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Is Al Qaeda responsible for Bhutto’s death? (updated)
Posted by: McQ on Friday, December 28, 2007

Check out the transcript of an allegedly intercepted phone conversation from senior al-Qaeda leader Baitullah Mehsud to another militant in Pakistan:
Maulvi Sahib (MS): Asalaam Aleikum (Peace be with you)

Baitullah Mehsud (BM): Waleikum Asalam (And also with you)

MS: Chief, how are you?

BM: I am fine.

MS: Congratulations, I just got back during the night.

BM: Congratulations to you, were they our men?

MS: Yes they were ours.

BM: Who were they?

MS: There was Saeed, there was Bilal from Badar and Ikramullah.

BM: The three of them did it?

MS: Ikramullah and Bilal did it.

BM: Then congratulations.

MS: Where are you? I want to meet you.

BM: I am at Makeen (town in South Waziristan tribal region), come over, I am at Anwar Shah's house.

MS: OK, I'll come.

BM: Don't inform their house for the time being.

MS: OK.

BM: It was a tremendous effort. They were really brave boys who killed her.

MS: Mashallah (Thank God). When I come I will give you all the details.

BM: I will wait for you. Congratulations, once again congratulations.

MS: Congratulations to you.

BM: Anything I can do for you?

MS: Thank you very much.

BM: Asalaam Aleikum.

MS: Waaleikum Asalaam.
I'm still trying to puzzle out how this sort of a murder benefits al Qaeda. If Musharraf, who had pretty fair control over the military but only partial backing of the country for going after AQ in Warziristan, couldn't root out AQ, what was Bhutto going to accomplish in that regard? Sure, lots of rhetoric from her, but then not much different than what we heard from Musharraf.

Now, with the country united in rage against them, how hot will it get in Warziristan? I obviously don't know the answer to that question, but it certainly isn't difficult to imagine it might get much hotter for them now than if they'd simply ignored Bhutto and gone on with their machinations elsewhere. Why in the world would you do something which would effectively jeopardize your sanctuary?

Talk about being "your own worst enemy". Al Qaeda seems bent on redefining that concept.

UPDATE: Speaking of al Qaeda, Michael Yon has a few choice words for that group which seem to validate my thinking about them:
I have directly observed how more and more Iraqis have grown to hate al Qaeda as much as Americans do. Al Qaeda has lost all credibility there, both from a religious standpoint as well as strategically. Even Western media seems to be gradually awakening to the realization that al Qaeda press releases on the topic of Iraq are about as well-informed as the post-invasion rantings of Baghdad Bob. (Everytime Osama bin Laden talks of crushing the infidel, I can’t help but think of Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf pointing vigorously skyward and practically spitting at the reporters: “We are crushing the American army as we speak!”)
One can only hope the same change will occur in Pakistan, and, especially, in Warziristan. The latter is not likely, however the Bhutto assassination could lead to more information becoming available from those in that tribal zone who have too tired of the murderous zealots of al Qaeda.

UPDATE II: Ralph Peters, who has few kind words for Bhutto (and it might be useful for those not familiar with her rule as PM to look it up) comes to the same conclusion as I have concerning the possible role of AQ in this assassination:
In killing Bhutto, the Islamists over-reached (possibly aided by rogue elements in Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, one of the murkiest outfits on this earth). Just as al Qaeda in Iraq overplayed its hand and alienated that country's Sunni Arabs, this assassination may disillusion Pakistanis who lent half an ear to Islamist rhetoric.
 
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Talk about being "your own worst enemy". Al Qaeda seems bent on redefining that concept.
Good thing they haven’t officially recruited the Democrats, they would be double the trouble...
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
I’m still trying to puzzle out how this sort of a murder benefits al Qaeda
The fact that they prevented a woman from speaking in public is enough to benefit Al-Qaeda. They feed off chaos. Everyone who disagrees with them is the enemy and needs to be destoryed for their own sake. They don’t seem to be the truce-making type, as in the "moderate" terrorists of the Al-Fatah party in plaestine.
 
Written By: Jimmy the Dhimmi
URL: www.warning1938alert.ytmnd.com
McQ writes:
I’m still trying to puzzle out how this sort of a murder benefits al Qaeda.
From an Islamic perspective, al Qaeda put the woman in her place. The object is to rally Islamist sentiment while striking fear into secularists, especially those who would let a woman be in charge of a Muslim country.

Al Qaeda’s motive might be more complex than that, but if you want to put your finger on just one thing, I think that’s it.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
The fact is that just being able to finally flex muscle somewhere benefits AQ at this juncture. A point was made- and to be honest, the West probably wasn’t the intended target audience either.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
From an Islamic perspective, al Qaeda put the woman in her place. The object is to rally Islamist sentiment while striking fear into secularists, especially those who would let a woman be in charge of a Muslim country.
Oh, I understand all of that, although the fact she’d been PM twice previously would seem to argue that for that particular Islamic country, such a concern is water under the bridge.

