PAKISTAN UPDATE….The Guardian reports that U.S. diplomat John Negroponte got a chilly reception in Pakistan earlier this week:
On Tuesday, senior coalition partner Nawaz Sharif gave the visiting Americans a public scolding for using Pakistan as a “killing field” and relying too much on [President Pervez] Musharraf.
….The body language between Negroponte and Sharif during their meeting on Tuesday spoke volumes: the Pakistani greeted the American with a starched handshake, and sat at a distance .
In blunt remarks afterwards, Sharif said he told Negroponte that Pakistan was no longer a one-man show. “Since 9/11, all decisions were taken by one man,” he said. “Now we have a sovereign parliament and everything will be debated in the parliament.”
The United States has escalated its unilateral strikes against al-Qaeda members and fighters operating in Pakistan’s tribal areas, partly because of anxieties that Pakistan’s new leaders will insist on scaling back military operations in that country, according to U.S. officials.
….Thomas H. Johnson, a research professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., said: “People inside the Beltway are aware that Musharraf’s days are numbered, and so they recognize they may only have a few months to do this. Musharraf has . . . very few friends in the world — he probably has more inside the Beltway than in his own country.”
That’s a great way of improving our relationship with the new leadership in Pakistan, isn’t it? We know they want us to cut back on bombing their territory, so we go ahead and increase our bombing of their territory instead in order to get in a few last licks. What a terrific way to demonstrate exactly what we think of those pesky elections they just held, eh?