October 9, 2007

Waziristan Fighting Goes On

The fighting continues in Pakistan's Northwest Province, where radical Islamst extremists have had an easy time of it until the last three months. Over 150 Taliban and al-Qaeda militants have been killed in the last three days of fighting, and Pervez Musharraf appears to have decided to fight with everything he's got:

At least 45 Pakistani soldiers and 150 pro-Taleban militants have died in three days of fierce fighting in North Waziristan, the Pakistani army says.

It is the heaviest fighting in the Waziristan region, which borders Afghanistan, for many months. ...

The three days of fighting is centred around the town of Mir Ali.

The BBC's Barbara Plett in Islamabad says that Mir Ali is known as a base for foreign militants with links to the Taleban and al-Qaeda.

Musharraf has begun using his air power in Waziristan. The attacks near Mir Ali include helicopter gunships, in a similar tactic as that adopted by NATO forces just across the border in Afghanistan. He has also used his jet bombers on their positions, an escalation that appears to send a very tough message indeed.

This continued effort poses problems for Musharraf. While the US and NATO will be delighted with the new tactics and willingness to engage in Pakistan, the attacks on Waziristan threaten Musharraf's new political standing. The BBC reports that the army's leadership agrees with Musharraf on the strategy, but the rank and file within the army has low morale, especially in the face of kidnappings by the Taliban. In fact, the BBC suggests that the kidnappings may be more like unprovoked surrenders, although given the fate of the hostages, that doesn't seem likely.

The Taliban and their tribal allies demand a retreat by Pakistan's army from Waziristan. Musharraf has already tried that between 2005-7, and it failed to stop the Islamists from attempting to expand their influence outside of the border region with Afghanistan. He also knows that the Islamists will try to kill him regardless of whether he retreats now. The best he can do is to create strong enough political alliances with moderates who see the Islamists as an existential threat and hope to break them with a hard military press.


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Comments (5)

Posted by bman | October 9, 2007 10:21 AM

The BBC has lost all credibility, everything they report is subject to suspicion.

Posted by NahnCee | October 9, 2007 12:11 PM

Maybe Musharref needs to find a Dick Chaney and get someone even meaner than he is to be second in line if he gets off'd. Rumsfeld might be available.

Posted by Muhammad Junaid Khan | October 9, 2007 12:39 PM

In the name of God, the Most Merciful.

Hello Captain!
I really like the outlook of your blog and i wish i could have said the same about the content you have written here. I mean i dont agree with the style you people use these days like "radical islamst extremist" i hope you didnt miss something else to add here?
I mean come on did you ever said "Radical Jewist extremist" or radical americanist extremeist bushist?"
I wonder why you are so religiously biased against Muslims. I wont get into much controversial issues here as it would open a pandora box and will never come to a conclusion. Reason being that you cant see the things the way i see them and i wont see it the way you see them! Probably thats the reason now the whole Muslim world is considered enemies by people in the west in general.
What i dont get is why you people dont stop watching BBC, CNN and FOX and give some time to Al Jazeera, though it would cost you some extra bucks and your government has banned it (remember free media and freedom of expression). If we had done the same with BBC etc, it would have been termed as oppression of free and democratic and enligthened souls of the world.
Seems funny to me sometimes how simple American masses are and how easily they are made fools by FOX.
As far as Waziristan is concerned, my village is next to it. I know how things are there and whats the culture of the people there. They will always fight against the oppressor no matter how strong they are and how long they have to fight. Thats the lesson the Brits learned few centuries ago and am glad their memory is strong and they still believe in dialogue as evident from their strategy in Afghanistan. Americans are too much blinded by the power of their B-52s and Spectre Gunships to learn it. Anyways dont worry, the are already learning their lesson. And yes one thing i would like to clarify it to all the readers here who speak against President Musharaf and Pakistan here is that be very much thank full to them that they are trying to stop the Tribals of Pakistan from fully supporting the talibans, else i am dead sure, US wont have stayed there for few months. Dont think you can bomb Pakistan to stone age, as our leaders might fear the American forces for they have much to loose but our general population and masses are always ready for it though i would mention it here that they do love peace.
You are an old man as i read so i think you should be a source of guidance for the young and advice them to peace and love and equality of all no matter of race or color or gender.

May God bring peace to the world and shows us the path of those who strive for it and grant us a place in heavens. Amen!

Posted by Friend of the Captain | October 9, 2007 2:57 PM

"The best he (Musharraf) can do is to create strong enough political alliances with moderates? who see the Islamists as an existential threat and hope to break them with a hard military press."

"The return of Bhutto to Pakistani politics heralds a new era of moderate civilian control to Pakistan, cementing an alliance that will keep the Islamists? at the margins. They understand this danger and have responded to it in their traditional manner -- bloodthirsty violence, or at least the threat of it."

