ANOTHER New Look At Pakistan

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by Annie, Dec 22, 2003.

  1. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Seems there may be heavy connection on nuclear front between Pakistan and Iran, NK, and Libya. (I wonder about Iraq and Syria):

    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/22/international/asia/22STAN.html?th

    A lengthy investigation of the father of Pakistan's atomic bomb, Abdul Qadeer Khan, by American and European intelligence agencies and international nuclear inspectors has forced Pakistani officials to question his aides and openly confront evidence that the country was the source of crucial technology to enrich uranium for Iran, North Korea and possibly other nations.

    Until the past few weeks, Pakistani officials had denied evidence that the A. Q. Khan Research Laboratories, named for the man considered a national hero, had ever been a source of weapons technology to countries aspiring to acquire fissile material. Now they are backing away from those denials, while insisting that there has been no transfer of nuclear technology since President Pervez Musharraf took power four years ago.

    Dr. Khan, a metallurgist who was charged with stealing European designs for enriching uranium a quarter century ago, has not yet been questioned. American and European officials say he is the centerpiece of their investigation, but that General Musharraf's government has been reluctant to take him on because of his status and deep ties to the country's military and intelligence services. A senior Pakistani official said in an interview that "any individual who is found associated with anything suspicious would be under investigation," and promised a sweeping inquiry.

    Pakistan's role in providing centrifuge designs to Iran, and the possible involvement of Dr. Khan in such a transfer, was reported Sunday by The Washington Post. Other suspected nuclear links between Pakistan and Iran have been reported in previous weeks by other news organizations.

    An investigation conducted by The New York Times during the past two months, in Washington, Europe and Pakistan, showed that American and European investigators are interested in what they describe as Iran's purchase of nuclear centrifuge designs from Pakistan 16 years ago, largely to force the Pakistani government to face up to a pattern of clandestine sales by its nuclear engineers and to investigate much more recent transfers.

    ...New questions about Pakistan's role have also been raised by Libya's decision on Friday to reveal and dismantle its unconventional weapons, including centrifuges and thousands of centrifuge parts. A senior American official said this weekend that Libya had shown visiting American and British intelligence officials "a relatively sophisticated model of centrifuge," which can be used to enrich uranium for bomb fuel.

    A senior European diplomat with access to detailed intelligence said Sunday that the Libyan program had "certain common elements" with the Iranian program and with the pattern of technology leakage from Pakistan to Iran. The C.I.A. declined to say over the weekend what country appeared to be Libya's primary source. "It looks like an indirect transfer," said one official. "It will take a while to trace it back."
     
  2. Psychoblues
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    Psychoblues Senior Member

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    Do you suppose that Pakistan was somehow mistakenly eliminated from the original "axis of evil" that was described to us earlier in this administration? The fearsome five of North Korea, Syria, Iran, Libya and Irag are now joined with Pakistan? That just couldn't be, could it? Aren't the Pakistani's our allies in our war on terror? Oh yes, they gave comfort and escape to OBL. Now it's all making sense.

    Fear-mongering is not one of my stronger suits. :)
     
  3. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Things are changing. Pakistan was long, if not a foe, certainly a worry. Still are, as the article points out. Not to mention that many believe IF OBL is alive, he's hiding in the region of the mountains that Pakistan is not willing to let our forces in. Then again,

    things are changing:

    http://www.denbeste.nu/cd_log_entries/2003/12/Anotherhammerblow.shtml

    In the wake of the capture of Saddam Hussein and a very broad roundup of other insurgents, those who have been hoping for American failure have now been blindsided with another hammer blow: Qaddafi announced that Libya would abandon all its secret programs to develop WMDs and would cooperate with international verification efforts.

    What makes this even worse is that this is a purely diplomatic achievement, not a military one.

