radio·free·donia

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

So, when are we going to invade Pakistan?

As everyone knows, Bush has repeatedly said things like:
I made it clear that if you harbor a terrorist, you're just as guilty as the terrorist, and you're an enemy of the United States, and you will be held to account. The Taliban didn't take our word seriously. And thanks to a fantastic United States military, along with allies, we removed the Taliban.
Now we find out:
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."

Actually, the U.S. government has known for quite some time that Pakistan was less than enthusiastic about bringing bin Laden to justice. It's been reported in the press, usually buried on page A17 if it appears in an American paper. But this is the truth of it: Osama bin Laden, the killer of 3000 Americans, is comfortably hiding in Pakistan, and as long as he doesn't cause any trouble in Pakistan, he is completely safe. Bush isn't going to demand to Pakistan that they let our troops in to capture Osama, and he isn't going to apply any sanctions to them because they've cozied up to bin Laden and the Taliban.

But Bush is the one who's tough on terror...

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