Archive for the ‘Afghanistan’ Category

The War on Terror

In Afghanistan, Children and Youth, civil, Civil Liberties, class warfare, Culture of Corruption, Disaster Relief, Economic Justice, Election 2008, Environment, Freedom of Speech, Global War On Terror, Housing, Immigration, International politics, Iraq War, Media Criticism, Misc., New York City, Progressive Politics, Terrorism, US Politics on March 21, 2013 at 11:36 am


Growing up in Virginia, I have fond memories of the shooting range.  My father even gave me a turn with his .44 magnum which did in fact kick like a mule.  The violence followed me to New York with 9/11, and where I was fortunate to try to give blood and wait things out in my dorm, many others who I’d grown up with or befriended back in VA were suiting up to go and fight, first in Afghanistan, then to Iraq.  A couple days ago, I caught this letter on a friend’s Facebook Feed – which is starting to make the rounds – and at first, I couldn’t read it.  It had been comforting in a way to forget about Bush and the Axis of Evil, of all the squandered potential we poured into the sand.  But as we’re reminded so often in this endless war, we must never forget.  We cannot hide unpleasant things in the shadows.

And yet, for two years after the attack and ten more after our invasion – the two defining moments of our time – we seem content to do just that.  My relationship to guns came into focus in Millbrook, NY where – eating lunch with my band after playing our first funeral – we saw the horrors of gun violence laid bare on the diner’s TV screen.  CNN’s coverage of Sandy Hook still fresh,  our waitress remarking, “That’s a half-hour from here.”  A member of the jazz community in NYC lost their daughter and even Joe Biden says nothing will be the same.

Except it is.  Exactly the same.  After hearings and meetings and press conferences and statements, there will be no assault weapons ban, no reduction in the capacity of magazines, no new safegaurds against the armed-and-mentally ill.  21 children are dead for absolutely no reason, and for all our wails of grief and shock, no one is willing to really do anything about it.  The 1.4% of us who are NRA members must be fairly satisfied by this.

Immigration is looking a little more hopeful, with real-ish players talking about real-ish solutions – path to citizenship, guest worker visas, living wages?? – but if the current legislative process holds true, which it will, we can expect exactly none of these to make it to any real legislation, no leadership or dialogue will take place.  Just as we have come to expect, as we have chosen to remember.  So on we go with stopping people for their papers, exploiting them with unscrupulous employers and siphoning resources away from the state without putting any tax revenue into – or getting any real value from – the community they’re living in.

The current tally on this War on Terror is coming in to around $6 trillion, with about $4 trillion of that going towards the Iraq war, which I think is over at this point.    No further attacks have been made on the home front, and aside from a few pesky revolutions throughout the region, we haven’t had World War III yet, so, mission accomplished.  But this war isn’t being fought by “America,” it’s being fought by less than 1% of America.  The backlash and destruction caused by what we want is being felt by them, not by us, which makes it easier to saber rattle as the threats continue to pop up in far-flung places all over this hostile world.  It is easy to hide the unpleasantness of war, and that much better to remember all the glory and victory, when only a few have to bleed.

We were lied to.  We were lied to and believed in it so much that we lied to the world.  We remember the attack, the victimization we felt at that moment, but we choose to forget – every day – the reaction that has set us on this path.  Something horrible happens, but the real cause is too scary, too political, too much to bear, so we lie to each other, we lie to ourselves, and talk really loud about something else.  Something that makes us feel good, or empowered and that lasts just long enough for the next crisis to come, and the next cycle to start, and nothing, nothing, nothing is ever really done.

But this is politics, this is Washington, this is Gridlock and Sequester and Special Interests and this is out of our control.  It is also quite uncanny to a nervous breakdown.  As a country, we first experienced trauma then threw ourselves into deeper and deeper trauma’s with no discernible solution or responsibility, which eventually lead us to unearth, then ignore, all the skeletons we’ve amassed inside our closet.  Guns, war, immigrants, health care, economy, housing, the list goes on.

