Sunday, December 30, 2007


Alan Note: CAIR appears to have lost several suits they brought against people to try to silence them. At last someone is striking back at a group which tries to play poor little victim, while they promote anti-Western culture and Islamist, undermining, policies.

WASHINGTON – It's no longer just a charge of copyright violation in the case of Michael Savage v. Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Now the radio talk star is going for the legal jugular in his battle with the group that bills itself as a Muslim civil rights organization.

The San Francisco-based talker has amended his lawsuit against CAIR for misusing audio clips of his show as part of a boycott campaign against his three-hour daily program to include charges the group "has consistently sought to silence opponents of violent terror through economic blackmail, frivolous but costly lawsuits, threats of lawsuits and abuses of the legal system."

The amended lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Northern California, also charges CAIR with using extortion, threats, abuse of the court system, and obtaining money via interstate commerce under false and fraudulent circumstances – calling it a "political vehicle of international terrorism" and even linking the group with support of al-Qaida.

The federal government recently named CAIR, based in Washington, D.C., as an unindicted co-conspirator in an alleged scheme to funnel $12 million to the terrorist group Hamas.

And as WND has reported, CAIR has been associated with a disturbing number of convicted terrorists or felons in terrorism probes, as well as suspected terrorists and active targets of terrorism investigations.

"Groups like CAIR have a proven record of senior officials being indicted and either imprisoned or deported from the United States," said U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., co-founder of the House Anti-Terrorism/Jihad Caucus.

Savage and celebrity civil rights attorney Daniel Horowitz are attempting to use the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act to make the case that "CAIR and its co-conspirators have aided, abetted and materially sponsored al-Qaida and international terrorism."

CAIR launched a campaign against "The Savage Nation," as the program is called, using extended audio clips of the show to make the case that advertisers who supported the talker were actually endorsing "hate speech" against Muslims.

Savage turned the tables on the activist group by initially suing for copyright violation of the show's material. This week the suit was expanded with some of the strongest allegations ever made against CAIR publicly.

Among the charges is that CAIR is "part of a deliberately complex and deliberately confusing array of related organizations" and that its "organizational structure is part of a scheme to hide the illegal activities of the group, funding, the transfer of funds and to complicate investigation of the group."

Other highlights of the suit:

"CAIR is not a civil rights organization and it never has been. … CAIR was and is a political organization that advocates a specific political agenda on behalf of foreign interests."

"The copyright infringement was done to raise funds for CAIR so that it could perpetuate and continue to perform its role in the RICO conspiracy set forth in Count Two and to disseminate propaganda on behalf of foreign interests that are opposed to the continued existence of the United States of America as a free nation."

"CAIR would have to register as a foreign agent if their activities were not hidden under the false claim that they are a civil rights organization that enjoys tax-exempt status."

"CAIR was tied to terror from the day it was formed. The group was incorporated on or about 1994 by Omar Ahmad and Nihad Awad. Both men were officers of a terror organization known as the 'Islamic Association of Palestine.'"

"CAIR's parent group, IAP, was founded in or about 1982 by Musa Abu Marzook. Marzook was IAP's ideological leader and controlling director from the date of its founding until shortly after his deportation from the United States in 1997.

At all time relevant, Marzook was an operative of, and/or affiliated with, the 'Harakat al-Muqawamah al-Islamiyyah,' or 'Hamas.' Hamas is an international terrorist organization."

In 1998, "CAIR demanded the removal of a Los Angeles billboard describing Osama bin Laden as 'the sworn enemy,' asserting that this depiction [was] 'offensive to Muslims.'"

In 1998, "CAIR denied bin Laden's responsibility for the two al-Qaida bombings of American embassies in Africa. CAIR's leader Ibrahim Hooper claimed the bombings resulted from 'misunderstandings on both sides.'"

"On October 5, 2001, just weeks after 9/11, CAIR's New York office sent a letter to The New York Times arguing that the paper had misidentified three of the hijackers and suggesting that the attacks may have been committed by people who were impersonating Arab Muslims."

"CAIR further exploited 9/11 as it put on its website a picture of the World Trade Center in flames and below it a call for donations that was linked to the Holy Land Foundation website." The Holy Land Foundation, the suit charges, is "a terror organization."

"CAIR receives significant international funding. For example, in 1999 the Islamic Development Bank gave a $250,000 grant to CAIR to purchase land for a national headquarters.

In 2002, the World Association for Muslim Youth, a Saudi government-funded organization, financed distributing books on Islam free of charge and an advertising campaign in American publications. This included a quarter page in USA
Today each Friday, for a year, estimated to cost $1.04 million.

