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September 16, 2008

New Tomdispatch

Video of Tariq Ali discussing this piece is underneath the excerpt.


The American War Moves to Pakistan
Bush's War Widens Dangerously

By Tariq Ali

The decision to make public a presidential order of last July authorizing American strikes inside Pakistan without seeking the approval of the Pakistani government ends a long debate within, and on the periphery of, the Bush administration. Senator Barack Obama, aware of this ongoing debate during his own long battle with Hillary Clinton, tried to outflank her by supporting a policy of U.S. strikes into Pakistan. Senator John McCain and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin have now echoed this view and so it has become, by consensus, official U.S. policy.

Its effects on Pakistan could be catastrophic, creating a severe crisis within the army and in the country at large. The overwhelming majority of Pakistanis are opposed to the U.S. presence in the region, viewing it as the most serious threat to peace.

Why, then, has the U.S. decided to destabilize a crucial ally? Within Pakistan, some analysts argue that this is a carefully coordinated move to weaken the Pakistani state yet further by creating a crisis that extends way beyond the badlands on the frontier with Afghanistan. Its ultimate aim, they claim, would be the extraction of the Pakistani military's nuclear fangs. If this were the case, it would imply that Washington was indeed determined to break up the Pakistani state, since the country would very simply not survive a disaster on that scale.

In my view, however, the expansion of the war relates far more to the Bush administration's disastrous occupation in Afghanistan. It is hardly a secret that the regime of President Hamid Karzai is becoming more isolated with each passing day, as Taliban guerrillas move ever closer to Kabul.

The rest.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at September 16, 2008 03:01 PM

How ridiculous to call it Bush's War, when it is and was supported by the leading war criminals from both parties, and their media machine, since the beginning through the expansion and planned expansions.

Posted by: Marcus at September 16, 2008 06:27 PM

All them guys running the 7-11's are gonna be pissed.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at September 16, 2008 06:42 PM

and these, in the words of Saint Obama, are baby steps. i wonder what his real manly steps would be?

'tactical' nuclear attack on karachi or lahore? US marines patrolling the streets of islamabad?

by all accounts, there is a lot of insurgent activity in pakistan, but one would hope that the way to deal with that was to encourage stability and offer the prospect of peace and inclusive development, and maybe help the nascent democratic setup survive.

Posted by: almostinfamous at September 17, 2008 12:14 AM

almostinfamous; They've got George Bush and Dick Cheney on their side. (Of course the world's oldest democracy, USA, has yet to survive George Bush and Dick Cheney)

Posted by: Mike Meyer at September 17, 2008 12:22 AM

Yes your State Department officials with briefcases full of cash and you heroic brave troopers affect real people. As do the MIC who end up with billions from both sides. And when I say both sides I mean every side. Maybe I should make that trillions.

I don't think the reaction is gonna be pretty if average Americans start realizing the real flow of cash from their labor and taxes.

Posted by: tim at September 17, 2008 03:57 PM