Musharraf: OBL’s presence “a big blunder” for Pakistan

posted at 12:15 pm on May 11, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

ABC’s “Real Deal with Chris Cuomo” promises more than it delivers in this interview with former Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf. They flashed this as a scoop that “some” in the military and ISI may have helped Osama bin Laden hide in plain sight in Abbottabad, which even the current government conceded last week. Musharraf does some fancy sidestepping in the interview, saying that the idea that bin Laden lived in the compound for almost six years doesn’t appeal to “his sense of logic.” That’s hardly a shock, since that would mean it started under his regime.

On the other hand, Musharraf rejects the “aspersions” cast against the military and ISI. The oft-cited “rogue elements” could possibly have been responsible, but Musharraf also says it could have been a “slip-up.” Which is worse? Musharraf insists that support for OBL couldn’t have existed at a “strategic” level because of the damage done to Pakistan by al-Qaeda, but it’s also true that Pakistan supported the Taliban even during its partnership with AQ. It’s not unthinkable that the same mentality that favored Islamist terrorists at the highest levels before 9/11 would still exist today among the same circles.

Cuomo just gets silly when it comes to demanding to know why the US would need to prepare for the contingency of engaging with Pakistani forces during the raid. If we didn’t tell them about the raid, why would we expect them not to react to a military incursion deep into the interior of their country, just two hours away from their capital? American worries on that count were well-founded, and not a reflection of overt hostility towards the US by Pakistan; it’s the result of invading someone else’s country, no matter how well justified it might be.

Skip past the first three minutes of the first clip here, which is redundant and self-promoting:

Musharraf also warns that the US cannot afford to alienate Pakistan:

In the interview Musharraf called Osama bin Laden’s six-year residence in the military town of Abbottabad, Pakistan, a “big blunder” on the part of Pakistani intelligence. But he also warned the United States that if it continues to alienate Pakistan as they did in the bin Laden raid, the U.S. will be the “loser.”

“You want to alienate Pakistan, you will be a loser,” he said in the interview with Cuomo. …

In order for the U.S.-Pakistan relationship to heal, and for the war on terror to succeed, Musharraf said the two nations would have to build a renewed level of trust.

“The requirement is absolutely Pakistan and U.S. relations must be good, in the mutual benefit of Pakistan and also the mutual benefit of the United States to fight terrorism and extremism. So it’s a win-win for both. But if there is mistrust and we are pulling in different directions, trust me, we are losing the battle against terror,” he said.

“This was a very serious fault, but let me also say that taking it to an extent that you want to alienate Pakistan, you will be a loser. And Pakistan will also be a loser, there’s no doubt. The world will lose.”

I don’t disagree, but that’s not really the issue here. We have put our support on the line for almost ten years, and bin Laden was within walking distance of their military academy for more than half of that time. Pakistan needs to decide whether it wants to seriously fight Islamist terrorism, not the US. It needs to clean house in the ISI if Pakistan expects us to take them seriously.


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“You want to alienate Pakistan, you will be a loser,” he said in the interview with Cuomo.

This goes both ways.

To start with, Pakistan alienating the US will probably end up with Pakistan’s arch-enemy, India, becoming a bigger player in international affairs. And they’re still PISSED over the ISI’s part in the Mumbai attacks.

teke184 on May 11, 2011 at 12:19 PM

OT

3,461 Reporting Units have reported results, which have been reviewed by G.A.B. staff. That is approximately 96 percent of the of the 3,602 total Reporting Units.

So far, counties have recounted 1,419,795 votes, which is approximately 95 percent of the original votes cast in the State Supreme Court race.

Prosser 694,316 +335
Kloppy 723,778 +665

Prosser is up 6,986 votes, if all outstanding votes stay the same.

WoosterOh on May 11, 2011 at 12:20 PM

BinnyBoy was a poker chip to be tossed to the U.S. when the Paks and Indians decided the fight was back on.