In 2003, Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal donated $500,000 to distribute the Koran and other books about Islam in the United States. In 2005, CAIR's Washington branch received a donation of $1,366,466 from a Saudi Arabian named Adnan Bogary.

In 2006, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, deputy ruler of Dubai and UAE minister of finance and industry, financed the building of a property in the U.S. to serve as an endowment for the organization. This gift is thought to generate income of approximately $3 million a year."

"The role of CAIR and CAIR-Canada is to wage PSYOPS (psychological warfare) and disinformation activities on behalf of Wahabbi-based Islamic terrorists throughout North America. They are the intellectual 'shock troops' of Islamic terrorism."

"The Council on American-Islamic Relations is a Muslim Brotherhood front organization. It works in the United States as a lobby against radio, television and print media journalists who dare to produce anything about Islam that is at variance with their fundamental agenda."

"CAIR has links to both Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. Terrorism expert Steven Emerson has stated before Congress that CAIR is a front for Hamas."

Savage's case also cites another ongoing suit against CAIR filed by the estate of John P. O'Neill, the former head of security for the World Trade Center. It alleges a RICO conspiracy involving CAIR led to the 9/11 attack.

"Throughout this period," the Savage suit alleges, "CAIR conspired to support terrorism and to obfuscate the roles of the various participants and conspirators in Radical Muslim Terrorism, and/or al-Qaida and/or the International Islamic Front for the Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders, which conspiracy culminated in the 9/11 attack."

It continues: "The pattern of racketeering activity conducted by CAIR is separate from the existence of Radical Muslim Terrorism, and/or the al-Qaida, and/or the International Islamic Front for the Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders, but was a necessary component of the 9/11 attack.

The RICO enterprise conducts terrorism all over the world; the racketeering activity conducted by CAIR funds that activity, which activity culminated in the 9/11 attack."

CAIR has refused to comment on Savage's suit to date. But it has claimed a host of companies have stopped advertising on Savage's show as a result of its boycott campaign.

However, an investigation by WND shows some of those boycott victories are questionable. In one announcement claiming Universal Orlando Resorts "drops 'Savage Nation' ads," CAIR stated: "Advertisers that have already stopped airing, or refuse to air commercials on 'Savage Nation' include AutoZone, Citrix, TrustedID, JCPenney, OfficeMax, Wal-Mart and AT&T."

But AutoZone told WND the CAIR campaign had nothing to do with its advertising decision, and it had chosen not to advertise on any radio talk shows – of all parts of the spectrum – years before the CAIR effort.

CAIR officials declined to respond to WND queries about why it is listing companies as part of its boycott campaign that say they have not participated in the boycott.

Officials of Talk Radio Network, Savage's syndicator, confirmed to WND that companies including AutoZone and JCPenney never advertise on such programs.

"We do not sponsor syndicated radio talk shows," AutoZone spokesman Ray Pohlman told WND. "We have customers of all shapes and sizes and political persuasions. For us to sponsor [any radio talk shows] wouldn't make any sense."

But that policy is years old, and wasn't changed at all by CAIR's effort, he said.

"What I will tell you is the CAIR organization did, in fact, contact the marketing department [of AutoZone.] We responded with our full advertising policy which clearly states that we do not advertise on radio talk shows," he told WND.

The announcement about Universal was made by the Hate Hurts America Community and Interfaith Coalition, of which CAIR is a prominent member.

It said Universal Orlando Resorts "has joined a growing list of advertisers that have stopped advertising or refuse to place their ads on Michael Savage's 'Savage Nation' Radio program."
The campaign also
has triggered a lawsuit by Savage against CAIR over its alleged misappropriation of Savage's radio broadcast material. In the lawsuit, Savage depicts CAIR as a "vehicle of international terrorism."

CAIR says it is challenging Savage's "hate speech," and referenced Savage comments such as:

"I'm not gonna put my wife in a hijab. And I'm not gonna put my daughter in a burqa. And I'm not getting' on my all-fours and braying to Mecca. And you could drop dead if you don't like it. You can shove it up your pipe. I don't wanna hear any more about Islam. I don't wanna hear one more word about Islam. Take your religion and shove it up your behind. I'm sick of you."

The Savage suit says comments like that are taken out of context.

Another major company CAIR claims has joined the boycott of Michael Savage is JCPenney. But as with AutoZone, JCPenney officials told WND readers they were not making any special provision in their advertising policy that would make them part of a protest campaign, but officials did not respond directly to WND inquiries.

"JCPenney did not 'pull' advertising from the show. JCPenney has had a long standing policy about not advertising on any show that can be construed as controversial.

An error in upholding this policy was made by a few local stations, and it has now been clarified," the company told a WND reader.

