Joe et al:
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Joe et al:
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Here’s our Peace and Freedom list of the top ten reasons to expect the Republican Party to make gains over the course of the next two to four years:
1) The economy: Despite the huge spending measures already enacted by the Obama administration, including the stimulus and the many ‘bailouts,” the economy may not even start any really significant recovery until this time next year. Voters are already tiring of the recession and showing discontent.
2) Democratic leaders like Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and John Murtha. There is already rumbling that our Congressional leaders are disappointing voters. Most polls rate congress very poorly even though some 60% like Obama. Scandals, a lack of integrity and broken promises on transparency can add to the woes of Democrats easily over time.
Pushy Practices of Pelosi, Murtha Back To Haunt Them?
Democratic Party a “One Man Show” — After Obama, It’s a “Second-Division Ball Club”
“Democratic Party is Bought and Paid For By The Unions” Lawmaker Says
3) National debt, deficit and spending.
4) Taxes. Taxes will go up. There is just no way to support all our current spending let alone the promises of overhauls to health care, education, and the environment without raising more money and that means raising taxes.
Gov. Rick Perry, Texas
5) Unexpected world events. Just as nobody could have predicted 9/11, there could well be an event as yet unknown that unfolds to change the game for everyone before long. Just as Joe Biden predicted last year, this president will be tested….
6) Democratic Infighting. This is the party that has, for a long time, been unable to get along with itself, for too long, before all hell breaks loose….
7) Inflation. With all the borrowing of the federal government, inflation is indeed likely. Nobody will like that one bit. Which will hurt incumbents….
8) Loss of buying power and credit. Obama’s current campaign to rein in the credit card companies is admirable but it may result in millions of people unable to get the credit they’ve grown used to….Expect retail sales to lag other indicators of recovery…..
Retail sales remain slow in April:
9) Broken Promises. “Green jobs” won’t be as numerous or high paying as once promised and work for good jobs will dry up as GM and Chrysler and others move more jobs overseas….The health care overhaul may actually harm enough people that there could be a backlash that wants to punish lawmakers…
Latest News On Social Security, Medicare, Debt Show Inability of Government To Make Accurate Financial Predictions
Obama, Daschle and Socialized Medicine: Care of GE
Fiat threatens to walk away from Chrysler deal unless unions agree to concessions
10) Desire for Change/Hope (The Pendulum): In our American system, the pendulum has been swinging to and fro; from Republicans to Democrats and back again for almost all of time. People will tire of our current way of doing business and even the euphoria over Obama will wane.
11) Traditional Republican Discipline. The Republicans in general have traditionally shown much more discipline and togetherness than Democrats. The current squabbling over Cheney, Powell, Gingrich, Rush et al can be expected to wind down as elections near.
12) The law of unintended consequences. President Obama has changed so much, so aggressively, so often, so soon in his presidency that the effort is unprecedented. But this could mean that there is trouble lurking that has not been foreseen. And we know how well our government foresees things: like the current recession….
13) Bad Obama planning and staff work. Nobody read the stimulus? This will come back to hurt the president and the Democrats in Congress. many other examples of stupidity an ineptitude come to mind…..
Louis Caldera, the man who organized the low-flying Air Force One plane that panicked New York City, has delivered his resignation.
From Fox News
Louis Caldera, the man who organized the low-flying Air Force One plane that panicked New York City, has delivered his resignation.
President Obama accepted the resignation on Friday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement.
Obama has also asked Jim Messina, his deputy chief of staff, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates or his designee “to jointly review the organizational structure of the White House Military Office and the reporting relationship of its components to the White House and the Air Force, and to make recommendations to him to ensure that such an incident never occurs again, Gibbs said.
Gates had ordered a review of notification procedures for high-visibility “training events” such as the Air Force One photo shoot that flew over the Manhattan skyline, striking fear in the hearts of New Yorkers.
New York Times:
In Obama Administration: Who Is Minding The Store? SecDef Critical Of Basic Planning
White House to Release Photo From New York Flyover
Air Force One Over NYC Sent By Political White House Hack — Pentagon Had No Say
Obama Terrific On Teleprompter; Bad On Planning
America’s economic recovery now depends upon debt. Debt we “sell” to people like China in the form of Treasury bonds.
The entire Obama budget is based upon debt. He swears he is for tax breaks but tax increases have got to be in the near future.
And the top earners like Donald Trump are already making noise about moving elsewhere — just as Brit tycoons are fleeing tax rates approaching 60%.