But you can’t make guns safer by talking by talking about “freedom.”  Nor can you keep healthcare prices low by invoking “liberty” or create jobs by claiming to be the victims of “class warfare.”  We can’t claim to be a “nation of immigrants” while installing xenophobic laws, nor can we claim to be “pro-life” and fight against affordable health care.  These are things both the right and left have been guilty of doing – or are at the very least both complicit in – and the apathy/isolation of the electorate has enabled these madmen to hijack trillions of dollars every year and immense power around the globe with little accountability.  We are lied to every day and believe the lie so much, we lie to each other, we lie to ourselves.

During the campaign in 2008, I was reading The Argument by Matt Bai and the quote I wrote with then still rings true now:

The story of modern politics was the story of popular movements molding their candidates, not the other way around. Roosevelt didn’t create progressive government; the progressives of the early twentieth century created him. Lyndon Johnson and Robert Kennedy, while they despised eachother, both derived their essential arguments about social justice from the equality movements of the late fifties and early sixties. Ronald Regan would not have existed without the movement conservatives who offered him a philosophical anchor. These were great and preternaturally talented leaders, men who had the charisma and the intellect to synthesize the arguments that each of these movements had made, to persuade voters of their urgency, and to adapt them to the realm of policy making. But they were merely conduits for change, and they would never have emerged as public visionaries had others not laid the intellectual foundations for their arguments.

There is no magical elected official or working group someplace that will be able to fix all of this shit, but this does not divorce government – federal, state and local – from their responsibility in implementing solutions.  We have to decide, all of us, what the fuck we want, what the alternative is going to be.  We have to build it, prove it works, then demand, in no uncertain terms, that it be given to us better, faster and cheaper by those with the money and resources – e.g. government, business, that guy you know – to do so.  Occupy Wall Street accomplished exactly none of it’s goals, BECAUSE IT HAD NONE – and no, press coverage/raising awareness isn’t enough on the world stage.  We have to be able to confront all of those demons on that list, turn the lights on and get right with everything in honesty before we can expect respect from the dilettantes we’ve been ruled by.

Until then, the government will have no problem treating us the way in which we’ve grown accustomed, and we’ll have no problem taking it.  Never forget what we’ve been through.  Never forget that we deserved – and still deserve – so much better.


The Way Forward

In Afghanistan, Election 2006, Election 2008, Global War On Terror, Iraq War, Misc., Progressive Politics, Terrorism on April 5, 2007 at 5:27 pm

I’ve been trying to avoid writing about the War since I started contributing to this blog a few months ago, but comment on a recent post has forced my hand. Much talk has been made on the fact that America must stay in Iraq until is has “acheived victory”, and that “surrender”, “cut and run”, or any option otherwise is paramount to failure. This argument, though, always makes me laugh, while at the same time noding my head, reflecting the intrinsic duality of our mission and our goals in this shattered country.

In many ways, “victory” is no longer America’s to acheive, it’s Iraq’s. When the occupation began in 2002, we dissolved – entirely – any semblance of statehood and public works the country had in a vain hope that we could re-shape it into something more palatable to the West and Iraqis at large. However bad they were, though, the Baathists could at least keep the lights on and the water running. But since we dismissed all public employees and replaced state offices with private contractors, maintaining necessary services became a little tough. The police and army – well-armed, well-trained personnel – were also given their walking papers, making idle hands truly the devil’s plaything. These mistakes, made by acting Pro-Consul L. Paul Bremer, and the administrations desire to deploy half the troops needed to secure a country of this size, helped speed Iraq towards disaster.