"Wal-Mart does not sponsor or advertise on the Michael Savage show. We have asked radio networks to ensure that Wal-Mart ads do not run in programming that we deem controversial and are sending out content guidelines reminders to radio networks and stations," said that company.

Savage's lawsuit alleges copyright infringement by CAIR, which the lawsuit says seeks to do "material harm to those voices who speak against the violent agenda of CAIR's clients."

Filed in U.S. District Court in California, the suit seeks damages equal to the ongoing donations from CAIR supporters "who expect CAIR to act in this manner in exchange for continuing financial support" as well as "actual damages according to proof."

A spokesman for Savage indicated the top-rated talk show host would have no further comment, saying the text of the lawsuit itself would answer questions.

The focal point of the lawsuit is a series of audio clips CAIR has been using in its promotions and fundraising efforts.

Those comments from Savage's show include his criticisms of Islam and Muslims. The lawsuit maintains such comments, taken in context, are Savage's verbal expression of the feelings of many Americans.

"The audience of 'The Savage Nation' expects this type of from-the-heart outrage and when it is directed at a murderer such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his ilk, the piece is far more understandable and far more American mainstream.

While the strength of the outrage is remarkable and a hallmark of 'The Savage Nation,' the sentiment is shared by a huge number of Americans," the lawsuit says.

Saturday, December 29, 2007


Prologue to Boy Clinton

By R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.
Regnery Publishing Inc.Washington D.C.

ARKANSAS STATE TROOPER L. D. Brown had just returned from a mission flown to Central America from Arkansas's Mena Airport in late December 1984. The flight was commanded by pilot Barry Seal, an operative with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and a contract employee with the Central Intelligence Agency.

Seal was also a legendary drug smuggler, known for having flown hundreds of drug-smuggling flights between 1977 and 1983 at low altitude and in complete darkness. (1)

Now, supposedly, he had gone straight. After parachuting arms into the jungle, Seal landed at a sleepy Central American airport. He picked up two duffel bags and flew back to Arkansas. Brown, seated behind him throughout the flight, was moonlighting as a CIA contract employee [see Appendix A, items A, B, and C]. His boss, Governor Bill Clinton, had encouraged and assisted him in his employment at the CIA.

Under the assumption that he was being trained for clandestine operations on this flight, Brown was following Seal's instructions. He was merely an observer, studying the activities of Seal and his crew.

But during this, his most recent flight, what Brown, a seasoned narcotics investigator, was to learn troubled him deeply. Seal was bringing drugs and money back in the duffel bags. Consequently, as soon as Brown returned to Little Rock he approached Clinton and asked, "Do you know what they're bringing back on those planes?" Clinton froze. "They're bringing back coke," Brown told him. In fact "they" were trafficking in cocaine, money, and arms, Clinton's response was blase.

He told Brown not to worry, adding "That's Lasater's deal. That's Lasater's deal.(2)

At the time Dan Lasater, an Arkansas "bond daddy" known for his wide-open parties, was a major Clinton supporter. Clinton's occasional attendance at Lasater's parties had presented his bodyguard, Brown, with problems; in addition to young girls, the parties also included plenty of cocaine.

Brown is unclear as to the rest of Clinton's reply. It was either "And your buddy Bush knows all about it," or "And your hero Bush knows about it." Brown admired President George Bush, having met him in Portland, Maine, while traveling with the governor. After that meeting the two Arkansans visited with the president at his Kennebunkport compound.

Clinton's references to Bush and Lasater added confusion to Brown's anger. Brown was angry after this last flight when Seat showed him cocaine and money that he had just flown into the country. Brown feared that he, a member of the governor's security, was being set up to be blackmailed. Now upon finding out that Clinton knew about the operation, the trooper felt betrayed and a bit stupid. He says that the moment he saw the drugs Lasater's involvement should have "dawned" on him. "I'd never seen the governor around coke," Brown says, "unless he was around Lasater." At Lasater's parties Brown would hustle the governor away when the drugs came out.

Though he had seen Clinton "stoned" he had never actually seen him using drugs. Others have, namely two of Clinton's lovers, Sally Perdue and Gennifer Flowers. Both have attested to Clinton's drug use during assignations.

Feeling angry, betrayed, and played for a fool, Brown left the governor and proceeded directly to a cottage on the mansion grounds where Becky McCoy, his future wife, lived. Listed on the mansion's payroll as a "courier," she was actually Chelsea's nanny. Eleven years after that day Becky remembers Brown's arriving in tears and complaining, "I've been betrayed.(3)

Over the next few months Brown would seek another assignment with the state troopers, but it would take him more than a decade to sort out his involvement and possible culpability as the governor's man on the Mena airport flights.
At the time, 1984, Brown was twenty-eight years old. He was not only Clinton's favorite bodyguard, but also a close friend. The other troopers called him Clinton's "fair-haired boy." He and Clinton shared an interest in books, ideas, and night life.

