Mate, Mr. Bush
Yes, I am building my new villa in Waziristan.
This peace sets the background for story that Pakistan will give the killer of 3000 Americans a free pass.
Truces fueling resurgence of Taliban, critics say
By Jonathan S. Landay
KABUL, Afghanistan - The Pakistani military is striking truces with Islamic separatists along the country's border with Afghanistan, freeing Pakistani militants and al-Qaida fighters to join Taliban insurgents battling U.S.-led troops and government forces in Afghanistan.
Western and Afghan officials said the new infiltration came as the United States, its NATO allies and the Afghan government were struggling to stem a resurgence of the Taliban across large swaths of southern and eastern Afghanistan.
The fighting in Afghanistan is the bloodiest since U.S. forces drove the Taliban from power after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Many of the movement's top leaders, along with Osama bin Laden and many of his followers, escaped to Pakistan and have never been caught.
The Pakistani regime of Gen. Pervez Musharraf has been negotiating truces - with the Bush administration's encouragement - with Islamic separatists in North Waziristan and South Waziristan, mountainous tribal areas along the Afghan border where U.S. officials think bin Laden may be hiding.
In return, Pakistani officials are promising to restrict the country's troops in the area to major bases and towns and to pour huge amounts of aid - much of it from the United States and other nations - into the destitute region, according to American officials.
But as the truces take hold, separatists have been crossing into Afghanistan to fight alongside Taliban and al-Qaida fighters, according to Western and Afghan officials.
Diplomats who discussed the issue requested anonymity because the problem is the subject of highly sensitive discussions among Pakistan, Afghanistan, the United States and major contributing countries to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.
The separatists and the Taliban are Pashtuns, the ethnic group that dominates Afghanistan and Pakistan's tribal region. It's unclear whether the flow is an unintended consequence of the truces or is being ignored - or encouraged - by Musharraf's regime as part of the price for peace with the separatists.
Pakistan, which backed the Taliban before Sept. 11, says it's doing its best to seal the frontier of towering mountains and isolated valleys and denies that it's resumed support for its former clients.
Musharraf deployed 80,000 troops in mid-2003 to seal the Afghan-Pakistani border, subdue the separatists and track down bin Laden and his followers. But the military's heavy artillery and helicopter gunships failed to conquer the separatists and establish government control over the border region, a tribal area where the government has never established its dominance.
More seriously, some experts said, discontent with Musharraf is growing within Pakistan's officer corps because of the army's humiliating setbacks in Waziristan.
Musharraf is a key ally in the Bush administration's war on al-Qaida. He's refused to relinquish the post of army chief of staff since he seized power in a military coup in 1999.
And after Bush's Hitler speech......this ran on ABC
Bin Laden Gets a Pass from Pakistan
September 05, 2006 5:41 PM
Brian Ross and Gretchen Peters Report:
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.
The agreement was signed on the same day President Bush said the United States was working with its allies "to deny terrorists the enclaves they seek to establish in ungoverned areas across the world."
If you look at the comments on the ABC post, you have a lot of keyboard commandos who want to bomb the entire middle east. It hasn't dawned on them that this is a sign of how we have squandered our wealth.
Musharraf will, of course, deny they will give Osama a pass, but like Sistani, they have lost faith with Bush and his Congress and now seek a change. The Pakistanis know this will weaken Bush, and start the road to his emasculation. Which is why this was announced the same day Bush compared Osama to Hitler.
posted by Steve @ 3:48:00 AM