Limerick on May 11, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Pakistan needs to decide whether it wants to seriously fight Islamist terrorism, not the US. It needs to clean house in the ISI if Pakistan expects us to take them seriously.

Pakistan wants to fight some terrorists but it wants to preserve elements that it effectively controls.

lexhamfox on May 11, 2011 at 12:23 PM

“You want to alienate Pakistan, you will be a loser,”

What exactly will we lose? I didn’t see a dime of the billions in aid they sent us. I didn’t see Pakistani trucks moving supplies into New Orleans following Katrina. And I’ve certainly never bought anything that said “Made in Pakistan.”

CurtZHP on May 11, 2011 at 12:23 PM

“You want to alienate Pakistan, you will be a loser,”

Pakistan is doing it to themselves.

BadgerHawk on May 11, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Prosser is up 6,986 votes, if all outstanding votes stay the same.

WoosterOh on May 11, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Thanks for the up date. Even if Prosser maintains that lead Kloppy is going to challenge it and hope for a “friendly” Court to over turn it. Doubt it’s possible but I’m sure she is going to try.

sandee on May 11, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Thanks for the up date. Even if Prosser maintains that lead Kloppy is going to challenge it and hope for a “friendly” Court to over turn it. Doubt it’s possible but I’m sure she is going to try.

sandee on May 11, 2011 at 12:23 PM

On what grounds?

VegasRick on May 11, 2011 at 12:26 PM

We are already losers in that we have just about disclosed every tactic and technique our special operators have employed in the killing of OBL. Besides Pakistan outing our CIA station chief, threatening giving up the tail rotor to the Chinese and harboring terrorists what else is there.

fourdeucer on May 11, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Sounds to me like the Paks are worried about being alienated from our billions we send them to often work against us.

It’s always about money. Allies? Just enough to keep the funds coming. That is true of other countries.

Their officials have this the wrong way ’round. It’s time for them to worry about alienating us. Clean up their country, get with the program and join the 21st century. Aid should only be paid on performance – just like a job.

Cody1991 on May 11, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Pakistan? Who cares?

psychocyber on May 11, 2011 at 12:27 PM

The blunder was in getting found out.

OldEnglish on May 11, 2011 at 12:31 PM

What else are the Paks “blundering”, maybe the arming of protection of the Taliban trash who are killing our soldiers in Afghanistan?

Bishop on May 11, 2011 at 12:34 PM

We have tripled non-military aid (wink, wink) to Pakistan since 2009.

But don’t worry. Jawn Carey is heading to Pock-ee-ston to soothe some ruffled feathers. What could go wrong?

onlineanalyst on May 11, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Ok, then turn over the rest of al Qaeda’s leadership to us. We know most of ‘em are there.

cartooner on May 11, 2011 at 12:41 PM

I hope we are taking advantage of this killing to bring those who supported Bin Leaded out of the shadows so that we can kill them too. As Musharraf says, there are those in Pakistani military and intelligence circles who support us ideologically, and not just because of money, just as there are those who support al Qaeda. We should keep encouraging the former to nail the latter!

MTF on May 11, 2011 at 12:42 PM

The Psychological Disconnect of the Petro-Dollar

Whether you are among those that consider the jihadists to be “terrorists,” or are among those who consider US foreign policy to be “terrorism” in its own right, or at the least is the source or cause of terrorism, has become quite irrelevant at this point of the conflict. Once one enters into the quasi-mystic world of moral and cultural relativism, all connections to logic, reason and historical precedent get left behind. This is how and when this particular form of political correctness becomes an obstacle to understand and addressing the clash of cultures between the West and Islam.

If one were to listen to much of the Arab and Islamic world and it defenders in the West, the source of the West’s “crime” against Islam has been our mere presence in the region, infidel boots desecrating the “sacred ground” of Islam. Since the dawn of time stronger nations have been influencing and manipulating if not conquering weaker ones as an instrument of foreign policy for their own benefit. How then is Western colonialism any different than the Moor’s occupation of Spain or the Ottoman Turk’s conquest of Greece and the Balkans? It’s not that there is anything inherently wrong with the concept of taking pride in a national or cultural identity. The problems arise when the element of religious fervor spills over into becoming a moral justification for an irrational blood lust exercised in the name of the supremacy one concept of “god” over another.