    The usual suspects could not actually condemn this triumph, so they tried to take credit for it. The Wapo's "analysis" was subtitled "Two Decades of Sanctions, Isolation Wore Down Gaddafi". And it tries to explain this as being the cumulative result of decades of peaceful effort:

    "What forced Gaddafi to act was a combination of things -- U.N. sanctions after the Lockerbie bombing, his international isolation after the Soviet Union's collapse . . . and internal economic problems that led to domestic unrest by Islamists and forces within the military," said Ray Takeyh, a Libya expert at the National Defense University.

    Whether by coincidence or fear that Libya might be targeted, Gaddafi's envoys approached Britain on the eve of the Iraq war to discuss a deal, U.S. officials said.

    They're not bold enough to try to claim that it was truly a coincidence, but they use a rhetorical trick to at least present it as a possibility, so as to hold out at least the possibility that Bush shouldn't be given credit for this.

    The AP reports other reactions from around the world:

    China, locked in its own effort to halt neighbor North Korea's nuclear weapons program, and other nations saw Libya's surprise pledge as evidence that negotiations work.

    ... U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, through a spokesman, hailed Libya's decision as "a positive step toward the strengthening of global efforts to prevent the spread and use of those weapons."

    He urged all nations to fully implement disarmament treaties.

    ... Russia and France, both vociferous opponents of the U.S.-led war in Iraq, said Libya's decision demonstrated the effectiveness of using peaceful political tools to resolve international problems.

    "It clearly proves that diplomacy can win over proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons," added Javier Solana, the European Union's foreign policy representative.

    The idea that this was somehow a triumph of diplomacy and soft power pressure (e.g. sanctions), as is variously claimed by China, Russia, France, and Solana at the EU doesn't stand up to the light of day. Why was it the British (and indirectly the Americans) that Libya contacted, not China or Russia or France or the EU or the UN? Why did Qaddafi begin his diplomacy last March, and not earlier or later? And why the final agreement now, rather than last August or next August?

    ...Based on reports, it looks as if Qaddafi first made contact with the British just after the Americans and British abandoned attempts to deal with the UN and made the decision to attack Iraq without formal UNSC authorization. In other words, Qaddafi called London once it became clear that the UN was not capable of preventing America from going to war. That's when negotiations began.

    Was it coincidence that the negotiations were concluded only days after Saddam was captured? Probably not. Likely there were a few final sticking points, and when Saddam was found, and was so totally disgraced by his condition, circumstances and lack of resistance, Qaddafi felt a chill wind blowing down his spine and gave in.

    Why did this happen? What was different? It isn't too difficult to figure it out.

    What was different was that someone had finally gone beyond diplomacy and soft power and was poised to crush a dictator who had been doing the same kinds of things that Qaddafi had been doing. Qaddafi didn't want to be the next crushee.

    ...Why did he call the British, rather than the French or the Russians or the EU or the UN? That's another interesting piece to the puzzle. What has developed over the last couple years is that Blair and Bush are doing a superb good-cop/bad-cop act. Blair is the good cop, the "reasonable" one. Unlike Australian PM John Howard, Blair has leftist/internationalist credentials, and has positioned himself to be the only world leader with such credentials who has significant influence with Bush and who has some ability to restrain or deflect Bush. Bush is the bad cop, the cowboy, the moron, the devout Christian, the one with blood in his eye, who also happens to be commander in chief of the most powerful military in the world and appears very willing and perhaps even eager to use it against those he dislikes.

    That characterization of Bush is facile and wrong, of course; but he has that reputation in many places and it has actually served us well. Those who oppose Bush keep underestimating him, for one thing. But it also makes Bush a nearly ideal "bad cop", a barely controlled danger who can only be restrained by the "good cop", Tony Blair, through persuasion.

    ...Qaddafi didn't want to share that fate and certainly didn't intend to make the same mistake. So when he decided to look for a way to avoid it, he called London. And the unique diplomatic position of the British with respect to the US put British negotiators in an excellent position to wring major concessions out of him. The substance of this agreement is that Qaddafi has totally capitulated. The reason this is important is not merely that an agreement was reached, but that Qaddafi gave up so much in that agreement, because he really needed an agreement.

