Thursday, February 7, 2008
What does it mean that Taliban militants declared a cease-fire with Pakistan on Wednesday and that Islamabad said it was preparing to negotiate with al-Qaida-linked extremists along the country's border with Afghanistan? It means the United States spent billions driving the Taliban from Aghanistan and spent $10 billion propping up President Pervez Musharraf at the expense of Pakistan's democracy, and yet Benazir Bhutto was killed anyway and all Washington got was a Hamid Karzai t-shirt. Anybody still wondering why Musharraf refused to move against the militants and failed to find Osama bin Laden has their answer now — he was trying to get into bed with them. It also brings into question Musharraf's contention that Baitullah Mehsud, leader of the militant umbrella group Tehrik-e-Taliban, was responsible Bhutto's assassination. This bodes very poorly for U.S. policy in Asia and for keeping Pakistan's nuclear weapons and technology away from Islamic extremists.