China holds more U.S. debt that anyone else. But China may not continue to buy.
And Obama is chasing busnesses away: by offering to tax offshore earnings and other now untaxed assets.
And by generally making business and Wall Street the enemy, in talk and in actions.
Even as we the U.S. Taxpatyers are paying billions to bail out GM, with the help of Obama and geithernew, GM is making plans to move a lot of its future auto production to China.
China’s recovery is coming along, fine, thank you; and there may be no need to take on more debt for the U.S.
China already makes much of what sells in the U.S. — and for right now, Americans aren’t buying. So China’s factories shut down. Now China is doing something new: encouraging the Chinese to become consumers.
This will be a long and slow process but the Chinese government is determined.
Fed Tells California: Can’t Cut Pay of Union Jobs To Save Budget; Threatens Loss of Stimulus Money
Where Are The Jobs? Ask The Unions
Obama, Geithner Review Of Banks Says Multiyear Period of Economic Weakness Still Ahead
China, Asia Dig Out of Recession Much Faster Than U.S.
EU Leaders, Unions, Disagree On More Jobs Or Union Jobs
Under Restructuring, GM To Build More Cars Overseas
Obama Promised 5 Million Green Jobs But Sierra Club Says “green jobs are not always good jobs” that can support a middle-class lifestyle
Unemployment 8.9%, Highest Since 1983, Hiring Slow, Many Taking “Less Quality” Jobs, Government Grows
Ah, yes, our government really cares about not adding carbon to the air.
Today, Air Force One, without the President of the United States, flew from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland to New York City with two Air Force fighter jets in tow.
Te media was told the aircraft were part of a photo op.
Damn the carbon: full speed ahead!
The cost of this photo op was calculated by a friend in the Air Force at about $75,000…..
W.H. Military Office head Louis Caldera has released a statement apologizing for the Air Force One fiasco in New York:
“Last week, I approved a mission over New York. I take responsibility for that decision. While federal authorities took the proper steps to notify state and local authorities in New York and New Jersey, it’s clear that the mission created confusion and disruption. I apologize and take responsibility for any distress that flight caused.”
Obama’s Dumb Moves Getting More Difficult to Ignore? On Friday Mainstream Media Realizes Monday’s Cabinet Meeting Was Laughable, Really
Obama as Dealer in Addiction: Federal Spending and Borrowing Can’t Solve All Our Major Problems All The Time
Obama’s 100 Days: $65 Billion in New Debt Each Day
One Hundred Days of Obama: 100 Mistakes
Obama White House Engineered Photo Ops, Publicity Stunts Not Always Honest, Well Conceived
If you had told me some of these Obama stories three months ago I would have said “impossible!”
We are told, the amount of carbon released by an aircraft is directly related to the amount of fuel they use, a little over three grams of CO2 being produced for every one gram of kerosene. Since figures for the amount burnt per hour are readily available from the manufacturers, it would seem a simple exercise to spot the best and worst models. However, as with so many issues of the whole carbon/climate debate, rating their performance is not as straightforward as it first appears.
To make a fair comparison, the energy required per person must be taken into account. A Boeing 747, for example, releases around 35kg of carbon dioxide per kilometer….But in today’s flight, since it had no purpose except posing for a picture, and the aircraft was just about empty, all the carbon should be paid by the U.S. government back to whom? The U.S. taxpayer, one would guess….?
|An F-16 fighter jet trails a larger military aircraft over Lower Manhattan Monday, April 27, 2009, conducting a photo shoot that panicked thousands of New Yorkers who believed the city was in jeopardy for another terrorist attack.
Photo: Christopher Talbot, WCBS-AM Listener
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he is furious that the federal government flew the planes near Ground Zero. Bloomberg says the flyover so near the World Trade Center site showed “poor judgment” and was insensitive. He says he is furious that the NYPD and another city agency were notified last week, but did not tell him.
If he had known, Bloomberg says he would have tried to stop it.
From Bloomberg News
An Air Force One backup plane swooping over New York Harbor, escorted by U.S. Air Force F-16 fighters for a Pentagon photo opportunity, frightened Wall Street workers and evoked fears of another terrorist attack.
Two F-16s and an Air Force VC-25 command-and-control aircraft, used as Air Force One when the president flies on it, flew over Lower Manhattan and New York Harbor today, an Air Force spokeswoman, Vicki Stein, said from the Pentagon.
