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Feds arrest another thinks-he-is suicide bomber heading to Capitol building
Today's Headlines
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Page 4: Opinion
5 23:10 newc [243] 
6 21:14 Scooter McGruder [231] 
12 22:34 RandomJD [221] 
5 12:50 Nimble Spemble [254] 
2 08:28 trailing wife [218] 
7 23:48 Water Modem [225] 
1 11:36 Redneck Jim [226] 
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3 17:35 Dale [225]
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Afghanistan
Let's solve the Taliban problem instead of calling names
(TOLOnews) - I didn't watch the interview but I read the report published by TOLOnews. The title of the report was "Taliban are the Murderers of Afghan People

Taliban are Murderers of Afghan People, is a new discovery, calling Taliban, Haqqani and al-Qaeda networks killers and enemies of Afghan people doesn't solve the problems Afghanistan is currently facing.

Afghanistan's Caped President, Hamid Maybe I'll join the Taliban Karzai
... A former Baltimore restaurateur, now 12th and current President of Afghanistan, displacing the legitimate president Rabbani in December 2004. He was installed as the dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001 in a vain attempt to put a Pashtun face on the successor state to the Taliban. After the 2004 presidential election, he was declared president regardless of what the actual vote count was. He won a second, even more dubious, five-year-term after the 2009 presidential election. His grip on reality has been slipping steadily since around 2007, probably from heavy drug use...
, is decisive to show a happy face to the Taliban to persuade them to sit around negotiation table and bring them into the government. Mr Spanta cited the involvement of Taliban into the government structure a historical shame and he should apologise to the Afghan people.

Why should we negotiate with the Taliban? Are the sides looking for their own popularity and is the government interested to look at Taliban's untrimmed beards? Or is Taliban group interested to see technocrat faces and modern suits of Karzai's government officials? In fact they are fighting to gain power. Taliban are being supported by neighbouring countries and if Pak Prime Minister, Yosuf Raza Gilani, in an interview with al-Jazeera said that his government is not supporting the Taliban, it's clearly a lie. Taliban group was created in 1994 by Pakistain, Gilani's party and Pakistain's people's party and late Pak interior minister, Nasrullah Babur, is the spiritual father of the Taliban.

National Security Advisor to President Karzai, Rangin Dadfar Spanta, is fully aware of the strategies. He emphasised on taking the war to the other side of the Afghan-Pakistain border as the Americans did and launched an air strike on November 26 last year and killed 24 Pak soldiers. But Pakistain's political revolution made America's eyes blind and the revolution is in progress. I think it would have been better if Mr Spanta emphasised more on causes of the tensions between Pakistain and Afghanistan instead of calling Taliban the murderers of Afghan people.
Even if it is true...
In principle, we can follow two strategies in our relations with Pakistain, the first one is the strategy of former Afghan president, Mohammad Dawood Khan, and the second is the strategy of Abdul Rahman Khan and Amanullah Khan in 1929 and then during the Mohammad Hashim Khan and Shah Mahmoud Khan kingdoms. The history of kingdoms shows that Afghans accepted the border between Afghanistan and Pakistain but during Dawood Khan's regime he planned a very dangerous strategy which threatened Pakistain.

Division of Pashtunistan was another challenge for Pakistain in Dawood Khan's strategy.

At that time, Pakistain had newly gained its independence which was not recognised by Afghanistan in 1948 UN summit. The main question is which strategy should be used against Pakistain? Mr Spanta cited Amanullah Khan's kingdom as the golden era of Afghanistan, which is right. He gathered modern thinking people such as Mahmood Tarzi, Wali Mohammad Khan Darwazi, Queen Suraya his wife, and Mr Dawi. We should solve our problems with the Taliban. Pakistain established Taliban to remove those who were with division of Pashtunistan.

