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Subject: Banasir Bhutto badly injured in a suicide bomb attack.
Herald12345    12/27/2007 8:21:18 AM
http://news.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,70131-1298475,00.html Benazir Bhutto Critically Injured At Rally Updated:13:01, Thursday December 27, 2007 Opposition leader Benazir Bhutto has been critically injured after a suspected suicide attack at a political rally in Pakistan. It was believed to be a suicide attack It was believed to be a suicide attack She is undergoing emergency surgery at a nearby hospital, Sky News sources say. The explosion went off just after Ms Bhutto left the rally in Rawalpindi, minutes after her speech to thousands of people. More follows ... ____________________________________ I'm going out on a limb here and suggesting that the usual suspects may not be the blame boys. How about the ISI? Could those bastards have pulled a stunt like this and tried to make it look like an AQ job? Herald
 
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Est. 22       12/28/2007 10:42:14 AM

How popular was Bhutto exactly? She must have had a strong following. It has been said that AQ has taken credit and if this does turn out to be true wouldn't the assassination of such a popular figure hinder rather then help AQs cause? Much in the same way their meddling in Iraq has backfired and turned the population against them?

What begs to be asked is how safe is the good old general now? There have been numerous attempts already who is to say they won't succeed next time? Also should he be assassinated what can we expect to emerge next? What might the US end up having to do?



1. Benazir Bhutto had been elected prime minister of Pakistan twice; so she was atleast somewhat popular by herself. She also had big name-brand recognition with her "Bhutto" Name, being daughter of another populist PM, Z.A. Bhutto, executed by another military junta. Finally she was the face of all the other, lesser-entities of Pakistan: Women, non-Punjabis, non-Military-Industrial-Complex dependants etc. So yes, she was popular.
 
2. No, al Qaeda, Taliban and its affiliates will not see an adverse drop in their popularity - they never relied on women, non-militants or the small fragments on non-MIC economy anyway. Al Qaeda is not in a popularity contest to win over people, it believes in winning over power. In Pakistan, people are just treated as sheep or cattle by the military junta and powerful politicians. Al Qaeda just has to bully, bribe, banish or blast away the powers to win power.
 
3. In Iraq there was a power vacuum that the US created, where just for a while people actually felt like people - not sheep or cattle; so some of them remembered it and fight back against another bully (AQ) tryig to replace Hussein. In Pakistan, people have mostly forgotten that their military should serve the nation, not the other way round.
 
4. The old general is the fundamental survivor: He is one of history's rarities in having constantly survived (in life and career) after losing engagement after engagement (Bangladesh 1971, Siachen in '80s, Kargil 1999, Waziristan 2004). Anyway, he is not so important as the institution he represents - Pakistan Army. After him it will be Gen. Ashfaq Kiyani. Then there will be some other commander from X Corps... But the problem is that Pak Army itself is rotting away. There is a report I posted on same thread in Armed Forces Board that say it was a rogue Pakistani Army commando unit that may have pulled off this assassination. How to deal with that?
 
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swhitebull    What happened? More Speculation   12/28/2007 10:49:43 AM
From CaptainsQuartersBlog.com:
 
 

AQ Infiltration Of Pakistani Intelligence A Possibility

The assassination of Benazir Bhutto looks more like a complex operation, planned carefully, with decoys and serious preparation. Eli Lake at The New York Sun reports that the murderers used one explosion as a feint to draw Bhutto into a sniper's line of fire. The killers had already prepared to shoot through her defenses:

American and Pakistani military leaders are seeking to account for what may be renegade commando units from the Pakistani military's special forces in the wake of the assassination of Pakistan's opposition leader and former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto.

The attack yesterday at Rawalpindi bore the hallmarks of a sophisticated military operation. At first, Bhutto's rally was hit by a suicide bomb that turned out to be a decoy. According to press reports and a situation report of the incident relayed to The New York Sun by an American intelligence officer, Bhutto's armored limousine was shot by multiple snipers whose armor-piercing bullets penetrated the vehicle, hitting the former premier five times in the head, chest, and neck. Two of the snipers then detonated themselves shortly after the shooting, according to the situation report, while being pursued by local police. ...