We created an immense power vaccum in Iraq which forced it’s people to revert to the only kind of law and order they had left – tribal councils and ethnic divisions – which lead us to the country’s current state of chaos. Though the Maliki government – elected with all of those inked fingers so long ago – has been unable to quell the seething violence throughout it’s country, there is no gaurantee our troops have or will be any more sucessful. If anything, our presence undercuts any authority the government has and intrinsically calls into question its autonomy. High rates of unemployment also fuel both the insurgency and the sense of hopelessness in Iraq. Take away the hundreds of over-fed American corporations “rebuilding” towns and business, give potential insurgents a steady job and a proper wage and see how many are willing to put down their guns for a shovel. We have taken so much from these people, it is time that their home be put back into their own hands. In this way, our vision of Iraq as a stable, legitimately soverign nation will never come to fruition until we leave.

But yet, the omnipresent issue of security surrounds every choice being made, and rightfully so. The fact of the matter is that our men and women sit in the midst of a growing civil war that has the potential to engulf the rest of the region in bloody ethnic cleansing; and the Maliki government is both unable and unwilling to bring the violence to an end at the cost of compromise with their former oppressors. As more and more countries from our “coalition” pack up and leave, the greater our responsibility is to protect Iraqi’s from themselves. It is clear that without our presence, the bloodshed will possibly escalate to ugly proportions, making us neither liberators, nor occupiers, but rather enablers: the country that turned it’s back on the mess it made and allowed it to fester into a horrific genocide. With all these circumstances, though, it is difficult to promote a continuation of a war that has brought to view the death of hundreds of thousands of civilians, unprecidented financial misappropriation, the formation of a private mercenary army of over 25,000 that operates outside any jurisdiction and enough tortue and human rights abuses to take the Hague’s present staff into retirement.

One of the most interesting plan I’ve read on constructive disengagement from Iraq came from former Senator and ’72 Presidential candidate George McGovern. In a lenghty, detailed, and amazingly level-headed piece in Harpers magazine last year, George presents a multi-faceted, responsible alternative to a “troop surge”. Though removal of our forces is a key element to this plan, he proposes to replace them with services that would probably prove to be much more effective than our previous efforts. A multi-national security force will be put in place of our military and will include personnel from muslim nations who – unlike us – speak fluent Arabic. Instead of pouring money into Haliburton, we will give our billions directly to established Iraqi government funds for reconstruction, reparations, and the continuing development of State and local government at large, all while being monitored by third party auditors to ensure transparent and responsible spending by both sides. In addition, McGovern encourages the establishment professional training programs for doctors, lawyers, social workers, and more, filling the desperate needs of a country that has experienced a drain of mental capacity along with everything else.

Though my paraphrasing is not doing his plan justice, McGovern’s concept is far more important. Since taking power in the House and Senate, the Democrats have been fervently seeking to withdrawl our troops and finally challenge the administration in an attempt to execute the percieved will of the people. All the while, Republicans have continued to counter their time tables and budget points with shouts of treason and failure. Both parties are desperately trying to make up for their past mistakes and making bold statements to try to carry political favor – Democrats with immediate ends, Republicans with redoubled efforts. Neither, though, is the responsible course of action. The myriad consequences from the abhorrent mishandling of the war cannot be undone by a temporary influx of over-worked troops. And though the sight of these troops coming home is an invaluable photo-op for any Dem who signed their tickets, it must be done in a responsible, methodical, and well planned manner. A quick-fix deadline motivated by political ambition is reminiscent of our “Mission Accomplished” carrier jamboree (case in point, Afghanistan). The point of this horribly long rant is that the issues and consequences involved with Iraq are far more complex than we have been led to believe, and there is no single solution to the war. “Victory” will require compromise between our own warring houses, and will most likely look much different than we have been led to believe. We have been pushed towards dangerous extremism over the last few years, so much so that we have begun to see everything in absolutes. The question before us should not be merely fight or flee, there is a middle ground that must be occupied in order for the country to survive. We must stay in some capacity in order to keep some semblance of security, but we can’t continue such invasive combat operations as the only ones walking the beat. Troops and weoponry must not be the only reflection of America’s presence in the region, either. The surge proposed by the Republicans can have a tinge of bleeding-heart Liberalism if we send an enlarged contingent of benign civilian and financial aid to help heal what we’ve destroyed. For too long, we have represented a single-minded absolutist nation. The way forward must utilize all aspects of American foreign policy, not just the ones that go boom.