Tribal leaders and Pashtun Nationalists are being killed by Taliban and today instead of tribal leaders Taliban Mullahs are ruling Swat, Bajaur, Orakzai, Mohmand
... Named for the Mohmand clan of the Sarban Pahstuns, a truculent, quarrelsome lot. In Pakistain, the Mohmands infest their eponymous Agency, metastasizing as far as the plains of Beautiful Downtown Peshawar, Charsadda, and Mardan. Mohmands are also scattered throughout Pakistan in urban areas including Karachi, Lahore, and Quetta. In Afghanistan they are mainly found in Nangarhar and Kunar...
Agency and North Wazoo. These areas are being controlled by Mullah Hafiz Gul Bahadur Khan, Mullah Nazir, Mullah Rahmani, Hakimullah Mehsoud, Mullah Ehsanullah Ehsan, Mullah Faqir Mohammad and Mullah Fazelullah. They implement the provisions of Islam according to their own interests. They behead people and amputate hands misusing Islam. Extremist mullahs and nationalists destroyed communities; Taliban's ideology is to impose their own version of Islam rules on Pakistain, Afghanistan, Khurasan, and Middle East. There is no doubt that Taliban are fighting or negotiating to gain power. I can't understand how Mr Spanta said that if Taliban are involved in government he will feel ashamed before the history.

The main point is to talk about borders with Pakistain. These may not solve all the problems but solving the border issues could be very important. Pakistain's protest may not be becauseof the death of 24 soldiers, it may have messages like Durand line is the redline for Islamabad, crossing that line could have any kind of consequences.

After the liquidation of Burhanuddin Rabbani
... the gentlemanly murdered legitimate president of Afghanistan...
, President Karzai realised that the side to talk with is Pakistain, this discovery is better than discovery by Mr Spanta. President Karzai has recognised his side to negotiate with.

Mr Spanta must realise that Afghanistan is facing Pakistain, not a small number of Taliban, they called the government of Afghanistan a "puppet" regime, but the truth is that Taliban are the servants of ISI. The US will never change the strategy and the geography of war.

As you all know Afghanistan's defence minister is sleeping all the time due to his old age, his working hours start at ten o'clock in the morning and ends at two o'clock in the afternoon as organised by his aides.

Our Security Forces are not capable enough to change the geography of war, instead of changing the geography of war think about negotiations with Pakistain and recognise the vital issues.

Don't be afraid to share your findings with Pakistain, accept the realities, wishing will not solve the problems of Afghanistan. Don't be just happy by saying on TV that Taliban are murderers of Afghan people. It's not a new discovery.

Mohammad Natiqi is the Former Afghan Ambassador to Libya and a political analyst.
This article starring:
Hakimullah Mehsoud
Mullah Ehsanullah Ehsan
Mullah Faqir Mohammad
Mullah Fazelullah
Mullah Hafiz Gul Bahadur Khan
Mullah Nazir
Mullah Rahmani
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/17/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [226 views] Top||

#1  Y'all have been duped, you DON'T talk to subhumans, they MUST understand you.

Since they don't, you can only blow them to hell.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 02/17/2012 11:36 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Culture Wars
Lady Castronomics ¬-- or is eating Castro-style in our future?
Posted by: tipper || 02/17/2012 11:48 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [231 views] Top||

#1  Do you know I eat octopus three times a day? I got f*cking octopus coming out of my f*cking ears!

-Tony Montana
Posted by: bigjim-CA || 02/17/2012 12:14 Comments || Top||

#2  I am praying that eating Donner-Party style is NOT in our future.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 02/17/2012 14:24 Comments || Top||

#3  Are you sure that is not castrate_onomics?
Posted by: JohnQC || 02/17/2012 17:04 Comments || Top||

#4  Well alrighty then, UNCLE FIDEL'S DAILY IMPORTED SPICY BLACK HAM FOR EVERYONE!
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/17/2012 19:11 Comments || Top||

#5  MSM Headline: "Castro's success in fighting obesity is a lesson for the west"
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 02/17/2012 19:37 Comments || Top||

#6  Fried octopus is DELICIOUS!
Posted by: Scooter McGruder || 02/17/2012 21:14 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Politix
Why I'm rooting for Barack Obama
And now for something different, h/t Gates of Vienna
Let's get one thing clear: Obama unquestionably ranks among the bottom five presidents in US history. In terms of sublime awfulness he's right up there with our late and extremely unlamented ex-PM Gordon Brown -- which is quite some doing, given that Brown singlehandedly wrought more destruction on his country than the Luftwaffe, Dutch Elm Disease, the South Sea Bubble, the Fire of London and the Black Death combined.

