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Posted: 3/15/2009 2:21:21 AM EDT
From Yahoo news

Pakistan police battle protesters as crisis grows

By BABAR DOGAR, Associated Press Writer Babar Dogar, Associated Press Writer – 24 mins ago
Pakistani lawyers hold candles as they shout anti-government slogans during a AP – Pakistani lawyers hold candles as they shout anti-government slogans during a demonstration next to the …

LAHORE, Pakistan – Police fought running battles with stone-throwing anti-government protesters Sunday after authorities tried to detain opposition leader Nawaz Sharif, fanning a crisis that has alarmed the United States.

Sharif is locked in a power struggle with Pakistan's president that threatens to paralyze politics in the nuclear-armed country and dilute its focus on tackling economic woes as well as Taliban militants operating along the Afghan border.

Hundreds of police surrounded the former prime minister's residence in the eastern city of Lahore before dawn on Sunday and detained him along with scores of his supporters, a party spokesman said.

Officers showed party officials an order placing Sharif and his politician brother Shahbaz under house arrest for three days, spokesman Pervaiz Rasheed said.

But Sharif later denounced the order as illegal and left the house in a convoy of vehicles packed with chanting, flag-waving supporters, headed for a downtown rally which was turning increasingly violent.

Rao Iftikhar, a senior government official, said authorities had decided to relax the restriction on Sharif so that he could address the rally and return home.

Lawyers and opposition party supporters had planned to gather near Lahore's main court complex before heading toward Islamabad to stage a mass sit-in front of Parliament, in defiance of a government ban.

To thwart them, authorities parked trucks across major roads on the edge of the city, and riot police took up positions outside the railway station and government buildings.

Still, several thousands flag-waving demonstrators pushed past police barricades to reach the courts.

Protesters pelted some of the hundreds of riot police ringing the area with rocks, triggering running clashes. An Associated Press reporter saw one officer led away with a head wound.

Police repeatedly fired tear gas, scattering the crowd, and beat several stragglers with batons, only for the demonstrators to return with fresh supplies or sticks and stones. Mobs accompanying Sharif's convoy smashed the windows of buses parked along the route.
Link Posted: 3/15/2009 3:12:24 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/15/2009 3:19:18 AM EDT by Lert]
Pakistan's been on the verge of imploding for years now. Musharaff kept a lid on it for years, but was eventually done in by the political climate there. On one side, you have the secular Muslims- largely Western educated and firm believers in liberal democracy and the rule of law, except when it threatens their political position. This is the group both in power and protesting. On the other hand you have the ultra conservative Muslims. Some of them play in the mainstream political arena, many do not. They are generally opposed to liberal democracy, and would prefer a more "pure" Islamic state. At this end of the spectrum you find the Taliban and other militant Islamic groups. In the middl, you also have 2 factions- The Army and the ISI. The army is more closely aligned with the first faction, and see themselves as the guardian of the state. The officer corps are mainly Western educated- Sandhurst, West Point and RMC Duntroon. The aremy has proved its willingness to step in to the political arena when it deems it necessary- Musharraf being the most recent example. The ISI, or Inter-services Intelligence, are a law unto themselves, involved in both domestic and foreign intelligence activities. They were responsible for training the Afghan Mujahadeen against the Soviets in the '80s, working closely with the CIA. They were also responsible for creating the Taliban in the early 1990s. There is speculation that the various terrorist attacks on India were committed by ISI-sponsored groups. They are a state within a state, and have been exceedingly active in politics. Although the government disbanded the political wing if the ISI last year, I find it hard to believe that they no longer play any political role in the country.

In this case, the current government has been foolish in the extreme in not reinstating the judges that Musharreff dismissed, and for imprisoning Sharrif. This is mainly a fight within the liberal democratic wing of the Pakistani polity, and this constant bickering only weakens them in the face of a resurgent fundamentalist wing. The recent attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team by Islamic radicals has had a huge impact on the country as foreign teams now refuse to play there. Cricket is like a second religion for people on the Subcontinent, and this successful attack and its aftermath have weakened the new government.

I doubt Pakistan will implode per se, as the army will just step in again. The real concern is that the army can only do so much in controlling the country. They've capitulated to the tribesmen of the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA), where the Taliban are sheltering, and it remains to be seen whether they could control anything more than the major cities. This means that more and more of Pakistan would become safe-havens for terrorist organisations. Yes, they do have nuclear weapons, and rumor has it that they're based in the FATA, because its on the other side of Pakistan from India. If those fall in to the wrong hands, then all bets are off. Its not a likely scenario, but a worrying one nonetheless.

ETA: Pakistan is only one of the foreign policy nightmares that Obama has to deal with. He's got (in no particular order) Iran, North Korea, an aggressively posturing Russia, the pending collapse of Mexico, post-American Iraq, the ongoing issues involving Israel,China testing him, etc. He's got to deal with all of this amid what may well work out to be a larger downturn than the Great Depression and lacking such a basic understanding of foreign policy as Britain being America's most important ally, and indeed going out of his way to insult them. American foreign policy is really on the ropes here.
Link Posted: 3/15/2009 3:27:34 AM EDT
Iran - yes
Mexico - yes
post-American Iraq? He's boxed himself on that already
Israel? - status quo from administration to administration, he might make some minor adjustments one way or the other but nothing significant
China pwn'd him & Hillary already, game over
North Korea (I'm from there) is just posturing and Japan, China and South Korea are happy with the status quo, so not much in the short term on that one
Russia (he's already dealt his hand)

LOL - Britain, well foreign policy was never his forte but it doesn't look like "old Joe" Biden has been much of a help, even with NATO.

Then again, domestic doesn't seem to be his forte either. May'be he should have been a television news anchor. He's pretty good with a teleprompter.
Link Posted: 3/15/2009 3:46:49 AM EDT
Originally Posted By femgungirl:
Iran - yes
Mexico - yes
post-American Iraq? He's boxed himself on that already
Israel? - status quo from administration to administration, he might make some minor adjustments one way or the other but nothing significant
China pwn'd him & Hillary already, game over
North Korea (I'm from there) is just posturing and Japan, China and South Korea are happy with the status quo, so not much in the short term on that one
Russia (he's already dealt his hand)

LOL - Britain, well foreign policy was never his forte but it doesn't look like "old Joe" Biden has been much of a help, even with NATO.

Then again, domestic doesn't seem to be his forte either. May'be he should have been a television news anchor. He's pretty good with a teleprompter.