“I thought, ‘Oh, hell,’ that it was 9/11 all over again,” said Kate Geraghty, a Verizon Communications Inc. sales executive who saw the jet from Jersey City, New Jersey, across the Hudson River from Manhattan.
“I saw this very large plane very, very low in the sky and I thought, ‘Oh my God, this plane is going to crash,’” Geraghty said in an interview. “And then it disappeared behind one of the buildings, and then I saw it emerge with a fighter plane in tow, right on its tail.”
The 30-minute sortie, from about 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., was a “normally scheduled training mission” coordinated with the White House and New York office of the Federal Aviation Administration, Stein said.
NYC Police Surprised
New York police, told by the FAA not to disclose information about the flight, assumed it would be at a higher altitude, Paul Browne, the deputy police commissioner, said in an interview.
“They said it was flying over the Statue of Liberty,” Browne said. “We presumed it was going to be an elevation that would cause no concern.”
Eyewitnesses reported the plane was flying below the level of some office towers along the river.
Officials at Jersey City Medical Center were meeting in a conference room to discuss the possible swine flu pandemic when they saw the planes fly by, said Mark Rabson, a spokesman for the hospital’s parent, Liberty Health System.
“We watched it go by once and then twice and then three times; it was very scary,” Rabson said. “We were all quite nervous and scared.”
From the Wall Street Journal: Includes Video:
Since leaving my post as CIA director almost three years ago, I have remained largely silent on the public stage. I am speaking out now because I feel our government has crossed the red line between properly protecting our national security and trying to gain partisan political advantage. We can’t have a secret intelligence service if we keep giving away all the secrets. Americans have to decide now.
By Porter Goss
Former Director, CIA
A disturbing epidemic of amnesia seems to be plaguing my former colleagues on Capitol Hill. After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, members of the committees charged with overseeing our nation’s intelligence services had no higher priority than stopping al-Qaeda. In the fall of 2002, while I was chairman of the House intelligence committee, senior members of Congress were briefed on the CIA’s “High Value Terrorist Program,” including the development of “enhanced interrogation techniques” and what those techniques were. This was not a one-time briefing but an ongoing subject with lots of back and forth between those members and the briefers.
Today, I am slack-jawed to read that members claim to have not understood that the techniques on which they were briefed were to actually be employed; or that specific techniques such as “waterboarding” were never mentioned. It must be hard for most Americans of common sense to imagine how a member of Congress can forget being told about the interrogations of Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed. In that case, though, perhaps it is not amnesia but political expedience.
Let me be clear. It is my recollection that:
– The chairs and the ranking minority members of the House and Senate intelligence committees, known as the Gang of Four, were briefed that the CIA was holding and interrogating high-value terrorists.
– We understood what the CIA was doing.
– We gave the CIA our bipartisan support.
– We gave the CIA funding to carry out its activities.
– On a bipartisan basis, we asked if the CIA needed more support from Congress to carry out its mission against al-Qaeda.
I do not recall a single objection from my colleagues. They did not vote to stop authorizing CIA funding. And for those who now reveal filed “memorandums for the record” suggesting concern, real concern should have been expressed immediately — to the committee chairs, the briefers, the House speaker or minority leader, the CIA director or the president’s national security adviser — and not quietly filed away in case the day came when the political winds shifted. And shifted they have.
Circuses are not new in Washington, and I can see preparations being made for tents from the Capitol straight down Pennsylvania Avenue. The CIA has been pulled into the center ring before. The result this time will be the same: a hollowed-out service of diminished capabilities. After Sept. 11, the general outcry was, “Why don’t we have better overseas capabilities?” I fear that in the years to come this refrain will be heard again: once a threat — or God forbid, another successful attack — captures our attention and sends the pendulum swinging back. There is only one person who can shut down this dangerous show: President Obama.
Unfortunately, much of the damage to our capabilities has already been done. It is certainly not trust that is fostered when intelligence officers are told one day “I have your back” only to learn a day later that a knife is being held to it. After the events of this week, morale at the CIA has been shaken to its foundation.
We must not forget: Our intelligence allies overseas view our inability to maintain secrecy as a reason to question our worthiness as a partner. These allies have been vital in almost every capture of a terrorist.