Agreed: the damage President Obama has done to the US economy with everything from Ben Bernanke's insane money-printing programme, to his cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline, to his ban on deep-water drilling to his crony capitalism hand-outs to disaster zones like Solyndra to his persecution of companies like Gibson is incalculable. And, of course, if he gets a second term the damage he and his rag-bag of Marxist cronies at organisations like the Environmental Protection Agency manage to inflict on the US small businessman trying to make an honest buck will make his first term look like Calvin Coolidge on steroids.

So why do I think this would be preferable to a presidency under Mitt Romney? Simple. Because I've seen what happens, America, when you elect yet another spineless, yet ruthless, principle-free blow-with-the-wind, big government, crony-capitalist RINO squish. His name is Dave Cameron -- and trust me, the cure is far worse than the disease.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 02/17/2012 06:50 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [221 views] Top||

#1  Many Democrats have no choice. Their party has been taken over. The black vote is still strong because he is black. Even when is is part black. In the days of the riots the black population would have called him an oreo. He still has the support from those on government programs. Some may want cuts but not on their stuff. They tempt the weak. Pied piper of destruction. Mr Scratch looking for more souls to harvest.
Posted by: Dale || 02/17/2012 7:34 Comments || Top||

#2  I woukd vote for a road apple over Obama. If Obama gets another 4 years, the USA is over.
Posted by: Cincinnatus Chili || 02/17/2012 7:41 Comments || Top||

#3  This should do it. Send Mr. Scratch packing.
Posted by: Dale || 02/17/2012 7:56 Comments || Top||

#4  As instalundit notes, at least with a Republican in the whitehouse the media acts as a watchdog and not a lapdog helping to hide questionable constitutional moves
Posted by: Rjschwarz || 02/17/2012 9:50 Comments || Top||

#5  The Calvin Coolidge reference is a product of ignorance. Coolidge ranks with Reagan among the 20th century's best presidents.
Posted by: Iblis || 02/17/2012 10:48 Comments || Top||

#6  You're going to be all alone out there.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 02/17/2012 11:30 Comments || Top||

#7  The Coolidge reference is spot on. Re-read the sentence.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/17/2012 12:45 Comments || Top||

#8  He has a point, but in my opinion has a poor way of proving it. Here's my try at it:

The core problem is that the funds necessary to finance Barack's Utopia cannot be totally raised from taxes lest the economy tank and those taxed rise up in revolt. The result is deficit spending that is financed by the sale of US bonds and treasuries. The current problem is that the same policies driving us to Bartack's Utopia is tanking the economy so no one can (or will) buy these treasuries. The Fed steps in to buy these treasures, financed by fiat money with no real value. Thus, the monetized deficit not an IOU to future generations, but will be paid via inflation in a more immediate future. This tanks the economy even further.

Now, what I have noticed is that when the economy tanks, the country is slowly learning that one has to turn to the Republicans to run a government that will fix the economy. THAT IS THE ONLY PURPOSE OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY: to patch the economy together enough so that the Democrats who are elected next to replace them will have something to plunder and distribute.

The similarity in pronunciation between the initials for "Other People's Money" (OPM) and "Opium" the drug, is fortuitous: Like an addict or a drunkard, the US electorate has barely enough sense to know that when the junk runs out, they gotta turn to someone who will help them dry out and get some cash back into their pockets. Why? SO THAT THEY CAN GET MORE JUNK. You give money to a drunk so he can get a square meal, but he uses it to buy booze. You get him a suit so he can go on interviews and get a job, but he pawns the suit to buy booze. If he has SOME wits, he lands the job, works it a bit, THEN uses his paycheck to buy more booze than he would get pawning the suit.

This is essentially a co-dependent relationship, and the addict uses all kinds of ways and means to keep the bennies that the co-dependent brings to them coming: threats, pleadings, accusations, even violence. As long as the co-dependent cooperates and does their part, the addict doesn't have to face the end of the party.

This is where the concept of "tough love" comes in: that real love may require saying "no", doing nothing, and letting the addict suffer the full consequences of their behavior. This can have far-reaching impacts if it is a spouse who is an addict and the breadwinner, for letting that spouse suffer the consequences may necessitate a cut in one's income. If the income is more important than the spouse, continuing the cycle of dependency will be the preferable option (See Michael Jackson, and maybe Whitney Houston).

