Pakistan Parliament Passes Resolution: Rift is Growing

Pakistan's intelligence chief, Ahmed Shuja Pasha, appeared before the country's Parliament today. He acknowledged their intelligence failure over Osama bin Laden, offered to resign and blasted the U.S. for invading Pakistan's sovereignty to conduct the raid. He also denounced U.S. drones in Pakistan. After his appearance, Parliament passed a resolution that condemned the raid and called for a re-evaluation of Pakistan's cooperation with the U.S. and revamp the security agencies so there would be no repeat.

The resolution expressed support for Pakistan's military and demanded the U.S. cease sending drones into Pakistan. And called for an independent inquiry into the raid at Abbouttabad. [More....]

Also today, Pakistan General Khalid Shameem Wynne, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, cancelled a planned visit to the U.S., telling Admiral Mike Mullen the environment since the bin Laden raid wasn't conducive to anything productive coming from it.

Pakistan isn't about to start asking which of their security and military officials allowed Bin Laden to reside in Abbouttabad. It would rather blame the U.S. and play victim. That's won't last long. It doesn't know what's on the computer files recovered from the compound, and the terror trial of Tahawwur Hussain Rana starting Monday in Chicago over the Mumbai bombings is bound to at least partially reveal the ISI and military's complicity with LeT and other terror groups.

The New York Times says despite all this, we shouldn't cut off aid to Pakistan. Can we at least cut off the intelligence sharing? Our increased reliance on electronic surveillance is bad enough, but insisting on sharing its fruits with every Tom, Dick and Harry law enforcement agency is even worse.

The U.S. needs to end its fixation on al Qaeda, the organization, which has become marginalized, leaderless and which has not been particularly operational in years. Most of the currently dangerous terror groups in that region are in Pakistan -- where their military and intelligence agencies have encouraged their existence.

Another interesting read today: Brand bin Laden in the Vancouver Sun.

Let's focus on getting out of Afghanistan.

[T]he war against terror has shifted. Once, we had a simple goal - destroy al Qaeda and its patron, the Taliban government, in Afghanistan. Now it's clear that al Qaeda is only one element of a global and highly decentralized terrorist threat and that the real battlefield isn't in Afghanistan but in Pakistan, Yemen and a long list of other places where economic devastation and oppressive government are the rule of the day.

Pakistan is corrupt and as prosecutors like to remind juries, when you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas. I don't want to see their economic aid cut off, but we should stop funding intelligence sharing programs.

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    it's complicated (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by loveed on Fri May 13, 2011 at 11:45:45 PM EST
    we need them whether we like it or not.
     I think pakistan tip off the US gover ment.As more details leak out(the story keep changing)we will see (there was tv,internet access,no protection around OBL ect..)
     Americans need to grow up and realize this is not a black and white world.

    Containment (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by mmc9431 on Sat May 14, 2011 at 09:58:45 AM EST
    Pakistan has played both sides against the middle since the beginning of the "Cold War". I don't think anything has changed on that front.

    I think their public outrage is just political fodder for their people. They're not about to walk away from the money they get from us.

    We're being told that we have to accept the fact that the country can no longer deal with the financial burdens of our social safety nets. BY the same token, we need to accept the fact that we can no longer afford the burden of being the iron fist throughout the world.

    Containment of the region may be the best solution to the problem. Hundreds of billions of dollars (and countless deaths) have been spent on that region since the Soviet days and what has been accomplished?

    We walked away and did not spend dollars (none / 0) (#14)
    by Politalkix on Sat May 14, 2011 at 11:42:48 AM EST
    in that region in the 1990s. What did it bring us other than plenty of terrorist attacks. We started a war in that region after the WTC attack and almost walked away to Iraq till a newly elected Prez refocussed our objectives. We (IMO) can contain our costs by being as strategic as possible, but we cannot walk away from that part of the world or ignore it.
    What are we going to do if AQ militants trained in AfPak start attacking American businesses in Thailand or India or the Phillipines (each of these countries are fighting Islamic terrorism) because they do not like the fact that governments in those countries are working with America on military or economic matters. What do we do if American shipping lines in the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea, Strait of Malacca, etc come under attack from Islamic militants (many of them are trained in AfPak). Are we going to withdraw from the whole of Asia?

