Time to start freaking out about Pakistan

posted at 4:32 pm on April 23, 2009 by Allahpundit

Well past time, actually, but this Daily Mail piece has had me on edge since morning. The Kardari government gave the Taliban an inch by signing away Swat so now they’ve decided to take a mile in Buner. The wages of appeasement:

There are fears that the Taliban, who have already been handed control of the Swat valley, could now take Islamabad and topple the government.

Militants are believed to be just 60 miles away – and edging closer by the day…

Many in Buner are now too frightened to speak to reporters.

However, one judge said that the militants had entered the district in ‘large numbers’ and started setting up checkpoints at main roads and strategic positions…

Rasul Bakhsh Rais, professor of political science at Lahore University of Management Sciences, said the Taliban may have concluded from the Swat deal that authorities will cave in to violent demands for Islamic law elsewhere.

‘They have natural allies in the religious political parties in other parts of the country,’ he said.

Read this dispatch from Time about the rapid shari’a-ization of Buner and spreading panic in Islamabad. How bad is it? Roggio ups the freak-out ante:

The Taliban takeover of Haripur would put the Taliban on the doorstep of Islamabad and would also put two major nuclear facilities at risk.

Haripur borders the Margala Hills, a region in the Islamabad Capital Territory. Haripur also borders the Punjab districts of Attock and Rawalpindi.

Attock hosts two major nuclear facilities in Pakistan: the Wah Cantonment Ordnance Complex and the Kamra (Minhas) Airbase. The Wah Cantonment Ordnance Complex host three sites where nuclear weapons and components are stored and assembled and aircraft and missiles are modified for use in nuclear attacks. The nearby Kamra Airbase is thought to host attack aircraft capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

Rawalpindi is the “garrison” city for Pakistan’s military. The city hosts the headquarters of the Army and Air Force, and several nuclear weapons research facilities are also located there.

I remember reading last year somewhere that the Pentagon has emergency contingency plans to seize Pakistan’s nukes if things go haywire, but I’m naively hoping against hope that Zardari and the military leadership will voluntarily surrender them to keep them out of jihadi hands if they think they’re about to be overrun. Obama would have to guarantee Pakistan’s security against an Indian nuclear attack, though, and even then national pride might stop them from giving up the bomb — assuming, that is, that the leadership still has sufficient control over the military to get them to carry out an order like that. A horrifying possibility here is that there are Taliban sympathizers among the Pakistani troops safeguarding their nuclear arsenal. The more leverage the jihadis get, the greater the risk of defections.

Pakistan’s sent a few troops to Buner and Hillary’s begging them to redeploy more from the eastern border with India, but given past practices, I assume some sort of “treaty” is in the offing whereby the government cedes Buner in exchange for a, ahem, Taliban promise to stay out of Islamabad. The analogy, obviously, would be Lebanon, where the terrorist outfit that dominates the country keeps a secular government in place to handle the mundane civic business with which it can’t be bothered. (See also Robert Kaplan’s piece yesterday about why Palestinians don’t really want a state.) What it means in practice is a terrorist base in the heart of the country, a la the U.S.’s worst fears about Anbar circa 2006, except with better communications and infrastructure than the jihadis currently have in the tribal areas.

TNR’s already whispering about the prospect of The One having to send in bombers and special forces, presumably to get the nukes and then get out, but I’m wondering at what point India gets involved and how. They’re the ones who face the most immediate threat from a nuclear Taliban; if Islamabad is on the brink, they have to decide whether to invade and go for the kill before the jihadis have established themselves as a government or hold off and let the Pakistani military focus on the internal threat. And if they wait and the Taliban takes over anyway, what then? Can’t wait to see what time it is on the clock next issue.

Update: Another factor re: Indian invasion is that it would instantly transform a Pakistani civil war into a common cause against the Indian enemy under Taliban leadership, thereby bolstering jihadi authority. If they go for it, they’d better be absolutely sure they can win.

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I really hope there is a solid contingency plan to seize the nukes, because it looks like we’re going to need it. This has been a top worry for me since the US and other nations dumped billions to try and keep Pakistan stable. This is a horrible situation.

Stickeehands on April 23, 2009 at 8:55 PM

Turtler on April 23, 2009 at 8:35 PM

You really are doing yoeman’s work on these scum, Turtler.

venividivici on April 23, 2009 at 9:08 PM

Did someone mention Russia earlier?

Buy Danish on April 23, 2009 at 9:10 PM

DerKrieger on April 23, 2009 at 8:53 PM

Russia being the sole major industrialized nation with an overall negative birth rate among the major population of that nation, and a rapidly declining population in general…even at the younger part of the scale, not just at the above 50 end…has some very difficult choices to make. Quite similar to present-day France.

Russia has tried to ingratiate themselves to the Central Asian republics, but that little Chechnya thing, well, not working out too well. And 70 years of harsh occupation, under the Soviet regime are not forgotten…yet.

They can only threaten and bully just so much, and they cannot afford to buy off some of these countries, as the ruble is in freefall, still.

France? They’ve passed the tipping point. As was in June 1940, France will come to understand they have lost only after the fact.

Incrementally, Islam, and the jihad, has made inroads all across the world, one convert at a time.

And time is on their side.

coldwarrior on April 23, 2009 at 9:14 PM

Somehow I don’t think India would be OK with this…

Dr. ZhivBlago on April 23, 2009 at 9:25 PM

Russia is toast. With their demographic implosion they will be easy pickings for resource hungry China. Give it time.