The Norks will be status quo too - Us paying them off not to play with their defective missiles & nukes...
Link Posted: 3/15/2009 3:57:55 AM EDT
Originally Posted By femgungirl:
Iran - yes
Mexico - yes
post-American Iraq? He's boxed himself on that already
Israel? - status quo from administration to administration, he might make some minor adjustments one way or the other but nothing significant and just like every other administration since 1947, it will be an albatross around his neck.
China pwn'd him & Hillary already, game over Not yet- there's still plenty of scope for cocking things up
North Korea (I'm from there) is just posturing and Japan, China and South Korea are happy with the status quo, so not much in the short term on that one Agreed on the posturing. My concern is the Kim's succession planning. There's a lot of speculation and not much information about that.
Russia (he's already dealt his hand) But as with China, still miles of room to cock things up

LOL - Britain, well foreign policy was never his forte but it doesn't look like "old Joe" Biden has been much of a help, even with NATO.

Then again, domestic doesn't seem to be his forte either. May'be he should have been a television news anchor. He's pretty good with a teleprompter.
Too true. He would have been good on the late night news, which nobody watches.

Link Posted: 3/15/2009 3:59:31 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Dave_A:
Originally Posted By femgungirl:
Iran - yes
Mexico - yes
post-American Iraq? He's boxed himself on that already
Israel? - status quo from administration to administration, he might make some minor adjustments one way or the other but nothing significant
China pwn'd him & Hillary already, game over
North Korea (I'm from there) is just posturing and Japan, China and South Korea are happy with the status quo, so not much in the short term on that one
Russia (he's already dealt his hand)

LOL - Britain, well foreign policy was never his forte but it doesn't look like "old Joe" Biden has been much of a help, even with NATO.

Then again, domestic doesn't seem to be his forte either. May'be he should have been a television news anchor. He's pretty good with a teleprompter.


The Norks will be status quo too - Us paying them off not to play with their defective missiles & nukes...


Until Kim keels over or goes mad- then what? Not knowing is the problem...
Link Posted: 3/15/2009 4:21:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/15/2009 4:23:32 AM EDT by femgungirl]
Originally Posted By Lert:
Originally Posted By femgungirl:
Iran - yes
Mexico - yes
post-American Iraq? He's boxed himself on that already
Israel? - status quo from administration to administration, he might make some minor adjustments one way or the other but nothing significant and just like every other administration since 1947, it will be an albatross around his neck.
China pwn'd him & Hillary already, game over Not yet- there's still plenty of scope for cocking things up
North Korea (I'm from there) is just posturing and Japan, China and South Korea are happy with the status quo, so not much in the short term on that one Agreed on the posturing. My concern is the Kim's succession planning. There's a lot of speculation and not much information about that.
Russia (he's already dealt his hand) But as with China, still miles of room to cock things up

LOL - Britain, well foreign policy was never his forte but it doesn't look like "old Joe" Biden has been much of a help, even with NATO.

Then again, domestic doesn't seem to be his forte either. May'be he should have been a television news anchor. He's pretty good with a teleprompter.
Too true. He would have been good on the late night news, which nobody watches.




I remember when everyone was worried after his father died and most expected or predicted the collapse of the DPRK but here we are 15 years later. Thank goodness I got out. We Koreans are a prideful people but the truth is we really are "little brother" to China, so don't expect much too change until the PRC does, regardless of what happens in North Korea.

Link Posted: 3/15/2009 4:40:57 AM EDT
Originally Posted By femgungirl:
Originally Posted By Lert:
Originally Posted By femgungirl:
Iran - yes
Mexico - yes
post-American Iraq? He's boxed himself on that already
Israel? - status quo from administration to administration, he might make some minor adjustments one way or the other but nothing significant and just like every other administration since 1947, it will be an albatross around his neck.
China pwn'd him & Hillary already, game over Not yet- there's still plenty of scope for cocking things up
North Korea (I'm from there) is just posturing and Japan, China and South Korea are happy with the status quo, so not much in the short term on that one Agreed on the posturing. My concern is the Kim's succession planning. There's a lot of speculation and not much information about that.
Russia (he's already dealt his hand) But as with China, still miles of room to cock things up

LOL - Britain, well foreign policy was never his forte but it doesn't look like "old Joe" Biden has been much of a help, even with NATO.

Then again, domestic doesn't seem to be his forte either. May'be he should have been a television news anchor. He's pretty good with a teleprompter.
Too true. He would have been good on the late night news, which nobody watches.




I remember when everyone was worried after his father died and most expected or predicted the collapse of the DPRK but here we are 15 years later. Thank goodness I got out. We Koreans are a prideful people but the truth is we really are "little brother" to China, so don't expect much too change until the PRC does, regardless of what happens in North Korea.

http://www.stevequayle.com/News.alert/03_Unrest/03_Unrest_pics/030721.Kim.Jong.Il.and.dad.jpg


Its a shame that stability has to come at such a cost. If there is difference between when Kim the elder died and now, would it be fair to say that the DPRK was in better condition?

[fishing for cool story] Its good that you got out of there. Would I be right in assuming that your departure from the DPRK was a little more complicated than just hopping on a plane and flying out? [/fishing for cools story]
Link Posted: 3/15/2009 4:53:48 AM EDT
The liberals hated Mushareff. But he kept the Pakis in line, and let us use Pakistan as a base to bomb Al Queda and supply our units in Afghanistan. And that country may be lost one day.
Link Posted: 3/15/2009 5:04:06 AM EDT
Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD:
The liberals hated Mushareff. But he kept the Pakis in line, and let us use Pakistan as a base to bomb Al Queda and supply our units in Afghanistan. And that country may be lost one day.


As an aside, calling a Pakistani or Indian a 'Paki' in Canada is like calling a black man a 'n*****'. Even Bush referred Pakistanis as 'Pakis' on a trip to Canada and there was a big uproar (not that it matters what happens in Canada as long as they don't have a drug war ready to rip the country apart like Mexico).

Obama has waded into the deep end of the pool and will soon realize he can't swim.

Link Posted: 3/15/2009 5:23:50 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/15/2009 5:24:09 AM EDT by Mr_Psmith]
FWIW It's also offensive to Pakistanis in America, according to my Pakistani friends.

That's what the colonial British called them, hence the parallel to "nigger." (can I say that here?)


Link Posted: 3/15/2009 5:26:46 AM EDT
Originally Posted By C-4:
Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD:
The liberals hated Mushareff. But he kept the Pakis in line, and let us use Pakistan as a base to bomb Al Queda and supply our units in Afghanistan. And that country may be lost one day.


As an aside, calling a Pakistani or Indian a 'Paki' in Canada is like calling a black man a 'n*****'. Even Bush referred Pakistanis as 'Pakis' on a trip to Canada and there was a big uproar (not that it matters what happens in Canada as long as they don't have a drug war ready to rip the country apart like Mexico).

Obama has waded into the deep end of the pool and will soon realize he can't swim.



