Deadly Blast Rocks Peshawar After Clinton Arrives in Pakistan

Written by Warren Mass on October 28 2009.

VOA News reported that militants in Pakistan have launched a wave of attacks against military, government, and foreign targets killing more than 150 people in recent weeks and that Taliban militants have claimed responsibility for most of the assaults. 

Pakistani officials believe the attacks are retaliation for the army's ongoing offensive against Taliban strongholds in the South Waziristan tribal region.

Within hours of the blast, Secretary Clinton, while attending a news conference at Pakistan's Foreign Office in Islamabad with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Quresh, condemned those behind the bombing.

"If the people behind the attacks were so sure of their beliefs let them join the political process, let them come forth to the people and make their case that they don't want girls to go to school, that they want women to be kept back, that they believe they have all the answers," Clinton was quoted by CNN. "They know they are on the losing side of history but they are determined to take as many lives with them as their movement is finally exposed for the nihilistic, empty effort that it is."

Qureshi also condemned the deadly attack, stating:

"We will not buckle, we will fight you because we want stability and peace in Pakistan. You are on the run and we know that. We defeated you in Swat and Malakand. You think by attacking innocent people and lives you will shake our determination? No, sir, you will not."

While aboard the plane en route to Pakistan on October 27, Secretary Clinton held a press conference, during which she clarified several important points concerning U.S.-Pakistani relations.

Those who think that America’s interest in Pakistan is prompted solely by our “war on terror” might be surprised to learn:

We will be making some announcements about some of the investments we’re making with Pakistan on the civilian side. It is going to be emphasizing the needs of the people of Pakistan. We have done a lot of consulting with people in Pakistan, and so like people everywhere, they want good jobs, they want to improve their incomes and their livelihoods, they want reliable electricity and energy so that they can maintain commercial enterprises and avoid the regular disruption of their electricity supply. They want education. They want healthcare.  [Emphasis added]

Obviously, the current campaign in Waziristan is of great interest to us. We admire what the Pakistani military is doing in taking on this fight. We think it’s in the interest of Pakistan to do it. So we will be meeting and talking about really anything you can imagine on a broad strategic dialogue between our two countries.

Comment: One can search in vain in our Constitution for authorization for our federal government to help provide jobs, or electricity, or education, or healthcare for Americans. That the hard-earned tax dollars taken from financially strapped Americans should be used to provide such services for Pakistanis is nothing short of outrageous!

In case anyone missed the point Secretary Clinton continued:

Well, I think it’s fair to say that there has been a lot of misconceptions about what the United States intends with our relationship with Pakistan.… We have a relationship that we want to strengthen, but we don’t want it to be lopsided. We don’t want it to be just about security and just about our anti-terrorist agenda, although, as I said, that’s our highest priority. So we want to strengthen democracy, we want to strengthen civilian institutions, which we think are in the best interest of the people of Pakistan. [Emphasis added.]

And it is unfortunate that there are those who question our motives, perhaps are skeptical that we’re going to commit to a long-term relationship, and I want to try to clear the air on that.

Comment: again, where in our Constitution is authorization to strengthen democracy or civilian institutions overseas? The closest the Constitution comes to giving the federal government the authority to support a particular form of government is in Article IV, Section 4, where it states: “The United states shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government and shall protect each of them against invasion....”

There is nothing said about guaranteeing “democracy” to every nation in the world or protecting them against invasion. As far as our Constitution (and the expressed intentions of our Founders) goes, the only thing we owe to other nations is our good will.

As Clinton went from the general to the specific she said:

We were concerned by the opposition that was expressed to the Kerry-Lugar-Berman legislation because it was legislation intended to exemplify this long-term relationship and to demonstrate our support for the kind of civilian priorities that the people in Pakistan have expressed their desire for. They want partners in infrastructure and in health and in education and energy. [Emphasis added.]

Comment: “Kerry-Lugar-Berman,” officially known as S.1707, the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009, authorized to be appropriated to the President, for the purposes of providing assistance to Pakistan under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, up to $1,500,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2010 through 2014.

The act stated the purposes of spending this 1.5 billion dollars a year as:

(1) to support Pakistan's paramount national security need to fight and win the ongoing counterinsurgency within its borders in accordance with its national security interests;
(2) to work with the Government of Pakistan to improve Pakistan's border security and control and help prevent any Pakistani territory from being used as a base or conduit for terrorist attacks in Pakistan, or elsewhere;
(3) to work in close cooperation with the Government of Pakistan to coordinate action against extremist and terrorist targets; and
(4) to help strengthen the institutions of democratic governance and promote control of military institutions by a democratically elected civilian government. [Emphasis added.]

There is not even a record of a vote for this patently unconstitutional piece of legislation because on September 24 it was introduced in the Senate, read twice, considered, read the third time, and passed without amendment by unanimous consent. The very next day it was received in the House and Rep. Howard Berman (D.-Calif.) moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill.

After 40 minutes of debate, there was a vote to suspend the rules and pass the bill to by voice vote, which was done.

On October 15, just 21 days after being introduced, the legislation was signed by President Obama and became law.

In a time of economic recession, it is shocking that our Congress would so casually fast-track the expenditure of $1.5 billion a year for the next five fiscal years!

During the debate on this bill, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R.-Calif.) voiced some very sound arguments as to why our nation should not send such a large aid package to Pakistan. Though his arguments were rejected, let us post them for posterity:

Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to spending billions more of our people's money and sending it to Pakistan. As the bill states: "The United States has contributed more than $15 billion since 2001 in military and economic assistance to Pakistan.'' The bill before us commits the American people to another $15 billion. That is $30 billion, $30 billion that we don't have. The Federal budget this year is $4 trillion, and $2 trillion of that is deficit spending. We are borrowing in order to cover it.

President Obama right here in this Chamber said that we are losing an average of 750,000 jobs a month. Our economy is as weak as it has ever been. Our people are in need. The debt we are creating will break their backs and destroy our economy. The proposition before us today would have us borrow another $15 billion from China in order to give to Pakistan. We need to focus on the jobs for the American people, not for the Pakistanis. We need to have the discipline to be responsible, and borrowing billions more from China to give to Pakistan is not responsible.

What we have here is $15 billion that we have already spent. Well, where has it gotten us? After 9/11 and spending all of this money, our military reports right now indicate that the ISI, that is the Pakistani intelligence service, still provides support for the Taliban. We have given aid to Pakistan in the past, and they have used their money to build nuclear weapons. And when we complained about it, President Musharaf from Pakistan said his people were willing to eat grass in order to have a nuclear weapon.

Pakistan's government still works hand in glove with the enemy factions in Saudi Arabia and in China. American soldiers still die every day because our diplomats won't face reality, and they keep telling us that Pakistan is just coming around, while it's clear they are just playing us like a fiddle. We've heard this for years.

Pakistani and Chinese leaders, however, during that time transferred nuclear technology to North Korea, Iran and Libya. And to this day, Pakistan won't give our intelligence services a chance to actually talk to that nuclear conduit, Dr. Abdul Khan, who actually transmitted nuclear secrets to these other countries. The Pakistani Government buys its weapons from China with money that they borrow from us. It is a twisted, ludicrous logic for us now to borrow money from the Chinese to give to the dictators in China who will then sell weapons to the Pakistanis.

Pakistan was with us in the Cold War. We remember that. But the Cold War is over. Pakistan is now with China. And both governments, Chinese and the Pakistanis, plot and maneuver against our interests all the time. Well, the threat of radical Islam is real, but it's not going to be solved by our being irresponsible with $15 billion of taxpayers' money.


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