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Breaking the Sound Barrier

Breaking the Sound Barrier

By Amy Goodman

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Tag: Pakistan

AfghanPak Border

Secret Bush Order OKs Strikes Inside Pakistan

A secret executive order signed by President Bush grants U.S. military forces “carte blanche” to launch counterterrorist operations inside Pakistan. An attack last week under the auspices of the unprecedented July order is raising concerns: Pakistani officials declared the operation illegal, and international analysts fear an escalating conflict could start a regionwide war.

Posted on Sep 12, 2008 READ MORE

Quagmire, Phase 2: The Invasion of Pakistan

The United States has just invaded Cambodia. The name of Cambodia this time is Pakistan, but otherwise it’s the same story as in Indochina in 1970.

Posted on Sep 11, 2008 READ MORE

Zardari President
AP photo / Anjum Naveed

Bhutto’s Widower Assumes Presidency in Pakistan

Asif Ali Zardari, widower of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, assumed the presidency of Pakistan on Tuesday, concluding a transfer of power that began with the resignation of former President Pervez Musharraf just two weeks ago. Zardari’s presidency is likely to be one of conflict, as an ongoing Taliban resurgence and a 26 percent approval rating already riddle his first days in office.

Posted on Sep 10, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Alex Brandon

Obama: Bush ‘Kicking the Can Down the Road’ to Next President

Barack Obama on Tuesday stepped up his criticism of the outgoing president and the Republican who hopes to succeed him, slamming President Bush for focusing too heavily on Iraq and missing the “central front in the war on terror”—Pakistan and Afghanistan. John McCain, Obama said, would follow Bush’s lead, to America’s detriment.

Posted on Sep 9, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Shakil Adil

Bhutto’s Husband Wins Pakistan Presidency

Pakistan will have a new president, Asif Ali Zardari. The widower of slain Pakistani politician Benazir Bhutto has successfully continued along his wife’s path, drawing upon the support of her allies to emerge the victor by a wide margin in the election held to replace Pervez Musharraf, who stepped down as president in mid-August.

Posted on Sep 6, 2008 READ MORE

Cleaning Up After Bush

The Bush administration has lived by a strategy of tension, and will go out of office bequeathing the wars it has started and the ill will it has created to its successors, to compromise those who come after.

Posted on Aug 28, 2008 READ MORE

Was Musharraf Helped Out the Door?

A British official has been accused of meddling in the affairs of the subcontinent by engineering the exit of Gen. Pervez Musharraf from Pakistan’s political scene. Aitzaz Ahsan, a significant figure in Pakistan’s pro-democracy scene, says Sir Mark Lyall Grant of the Foreign Office helped secure immunity from charges in exchange for Musharraf’s resignation.

Posted on Aug 20, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Ivan Sekretarev

Pakistani President Musharraf Resigns

After months of mounting pressure and speculation, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf announced Monday that he is stepping down, but not before defending his legacy, challenging his detractors and admitting that he “may have committed follies.”

Posted on Aug 18, 2008 READ MORE

India’s Role in the Afghan Drama

When large and powerful countries intervene in the affairs of smaller countries, they take for granted that they are, or should be—and certainly could be—in control. The reverse is often true.

Posted on Aug 11, 2008 READ MORE

David McKiernan

‘Surge’ Rhetoric Not Universal

Despite criticisms of the efficacy of the “surge” in Iraq, a U.S. commander in Afghanistan has dared to say that a planned “surge” in Afghanistan would in fact not help U.S. interests in the country. The commander did make sure not to completely deweaponize the Bush administration’s rhetoric, suggesting instead that a different type of surge is needed.

Posted on Aug 8, 2008 READ MORE

AP Photo / Ivan Sekretarev

Impeachment Threat Looms for Musharraf

For several months, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf’s political fate has hung in the balance, as last year’s state-of-emergency ordeal made all too clear. Now, the situation in Pakistan is becoming critical, with Musharraf’s opponents calling for his impeachment.

Posted on Aug 8, 2008 READ MORE

Gilani and Bush
AP photo / Evan Vucci

Bush Hosts Pakistani PM Right After U.S. Attack

President Bush had words of praise for Pakistan during his first meet-and-greet with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani at the White House on Monday, a meeting in which the subject of the U.S. missile attack on the Pakistani-Afghan border mere hours before was not brought up by either party.