As an aside, getting upset at "Paki" is about the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Let's get upset if you call us "mericans or Yanks. How about a Brit? My GOD, being politically correct is tough these days.

I'm sure no matter what happens there will be a simple explanation for anything to goes wrong

"Bush's fault"

Link Posted: 3/15/2009 5:27:41 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/15/2009 5:29:44 AM EDT by femgungirl]
Originally Posted By Lert:
Originally Posted By femgungirl:
Originally Posted By Lert:
Originally Posted By femgungirl:
Iran - yes
Mexico - yes
post-American Iraq? He's boxed himself on that already
Israel? - status quo from administration to administration, he might make some minor adjustments one way or the other but nothing significant and just like every other administration since 1947, it will be an albatross around his neck.
China pwn'd him & Hillary already, game over Not yet- there's still plenty of scope for cocking things up
North Korea (I'm from there) is just posturing and Japan, China and South Korea are happy with the status quo, so not much in the short term on that one Agreed on the posturing. My concern is the Kim's succession planning. There's a lot of speculation and not much information about that.
Russia (he's already dealt his hand) But as with China, still miles of room to cock things up

LOL - Britain, well foreign policy was never his forte but it doesn't look like "old Joe" Biden has been much of a help, even with NATO.

Then again, domestic doesn't seem to be his forte either. May'be he should have been a television news anchor. He's pretty good with a teleprompter.
Too true. He would have been good on the late night news, which nobody watches.




I remember when everyone was worried after his father died and most expected or predicted the collapse of the DPRK but here we are 15 years later. Thank goodness I got out. We Koreans are a prideful people but the truth is we really are "little brother" to China, so don't expect much too change until the PRC does, regardless of what happens in North Korea.

http://www.stevequayle.com/News.alert/03_Unrest/03_Unrest_pics/030721.Kim.Jong.Il.and.dad.jpg


Its a shame that stability has to come at such a cost. If there is difference between when Kim the elder died and now, would it be fair to say that the DPRK was in better condition?

[fishing for cool story] Its good that you got out of there. Would I be right in assuming that your departure from the DPRK was a little more complicated than just hopping on a plane and flying out? [/fishing for cools story]


LOL - yes, it was a bit more complicated than hopping on a plane. I lived in China for awhile before I was granted asylum in the U.S. But this was back in 1989/1990. Yes, many of the older folks feel times were better under Kim Il-sung. May'be 10% of the population starved in the 1990s after his death. Not that a life under communism is good under any circumstance.

More and more people are fleeing and so China is cracking down, after pressure from the DPRK to save face. So many are now going to Thailand in order to escape. It's very hard, most do not make it and become sex slaves I was very lucky.

http://www.voanews.com/english/archive/2008-04/2008-04-17-voa21.cfm

Hundreds of North Korean Defectors Transit Through Thailand on Trek to Freedom
By Luis Ramirez
Bangkok
17 April 2008

Thailand's policy of not deporting refugees has resulted in a growing number of North Koreans making the kingdom a final stop in their trek to freedom. Activists say the number of North Koreans using Thailand for their jump to South Korea or the United States has gone from a handful to several hundred over the past year. In the third of a four-part series, VOA's Luis Ramirez reports from Bangkok that for impoverished North Korean defectors, their time at the jump-off point to freedom is spent in fear and hiding.

"My heart still beats fast for fear that someone will come to arrest me. I cannot live like this," a North Korean defector exclaimed.

The young woman, like hundreds of others over the past year, arrived in Thailand from China by traveling through Laos on foot and then crossing the Mekong River - fighting hunger and bandits along the way in an area known as the Golden Triangle, where the borders of Laos, Burma, and Thailand meet. It has long been a center for trafficking of drugs and people.

The young North Korean woman paid smugglers a few dollars to bring her across the river, and began a period of waiting. Those who want to go to South Korea simply turn themselves in to the nearest police station, where they are processed and turned over to South Korean authorities.

Those who want to go to the United States have a longer wait - usually several months in which they face arrest and weeks in jail for entering Thailand without visas.

The defector says, "I hope every day that I can go to America very soon. Of course, Thailand is much safer than China because in China, if I am arrested I surely will be sent back to North Korea. But in Thailand, I have never heard I'll be sent back to North Korea."

Thailand quietly processes refugees and hands them over to third countries willing to accept them. However, concerned about harming relations with North Korea and fearing an onslaught of refugees, the Thai government does not publicize its policy.

Thai laws ban the North Koreans from working. They live in hiding, out of the sight and out of the minds of most Thai people. Thailand's new prime minister, Samak Sundaravej, seemed to know little about the subject when he was recently asked what his administration's policy will be on North Korean refugees.

SAMAK: "Do they have any here? How much?”

REPORTER: "It started three or four years ago by dozens, but last week it went up to several hundreds."

SAMAK: "Several hundreds, few hundreds…and the question is the policy - can not answer now. … Especially on North Koreans. I just wonder why? Is this a sanctuary?"

It is here that the defectors get their first taste of freedom. A 34-year-old defector describes her first impression of life outside her homeland.

"One thing I realized here, and also in China, as soon as I was away from North Korea, is that if I decide to do anything, I feel that I can do it. It feels like paradise," she said.



Thai police interviewing North Korean refugees
Link Posted: 3/15/2009 5:31:19 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Mr_Psmith:
FWIW It's also offensive to Pakistanis in America, according to my Pakistani friends.

That's what the colonial British called them, hence the parallel to "nigger." (can I say that here?)




Did you ever ask your friends if it made sense to them? I mean REALLY, Pakis - tani. The British shortened it? I wonder WHY? Brit - ain hence Brits.

Tell them you consider them calling you an American isn't good enough. You want to be known as "A member of the United States of America" and you won't stand for anything less.

Link Posted: 3/15/2009 6:26:56 AM EDT
It's not on the approved name list. LOL (yes, I've been called chink before, wasn't the end of the world)

Link Posted: 3/15/2009 8:53:35 AM EDT
"Cracker" checking in.
Link Posted: 3/15/2009 9:04:23 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Mr_Psmith:
FWIW It's also offensive to Pakistanis in America, according to my Pakistani friends.

That's what the colonial British called them, hence the parallel to "nigger." (can I say that here?)




I did not know that. I just assumed it was a Canadian thing. Thanks!
Link Posted: 3/15/2009 9:24:45 AM EDT
What in the hell is a "Pikey"?
Link Posted: 3/15/2009 9:27:07 AM EDT
I thought he made friends after his first television interview?

Link Posted: 3/15/2009 9:36:27 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Attman:
What in the hell is a "Pikey"?


Someone hasn't watching Snatch...
Link Posted: 3/15/2009 9:40:31 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Attman:
What in the hell is a "Pikey"?


