Osama bin Laden, America’s most wanted man, will not face capture in Pakistan if he agrees to lead a “peaceful life,” Pakistani officials tell ABC News.
The surprising announcement comes as Pakistani army officials announced they were pulling their troops out of the North Waziristan region as part of a “peace deal” with the Taliban.
If he is in Pakistan, bin Laden “would not be taken into custody,” Major General Shaukat Sultan Khan told ABC News in a telephone interview, “as long as one is being like a peaceful citizen.”
Bin Laden is believed to be hiding somewhere in the tribal areas of Pakistan, near the Afghanistan border, but U.S. officials say his precise location is unknown.
In addition to the pullout of Pakistani troops, the “peace agreement” between Pakistan and the Taliban also provides for the Pakistani army to return captured Taliban weapons and prisoners.
“What this means is that the Taliban and al Qaeda leadership have effectively carved out a sanctuary inside Pakistan,” said ABC News consultant Richard Clarke, the former White House counter-terrorism director.
To which conservative blogger The Strata-Sphere replies iin this post Pakistan Provides Bin Laden, Taliban Haven Posted by AJStrata on Tuesday, September 5th, 2006 at 5:25 pm,
Boy, if this is true then something screwy is going on. It could mean a lot of things. It could mean Pakistan is giving up the hunt and we are losing an ally thanks to all the surrender talk from the left. Or, it could also mean Pakistan is gaining political cover for some future ‘event’. Who knows.
If Aj would have provided some evidence that a prominent Democrat or even one of the more notable center-left blogs had endorsed giving up pursuing Bin Laden or making Bin Laden a low priority that would have been the honorable thing to do. AJ knows there is no such evidence so why be bothered. Blame the current turn of events on John Murtha. This is a classic act of deflection on AJ’s part. Twist and turn events in such a way that the public debate is not about Bush and Republican failures and hypocrisy, Bush praises Pakistan terror role
Mr Bush praised Gen Musharraf for his “bold decision” to fight terror following the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US.
He said the Pakistani president “understands the stakes, he understands the responsibility, the need to make sure the strategy is able to defeat the enemy”.
Mr Bush said more work remained to be done to defeat al-Qaeda.
The best way to achieve this, he said, was to “share good intelligence, to locate them [al-Qaeda], and then be prepared to bring them to justice”.
He said: “We will win this war together.”
Another headline could have read Bush praises appeaser or Bush is a hypocrite when it comes to Pakistan. Conservative Republican Hugh Hewitt writing at the Townhall weblog Tuesday, September 05, 2006, The Appeasers Object in a comment about this story from WaPo, Who Set the Wayback Machine for 1939?
Apparently the policy of the Appeasement Democrats is to attack out friends and ignore our enemies. Thus in Mr. Robinson’s world, we should withdraw support for the newly elected Iraqi government and turn on President Musharraff because, in the former case, the government in Baghdad is alleged to have ties to extremists and in the latter because the Pakistan ISI did indeed support Islamists before 9/11.
This newly elected Iraqi government would be the one discussing the break-up of the failed state that G. W. Bush and Don Rumsfeld so cleverly engineered in the fight against a nation that had nothing to do with 9-11. And the dear friends and allies of Hewitt and Bush would be the ones offering safe haven to the terrorist mastermind of 9-11. This is just more Republican doublethink. Their hypocrisy knows no bounds, when caught, just talk tough and fling unfounded accusations at those that have noticed conservatives are pretty much lost when it comes to having a coherent foreign policy. As a paid up member of the Cult of Bush, Hewitt should remember this one,
Oops,again. The new White House fact sheet reminds us: “We make no distinction between those who commit acts of terror and those who support and harbor terrorists.”
Hewitt should have done himself a favor and quit while he was just being screwy, but no he must have had an extra serving of raw meat that day,
Send Robinson’s column to all your friends, especially those who vote. This is a glimpse of the Democratic foreign policy in waiting, a foreshadowing of the deamnds of a Democratic Congress for investigations of human rights abuses of the new Iraqi government and for a cut-off of aid to Pakistan. As was the case with foreign policy under Presidents Carter and Clinton, today’s Democrats find it much more compelling to attack our friends while turning a blind eye towards our enemies. This approach brought us the Islamic Republic of Iran during Carter’s years and a nuclear North Korea and 9/11 under Clinton’s watch.