Such is of course the greatest of human weaknesses and failings over the centuries and indeed the hardest to overcome. “My god is better than your god.” “Worship my god, my way or be put to the sword or burned at the stake … etc… etc.” For much of the Arab world and particularly among the extremists elements, it is not just the presence of the “infidel” on their sacred soil, be it for whatever reason, that creates the offence, but that a modern world of advanced technology, mass and instantaneous communication, Western culture, be it in whatever form, automobiles, music, movies, television and now the internet have infiltrated and corrupted the desired static “purity” of their would be medieval 8th century societies.

Irrespective of whatever may be the foreign policy machinations of our governments, I’d think that most Westerners would be more than glad to limit our dealings with that part of the world to simply buying their oil at whatever price and wash our hands of most all the rest of it. Sadly the world of economic interaction does not work that way. The accumulation of all those petro-dollars does the recipients little good if they can’t in turn further exchange them for some other more tangible goods or services. Therein lays the rub, the source of the conflict. How can the Arab street aspire to maintain some ethereal and static 8th century cultural “purity” and at the same time desire all those technological innovations that are the epitome of, the very manifestation of the Western capitalist and cultural system? Under what paradigm can they benefit from interaction with and indeed absorption of these elements of Western culture and at the same time hope to remain apart and uninfluenced by it? Is there not some failure of logic, some rational disconnect in blogging on some jihadist web site that calls for the death of the great Satan and the imposition of Sharia law on the West and at the same time using the fruits and benefits of Western technology in complaining about the corruption of Islamic culture by influences of this same Western technology?

We are left then to assume that the desired interpretation of Arab and/or Islamic cultural “purity” would be one where children are seen but not heard, where women are neither seen nor heard, and the delusion that the intellectual liberation that comes from the exposure to a myriad of sources of information and influences from outside a previously closed society, is a genie that can and should be forced back into the bottle via the instruments of violent religious fervor, and failing that, at the point of a gun.

The fact remains that in spite of their adherence to tribalism, narrow moralistic interpretations and tolerating elitist, corrupt leadership structures, those Arab states floating in petro-dollars enjoy some of the highest standards of living in the world. At the same time these so-called sovereign states remain xenophobic in the extreme. They import the vast majority of their labor force to both, build, maintain and operate the means of exploiting their oil resources and to build the fabulous modern architectural infrastructures they now enjoy. They then keep their hired help largely confined to enclaves, kept separate from Arab society in general.

All this new found wealth has led to a considerable percentage of the native populations to have transitioned from the camel to the Corvette, from the goat herd to the art collection, and from living in tents into living in luxury high rise condos, and thus becoming, if not the idle rich, at least the idle well to do. Doing so absent any history of their fathers and their father’s fathers working hard, saving and sacrificing to provide for their progeny’s future and to build the society and the benefits they now enjoy. Deprived of the Western model of a generational economic, social and cultural evolution they find themselves, quite understandably in a state of culture shock, weather they want to admit it or not. How else then does one interpret Islamic families immigrating to the West to create a better life for their families and then turning around and slaughtering their wives and daughters for the cultural crimes of becoming “too Westernized,” or refusing to enter into an arranged marriage, or dating a non-Muslim, absent this contention of culture shock or a psychological disconnect in reason or logic?

In the West the transformation and growth of the middle class into widespread economic affluence took place over generations and decades if not centuries, driven by advances in technology and the governmental systems that grew out of the enlightenment. The accompanying changes and normalizations in social mores and attitudes about class and religious differentiations were slower to develop, take root and gain general social acceptance, often only after a great deal of social turmoil and conflict. A shorter-term example would be the contentious evolution of the American civil right struggle. A longer-term example would be the protracted and violent conflict brought about by the Protestant Reformation. The point being, that changes in social attitudes do eventually catch up with the economic changes that drove them, but it takes time and generations.