Irish gypsies. I think they call themselves travelers.
Link Posted: 3/15/2009 9:41:06 AM EDT
Originally Posted By pdxshooter:
Originally Posted By Attman:
What in the hell is a "Pikey"?


Someone hasn't watching Snatch...


Link Posted: 3/15/2009 9:47:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/15/2009 9:52:13 AM EDT by El-cid]
Pakistan is the same country that Obama visited as a private citizen in 1981. I wonder why?

This trip by a US citizen to Pakistan was illegal.

Pakistan was on the banned travel list for US Citizens at the time and all non-Muslim visitors were not welcome unless sponsored by their embassy for official business.



As a freshman, he quickly became friends with Mohammed Hasan Chandoo and Wahid Hamid, two wealthy Pakistanis
In 1981, Obama transferred from Occidental to Columbia. In between, he traveled to Pakistan - a trip that enhanced his foreign policy qualifications, he maintained in a private speech at a San Francisco fundraiser last month. Obama spent “about three weeks” in Pakistan, traveling with Hamid and staying in Karachi with Chandoo’s family, said Bill Burton, Obama’s press secretary.


According to his campaign staff, Mr. Obama visited Pakistan in 1981, on the way back from Indonesia, where his mother and half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, were living. He spent “about three weeks” there, Mr. Obama’s press secretary, Bill Burton, said, staying in Karachi with the family of a college friend, Mohammed Hasan Chandoo, but also traveling to Hyderabad, in India.

Mr. Obama appears not to have previously cited his travel in Pakistan in speeches during the campaign. In “Dreams from My Father,” he talks of having a Pakistani roommate when he moved to New York, a man he calls Sadik who “had overstayed his tourist visa and now made a living in New York’s high-turnover, illegal immigrant work force, waiting on tables.”

Mr. Obama, the campaign and his publisher have not provided any details about the identity of Sadik.
Link Posted: 3/15/2009 10:08:28 AM EDT
Pakistan's been on the verge of imploding for years now. Musharaff kept a lid on it for years, but was eventually done in by the political climate there. On one side, you have the secular Muslims- largely Western educated and firm believers in liberal democracy and the rule of law, except when it threatens their political position. This is the group both in power and protesting. On the other hand you have the ultra conservative Muslims. Some of them play in the mainstream political arena, many do not. They are generally opposed to liberal democracy, and would prefer a more "pure" Islamic state. At this end of the spectrum you find the Taliban and other militant Islamic groups. In the middl, you also have 2 factions- The Army and the ISI.


All true. But there is MUCH more to this than meets the eye. Do you read the "guardian"? (UK newspaper) They have excellent articles about Pakistan. The Plain fact is Pakistan is not a "real" country. Take for example the name "Paki" and "stan" well Stan means "land" but what does "paki" mean? Is it a dominant tribe of that region? Nope. It is a made up word created by the politicians who were helping Britain during the partition. The plain fact is this, Just as Israel was created as a "jewish" homeland for Jews who feared persecution form other dominant peoples, Pakistan was created as a "muslim" Homeland for those who feared Hindu persecution. It was basially a patchwork of states. All the hindus were expelled by violent mobs and a lot of Muslims from India fled there from Hindu mobs. So now you have a "Multi-tribal" state where each ones wants to dominate the others. the "Punjabi" (western Indians) are the dominant ethnic group. But the Bengalis broke away the first chance they got, in a civil war. the So called "Tribal areas" are Pashtuns who are more akin to the Afghans of South Afghanistan. Then there is the Baluhs who want Baluchistan so they wage a civil war as well. Then throw in the Sikhs and Kashmir and the small hindu minority. Their so called "democracy" is a farce and their political parties are "family based" rather than based on ideology. top it all off with a nuclear weapon and a nuclear armed India!! Oh fuck me!

Well anyway, have a nice day.
Link Posted: 3/15/2009 10:11:41 AM EDT
Why isn't Nawaz Sharif dead yet? This guy is trying to overthrow the Western leaning govt.
Link Posted: 3/15/2009 10:15:43 AM EDT
This could be like Y2K, but with crazy foreigners running around jabbering in an incomprehensible language, punctuated by that lalalalalalala yodelling and people occasionally exploding.

Link Posted: 3/16/2009 4:00:29 AM EDT
Originally Posted By femgungirl:
Originally Posted By Lert:
Originally Posted By femgungirl:
Originally Posted By Lert:
Originally Posted By femgungirl:
Iran - yes
Mexico - yes
post-American Iraq? He's boxed himself on that already
Israel? - status quo from administration to administration, he might make some minor adjustments one way or the other but nothing significant and just like every other administration since 1947, it will be an albatross around his neck.
China pwn'd him & Hillary already, game over Not yet- there's still plenty of scope for cocking things up
North Korea (I'm from there) is just posturing and Japan, China and South Korea are happy with the status quo, so not much in the short term on that one Agreed on the posturing. My concern is the Kim's succession planning. There's a lot of speculation and not much information about that.
Russia (he's already dealt his hand) But as with China, still miles of room to cock things up

LOL - Britain, well foreign policy was never his forte but it doesn't look like "old Joe" Biden has been much of a help, even with NATO.

Then again, domestic doesn't seem to be his forte either. May'be he should have been a television news anchor. He's pretty good with a teleprompter.
Too true. He would have been good on the late night news, which nobody watches.




I remember when everyone was worried after his father died and most expected or predicted the collapse of the DPRK but here we are 15 years later. Thank goodness I got out. We Koreans are a prideful people but the truth is we really are "little brother" to China, so don't expect much too change until the PRC does, regardless of what happens in North Korea.

http://www.stevequayle.com/News.alert/03_Unrest/03_Unrest_pics/030721.Kim.Jong.Il.and.dad.jpg


Its a shame that stability has to come at such a cost. If there is difference between when Kim the elder died and now, would it be fair to say that the DPRK was in better condition?

[fishing for cool story] Its good that you got out of there. Would I be right in assuming that your departure from the DPRK was a little more complicated than just hopping on a plane and flying out? [/fishing for cools story]


LOL - yes, it was a bit more complicated than hopping on a plane. I lived in China for awhile before I was granted asylum in the U.S. But this was back in 1989/1990. Yes, many of the older folks feel times were better under Kim Il-sung. May'be 10% of the population starved in the 1990s after his death. Not that a life under communism is good under any circumstance.

