Breaking: Musharraf will not allow U.S. troops in tribal areas

Fox again, a few minutes ago. So much for my “hot pursuit” theory. And so much for the tepid optimism I was planning to express about this article in the Times of London, which describes the deal between Pakistan and the tribesmen as contingent upon their expelling “foreign fighters” — something they obviously won’t do, and which would have/could have been used as a pretext for letting U.S. troops target AQ hideouts in the region.

Looks like the boss and Moran are right. It’s a disaster. I guess Musharraf figures he has more to fear from AQ than from us at this point, particularly since he has nuclear leverage over any attempts at regime change. As Mark Steyn recently put it:

One way to measure how the world has changed in these last five years is to consider the extraordinary address to his nation by General Musharraf on Sept. 19, 2001. Pakistan was one of just three countries in the world (along with “our friends the Saudis” and the United Arab Emirates) to recognize the Taliban — and, given that the Pakistanis had helped create and maintain them, they were pretty easy to recognize. President Bush, you’ll recall, had declared that you’re either with us or you’re with the terrorists — which posed a particular problem for Musharraf: He was with us but everyone else in his country was with the terrorists, including his armed forces, his intelligence services, the media, and a gazillion and one crazy imams.

Nonetheless, with American action against Afghanistan on the horizon, he went on TV that night and told the Pakistani people that this was the gravest threat to the country’s existence in over 30 years. He added that he was doing everything to ensure his brothers in the Taliban didn’t “suffer,” and that he’d asked Washington to provide some evidence that this bin Laden chap had anything to do with the attacks but that so far they’d declined to show him any. Then he cited the Charter of Medina (which the Prophet Muhammad signed after an earlier spot of bother) as an attempt to justify providing assistance to the infidel, and said he’d had no choice but to offer the Americans use of Pakistan’s airspace, intelligence networks and other logistical support…

That must have been quite the phone call he’d got from Washington a day or two earlier…

Do you get the feeling Washington’s not making phone calls like that anymore?

Yup. The important thing now, though, is for nutroots morons to carp about how it’s all Bush’s fault and if only fightin’ Nancy Pelosi were in charge, she’d figure out some way out of it that would involve (a) invading Pakistan, (b) destroying their army and guerrilla mujadhedeen, (c) securing their nuclear arsenal, and (d) replacing Musharraf with a pro-western Pakistani leader, all at the expense of anywhere between zero and a few dozen U.S. casualties.

Just one more reason why I’m excited for 2009!

Oh: minor dust-up in the Pakistani parliament yesterday over the government’s plan to reform the country’s rape laws. As things stand, if a woman claims she was raped, she needs to produce no fewer than four witnesses; if she can’t, they can kill her. 68 MPs have threatened to walk out if the evidentiary standards are relaxed.

There’s not going to be a peaceful solution, is there?

Update: Hope springs eternal.

Update: The AP:

President Gen. Pervez Musharraf also said Pakistan would never allow U.S.-led coalition forces currently hunting al-Qaida and Taliban fighters on the Afghan side of the border into tribal areas on its side.

“On our side of the border there will be a total uprising if a foreigner enters that area,” he said. “It’s not possible at all, we will never allow any foreigners into that area. It’s against the culture of the people there.”

Update: Ace wonders why I’d call this a disaster. What it really is is the status quo.