Obama might end drone attacks on Al Qaeda in Pakistan

posted at 6:14 pm on May 5, 2009 by Allahpundit

It’s not that they don’t work. They do — spectacularly so, albeit with a terrorist/civilian kill ratio that would have the UN demanding war-crimes tribunals were these Israeli drones instead of American ones. All the more reason for The One to think carefully about prosecuting Bush-era officials for waterboarding. “Torture” defendants today, Predator-operator defendants tomorrow.

No, the reason they might scale back is because the government’s so close to the brink now that the next strike could actually be more dangerous to them than to AQ. Thus it came to be that the same guy who, during the campaign, tried to build hawkish cred by insisting he’d attack whether Musharraf liked it or not is suddenly ready to let Pakistan take the lead.

“I have no doubt there is a change of mood,” said a Washington source. “The administration recognises that the political challenges are so immense for Pakistan’s government that the US has to re-evaluate what it has regarded as an otherwise successful programme.”…

Steve Coll, president of the New America Foundation, said the administration was “acknowledging that there is an interaction between the attacks and political instability and are re-evaluating the costs and benefits of these attacks”.

He said the Obama administration decided to intensify the attacks in the hope they would reach the top of al-Qaeda quickly.

He added: “My sense is they were looking at their watches trying to finish the job but they have run out of time.”

The One’s not going to deny himself the glory of scalping Bin Laden or Zawahiri if he has a chance, but the mid-level operational guys may suddenly have a reprieve. There’s an interesting contrast with the torture calculus here: Opponents of harsh interrogation refuse to balance the morality of inflicting suffering on one to possibly avoid the suffering of many, but in the case of drone strikes, the suffering of many seems to be the cold, hard, bottom line. If blasting terrorists and civilians in their vicinity from 20,000 feet makes America safer, let’s do it; if not blasting terrorists and civilians from 20,000 feet makes America safer by taking some heat off a wobbly, nuclear-armed government, then let’s do that. A strange game.

Incidentally, David Obey’s given Obama a loose deadline of one year to turn Afghanistan around before they start cutting funds for the war. I’ll be surprised if the anti-war movement waits even that long. Is that why The One didn’t respond to Iranian aircraft attacking Iraqi villages, incidentally — because he can’t be “distracted” from the real war right now? Or was that more a case of politely looking the other way in the interests of “dialogue”?


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pussy

redrock on May 5, 2009 at 6:18 PM

Shout out to Hawkdriver
We love you and are thinking about you.

Keep your head down and stay safe.

Knucklehead on May 5, 2009 at 6:19 PM

He’s probably taking a break so Acorn can register them for next fall.

Chuck Schick on May 5, 2009 at 6:21 PM

no worries. obviously this is all a headfake to the taliban and is really a prelude to his fulfilling a campaign promise to fight smart and conduct a massive crossborder invasion of Pakeeesahhhn to get bin laden.

elduende on May 5, 2009 at 6:21 PM

Sad, but not shocking. Hopefully, like he did with prosectuing Bush officials, he’ll flip-flop back though.

Emily M. on May 5, 2009 at 6:22 PM

mid-level operational guys may suddenly have a reprieve.

The most important people in any terrorist organization.

blatantblue on May 5, 2009 at 6:22 PM

Every predator is money not spent on bailouts of democratic party “Freinds”.

William Amos on May 5, 2009 at 6:23 PM

I don’t care as long as he get those nukes out of there.

kingsjester on May 5, 2009 at 6:24 PM

Thus it came to be that the same guy who, during the campaign, tried to build hawkish cred by insisting he’d attack whether Musharraf liked it or not is suddenly ready to let Pakistan take the lead.

I was infuriated when he took that stance during the campaign. He was either clueless or deliberately undermining the imperfect but strategic and important relationship with Pakistan.

grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

KittyLowrey on May 5, 2009 at 6:26 PM

So Obama has committed war crimes already?

darwin on May 5, 2009 at 6:27 PM

Way OT but I just saw this advertised on tv and had to laugh.

https://www.obamashoes.tv/

txag92 on May 5, 2009 at 6:27 PM

And this moron tried to tell us he’d bomb Pok-ee-stahn if he got elected. The guy is clueless to begin with, and his words and promises are never to be taken seriously. The only thing he has any interest in promoting is the internationalist Marxist agenda. Destruction of American interests are more likely to be a goal than something this administration wants to prevent.