    So, I assume... (4.00 / 3) (#36)
    by Dadler on Sat May 14, 2011 at 06:07:30 PM EST
    ...you are comfortable with the U.S. being the only nation stupid enough to Roman Empire itself into the grave?  This is what we are in the process of.  It is inevitable.    

    What would happen if AQ bombed business in Thailand or Philippines or wherever?  You do some police work and nab the guys, like they have in other countries.  Over and over.  

    The world is a dangerous place.  No sh*t.  Occupying it like a bully ain't going to make it less dangerous.  Period.

    We have become a nation lacking any imagination on the political level, thus we can only keep up the military empire game.  And that...is a death sentence. Unless you want to believe America is so exceptional it defies the laws of human nature, history, everything.

    How about this: Invest widly, manically, uncontrollably HERE, in the U.S., make this place the REAL envy of the world.

    IOW, set an example by LIVING that example AT HOME.

    But we are far too stupid, far too lacking in IQ points to do anything but hold up the giant foam finger and keep chanting "We're #1!"

    Drone on, keep killing by remote, keep killing innocent people, keep claiming only the other side's killing of innocents is wrong...for me, this entire thing is pure madness, the product of minds so atrophied by a lack of creativity its a wonder they can still think at all.

    Kill, kill, kill.

    Get 'em.

    Phuck the world.


    You don't even have to go back (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by sj on Sat May 14, 2011 at 09:12:18 PM EST
    as far as the Roman Empire.  Reagan myth notwithstanding, the collapse of the Soviet Union was largely economic.  They bankrupted themselves in their quest for domination.  I understand it's not that simple, but it's a pretty good nutshell.  

    And what was the general reaction here?  Instead of sober reflection, it was the equivalent of that giant foam finger and chants of "we're number one".  A super power fell and that was our reaction.  Followed promptly by the search for our next enemy on the part of the neocons.

    China's just waiting for us to do the same thing.  Giving us the rope we keep asking for so that we can hang ourselves.  China's an old country that has seen it all.  They're biding their time, waiting to slide into position.  Of course they're corrupt also, with no regard for the health and well-being of their own populace, so eventually they'll cycle out as well.

    What a massive waste of resources.


    Dadler (none / 0) (#44)
    by Politalkix on Sat May 14, 2011 at 08:44:20 PM EST
    Your ideas about what America is do not square with the majority of people in this country or in the world.
    Has America made mistakes? Sure it has. OTOH, it has also given its people a reasonably good standard of living which still makes it a favorite country for immigration to most people around the world; it has also helped people in many parts of the world for which people are grateful.



    War Tax (none / 0) (#29)
    by mmc9431 on Sat May 14, 2011 at 04:21:12 PM EST
    Your scenario suggests that we need to commit for the long haul. If that is the case, the alternative is to implement a national war tax to offset the costs. The last ten years have shown we can't afford to continue spending this kind of money without additional revenue.

    I keep be reminding by the Republicans, that we have no money . If this is true then a war tax is the answer.


    I agree with you (none / 0) (#35)
    by Politalkix on Sat May 14, 2011 at 05:50:47 PM EST
    about the need for a national tax to offset the costs of meeting our long term national security needs. We should not call it a war tax (as military operations may just be one part of it; we can extend our goodwill through our soft power, wherever possible, even if we do not involve ourselves in complicated nation building exercises). I would not mind calling it a "national security tax" or a "Sustainment of Democracy tax". Our conservative friends can think of it as contributions to a "Patriot Fund", "Exceptional America Fund", etc.

    The Left can learn (3.50 / 2) (#8)
    by Politalkix on Sat May 14, 2011 at 09:11:15 AM EST
    from the exchange between the Dalai Lama and Jody Williams.