The similarities to what this gentleman is saying should now be obvious: He's advocating some policital "tough love", let the Democrats win this battle, let the situation blow up in their faces (or, more likely, blow their faces off), then step in with someone who would really fix the core problem. If we win this time, the public will demand that we treat the lame ducks with compassion. What this guy is saying is that if we take a pass, the democrats will make the situation so much worse that the public will demand that we hang the b*st*rds when we win next time.

Now, I anticipate that the response to this comment/explanation will exactly mirror the panicked response of the co-dependent spouse who worries that there WILL be no tomorrow if they don't do something. THAT attitude is what the addict depends on! If the co-dependent isn't thinking "If I don't help, disaster will happen!", then you can count on the addict helping them to think that very thought.

If I was to play the counselor in both these cases, I would ask the same question to both: "what do you think your spouse/the american people is/are made of?"

I haven't decided what I'll do yet, because I haven't figured out the answer to that question yet.

Posted by: Ptah || 02/17/2012 13:00 Comments || Top||

#9  Delingpole is really a comedian editorialist. FTA: I'm presuming what you really want is stuff like: smaller government; a genuine ¬-- as opposed to an illusory, QE-driven ¬-- economic recovery; sensible environmentalism (ie conservation but not eco-fascism); liberty; an end of crony capitalism; a diminution of the power of Wall Street; a resurgence of American greatness; a renewed sense of confidence and purpose.
That's what I want, but I've come to believe I'm in a small minority. My guess is about 45% of the electorate belong to the Free Lunch Party, ignorant of US history & basic economics, getting their information from the MSM, union public relations firms, etc. As long as their government cheques and bennies keep flowing to them, they're most unlikely to change. A resurgence of national greatness, confidence & purpose has to be earned, and IMHO can only occur if that mass of dead weight is somehow shifted, educated, persuaded before a national economic collapse occurs. The Free Lunch Party doesn't have to be converted 100%, just enough to swing several elections in succession.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 02/17/2012 14:20 Comments || Top||

#10  Reagan? There was 6 years of recession where he added more to the US debt than all other Presidents combined. His re-election was campaigned on a "Stay the Course" platform. Any feel-good from Geezer policies was from his undoing of Carter insanities. Reagan wasn't President when the Soviet bloc collapsed after the Chernobyl circus. Then there was the pullout from Lebanon after the Commander in Chief took responsibility for allowing troops to "guard" a Marine barracks with unloaded rifles. Don't dislike the guy, but why lie about him?
Posted by: Ho Chi Panda3530 || 02/17/2012 15:26 Comments || Top||

#11  Ptah -

You speak wisdom, sir. Let me add a similar sentiment I've held for some years now: the Federal Government is addicted to money the way a junkie is addicted to crack. And never, ever forget for a single moment what a junkie will do to get his fix.

Mike
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 02/17/2012 19:38 Comments || Top||

#12  Thought-provoking, as are Ptah's remarks. Basically the alternatives are (a) gently coast off the edge of the cliff, or (b) continue pedal-to-the-metal, while gambling on (a) a non-kooky hardass candidate in 2016, (b) who will be elected by a large margin.

Indeed, that's a gamble that depends on what voters are made of. Given all the fraud, illegals, culture of dependency, etc., I'm not sure I could say either.

We're really kinda f*cked either way. The one thing in Romney's favor is that he might buy us some time.
Posted by: RandomJD || 02/17/2012 22:34 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
Republican Rep. Calls For Baluchistan Self-Determination
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/17/2012 17:54 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [243 views] Top||

#1  Apparently, Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) is a longtime critic of Pakistan, and called for a cutoff of aid after they were found to be sheltering Osama.

Baluchistan is also home to the major, deep water port of Gwadar, built by China and both a commercial and military naval asset of high value.

It also has a lot of unexploited mineral wealth, both in Pakistan and Iran, minerals essential to both nations nuclear programs.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/17/2012 18:01 Comments || Top||

#2  "War of the Ports" > GWADAR-VS-CHABAHAR-VS-KARACHI-VS ...

OOOOOOOO, you just know Sweathog Vinny Barbarino is going to grab his head + scream,"I'm so-o-o-o confused"!
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/17/2012 19:04 Comments || Top||

#3  See also DEFENCE.PK/FORUMS > US CONGRESSMAN TABLES RESOLUTION CALLING FOR INDEPENDENCE FOR BALOCHISTAN.