In the oil states of the Arab world, when measured against the Western example, this economic transformation has been revolutionary rather than evolutionary and has taken place in a virtual blink of the eye. There has been no generational time frame to allow for any gradual changes in the social attitudes to catch up to the implications of this economic revolution. This retardation of changes in social attitudes catching up to the economic changes has been exacerbated both by the absence of any underlying long-standing traditions of individual liberty and self-reliance as found in the West and the continuance of adhering to tribalism and narrowly constructed moralisms as defense mechanisms against the social implications of an irreversible economic revolution. It is emotional discomfort of this embedded culture shock and psychological disconnect from reason and logic that has become the fertile ground of Islamic nihilism and its demagogic practitioners. And we have been reaping the whirlwind of their corruption for the last 30 years.

Now throw in the added pressure of rapid inflation in food prices and you not only ignite the fires of even more social unrest, you further accentuate the contradiction with one of the most basic and universal of human desires, one that knows no borders or states; the desire to lead a better life than your parents, to provide a better existence for your children and grandchildren than you had yourself. Clearly the Arab and Islamic world has a lot of catching up to do. The questions becomes not ones of if it will be tumultuous and violent but ones of how much of that tumult and violence is the West responsible for, how much of it will spill over into the rest of the world and how deeply will the West get drawn into it while acting in its own self-defense.

LCT688 on May 11, 2011 at 12:44 PM

The “rogue elements” in the ISI make the other 2% look bad.

Akzed on May 11, 2011 at 12:44 PM

LCT688 on May 11, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Whaddya mean?

Akzed on May 11, 2011 at 12:46 PM

WoosterOh on May 11, 2011 at 12:20 PM

cool beans

cmsinaz on May 11, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Musharraf does some fancy sidestepping in the interview, saying that the idea that bin Laden lived in the compound for almost six years doesn’t appeal to “his sense of logic.” That’s hardly a shock, since that would mean it started under his regime.

If we didn’t tell them about the raid, why would we expect them not to react to a military incursion deep into the interior of their country, just two hours away from their capital?

The question is, who really runs Pakistan? Before this raid, didn’t most people think that bin Laden was in Waziristan, not 60 miles north of the capital, “within walking distance of the [Pakistani] military academy”?

If Bin Laden was in Abbottabad during Musharraf’s regime, this would be a tacit admission that either Musharraf didn’t know Bin Laden was that close to the capital (in which case he didn’t control his country), or else he DID know and protected Bin Laden and duped the Americans.

IMHO, the former is true, and neither Musharraf nor the current government really controls all of Pakistan, and there are “rogue” elements in parts of Pakistan that are not loyal to any government, and protect the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

Musharraf is correct that we should not “alienate (all of) Pakistan” because Bin Laden was found “in Pakistan”, but is Pakistan really a unified country? Can we be arm’s-length trust-but-verify “friendly” with a Pakistani government, while knowing that there are parts of Pakistan that are openly hostile to the United States, who will be forever “alienated” no matter what we do?

It is certainly in the interests of the United States and the rest of the civilized world to keep Pakistan’s nuclear weapons out of the hands of the Taliban and Al Qaeda, and we may need to cooperate with a government that we don’t wholeheartedly support to that end. But can we also “attach some strings” to our MILITARY aid to Pakistan–that the “official” Pakistani government needs to get serious about hunting down Al Qaeda terrorists BEFORE we resume military aid to Pakistan?

Steve Z on May 11, 2011 at 12:48 PM

Musharraf also says it could have been a “slip-up.”

So it was worse than a crime, it was a blunder.

Akzed on May 11, 2011 at 12:48 PM

Nearly Nobody on May 11, 2011 at 12:47 PM

I mean it this time!! I really do!

What’s that Mr. Reid? More coffee? Coming right up!

withmanitisimpossible on May 11, 2011 at 12:50 PM

“You want to alienate Pakistan, you will be a loser,”

Now I AM worried.