Brown still has books that Clinton gave him, one being a bar exam study book in which the politician made some ironic underlinings. One passage discussed the deductibility of charitable donations, and another the length of residency required in Washington before tax liability is incurred. Like Clinton, Brown passed through a radical stage when he attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. Indeed, when Clinton was a law professor in Fayetteville, Brown was working on an off-campus magazine, the radical Grapevine.

In the autumn of i984, Brown made his first flight with Seal. It was on October 23 or very close to that date, and Brown found himself seated on a bench inside a cavernous C- 123 K cargo plane roaring over a Central American jungle. Seal, who piloted the plane, was one of the greatest daredevil flyers of the day. His C- 1 2 3 K also had a history [see Appendix A, items H and 11.

It was originally an Air Force transport plane. Seal dubbed it "the Fat Lady." He had purchased it from Doan Helicopter, Inc., of Daytona Beach, to which it would eventually be returned; both transactions appear suspicious. The plane would later be serviced and financed by Southern Air Transport, a CIA front company. It is the same C- I 2 3K that was eventually shot down over Nicaragua in a doomed supply effort to the Contras that left an American, Eugene Hasenfus, a prisoner of the Sandinistas and revealed the CIA link to the Contras. The plane's two pilots died.

On the morning of that first particular flight, Seal had told Brown to drive to Mena Intermountain Regional Airport in a remote area near the Oklahoma border. It is a tiny facility, infrequently used, and interesting only for an exceedingly long runway, the kind used by large planes with transcontinental ranges. Brown had expected to find, he says, a Baron or a King Air, small, twin-engined planes in which he had some training as a pilot. He had accompanied the governor on such planes, throughout the state. Instead, he says, he found this "huge military plane" that was not actually a military plane.

It was dark, almost black, and had only the minimal tail markings necessary for civilian operation. The C-123K is a military transport with twin engines, and Seal's had a tailgate at the end of its fuselage capable of loading such cargo as a small automobile.

Inside the plane, according to Brown, were another pilot and two "beaners"-common laborers who looked like Central American Indians. Later Brown would come to know them as "kickers," for they "kicked" cargo from the plane. All were wearing jeans, tshirts, and sneakers. Seal, Brown says, had prescribed the dress code and insisted that no one carry identification, not even keys or jewelry. To Brown's surprise Seal even asked about his shoes. They had to be untraceable.

When Brown got on the plane, Seal's co-pilot was at its controls fiddling with gauges and making notes. Then Seal started the engines, and Brown remembers, "This fuckin', excuse me, I mean just thunderous noise. Scared the shit out of me just taking off." Brown says that when the plane took off, he was sitting on a bench behind the two pilots. The "kickers" were seated far to the back of "this shell of a plane" where there were pallets on casters. On the pallets were stacked crates, partially covered by a tarpaulin.

After it left Mena, the plane made a refueling stop-"Nobody got off," Brown says-and then resumed flight. The stop was at Stennis Airfield in Gulfport, Mississippi, an airfield frequently used by the DEA.4 Once back in the air Brown recalls, Seal startled him by yelling, "Well, you all hang on." The plane dropped to what Brown calls "an altitude a hell of a lot lower than what you'd think you'd fly." He suspected Seal was trying to evade radar. Soon, he says, they regained altitude, but then they descended again and "that's when these two crazy bastards get these pallets and roll them on casters."

Parachutes opened from the cargo on the pallets. Later Seal confirmed Brown's suspicions: the pallets carried M- 16s for the Contras. It is unclear whether they ever got to the Contras. Seal seems to have had equally cordial relations with the Cali Cartel and the Sandinistas. He proved to be a very unreliable government employee.

Approximately thirty minutes later, Brown says, the C-123K landed in what he later thought was Tegucigalpa, Honduras, though my investigations leave me doubtful that this was their Central American landing site. After landing, the plane was refueled. While Seal and the kickers went to collect Seal's duffel bags, Brown and the co-pilot, who never exchanged more than a few words, remained on board. Then, Brown says, Seal and the kickers returned, carrying four bags. Brown says he never saw the bags again.

Once back on the ground at Mena, Brown says, he told Seal he had anticipated flying in a plane similar to those that he had been on with the governor. Seal, he says, laughed, and told Brown that all he had wanted him to do was "sit back for the ride." Then he paid Brown for the flight, handing him an envelope with $2,500 in cash-"not marked money, not banded money, just twenties, fifties, mostly twenties, used money, like you just went out and spent."