Sign of the Dollar on May 5, 2009 at 6:29 PM

Attacks against the jihadists targeting Pakistan? What does this moron POTUS think? If we stop killing them they will go back to flying kites?

Idiot backed by idiots (those that weren’t fake voters) performing idiotic actions. This is all going to end very badly. Of course the lefty’s will spend the entire time after the inevitable disasters blaming Bush–blaming someone else for their incompetence and idiocy is something the left are very good at. Lots of practice, you see.

Someone should tell this administration that the Taliban and jihadists are really US conservatives and republicans. Then we would see unrestricted warfare…

iconoclast on May 5, 2009 at 6:29 PM

Perhaps you are correct, but the thing is that given the Islamist advances through Swat towards Islamabad, this seems a very strange time indeed to be turning the pressure on AQ down.

Turtler on May 5, 2009 at 6:30 PM

Incidentally, David Obey’s given Obama a loose deadline of one year to turn Afghanistan around before they start cutting funds for the war.

Fox says Obama opposes timelines in Afghanistan.

amerpundit on May 5, 2009 at 6:30 PM

Frakkin Coward.

Viper1 on May 5, 2009 at 6:34 PM

So Obama has committed war crimes already?

darwin on May 5, 2009 at 6:27 PM

Depends if you are a liberal hack lawyer or have any common sense at all. In other words, it depends on what the definition of “is” is.

ay carumba

kirkill on May 5, 2009 at 6:35 PM

cobarde

kirkill on May 5, 2009 at 6:37 PM

Let me see,,, how many allies did we lose under Carter??
What do you want to bet that by 2012 Pakistan becomes another Iran? Just sayin.

JellyToast on May 5, 2009 at 6:37 PM

kirkill on May 5, 2009 at 6:35 PM

Being bigger than the Dims hasn’t gotten us anywhere.

Start filing charges in the Hague….lawfare works pretty well against honest men and women. Imagine how well it works against crooks and liars!

iconoclast on May 5, 2009 at 6:38 PM

Obama has to stop the air attacks to give Osama bin Laden a chance to get out of Pakistan and over to Iran, Saudia Arabia or Venezuela.
Or maybe so Osama can move into the Presidential palace in Pakistan.

——-
Speaking of Clintons, has anyone heard much from Bill in the last 3 months? Is he on secret missions for Hillary? Not that we hear much from our SoS, either.

albill on May 5, 2009 at 6:41 PM

It’s hard so why try. Take the low road. The one with the rest areas and outlet malls along the way. That other road is for neaderthals and their oxen.

Limerick on May 5, 2009 at 6:41 PM

Next up: 0-bama promises that our military will never kill or harm anyone.

Cicero43 on May 5, 2009 at 6:41 PM

The best we could possibly do is gtfo and let the Pak government fight their own internals. Machismo is a very big deal in MENA, and Bush made Musharaff look like he had no balls..
Every drone strike on a village is a recruiting bonanza for AQ and the Talis.
Do you not unnerstand the word “embedded”?
AQ and the Tali are married into the clans and the tribal power structure.
Do you HAVE to be so stupid?
Pakistan is a sovereign state. We have no bidness there.

You still don’t get it….Obama is a machiavellian pragmatist.
That is why he won.

strangelet on May 5, 2009 at 6:41 PM

You mean having a president that pronounces “Pakistan” just like the people who live there won’t make them like us?

Mark1971 on May 5, 2009 at 6:45 PM

You still don’t get it….Obama is a machiavellian pragmatist.
That is why he won.

strangelet on May 5, 2009 at 6:41 PM

Hahahahahahaha

Please, more!

darwin on May 5, 2009 at 6:45 PM

LOL. That’s it. Give in. Give up. Give over. It’s sooooooooo much easier on everyone.

For anyone who doesn’t believe that Putin, Kim (or Kim III), Chavez, Dinnerjacket, or King Rat doesn’t notice that America is made up of girlyparts then you don’t deserve to complain when you world comes crashing down around you. As a matter of fact I hope it hits you in the head on the way down.

