After nine years in office, Pakistans President Pervez Musharraf quietly resigned office amid tension in Pakistan's politics, the civilian government and the military. The question is what next? Who next? A suicide attack on a hospital Tuesday in Dera Ismail Khan in northern Pakistan, killed more than two dozen people, a reminder of the challenges facing the country's untested democratic government after Pervez Musharraf resigned as president. (USA Today)
The PPP's main antagonist is former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, head of the Pakistan Muslim League-N, who never misses an opportunity to try to pull down the PPP, his longtime rival, rather than working with it to consolidate the few democratic gains the country has made. [snip]
In the next few days, internal coalition battles will continue as key questions arise, including where Musharraf should live, whether impeachment should proceed, how the senior judges Musharraf dismissed last November should be restored to their offices and who should become president. (Washington Post)
Sharif is threatening to pull out of the coalition. (NYT) All the current world events are causing some to question U.S. President George W. Bush's policy of emphasizing personal relationships with leaders like Musharraf, Putin, Karzai, etc. (CSM)
President Bush has long prided himself on his close personal relationships with foreign leaders. But over the last several weeks some of those relationships appear to have gone disastrously awry. [snip]
All recent US presidents have forged bonds with fellow heads of state. The question is, did the Bush administration depend too much on personal interaction and miss the broader geopolitical forces at work in Russia and Pakistan? Some critics charge that is exactly what happened.
Question: Isn't President Bush's policy of befriending leaders, talking to them, the same thing that Barack Obama has been saying he would do if elected president??? Hmmmm?
In Afghanistan, Taliban insurgents mounted their most serious attacks in six years of fighting in Afghanistan over the last two days, including a coordinated assault by at least 10 suicide bombers against one of the largest American military bases in the country, and another by about 100 insurgents who killed 10 elite French paratroopers. (NYT)
President Hamid Karzai said he would seek re-election next year, saying "So I have a job to do, a job to complete. In that sense, yes, I would like to run,..."
The world is indeed a dangerous place, and keeping track of who our friends or enemies are may change from day to day, as Russia proved to many by invading Georgia. Robin Oakley at CNN asks "What do you do with an angry bear? Growl back at him, face him down or threaten to take away his honey? It is a debate the NATO countries are patently having trouble resolving."
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, currently in the chair of the EU,promised "serious consequences" if Russia does not meet its promise to pull out its troops -- while U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice wanted "concrete measures" to punish Russia and insisted that the West must "deprive Russia of any strategic victory." (CNN) That's a lot of growling, but I don't see any actions yet to take any actions.
Now there are reports of ethnic cleansing from both Georgia and South Ossetia.
I'm wondering what Barack Obama would do differently? If Condi Rice and Bush cannot get NATO or Europe to act on Russia and Georgia; if they cannot get a peace deal in Israel; and on and on ... what makes Obama think he can get the job done?