When Brown returned to the Governor's Mansion after this first flight he recalls, Clinton greeted him jovially, "You having any fun yet?" Clinton had been asking him variations of that question since the previous spring when he began encouraging Brown to apply for a job with the CIA. Indeed, Clinton had taken an active role in helping Brown.

He told Brown he had acquaintances in the CIA who could expedite his application. As part of the application process, Brown had written an essay: "Marxist Influence in Central America." Three early drafts of the essay contain interpolations in Clinton's handwriting, the authenticity of which has been verified. Clinton also suggested that Brown study Russian, a suggestion Brown took seriously enough to be in attending night classes at the University 91 of Arkansas at Little Rock. He began making entries in his daybook in Cyrillic. Clinton, Brown believed, was familiar with the CIA.

He occasionally spoke of a college classmate who had ended up working there. The governor also talked as though he knew of ongoing operations nearby. "When I got back from that first trip he knew I had been out doing something," although Brown had not had a chance to tell Clinton "anything about it. That's when he said, 'You having any fun yet?"'

The CIA does not talk about these things, so we may never know whether Brown was actually a CIA employee or being deceived into thinking that he was. Whatever the case, he had good reason to believe that he was in the CIA's employ. It may also never be known for sure whether CIA officials approved or knew of Seal's activities.

Some facts, however, are indisputable. Entries in Brown's daybook indicate his flights. A month before his October flight the Southwest personnel representative for the CIA, Ken Cargile, in a letter to Brown, wrote that "I am pleased to nominate you for employment with the Central Intelligence Agency." Another entry in Brown's daybook indicates that he had met with another CIA representative only a few days before.

Brown has identified him as Dan Magruder and says that he spoke admiringly of Clinton. Magruder, Brown says, asked him if he would be interested in paramilitary, counterintelligence, and narcotics." Brown, who had worked in narcotics enforcement as a police officer, said he was interested. He then, he says, signed a secrecy agreement and was told he would be contacted further.

Finally, there was a very suggestive call that Governor Clinton made to Becky (McCoy) Brown after she married Brown. It came a half year after Brown's last flight. It was summer, and Becky had announced that she was leaving the mansion staff. Clinton was livid. In this call he insisted that she stay, and then he reminded her of the help he had given Brown in "getting into the CIA."

In Dallas, Magruder told Brown that a contact would be made after he returned to Arkansas. Next Cargile sent him his letter of nomination. Then Seal called him at home and set up a meeting at Cajun's Wharf, a popular Little Rock watering hole. Bill McKuen, former secretary of state of Arkansas, has told Danny Harkins, senior criminal investigator for the state of Arkansas, that he remembers seeing Seal and Brown together at Cajun's wharf in 1984. Seal, according to Brown, was familiar with the biographical information Brown had given the agency, thus reassuring Brown that he was the CIA contact Magruder had told him to expect. Seal was not, however, what Brown was expecting from the CIA.

Magruder had been a "clean cut Ivy League-looking guy." Seal was "a very distinctive guy. I mean, a nut, big guy. And you never forget this kind of guy. Robust, devil-may-care, kind of, you know, dangerous."

If Seal's appearance and demeanor were not what Brown had come to expect from the "Ivy League" CIA, his conversation was reassuring. Brown says he talked knowledgeably about airplanes and spoke of an "operation" he was planning. He also referred to Clinton, familiarly, as "the guy." He talked as though "the guy" knew all about the CIA operation going on in Arkansas. Brown theorizes that Seal "needed all the help he could get."

Trafficking in drugs, weapons, and currency often attracts unwanted attention. The more people around Clinton whom Seal might compromise, the less likely Clinton and other Arkansas authorities might be to sacrifice Seal in time of danger. Brown believes that this is why Seal eventually showed him that kilo of cocaine.

Also, Brown would have made an excellent lieutenant for Seal who was always in need of competent hands. Brown adds that, "the more people close to Clinton that he [Seal] could get working with him, the more comfortable he'd feel." When Seal was sentenced for drug dealing in 1985 and again in early 1986 his activities at Mena were never mentioned.

Brown's break with Clinton came after Brown made what he says was his second flight from Mena to Central America on or about December 24, 1984. Becky Brown remembers the date of the flight vividly. Her brother, Read, was dying, and she was surprised Brown left town. He and her brother had been close.