Posted on Jul 28, 2008 READ MORE

Obama’s Disaster in the Making

Barack Obama is right to want to get out of Iraq, but his eagerness to do battle in the tribal hinterlands of Afghanistan and Pakistan will only lead to a quagmire of his own.

Posted on Jul 16, 2008 READ MORE


Obama on Foreign Policy and the ‘Tyranny of Oil’

Sen. Barack Obama was careful to praise U.S. troops in Iraq during Tuesday’s speech outlining his foreign policy strategies, while declaring that Iraq has been a costly distraction for America. “This war distracts us from every threat that we face and so many opportunities we could seize,” he said, before laying out his five goals “essential to making America safer.”

Posted on Jul 16, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Al Behrman

Obama: ‘The Central Front in the War on Terror Is Not Iraq’

Sen. Barack Obama made a key speech on Tuesday in Washington, in which he asserted his position on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, offered a 16-month troop withdrawal timetable and outlined his plans for combating terrorism if he is elected president in November.

Posted on Jul 15, 2008 READ MORE

Kunar Province attack

U.S. Generals in Afghanistan Ask for More Armored Vehicles

Following this weekend’s attack in Afghanistan’s Kunar province, in which nine American soldiers were killed by Afghan insurgents, U.S. commanders have asked the Pentagon for more heavily armored MRAP vehicles—as many as 600 to 1,000 more—according to this CNN report from Monday morning.

Posted on Jul 14, 2008 READ MORE

U.S. Loses 9 to Taliban Strike

Nine American soldiers are dead after a Taliban raid on a small combat outpost in the Afghan province of Kunar, near Pakistan. Coalition forces rarely experience such losses. The attack took place close to where the U.S. allegedly killed 47 civilians, a charge the military denies.

Posted on Jul 13, 2008 READ MORE

Pakistani police helmet
AP photo / Emilio Morenatti

Pakistan Blast Seen as Payback for Red Mosque Raid

Sunday’s explosion near Islamabad’s Melody Market is believed to be retaliation for last summer’s official crackdown on the nearby Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) mosque and seminary, according to Pakistan’s Daily Times. Nineteen people, most of them policemen, were killed in the blast.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE

Kabul bombing
AP photos / Pajhwok News Agency

Pakistani Militants Suspected in Kabul Bombing

Details have emerged about Monday’s deadly blast at the Indian Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, raising suspicion that the bombing was done by Pakistani militants associated with the Taliban. The fact that the Indian Embassy was targeted is one substantial indication, considering the long-standing conflict between India and Pakistan. The blast killed 41 and injured over 130.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE

Bombings Jolt South Asia

A suicide bombing apparently tied to the one-year anniversary of the Red Mosque raid killed at least 15 in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad Sunday night. The next morning, a bomber drove an explosives-laden car into the Indian Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, killing 41—including India’s ranking defense attaché—and injuring more than 140 others.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE

Terror Goes a Lot Further With Good Advertising

A basic argument in Washington’s war on terror, an argument that one might think settled by now, concerns whether al-Qaida is the powerful global organization the Bush administration says it is or whether it has been, since its retreat into the Pakistan tribal areas, mostly an Internet phenomenon.

Posted on Jul 1, 2008 READ MORE

A.Q. Khan

A.Q. Khan Takes Back Nuclear Confession

Did he or didn’t he? Four years ago, A.Q. Khan, often referred to as the “Father of the Pakistani Bomb,” confessed that he had passed nuclear secrets to North Korea, Iran and Libya. Now, as he awaits his possible release from house arrest, Khan says he made a false confession.

Posted on May 29, 2008 READ MORE

Presidential Race Ignores Arms Race

Obama’s stated willingness to unilaterally strike nuclear-armed U.S. ally Pakistan, Clinton’s promise to Iran to “totally obliterate” the nation of 70 million (should it attack Israel), and McCain’s hard-line position on Russia, including the deployment of a missile defense in Eastern Europe, all point to a reliance on military solutions.

Posted on May 21, 2008 READ MORE

Pakistani flag
Flickr / openDemocracy

Terrorism Thrives in Pakistan

According to a newly released State Department report, Pakistan experienced twice as many terrorist attacks against nonmilitary targets in 2007 than it did in 2006, killing 1,335 people. That kind of instability would be pretty frightening if Pakistan had dozens of nuclear weapons. Oh, wait a second, it does.