“What Happens When Bush Vetoes?”

In Afghanistan, Culture of Corruption, Global War On Terror, Habeas Corpus, International politics, Iraq War, Laws & Regulation, Policing, Terrorism on April 4, 2007 at 7:34 pm

From an e-mail sent to me by Chris Dodd for President, which, I suppose, is an organization trying to get Dodd elected president.

If President Bush delays funding for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan by vetoing the war supplemental passed last week, how will Democrats react?

One course of action would be to capitulate and immediately write the President another blank check, devoid of benchmarks and accountability.

But that’s not the right choice, nor is it what Democrats were elected to do on November 7, 2006.

Assuming a veto, Senator Russ Feingold and Majority Leader Harry Reid plan to introduce legislation next Tuesday mandating that President Bush begin troop withdrawals one hundred and twenty days after passage.

The bill also serves notice that funding for the war will end by March 31, 2008.

Senator Dodd has signed on as one of the first co-sponsors of the Feingold-Reid bill.

Will you lend your support to this important piece of legislation and ask your personal networks to do the same?


It looks like they want us to sign something supporting this legislation, which will only be introduced after Bush has smacked down some other legislation.  Well, ridiculous or not, I suppose I’ll sign it.  Feel free to do the same.

“Osama Hearts Obama” -Aussie PM John Howard

In Afghanistan, Civil Liberties, Election 2008, Freedom of Speech, Global War On Terror, International politics, Iraq War, Misc., Race, US Politics on February 13, 2007 at 12:33 pm

“If I was running al Qaeda in Iraq, I would put a circle around March 2008 and pray, as many times as possible, for a victory not only for Obama, but also for the Democrats,” Howard said in the interview, a swipe at the Illinois senator for proposing to pull all U.S. troops out of Iraq by March of next year…

Rudd said the remarks criticizing the Democrats as the “terrorists’ party of choice” are irresponsible and could hurt Australia’s relationship with the U.S.  But Howard stated it was “absurd” to say he was interfering in domestic U.S. politics and was unapologetic for his remarks. He noted that Australian opposition politicians criticize Bush all the time…

In an unscientific poll, 82 percent of readers of the Sydney Morning Herald said Howard had “put his foot in it” when asked about their reaction to the prime minister’s comments.

Election Decor

In Afghanistan, Civil Liberties, Election 2006, Global War On Terror, Sexuality, Terrorism on October 26, 2006 at 10:43 pm

Another (completely different!) way of approaching things…

In Afghanistan, civil, Disaster Relief, Global War On Terror, International politics, Iraq War, Progressive Politics, religion & politics, Terrorism on October 11, 2006 at 8:02 pm

From Diane Butler Bass’ post, ‘What if the Amish Were in Charge of The War on Terror?’, on Jim Wallis’ blog, God’s Politics.

Their practice of forgiveness unfolded in four public acts over the course of a week. First, some elders visited Marie Roberts, the wife of the murderer, to offer forgiveness. Then, the families of the slain girls invited the widow to their own children’s funerals. Next, they requested that all relief monies intended for Amish families be shared with Roberts and her children. And, finally, in an astonishing act of reconciliation, more than 30 members of the Amish community attended the funeral of the killer.

Arlington North, Memorial to Fallen Vets

In Afghanistan, Civil Liberties, Culture jamming, Economic Justice, Election 2006, Election 2008, Global War On Terror, International politics, Iraq War, Laws & Regulation, Progressive Politics, religion & politics, Terrorism, US Politics on October 4, 2006 at 1:10 pm

I meant to post this earlier.  Last weekend I had the pleasure of meeting Bill Perry of Veterans for Peace.  He and his organization have done amazing things, not the least of which was “Arlington North,” a temporary memorial outside the Liberty Bell to fallen US soldiers (this project was, itself, harking to Arlington West in Santa Monica).  You can watch a brief news piece on Arlington North here.

