Tuesday, September 26, 2006

More on Musharraf

I haven't seen or heard the full interview, only just read the online CBC article but I have a initial thoughts on his comments. The first thing that is apparent is that he doesn't piss around with spin. Two points stand out. First:

Musharraf reacted angrily to the question of whether his government was doing enough to root out the Taliban and al-Qaeda and their sympathizers.
"We have suffered 500 casualties," he said. "Canadians may have suffered four or five."
Musharraf said any nation that enters a war-torn area must be prepared to suffer casualties or get out of the operation.
"You suffer two dead and you cry and shout all around the place that there are coffins," he said. "Well, we have had 500 coffins."

Hard to argue with that, but something else needs to be said. Musharraf's 500 dead soldiers got him nowhere but the negotiating table with the same sort of people that are in Afghanistan. In order to save his job, and keep Pakistan relatively stable, and save troops he had to concede a big section of real estate to the tribal militants. Would 500 dead NATO troops accomplish anything more?


He dismissed the suggestion that Canadian soldiers could help alongside the Pakistani military in his country, made by Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor recently.

"Nobody comes on our side," he said. "I would not like to challenge the Canadian troops, but I can assure you, our troops are more effective and we have more experience at war, and this shows a lack of trust in Pakistan."
Did O'Connor pull a colonial "Listen here old boy, I know your men are good, but we're Cana..." on Musharraf, because that was a 'get the fuck out of my face' reply if I've ever heard one?

The Harper government does not know what it is doing.

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