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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Friday, September 15, 2006

It Is Time To Reconsider Our Relationship With Pakistan

When I saw this up on Captain's Quarters I was infuriated. When I sent thomas the link he e-mailed me back to look for a particular transcript from Bill Roggio and Hugh Hewitt. I will get to that in a moment. First Musharraf's pitiful and utterly foolish move.

From the Telegraph:

Pakistan's credibility as a leading ally in the war on terrorism was called into question last night when it emerged that 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.

The mass release of the prisoners has provoked a stern rebuke to the Musharraf regime from the American government. "We have repeatedly warned Pakistan over arresting and then releasing suspects," said a US diplomat in Islamabad. "We are monitoring their response with great concern."

The Daily Telegraph tracked down and interviewed several former fighters who were part of a batch of eight foreign prisoners released last month. Burhan Ahmad, a 32-year-old Bangladeshi who has an American degree in engineering, admitted helping the Taliban against US-led forces in Afghanistan five years ago.

He was arrested by Pakistani security agents as he passed back over the frontier in 2003. Last month he was released from jail, where he spent three years without facing trial.

Like thousands of other Taliban and al-Qa'eda suspects who have been rounded up in Pakistan, Ahmad is now being fed and sheltered by an Islamic welfare group as he waits while a travel agency that specialises in repatriating jihadis prepares his identity papers and air ticket.

He was handed over to the al-Khidmat Foundation, a welfare organisation run by the hard-line Islamist party Jamaat-i-Islami, by a local court in Peshawar.

"I was arrested on the very same day that I arrived in Pakistan as I crossed from Khost to South Waziristan," said Ahmad who then spent 28 months in the custody of one of Pakistan's intelligence agencies before being transferred to a jail where he was imprisoned for three months. "The situation has become too difficult in Afghanistan and so I wanted to go home. I felt I had played my part."

I am sure that many of our readers are scratching their heads over why I bolded the sentence about his crossing. I think I will let Bill Roggio explain it, and thank Thomas for remembering this conversation. The conversation is a simple one. Both Mr. Hewitt and Mr. Roggio are listening to a tape of Senator John Kerry, and responding to it. This is the exchange that Thomas remembered:

JK: The truth is, the Bush-Cheney administration has engaged in a policy of cut and run in that country. This administration has cut an run while the Taliban-led insurgency is running amok across entire regions of the country. The administration has cut and run while Osama bin Laden and his henchmen hide and plot in a lawless no man's land. They cut and run, even as we learn from Pakistani intelligence that the mastermind of the most recent attempt to blow up American airliners was an al Qaeda leader operating from Afghanistan. Yes..
HH: All right. Bill Roggio, your reaction to that little bit?

BR: That last bit is extremely humorous. Listening to the Pakistani intelligence tell us where they think that Osama bin Laden and the planners of their most recent plot are actually in Afghanistan. The very fact of the matter is, and I've been reporting this for well over a year now, is there's a section within Pakistan called Waziristan, north and south Waziristan, and its tribal agencies, which there's recently been a peace deal cut between the Taliban and al Qaeda, and the Pakistani government. This is where they are operating from. The Pakistani government is...nothing that they say about the location of Osama bin Laden, or where the Taliban is operating from can be trusted at this point. Mr. Kerry bought it, or Senator Kerry bought it, hook, line and sinker, and I find that to be quite humorous.

Humorous for Mr. Roggio, maybe, but not for our efforts in the War on Terror. And indeed, Mr. Roggio has been reporting on the Pakistani government, and how useless they have seemingly become in the war. It might have to do with the fact that President Musharraf would rather live than die; the man has been targeted for assassination by al-Qaeda since the beginning of this war.

And if that is the case--that the Musharraf government has cut a deal to allow al-Qaeda quarter in his country--then it is time that ties to Pakistan be cut. They should be severely limited on the heels of this move to release these prisoners. Yes, yes, these people are telling the press what they want to hear. "I've done my part. I've played my role int he jihad. I want to go home." The same onld song and dance. But when the Iraqi government did this, those same fighters were right back out on the battlefield against our troops a week later.

President Musharraf might think that he just bought himself piece. Funny thing about bribes though--They have a tendency to keep increasing until you cannot pay it anymore. If this were some sort of ransom, he is about to find out that the price will go up considerably in the days and weeks to come. If there is actually a deal in south Waziristan where Pakistan will stay out of the area, then it is time our troops target that area, and destroy our enemy there. We will accept a cruise missile strike, but we need to make sure that our targets are on the ground there before launching it.


ADDENDUM: What Marcie failed to note (and no disrespect to my beautiful better half) is that if this is the choice that Musharraf has made--to make peace with Taliban and al qaeda forces in exchange for his power and his political skin, then this is going to free us up. The administration recognized Musharraf's leadership and his government as long as it was an asset. For the better part of a year now Pakistan has gone wobbly on us. This si not the first time they have angered Washington with moves like this. Their population has never truly been staunch defenders of his regime there, and with the recent agreement between the government, the tribes and Taliban/al Qaeda forces shows that he, like the Lebanese, do not control the nation.

I expect to see a change in tactics when it come to us dealing with Taliban and al Qaeda forces that flee into Pakistan. I expect to see us going right after them instead of stopping at the border and asking for the assistance of the Pakistani military. Further, I am sure that this will prompt a cooling of relations between the US and Pakistan. That shouldn't come as a bother to anyone. We have far better relations with India anyway.

And we should always remember that Pakistan has been at the heart of many of our recent problems. Like those of North Korea and Iran. They obtained technology and WMD information through the AQ Khan network. That network originated in Pakistan.

We both hope that the administration takes serious note of this. We know that Pres. Bush isn't happy about this development, and I'd like to hope that he's spoken with Pres. Musharraf. We also hope that the president made it clear to Musharraf that this will be seen as a deal-breaker. His words from 2001 should ring true,a nd should be recited again for Pakistan's benefit.

"You are either with us, or against us."

Publius II


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