A working theory, according to this American source, is that Al Qaeda or affiliated jihadist groups had effectively suborned at least one unit of Pakistan's Special Services Group, the country's equivalent of Britain's elite SAS commandos. This official, however, stressed this was just a theory at this point. Other theories include that the assassins were trained by Qaeda or were from other military services, or the possibility that the assassins were retired Pakistani special forces.

"They just killed the most protected politician in the whole country," this source said. "We really don't know a lot at this point, but the first thing that is happening is we are asking the Pakistani military to account for every black team with special operations capabilities."

The operation described by Lake does not sound like a typical al-Qaeda operation. While their attacks have a certain level of coordination, they do not have much sophistication beyond bomb-making. They usually use fairly banal devices, while their hallmark has been multiple attacks synchronized within minutes of each other. Until now, their assassination attempts have not involved skilled snipers with the kind of weaponry or ammunition Lake describes.

If true, this would tend to implicate Pakistan's intelligence service, the ISI. They have long been suspected of sympathies towards the radical Islamists. In fact, they propped up the Taliban in Afghanistan until 9/11 changed the political calculations in that region. It doesn't take a lot of imagination to think that AQ could easily have infiltrated the ISI and plotted this operation using Pakistan's intel resources.

This would have allowed AQ another way to profit from the assassination. If this turns out to be true, then it would undermine Pervez Musharraf, both at home and abroad. It could also pit the army against the intel service, which also would benefit AQ by crippling Musharraf's ability to wage effective war against the radicals in Waziristan and the North West Frontier Province. Even with AQ claiming responsibility for the assassination, this infiltration puts everyone on notice that the national-security apparatus of Pakistan has been seriously compromised -- not an especially comforting thought when one considers the nuclear capability of Pakistan.

One final unsettling thought comes to mind as well. If the snipers really did blow themselves up after the shooting, and didn't use patsies to cover their tracks, then AQ must have more snipers available to them for other operations. Professional snipers are far too valuable to be discarded, and even infiltrated ISI units would be so casual about losing this scarce resource. If Lake's source has this right, the infiltration could be very extensive indeed.
 
 
swhitebull -  Musharraf needs to start watching his back even moreso than usual.
 
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Est. 22    reefdiver reply   12/28/2007 10:58:55 AM
If - correctly or incorrectly - Musharraf is able to assign blame for the assassination to AQ and the Taliban might there be a larger outcry and even demands for action against militants in Pakistan?  
 
An al Qaeda affiliate, Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, has already claimed credit for the attack. The problem is that people may demand action as much as they want, but the trigger-pullers are compromised. By 1980s Pakistani security and military establishment and the jihadis had almost become one and the same... Pakistani military outsourced its unwinnable wars in Afghanistan and India to the jihadis, the jihadis in turn tapped right down to the bone of Pakistani establishment. We know, for example, that jihadis and Pakistani army officers from Northern Light Infantry, Special Services Group and artillery fought side-by-side as recently as 1999 and 2000. How can popular outrage from civvies suddenly turn them against their brothers-in-arms? Also the Pakistani military considers the nation to be its feif, not itself as the servants of the nation... many officers wouldn't give a fig what populat sentiment thought: We should have known that from the first military coup in 1950s.
 
I wonder if it might finally give him the free reign he's not truely had to operate even more harshly in the outer tribal areas that have been harboring AQ and the Taliban?  
 
He - Gen. Musharaff - is only one man, but the troops on the ground have no morale to fight harshly... hell, hundreds of them are surrendering to dozens of Talibanis; scores are defecting. The heavier and better motivated forces will never be moved fom the Indian border to fight in the tribal areas to the west.
 
Perhaps he even let the US as quitely as possible handle some "tasks" in these area?
 
That perhaps is a possibility...
 
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Est. 22       12/28/2007 11:31:17 AM
Pakistani Home Ministry is now claiming that she died after "hitting her against her Toyota Cruiser's sunroof"
 
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tigertony    earlm   12/28/2007 8:05:27 PM

I'm not trying to be a jerk but your posts are basically a form of pollution called data smog.  You may want to do either of two things.  One, get an education, two seek assistance of a mental nature.  You would be more at home on other sites like daily Kos.