During that second flight two duffel bags were put on board the plane at what Seal identified as Tegucigalpa. Back at Mena, Brown says, he and Seal walked to Brown's car, a Datsun hatchback, and Seal put one of the duffel bags under the hatchback. Then both men got into the front seat of the car, and Seal reached back into the duffel bag, and pulled out a manila envelope with $2,500 in it.

He said the money had been brought back from Tegucigalpa. Brown considered this a currency violation. The next thing Seal pulled from his duffel bag was an even graver breach of the law, that kilo of cocaine.

That was it for Brown. He got upset. He says he feared he was being set up-made a conspirator in an operation he despised. He told Seal he wanted no part of what was happening; then he left.

When he returned to Little Rock, he called his brother Dwayne. Dwayne Brown says his brother seemed "terribly upset." Dwayne immediately drove over to the Governor's Mansion to meet him. Like Becky, Dwayne Brown says he knew his brother had made some unexplained trips out of the country. He suspected a CIA involvement, although his brother did not confirm it. But when he asked his brother,

"Who's pushing this?" his brother, Dwayne, Brown says, "nodded over toward the Governor's Mansion." From then on, until he left Clinton's security detail in June, Dwayne Brown says, his brother was in "a high level of despair." He says he feared his brother might be suicidal.(5)

Meanwhile, Brown confronted Clinton, asking him if he knew that Seal was dealing in drugs and unreported currency. That was when Clinton told him not to worry-"That's Lasater's deal. That's Lasater's deal." Lasater was well known to Brown. As early as 1982, his firm had been censured by Arkansas's security commissioner for cheating customers, which did not end or even impair his relationship with Clinton.

By 1984-the time of the Seal flights-Lasater was contributing to Clinton's political campaigns. He was also providing Clinton with the use of a private airplane and entertaining him at various places, including his New Mexico resort, Angel Fire.

He hired Clinton's brother, Roger, and helped him pay off a $20,000 cocaine debt. Later Roger was imprisoned for his dealings with a cocaine ring. As for Lasater, he was sentenced to two years in jail for dealings with the same ring and lost his state securities license. After six months in prison he got out on probation.

Eventually Clinton pardoned him, claiming that the pardon was necessary to enable Lasater to renew his hunting license.(6)

Clinton's relationship with Lasater was obviously risky. It might still prove to be criminal. When Lasater went to prison his operations were taken over by an associate, Patsy Thomasson. She was a politically active Arkansan whose employment with Lasater was to last nearly a decade, despite his problems with the law and with drugs. DEA documents in my possession show her flying with him on one of his private planes to Belize on February 8, I 984, where he was interested in buying a ranch that was a known drug trafficking point [see Appendix A, item G].

In I993 she joined the White House where she has served as White House director of the Office of Administration and later deputy director of Presidential Personnel. The night of Deputy White House Counsel Vince Foster's death she was one of the trusted Clinton aides who entered Foster's office to spirit away documents.

As for Lasater, by the mid- 1980s he had become involved in several shaky savings and loans, at least one of which, First American Savings & Loan of Oak Brook, Illinois, had its difficulties with Lasater negotiated by the bank's legal team of Vince Foster, Webster Hubbell, and Hillary Rodham Clinton of Little Rock's Rose Law Firm, much to Lasater's satisfaction.

Apparently the thrift was unaware of the relationship its own legal team enjoyed with Lasater. Though the thrift had sought millions, it ended up settling for $200,000.(7)

Drug trafficking was linked to Arkansas throughout the 1980s, occasionally to Clinton's friends and supporters. An investigator wrote in the minutes of a Resolution Trust Corporation meeting held on June 29, 1994, that Lasater "may have been establishing depository accounts at Madison and other financial institutions and laundering drug money through them via brokered deposits and bond issues.(8)

Among the "other financial institutions" Lasater has been linked to is the Arkansas Development Finance Authority created by Governor Clinton. In 1994 when Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy resigned owing to allegations that he was accepting gifts from the Arkansas poultry tycoon, Don Tyson, London's Sunday Telegraph published a story based on numerous state and federal police documents showing that Tyson was "under suspicion of drug dealing from the early 1970s until the late 1980s" by such diverse organizations as the Arkansas State Police and the DEA.(9) No charges were ever filed.

Still the most serious information on drug trafficking in Clinton's Arkansas has come from Brown. His revelations were first published in the American Spectator in the summer Of 1995, and though objected to by President Clinton they have never been disproved. After splitting with Clinton, Brown spent the next few years investigating white-collar crime for the Arkansas State Police. He says that he became increasingly interested in going public with his knowledge of the Mena operation, but that he was mindful of the secrecy document that he had signed.

Moreover, with officials at both the state and federal level involved, he did not know whom to tell. Eventually, it was the Clintons' heavy-handed incompetence in trying to control another damaging story involving Brown that led Brown to tell his story to me.

