Thursday, November 15, 2007

Deadly Middle East Meddling

Here we go again!

Regime change to solve a problem.... like the U.S.-supported shah of Iran. And, we all know how that turned out. Iran now has a radical Islamic controlling party and the United States is the enemy.

Learning nothing from history, The Decider tried regime change in oil-rich Iraq. So far what that has gotten us are countless U.S. and Iraqi casualties, a virtual tsunami of national debt, and an unstable warring nation bordering on, and largely politically controlled by, neighboring U.S.-unfriendly Iran. With no good resolution in sight.

The United States had one "friend" in this Middle East cluster, military-coup president Gen. Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan. He "supported" the Iraq invasion while dealing with very unstable Islamic elements in his own country.... obviously not very successfully as al Qaeda and The Taliban relocated and revitalized their command and control operations to Pakistan's mountainous northwestern region, even infiltrating and overrunning some cities.

So..... a meddling Bush twisted Musharraf's arm to allow exiled former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto to return to Pakistan in order to forge a power-sharing government. A government pleasing to the United States. This set the stage....

When those negotiations not surprisingly broke down, rather than relinquish his dual role as president and head of the military, Musharraf declared a national emergency.

You see, the "term of Pakistan's current government expires on Thursday, and it also would have been the final day of Musharraf's current stint in office had he not extended it by declaring emergency rule." WaPo

So now, this nuclear-armed nation is coming apart at the seams, and rival leaders are under detention or have been "carted off by the police." NYTimes

Opposition politician Imran Khan, a popular former cricket player, appeared at a university anti-Musharraf protest Wednesday. You probably saw the media accounts.... signs that read "No to Emergency" and "Go Musharraf, Go." Not the "Go" rallying cry of football games, but the "Go" of leave office now.

What you may not have seen were the students at the protest affiliated with the radical Islamic party Jamaat-e-Islami who were chanting slogans against President Bush and the United States. Kahn was seized by students belonging to Islami Jamiat-e-Talba, the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami. They detained him until he was arrested by police.... obviously the radical Islamics are emboldened by recent events.

So, here is the "shah of Iran" showdown once again.... and Musharraf, by aligning himself with the United States, is the enemy of the radical Islamists, but has also alienated the Pakistani moderates with his suspension of the constitution and national-emergency strong-arm tactics....

But this Pakistan showdown is deadly different from Iran's uprising..... for whoever controls Pakistan controls a nuclear-armed nation.

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