Actually Hugh could use some history lessons if he thinks the former Shah of Iran was just a cute little pro-west puppy.
The shah’s regime suppressed and marginalized its opponents with the help of Iran’s security and intelligence organization, the SAVAK. Relying on oil revenues, which sharply increased in late 1973, the Shah pursued his goal of developing Iran as a mighty regional power dedicated to social reform and economic development. Yet he continually sidestepped democratic arrangements and refused to allow meaningful civic and political liberties, remaining unresponsive to public opinion.
Not the most evil guy to ever hold power in the middle-east, but far from being a Persian Thomas Jefferson. One assumes that Hugh would have had Carter invade Iran to save the Shah, and if Carter was supposed to have invaded Iran, what were Reagan and Bush One’s excuse. If the Shah would have actually instituted the democratic reforms he promised and the west would have applied more pressure to do so then a radical reactionary movement would not have grown against him. And sorry Hugh North Korea develped thier nukes on Bush’s watch. All of this begs the question why should anyone that cares about about America or humanity in general should listen to someone like Hewitt, who doesn’t seem to the even an inkling of knowledge about world affairs.
Another conservative Republican blog Riehl World View admits he’s at a loss for words, but writes up something anyway, Updated: Pakistan Truce: Strategy, Or Failure? Tuesday, September 05, 2006 at 07:40 PM,
The American military long ago realized it likely couldn’t win a fight against the Taliban in the tribal regions of Pakistan. The geography and the politics make it next to impossible, at best. And, frankly, there may have never been good reason to believe the Pakistani military could do a better job.
This comes at the same time that the Bush administration announced a new terror strategy which focuses even less on Osama bin Laden, who, for all we know, may not even be around given that no recent al qaeda videos have included bin Laden.
Riehl kicks dirt in American military’s face and declares victory for Taliban. Imagine DKos or Atrios writing something like that on their blog, they’d hear the shrill accusations of defeatists on the far side of Mars. Political Season Opens With Focus on Security
Mr. Bush said Al Qaeda terrorists now consider Iraq “the central front” of a war that they hope will end in a “caliphate” governed by the dictates of “violent Islamic radicalism” across the entire Middle East. Destroying the new democratic Iraq is essential to their evil aspirations, he said.
“It is foolish to think you can negotiate with them,” Mr. Bush said. No one in either major party has suggested negotiating with terrorists, although many Democrats and some Republicans have criticized the conduct of the war in Iraq. Some critics have called for a phased withdrawal of American troops from the country.
Mr. Bush has long argued that Iraq has become the “central front’’ of the war on terror and that one benefit of the war there has been to draw extremists together in one place where they can be fought far from American shores. But the strategies discussed in the report generally apply less to Iraq than to the new breed of small terror groups springing up around the world, and the report acknowledged that “the ongoing fight for freedom in Iraq has been twisted by terrorist propaganda as a rallying cry.’’
Mr. Bush again alluded to Iran, whose people share with some Iraqis an enmity toward the United States, even though Iran and Iraq fought a bloody war some two decades ago. The United States and its allies, he said, “will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon.”
If Bush and company were having a contest to see how much hogwash they could load into a few sentences I think they won. After being in Iraq for over three years , which was supposed to be the front in the terror wars, now they finally get a clue and see that fundamentalist terror is a transnational threat. That is not an awful learning curve for the grand pooh-bahs of foreign policy, it is unforgivable. Maybe they’re getting bored with Iraq and the fact that invading Iraq has yielded exactly zero results in the overall battle against jihadists. “It is foolish to think you can negotiate with them,”- apparently his and Hewitt’s good buddy Musharraff doesn’t feel the same way. Sanctions are just the toys of us appeasers so I guess Bush has no choice but to invade Pakistan. Finally, Bush decides who gets nukes and who doesn’t. Nukes for North Korea, Pakistan, and India, but no nukes for Iran. Iran shouldn’t have nukes, but if the conservative brain trust is as successful at keeping them out of Iran’s hands as they have been with North Korea, just save the American taxpayers some money and cancel those first class plane tickets for M’s Rice.