More and more people are fleeing and so China is cracking down, after pressure from the DPRK to save face. So many are now going to Thailand in order to escape. It's very hard, most do not make it and become sex slaves I was very lucky.

http://www.voanews.com/english/archive/2008-04/2008-04-17-voa21.cfm

Hundreds of North Korean Defectors Transit Through Thailand on Trek to Freedom
By Luis Ramirez
Bangkok
17 April 2008

Thailand's policy of not deporting refugees has resulted in a growing number of North Koreans making the kingdom a final stop in their trek to freedom. Activists say the number of North Koreans using Thailand for their jump to South Korea or the United States has gone from a handful to several hundred over the past year. In the third of a four-part series, VOA's Luis Ramirez reports from Bangkok that for impoverished North Korean defectors, their time at the jump-off point to freedom is spent in fear and hiding.

"My heart still beats fast for fear that someone will come to arrest me. I cannot live like this," a North Korean defector exclaimed.

The young woman, like hundreds of others over the past year, arrived in Thailand from China by traveling through Laos on foot and then crossing the Mekong River - fighting hunger and bandits along the way in an area known as the Golden Triangle, where the borders of Laos, Burma, and Thailand meet. It has long been a center for trafficking of drugs and people.

The young North Korean woman paid smugglers a few dollars to bring her across the river, and began a period of waiting. Those who want to go to South Korea simply turn themselves in to the nearest police station, where they are processed and turned over to South Korean authorities.

Those who want to go to the United States have a longer wait - usually several months in which they face arrest and weeks in jail for entering Thailand without visas.

The defector says, "I hope every day that I can go to America very soon. Of course, Thailand is much safer than China because in China, if I am arrested I surely will be sent back to North Korea. But in Thailand, I have never heard I'll be sent back to North Korea."

Thailand quietly processes refugees and hands them over to third countries willing to accept them. However, concerned about harming relations with North Korea and fearing an onslaught of refugees, the Thai government does not publicize its policy.

Thai laws ban the North Koreans from working. They live in hiding, out of the sight and out of the minds of most Thai people. Thailand's new prime minister, Samak Sundaravej, seemed to know little about the subject when he was recently asked what his administration's policy will be on North Korean refugees.

SAMAK: "Do they have any here? How much?”

REPORTER: "It started three or four years ago by dozens, but last week it went up to several hundreds."

SAMAK: "Several hundreds, few hundreds…and the question is the policy - can not answer now. … Especially on North Koreans. I just wonder why? Is this a sanctuary?"

It is here that the defectors get their first taste of freedom. A 34-year-old defector describes her first impression of life outside her homeland.

"One thing I realized here, and also in China, as soon as I was away from North Korea, is that if I decide to do anything, I feel that I can do it. It feels like paradise," she said.

http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/02vq5d88Ds6HU/610x.jpg

Thai police interviewing North Korean refugees


Thanks for sharing that. I can't possibly imagine what it would have been like.
Link Posted: 3/16/2009 4:08:56 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Fender57:
Pakistan's been on the verge of imploding for years now. Musharaff kept a lid on it for years, but was eventually done in by the political climate there. On one side, you have the secular Muslims- largely Western educated and firm believers in liberal democracy and the rule of law, except when it threatens their political position. This is the group both in power and protesting. On the other hand you have the ultra conservative Muslims. Some of them play in the mainstream political arena, many do not. They are generally opposed to liberal democracy, and would prefer a more "pure" Islamic state. At this end of the spectrum you find the Taliban and other militant Islamic groups. In the middl, you also have 2 factions- The Army and the ISI.


All true. But there is MUCH more to this than meets the eye. Do you read the "guardian"? (UK newspaper) They have excellent articles about Pakistan. The Plain fact is Pakistan is not a "real" country. Take for example the name "Paki" and "stan" well Stan means "land" but what does "paki" mean? Is it a dominant tribe of that region? Nope. It is a made up word created by the politicians who were helping Britain during the partition. The plain fact is this, Just as Israel was created as a "jewish" homeland for Jews who feared persecution form other dominant peoples, Pakistan was created as a "muslim" Homeland for those who feared Hindu persecution. It was basially a patchwork of states. All the hindus were expelled by violent mobs and a lot of Muslims from India fled there from Hindu mobs. So now you have a "Multi-tribal" state where each ones wants to dominate the others. the "Punjabi" (western Indians) are the dominant ethnic group. But the Bengalis broke away the first chance they got, in a civil war. the So called "Tribal areas" are Pashtuns who are more akin to the Afghans of South Afghanistan. Then there is the Baluhs who want Baluchistan so they wage a civil war as well. Then throw in the Sikhs and Kashmir and the small hindu minority. Their so called "democracy" is a farce and their political parties are "family based" rather than based on ideology. top it all off with a nuclear weapon and a nuclear armed India!! Oh fuck me!

Well anyway, have a nice day.


I generally avoid the Guardian, given its leanings, but I'll take another look at its South Asia reporting. Thanks for the tip.

I've always thought that the partition of post-British India was a mistake. apart form the million dead at the time of partition, carving up what had been fairly successful multi-ethnic empire into 2 mutually antagonistic states was never going to be a good idea. They should have listened to Ghandi. And now, Indian Muslims enjoy more political, economic and religious freedom in supposedly anti-Muslim India than they do in Pakistan!
Link Posted: 3/16/2009 4:11:28 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ArmyInfantryVet:
Why isn't Nawaz Sharif dead yet? This guy is trying to overthrow the Western leaning govt.


Yes, and replace it with another Western-leaning government. Given his popularity over there (massive corruption and all), a Sharif government may well be a stabilizing influence.

Killing him is the last thing you want.
Link Posted: 3/16/2009 4:15:15 AM EDT
in on 1
Link Posted: 3/16/2009 4:44:30 AM EDT
Originally Posted By C-4:
As an aside, calling a Pakistani or Indian a 'Paki' in Canada is like calling a black man a 'n*****'. Even Bush referred Pakistanis as 'Pakis' on a trip to Canada and there was a big uproar (not that it matters what happens in Canada as long as they don't have a drug war ready to rip the country apart like Mexico).

Obama has waded into the deep end of the pool and will soon realize he can't swim.



As an aside, my wife is Indian, and calls them Pakis. As does nearly every Indian I know.
Link Posted: 3/16/2009 5:22:43 AM EDT
Originally Posted By femgungirl:
Originally Posted By pdxshooter:
Originally Posted By Attman:
What in the hell is a "Pikey"?


Someone hasn't watching Snatch...


http://dereklieu.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/snatch.jpg


Ya like dags?