* SAME > BILL ON BALOCHISTAN'S RIGHT TO BE FREE ON THE ANVIL IN US CONGRESS - BALTIMORE FOREIGN POLICY.

Pragmatically, as Pakistan is NUKULAAR-ARMED, IMO the Bill likely pretains to the IRAN SIDE OF BALCHISTAN.

Lest we fergit, SW IRAN including "Iranian Balochistan" region is where Iran hopes to base its future SPACEPROG [Persenauts]; + where various Internat Perts, Bloggers believe that Iran is likely to [initially] also base any LRBMS BASES [ICBM, MBM, IRBM], as well as ANTI-USN AIRCRAFT CARRIER/NAVAL ASBM BASES.

Balochistan = also means POST-2014 LAND-LOCKED AFGHANISTAN FINALLY GETS ITS OWN WARM-WATER PORT(S) INTO THE INDIAN OCEAN.

versus

* SAME > PRESIDENT OF KYRGYZSTAN ALMAZBEK ATAMBAYEV: THERE SHOULD BE A TURKISH UNION, in the CAR = CENT ASIA REGION, espec Economically.

POSTER = One prob for Turkey's desired
"Turkish/Turkic Union" is that TAIJIKISTAN IS IRANIC, NOT TURKIC. Iran has times said it also wants its own "Union".

["TELL THE TV AUDIENCE WHAT MOSCOW SAYS TO ALL THIS BEHIND DOOR#3, JIM" here].

Not to be outdone ...

* SAME > CHINA: US BILL ON TIBET CONFUSES [historical, treaty] FACTS.


*
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/17/2012 22:30 Comments || Top||

#4  Oh the Huge Manatee!

How times have changed - Myself + WHITNEY-happy Osama, etal. fought + served in Afghanistan, among other, to stop the then-USSR/Soviets from separating Balochistan from Iran + Pakistan for Soviet purposes.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/17/2012 22:36 Comments || Top||

#5  China will ultimately rule that ruse.
Posted by: newc || 02/17/2012 23:10 Comments || Top||


Growing malnutrition
IS the purpose of a government to perpetuate a deplorable system, or address the issues of the people? In Pakistain, it would appear to be the former. Those in positions of influence in Islamabad and at the top tiers of society play a long-term game in which various elements engage in efforts to out-manoeuvre each other. Meanwhile,
...back at the fist fight, Jake ducked another roundhouse, then parried with his left, then with his right, finally with his chin...
the electorate continues to be mired in ever-worsening poverty. A Save the Children report launched in Islamabad on Wednesday found that 38 per cent of surveyed families had been forced to cut down on food intake while 58 per cent were food insecure; one in five parents said that their child did not get enough food. While Pakistain does not yet have the highest rate of stunting among children due to malnutrition -- that dubious honour goes to India -- the stunting rate in the country has gone up by almost 50 per cent over the past decade. Over the next 15 years, Pakistain will have the highest percentage of stunted children.

This is not the first report that presents such an appalling picture. Last month, the National Nutritional Survey presented similar findings on malnutrition. In 2011, a World Bank report said the poorest households were spending up to 70 per cent, or more, of their income on food alone. And nutrition is hardly the only sector showing such pitiful statistics. Every indicator of welfare has taken a sharp downward turn. Consider the spiralling rates of unemployment and illiteracy, for example. It is not that efforts have not been made to counter the situation, but that almost all initiatives are piecemeal and linked to specific governments or personalities. Clearly, policymaking in development does not figure highly on the state's agenda, regardless of the government in power. Few policies can be expected to survive a change at the helm. It is not surprising then that the poor continue to become poorer with little access to even the most basic of human rights
...which are usually entirely different from personal liberty...
. With elections round the corner, the political elite as a whole may wish to dwell on this situation.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/17/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [254 views] Top||

#1  "With elections round the corner, the political elite as a whole may wish to dwell on this situation."

Hate Jews and America and you may be elected and your people still starve. But you feed your tyrants, yes you will.
Use your fake GOD to scare them or make them faithful and lead them just like Amalek - back into slavery.


