Did Kerry wander off the reservation in Pakistan?

posted at 11:08 am on May 18, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday, I wrote that John Kerry’s trip to Pakistan to smooth relations after the Osama bin Laden raid was perhaps not Mission: Impossible, but certainly Mission: Highly Unlikely.  It turns out to be the former, complete with the standard disavowal from the Secretary — in this case, the Secretary of State.  Hillary Clinton made her displeasure known with Kerry’s diplomatic efforts, Kirit Radia reports for ABC:

There appears to be a disconnect between what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator John Kerry, D-MA, are saying about U.S. relations with Pakistan. Administration officials, and Secretary Clinton, don’t seem particularly pleased by his recent effort in Islamabad.

Yesterday during his visit there Kerry touted that relations between Washington and Islamabad had been “re-set” after the surprise US Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil.

Yet today, when asked whether US-Pakistan relations had actually turned the corner, Clinton said there was a long way to go.

“We are working very hard to have an understanding with our counterparts in Pakistan about the best way forward,” she said. “There are important concerns and many questions that have to be addressed and worked through.”

In fact, Clinton made it clear that Kerry didn’t speak for the administration, offering perhaps a pointed dig at the fact that Kerry issued a joint statement with Pakistani officials that was billed as a joint US-Pakistan statement (administration officials insist this was Kerry freelancing).

It seems that the administration may not have had a problem with Kerry’s trip to Pakistan as a back-channel effort to lower tensions.  They did object to Kerry arranging a statement that supposedly spoke for the executive branch.  Clinton’s statement emphasizes his role as legislative, not executive, and otherwise contradicts what Kerry claims as progress almost entirely.

The Pakistanis have attempted to get the US off of their backs by claiming to have arrested a key al-Qaeda figure.  It doesn’t appear to be anyone of intense interest, however:

The Pakistani military described Muhammad Ali Qasim Yaqub, also known as Abu Sohaib al Makki, as a “senior al Qaida operative,” though there was some debate about his importance.

“The indications are that he is a midlevel al Qaida operative who may have been involved in operations,” said a U.S. official in Washington who spoke only on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

The arrest appeared to be a Pakistani effort to show the United States that it would go after al Qaida and Taliban extremists who’ve taken refuge in Pakistan. It came a day after Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., said here that the U.S. and Pakistan had agreed to try to reset their relations after the bin Laden raid, which angered and humiliated Pakistan’s military and raised questions in the U.S. about Pakistan’s commitment to combating terrorism.

Islamabad has apparently told the US to reduce the number of military trainers in Pakistan to mollify anger over the OBL mission.  However, Pakistan has bigger problems on its hands today.  Apparently not waiting to see whether they could exploit the split between Washington and Islamabad, radical Islamist terrorists stormed a North Waziristan military position today, killing two policemen but leaving 15 of their own number dead as well in the five-hour battle:

Two policemen and 15 militants were killed in the assault that began when heavily armed insurgents, bearing rockets and light artillery, rushed the post at Sangu Mera on the outskirts of the city and near the Khyber region of Pakistan’s lawless tribal area, said the city’s police chief, Liaqat Khan.

After a nearly five-hour battle and deployment of reinforcements to assist the police and paramilitary soldiers stationed at the post, the militants were pushed back “dragging bodies of their men,” Mr. Khan said.

The checkpoint was recently installed to protect Peshawar from an increase in attacks by militants against security forces, Mr. Khan said.

The fight between the security forces and the militants came less than 24 hours after the Pakistani army announced the arrest of an operative of Al Qaeda in the southern port city of Karachi.

That seems like pretty bad timing on the part of the Islamists.  It comes as a clear reminder to the Pakistanis that the radicals are a poor choice over a partnership with the US, no matter how angry they are over the raid.


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Kerry (who served in Vietnam, btw) went off the reservation many decades ago.

BTW, is the use of “off the reservation” in the context of this post racist against Indians, er, Native Americans?

catmman on May 18, 2011 at 11:13 AM

Careful John Kerry – Hillary will smack you down like there’s no tomorrow.

jake-the-goose on May 18, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Its clear that Pakistan is faced with a monumental decision, and they don’t like being forced into it.

Their choices are to continue as a democracy, or to become a complete theocracy. They are learning the hard way that you cannot be both.

Their decision will have a long-lasting effect on South Asia, especially with India.

BobMbx on May 18, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Why the Long Face, Thurston?