Limerick on May 5, 2009 at 6:47 PM

You still don’t get it….Obama is a machiavellian pragmatist.
That is why he won.

strangelet on May 5, 2009 at 6:41 PM

So he lied, cheated on donations, and paid Acorn to create fake voters? I believe it. I am just pleased that you do to. A pity you think that is ok.

The rest of your post is merely garbage spewed up from a dozen bumper stickers you saw while sobering up on a park bench. I was surprised I didn’t see “war is terrorism” in that sad little list of yours.

iconoclast on May 5, 2009 at 6:48 PM

As a matter of fact I hope it hits you in the head on the way down.

Limerick on May 5, 2009 at 6:47 PM

No, it will hit the rest of us on the head while those freaks are busy running for their lives. Or collaborating with the enemy….

iconoclast on May 5, 2009 at 6:50 PM

iconoclast on May 5, 2009 at 6:50 PM

Bullets, gold, food, shelter in my portfolio. I’m not the only one. Some here still buy GM, BoA, and GE. Fools be they.

Limerick on May 5, 2009 at 6:53 PM

You still don’t get it….Obama is a machiavellian pragmatist.
That is why he won.

strangelet on May 5, 2009 at 6:41 PM

So the arrogant ignorant jackass boob persona is just a headfake.

Gotcha.

KittyLowrey on May 5, 2009 at 6:55 PM

Sooooo we send troops into harms way(Afghanistan) “chase” them out, (they re-group in Pakistan) Obama claims ‘Mission Accomplished!” because after all—they are not in Afghanistan any longer….
OK—got it—
The wheels on the bus go round & round….
P.s. Hawdriver—prayers all around for you & all…

Ladywolfnl on May 5, 2009 at 7:07 PM

Preditors and Global Hawks – so unfair!

Lets cut them right out of the Mil budget so we won’t be tempted again. I mean the O might accidentally be accused of being unfair and (shudder) war crimes. A country which won’t torture a battle feild captive by putting a catapillar in the same room certainly should not fire on the enemy from 10,000 feet. Unspeakable!

Friendly21 on May 5, 2009 at 7:16 PM

strangelet:

I swear to God if this idiot President told you the earth was flat you would just nod and drool.

There is nothing different in that fight today than there was a few months ago when Obama was running his mouth about how bad Mushareff was and how we just had to go in there and blah blah blah. I even remember him making some idiot comment about how Mushareff was our dictator. Obviously the man knew nothing about the region when he made that remark. Right now Mushareff would be an improvement.

The truth is Obama found out that being a President is a lot harder than it looks like it is on TV. This is not Machiavellian, it is just Obama wussing out because things are a lot more complicated than he thought they were.

Terrye on May 5, 2009 at 7:20 PM

And maybe Obama will be known as the Predator Drone President. Who knows, maybe Spain will bring charges.

Terrye on May 5, 2009 at 7:21 PM

Off topic, no criminal charges on torture memos.

Does not surprise me.

Terrye on May 5, 2009 at 7:28 PM

It’s not that they don’t work. They do — spectacularly so, albeit with a terrorist/civilian kill ratio that would have the UN demanding war-crimes tribunals were these Israeli drones instead of American ones. All the more reason for The One to think carefully about prosecuting Bush-era officials for waterboarding.

That about raps it up.

We brought this up to the left when they were moaning about Bush’s torture… Now they have to stop this so they can “legitimately” go after Bush…

Oh, when will the Left draw the line in the sand?

Upstater85 on May 5, 2009 at 7:46 PM

I swear to God if this idiot President told you the earth was flat you would just nod and drool.

Terrye on May 5, 2009 at 7:20 PM

QOTD!

Upstater85 on May 5, 2009 at 7:47 PM

says investigators recommended referring two of the three lawyers to state bar associations for possible disciplinary action.

That is what I thought would happen….perhaps Bybee and Yoo will be disbarred.
Can a lawyer be prosecuted for giving bad legal advice?
Doubtful.
However….a CinC that instantiated a secret torture policy and then scapegoated his own troops for following orders, can certainly be prosecuted.
;)

strangelet on May 5, 2009 at 7:48 PM

And we don’t have to “go after Bush”.
Obama and me can just sit on out nice clean hands while the Abu Ghraib Seven bring juicy sensational lawsuits against their former CinC.
The Torture President……that is what the history books will say.
;)

strangelet on May 5, 2009 at 7:51 PM

I wonder if Obama licks his finger and sticks it in the wind of the DailyKos, well, er, daily.