In the April-May 1994 issue of the American Spectator, Brown was quoted as saying that Lieutenant Governor Jim Guy Tucker had asked him and trooper Larry Patterson for compromising information on Clinton's private life in 1990. When Tucker became aware of Brown's revelation, he retaliated against Brown by demoting him from white-collar investigations to highway patrol. "I don't want to be getting any more reports from Brown" is the statement by Tucker that Colonel Tommy Goodwin, the former head of the Arkansas State Police, quoted in explaining the demotion to me in an interview.(10)

Brown believed the demotion to be illegal because he was at the time working on a case that could have implicated Tucker.

An indignant Brown began toying with the idea of exposing the corruption of Arkansas politics. About this time, the special prosecutor investigating Whitewater subpoenaed Brown to disclose what he knew about Clinton' connections to a Whitewater figure, David L. Hale. Clinton was supposed to have pressured Hale, the head of an Arkansas lending agency, into making illegal loans to Susan McDougal, the Clintons' Whitewater real estate partner.

Brown's subpoena convinced him that "everything is going to come out." Nonetheless, he still seemed reluctant to disclose all he knew. The irony is that he might have remained silent about Mena had not Clinton's imprudent intervention provoked Brown into coming out into the open.

In the fall of 1994 ABC News interviewed Brown, principally about Hale. But the White House panicked, assuming that the interview was about Mena. And Clinton set out to malign Brown. White House officials, as well as Clinton's lawyer, David Kendall, who according to Time was "working very, very hard to keep Whitewater out of the headlines," (11) approached ABC with numerous false allegations against Brown.

Meanwhile, Betsey Wright, a Clinton political fixer and his former chief of staff, told ABC that Brown was a "pathological liar," even though his personnel file in Arkansas abounded with recommendations-some from Clinton and even one from Dr. Joycelyn Elders. ABC was also told that Brown had failed a psychological test. Goodwin assured me and ABC that Brown had passed it.(12) But of the charges leveled at Brown by the White House, the most unintentionally revealing was that Brown had flunked a CIA examination in the mid-1980s.

That charge could only have come from the man--then-Governor Clinton-- who knew that his former bodyguard had had dealings with the CIA a decade before.

An ABC producer told me at the time that "Brown is telling the truth. You can trust him." Nonetheless the network apparently yielded to White House pressure. The interview with Brown, in which he had spoken mostly about Hale and not about Mena, was killed. Brown's patience was now strained beyond endurance. He decided to talk to me about Mena.

Clinton's position has always been that he knew nothing substantial about Mena and that the "state really had next to nothing to do with it.... We had nothing-zero-to do with it, and everybody who's ever looked into it knows that."(13) Brown says he is lying. His daybook records one visit to Mena by Clinton on May 21, 1984, and he says that he accompanied Clinton to Mena on several other occasions.

Clinton claimed in a rare reference to Mena late in the 1980s that he was unaware of any problem at Mena until 1988. But a 1991 deposition by Betsey Wright reveals that the governor's office had in the early 1980s received repeated calls about drug trafficking there. In fact, in 1991 Governor Clinton revealed that a state police investigation had discovered drug "linkages to the federal government." He mentioned the CIA.(14)

Given the remoteness of Mena it is curious that the governor would be showing up there so frequently in the mid- 1980s. The airport is small and handles little traffic. The town itself is sleepy and extremely rural. Its voter turnout is, perhaps, the lowest in the state. Clinton could not have been stopping by the airport for political purposes. Since Clinton's election as president, moreover, others have come forward to implicate him in Mena. Arkansas State Trooper Bobby Walker has told me that "sometime in the mid1980s" he was at Mena with Clinton.

Walker said a "huge darkgreen military plane" was parked there and that when he expressed surprise at seeing a military plane at Mena, Clinton said it was not military; it served another purpose.

In March 1995, in a legally binding deposition, Trooper Larry Patterson also said that Clinton knew about Mena. Patterson said he had overheard conversations about "large quantities of drugs being flown into Mena airport, large quantities of guns, that there was an ongoing operation training foreign people in the area." When asked, "Were any of these conversations in the presence of Governor Bill Clinton?" he replied: "Yes, sir."
Patterson was being deposed in a legal suit filed against Buddy Young, the former head of Clinton's security detail, by Terry Reed, who says he trained Contra pilots, under Seal's supervision, at Nella, Arkansas.

In another deposition in the case, John Bender, a mechanic, says he saw Clinton at Mena three times in the summer of 1985. There were no local dignitaries present, Bender says, and Clinton did not seem to be taking part in any official function. Bender says that Clinton arrived in a Beech aircraft and was still there when Bender left for the day. Clinton's stays lasted for hours.