Del Dolemonte on May 18, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Wasn’t there a brouhaha a while back about Congress people making deals with foreign entities when, in fact, only the Executive can sign on to agreements, treaties, etc?

Big John on May 18, 2011 at 11:18 AM

LMAO at “Smart Power”!

search4truth on May 18, 2011 at 11:18 AM

Did Kerry wander off the reservation in Pakistan?

Whatever makes you think that? Pakistanis hate the United States except for the financial benefits they can exploit. John Kerry and the NationalSocialist/Democrats hate the United States except for the financial benefits THEY can exploit. Both groups hate the Unites States and wish to see it destroyed. Kerry’s not off the reservation, I’d say he’s right where he’s supposed to be.

oldleprechaun on May 18, 2011 at 11:19 AM

“Wander away from the asylum” is more like it.

cartooner on May 18, 2011 at 11:22 AM

John Kerry — Epic fail, again.

But all he wanted was the lies to be published. The denials later never seem to have the same impact.

tarpon on May 18, 2011 at 11:22 AM

This guy makes Scott Brown look good marginal.

BTW, is the use of “off the reservation” in the context of this post racist against Indians, er, Native Americans?

That’s the origin of the phrase. However, since they were pleased & proud that that UND calls their teams the ‘Fighting Sioux’, I’ll leave it to them to take umbrage.

fluffy on May 18, 2011 at 11:26 AM

halp us John Karrie! we r strandid in iRack er. Aphganistan

ted c on May 18, 2011 at 11:28 AM

Between Kerry and Carter, no wonder Hillary is in such an ugly mood lately.

teke184 on May 18, 2011 at 11:29 AM

The plot thickens……

Vashta.Nerada on May 18, 2011 at 11:30 AM

For all we know, when Botox Rex The Ketchup King touts that “relations between Washington and Islamabad had been “re-set””, the word “re-set” could be interpreted to mean that relations have gone from Islamabad being “mildly annoyed” to “down-right pissed off” at Washington, especially after Botox Rex tinkered around with issues that are none of his business to begin with.

Clinton is most likely privately howling to have his head delivered to her on a pole at this point.

pilamaye on May 18, 2011 at 11:31 AM

This same thing just happened with another envoy the administration sent to the ME. What was his name?
There’s a pattern developing.

MayBee on May 18, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Looking at that screen cap, I don’t think he’s saying, “Nice tie.”

CurtZHP on May 18, 2011 at 11:33 AM

BTW, is the use of “off the reservation” in the context of this post racist against Indians, er, Native Americans?

catmman on May 18, 2011 at 11:13 AM

Walter, this isn’t a guy who built the railroads here. This is a guy who peed on my rug.

halfastro on May 18, 2011 at 11:33 AM

Gigilo John threw his medals over the fence to demonstrate his disdain for the U.S. As such, he is as well qualified to serve as the Obama U.S. spokesman to Pakistan as Jimmah is for NK.

a capella on May 18, 2011 at 11:35 AM

The plot thickens……

Vashta.Nerada on May 18, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Has she hired a campaign manager yet?

a capella on May 18, 2011 at 11:36 AM

Man, am I glad this t*rd never became president…

rcpjr on May 18, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Jawn Carey appears to be bowing in that photo. Is that the new American stance in our foreign relations?

onlineanalyst on May 18, 2011 at 11:41 AM

What is it with has beens going overseas to “help out” our standing in the world?
Kerry and Carter belong on a reservation all their own.

ORconservative on May 18, 2011 at 11:41 AM

I wonder if he had time to meet with Janegis Caan.

rjoco1 on May 18, 2011 at 11:54 AM

Between Kerry and Carter, no wonder Hillary is in such an ugly mood lately.

teke184 on May 18, 2011 at 11:29 AM

She is every bit the idiot they are. It’s all acting, but it aint Shakespeare. More like the political version of the WWF.

dogsoldier on May 18, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Prosecute him under the Logan Act.

John Deaux on May 18, 2011 at 12:08 PM

While he was there he picked up two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star!

jl on May 18, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Kerry, the Wannabe SoS, is a pompous fool who makes Hillary look good in comparison.

petefrt on May 18, 2011 at 12:23 PM

While he was there he picked up two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star!

jl on May 18, 2011 at 12:20 PM

:)

petefrt on May 18, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Maybe Kerry can sit next to Jimmuh next year at the DNC convention.

