Forget about Osama
Next stop, Pakistan
US threatened to bomb Pakistan 'back to stone age' after 9/11: Musharraf
Thu Sep 21, 4:15 PM ET
NEW YORK (AFP) - The United States threatened to bomb Pakistan "back to the stone age" in 2001 unless it cooperated in the US-led war on terror, President Pervez Musharraf said in an interview.
Musharraf, whose support for the US-led invasion of Afghanistan was instrumental in the fall of the hardline Taliban regime after the September 11, 2001 attacks, said the threat came from former deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage.
The Pakistani leader said the comments were delivered to his intelligence director, according to selected transcripts of the interview with CBS television's "60 Minutes" investigative news programme due to be broadcast Sunday.
"The intelligence director told me that (Armitage) said, 'Be prepared to be bombed. Be prepared to go back to the stone age'," Musharraf said.
"I think it was a very rude remark," Musharraf says in the interview. "One has to think and take actions in the interests of the nation, and that's what I did."
Shortly after the September 11 attacks, Pakistan abandoned its support for the Taliban, which was sheltering Al-Qaeda leaders, and became a front-line ally in the US-led "war on terror."
Pakistan has arrested several senior Al-Qaeda members including Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the alleged mastermind of the 2001 attacks.
The South Asian country has also deployed around 80,000 troops on the rugged border with Afghanistan to hunt pro-Taliban and Al-Qaeda linked militants who sneaked into the area after fleeing the US-led invasion of Afghanistan.
Armitage's alleged threat also demanded that Pakistan turn over border posts and bases for the US military to use in the war in Afghanistan, which ended with the Taliban regime's collapse in late 2001.
Other "ludicrous" demands required Pakistan to suppress domestic expressions of support for militant attacks on US targets, according to the CBS, which produces 60 Minutes
As long as Bush is in office Osama will remain free. Karl Rove is talking up some "October Surprise", but it's unlikely to be Osama. Once Armitage laid on the blackmail, the Pakistanis have given us the help we demanded, and not one ounce more.
Oh yeah, attacking Iran might be an October surprise, for US troops who will face a massive uprising if so much as one bomb falls on Iran.
posted by Steve @ 12:30:00 AM