Par for the course
Posted by: newc || 02/17/2012 1:37 Comments || Top||

#2  Allan hates you!
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 02/17/2012 6:27 Comments || Top||

#3  send Moochelle over to lecture the on healthy eating
Posted by: Frank G || 02/17/2012 7:58 Comments || Top||

#4  Suicide vests are too heavy for a kid with rickets.
Posted by: flash91 || 02/17/2012 10:53 Comments || Top||

#5  The EU hates you. Just read a review of a biography of Norman Borlaug, arguably one of the five greatest humans of the 20th century.
At the time [of the Green Revolution], Forrest Frank Hill, a Ford Foundation vice president, told me, ¬"Enjoy this now, because nothing like it will ever happen to you again. Eventually the naysayers and the bureaucrats will choke you to death, and you won¬'t be able to get permission for more of these efforts.¬" Hill was right. His prediction anticipated the gene-splicing era that would arrive decades later. . . . The naysayers and bureaucrats have now come into their own. If our new varieties had been subjected to the kinds of regulatory strictures and requirements that are being inflicted upon the new biotechnology, they would never have become available¬"

We are not reaping what they purposely failed to sow. And hundreds of millions will needlessly suffer and starve.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/17/2012 12:50 Comments || Top||


The military myth
EARLIER this week during a routine visit to Jacobabad airbase, the chief of army staff (COAS) is reported to have said that the armed forces are allocated only 18 per cent of total government outlays, and that of this 'paltry' amount only half actually ends up at the disposal of our hallowed guardians.

Perhaps unsurprisingly there was no rebuttal issued either by the government or any of our mainstream parties. Just as predictable has been the complete silence on the army chief's claim within media circles.

Contrast this to the obsessive reporting on the excesses of politicians (with the exception of Imran Khan
... aka Taliban Khan, who is the lightweight's lightweight...
, of course). Pakistain's politics-hating, army-loving urban middle classes stand vindicated.

If one spends enough time in the living rooms of educated middle-class folk in this country it is easy to be convinced that 'feudalism' and 'rural backwardness' are the root causes of all of Pakistain's problems.

'Corruption' and 'bad governance' are necessary corollaries, given that most of our politicians hail from the 'feudal' class. Or so our armchair middle-class analysts would have us believe.

There is some truth to the caricature of course, but a caricature it nonetheless remains. Much has changed in Pakistain over the decades; as scholars such as Akbar Zaidi and Arif Hasan have gone through great pains to illustrate, to call Pak society feudal is to gloss over the extent to which urbanisation and the deepening of capitalist social relations have transformed the social and political landscape, notwithstanding the fact that a small number of individuals/families still own a large percentage of rural farmland in the agricultural heartlands.

Take, for example, one of the urban middle classes' most-detested political figures, Jamshed Dasti. This MNA from Muzzaffargarh was the poster-child of the fake degree-ers disqualified from elected office.

Dasti is not a feudal; in fact he is anything but. Hailing from a relatively humble urban background, Dasti has been a bane in the existence of feudal incumbents. Dasti's most high-profile competitor in the 2008 general election? Mustafa Khar, the quintessential 'feudal lord'.

Lest one forget, many politicians who graduated into the echelons of the elite in the 1980s hail from distinctly non-feudal backgrounds, including favourites of the establishment such as Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad.

Urban commercial classes have become increasingly important political players in Pakistain, starting with the Zia regime's very conscious efforts to co-opt them into the military-dominated patronage-based order that was painstakingly constructed through those 11 dark years.

Indeed, this military-dominant patronage order has more or less remained intact in two and a half decades since Zia's demise.

The military's primacy is very apparent when it takes over the reins of government, but strategic retreats such as those undertaken under Gen Kayani
... four star general, current Chief of Army Staff of the Mighty Pak Army. Kayani is the former Director General of ISI...
's watch do not necessarily signify a dramatic weakening of the institution's economic, political or ideological power.

Recently published work on what was not long ago a taboo topic has clarified beyond a shadow of a doubt -- even accounting for the crass attempts to undermine the credibility of this scholarship -- that the men in khaki preside over a vast corporate empire, and the burden that innumerable military-run enterprises exert on public resources is, at best, greatly understated.

Relatedly, and just as important is the role that the military continues to exercise in the political sphere. The military's being, as the popular phrase goes, 'the only institution that works in Pakistain' , has directly contributed to the fragmentation of other state institutions and the deepening of patronage-based political practices that are all too simplistically deemed 'corruption' and 'bad governance'.

