Musharraf for Brains
March 26, 2008
By November of last year, Pakistan, a nation hardly known for its stability, seemed primed to explode. After months of street protests against General Pervez Musharraf’s increasingly authoritarian rule, the Pakistani dictator had declared de facto martial law, allowing him to arrest thousands of political activists and sparking even greater unrest. Many young Pakistanis turned to extremist organizations, and suicide bombings spread from the Afghan border into once-serene cities like Islamabad and Lahore.
October 09, 2006
When it comes to nuclear secrets, we've learned the hard way that Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's government leaks like a sieve. But, when it comes to the juicy bits from his new memoir, In the Line of Fire, Musharraf's lips are sealed. That was clear during his U.S. publicity tour this week, which even included a visit with "The Daily Show"'s Jon Stewart.
September 13, 2006
Apropos my second posting on The Spine ("Patriot Games," September 11), Robert Novak has written a column, "Real Story Behind Armitage Story," published in this morning's Chicago Sun-Times, that expands in intricate and fascinating detail the circumstances of Colin Powell's now-former-deputy secretary of state, Richard Armitage, becoming a sieve for classified information. It wasn't actually a big thing, this leaking that Valerie Plame was a (sort of) closeted CIA intelligence official.
Fires Next Time
June 28, 2004
A year and a half ago, I voted to give President Bush the authority to use force in Iraq. I still believe my vote was just—but the president's use of that authority was unwise in ways I never imagined. I've served with seven presidents during my 32 years in the Senate. Four of them—Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush—were governors who came to office with virtually no foreign policy experience.
All Too Human
May 24, 2004
SINCE THE ABU GHRAIB catastrophe broke two weeks ago, Bush officials have struck many of the right notes. But they have struck one wrong one over and over. “This is not America,” President Bush told the Arabic-language network Al Hurra. “This is not who American servicemen are,” added Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. Said national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, in an interview with Al Arabiya, “Americans do not do this to other people.” But, of course, Americans did do to this to other people—that’s why Rice was on Arabic television.
January 26, 2004
This month, the Afghan leaders gathered in Kabul for a loya jirga, or grand council, agreed on a new, progressive constitution for this war-torn country. Unfortunately, Afghan officials say, the new constitution will not guarantee security. In fact, in recent months violence has risen sharply across Afghanistan, much of it instigated by Islamist Taliban remnants who despise President Hamid Karzai's vision of a liberal state.
Slow to Anger
October 29, 2001
As well as bombs and food, American aircraft have been dropping leaflets over Afghanistan that say, "The partnership of Nations is here to assist the People of Afghanistan." It's unclear how many Afghans have been convinced their welfare is the primary aim of America's war. But the propaganda is certainly winning hearts and minds at the State Department, which has been busy plotting Afghanistan's political destiny.
July 06, 1992
Ross Perot lives on Strait Lane in a world of his own. On the most exclusive street of millionaires in North Dallas, he has surrounded himself with alarms and sensors, fences and security guards. He has frequently deployed private investigators to uncover personally discrediting material about competitors. Those determined to humiliate and destroy him, he has explained, publicly and privately, include terrorists, drug lords, the CIA, and a criminal cabal of high officials in the Reagan and Bush administrations in which the president of the United States is complicit.