 11th July 2008
Memri: " Emerging Crisis in Pakistan-U.S. Relations,"