The suggestion that we are safer now because information about interrogation techniques is in the public domain conjures up images of unicorns and fairy dust. We have given our enemy invaluable information about the rules by which we operate. The terrorists captured by the CIA perfected the act of beheading innocents using dull knives. Khalid Sheik Mohammed boasted of the tactic of placing explosives high enough in a building to ensure that innocents trapped above would die if they tried to escape through windows. There is simply no comparison between our professionalism and their brutality.
Our enemies do not subscribe to the rules of the Marquis of Queensbury. “Name, rank and serial number” does not apply to non-state actors but is, regrettably, the only question this administration wants us to ask. Instead of taking risks, our intelligence officers will soon resort to wordsmithing cables to headquarters while opportunities to neutralize brutal radicals are lost.
The days of fortress America are gone. We are the world’s superpower. We can sit on our hands or we can become engaged to improve global human conditions. The bottom line is that we cannot succeed unless we have good intelligence. Trading security for partisan political popularity will ensure that our secrets are not secret and that our intelligence is destined to fail us.
The writer, a Republican, was director of the CIA from September 2004 to May 2006 and was chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence from 1997 to 2004.
When someone said to Speaker of the Missouri House Ron Richard, “So you think people know best how to spend money and not the government?” Richard replied: “That’s a novel idea and we believe it in Missouri.”
From The Columia Tribune
With just two weeks to adopt a state budget, House leaders have drafted a major change in the use of federal stimulus funds, proposing a $1 billion cut in individual state income taxes instead of financing construction projects.
“Our intention is over a two-year period to reduce Missouri’s income tax rate from 6 percent to 5.5 percent,” said House Budget Chairman Allen Icet, R-St. Louis County. “At the end of the day, the Missouri taxpayer would be able to put more money in their pockets and decide how it should be spent to stimulate the economy.”
Icet introduced a new appropriations bill in the House last night proposing to direct $500 million in each of the next two years to cover the cost of the income tax cut. The money would come from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The move rejects the work of the House Budget Committee, which on Monday had hammered together a spending plan that included $20 million in maintenance and repair funds for the University of Missouri, $20 million for a new State Historical Society of Missouri building in Columbia and $10 million for a plant science center in Mexico, Mo. None of those projects is funded in Icet’s new spending plan.
The original bill also would have funded millions of dollars in maintenance and construction projects on public college campuses that were originally to be financed with the sale of student loan assets. Nearly all of those projects have been scrapped under the new bill.
The U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security got in trouble with U.S. military veterans and Canadians in just a few weeks time. And refused to say the word “terrorists” at her confirmation hearigs.
Today she had to apologize to the American Legion.
If you had told me that three months ago I would have said “No Way!
How about the President of the United States mugging with Hugo Chavez while hoding the numero uno anti-American text in the Latin American world — in Latin American history?
How about the first cabinet meeting (after 90 days) and bragging about saving $100 million?
Big deal. No way.
How about Numero Uno flying to Iowa to give a 20 minute talk on energy conservation and then flying home?
How about insulting the PM of the UK and the queen for foolish, ill- conceived gifts, like an IPod made in China and DVDs that don’t work in Britain?
Or giving a giant red reset button to Russia with the word mis-spelled so it says “discount”? Or was it “overcharge”?
If you told me a few months ago that the U.S. would barrow so much that China virtually owned the U.S. I would have asked: are you on drugs?
If you had said the government will own GM and Chrysler and most of the major banks I would have howled with laughter last Christmas….
Now that isn’t even funny….
If you had told me the U.S. economy was losing more than 600,000 jobs every month in 2009 I would have cried….
If you had told me the president suggested and the congress passed (without reading) the biggest government give-away of tax dollars in history and that didn’t even make a dent I can’t say what I might have done….
It is just too crazy….
If you had told me the president, this president, President Obama would pass and sign (in secret) a budget loaded with earmarks after he campaigned against earmarks I would have howled in protest….
If you had told me conservatives took to the streets with signs of protest? I would have laughed out loud (LoL).
But if you had told me three months ago that Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank were saying stupid stuff left and right I would have said, “What’s new?”
If you had told me the president begged for forgiveness of the french for America’s arrogance?
Sac Le Bleu!
And that Sarkozy would stab Obama in the back? That part I’d believe….
You can’t make this stuff up. Leno should sue: Obama has all the good material….
They are kidding, right?
