blogenlust
12.04.2004

Pakistan: "We're Tired of Looking for OBL." GWB: "That's Cool. It is Hard Work."


This story is much funnier if you pretend it comes from The Onion. You might have heard that Pakistan scaled back its efforts to find bin Laden a few weeks ago. Essentially they gave up looking for him (after all, it's hard work) to instead negotiate a truce with terrorists and rely on information provided by the not so friendly tribal leaders of the South Waziristan area of Pakistan. This is sort of like John Kerry hiring Karl Rove to help him beat George W. Bush. Considering that bin Laden is a threat to our security, and that we basically outsourced our search for him to Pakistan, I would expect this to be an alarming development. Well, I expect wrongly:
Dec. 4, 2004 - President Bush offered no criticism Saturday of Pakistan's role in the still-unsuccessful hunt for al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, even though Pakistan's army is pulling back from the region where the terrorist mastermind is believed hiding. After an Oval Office meeting with Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, Bush said, "His army has been incredibly active and very brave ... flushing out an enemy that though they had found safe haven." Bush characterized Musharraf as "a determined leader to bring to justice not only people like Osama bin Laden but to bring to justice those would inflict harm and pain on his own people. ... I am very pleased with his efforts."
For all the shit I give this Administration, I have to say I admire their consistency when it comes to unaccountability. Musharraf a "dedicated leader"? And I'm the pope:
Neither Bush nor Musharraf publicly mentioned Washington's concerns over Musharraf's backtracking on a pledge to relinquish his military post. The general, who seized power in a bloodless coup in 1999, had pledged in December 2003 to relinquish his army position as part of a commitment to civilian rule. His government pushed through a law this year, however, to allow him to keep the separate role. That caused some quiet unease that Pakistan was not progressing toward democracy as had been hoped.
What I find frustrating is that we really do need Pakistan helping us, but that doesn't mean we have to relinquish the upper hand when it comes to publicly pressuring them to keep up the good fight. And I understand that there are certain domestic political issues in Pakistan we need to be wary of, but I don't think that necessitates a public capitulation on our part.