Saturday, June 28, 2008

Your daily dose of middle eastern happiness

Taliban Imperil Pakistani City, a Major Hub
PESHAWAR, Pakistan — In the last two months, Taliban militants have suddenly tightened the noose on this city of three million people, one of Pakistan’s biggest, establishing bases in surrounding towns and, in daylight, abducting residents for high ransoms.

The militants move unchallenged out of the lawless tribal region, just 10 miles away, in convoys of heavily armed, long haired and bearded men. They have turned up at courthouses in nearby towns, ordering judges to stay away. On Thursday they stormed a women’s voting station on the city outskirts, and they are now regularly kidnapping people from the city’s bazaars and homes. There is a feeling that the city gates could crumble at any moment.

The threat to Peshawar is a sign of the Taliban’s deepening penetration of Pakistan and of the expanding danger that the militants present to the entire region, including nearby supply lines for NATO and American forces in Afghanistan.

Pakistan Strikes at Taliban Militants
Pakistan's newly elected government launched the first major assault against militants in the country's volatile northwest on Saturday, destroying a militant leader's headquarters and shelling suspected hideouts of other fighters.

The offensive in the Khyber tribal region appeared to mark a refinement in strategy by the new government, backing its calls for peace deals in the tribal areas along the Afghan border with the threat of forceful action against militants who get out of line.

Heckuva job Musharraf! You're well on your way to being a failed nuclear state. I hope you saved some of those billions we gave you to do counter-terrorism against the Taliban, which you apparently spent on nothing. Or lap dances at some Islamabad Filly Corral. What am I saying, of course you saved those fat stack of cash, how else are you going to afford a palatial estate after you barely escape the country with your life. You're someone who thinks ahead. Thanks for hiding bin Laden too, we appreciate it.

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