Posted on Apr 30, 2008 READ MORE

The Only Lesson We Ever Learn Is That We Never Learn

The Independent’s Robert Fisk looks back at five years of catastrophe in Iraq and is reminded of Winston Churchill’s depiction of Palestine as a “hell-disaster.”

Posted on Mar 19, 2008 READ MORE

Fahmida Mizra
AP photo / B.K. Bangash

Pakistan Assembly Elects First Female Speaker

The Pakistani National Assembly on Wednesday elected Fehmida Mirza to be the country’s first female speaker. The selection of Mirza, a leading member of the late Benazir Bhutto’s Pakistan Peoples Party, marks the first significant transfer of power since opposition parties won a majority of seats in February’s general elections.

Posted on Mar 19, 2008 READ MORE

Musharraf Rivals Join Forces

It wasn’t a good Sunday for Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, as the leaders of Pakistan’s two biggest opposition parties agreed to set aside enough of their differences to form a coalition. Their first order of business is to strip the president of a number of his powers.

Posted on Mar 9, 2008 READ MORE

Geert Wilders

YouTube Back in Pakistan

Those around the world who had trouble accessing YouTube on Sunday may be interested to know the cause of the problem: On Friday, the Pakistani Telecommunications Authority acted to block access to YouTube in order to prevent Pakistanis from seeing a YouTube clip promoting an anti-Islam film by Dutch politician Geert Wilders (pictured). Thus ensued an accidental chain reaction that blocked YouTube access for many thousands internationally. Now, the popular site is back up, even in Pakistan.

Posted on Feb 26, 2008 READ MORE

Mughniyeh coffin
AP photo / Hussein Malla

The Mughniyeh Enigma

Imad Mughniyeh was once America’s most-wanted terrorist, and his crimes were truly abhorrent. But his assassination, Ritter argues, will only lead to more violence.

Posted on Feb 26, 2008 READ MORE

The Poppy Problem

While Pakistan steals headlines, neighboring Afghanistan offers a more realistic opportunity to crack down on the incubation of terrorists—if only the United States and other interested governments are willing to think outside the box.

Posted on Feb 21, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Shakil Adil

Bhutto’s Husband Won’t Seek PM Position

Although the late Benazir Bhutto’s party, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), fared well in Monday’s parliamentary election, her widower, Asif Ali Zardari (a controversial figure known in some circles as “Mr. Ten Percent”), isn’t planning to follow in her footsteps as Pakistan’s prime minister.

Posted on Feb 20, 2008 READ MORE

Pakistan election
AP photo / Emilio Morenatti

End of an Era

The death of Benazir Bhutto in December, tensions within the country and concerns over President Pervez Musharraf’s leadership (and his regime’s relationship with the U.S. government) registered in a loud and clear message from Pakistanis at the polling booths Monday: Musharraf is standing on shaky ground.

Posted on Feb 18, 2008 READ MORE

Bhutto mourner
AP photo / Wally Santana

Scotland Yard Weighs In on Bhutto’s Death

If Benazir Bhutto’s supporters were hoping that a Scotland Yard investigation into the former prime minister’s death would contradict the Pakistani government’s findings, they’re bound to be disappointed by Thursday’s reports that the British police agency pieced together a similar account of her Dec. 27 assassination. 

Posted on Feb 7, 2008 READ MORE

Charlie Wilson

The Price of America’s Patronage

Roger Morris, who served on the National Security Council staff under Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, has written a fascinating history of the United States’ many interventions in Pakistan. It’s the sordid story of “the world’s longest running military despotism, and of America’s most generous and tragic patronage.”

Posted on Jan 18, 2008 READ MORE

Bhutto vigil
AP photo / K.M. Chaudary

Closing In on Bhutto’s Killer

Although members of her Pakistan People’s Party remain skeptical, and although the late Benazir Bhutto herself might have disagreed, American and Pakistani intelligence officials believe that Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mahsud and his associates were behind the assassination of Bhutto in Rawalpindi last month.

Posted on Jan 18, 2008 READ MORE


Former Congressman Charged With Funding Terrorist

Mark Deli Siljander, a former Republican congressman, has been indicted for allegedly helping an Islamic charity fund Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a vicious Afghan militant leader with ties to al-Qaida. According to the book “Charlie Wilson’s War,” Hekmatyar was the largest recipient of U.S. weapons during the Afghan war with the Soviets.