    From the article
    "That did not sit well with Ms. Williams, an American, who is, as the Dalai Lama put it, "quite blunt."
    "I thought it was strange to be asked to be on this panel on inner peace, because I don't have much," she said. "It's anger at injustice which fires many of us."
    She went on to criticize aspects of American policy that favor corporations and the wealthy, and, without naming a particular conflict, said there was no such thing as a "just war."
    The Dalai Lama then came to the defense of the United States, the country that helped him escape Tibet in 1959, after the Chinese Communists took over. "America, of course, a lot of drawbacks there, but I always feel, champion of democracy," he said. "Now we get argument.""

    Is the Dalai Lama really a good (1.00 / 0) (#12)
    by observed on Sat May 14, 2011 at 11:09:32 AM EST
    representative for a discussion of democracy?
    He is the  exiled God-King of a backward country. Of course the Tibetans have the right to self-determination, but I tire of seeing this billionaire autocrat from childhood being seen as a spokesman for anything but Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism.

    Whoever rated this 1 (none / 0) (#48)
    by observed on Sun May 15, 2011 at 08:30:22 AM EST
    ought to have the guts to say something.
    I single out not religious leader in my complete scorn for his so-called "moral authority".
    As a political leader, I respect the D.L.; as a spokesman on moral and political matters around the world---hell no.

    I would say it depends on who you (none / 0) (#50)
    by Militarytracy on Sun May 15, 2011 at 12:53:42 PM EST
    are if you think the Dalai Lama is a credible voice on the subjects.  I think he is, but that's just me and this is a free country where we get to choose for ourselves what voices are credible voices on certain topics.  You really are pretty insulting though toward him in general and I don't understand how he deserved such hatefilled venom other than he disagrees with you right now on this issue :)

    Actually I don't particularly (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by observed on Mon May 16, 2011 at 09:33:13 AM EST
    disagree with him. My objection is that I believe veneration of religious leaders as icons of moral authority is pernicious and irrational.

    It's true I dont' know a lot about the DL, but (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by observed on Mon May 16, 2011 at 09:36:48 AM EST
    for comparison, consider Mother Teresa.
    It makes my skin crawl that this vile, hateful woman is held up as an epitome of moral rectitude.

    Jeralyn (3.00 / 3) (#2)
    by Politalkix on Fri May 13, 2011 at 09:48:46 PM EST
    You keep saying "let's focus on getting out of Afghanistan". We did that in the 1990s after the Soviets departed from Afghanistan. Why were our embassies in Africa getting bombed, our WTC attacked, etc even after we left Afghanistan? If you cannot provide a good answer to this question, do you think that you can convince people like me to accept your way of thinking?
    Everything cannot be explained by theories regarding poverty and margnalization that breed resentment. Poor blacks in apartheid era South Africa or marginalized and bombed Vietnamese never thought about bringing down the WTC or killing thousands of innocent Americans and people from the rest of the world. I feel that there is something about the nature of the AQ movement that you have not fully comprehended.

    Which is what exactly? (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat May 14, 2011 at 11:43:53 AM EST
    I feel that there is something about the nature of the AQ movement that you have not fully comprehended

    There's a difference between (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 13, 2011 at 10:56:14 PM EST
    al Qaida as a core organization and al Qaida inspired militants and al Qaida affiliates. I think it's a mistake to lump them all as al Qaida, as if there was still a single organization with a central hierarchy. And with bin Laden gone, the core organization of al Qaeda has even less relevance in Afghanistan.

    AQ core and affiliates (2.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Politalkix on Sat May 14, 2011 at 06:48:21 AM EST
    It is correct to say that AQ is not a core organization any more and many of the terrorist groups operating around the world are AQ inspired militants and affiliates. It is also true that no AQ inspired militants and affiliates in any part of the world receive as much support from a nation's professional intelligence service and military as AQ affiliates receive in the AfPak region from Pakistan. Pakistan uses AQ inspired militants as an extension of its professional military. This puts AQ affiliates in the AfPak region in a completely different league than similar groups in other parts of the world. Even if we leave AfPak, AQ affiliates in the AfPak region will have the capability and motivation to plot and execute more ambitious attacks (read attacks against the United States and its interests)that any like minded groups in other parts of the world. AQ networks in the AfPak regin will also function as training schools to Islamic militants in other parts of the world because of their operational resources.
    I do not mind reducing our military footprint in south and central asia to reduce the amount of money we are spending there. However, a total withdrawal from that region is going to be a strategic blunder in my opinion, we will repent it if we do so.

