Monday, May 4, 2009

John Bolton: We may have to acquiesce in a Pakistani military takeover...

This is from RawStory.

Actually Bolton makes quite a bit of sense--he always did from a neo con viewpoint. On the issue of the US tolerating a Pakistani military takeover Bolton may very well be prophetic. His article is probably right to in that training the Pakistani military in the US and ensuring that they are dependent upon the US for equipment etc. helps to make the Pakistani armed forces more pro-US. However, there is also no doubt some who react to this dependence in a negative way.
The tone and rhetoric may be quite different but I think that Bolton is wrong to think that Obama is that much different in his approach than Bolton himself.k">John Bolton: We may have to acquiesce in a ‘Pakistani military takeover’href="">
By Muriel Kane Published: May 1, 2009 Updated 2 days ago
Perennial Neoconservative gadfly John Bolton, who has often been accused of making exaggerated claims about Middle Eastern threats, is now suggesting that a military coup in Pakistan may be the only viable response to the growing power of the Taliban.
In an op-ed for Saturday’s Wall Street Journal, Bolton writes, “To prevent catastrophe will require considerable American effort and unquestionably provoke resistance from many Pakistanis, often for widely differing reasons. We must strengthen pro-American elements in Pakistan’s military so they can purge dangerous Islamicists from their ranks; roll back Taliban advances; and, together with our increased efforts in Afghanistan, decisively defeat the militants on either side of the border. This may mean stifling some of our democratic squeamishness and acquiescing in a Pakistani military takeover, if the civilian government melts before radical pressures. So be it.”
Bolton’s stance on Pakistan appear to go hand-in-hand with his recent attempts to describe the Obama administration’s international outreach efforts as amounting to a “tangible projection of weakness” and “revealing a Jimmy Carter-style unwillingness to do what’s necessary in a hard world to protect America’s interest.”
Both Bolton’s temper and his attempts to force intelligence analysis to match his own preconceptions are legendary. When he was nominated by former President Bush to be United Nations ambassador in 2005, the former head of the State Department’s intelligence bureau, Carl Ford, testified that Bolton was “a serial abuser” who had tried to have an analyst fired because he disagreed with Bolton’s belief that Cuba has a biological weapons program.
In his current op-ed, Bolton somewhat surprisingly blames the Bush administration for creating the current crisis by “pushing former President Pervez Musharraf into unwise elections and effectively removing him from power,” a policy which Bolton compares to the 1963 CIA-sponsored overthrow and assassination of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem.
Bolton also paradoxically argues that the current danger of Pakistan’s atomic weapons falling into the hands of the Taliban is actually the result of earlier US efforts to discourage Pakistan’s nuclear proliferation.
“We are reaping the consequences of failed nonproliferation policies that in the past penalized Pakistan for its nuclear program by cutting off military assistance and scaling back the International Military Education and Training (IMET) program that brought hundreds of Pakistani officers to the U.S.” Bolton insists. “Perhaps inevitably, the Pakistani officers who haven’t participated in IMET are increasingly subject to radical influences.”

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