Over here in Deutschland much of the talk on CNN International and the BBC is about Afghan president Hamid Karzai's comments on Pakistan, and the issue of Taliban militants using safe-havens in Pakistan to attack Afghan and NATO (including Canadian) regions and forces in Pakistan:
Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Sunday said his country has the right to send troops into Pakistan to fight Taliban insurgents who launch cross-border attacks.
Speaking at a news conference in the Afghan capital, Kabul, Karzai threatened to send the troops after Pakistan-based Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, who vowed in May to send fighters into Afghanistan to wage war on foreign troops.
There are currently tens of thousands of foreign troops in Afghanistan, including about 2,500 Canadians, as part of the International Security Assistance Force created after a U.S.-led invasion toppled the former Taliban government in 2001.
Karzai said Afghanistan has the right to self-defence when it comes to the cross-border attacks.
"When they cross the territory from Pakistan to come and kill Afghans and kill coalition troops, it exactly gives us the right to go back and do the same. Therefore, Baitullah Mehsud should know that we will go after him now and hit him in his house," he said.
The reporters on CNN and BBC say it's a near certainty Karzai was speaking with the blessing of NATO and the Bush Administration and that they would be in line with this policy, and indeed no denials have been forthcoming from either quarter. Given the complicated nature of the U.S. relationship with Pakistan, its likely Karzai is making these comments because the Americans can't.
Now my Internet access has been sporadic and limited so I'm not sure what sort of coverage this has all been getting in the Canadian media and on the blogs. I'm sure, though, that the same people who were all over Stephane Dion for making these comments awhile back are also all over Karzai and the Bush administration, because after all those folks are usually all about ideological consistency.
"If [Pakistani leaders] are incapable of doing it themselves, it is something that we could envision with NATO forces — how to help Pakistan help us bring peace to Afghanistan," he said during a news conference in Quebec City Wednesday.
I'm sure the Conservatives have a press release out slamming Karzai, right? And the Blogging Torries are all over him? Particularly given that Karzai went even further than Dion, threatening outright invasion.
Dion, you'll recall, just called attention to the problem of cross-border infiltration and said NATO should work with the Pakistan government and military to address the issue if they're unable to do so on their own. A very reasonable position that the Conservative spin machine twisted into calls for invasion.
So will Harper be all over Bush and Karazi who actually are advocating invasion? Yeah, I won't hold my breath. Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers