Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pakistan Orders Troops to Open Fire if US Raids

This is an alarming development. Since the fall of Musharaf, the US military has been striking the regions of Pakistan believed to contain Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda, and the leadership of the Taliban. These airstrikes were against the wishes of the Pakistani government, which has steadily warned the Americans not to continue.

Now Pakistan is ordering its troops to fire upon the US in the event of future airstrikes. A very tense situation in the region is getting worse.

The cynic in me points to Bush and Cheney for blame. Neither one has been interested in killing or capturing Bin Laden all these years; now with a close election, the move for some October Surprise is afoot. It would be easier to dismiss as paranoia, if not for their record of the past eight years.

I've assumed that Bush and Cheney would wack the hornet's nest just before leaving, in order to inflame the region and keep the next President trapped in their permanent war. Like many others, I expected it to be Iran (I still wouldn't discount the possibility of a strike against Iran before January 20 if Obama wins). But the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and the turmoil in Pakistan present an easier opportunity for mischief.

Bush wants to tie the hands of the next chief executive to his failed policies. He will do so by hook or by crook. Whether it's Obama or McCain really makes no difference; I would expect Bush to stick it to McCain on his way out the door. Theirs was always an abusive relationship, and Bush sure loves his violent power games.

Pay close attention to what happens in Pakistan. Could be trouble

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