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Bhutto Assassination. On Several Fronts Wouldn't it Have Been a Better Idea to Pick up Bin Laden?

Yesterday, President Bush in his 'usual one-size-fits-all' address, on Benazir Bhutto said that,

The United States strongly condemns this cowardly act by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan's democracy. We stand with the people of Pakistan in their struggle against the forces of terror and extremism. Those who committed this crime must be brought to justice.

Two things. "democracy (in places like Pakistan (even if it existed) sounds nice but it is enormously difficult to achieve" . Democracy does not equate just with elections. Bush, by solely focusing on elections always (perhaps by reason of his experience) is really talking about what Richard Haass of the Council of Foreign Relations referred to as 'ballotocracy' not democracy.

The second point, Bush's words on bringing those who ordered Bhutto's assassination to justice, recall some of his earlier ringing declarations:

"The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him."
- G.W. Bush, 9/13/01

"I want justice...There's an old poster out West, as I recall, that said, 'Wanted: Dead or Alive,'"
- G.W. Bush, 9/17/01,

Better to invade a country, Iraq in a 1.7 trillion dollar war than to make a concerted and sustained effort, and seriously try to capture and arrest bin Laden especially as the Pakistan/Afghanistan border has returned to its role as the 'central front' on international terrorism...When was it ever not, even given the neocon misplaced policies in Iraq.

Robert Party of 'Consortium New's makes the same case, Pakistan Is 'Central Front,' Not Iraq, persuasively. It is worth while to read his entire article but I will include some of the highlights:

Rather than finishing the job in Afghanistan, Bush made an abrupt detour into Iraq, a decision rife with settling old scores and other unspoken justifications, but which Bush sold to the American public as necessary because Iraq's secular dictator Saddam Hussein was in league with the fundamentalist bin Laden and might give him WMDs

The grinding Iraq War - now nearing its fifth year - also prevented the United States from arraying sufficient military and intelligence resources against the reorganized al-Qaeda infrastructure in Pakistan and the rebuilt Taliban army reasserting itself in Afghanistan.

In 2005, a letter attributed to al-Qaeda's second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri asked if the embattled al-Qaeda operatives in Iraq might be able to spare $100,000 to relieve a cash squeeze facing the group's top leaders in hiding, presumably inside Pakistan near the Afghan border.

Instead of money going from Pakistan to Iraq, the cash was flowing the opposite way. U.S. intelligence analysts recognized that this was not the way one would normally treat a "central front".

We' re fighting a trillion dollar plus war in Iraq, and bin Laden our main adversary is worried about being squeezed for a hundred thousand dollars on the Pakistan/Afghanistan border. Talk about asymmetric warfare.

The incoherence of the Bush foregn policy is almost incalculable. Don't forget we are spending what the entire rest of the world spends on defense, and with precious little to show for it except for lots of political capital in Rush Limbaugh land.


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Comments (6)

Lee Ward:

The conservative nutcakes will attempt to claim bin-Laden's continuance demonstrates the need to continue on the same course, but all it demonstrates is the total failure and screw-up on the part of the Bush administration in prosecuting those who attacked us OVER FIVE YEARS AGO.

The incompetence on the Republican foreign policy front is stunning...

Lee Ward:

bin-Laden is not the only one, all of AQ needs to be eradicated, bin-Laden is just the one responsible for 9/11.

Going on six years now....

Tip Top:

At least Rush Limbaugh won't have to watch Benazir Bhutto grow old.

Steve Crickmore:

Lee..You're right of course. In Pakistan, it must be any number of Taleban/Al Queda types. This one, Baitullah Mehsud, is public enemy number one in Pakistan, and chief suspect, for the moment, in the Bhutto assassination.

jpm100:

I guess we can lock on to Bin Laden with a transporter and beam him up.

Because the only other way to get Bin Laden, other than working through Pakistan, is for the US military to go in there and get him ourselves. And if Bhutto's assassination is destabilizing, unauthorized US forces acting in Pakistan is a guarantee hand over of Pakistan (& their nukes) to Islamic Extremists.

Steve Crickmore[TypeKey Profile Page]:

jpm100...A heavy-handed approach, especially now, to capture bin Laden would definitely create bedlam in that part of Pakistan, in North Waziristan. I would create a lot of pressure on the Pakistani militants to give him up.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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