Thursday, January 10, 2008

Fiddling while Rome (and Pakistan) burns

At least 23 people have been killed and 58 injured in Lahore, Pakistan, after a suicide bomber detonated his explosive near where civilians were gathering for a rally. From CNN:

The exact number of casualties varied, but state-run news agency the Associated Press of Pakistan said 22 police officers and one passerby were killed.

Reports of another explosion triggered a dash toward a supposed second blast site, but those reports proved unfounded, said Aftab Cheema, senior superintendent of Lahore police.

The suicide blast occurred in the city's commercial district, moments before lawyers were set to begin a rally outside the high court in the eastern Pakistani city to protest the rule of President Pervez Musharraf.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Bush Administration has apparently moved on from any interest in Pakistan and believes it can now create some kind of "legacy" in the Mid East. Not to say that this Administration was ever really interested in helping strengthen the democracy in Pakistan. Last fall when thousands of Pakistani lawyers -- yes lawyers -- were holding peaceful protests, Bush did nothing to support them. From the New York Times:

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Nov. 5 — Angry protests by thousands of lawyers in Lahore and other cities on Monday demonstrated the first organized resistance to the emergency rule imposed by the Pakistani president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf. But the abrupt arrests of many of them threatened to weaken their challenge.

The Musharraf government’s resolve to silence its fiercest opponents was evident in the strength of the crackdown by baton-wielding police officers who pummeled lawyers and then hauled them by the legs and arms into police wagons in Lahore.

Frantic for public displays of diplomacy, the Bush Administration could not negotiate its way out of a paper bag. It's all about fluff, photo ops, for them. Expect no substance and no progress from thier latest dog and pony show.


Mauigirl said...

Yes, Pakistan is so "yesterday" - and notice how they have totally stopped pushing for war with Iran since it came out that Iran had no nuclear program anymore? They were ready to nuke them! This administration has lost all credibility and they are desperate to be relevant. Everyone has moved on to the election now.

Sue J said...

I know, Pakistan is like sooo five minutes ago.

But wait, don't they have nukes?