It’s my understanding that he and others from this organization have worked with Raed Jarrar, who we discussed in the post, “ATTENTION: Terrorists Don’t Wear Terrorist T-Shirts.” I understand that some from their group were arrested at the Pentagon for dropping pamphlets with the same slogan that Jarrar featured on his shirt (“We will not be silent,” written in Arabic).

A Mitsubishi Dealership Launches “Jihad” on the Competition

In Afghanistan, International politics, Iraq War, Media Criticism, religion & politics, Technology, Terrorism on October 4, 2006 at 12:00 am

Jihad proclaimed in radio ads. This article reads like the Onion.

From Tim Feran, at the Columbus Dispatch:

“Some Columbus radio stations have rejected as insensitive an advertisement for a car dealership that invokes Islamic references…

In the spot, Keith Dennis of Dennis Mitsubishi talks about “launching a jihad on the automotive market.”

Sales representatives “will be wearing burqas all weekend long,” the ad says. One of the vehicles on sale “can comfortably seat up to 12 jihadists in the back.”

“Our prices are lower than the evildoers’ every day. Just ask the pope! ” the ad says. “Friday is fatwa Friday, with free rubber swords for the kiddies.”

Jeff Wilson, general manager of Radio One stations WCKX (107.5 FM), WJYD (106.3 FM) and WXMG (98.9 FM), doesn’t intend to air the spot.

“We won’t play that,” Wilson said. “With no disrespect to their creativity or their desire to build business, everything we’re about is promoting the values of diversity. To air things of that sort would go against our mission statement.”

Representatives of WSNY (94.7 FM), WBNS (97.1 FM), WWCD (101.1 FM), WJZA/WJZK (103.5/104.3 FM), and WODB (107.9 FM) also said they won’t air the ad.

But Aaron Masterson, general manager of Dennis Auto Point, which writes and produces its own commercials, promised that the commercial will air.

“It starts next Friday morning,” Masterson said. “… “We made it very clear we wanted market saturation to get the point across.” …

The president of the Columbus chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, doesn’t think terrorism is to be taken lightly…

“Using that as a promotional pitch when so many are dying from the criminal activity of suicide bombers, that’s not funny,” Mobin-Uddin said. “I don’t think it’s appropriate when it causes real pain. It exploits or promotes misunderstanding in terms already misunderstood or misused. That type of ad does nothing but promote discord in a very difficult time. The timing is just amazing. Maybe that’s part of the shock value.”

When Dennis previewed the commercial Wednesday for radio executives, Masterson said, “everybody in the room thought it was very funny…”

Terrorists Support Lamont (Yo, Joe, is that bad for the insurance industry?)

In Afghanistan, Culture jamming, Culture of Corruption, Election 2006, Election 2008, Global War On Terror, International politics, Iraq War, Laws & Regulation, Media Criticism, Misc., Race, religion & politics, Terrorism, US Politics on September 20, 2006 at 9:55 am

Election Central on the trail of this dude…

NPH Wouldn’t Do That, KSM Would (They’re Pretty Sure)

In Afghanistan, Civil Liberties, Culture of Corruption, Election 2006, Election 2008, Global War On Terror, International politics, Iraq War, Laws & Regulation, Misc., New York City, Terrorism, US Politics on September 7, 2006 at 7:30 pm

Yesterday, Bush answered the question I relayed from Attytood a few weeks back: Why isn’t Khalid Shaikh Mohammed on Trial?  It’s cuz he was in a not-so-secret CIA prison.  And why is he now going to be on trial?  Cuz Iraq is a mess, and it’s time to bring attention back to the “successful” end of the GWOT.  Here is the repost from Attytood:

Forget bin Laden (as Bush and Cheney seemingly have) for a moment. What is the deal with Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, said to the organizational planner of 9/11, in custody somewhere since 2002 — and to this date not charged for his role in the greatest mass murder in American history?