It must be pretty stinky by this point.

Upstater85 on May 5, 2009 at 7:53 PM

Great idea – let the Taliban have Swat… and then the nukes…

ElRonaldo on May 5, 2009 at 8:12 PM

strangelet on May 5, 2009 at 7:51 PM

Funny. It sounds like you actually expect the Barrybots to write the history. Time will tell. Time will tell.

Limerick on May 5, 2009 at 8:13 PM

He won’t use the drones even if it means saving American lives? My bet is he’s not above declaring defeat and pulling out. I hope the next crisis is General Petraus pulling the pin and retiring on this rotten excuse for a commander in chief.

kens on May 5, 2009 at 8:16 PM

Useless bastard. As bad as it is for us civilians, it’s even worse for those who have this narcissistic peacock as their commander in chief.

califcon on May 5, 2009 at 8:25 PM

THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE ENEMY WANTS.

OBAMA IS SURRENDERING ALREADY.

A FEW WEEKS AGO HE WANTED TO REACH OUT THE “MODERATE TALIBAN”.

WHAT A FREAKIN IDIOT.

WELL… EITHER HE’S AN IDIOT OR A DOUBLE AGENT.

I THINK THERE’S ONLY ONE SOLUTION: ZARDARI SHOULD GO NUCLEAR ON THE REGIONS OF THE FATA CONTROLLED BY THE TALIBAN/AL QAEDA.

reliapundit on May 5, 2009 at 8:44 PM

Wow! Tell them no more drones. Wait 3 weeks catch a bunch having a meeting BAM! Got them all. OOOhh, what ,what. Why did you wake me? I was having the best dream.

faol on May 5, 2009 at 9:11 PM

Is that why The One didn’t respond to Iranian aircraft attacking Iraqi villages, incidentally — because he can’t be “distracted” from the real war right now?

Yes, he can’t be distracted from his war on the USA.

Daggett on May 5, 2009 at 9:13 PM

strangelet on May 5, 2009 at 7:51 PM

Sure, But then smell your hands.

faol on May 5, 2009 at 9:20 PM

strangelet:

You know what torture is? Trying to follow your logic. There was no secret torture regime. The only evidence of that is in your own tortured paranoid fantasies.

You think anything other than giving the nice terrorists milk and cookies is torture.

Meanwhile they plot your murder. In your mind your own smug narcissistic sense of superiority is more important than other people’s lives. If you had your way literally thousands of innocent people would have lost their lives while you played your favorite game My Country sucks with a bunch of mass murderers.

Terrye on May 5, 2009 at 9:20 PM

You see this is strangelet’s plan:

Pics will come out, people will die there will be riots. Obama will use the deaths and mayhem for his own purposes.

The people who were tried by the military for abuses at Abu Ghraib will try to use pics to make money and cover their asses etc with the help of dishonest Obama officials.

Because as we all know, a bunch of grunts at Abu Ghraib would obviously have been given top security clearance and training to carry out secret torture plans that included putting panties on people’s heads and having group sex. Why one of the perpetrators got herself knocked up as part of the plan. On top of that they were ordered to drink and take pics on camera cell phones and send them to relatives and stuff.

Yeah, that sounds like a top secret CIA operation to me.

Terrye on May 5, 2009 at 9:25 PM

The Democrat Led Congress is going to cut the President’s purse strings? Since When? They rubber stamp whatever he ask for. It would be great if this Congress was trust worthy, and wouldn’t stay in a losing battle because of say, I don’t know war profiteering. If you are not fighting to win, what would be the purpose of fighting? What is the Mission in Afghanistan the Clear Cut Goal?

I don’t have a problem with Obama terrorist hunting or pirate hunting but there needs to be a better mouse trap applied.

Dr Evil on May 5, 2009 at 10:03 PM

Does this guy do anything right? During the campaign he irresponsibly talked publicly about bombing Pakistan. Now, when we need this tactic more than ever (as AQ inches towards Paki nukes), he wants to stop? WTF….

RightWinged on May 5, 2009 at 10:13 PM

My memory of Jimmy Carter he was anti C.I.A. Too.

