The WaPo reports:
"Pakistan's government on Sunday executed a nationwide crackdown on the political opposition, the news media and the courts, one day after President Pervez Musharraf imposed emergency rule and suspended the constitution. Police throughout the country raided the homes of opposition party leaders and activists, arresting at least 500."
" . . . Opposition groups put the number of arrests at 3,500. [Musharraf] ousted independent-minded judges, put a stranglehold on independent media and granted sweeping powers to authorities to crush dissent. "
I remember reading a NYT article from October 21 on the possible nightmare scenarios associated with the collapse of Pakistan, and "a senior administration official" is quoted saying that 'instability and political deadlock in Islamabad “is certainly one scenario, but hardly the only one,"' which I thought was pretty telling.
In other words, always look on the bright side of life.
'We'll be greeted as liberators in Baghdad, the war will only cost a few hundred thousand bucks, the rest will be paid for by Iraqi oil revenue, etc.'
And here we go again . . . From the 9/11 on this administration hasn't had a clue on how to deal with Pakistan, so they've just trusted in Musharraf and his line about how he's the only thing standing between us and Al-Qaeda get hold of the "Islamic bomb" and hope for the best.
Now that he's sic'd the military on the opposition, shut down the very independent media and fired the chief of the Supreme Court -- who was about to rule Musharraf's electionm win invalid -- the administration doesn't have a whole to say.
A few weeks ago when the Burmese Junta was arresting thousands of pro-democracy protesters Bush came down hard issuing sanctions and lots of angry rhetoric. "Monks have been beaten and killed. Thousands of pro-democracy protesters have been arrested. Burma's rulers continue to defy the world's just demands to stop their vicious persecution."
Even Laura Bush got into the act saying the Burmese military's acts of violence against demostrators "shame the military regime." But now when it comes to our good friend Mushy, Sec Def Robert Gates, according to the AP story "suggested that military aid may not be affected because the Bush administration does not want to disrupt its partnership with Pakistan in fighting al-Qaida and other militants."
And while the administration is focused on the Hindenberg going down in South Asia, there's another fire brewing.
"Tensions have been building along the Lebanon-Israel border in recent days. The Israeli Army was engaged last week in large-scale military exercises in northern Israel, close to the border with Lebanon, putting into practice the lessons learned from last year's 34-day war against Hizballah."
While the cats away . . .