What gives? Wouldn’t a conviction of KSM, under the American system of justice be not just a courtroom victory but also a victory in the worldwide court of public opinion, where America has been slaughtered the last four years or so? Instead, KSM is hidden away in an American gulag that makes a mockery of the values our troops are supposed to be defending.

That’s a more important question than what it reads on bin Laden’s “Most Wanted” poster.

Good points from Attytood, but part of the logic is already being undercut: The presumption that the conviction of KSM would be “under the American system of justice,” while one of the JAG attorneys for a prisoner at Guantanamo already said on MSNBC that the Bush proposal from yesterday makes no substantive changes to the system that the Supreme Court already struck down in the Hamdi case.

There’s No Crying in Baseball, and No “Innocent Bystanders” in Guantanomo Bay

In Afghanistan, Civil Liberties, Culture of Corruption, Election 2006, Election 2008, Global War On Terror, International politics, International Public Health, Iraq War, Laws & Regulation, Misc., New York City, Race, Terrorism, US Politics on September 6, 2006 at 2:23 pm

Bush is currently addressing the country, or, well, at least those people in the country who are interested to listen.

He just said that Guantanomo Bay doesn’t hold any “innocent bystanders.” It sounded and tasted like BS, so i did a straightforward Google search for “Guatanamo Bay” and “innocent bystanders.” Not surprisingly, it netted over 19,000 results. Below is one of the first results of that search:


6/23/04: A senior American military interrogator at Camp Delta told 60 Minutes II that as many as 20 percent of the Guantanamo prisoners were sent there by mistake – and that they were innocent bystanders, or very small fish.


Like in the movie A League of Their Own, when Tom Hanks says there’s no crying in baseball in clear contridiction to the player that is crying in front of him, it looks like, according to a “senior American military interrogator at Camp Delta” in Guatanomo Bay, one of every five prisoners at Guantanomo shouldn’t be there despite claims they should be.

Saying there’s no crying in baseball sure don’t make it true.

Sen. Conrad Burns: “[Terrorists May Not Wear T-Shirts, But] They Do Drive Taxis and Kill at Night”

In Afghanistan, Children and Youth, Culture jamming, Culture of Corruption, Economic Justice, Election 2006, Election 2008, Global War On Terror, Immigration, International politics, International Public Health, International Trade, Iraq War, Labor, Laws & Regulation, Media Criticism, Misc., Netroots, New York City, Race, Terrorism, US Politics on August 31, 2006 at 2:40 pm

To follow up on the madness that BigDaddyChris posted up on earlier concerning the Muslim American that was harrassed for wearing an innocent t-shirt that happened to have “we will not be silent” in Arabic, as well as English, here is powerful shit from TPMCafe’s Election Central

GOP Senator Conrad Burns really does have a knack for talking himself into some political jams. A spokesman for a Muslim group has just now sharply criticized Burns for his remark, just reported this morning, that America confronts a “faceless enemy” of terrorists who “drive taxi cabs in the daytime and kill at night.” In an interview with Election Central, the spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper, communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, slammed Burns’s comments: “It just adds to the overall atmosphere of anti-Muslim hysteria and xenophobia.”


“It doesn’t help our nation either domestically or internationally,” Hooper said. “These types of comments are picked up by news sources around the world, they’re spread on the internet, and people hear about them. It’s no longer that some local politician can say something to pander to a local audience, because their views will be published internationally.”