Posted on Jan 16, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / David Guttenfelder

The Pakistan Conundrum

Pervez Musharraf’s recent actions remind us, Ritter argues, that America’s special relationship with Pakistan serves neither country’s best interests.

Posted on Jan 16, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Sherin Zada

Pakistan’s Dangerous Path

We’ve heard and read what many Western news sources have had to say about the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and the ensuing turmoil in Pakistan.  Now, here’s an eminent voice from within the country, veteran journalist Ayaz Amir, offering his take on his nation at a crucial crossroads.

Posted on Jan 9, 2008 READ MORE

Outside the Echo Chamber

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: People in Washington really should get out more.

Posted on Jan 3, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Fareed Khan

Musharraf Deflects Blame in Bhutto Killing

Addressing international reporters Thursday in Islamabad, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said he and his administration have nothing to hide with regard to the Dec. 27 assassination of Benazir Bhutto; rather, Musharraf said Bhutto took risks at the Rawalpindi rally that made her vulnerable to attack.

Posted on Jan 3, 2008 READ MORE

Musharraf Still Stands

Benazir Bhutto and her supporters who died with her during the suicide attack Dec. 27 are the latest victims of decades of dangerous U.S. support for Pakistan’s military regime.

Posted on Jan 1, 2008 READ MORE

Eye on the Tiger

Posted on Dec 30, 2007 READ MORE

Axis of Dixie

Posted on Dec 30, 2007 READ MORE    

Bilawal Bhutto

Bhutto’s Son Inherits Her Party

Benazir Bhutto’s teenage son has been named the chairman of her Pakistan People’s Party, although her husband will run the PPP until Bilawal finishes college. Asif Ali Zardari refused to allow his wife to be autopsied but has asked the U.N. and Britain to investigate her assassination.

Posted on Dec 30, 2007 READ MORE

Bhutto footage

Footage of Bhutto Attack Released

Well, let’s just say that this video footage of the fatal attack on Pakistani politician Benazir Bhutto doesn’t help much when it comes to sorting out exactly what happened as her motorcade passed through the crowd at Ravalpindi on Thursday, but judge for yourself.

Posted on Dec 28, 2007 READ MORE

Ron Paul

Paul: U.S. Should Keep Its Nose Out of Pakistan

When point-blanked by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer about how he would handle the current situation in Pakistan, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul blasted U.S. alignment with “military dictator” Pervez Musharraf and accused Washington of fostering unrest among anti-U.S. factions in Pakistan by setting up a “puppet government.”  Rep. Paul was on Thursday’s “Situation Room.”

Posted on Dec 28, 2007 READ MORE

Benazir Bhutto
AP photo / Mohammed Javed

Who Killed Benazir Bhutto?

As Benazir Bhutto’s body was laid to rest Friday, the mystery about her murder remained unresolved, and outbursts of violence rippled throughout Pakistan in reaction to her death.  Members of her political party said security lapses made her an easy target, while an official of Pervez Musharraf’s government claimed she sustained a fatal wound when she struck her head as she ducked inside her armored vehicle.  Of course, al-Qaida is on the short list of suspects in Bhutto’s assassination.

Posted on Dec 28, 2007 READ MORE

What’s at Stake in Iowa

The Bhutto assassination came as a brutal reminder of the gravity of the decision Iowa’s voters will make Thursday. Its impact may be felt most powerfully by Democrats who have been thinking less about issues than about the candidates’ styles and leadership qualities.

Posted on Dec 28, 2007 READ MORE

U.S. Candidates React to Bhutto Assassination

American presidential contenders from both sides of the aisle sounded off on Thursday about the suicide attack that claimed the life of erstwhile Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto as she was campaigning for a comeback following years of self-imposed exile from her homeland.

Posted on Dec 27, 2007 READ MORE

Benazir Bhutto
AP photo / Mohammed Javed

Benazir Bhutto Assassinated

Pakistan is in a state of turmoil following a suicide attack that killed former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and at least 20 others in Rawalpindi on Thursday.  Bhutto had appeared at a rally to drum up support for Pakistan’s upcoming elections on Jan. 8 when a gunman shot her and blew himself up, sparking protests and more deadly clashes around the country.

Posted on Dec 27, 2007 READ MORE

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