    It appears that the French had told Saddam that they could prevent the US from attacking even if Bush wanted to launch an attack. Because of that, Saddam thought he did not need to give much away.

    The British position with Qaddafi, on the other hand, was that they had considerable influence with Washington but no veto over American actions. If you Libyans give us a deal with thus-and-so concessions, we think we can sell it to Bush and we promise to try really hard. We want to work with you here and to help you on this. But if you don't offer us enough there won't be anything we can do to keep the Americans from coming to visit you with extreme prejudice, like they just visited your buddy Saddam.
     
  4. Psychoblues
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    Psychoblues Senior Member

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    So, Pakistan was mistakenly left out of the axis of evil? This is what is implied, don't you agree? What about China? They're tool-blocked in this dilemma. Between a rock and a hard place if I read the report correctly.
     
  5. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    There are many that could be considered 'on a list', but they have had and continue to have time to go the way of Libya. Pakistan seems to be going 'both ways', I think Mushaarf is the one between a rock and a hard place-there are more benefits to throwing in with the coalition, which is mostly what he's done. Problem is, he has a nation of 'true believers' many of whom will gladly kill him if given a chance.

    In the meantime, nations will each have to make their own decisions in acting in their best interests, as we will too.
     
  6. Psychoblues
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    Psychoblues Senior Member

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    Kathianne,

    I fought, I thought, in my nation's best interests in Viet Nam, Grenada, Panama and in Iraq in 1991. Because Grenada and Panama don't come up on the radar screen I won't go further with them at this time. But Viet Nam and certainly Iraq were clearly failures during those times, don't you agree? Kuwait absolutely benefitted from our endeavors in '91 but I sure can't see where Americans did. We're still hostages to the resourses of other countries and due to so-called "free-trade" we are becoming moreso as each job leaves our shores and as we continue to rely on resourses that we simply don't have in our present technology. Don't you agree?

    I don't mean to sound isolationist but I do mean to say that when we can't even build a pair of blue jeans (Levi's) that is considered competitive that we have a serious problem. Don't you? It certainly doesn't stop at blue jeans, many of our "American" cars or their parts are now manufactured "off shore" which is a polite way of saying that they are built by potential enemies. The "axis of evil" continues to bedevil us because of or corporate practices. Don't you agree?
     
  7. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    I think Vietnam was ill-concieved and executed in the worse possible ways. IF the US chose to 'make war', then they should have flat out DONE IT, not repeat the mistakes of the UN led Korean actions. I think that was a case of hubris, they were under the impression they could do Vietnam BETTER, but with the same shackles of 'limited warfare' of Korea.

    When the first Gulf War began, I thought the lessons of Vietnam were learned. I was wrong. Bush I let the 'coalition' agreement include the caveat that removing Iraqis from Kuwait would be the basis of stopping the conflict. He abided by that agreement and it cost us.

    I strongly believe in 'free-trade', problem is that so far we have opened our markets, while others protect theirs, (with the exception of the 1.5 years of steel tarriffs just removed). I grant you something has to be done about that, but perhaps it needs to come from the US citizens boycotting countries that won't open their markets, though not buying from China would be expensive, so don't know if that's realistic.

    US salaries are high, part of the reason that our products tend to be also. It would seem reasonable for the US to pressure 'international organizations' to encourage workers in other lands to be paid more, though can you really see that happening?

    As for making a pair of jeans that are competetive, have you checked out the rearends of just about every teenager on the planet?
     
  8. NightTrain
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    NightTrain VIP Member

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    Kathianne : :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:


    There is only one point made in your outstanding posts that I disagree with :

    While I agree wholeheartedly that removing Saddam from power in Desert Storm should have been one of the objectives, that wasn't part of the goal. Sadly, it took 9/11 to shake America awake to eliminate threats - we were very secure in public sentiment up to that point.