Awesome movie, tag, and /hijack.
Link Posted: 3/16/2009 5:38:59 AM EDT
We had an Irish guy in college. You could hardly understand the guy, great guy and soccer player. He could drink like there was no tomorrow too. His nickname was "Pikey" pretty much because he talked just like Brad Pitt in "Snatch". He dind't seem to mind since it wasn't our intention to degrade him
Link Posted: 3/18/2009 12:26:23 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Lert:
Originally Posted By femgungirl:
Originally Posted By Lert:
Originally Posted By femgungirl:
Originally Posted By Lert:
Originally Posted By femgungirl:
Iran - yes
Mexico - yes
post-American Iraq? He's boxed himself on that already
Israel? - status quo from administration to administration, he might make some minor adjustments one way or the other but nothing significant and just like every other administration since 1947, it will be an albatross around his neck.
China pwn'd him & Hillary already, game over Not yet- there's still plenty of scope for cocking things up
North Korea (I'm from there) is just posturing and Japan, China and South Korea are happy with the status quo, so not much in the short term on that one Agreed on the posturing. My concern is the Kim's succession planning. There's a lot of speculation and not much information about that.
Russia (he's already dealt his hand) But as with China, still miles of room to cock things up

LOL - Britain, well foreign policy was never his forte but it doesn't look like "old Joe" Biden has been much of a help, even with NATO.

Then again, domestic doesn't seem to be his forte either. May'be he should have been a television news anchor. He's pretty good with a teleprompter.
Too true. He would have been good on the late night news, which nobody watches.




I remember when everyone was worried after his father died and most expected or predicted the collapse of the DPRK but here we are 15 years later. Thank goodness I got out. We Koreans are a prideful people but the truth is we really are "little brother" to China, so don't expect much too change until the PRC does, regardless of what happens in North Korea.

http://www.stevequayle.com/News.alert/03_Unrest/03_Unrest_pics/030721.Kim.Jong.Il.and.dad.jpg


Its a shame that stability has to come at such a cost. If there is difference between when Kim the elder died and now, would it be fair to say that the DPRK was in better condition?

[fishing for cool story] Its good that you got out of there. Would I be right in assuming that your departure from the DPRK was a little more complicated than just hopping on a plane and flying out? [/fishing for cools story]


LOL - yes, it was a bit more complicated than hopping on a plane. I lived in China for awhile before I was granted asylum in the U.S. But this was back in 1989/1990. Yes, many of the older folks feel times were better under Kim Il-sung. May'be 10% of the population starved in the 1990s after his death. Not that a life under communism is good under any circumstance.

More and more people are fleeing and so China is cracking down, after pressure from the DPRK to save face. So many are now going to Thailand in order to escape. It's very hard, most do not make it and become sex slaves I was very lucky.

http://www.voanews.com/english/archive/2008-04/2008-04-17-voa21.cfm

Hundreds of North Korean Defectors Transit Through Thailand on Trek to Freedom
By Luis Ramirez
Bangkok
17 April 2008

Thailand's policy of not deporting refugees has resulted in a growing number of North Koreans making the kingdom a final stop in their trek to freedom. Activists say the number of North Koreans using Thailand for their jump to South Korea or the United States has gone from a handful to several hundred over the past year. In the third of a four-part series, VOA's Luis Ramirez reports from Bangkok that for impoverished North Korean defectors, their time at the jump-off point to freedom is spent in fear and hiding.

"My heart still beats fast for fear that someone will come to arrest me. I cannot live like this," a North Korean defector exclaimed.

The young woman, like hundreds of others over the past year, arrived in Thailand from China by traveling through Laos on foot and then crossing the Mekong River - fighting hunger and bandits along the way in an area known as the Golden Triangle, where the borders of Laos, Burma, and Thailand meet. It has long been a center for trafficking of drugs and people.

The young North Korean woman paid smugglers a few dollars to bring her across the river, and began a period of waiting. Those who want to go to South Korea simply turn themselves in to the nearest police station, where they are processed and turned over to South Korean authorities.

Those who want to go to the United States have a longer wait - usually several months in which they face arrest and weeks in jail for entering Thailand without visas.

The defector says, "I hope every day that I can go to America very soon. Of course, Thailand is much safer than China because in China, if I am arrested I surely will be sent back to North Korea. But in Thailand, I have never heard I'll be sent back to North Korea."

Thailand quietly processes refugees and hands them over to third countries willing to accept them. However, concerned about harming relations with North Korea and fearing an onslaught of refugees, the Thai government does not publicize its policy.

Thai laws ban the North Koreans from working. They live in hiding, out of the sight and out of the minds of most Thai people. Thailand's new prime minister, Samak Sundaravej, seemed to know little about the subject when he was recently asked what his administration's policy will be on North Korean refugees.

SAMAK: "Do they have any here? How much?”

REPORTER: "It started three or four years ago by dozens, but last week it went up to several hundreds."

SAMAK: "Several hundreds, few hundreds…and the question is the policy - can not answer now. … Especially on North Koreans. I just wonder why? Is this a sanctuary?"

It is here that the defectors get their first taste of freedom. A 34-year-old defector describes her first impression of life outside her homeland.

"One thing I realized here, and also in China, as soon as I was away from North Korea, is that if I decide to do anything, I feel that I can do it. It feels like paradise," she said.

http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/02vq5d88Ds6HU/610x.jpg

Thai police interviewing North Korean refugees


Thanks for sharing that. I can't possibly imagine what it would have been like.


Glad to share it with you. Very few people know about the refugee situation.
Link Posted: 3/18/2009 3:39:08 AM EDT
Originally Posted By femgungirl:
Originally Posted By Lert:

Thanks for sharing that. I can't possibly imagine what it would have been like.


Glad to share it with you. Very few people know about the refugee situation.


I remember watching a few years ago news footage of Chinese police dragging North Korean defectors off of the fences of foreign embassies they were seeking asylum in so as not to embarrass their puppet ally. Terrible stuff.
Link Posted: 3/18/2009 3:55:10 AM EDT
Originally Posted By philinmedford:
Originally Posted By C-4:
Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD:
The liberals hated Mushareff. But he kept the Pakis in line, and let us use Pakistan as a base to bomb Al Queda and supply our units in Afghanistan. And that country may be lost one day.


As an aside, calling a Pakistani or Indian a 'Paki' in Canada is like calling a black man a 'n*****'. Even Bush referred Pakistanis as 'Pakis' on a trip to Canada and there was a big uproar (not that it matters what happens in Canada as long as they don't have a drug war ready to rip the country apart like Mexico).

Obama has waded into the deep end of the pool and will soon realize he can't swim.



As an aside, getting upset at "Paki" is about the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Let's get upset if you call us "mericans or Yanks. How about a Brit? My GOD, being politically correct is tough these days.

I'm sure no matter what happens there will be a simple explanation for anything to goes wrong

"Bush's fault"



Seriously though, hes right... "the P word" is the equivalent of "the N word" in Canada.
Of course, it probably doesn't help that every government office up there, and theres a shit-ton of them, are all staffed by Pakistanis it would seem.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 12:22:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2009 12:26:14 PM EDT by femgungirl]
Originally Posted By Lert:
Originally Posted By femgungirl:
Originally Posted By Lert:

Thanks for sharing that. I can't possibly imagine what it would have been like.