DerKrieger on April 23, 2009 at 8:53 PM

Toast yes, but time has run out. Never forget, a wounded bear is even more deadly than a healthy one.

doriangrey on April 23, 2009 at 9:27 PM

And time is on their side.

coldwarrior on April 23, 2009 at 9:14 PM

As I just told DerKrieger, time has run out.

doriangrey on April 23, 2009 at 9:29 PM

So, as nObama shows real concern about what the credit card companies charge his peeps, the Iranians, Russians and NKoreans will be planning to take advantage of the opportunity Pakistan will provide them. While The Apologist will speak of establishing lines of communication, reaffirming ties with the global community and ensuring our values are maintained. Our enemies will be establishing beachheads, supply lines, tying our military down in its bases to take advantage of The Apologist’s confusion as he struggles to comprehend that these coordinated attacks are not about him, but because of him.
The fate of mankind may hang in the balance.

dmann on April 23, 2009 at 10:06 PM

Washington Post:

The Obama administration reacted with increasing alarm yesterday to ongoing Taliban advances in Pakistan, warning the Pakistani government that failure to take action against the extremists could endanger its partnership with the United States as well as U.S. strategy in neighboring Afghanistan.

So, the Obama administration sent a sternly worded statement to Pakistan telling them that if their government collapses and Pakistan falls under Taliban control, this might jeopardize our partnership with the government of Pakistan.


And just in case this strategy doesn’t work, they are increasing their alarm calls, in hope that some adults, any adults at all, can solve this problem for them.

See? There’s no need to worry.

Loxodonta on April 23, 2009 at 10:49 PM

This should be a red light to Obambi and his idiot SoS, Clinton. Extremist Muslims are like terminators: They can’t be reasoned with. They can’t be bargained with and they absolutely will not stop until we are all converts or dead.

larvcom on April 23, 2009 at 11:00 PM

Obama knows what he’s doing.

Undermining and dismantling the U.S.A.

Chaos is a handy grease for this aim.

profitsbeard on April 23, 2009 at 11:12 PM

Yeah, freaking out sounds about right, see “Strongest Possible Content Warning! Taliban Behead Pakistani Troops”:


Donald Douglas on April 23, 2009 at 11:26 PM

And just a reminder folks – Pakistan got nukes on Clintoon’s watch. The One will wring his hands while Iran gets nukes on his watch. And of course Iran is only doing that because Carter let the mullahs take over.
What an amazing foreign policy track record the Dums have.

edshepp on April 24, 2009 at 12:11 AM

Turtler on April 23, 2009 at 7:59 PM

Don’t interrupt Turtler. He’s on a roll. ;-)

coldwarrior on April 23, 2009 at 8:47 PM

Somebody buy Turtler a sarsaparilla… STAT…. ;)

Man,What an absolute a$$ kicking.

Turtler needs to change his tag to “Leonidas”.

I wonder how many packs of cigarettes Turtler got in trade for giving up athensboy and strangelet after he was through with them.

Baxter Greene on April 24, 2009 at 1:26 AM

I’m naively hoping against hope that Zardari and the military leadership will voluntarily surrender them to keep them out of jihadi hands

We need to seize them NOW. The taliban and Al Qaeda have friends in Pakistani intel and government.

dogsoldier on April 24, 2009 at 6:34 AM

It is good to know that one of these beautiful spring mornings, Hopenchangeit will launch a rainbow toward Pakistan and unleash several battalions of unicorns to take out the Taliban.

On second thought, I’ll just stick real close to my shepherd (the one in Isaiah 53:6).

In the meantime, I’m wondering what reaction the Pakistani populations in Britain and other European nations are having or will have. Any thoughts about that, anyone?

KyMouse on April 24, 2009 at 8:09 AM

AP, is THIS the crisis Biden was talking about where it would look like Obama was doing the wrong thing? There are so many to choose from!

Traffic Cop Timmy on April 24, 2009 at 10:15 AM

Good thing the adults are in charge.

The gop would have invaded Iran by now and find no WMD’s again.

Wow, is that all you can muster? Going back to the tired old “Saddam didn’t have nukes so we should never have invaded!!”. I guess the mass murder and rape rooms were just boys being boys.

I guess we need to see a mushroom cloud over Tel Aviv before we have the justification of toppling the Islamofacists in Iran. Although with our equivalent of Neville Chamberlain in the WH that would only result in a desire for more “understanding” of the hurtful things we did to make Iran nuke Israel.

Adults in charge, huh? Adults don’t negotiate or try to understand savage behavior. They make an example of them. When a child misbehaves the responsible adult parent doesn’t negotiate or try to find out what they did to make their child act like that, they correct and punish the behavior.

And yes, I am equating the Islamofacists with children. It is a culture that has refused to grow for over five hundred years.

They are savages with access to modern weapons. Don’t ever forget that.

TheMightyMonarch on April 24, 2009 at 1:47 PM

I am banning myself.

The stink of evil on this blog is too much for me.

The devil is at work here.

I will pray for you.

getalife on April 24, 2009 at 1:32 PM

Hey turtler, how does it feel to be the great satan LOL.

Nice complete disassembly of a troll. Put me on the list of people who would like to buy you a drink…non-alcoholic of course!

Fighton03 on April 24, 2009 at 3:03 PM

If they go for it, they’d we’d better be absolutely sure they can win.

Fixed that for you…

JackOfClubs on April 24, 2009 at 3:30 PM