How fascinating. Hot on the heels of Rumsfeld's "lessons of history" speech, in which he unfavorably compared anti-war folks to Neville Chamberlain, Pakistan has one-upped all of us over here who have been pointing out that the war in Iraq might be the wrong way to go about stopping al Qaeda (and al Qaeda "types," as Cheney likes to say, you know, the ones who were emboldened when Lieberman lost in his primary). Pakistan announced today that, should he be in Pakistan after all, Osama bin Laden will not be taken into custody as long as he "lives like a peaceful person." And, oh yeah, captured al Qaeda and Taliban fighters will be released from jail. And their weapons will be given back.
This is coming from the country that was trumpeted as our Number One Ally, the key to securing a foothold in the Middle East and vanquishing the Islamofascists at their source. Now they're throwing up their hands, throwing open the cell doors, and saying they've had it with even the cursory bits of anti-terrorism actions they'd undertaken so far. Note to Rummy: this is what appeasement looks like, asshole. Questioning the proper application of American military force and foreign policy is not appeasing al Qaeda. Telling Osama to put his feet up and set a spell while you rummage through the shed to get all those AKs you took from his boys most certainly is.
Not that anyone reading this likely needs reminding, but the Pakistanis also have nukes. Where do they fall, now, on that fabled You're Either With Us Or With The Terrorists continuum the president so swaggeringly trotted out a few years ago? Think he was planning on this nifty little turn of events when he said that? Think anyone at the White House who supported Pakistan's nuclear bid is wondering now what the hell happens when this bit of Osama appeasement morphs into something more closely resembling collaboration?
I'm holding my breath for the official reaction. It's Saudi without the oil, but with bigger guns. Maybe Bush will skip around Crawford holding hands with Musharraf now.