    Juan Cole re Kabuki theatre in Pakistan (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Fri May 13, 2011 at 09:32:12 PM EST
    post killing of ObL:  link to link

    Plus, as discussed on NPR yesterday, we give money to Pakistan so our supplies make their way to our troops in Afghanistan.

    How long do we need to stay in (none / 0) (#6)
    by Harry Saxon on Sat May 14, 2011 at 08:01:56 AM EST
    that part of the world and how much will we expend blood and money while doing so?

    That's the real question that politalkix and Militarytracy won't answer, despite their rhetoric here.

    Harry Saxon (none / 0) (#7)
    by Politalkix on Sat May 14, 2011 at 08:56:16 AM EST
    won't answer why we kept getting attacked after we left Afghanistan in the 1990s. He knows that he cannot answer this question, so he will continue to avoid it.
    IMO, we should have a strategic military presence (even if we reduce the number of troops drastically) in the AfPak region till Pakistan dismantles its nukes, its military and intelligence service totally severs it relationship with AQ militant outfits and China transitions into a democracy (an autocratic regime with ambitions to become the top military superpower in the world is a very destabilizing influence for America and the rest of Asia). I am OK with us not accomplishing a total withdrawal during my lifetime (if it comes to that).
    I have answered your question, now answer mine about why we kept getting attacked after we left Afghanistan in the 1990s. Keep your answer factual without trying to indulge in rhetoric of "blood and treasure lost".

    Re Foolish statement (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Harry Saxon on Sat May 14, 2011 at 10:02:15 AM EST

    Won't answer why we kept getting attacked after we left Afghanistan in the 1990s.

    Then, by your logic, we have to stay there indefinitely or risk another 9/11 sometime in the unforeseeable future if we dare to pull out of there.


    Noticed (none / 0) (#11)
    by Politalkix on Sat May 14, 2011 at 11:00:59 AM EST
    that you avoided answering the simple question that was asked once again. If you do not have an answer, say so. Don't attempt a cover up by being belligerent and labelling my comments as "foolish".
    BTW, I do not see a risk of another attack on our interests "in the unforeseeable future", I see the risk of such an attack occuring immediately, after we pull out.

    Let me help (none / 0) (#19)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat May 14, 2011 at 12:40:54 PM EST
    why we kept getting attacked after we left Afghanistan in the 1990s

    This from the 3/97 interview with OBL by then CNN's Peter Arnett.

    REPORTER: Mr. Bin Ladin, will the end of the United States' presence in Saudi Arabia, their withdrawal, will that end your call for jihad against the United States and against the US ?

    BIN LADIN: The cause of the reaction must be sought and the act that has triggered this reaction must be eliminated. The reaction came as a result of the US aggressive policy towards the entire Muslim world and not just towards the Arabian peninsula. So if the cause that has called for this act comes to an end, this act, in turn, will come to an end. So, the driving-away jihad against the US does not stop with its withdrawal from the Arabian peninsula, but rather it must desist from aggressive intervention against Muslims in the whole world.

    I'm not sure why Harry didn't answer your question with the above. I speculate that he didn't want to have OBL's words out because he doesn't believe OBL meant what he said.

    I do believe and I believe history has proved me correct.

    Obviously aggressive intervention in OBL's view meant any resistance by the west. Dhimmitude by the west was, and remains, the minimum definition of success by AQ and other radical Muslims.

    Having said that, I agree with Jeralyn that AQ is hollowed out. I just don't know how far it has been, or how quickly it will recover.

    And it is apparent, as she notes, that Pakistan is corrupt. I will add Afghanistan to the list.

    It may be that we have accomplished all we can in "nation building." By writing that I am saying that the culture in the ME is not susceptible to western values based on how we have been presenting them. Perhaps it is time to pull back and develop a strategy of containment as we did for the Soviet Union.

    At the very least we need to have a thorough review of our strategy in both countries and concentrate more on the PLO, Hamas, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood.


