Okay, I'm back - busy as hell at work, catchin' up with all the stuff that went undone, plus my truck decided it needed some "attention" (long story)....
Also doing some major catch-up on the news....damned world kept turnin', even while I was walkin' my rifle up and down mountains.
I've got a butt-load of reading to do, but I figured I'd pass along my first impressions about Pakistan and Musharraf:
1. The Paki government has supposedly cut some (temporary?) deals with the Taliban in Swat and Waziristan - yeah, ask the Sioux and Cheyenne how well treaties work when they're no longer convenient....
I'm not sweatin' that one at all - it's a sound strategic move to keep the loons off his ass while he deals with the next few points.
2. Musharraf has shut down "independent" media - why the hell not? They've been the ones leading the public opinion charge against him, criticizing Paki troops engaging the Taliban in Waziristan, and rippin' him a new one even BEFORE he took down the lunatics that had taken over the Red Mosque.
I actually LIKE that move - despite how "unpopular" it's playing on OTHER world media (are they seeing themselves?) - perhaps that's something that SHOULD be done to punk organizations like the NYSlimes and the alphabutt nutworks, although it's about as likely to happen as teddy kennedy gettin' sober.
Quick take: when will the world's media grab a much-needed clue and figure out the simple fact that in EVERY country where the IslamoFascists and Neo-Commies (vlad putin in Russia and yugo chapped-ass in Venezuela) have grabbed power, the local media will NOT regain any independence UNTIL those juntas are taken out. I've got a feeling that Musharraf is doing this as a temporary fix to tamp down the hysteria and keep people from gettin' themselves dead in riots.
If Benizir Bhuto ain't sweatin' it, why the hell should we?
3. Musharraf took out their Supreme Court - the same punks who'd been fighting him tooth and nail on damned near everything...INCLUDING the Red Mosque and fighting in Waziristan and Swat.
Again, no complaints from Bhuto...and she is NOT even under arrest!
Bottom line: Musharraf realizes that he's about to be replaced by Bhuto as President - at least it's highly likely - and, while he'll still probably have the elections go through, he's cleaning house a bit while he still has the power, and I don't think there's a whole lot to get REAL worried about with our main ally in that part of the world.
Unless India starts gettin' nervous, I'm not going to.
And when it comes to the U.S. and Brit governments' "official" reaction?
They're making all the "appropriate noises", but haven't come down with anything too heavy, so I think they realize what he's doing and are going to continue to flap jaws and do nothing.
And, I ALMOST wish we could do the same thing here in America.
Consider the overall GOOD that could be accomplished if we kicked out about half of Congress and shut down jackass media that are constantly puttin' out National Security secrets, undermining our troops, and basically bending every effort to make sure we lose this war, and forcing people who make spectacularly stupid accusations - like m.moore, o'donnell, durbin, kerrì, murtha, et al - either provide their evidence and prove their cases or go to jail!
No, I'm NOT advocating those measures (except perhaps that last one), since I DID swear that oath to the Constitution so long ago....
....ah, but what a pleasant day-dream......