Glad to share it with you. Very few people know about the refugee situation.


I remember watching a few years ago news footage of Chinese police dragging North Korean defectors off of the fences of foreign embassies they were seeking asylum in so as not to embarrass their puppet ally. Terrible stuff.


Yes, that's the story behind my avitar

Link Posted: 3/29/2009 12:25:13 PM EDT
I've had a bad feeling this would occur. Obama and his administration have a hard-on for Pakistan and Afghanistan. There's also that thing about using India and Pakistan to play China and Russia off of one another.

Remember that Brzezinski is a top foreign policy advisor to Obama and the man hates Russia, and I mean HATE.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 12:39:24 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Lert:
Pakistan's been on the verge of imploding for years now. Musharaff kept a lid on it for years, but was eventually done in by the political climate there. On one side, you have the secular Muslims- largely Western educated and firm believers in liberal democracy and the rule of law, except when it threatens their political position. This is the group both in power and protesting. On the other hand you have the ultra conservative Muslims. Some of them play in the mainstream political arena, many do not. They are generally opposed to liberal democracy, and would prefer a more "pure" Islamic state. At this end of the spectrum you find the Taliban and other militant Islamic groups. In the middl, you also have 2 factions- The Army and the ISI. The army is more closely aligned with the first faction, and see themselves as the guardian of the state. The officer corps are mainly Western educated- Sandhurst, West Point and RMC Duntroon. The aremy has proved its willingness to step in to the political arena when it deems it necessary- Musharraf being the most recent example. The ISI, or Inter-services Intelligence, are a law unto themselves, involved in both domestic and foreign intelligence activities. They were responsible for training the Afghan Mujahadeen against the Soviets in the '80s, working closely with the CIA. They were also responsible for creating the Taliban in the early 1990s. There is speculation that the various terrorist attacks on India were committed by ISI-sponsored groups. They are a state within a state, and have been exceedingly active in politics. Although the government disbanded the political wing if the ISI last year, I find it hard to believe that they no longer play any political role in the country.

In this case, the current government has been foolish in the extreme in not reinstating the judges that Musharreff dismissed, and for imprisoning Sharrif. This is mainly a fight within the liberal democratic wing of the Pakistani polity, and this constant bickering only weakens them in the face of a resurgent fundamentalist wing. The recent attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team by Islamic radicals has had a huge impact on the country as foreign teams now refuse to play there. Cricket is like a second religion for people on the Subcontinent, and this successful attack and its aftermath have weakened the new government.

I doubt Pakistan will implode per se, as the army will just step in again. The real concern is that the army can only do so much in controlling the country. They've capitulated to the tribesmen of the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA), where the Taliban are sheltering, and it remains to be seen whether they could control anything more than the major cities. This means that more and more of Pakistan would become safe-havens for terrorist organisations. Yes, they do have nuclear weapons, and rumor has it that they're based in the FATA, because its on the other side of Pakistan from India. If those fall in to the wrong hands, then all bets are off. Its not a likely scenario, but a worrying one nonetheless.

ETA: Pakistan is only one of the foreign policy nightmares that Obama has to deal with. He's got (in no particular order) Iran, North Korea, an aggressively posturing Russia, the pending collapse of Mexico, post-American Iraq, the ongoing issues involving Israel,China testing him, etc. He's got to deal with all of this amid what may well work out to be a larger downturn than the Great Depression and lacking such a basic understanding of foreign policy as Britain being America's most important ally, and indeed going out of his way to insult them. American foreign policy is really on the ropes here.


Doesn't take to many hard core fundi's to transform a society. Look at Nazi's were perhaps 2-3% were that fervent believers, rest just wanted peace and better life as most people. Same in Afghanistan where Taliban dominated the majority or parts of Pakistan today. Doesnt take long to get liberty and human rights lovers to STFU once and for all when you publicly hang disemboweled sharia violators for a week in city square as an example of what happens when you cross them. My bet is within 5 years Pakistan will be a failed state in the hands of terrorists and their armory too.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 12:49:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2009 12:53:14 PM EDT by modus]
Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:
Originally Posted By philinmedford:
Originally Posted By C-4:
Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD:
The liberals hated Mushareff. But he kept the Pakis in line, and let us use Pakistan as a base to bomb Al Queda and supply our units in Afghanistan. And that country may be lost one day.


As an aside, calling a Pakistani or Indian a 'Paki' in Canada is like calling a black man a 'n*****'. Even Bush referred Pakistanis as 'Pakis' on a trip to Canada and there was a big uproar (not that it matters what happens in Canada as long as they don't have a drug war ready to rip the country apart like Mexico).

Obama has waded into the deep end of the pool and will soon realize he can't swim.



As an aside, getting upset at "Paki" is about the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Let's get upset if you call us "mericans or Yanks. How about a Brit? My GOD, being politically correct is tough these days.

I'm sure no matter what happens there will be a simple explanation for anything to goes wrong

"Bush's fault"



Seriously though, hes right... "the P word" is the equivalent of "the N word" in Canada.
Of course, it probably doesn't help that every government office up there, and theres a shit-ton of them, are all staffed by Pakistanis it would seem.


This fained outrage is more of the same: essential self-abasement to weaken whites resolve to preserve itself, it's culture, it's glorious history, it's mores, etc - I would ignore it.

IMO it's racist to do something to someone, you know like all the black on white crime, not words.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 12:52:34 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SIPCAT-C:
I've had a bad feeling this would occur. Obama and his administration have a hard-on for Pakistan and Afghanistan. There's also that thing about using India and Pakistan to play China and Russia off of one another.

Remember that Brzezinski is a top foreign policy advisor to Obama and the man hates Russia, and I mean HATE.


How does Obama use Pakistan to play off Russia and China? I know China provides millitary aid and support to Pakistan but I thought Russia had nothing to do with Pakistan? After the cold war, didn't India warm up to the U.S. and reduce military contact with Russia?

Link Posted: 3/29/2009 1:06:01 PM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 1:19:33 PM EDT
Originally Posted By femgungirl:
Originally Posted By SIPCAT-C:
I've had a bad feeling this would occur. Obama and his administration have a hard-on for Pakistan and Afghanistan. There's also that thing about using India and Pakistan to play China and Russia off of one another.

Remember that Brzezinski is a top foreign policy advisor to Obama and the man hates Russia, and I mean HATE.