The fact that so many politicians play musical chairs when it comes to party memberships and the intolerance for dissenting views are also at least partially explained by the unending political machinations of our hallowed guardians (or more specifically their various intelligence apparatuses).

Bashing 'feudals' and politicians more generally has been a tried and tested strategy for those who seek to maintain the mythic conception of the men in khaki. For the best part of four years a concerted campaign has been under way to rehabilitate the military's image after the dire last days of Musharraf.

It has been only partially successful, in large part because of the patchy relationship between the men in khaki and their imperial patron. Yet the campaign continues, and can be expected to continue until such a time as the civil-military imbalance is definitively altered. The contempt that so many of our urbanites harbour towards politics and politicians -- and it is important to bear in mind that the urban middle classes are extremely varied in terms of values, status and power -- actually has a much longer history than one might think.

The British and their hangers-on remained convinced until the dying breath of the Raj that politics was anathema to 'clean' and 'efficient' administration. Back then too the contradictions between what the proponents of such a model of government claimed and what they actually practised were no less evident.

There is, and has been, thankfully, a critical mass from within the ranks of the middle classes that does espouse a principled anti-establishment politics, sometimes in spite of the complicity of segments of the political class itself.

The costs are typically high; the gruesome fate of wave after wave of political dissidents in Balochistan
...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it...
is testament to this fact.
It is, thus, hardly a surprise that our mainstream politicians -- with notable exceptions at notable times -- tend to exercise caution when it comes to confronting the military. One can only hope that, sooner or later, exposés of power in the media and by the activist judiciary will extend to the men in khaki.

Even though it has become fashionable these days for army chiefs and chief justices alike to proclaim the sanctity of the political process and the pre-eminence of parliament, the fact remains that generals and bureaucrats (and increasingly judges) exercise much more power in Pakistain over a great deal of the mundane than the popular media would have us believe.

Yes politicians must be held to account. But surely the same principle should apply to the men in khaki?

The writer teaches at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/17/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [218 views] Top||

#1  Is it just me, or most of the opinion pieces lately been about Palestine Magna Pakistan?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 02/17/2012 6:40 Comments || Top||

#2  Pakistan and American politics, g(r)omgoru. That's where the action is right now. When Israel bounces the rubble in Iran and environs, no doubt the op-eds flow over that sluice.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/17/2012 8:28 Comments || Top||


Israel-Palestine-Jordan
Israel prepares for war with Iran
Summary: the entire Israeli establishment, and pretty much the entire Israeli population, are behind the need to wipe out Iran's nuclear capability now. Even former Mossad chief Meir Dagan, who openly opposed an attack on Iran, has shut up, as have the lofty literary lights of the left wing peace movements.
At the end of last week, the media were talking about which towns had good bomb shelters and air raid sirens and which didn't. The likelihood that Israel would soon be attacking Iran had begun to sink in. An antiwar demonstration was held across the boulevard from the Defense Ministry compound in Tel Aviv. About 25 people showed up. They held signs that read, "Don't bomb -- talk" to the evening rush hour traffic going past. One driver honked.
President Shimon Peres, who has put his days as a peacemaker far behind him, is warning only about the dangers of a nuclear Iran and not at all about those of an Israeli attack.

As for opposition from the B.O. regime, it has been awfully muted. The Republican presidential candidates (with the exception of Ron Paul) have ¬ been gung-ho, which has much to do with the administration's wariness toward Israel in this election year. But then how strong an argument for restraint can the administration make to the Israelis, after repeating for years that a nuclear Iran is "unacceptable" and that "all options are on the table"?
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/17/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [225 views] Top||

#1  "Don't bomb -- talk"

Hnd them a grenade with the pin pulled and say, "Here, talk your way out of this".
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 02/17/2012 0:42 Comments || Top||

#2  Israel can conventionally strike Iran, but short of launching its JERICHO III NUCLEAR LRBMS is unlikely to win or survive a protractive, 1980's-style "War of the Cities" [Iran-Iraq War] widout massive + routinely-delivered US, Allied assistance.


ION CHINA DAILY FORUM > [Russian Chief of the General Staff Nikolai Makarov] RUSSIA READY TO USE NUCLEAR ARMS [ + direct military force], IFF NECESSARY, to protect its interests + territorial integrity, as well as for any DETERRENCE OPTIONS agz same as approved by Moscow.

versus

* CHINA DAILY FORUM > BATTLEFIELD USA 2012: GERALD CALENTE PREDICTS.

