Monday, February 19, 2007

Instahoglets 19th Feb 07

Hows that War on Some Terror doing?

  • Scarecrow at Firedoglake excels this morning with a post I wish I had written. Debating The Delusion of Victory ties together Harry Reid's pronouncement that Iraq is America's worst ever foreign policy disaster with the Michael Slackman Iran piece at the NY Times I wrote about yesterday and General Odom's great debunking of the various arguments for staying in Iraq. He even manages to work in Glenn Greenwald's post on Odom's woodshedding of Hugh Hewitt and neoconservative rhetoric. Go read.

  • Meanwhile, for those that don't have Times Select, Ron at MEJ has big chunks from yesterday's Frank Rich column in which Rich took the Bush administration's spin on both Iraq and Iran completely apart. Another must-read.

  • The Bush "war on (some) terror" has utterly failed to contain or reduce Al Qaida, according to the NY Times today, mostly because of Pakistan's cosseting of Al Qaida as well as other terror groups while the White House insisted on treating Musharaff as an ally. Some on the Right are beginning to realize they've been had by another dictator. Hawkish Dem Dave Schuler asks "Is it time to start thinking about Pakistan yet?" Time and past time, Dave. If we had thought about it instead of invading Iraq, that might have worked.

  • Garnering considerably less attention is the horrific firebombing of the India-Pakistan cross-border train, which has resulted in at least 66 deaths. The best the uber-right can manage is to mutter nonsense about the Long War and Iraq as if Iraqi insurgents carried out the attack. I predict that the attackers will be found to be a group backed by the Pakistani ISI intelligence agency. The Pakistani military establishment defines itself by its animosity towards India. I also predict that few if any of the powerful in America will make a stink about the ISI. I've already explained why.

  • Crooks and Liars has a report on what "the surge" means to Iraqi soldiers - a chance to rob houses.

  • And when I said the War on Some Terror, I didn't think I meant this. Talking Points Memo has a look at the breaking story of the Republican campaign contributor and White House Business Advisory Committee member who has been indicted with attempting to secretly send $152,000 to Pakistan and Afghanistan to purchase equipment for terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. Said Republican's company was also "bidding on multiple government contracts - including ones with the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security" and he even boasts of a meeting with Dick Cheney.

    Just think - if I was Duncan Black or Glenn Reynolds, this would be at least a day's blogging and ad revenue. It took me, what, an hour? I'm off for a coffee break!

  • Update Tehran is now saying that the terrorists who attacked a bus full of members of the Revolutionary Guards on Wednesday were trained in Pakistan.

    The Iranian Foreign Ministry has charged that Sunni insurgents from Iran used Pakistan as a base to plan a bombing that killed 11 people and wounded more than 30 in the southeastern border city of Zahedan last week, and an official said that the ministry had demanded an explanation from the Pakistani ambassador.

    ...Newspapers in Tehran reported Sunday that the state-run Hamoun channel in Sistan and Baluchistan broadcast a two-minute confession by a suspect, Nasrollah Shamsi Zehi, who was accused of being involved in the deadly bombing. He said he had robbed a bank in Zahedan, then escaped to Pakistan, where he was trained by Jundallah [an anti-government terror group C] for two months and was told that he would receive $1,200 for each mission.
    Which fits, to be honest. The ISI has, at least since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the ISI set up the forerunners of the Taliban, been the most Islamist of all Pakistani government agencies. It also views Afghanistan as its personal feif (gaining much of its covert funding from involvement in the opium trade) and has always been violent in its reaction to any country that looked like it might challenge the ISI's control of that nation.
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