    No one can answer that question (none / 0) (#39)
    by Yman on Sat May 14, 2011 at 06:51:04 PM EST
    Harry Saxon won't answer why we kept getting attacked after we left Afghanistan in the 1990s. He knows that he cannot answer this question, so he will continue to avoid it.

    Except perhaps the AQ leadership.  The US pulled out aid workers and diplomatic personnel after it bombed a terrorist training camp in retaliation for the bombing of the American embassies in Africa and the USS Cole.  Are you suggesting that AQ would have stopped attacking the U.S. if we hadn't pulled them out, or if we had sent the Taliban government more money?


    To be clear (none / 0) (#40)
    by Yman on Sat May 14, 2011 at 06:53:58 PM EST
    The terrorist camo/OBL bombing was not in retaliation for the Cole bombing, but for the embassies.

    Political Kix (none / 0) (#43)
    by Jeralyn on Sat May 14, 2011 at 08:40:59 PM EST
    No one here has to answer your questions. And the topic is Pakistan and the rift with the U.S.

    If you have a democracy (none / 0) (#20)
    by Politalkix on Sat May 14, 2011 at 12:52:01 PM EST
    you will automatically get checks and balances. Every democratic country has extreme nationalistic elements (we have them, as does Japan, Korea, India, Turkey, etc). We were able to end the nationalistic demagoguery excesses of GWB's first term on our own because we are a democracy; it is very unlikely that we could stop it if we were a country ruled by a dictatorship.

    We invaded Iraq (none / 0) (#23)
    by Harry Saxon on Sat May 14, 2011 at 12:55:33 PM EST
    as a "democracy", so I fail to see your point that "democracy" makes a nation less aggressive or willing to go to war.

    but it still took an attack on the scale (none / 0) (#24)
    by Politalkix on Sat May 14, 2011 at 01:07:26 PM EST
    of the 9/11 WTC attacks to trigger an emotional response that enabled politicians to successfully manipulate people. We could also protest against it and oppose it. The hill that dictatorships have to climb to take countries to war are significantly smaller and less steep.

    The (none / 0) (#22)
    by lentinel on Sat May 14, 2011 at 12:54:09 PM EST
    entire venture into Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq was built on false statements and a concealed agenda from the Bush administration.

    Obama has carried these military adventures on from Bush in the same manner that a chicken whose head has been removed continues to run around the yard.

    The venture into Iraq (none / 0) (#25)
    by Politalkix on Sat May 14, 2011 at 01:17:16 PM EST
    was based on a false premise as Iraq had no WMDs.
    How is the venture into Afghanistan and Pakistan built on false statements? Didn't the Taliban harbor OBL and Al Qaeda? Didn't Al Qaeda launch the attack?
    Lentinel, you are just like the brainwashed Pakistanis who believe that Al Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban are not the problem but America is the problem!

    Another possibility (none / 0) (#41)
    by mmc9431 on Sat May 14, 2011 at 07:00:33 PM EST
    Maybe the war lords in Afghanistan have figured out that as long as they can keep the war going, the money they can get? War is big business.

    Thread cleaned of (none / 0) (#45)
    by Jeralyn on Sat May 14, 2011 at 08:44:51 PM EST
    comments with insults. And the topic is the rift with Pakistan.

    Not yet, check #19 (none / 0) (#49)
    by Harry Saxon on Sun May 15, 2011 at 08:58:34 AM EST
    Assumptions (none / 0) (#53)
    by ScottW714 on Mon May 16, 2011 at 10:57:53 AM EST
    No one knows if ISI is leaking the info or if it's a couple of rogue agents.  I think it's foolish to assume that it's a coordinated effort by the agency.

    Pakistan needs to investigate and let it's allies know who is behind what, and if they don't, then we should assume it's the agency and not an agent or two.

    Then what, say ISI was behind Mumbai attacks, helped OBL hide, shared intelligence with the enemy, and everything else we suspect they are doing ?  We certainly can't keep dropping bombs on a country we would almost certainly have to officially call hostile to the US.  Ditto for convert ops.

    I know the funds need to stop until we get some answers.  If the ISI is in cahoots with AQ, we are essentially subsidizing our enemies with cash and intelligence.