    Intel pointed to and it was hoped that Iraq would experience a revolution after the stunning and complete decimation of the Iraqi military on the battlefield after Iraq was thrown back across the Kuwaiti border. It began, but it didn't come to fruition, partly due to lack of U.S. support of the rebellion.

    Vietnam was an entirely different animal. Limited conflict is doomed to failure. Our military was forced to fight with one arm tied. The lessons of Vietnam are still with us - as you said, "IF the US chose to 'make war', then they should have flat out DONE IT..." Exactly. That's what the Powell Doctrine states.

    When the politians have decided to go to war, then they need to tell the military what the stated goal is, and step aside and let the professionals do their job. In Vietnam, in certain areas, our pilots watched helplessly as the enemy constructed surface-to-air (SAM) sites and were prohibited to take them out until they were operational. That's bullshit. Many pilots lost their lives because of this.

    They watched as supply ships from the USSR unloaded in port, fully loaded with supplies bound for the troops fighting us. Yep, they were off limits. The politicians had decided that they didn't want to escalate things. Tell that to the troops fighting the war.

    There were many mistakes made in Vietnam, I believe that we did indeed learn those lessons and when the decision has been made to go to war today, our fighting forces have all the means to wage war at their disposal. As it should be.

    We should have taken out Saddam during Desert Storm; I don't think anyone now will argue with that. But we live in a different world now, and that hindsight is still 20/20. Regime change in '91 just wasn't one of our stated goals.

    There was only one glaring major instance of politicians interfering in military affairs during Desert Storm that I'm aware of, and that was with the "Highway of Death" incident. That's the one where the Iraqi military was fleeing Kuwait on the highway across the border. Our warplanes destroyed the leading vehicles, creating a roadblock, and then destroyed the last few vehicles, trapping the rest. Then they started killing all of them in the middle. After hundreds of trapped vehicles were destroyed, word was given to halt - and allow the remaining forces to escape back into Iraq. That order shouldn't have been given - they didn't want bad press on 'Overkill'. Even though the Air Force was pulled off, the decimation of the massive convoy was truly awe inspiring.

    In my mind, they should have been all captured, not allowed to escape. This is the only similarity had Vietnam with mistakes made in Desert Storm that I am aware of, and in my mind it was wrong.
     
  9. NightTrain
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  10. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    NightTrain thanks for the hand(s)!

    I believe the reason that the American public was feeling so secure prior to 9/11, was the failure of the US gov't to bring home the seriousness of the events of Beirut, embassy bombings, USS Cole attack, WTC '93, etc. On the Clinton thread I wrote that this was one of his greatest failures, but the same could be said for at least the 3 previous administrations also.

    Often we see in print that the American people didn't 'know' who OBL was until 9/11. Not true with me and I'm sure not true of most on this board, but we are not the norm, most people don't go seeking 'news' beyond once a day, and maybe at that. I recognized the danger of terrorism back in the 70's with airline hijackings and Iran. At the time I just knew it as 'unconventional warfare', later as 'assymetrical warfare', in any case, it was not a good thing.

    I don't think I expressed my thinking very well regarding Gulf War I. Perhaps that was the best that could be done at the time, keeping in mind the American mindset via Vietnam, and the true belief in multi-lateralism that George I held. While I am all for multi-lateral concensus, when possible, I do think that in a war situation, when a previously unknown capability emerges, such as how easily we could have toppled Saddam then, one should be ready to act on it. Again, I think we not only awed the rest of the world, but ourselves, (even the President), in how effective our military was and how weak Iraq really was. I think this was the point when most Americans recognized what the 'volunteer' military was capable of.

    Of course, we were also talking of Kuwait, not NYC or DC. On the other hand, it seems to me that the US, when committing troops, should never let others set the goals and objectives for it. I have a hunch that intel was as bad before beginning that war as it was for the prevention of 9/11 or the guerrilla actions in Iraq, which led to all the pre-war, 'agreements'.

    Sorry so long, but it is an interesting topic.
     

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