Bush Calls Pakistan `Vital' Ally in War on TerrorismOK, fair enough: Pakistan has been a bit more flexible towards our needs and POV since September 11 and the war in Afghanistan, but...remember the Kurds in 1991?
Jan. 24 (Bloomberg) -- President George W. Bush called Pakistan a ``friend'' in the war against terrorism after meeting with the country's prime minister, who said the two allies need to communicate better to defeat the enemy.
``We consider this friendship to be a vital friendship for keeping the peace,'' Bush told reporters in Washington after two-hours of talks with Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz.
Bush didn't answer questions or publicly comment on the U.S. missile strike earlier this month on a Pakistan village, an attack that has sparked protests there.
In America's dealings with Saddam Hussein and Iraq, Iraq's Kurds have been a tragic side show. For decades, they looked to the U.S. for support in their struggle against Saddam's government. Washington's response has been classic realpolitik - using the Kurds when it wanted to hurt Saddam and then dropping them when their usefulness had run out.Uh huh. Now, keep in mind this little event from the other day:
Confusion Shrouds Pakistan AttackApparently, Aziz forgot about it:
By Pamela Constable and Dafna Linzer
Washington Post Foreign Service
Wednesday, January 18, 2006; A10
U.S. intelligence sources said Tuesday that they were increasingly certain a missile strike in Pakistan on Friday had failed to kill Ayman Zawahiri, second in command of al Qaeda, but regional officials in Pakistan said the attack had killed four or five other foreign Islamic extremists who were attending a dinner in a village near the Afghan border.
News of the civilian casualties provoked angry anti-American demonstrations by Muslim groups in several cities over the weekend, straining the government's role as an ally in the U.S. anti-terrorism effort. On Tuesday, government ministers also condemned the attack after a stormy session of the National Assembly in Islamabad.
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, due to leave for a visit to the United States this week, tried to smooth over the contradictions Tuesday, saying, "Pakistan is committed to fighting terrorism, but naturally we cannot accept any action within our country which results in what happened over the weekend."
Aziz, who spoke during a news conference in Islamabad with former president George H.W. Bush, said he would raise the issue with U.S. officials, but he suggested that the attack was a single "unfortunate" incident in a "long-standing" U.S.-Pakistan relationship. Bush is in Pakistan to survey relief efforts following the Oct. 8 earthquake.
He said Jan. 22 that Pakistan wasn't consulted in advance of the missile strike. Asked today if the U.S. raid was brought up in the meeting with Bush, Aziz said, ``we discussed every issue.''Fortunately, having spent a lifetime amongst diplomats, ambassadors and politicians has taught me to parse language like this, so let me translate it:
``We discussed the war against terror and the need for closer cooperation and coordination,'' Aziz said.
I asked nicely if they could not do that again, and Bush stamped his feet and said "fuck off, towelhead."
Yea. That's what I figured.
snarkasm, snarcasm, snarky, Bush, Iraq, Pakistan, terrorism