“Enemies of the U.S., Unite!” Says Santorum

In Afghanistan, Culture of Corruption, Election 2006, Election 2008, Global War On Terror, International politics, International Public Health, Iraq War, Laws & Regulation, Misc., New York City, Race, Terrorism on August 28, 2006 at 5:30 pm

What could possibly be more dangerous than giving geographically and ideologically varied “enemies of the United States” a reason to unite against us. These groups Santorum is calling out to brawl in the school yard have not necessarily had historic ties, but will see in us a common enemy that is ignorantly clumping them all together, as more Republicans continue to box “Islamofascists” together.

We need responsible diplomacy, not a cock-sure Senator.  Do what you can to say goodbye to Ricky.

U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum on Monday drew parallels between World War II and the current war against “Islamic fascism,” saying they both require fighting a common foe in multiple countries.

“Were the Japanese imperialists with their mind-set and their ideology the same as the Nazis? Obviously not. Were they the same as the fascists in Italy? Obviously not. But they were still a common enemy,” the Republican told about 250 people at a Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon.

“We’re at war with Islamic fascism,” said Santorum, who is seeking a third term this year. “Afghanistan and Iraq and southern Lebanon and every country around the world is a front.”

A diarist at DailyKos discussed this dangerous far-Right framing recently, but I can’t seem to find it. Post the link as a comment if you have it available.

US “Welcomes Coup” Against Pakistan’s Musharraf; Faces “Total Failure in Afghanistan”

In Afghanistan, Culture of Corruption, Election 2006, Election 2008, Global War On Terror, International politics, Laws & Regulation, Misc., New York City, Terrorism, US Politics on August 28, 2006 at 2:42 pm

Asia Times has a thorough piece about the difficulties the GWOT faces in Afghanistan, specifically in the fallout of the killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti against the direct orders of General Perez Musharraf.

The killing of Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Bugti, a prominent politician who served many times in top government positions, at the hands of Pakistani security agencies on the weekend will ignite the movement for a “free Balochistan”.

At the same time, it deals a powerful blow from the Pakistani military establishment against President General Pervez Musharraf for him to step down.


Apparently, Musharraf directed that Bugti be isolated rather than killed as he did not want him to be turned into a martyr. He reasoned it would be better to have Bugti on the run than the clamor for a Baloch nation being intensified.

News of Bugti’s death, therefore, not only inflamed Balochis, but caught the army’s top brass by surprise. They are now bracing for a spurt in nationalist activities in Balochistan.

For Musharraf, the killing, which can only be interpreted as being deliberate and against his orders, sends a powerful message from elements in the army that all is not well in the barracks. There have been rumors of coup plot for some while. The general is unlikely to step down. Rather, he will hit back at those undermining him.

Bugti’s killing is likely to impact US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) operations in Balochistan, which has become a strategic back yard for the Taliban.

Musharraf is expected to stop the FBI’s activities immediately, leaving his relations with the US even further strained. Musharraf is due to meet President George W Bush in Washington next month at an important stage in the “war on terror”.


Contacts told Asia Times Online they expected that very soon the Taliban would announce the revival of the “Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan” in that country’s southwest, from where a countrywide offensive will be staged.

For Washington, this would mean a total failure in Afghanistan – and Pakistan in large part would be held to blame. This is because the US has based much of its strategy on information fed to it by the Pakistani establishment.


It has emerged that during an earlier exchange of notes between Pakistani intelligence organizations and the US, American officials named a top retired Pakistani army official as orchestrating the Taliban’s strategies. The implication was that this was done with the tacit approval of the Pakistani establishment.


Musharraf certainly has some explaining to do in Washington. There are strong rumors from Washington that the Americans would welcome a “coup” against Musharraf, with the hope that his replacement would be more effective in the “war on terror”.

UPDATE: ” ‘All those weapons and aid that the US has given to Pakistan to fight Al Qaeda and the Taliban, [the Pakistan Army] is using against the nationalists in Balochistan,’ adds Mr. Akbar Mengal [a member of the provincial assembly from the Balochistan Nationalist Party]. US officials have conceded as much to the Western media in the recent past, saying it cannot always control how the Pakistani Army uses its weapons.” – Christian Science Monitor