Dr Evil on May 5, 2009 at 10:24 PM

Now let me get this straight, this is the guy that during the election campaign accused the Bush administration for “air raiding villages and killing innocent civilians” . His friendly fire percentages so far I believe are more than Bush during his 8 year term.

what a saint. no wonder he was kissing butt during his world tour. Now we all have them hating us all more and he is stripping our country of our defense against terrorists.

What are we to do now?

workingforpigs on May 5, 2009 at 10:34 PM

Not again…

strangelet:

The best we could possibly do is gtfo and let the Pak government fight their own internals.

And if that were possible, we would let them. Unfortunately, Pakistan is a rotten apple infested with Islamists, so their ability to win without aid is very much in question.

Make no mistake: Machismo is a very big deal in MENA, and Bush made Musharaff look like he had no balls..

Perhaps, but Mushy needed a bit of that to make sure he did not bolt into the arms of the Jihad.

Every drone strike on a village is a recruiting bonanza for AQ and the Talis.

That is a valid point, but when you are offered the chance to cap high-ranking members of your enemy, you take it.

Do you not unnerstand the word “embedded”?

Yes, we do.

AQ and the Tali are married into the clans and the tribal power structure.

True, but that only means we have to use more high explosives to pry them out and destroy them.

It wasn’t any different in Afghanistan, the war you so enthusiastically favor over Iraq. And we don’t see you whining about that.

But then again, consistency is not your strong suit, is it?

Do you HAVE to be so stupid?
Pakistan is a sovereign state. We have no bidness there.

The irony of these two sentences appearing right next to each other is epic.

YES, Pakistan is a sovereign state, at least in theory.

However, anywhere are opponents lurk, we have business.

The Nazis learned this lesson the hard way after WWII, and the Jihad should be forced to deal with it.

You still don’t get it….Obama is a machiavellian pragmatist.
That is why he won.

Perhaps, but he has proven remarkably inept as one, and Machiavelli would probably have slapped his head off for not paying attention to The Prince and Discourses.

And even if we accept that as truth, Machiavellian pragmatists are not the people you want making all the most crucial ethical decisions of the era. When push comes to shove, they will ultimately “realpolitik” away from their moral and ethical obligations, RE Nixon, Ike, and others.

Can a lawyer be prosecuted for giving bad legal advice?

Obviously, if you think advising torture of high-level enemy agents is “bad,” you haven’t paid attention to history.

However….a CinC that instantiated a secret torture policy and then scapegoated his own troops for following orders, can certainly be prosecuted.certainly

And when we find one, we will be sure to do so.

But until than, the charges have no merit.

And we don’t have to “go after Bush”.

No you don’t. You could simply leave him at his peace for making ugly decisions in a time of crisis, like their successors did for Wilson and Truman.

But you being the knaves you are will do so anyway.

Even knowing the risk that it could come back to bite you.

Obama and me can just sit on out nice clean hands while the Abu Ghraib Seven bring juicy sensational lawsuits against their former CinC.

And I would like to see them try. And Fail.

Because the simple fact is that somebody has to do the ugly things in war to win it and prevent the abominable. If they had any honor, they would recognize that.

The Torture President……that is what the history books will say.

And how would you know, seeing as how you have no knowledge of history?

Turtler on May 5, 2009 at 11:06 PM

Obama might end drone attacks on Al Qaeda in Pakistan

I wonder if OBungler can find his pecker without directions from his teleprompter. /Sarcasm

byteshredder on May 5, 2009 at 11:17 PM

Thank goodness. Think of all the civil rights we were violating. Will our stinkhole of a country ever redeem itself for the malicious destruction we have sown? /sarc

austinnelly on May 5, 2009 at 11:26 PM

Turtler:

Pay no attention to the strange one. Methinks she is not an American so she has no dog in this fight regarding torture. She talks nonsense. I think she is a plant from some British rag that trolls the blogs. Look at her speech patterns. Definitely not from the U.S.

She has never answered anyone’s questions as to her brazen declarations of righteous indignation of America being a torture nation. All she tries to be is an enigma and gives you an effing wink. Why the hell would she simply not answer the questions posed to her?

Hey strange, mind your own beeswax or, in your case, bidness. Unless you have some skin in the game, shut up or put up!

CattyConservative on May 5, 2009 at 11:36 PM

CattyConservative:

Pay no attention to the strange one.