"Will of the People" agz "Will of the Govt/State".

* SAME, TOPIX > US STATES ARE REBELLING AGZ OBAMA BUDGET, INDEFINITE DETENTION OF CITIZENS.

* SAME > [Ron Paul] 2012 US ELECTION: AMERICA'S LAST CHANCE BEFORE IT BREAKS UP | 2012 IS CONSTITUTION'S LAST CHANCE.

* FYI TOPIX > NEW BILL TO ALLOW 30,000 DRONES TO FILL AMERICA'S SKIES BY 2020.

* SAME > PILOTS [Airline Pilots Assoc., ACLU, other Activist] WORRY ABOUT SCHEME/PLAN ALLOWING DOMESTIC DRONES IN [already congested] US SKIES.

* DEFENCE .PK/FORUMS > NEW POLICE DONRES NEAR HOUSTON [Texas] COULD CARRY WEAPONS.

* INTELHUB > ADVANCED DRAGON-FLY [sized?] DRONES + BLACK HELOS TO SPY ON ILINOIS CITIZENS.

SLACKERS! Had already seen a few time back [prototypes?] buzzing around here in Hagatna/Agana. NOT JUST "DRAGONFLYS" EITHER.

Nice-color wings, but the motor noise quality needs rework, i.e. too much weirdo hippie noise for that kind of mini flying buy.

D *** NG IT, DARPA-JPL, WHADDAYA TRYING TO DO - CONVERT ME TO RAP MUSIC!

Hopefully for Israel's sake, the US' attention won't get diverted at the wrong time.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/17/2012 1:03 Comments || Top||

#3 
Even former Mossad chief Meir Dagan, who openly opposed an attack on Iran, has shut up, as have the lofty literary lights of the left wing peace movements.


NOW is the time to pin these liberal pin-heads to the wall and demand where they stand. If they waffle, point out that they're waffling because they DON'T want to take a stand, but want to stand aside and carp when things go bad (which is inevitable given the way life goes). Applaud the ones who go on record NOW for courage, and ridicule the rest FOREVER.
Posted by: Ptah || 02/17/2012 13:32 Comments || Top||

#4  NOW is the time to pin these liberal pin-heads

Meir Dagan is hardly a pin-head: liberal or otherwise; he just favors a cover solution (if you're a hammer etc...)
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 02/17/2012 17:19 Comments || Top||

#5  "When you have to shoot, shoot don't talk!"
Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez
Posted by: borgboy || 02/17/2012 18:15 Comments || Top||

#6  It sounds simplistic, but I repeat:

NUKE 'EM DEAD!
Posted by: Scooter McGruder || 02/17/2012 19:28 Comments || Top||

#7 
Posted by: Water Modem || 02/17/2012 23:48 Comments || Top||



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Two weeks of WOT
Fri 2012-02-17
  Feds arrest another thinks-he-is suicide bomber heading to Capitol building
Thu 2012-02-16
  U.S. drone kills five insurgents in Miranshah
Wed 2012-02-15
  Thailand charges Iranian bomb suspects in Bangkok
Tue 2012-02-14
  Suspected Iranian Agent Bungles Bombing in Bangkok
Mon 2012-02-13
  Israel says bombs target embassies in India, Georgia
Sun 2012-02-12
  Uzbek man in US pleads guilty in Obama murder plot
Sat 2012-02-11
  Arrests in Quetta Related to Rabbani Assassination
Fri 2012-02-10
  Zawahiri says Somalia's Shebab Joined al-Qaida
Thu 2012-02-09
  Badar Mansoor Dronezapped in North Wazoo
Wed 2012-02-08
  German Police Arrest Lebanese, Syrian for Spying for Damascus
Tue 2012-02-07
  Blasts Rock N. Nigeria, Police Station Attacked
Mon 2012-02-06
  36 Civilians, 28 Troops Killed in Fresh Syria Violence
Sun 2012-02-05
  Expel Syrian Envoys, Says Arab League Official
Sat 2012-02-04
  Libya's ex-envoy to France dies in custody
Fri 2012-02-03
  Britain Appoints First Ambassador to Somalia in 21 Years

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