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Saturday, September 25, 2004

Musharraf criticizes the Iraq war

Did you notice that AP has a story called "Bush Twists Kerry's Words on Iraq"? It turns out Kerry didn't say "he would prefer the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein to the situation in Iraq today" as Bush claimed (to audible audience gasps) yesterday!


As I reported earlier this week, Kerry actually said that Saddam Hussein was "a brutal dictator who deserves his own special place in hell."

And this "The satisfaction we take in his downfall does not hide this fact: We have traded a dictator for a chaos that has left America less secure."

I wonder how Bush will twist the words of Pakistani President Perves Musharraf, uttered just yesterday?

Paula Zahn and Tom Brokow separately interviewed Musharraf yesterday. I canot find the CNN transcript, but it was widely covered in the international press:
Musharraf, in the United States to attend the UN General Assembly, was asked in an interview on CNN if he thought the war in Iraq was a mistake.

"It has ended up bringing more trouble to the world," said the Pakistani leader, an ally of the United States in its broader war on terror.

"[The world] is more dangerous ... because [the Iraq war] has aroused the passions of the Muslims more," he said, describing the US-led coalition as "bogged down" in Iraq.

"[The war in Iraq] has complicated the war on terror ... it has made the job more difficult," said Musharraf, who has been the target of two assassination attempts in recent months.
And remember, Pakistan is a key member of the "coalition of the willing," even though they have never really supported the Iraq adventure.

MSNBC has the transcript of the Brokow interview:
Brokaw: Do you think the American war against Iraq was a mistake?

Musharraf: Well, I wouldn't comment on that. But I will certainly say that it has complicated the issue.

Brokaw: In your part of the world.

Musharraf: In the Islamic world. In the Iraqi region. In the Middle East.

Brokaw: Made it worse for America?

Musharraf: Yes.
Will Bush renounce this pessimism too?

Previously, Bush has been pretty friendly toward the man who came to power in a coup. From June 24, 2003:
President Musharraf is a courageous leader and a friend of the United States. America has a strong relationship with Pakistan, and we have benefitted from the industry and the talents of Pakistani Americans.

Today, our two nations are working together closely on common challenges. Both the United States and Pakistan are threatened by global terror, and we're determined to defeat it. Pakistan's support was essential in our campaign against the Taliban.
Just wait patiently for the cynical political tongue-twisting.

Update: Did the other shoe drop? The US government issued a new travel advisory for Americans:
The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, meanwhile, issued a renewed travel warning, urging American citizens to keep a low profile in Pakistan and stressing that it might not be able to help anyone who got into trouble while venturing into rural areas.

Embassy staff "may be prohibited from traveling to certain areas of Pakistan due to security concerns as well as the need to obtain advance permission from the government of Pakistan to travel outside urban areas," the warning said. "Therefore, they may not be able to render immediate service to American citizens in distress."
Just a little slap on the wrist, eh?

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