LCT688 on May 11, 2011 at 12:44 PM

I bet you been waitin’ all day to post that.

davidk on May 11, 2011 at 12:51 PM

US will “lose” if it alienates Pakistanis.

File Under:
Ass, Rat’s
not given

Bruno Strozek on May 11, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Prayers Offered for Bin Laden in Pakistan Parliament

http://nation.foxnews.com/culture/2011/05/11/prayers-offered-bin-laden-pakistan-parliament

“Maulvi Asmatullah of the JUI-F, which is led by Maulana Fazlur Rehman, stood from his seat and offered prayers for bin Laden.

He was joined by other legislators from his party as well as from the opposition benches.”

I’m curious as to what percent of the Parliament joined this prayer.

danking70 on May 11, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Does this guy really believe we’re going to fall for that? There were people in high places that knew Bin Laden was in the country and there were people in that town that knew Bin Laden lived in that house.

Now, those same people probably know where Mullah Omar is and also Ayman Al Zahiri is. The problem for Pakistan is, they need us more than we need them. We could just bail out and watch that whole place fall apart and put up the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag. I think they need to deliver those 2 and then we’ll talk.

bflat879 on May 11, 2011 at 1:04 PM

“You want to alienate Pakistan, you will be a loser,” he said in the interview with Cuomo. …

We already are losers in this “relationship.”

Victor Davis Hanson:

Continuance of the present policy of bribing Pakistani officials with foreign aid is based on the proverbial bad/worse choice: the current situation is terrible, the alternative of cutting aid is said to be even scarier—given that an angry Pakistan then might do what?

Hide bin Laden?
Develop a nuclear weapon?
Sell nuclear expertise abroad?
Consort with the Taliban?
Try to subvert the Karzai government?
Give intelligence to those killing U.S. troops?
Give a wink and nod to terrorist operations against India?

They do all that now.

RadClown on May 11, 2011 at 1:05 PM

“You want to alienate Pakistan, you will be a loser,”
What exactly will we lose? I didn’t see a dime of the billions in aid they sent us. I didn’t see Pakistani trucks moving supplies into New Orleans following Katrina. And I’ve certainly never bought anything that said “Made in Pakistan.”

CurtZHP on May 11, 2011 at 12:23 PM

We risk losing the GLOC from the port of Karachi to Afghanistan, and back…

Khun Joe on May 11, 2011 at 1:07 PM

Am I the only one who senses that we’ve been sucked into a protection racket?

SWLiP on May 11, 2011 at 1:21 PM

Pakistan will be much happier as a colony of China.

Kenosha Kid on May 11, 2011 at 1:33 PM

My conspiracy theory: Musharraf knew where OBL was, asked the ISI (who are already his pals)to house arrest him in Abootabad, and kept up the protection racket, pretending to assist the US.
His sucessor was happy to keep playing the same game.

nyx on May 11, 2011 at 2:39 PM

If we alienate Pakistan, we will lose Cricket.

rightwinger3 on May 11, 2011 at 2:48 PM

Time to call this bluff. Cards on the table.

Joe Mama on May 11, 2011 at 2:48 PM

Better to stay a winner side by side with the Pakis.

BL@KBIRD on May 11, 2011 at 3:24 PM

Am I losing my flipping mind..or did dem/socialists 2 months ago instruct us not to use the word “terror”

malkinmania on May 11, 2011 at 3:37 PM

Apparently letting the Chinese spend a couple of days with our helicopter was just ducky though.

Cindy Munford on May 11, 2011 at 4:41 PM

Whereas Pakistan cannot afford to alienate the US. It’s economy would go stone age. And if we were mad enough we’d give India virtual Cart Blanche with regards to Pakistan with two provisos, do not injure US troops or contractors and do not impede our war effort in Afghanistan.

I would like the popcorn concession for that party.

{^_^}

herself on May 12, 2011 at 6:11 AM