"...He (Musharraf) has almost concluded an alliance with Benazir Bhutto, who favors a hard-line approach to the Islamists. She even went so far as to endose American action in Waziristan at one point, which has earned her the undying enmity of the Islamists there. If Musharraf and Bhutto conclude an alliance?, the Islamists know that they're the target."

Mr. Morrissey:

Sometimes Wikipedia isn't merely Jimbo's Big Bag o' Trivia. Well written and researched entries by learned people do get published....

The Pakistan article isn't too bad. I recommend it to you in hope you will understand that the Bhutto/Musharraf deal, far from auguring some new hopeful era, is part and parcel of the cycle of Pakistani politics - military coup & crackdown; exile of politicians; war against India; disgrace after loss; coup leader trying & failing to hang on to power; return of civilian rule; politicians lying, stealing the country blind, being bought and sold; popular revulsion; military coup & crackdown....(#1-also see The Christian Science Monitor, "New Political Deal angers Pakistanis", http://tinyurl.com/2pdvyp)

I note your use of the terms "Islamic Extremist", "Islamist", "moderate" & today "radical". Certainly there are theologically good muslims and bad muslims, & violent muslims and non-violent.

However if for all muslims Mohammed is "al-insan al-kamil, uswa hasana", the role model, the perfect man who is to be emulated; and we can readily discover he was mentally ill: a man/boy lover who hated adult/adult homosexuality, a rapist of a 9 y/o girl, a thief, a liar, a racist, a slaver, a torturer & mass murderer who glorified his crimes in the Qur’an, urging them to his followers for the ages to come; and we know Mullah Omar, Osama bin Laden, Sheikh Nasrallah, Abu Mazen & Ahmadinejad justify their acts quoting in context chapter & verse of the Qur’an" without theological or tangible opposition from so-called "moderate" muslims of peace & good will, because there is no justification in Islam for real peace & good will with kafirs (us infidels); then Mr. Morrissey, isn't an "Islamic Extremist" "Radical Islamic Extremist" or "Islamist" really a good faithful muslim who takes his religion seriously & a so-called "moderate" one who neither rejects evil nor embraces good & therefore unreliable to us of the West?

If you will tolerate another question, & do look at it from a good muslim's perspective, why do you think Benazir Bhutto, having failed twice to survive as leader in a muslim society that rejects any woman's leadership or public role, will succeed this time? (#2-recall Nilofar Bakhtiar, the Pakistani tourism minister who was threatened with death & compelled to resign, with her enemies [good muslims of Lahore, Quetta, Karachi & Rawalpindi baying for Bakhtiar's blood, not just Wazir "Islamists"] using the reason that after her first parachute jump she [immodest harlot not knowing her place] hugged her instructor [a kafir] with joy.

Mr. Morrissey, you've not been the only person staying the course (George Bush, Condoleezza Rice), using these unhelpful misleading euphemisms, more examples of which are: "Three Abrahamic Faiths", "Religion of Peace", "War on Terror", "peaceful religion hijacked by a few extremists". These are almost always said by people who won't be bothered (six+ years after 9/11) to read the Qur’an & Sunnah to gain knowledge of the foe.

From knowledge comes understanding; & with understanding you, I & our fellow countrymen can face with confidence the threat muslims (not "Islamic Extremists", "Radical Islamic Extremists" or "Islamists") pose to Western Civilization, to the United States & Europe, & take appropriate measures.

You've been going on plucky Musharraf & saint Bhutto riffs lately. Can you spare some words for Ayaan Hirsi Ali? Any comment on the LA Times Harris/Rushdie article?

Posted by Friend of the Captain | October 9, 2007 4:12 PM

Muhammad Junaid Khan, "I wonder why you are so religiously biased against Muslims".

National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States

Jihad Watch

Jihad in the Qur'an and Sunnah: http://www.islamworld.net/jihad.html

The Qur’an

USC-MSA Compendium of Muslim Texts

Translation of Sahih Bukhari

The Life of Mahomet

Sirat Rasoul Allah

The Cultic and Beastly Nature of Islam

Is that enough a start? With six years of resentment still boiling, I've read much more to which I can refer you.

"I wont get into much controversial issues here as it would open a pandora box and will never come to a conclusion. Reason being that you cant see the things the way i see them and i wont see it the way you see them!"

Why not, I would be fair. I would denounce Mohammed & Islam cordially, using muslim texts only. You of course speaking Urdu would not have the presumption to insist I use Arab language texts, correct? And yes, I understand you are a willing slave to the Arab national religion, so my purpose in engaging you would not at all be to change your mind.

You offered a prayer, so as I reject it, I return to you my wish that Dar al-Harb overcomes its fear & self-loathing to baffle, confuse, paralyse, & make utterly helpless Dar al-Islam.

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