US President Barack Obama (L) and French President Nicolas Sarkozy meet during the NATO summit arrival ceremony at the the Palais Rohan in Strasbourg. Obama threw his backing behind Turkey’s bid to join the European Union before being slapped down by Sarkozy for intervening in the bloc’s affairs. Sarkozy also said Obama was “unoriginal, unsubstantial and overrated.”(AFP/Eric Feferberg)
The bad news is your president and his White House are so stupid that they think a cabinet meeting photo op boasting of savings of $100 million is a good thing; when in fact saving that little from spending $1 billion every day is laughable and sad.
It is also a chunk of bad news that much of the mainstream medi swallows horse sh** like this cabinet meeting and events like flying from Washington DC to Iowa on Earth Day to give a 20 minute lecure on (you guessed it) saving energy.
What’s the good news? The mainstream media can’t even stand itself in all this any longer. Today it just hit the Washington Post that Monday’s cabinet meeting was a laughable joke….
Maybe there is some hope yet.
“Mister Green” Obama Flies To Iowa on Gas Guzzling Jet To Visit Wind Factory On Earth Day
Obama White House Engineered Photo Ops, Publicity Stunts Not Always Honest, Well Conceived
Obama’s Team Stages Insane Looking Cabinet Meeting: Arms Them With Squirt Guns To Put Out Forest Fire in Economy, Fed Spending
Obama Announces 1/35,000th Spending Cut!
By Philip Rucker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, April 24, 2009
These tough times call for sacrifice. So the Obama administration has embarked on a belt-tightening plan that sounds, to some veteran federal budget watchers, like fodder for a Jay Leno monologue.
The Education Department will eliminate a Bush-era “education policy attaché” based in Paris — the one in France — whose annual salary, housing allowance and business expenses exceed $630,000. Employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs will forgo their training junkets to hot spots such as Nashville and satisfy themselves with videoconferencing.
The Department of Homeland Security has started buying its supplies in bulk and — to the surprise and delight of bureaucrats — discovered it’s much cheaper that way.
This is not exactly the revolution in government efficiency that President Obama has promised. Nonetheless, he and the agencies trumpeted the changes, staples of any money-conscious organization, this week as examples of how they intend to cut $100 million over the next 90 days to try to trim a budget deficit projected to reach $1.4 trillion next year.
Experts said the cost-cutting measures will do little to restore fiscal responsibility and are at best a symbolic early move. At worst, they said, the savings, which amount to a fraction of 1 percent of Obama’s $3.6 trillion budget, are so obvious and picayune that by making them a major focus of his first Cabinet meeting, the president may have given the impression that he is not serious about controlling spending.
“You’re cherry-picking the base of the tree on stuff that is not innovative,” said Paul C. Light, a scholar of federal bureaucracy at New York University. “Purchasing in bulk? Wow, that’s a bold idea! Teleconferencing? Holy moly! None of this stuff is the kind of bold sweep you’re hoping Obama will bring to the management of government.”
Isabel V. Sawhill, a Clinton administration budget official who directs the Budgeting for National Priorities project at the Brookings Institution, said she feared the cuts would be “lampooned” on late-night talk shows.
“I’m not sure I thought it was a good step towards convincing people that he cares about fiscal responsibility,” she said.
The cost-cutting measures are just one part of the administration’s actions to curtail spending. The full federal budget that will be released next month may eliminate programs across many agencies that are deemed inefficient or wasteful, said Kenneth Baer, spokesman for the Office of Management and Budget.
“They’re not just looking for savings, but also looking for the larger game that’s out there in the wild: the programs that aren’t operating effectively or are no longer fulfilling the goal that’s set for them,” he said. The $100 million cuts, he added, are “by no means the entire approach to making an efficient and effective government. It’s just a small part, but it’s an important part.”
Asked at Monday’s Cabinet meeting whether $100 million is merely a drop in the bucket, Obama said the savings add up.
“None of these things alone are going to make a difference,” he said. “But cumulatively they would make an extraordinary difference because they start setting a tone. And so what we’re going to do is line by line, page by page, $100 million there, $100 million here, pretty soon, even in Washington, it adds up to real money.”
Light countered: “I think it’s more like $100 billion here and $100 billion there adds up to real money.”
Former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Robert W. Jordan called today for more U.S. action to support the government of Pakistan as it battles the Taliban.
Jordan said Pakistan has put too much effort into guarding against attack from India and made a “deal with the devil” when it ceded control of parts of Pakistan to the Taliban. He suggested the U.S. military be positioned to put U.S. advisors with the Pakistani military in the event that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons come under threat from militants.
U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen said after visiting Pakistan that he was confident “at the present time” that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons were secure.