I guess the biggest puzzle to me is how strategically inept they seem. It is as if they simply act on impulse without thinking through the strategic ramifications of their actions and how it effects their supposed ultimate goal of reinstating the caliphate.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I think al-Queda gains because Bhutto’s place in governnment is symbolic of the westernization and modernization in an Islamic country and could not be allowed to proceed. I think her earlier public office was prior to the radicalization in that region by the Taliban and al-Queda.
 
Written By: tom scott
URL: http://
McQ wrote:
I guess the biggest puzzle to me is how strategically inept they seem. It is as if they simply act on impulse without thinking through the strategic ramifications of their actions and how it effects their supposed ultimate goal of reinstating the caliphate.
Perhaps because they figured the murder would get pinned on Musharraf himself? Maybe they hoped people would give in to the obvious conspiracy theory (after all, Musharraf and Bhutto weren’t exactly BFF) and turn against Musharraf. That way, AQ kills two birds with one stone, allowing some Islamist leader to step into the vacuum. Well, my speculation anyhow. It wouldn’t be the first time they’ve overreached, like in their Iraq campaigns.
 
Written By: James O
URL: http://
One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter is a load of crap.

They’ve always planned to rule by terror. Executions of potential rivals is consistent with how the expect to rule when they take over.

In fact, I’ve always said terrorists are larval tyrants waiting to rise to power.

And in this specific case, they bring some Muslims that would have followed Bhutto back into the fold.

 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
The problem is Maulvi Sahib isn’t even a name - the last part is just an honorific and the first refers to someone who leads Friday prayers. Anwar Shah has to be one of the most common names in Pakistan - even Mushie’s Assistant Political Agent for South Waziristan is called that! And "Maulvi Sahib" nowhere actually refers to Baitullah Mehsud by name - he calls the person he is talking to "Emir" (Chief) throughout. Pretty damn flimsy proof.

If Mehsud is in fact an Al Qaeda leader, what was Musharraf doing pardoning him and 35 of his lieutenants in 2005?

Mehsud was also blamed for the October attempt on Bhutto’s life, but he later denied ever threatening her and Bhutto herself described him as a pawn in a bigger conspiracy in which the real culprits were "some retired army officers in the establishment".

There are still more questions than answers.


Regards, C
 
Written By: Cernig
URL: http://cernigsnewshog.blogspot.com/
Pretty damn flimsy proof.
Well first of all, no one is calling it ’proof’ - thus "allegedly intercepted" to be found in the post.

Secondly, it is possible the names were purposely changed or omitted.

Third:
If Mehsud is in fact an Al Qaeda leader, what was Musharraf doing pardoning him and 35 of his lieutenants in 2005?
For the same reason things like that occur elsewhere - politics.

Lastly:
Mehsud was also blamed for the October attempt on Bhutto’s life, but he later denied ever threatening her and Bhutto herself described him as a pawn in a bigger conspiracy in which the real culprits were "some retired army officers in the establishment".
Perhaps then, the "joke" is on Bhutto (yeah, if I were accused of attempting to assassinate a leader, I’m sure I’d confess to doing so).
There are still more questions than answers.
Indeed. No one here is suggesting otherwise. Instead there is a point of interest in trying to figure out why something like this would benefit al Qaeda. So far, I’m not buying into the suggestions.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Al Quaeda believes that just about everyone who does not follow their extremely narrow interpretations of the Koran and the few bits of the Sunna that they accept is an enemy of Islam. So for them as long as Pakistan does not have a sufficiently theocratic goverment or proper inplementation of hanbalite sharia, it is "jahiliyyah" and must be destroyed. So the motive is definitly there; yet as you mentioned this is by no means proof.
 
Written By: J Zaner
URL: http://
All I can say is that this episode demonstrates America’s decline in power...decline, decline, quagmire, decline....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
1. By all accounts, Bhutto was prepared to work even more closely with the US against AQ/Taliban.

2. She was also willing to fight harder than Musharraf, who’s always been trying to ride the tiger and compromise.

3. She’s a symbol of "Westernization."

4. If they can pin it on Musharraf then it’s a bonus, since he’s less effective.

5. And finally, they know that the usual suspects here will blame Bush and propose insane ideas like Richardson’s "force Musharraf to resign" nonsense.
 
Written By: SDN
URL: http://
Joe, :-P
 
Written By: Synova
URL: http://synova.blogspot.com

 
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