   Now who needs an education?
 
   So why am i wrong because i said this:
 
     "Pakistan should never have been allowed to withdraw from NATO"
 
   Now i just bet that you will say Pakistan was never a member of  NATO,or perhap's they were part of SEATO or CENTO, not NATO?
 
   Well now here's why Pakistan was a member of NATO,and why they should be a full member today for real:
 
      
http://www.nti.org/e_research/profiles/images/spacer.gif" width=458 border=0>
Nuclear Chronology
http://www.nti.org/e_research/profiles/images/dot_red.gif" width=450>
1981

1981
The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) continues uranium exploration activities. PAEC is conducting geological mapping, radiometric measurements, drilling and subsurface excavations in the Potwar region. The exploration reveals the existence of uranium ores at Isa Khel and Thatti Nasratti. According to investigations, Isa Khel possesses three zones of uranium ore below the surface. Another zone at Thatti Nasratti is investigated to determine its nature.
--"Pakistan," Mining Annual Review, June 1982, Countries, Far East, Pg. 407; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, June 1982, http://www.lexisnexis.com.

Early 1981
Twenty-three Pakistani engineers and officials visit Spain and are taken to various industrial installations and the Junta de Energia Nuclear.
--"Pakistan Could be ready to Accept Bids for A," Nucleonics Week, 8 October 1981, Vol. 22, No. 40, Pg. 2; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 8 October 1981, http://www.lexisnexis.com

8 January 1981
According to an assessment by Ishrat Usmani, former chief of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), Pakistan needs to overcome extreme technological challenges in acquiring sufficient fissile material, either through reprocessing or the enrichment process. In the case of the enrichment process, Usmani predicts that Pakistan will face severe challenges in maintaining the ultra-high speeds for the period necessary for producing weapons-grade uranium. Pakistan, according to Mr. Usmani, will also face problems in acquiring the highly corrosive hydrofluoric acid and handling it. In the case of reprocessing, Usmani states that Pakistan will face difficulties in obtaining spent fuel since the only existing source of spent fuel, the KANUPP reactor, is under IAEA safeguards. Usmani expresses doubts about Pakistan's ability to reprocess sufficient quantities of plutonium necessary for a nuclear device. He concludes that Pakistan might be able to produce only a crude nuclear device even if it manages to produce the necessary fissile material.
--Rob Laufer, "Pakistan's Nuclear Patriarch Faults Homeland's Nuclear Policies," Nucleonics Week, 8 January 1981, Vol. 22, No. 1, Pg. 4; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 8 January 1981, http://www.lexisnexis.com.

19 January 1981
According to Sunday Times (London), Saudi Arabia will sign an agreement with Pakistan to finance Pakistan's attempts to build an atomic bomb. Saudi Arabia reportedly made the offer several weeks ago at a secret meeting in Europe in order to keep Iraq or Libya from financing Pakistan's nuclear program.
--"Saudi Nuclear Pact," Washington Post, 19 January 1981, First Section, Around the World, A22; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, 19 January 1981, http://www.lexisnexis.com.

22 January

 
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Pseudonym       12/28/2007 9:08:57 PM
I'm going to put my money on AQ, though I can think of a few instances where Mushareff would order the hit.
 
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PowerPointRanger    MO   12/29/2007 12:17:13 AM
While accounts of the actually assassination are somewhat confused, this much supports an al Qaeda MO:
 
1) Diversionary bombing--have been used in the past by al Qaeda
2) Assassination--ditto
3) Suicide bombers--ditto
4) Claims of responsibility--ditto
 
The use of snipers, while not unprecedented, is not as common.  It suggests a high level of training & competence went into the operation.  If this was an al Qaeda operation, it clearly shows a high level of committment to this particular target.  Is it possible to have accomplished this without ISI support?  Yes, but I am not excluding the possibility.
 
The crisis in Pakistan has just escalated.  Musharif will have to escalate to hang on to power.  I would not be surprised to see a the state of emergency continue into 2008 as well as a postponement of the elections.
 