Former Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton said, “The fact that the Taliban has gotten so close to the capitol of Pakistan (Islamabad) means the U.S. needs to pay a lot more attention. Pakistan is strategically more important than Afghanistan.”
Bolton also said, “Securing Pakistan’s nuclear weapons is absolutely critical.”
Ambassador Jordan also said the U.S. needed to rapidly choke off the Taliban in Afghanistan — which is President Obama’s stated goal….
Commentator Charles Krauthammer speculated on the Fox News Channel on Thursday that the head of Pakistan’s military, General Kayani was “waiting in the wings and will not allow Pakistan to fall to the Taliban.”
President Obama has suggested that the U.S. negotiate with the “moderate Taliban” but many regional eperts have rejected the idea…..
By John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia
Mullen (L) with Kayani
In early February, 2008, we joined with our friend in Pakistan Muhammad Khurshid to write the essay below for the Washington Times. The situation since then has deteriorated — President Musharraf is out and the government of Pakistan has “made a deal with the devil” to allow the Taliban free rein in some areas. The basic points we made in 2008 still apply: the Pakistani military needs to be prepared to take appropriate action and they should be supported at the earliest opportunity by U.S. advisors….
President Musharraf, himself imperfect and perhaps with some corruption and certainly self-serving motivations, is the only man available and capable of holding together the diverse and conflicted society that is today’s Pakistan. The Pakistan army and security services remain loyal to Mr. Musharraf and some segment of the people even see the necessity of his “emergency” suspension of democratic institutions and human rights.
Under Mr. Musharraf today we see three peoples of Pakistan: those violently opposed to any restrictions on democracy; those somewhat understanding and tolerant of Mr. Musharraf’s limitations and “emergency” measures; and the terrorism-inclined fundamentalists.
Meanwhile, Mr. Musharraf and his government must be encouraged, persuaded and perhaps somewhat coerced (by selective and targeted withholding of U.S. funds) to eliminate corruption and restore more trustworthy, open and honest media, judiciary, voting and other values.
On the issue of corruption we believe, despicable as it is in Pakistan, it is not better or worse than in Iraq today or in past U.S. involvements like Vietnam.
On the issue of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, Americans need be aware that the United States has been and remains a strong supporter of Mr. Musharraf’s and all Pakistan’s government in the committed efforts to ensure the safety and security of these national assets at all times and in all circumstances. This assistance needs to remain and may even be bolstered in any eventuality in which that may be required (though there is no foreseen likelihood of such a need to increase this already robust program).
Therefore, we return to our stated purpose: America should support President Musharraf but with some reservations. To deal with these reservations, Mr. Musharraf should continue to be persuaded and even somewhat pressured and coerced toward reforms more in line with American democratic beliefs.
The U.S. has already acknowledged that the Feb. 18 election will be imperfect. Our goal now must be to pressure Mr. Musharraf to make changes in course toward the next elections by opening freedom of assembly and freedom of the press.
We believe the tribal areas are hotbeds of dangerous people and situations that may even harbor Osama bin Laden, his followers and believers. The tribal areas are the current nexus of the worst form of anti-Western terrorism. The army of Pakistan continues to be engaged here and its success varies. Mr. Musharraf maintains that U.S. troops are unneeded and unwelcome. Yet there are many other U.S. support operations such as that which eliminated Afghan al Qaeda leader Abu Laith al-Libi in Pakistan at the end of January.
And in late January, Pakistan’s government troops clashed mightily with terrorist troops headed by Waziristan insurgent commander Baitullah Mehsud. After that fighting, Pakistan has taken control of Darra Adam Khel, a town that has served as an illicit arms bazaar for about 100 years.
But we still see an eventual possible future need for U.S. troops in the tribal areas. The U.S. needs to be ready to enter if summoned by Pakistan.
Finally, the entire international community seems united in persuading President Musharraf to restore and enlarge democratic institutions and principles. His control of the press and judiciary stifles not only terrorists but also needed democratic discourse.
There is great hope in and for Pakistan. Without continued U.S. assistance and support, that hope would be diminished or lost. An imperiled Pakistan is not in the best interests of most Pakistanis, the American people or the rest of the Western world.
Muhammad Khurshid reports and writes through the Bajaur Agency in the tribal areas of Pakistan near the border with Afghanistan. John E. Carey is a former senior U.S. military officer, president of International Defense Consultants, Inc. and a frequent contributor to The Washington Times.