How does Obama use Pakistan to play off Russia and China? I know China provides millitary aid and support to Pakistan but I thought Russia had nothing to do with Pakistan? After the cold war, didn't India warm up to the U.S. and reduce military contact with Russia?

http://www.2point6billion.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/pakistan_china_0219-copy.jpg


Russia has some ties with India. Still supplies them

India and China aren't exactly friends. Tie in the India v. Pakistan quibble and it's plausible to try to stir China and Russia (which would be a dream of many in US foreign policy.)

More Generally on Russia - India relations
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 1:24:46 PM EDT
If Obama is going to handle the issues with Pakistan he is going to have to learn how to pronounce the name of the fucking country. Where the fuck is Pokeystan???

And the libs used to complain about Bush and his lack of speaking skills. Bush sounds like a Rhoads scholar compared to this bumbling doofus (sans teleprompter).
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 1:32:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2009 1:40:53 PM EDT by femgungirl]
Originally Posted By SIPCAT-C:
Originally Posted By femgungirl:
Originally Posted By SIPCAT-C:
I've had a bad feeling this would occur. Obama and his administration have a hard-on for Pakistan and Afghanistan. There's also that thing about using India and Pakistan to play China and Russia off of one another.

Remember that Brzezinski is a top foreign policy advisor to Obama and the man hates Russia, and I mean HATE.


How does Obama use Pakistan to play off Russia and China? I know China provides millitary aid and support to Pakistan but I thought Russia had nothing to do with Pakistan? After the cold war, didn't India warm up to the U.S. and reduce military contact with Russia?

http://www.2point6billion.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/pakistan_china_0219-copy.jpg


Russia has some ties with India. Still supplies them

Unfortunately, it seems India decided not to enhance ties with the United States. I can't recall the Navy admiral's name of 2 years ago, who the Indian government gave a cold shoulder to.

India and China aren't exactly friends. Tie in the India v. Pakistan quibble and it's plausible to try to stir China and Russia (which would be a dream of many in US foreign policy.)

More Generally on Russia - India relations


Unfotunately, India rebuffed the the US during the last military visit, I can't recall the Admiral's last night, a couple years ago.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 1:32:53 PM EDT
Name something that ISN'T a foreign policy disaster for Obama.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 1:36:56 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Lert:
Pakistan's been on the verge of imploding for years now. Musharaff kept a lid on it for years, but was eventually done in by the political climate there. On one side, you have the secular Muslims- largely Western educated and firm believers in liberal democracy and the rule of law, except when it threatens their political position. This is the group both in power and protesting. On the other hand you have the ultra conservative Muslims. Some of them play in the mainstream political arena, many do not. They are generally opposed to liberal democracy, and would prefer a more "pure" Islamic state. At this end of the spectrum you find the Taliban and other militant Islamic groups. In the middl, you also have 2 factions- The Army and the ISI. The army is more closely aligned with the first faction, and see themselves as the guardian of the state. The officer corps are mainly Western educated- Sandhurst, West Point and RMC Duntroon. The aremy has proved its willingness to step in to the political arena when it deems it necessary- Musharraf being the most recent example. The ISI, or Inter-services Intelligence, are a law unto themselves, involved in both domestic and foreign intelligence activities. They were responsible for training the Afghan Mujahadeen against the Soviets in the '80s, working closely with the CIA. They were also responsible for creating the Taliban in the early 1990s. There is speculation that the various terrorist attacks on India were committed by ISI-sponsored groups. They are a state within a state, and have been exceedingly active in politics. Although the government disbanded the political wing if the ISI last year, I find it hard to believe that they no longer play any political role in the country.


In this case, the current government has been foolish in the extreme in not reinstating the judges that Musharreff dismissed, and for imprisoning Sharrif. This is mainly a fight within the liberal democratic wing of the Pakistani polity, and this constant bickering only weakens them in the face of a resurgent fundamentalist wing. The recent attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team by Islamic radicals has had a huge impact on the country as foreign teams now refuse to play there. Cricket is like a second religion for people on the Subcontinent, and this successful attack and its aftermath have weakened the new government.

I doubt Pakistan will implode per se, as the army will just step in again. The real concern is that the army can only do so much in controlling the country. They've capitulated to the tribesmen of the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA), where the Taliban are sheltering, and it remains to be seen whether they could control anything more than the major cities. This means that more and more of Pakistan would become safe-havens for terrorist organisations. Yes, they do have nuclear weapons, and rumor has it that they're based in the FATA, because its on the other side of Pakistan from India. If those fall in to the wrong hands, then all bets are off. Its not a likely scenario, but a worrying one nonetheless.

ETA: Pakistan is only one of the foreign policy nightmares that Obama has to deal with. He's got (in no particular order) Iran, North Korea, an aggressively posturing Russia, the pending collapse of Mexico, post-American Iraq, the ongoing issues involving Israel,China testing him, etc. He's got to deal with all of this amid what may well work out to be a larger downturn than the Great Depression and lacking such a basic understanding of foreign policy as Britain being America's most important ally, and indeed going out of his way to insult them. American foreign policy is really on the ropes here.


Great info. A great book on this is Ghost Wars by Steve Coll.

Anyway, Ubama is in over his head.


Link Posted: 3/29/2009 1:37:54 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Attman:
What in the hell is a "Pikey"?


A darn, dirty gypsy.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 1:41:22 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SIPCAT-C:
I've had a bad feeling this would occur. Obama and his administration have a hard-on for Pakistan and Afghanistan. There's also that thing about using India and Pakistan to play China and Russia off of one another.

Remember that Brzezinski is a top foreign policy advisor to Obama and the man hates Russia, and I mean HATE.


Brzezinski. Now that's change.

Link Posted: 3/29/2009 1:41:33 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Atomic_Ferret:
If Obama is going to handle the issues with Pakistan he is going to have to learn how to pronounce the name of the fucking country. Where the fuck is Pokeystan???

And the libs used to complain about Bush and his lack of speaking skills. Bush sounds like a Rhoads scholar compared to this bumbling doofus (sans teleprompter).


Don't forget when he smacked into the glass door going back into the White House and the press stayed silent.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 1:41:57 PM EDT
Originally Posted By femgungirl:
Originally Posted By SIPCAT-C:
I've had a bad feeling this would occur. Obama and his administration have a hard-on for Pakistan and Afghanistan. There's also that thing about using India and Pakistan to play China and Russia off of one another.

Remember that Brzezinski is a top foreign policy advisor to Obama and the man hates Russia, and I mean HATE.


How does Obama use Pakistan to play off Russia and China? I know China provides millitary aid and support to Pakistan but I thought Russia had nothing to do with Pakistan? After the cold war, didn't India warm up to the U.S. and reduce military contact with Russia?

http://www.2point6billion.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/pakistan_china_0219-copy.jpg


Which would be why India is buying brand-new AK-103 assault rifles, T-90 main battle tanks, and Su-30 fighter jets off the Russians.

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