Ward Cleaver on May 18, 2011 at 12:32 PM

But seared into Kerry’s memory is his being on a Swift boat far up the Indus River with the Pakistani’s…on Christmas Day Rosh Hoshana Lakshmi Puja Ramadan…

coldwarrior on May 18, 2011 at 12:44 PM

John Kerry has been on a life long mission to undermine the United States of America. He should have been tried for treason for his antics, including meeting with the VC in France to discuss terms of surrender, during the Vietnam war.

John Kerry makes Benedict Arnold look like a patriot.

BruthaMan on May 18, 2011 at 12:52 PM

Yesterday during his visit there Kerry touted that relations between Washington and Islamabad had been “re-set”…

Time for a game of ‘button, button, who’s got the button?’

percysunshine on May 18, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Clinton Machine in full force.

You see, they get MSM coverage for Dems who happened to be elected at some point to go around the world in places that they have no business being.

THEN Hillary can come out and scold them for not using their “foreign policy cred” properly, which makes her look “tough”, never mind nothing is actually accomplished nor are the “issues” really in play.

Its a Clinton ploy to build up artificial “experience” with a dose of smacking around proven Dem dolts, i.e. Carter and Kerry.

Odie1941 on May 18, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Stand down Mrs. Clinton! This is a job for a decorated war hero, John F’ing Kerry.

Mason on May 18, 2011 at 1:17 PM

Unfortunately, the “partnership” that seems to be influencing Ismalabad moreso is that with the Red Chinese…

I commend Lurch for getting the helo wreckage back, but it is certain that the Pakis allowed the Chinese to fully examine it; I don’t doubt they were allowed to take samples of the materials as well.

RocketmanBob on May 18, 2011 at 1:21 PM

Kerry is a free radical. That bow rivals Obama’s for its cravenness.

Basilsbest on May 18, 2011 at 1:36 PM

Did Kerry pack his “flip Flops”?

O/T: Did we ever know the contents of the notes Kerry exchanged with Hammas on behalf of Obama?

TN Mom on May 18, 2011 at 1:55 PM

I don’t think Gigolo John ever recovered fully from “HALP US JON CARRY – WE R STUCK HEAR N IRAK”. How bad does the poor boy want a cabinet post? This bad.

SukieTawdry on May 18, 2011 at 2:15 PM

I can see and hear it now. Immediately upon his return to the U.S. and no sooner than he steps off the plane, John Kerry is summoned directly to Hillary Clinton’s office. Ever the good lapdog he goes directly to her office forthwith. He knows he is about to get a good arse chewing.

He finally arrives at her office. Jet lagged and exhausted from his long flight halfway across the globe on the redeye from Pakistan, he stands unmoving in her office doorway. His long expressionless face slack jawed and shoulders slumped. His pastey white skin accented by dark rings under his eyes. Disheveled and sullen and speaking in a deep and depressed voice that is a bit too loud he asks, “Youuu Raaang?”

FlatFoot on May 18, 2011 at 3:03 PM

I hope he took his famous lucky hat along with him…

bofh on May 18, 2011 at 4:03 PM

Kerry should avoid being alone in parks at night. For health reasons.

drunyan8315 on May 18, 2011 at 5:02 PM

Maybe Kerry can sit next to Jimmuh next year at the DNC convention.

Ward Cleaver on May 18, 2011 at 12:32 PM

They’ll be having next years DNC/NationalSocialist convention in Pyongyang, right?

oldleprechaun on May 18, 2011 at 6:14 PM

Kerry is just another scumbag demonrat selling out his country like the traitor he has always been. If Theresa ever sobers up, she’ll dump this clown faster than you can say purple hearts three times. Kerry was the first war hero with 3 purple hearts without getting a scratch. A lying coward, nothing more, nothing less.

volsense on May 18, 2011 at 6:38 PM

That arrest was a Currier between Zawahiri and Osama.

As per.
http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2011/05/al_qaeda_operative_a.php

Sounds more like some CYA from Pakistan than anything else. They must know if in the last 4 month Z and O passed any words we would be on his tail.

The days of the ME leaders being our ally but then on the backside slamming US and driving anti-US sentiment in their countries must end. Allowing that to go on over the decades is why the Arab street see the US as an enemy rather than longtime ally, which allows tin horn dictators squeeze US for money or the street of anti-Americans will take over.

C-Low on May 19, 2011 at 8:41 AM