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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