Sunday, October 24, 2004
Are They With Us, Or Against Us?
When pressed on why the United States couldn't send troops into the region to capture the world's No. 1 terrorist, Lehman said the Baluchistan Region of the country is filled with militant fundamentalists who do not recognize the legitimacy of President Pervez Musharraf, a close ally of the United States.
"That is a region filled with Taliban and al-Qaida members,' he said, acknowledging that Pakistan's security services also are filled with many who agree with bin Laden's beliefs and would aid him if U.S. Special Forces entered the region.
"Look,' Lehman said, "Musharraf already has had three assassination attempts on his life. He is trying to comply, but he is surrounded by people who do not agree with him. This is not like Afghanistan, where there was no compliance, and we had to go in. We'll get (bin Laden) eventually, just not now.'
Yet another toxic ally for the US in the region. We just don't seem to learn, do we? Pakistan is likely hiding Bin Laden, and worse yet, has done more to aid nuclear proliferation than any country in modern times. Add in the fact that they're led by a military general who overthrew a democratically-elected regime. Oh, yea, and they've sparked decades of conflict with their neighbor who just happens to be the world's largest democracy. This sounds exactly like the folks we cuddled-up with in the 80s, and look where those relationships got us. But oh well - long-term thinking doesn't make for interesting history.