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Confidence in U.S. Statements

Moon of Alabama

September 18, 2008

Islamabad - Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, visited Pakistan, September 16-17.  During his visit, Admiral Mullen met with Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.
For his part, Admiral Mullen appreciated the positive role that Pakistan is playing in the War on Terror and pledged continued U.S. support to Pakistan.  In this context, Admiral Mullen reiterated the U.S. commitment to respect Pakistan’s sovereignty and to develop further U.S.-Pakistani cooperation and coordination on these critical issues that challenge the security and well-being of the people of both countries.
U.S. Embassy Press Statement, Sept. 17, 2008


At least five people have been killed in a suspected missile attack by a US drone on a village in north-west Pakistan, local officials say.

The officials said missiles hit the village of Baghar in South Waziristan, close to the Afghan border.
At least six people were injured in the attack, according to BBC correspondent Dilawar Khan in the neighbouring North West Frontier Province.
'US drone' kills five in Pakistan, BBC. Sept. 17, 2008

One might assume that Mullen was out of the loop. The Joint Chiefs have been circumvented by the White House on Iraq too. Maybe Cheney even wanted to make the point that Mullen is irrelevant.

Still, it is easy to imagine how this looks for the rest of the world. One can not trust any official U.S. voice anymore. If the top U.S. officer Mullen talks of respect for Pakistani sovereignty while his troops at the same time invade Pakistan, how should can one believe ANY official statement the U.S. makes?

This during the biggest confidence crisis in U.S. dominated financial markets. And no - the issues are not unrelated. The central bankers in China, Pakistan's ally, will notice this.

Press reactions from Pakistan:

Dawn: Drone attack belies Mullen’s assurance: Six killed in S. Waziristan village

The News: Drone attack mocks Mullen’s assurance

Meanwhile, in order to lodge a strong protest over repeated violations of Pakistan airspace by the US drones and carrying out airstrikes in the Ahmadzai Wazirs-inhabited areas of SWA, a grand tribal jirga of nine sub-tribes of Ahmadzai Wazirs held its meeting in Wana's main Rustam Bazaar where they raised a tribal Lashkar to defend their frontiers with Afghanistan. They threatened to scrap the peace deal with the government if it failed in stopping the US attacks.

Former JUI-F MNA from South Waziristan, Maulana Noor Mohammad chaired the jirga, where around 1,000 tribal elders and tribesmen were present.
The jirga announced that eight million tribesmen from tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan would voluntarily fight alongside their armed forces if the US dared to attack the tribal regions.

The Ahmadzai Wazirs on the occasion announced raising a 400-member tribal Lashkar that would be deployed at the border with Afghanistan to safeguard Pakistan's frontiers against foreign forces.

Dawn Editorial:

The fact is American strikes inside Pakistan are a terrible idea. US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher has said the whole Pakistani state apparatus must line up behind the goal of beating the terrorists and stabilising Pakistan. Unfortunately, the Americans giving the terrorists a beating on Pakistani soil will do anything but stabilise Pakistan — and all but guarantees that even fewer Pakistanis will accept that our own army beating the terrorists is a good idea either.

No doubt President Zardari and everyone down the de facto hierarchy of civilian power are new in office and faced with an extraordinary crisis. However, the president appears to have frozen in the face of an American onslaught. Mr Zardari must now use his speech before a joint sitting of parliament to explain his plan for defeating militancy — and keeping the Americans at bay.

If the U.S. keeps on with these attacks within Pakistan, Zardari will be replaced in a new coup by the military. That could well mean war between Pakistan and India which just moved nuclear capable jets into Kashmir.

Cheney/Bush are playing with deadly fire here. Not only with regard to war in Pakistan, but also through the general mistrust against the U.S. that is generated through these lunatic actions. The bill for that just starts to come through.

:: Article nr. 47340 sent on 19-sep-2008 06:41 ECT


Link: www.moonofalabama.org/2008/09/confidence-in-u.html#more

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