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tigertony       12/29/2007 12:35:32 PM

While accounts of the actually assassination are somewhat confused, this much supports an al Qaeda MO:

 

1) Diversionary bombing--have been used in the past by al Qaeda

2) Assassination--ditto

3) Suicide bombers--ditto

4) Claims of responsibility--ditto

 

The use of snipers, while not unprecedented, is not as common.  It suggests a high level of training & competence went into the operation.  If this was an al Qaeda operation, it clearly shows a high level of committment to this particular target.  Is it possible to have accomplished this without ISI support?  Yes, but I am not excluding the possibility.

 

The crisis in Pakistan has just escalated.  Musharif will have to escalate to hang on to power.  I would not be surprised to see a the state of emergency continue into 2008 as well as a postponement of the elections.


  Militants, Bhutto aides allege cover-up

By RAVI NESSMAN, Associated Press Writer 43 minutes ago

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - An Islamic militant group said Saturday it had no link to Benazir Bhutto's killing and the opposition leader's aides accused the government of a cover-up, disputing the official account of her death.

The government stood firmly by its account of Thursday's assassination and insisted it needed no foreign help in any investigation.

"This is not an ordinary criminal matter in which we require assistance of the international community. I think we are capable of handling it," said Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema.

Bhutto's aides said they doubted militant commander Baitullah Mehsud was behind the attack on the opposition leader and said the government's claim that she died when she hit her head on the sunroof of her vehicle was "dangerous nonsense."

Cheema said the government's account was based on "nothing but the facts"

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton called for an independent, international investigation into Bhutto's death — perhaps by the United Nations — saying Friday there was "no reason to trust the Pakistani government."

Attackers opened fire at a motorcade of Bhutto's supporters as they returned to Karachi after her funeral, killing one man and wounding two, said Waqar Mehdi, a spokesman for Bhutto's party. The government said mass rioting has killed 38 people, though officials in Sindh province say at least 44 people were killed there alone.

In Rawalpindi, thousands of Bhutto supporters spilled onto the streets after a prayer ceremony for her, throwing stones and clashing with police who fired tear gas to try and subdue the crowd.

President Pervez Musharraf told his top security officials that those looting and plundering "must be dealt with firmly and all measures be taken to ensure (the) safety and security of the people," the Associated Press of Pakistan reported.

Pakistan's election commission called an emergency meeting for Monday to discuss the violence's impact on Jan. 8 parliamentary elections.

Nine election offices in Bhutto's home pr

 
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sentinel28a       12/31/2007 8:33:19 PM
I don't mean to hijack the thread, but...
 
Tiger, before you go shooting off your mouth, make sure you know what the hell you're talking about.  Zhukov was in the Far East theater, which mostly escaped the purges.  He didn't kiss Stalin's ass; historical records show that Zhukov was one of the few Soviet marshals who wasn't afraid to speak his mind, and didn't give a rat's ass if Stalin disagreed with him.  Stalin respected that.  When Beria tried to have Zhukov arrested shortly before Stalin's death, the latter refused--"I won't give you Zhukov."  A murderous, paranoiac thug Stalin was, but he was not stupid.  Far from it, which is why he was a scarier opponent than Hitler.  He knew a kiss-ass when he saw one, and tended to suspect those far more than he suspected straight shooters.
 
Pakistan has never been part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, mainly because it is half a world away from the North Atlantic.  Australia, which has been a close ally of the US since WWI, has also never been a member of NATO, despite its very close ties to both the US and the UK.  Pakistan held the line against Soviet aggression in Afghanistan because they knew they might well be next; don't mistake sensible self-aggrandizement for an alliance.  That said, I think the Pakistanis can and have been good friends in the past and hopefully in the future, their ties to the PRC regrettable and nonwithstanding.
 
Now back to your regularly scheduled "now what the hell do we do" thread...
 
 
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Herald12345    What the hell do we do?   12/31/2007 8:52:35 PM
Sentinel:

I suggest we grit our teeth and wait and see of things calm down a bit, before we chicken-little.

And we also don't waste time trying to reason with total idiots.

Herald

 
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