I wish I could, but such idioticy demands rebuttal.

Methinks she is not an American so she has no dog in this fight regarding torture.

I am sorry, but that is not true. She does. Whether she realizes it or not is irrelevant. If an when her neck feels the cold chill of a Jihadic blade hanging over it, she will realize that she does.

She talks nonsense.

That much was apparent.

I think she is a plant from some British rag that trolls the blogs. Look at her speech patterns. Definitely not from the U.S.

Perhaps, but don’t be so sure. I life in the People’s Republik of Kalifornia, so I’ve seen a lot.

She has never answered anyone’s questions as to her brazen declarations of righteous indignation of America being a torture nation.

Than is not the proper thing to let her silence condemn her and her accusations after a thorough rebuttal?

All she tries to be is an enigma and gives you an effing wink.

Than let her. The truth will come out.

Why the hell would she simply not answer the questions posed to her?

Because she is not interested in arguing honorably, like some of our better “trolls” (Grow Fins, the Chinese apologist, etc) are. And thus she reveals her inability to argue.

Hey strange, mind your own beeswax or, in your case, bidness.

Concurred.

Unless you have some skin in the game, shut up or put up!

Oh she does.

All of it, and the ability to show it and to have it intact.

Particularly the parts around the neck.

She just doesn’t realize it.

Sorry, but I appreciate the advice, but must decline.

Turtler on May 5, 2009 at 11:44 PM

Sorry, but I appreciate the advice, but must decline.

Turtler on May 5, 2009 at 11:44 PM

I concede your point. You are correct.

I am also from the PRK, the southern portion to be exact. I am frustrated concerning this torture argument that is going nowhere.

I simply fail to understand why my liberal friends, relatives, including my mother, and coworkers do not understand how lethal the jihadists are to this country. My points are met with abject horror that the U.S. could ever compromise morals to torture anyone.

A succinct comeback is my goal to change maybe one person’s perspective and stop this insane lust for political revenge when absolutely nothing good can come from it. I work with the USMC and talk with these young men and women and my heart hurts when I think of how dismissive some are to their sacrifice.

CattyConservative on May 6, 2009 at 12:07 AM

Catty Conservative:

Most of the don’t really care one way or the other. They just consider the socalled torture issue to be a winner politically.

For instance it never occurs to strangelet that Obama’s hand will not be clean if there is a sensational lawsuit of this kind, neither will Pelosi’s. And in the end no one will win because agencies like the CIA will just outsource this work to people no one will bother questioning. There will be no pics or memos or lawsuits. There will be no Red Cross either.

Personally I think those soldiers just got out of hand, they were not being properly supervised and probably hated those prisoners because they were killing Americans. So they did their own thing and now they are trying to clear themselves and maybe get some fame and money.

And they can count on simple minded people like strangelet to go along with whatever they say.

It is bad for the country.

Terrye on May 6, 2009 at 6:53 AM

Personally I think those soldiers just got out of hand…
Terrye on May 6, 2009 at 6:53 AM

Personally, I think those soldiers just got bored and were extremely stupid. But then Mil prison guards aren’t exactly chosen for their intelligence…

Unfortuantely, the O’s hatered of all things capitalist will mean the next attack – which He will claim He could do nothing about – will mean another East Coast attack… probably using the intel gained from His recent NYC fly over.

And the most on the West Coast will go on believing it has nothing to do with them. And move on to more important political decisions like what new thing to tax and how high to raise the rest of the taxes.

And pre-teens and airheads of all stripes will continue to defend the O and His wonderful successes, excoriating the evil Bush and his policies on various blogs like this one.

Until the O comes for them… my favorite prediction is forced conscription for ages 10-35. Their howls will make your hair stand on end.

Friendly21 on May 6, 2009 at 9:12 AM

America’s superior military might is such an embarrassment.

By the way, where are we at with killing missile defense funding?

DamnYankee on May 6, 2009 at 10:19 AM

America’s superior military might is such an embarrassment.

By the way, where are we at with killing missile defense funding?

DamnYankee on May 6, 2009 at 10:19 AM

We’re getting to that after we get done drving a stake in the heart of the F-22 Raptor and cutting 15% out of the rest of the defense budget.

Wyznowski on May 6, 2009 at 12:33 PM