During his deposition Bender was shown a photograph of Buddy Young. He identified him as "Captain Buddy Young-that little beady-faced fellow," and said that Young was with Clinton at Mena. Young has since been made head of the Federal Emergency Management Administration in Denton, Texas. In another deposition in the Reed case, Russell Welch, an Arkansas state police investigator who has investigated Mena extensively, says that Young asked him in 1992 if Clinton's name had ever come up in connection with Mena.

Welch said it had not, but Young's concern is intriguing.
At this juncture, no one, including Brown, can say precisely what Clinton was doing at Mena. Brown's role, after all, was quite limited. In early 1985, after Brown told Seal-and Clinton-that he would no longer take part in the drug flights, Seal contacted Brown again. Encouraging Brown to continue working with him, Seal said, "There's good money to be had."

But Brown said he was out of that game for good. Brown was not going to have anything to do with drug shipments. He was not, however, done with the CIA.

In January 1985 while Brown was on duty at the Governor's Mansion he was paid a visit by a man he believed to be another contract employee of the CIA, Felix Rodriguez, alias Max Gomez. Before visiting Brown at the mansion, Rodriguez telephoned Brown while he was on duty there. Later he drove over, entering through the compound's back gate. His familiarity with the place surprised Brown.

In the following months Brown concluded that Rodriguez must have known Clinton and was in continuing contact with him. Eventually Clinton made it clear to Brown that he knew Rodriguez. On the occasion of this first meeting with Brown it seems that Rodriguezs mission was to placate Brown. He wanted Brown to work with him on clandestine operations, but he wanted to reassure Brown that no more "monkeying around with Seal would be involved." At Rodriguezs mention of Seal, Brown explained, "I have had some bad experiences." Rodriguez responded, "Don't worry about Barry....

We're going to take care of that." He also told Brown he would "take care of things" with Clinton. Apparently he did. Clinton never talked to Brown about Mena or Lasater again.

Rodriguez said he was beginning a new operation and wanted Brown with him. Aware of how Seal's drug trafficking had compromised him, Brown was uneasy. Rodriguez attempted to propitiate him. He offered to get Brown another meeting with Magruder. Rodriguez talked of his friendship with two men Brown admired from his training days in narcotics work, Nick Navarro and Raul Diaz.

The combination of Rodriguezs persuasiveness, Brown's continuing interest in a career in intelligence work, and the prospect of earning $1,000 for each mission convinced Brown to join Rodriguez in his new operation. It involved guarding the transshipment of weapons from the Caribbean to Central America'. From what he saw on these missions Brown believed the shipments included AK-47s and explosives meant for the Contras.

The missions took place in 1985. During that year Brown's contact with Rodriguez was sporadic and by telephone. But Brown was confident that Rodriguez was his CIA contact. His confidence was bolstered when Rodriguez suggested they enroll Brown in a medical school in Montserrat. The purpose, Brown thought, was to establish cover for his further intelligence operations. Rodriguez also talked with Brown about

Seal, saying Seal had gotten "out of hand." On one occasion Brown expressed apprehensions to Rodriguez about Seal's co-pilot on their flights out of Mena. Brown feared exposure. Rodriguez responded, "Don't worry about it. We're going to take care of him. We're going to take care of all of it." Brown did not know the pilot's identity or his whereabouts, but in 1986, on February ig, Seal was shot dead as he entered a halfway house in Louisiana. Three Colombians eventually were arrested and convicted of the murder.

The Louisiana attorney general has estimated to the Justice Department that Seal had "smuggled between $3 billion and $5 billion in drugs into the U.S."

In May of 1986, after Seal's death, Brown got another call from
Rodriguez. "You hear about our man?" he asked. Brown had indeed heard of Seal's murder in Baton Rouge. "Well, we know who was flying in the second seat." Brown interpreted this remark to mean, "It's like we're going to eliminate everybody." Brown went on to relate that Rodriguez "talked about Clinton... and gave me the impression they were going to do something to his ass."

His impression from this conversation with Rodriguez was that Rodriguez's employer had been embarrassed by the drug trafficking that Seal and perhaps Clinton had mixed into the Mena resupply operations. Now they were going to kill "anybody that apparently had anything to do with what happened over at Mena." Brown began to fear for Clinton's life-though critical of Clinton's character and reckless improprieties, Brown obviously still harbored affecdon for his friend from the exciting days of the early 1980s.

After Rodriguezs May telephone call, he sent Brown a manual for a light automatic rifle, a Belgian-made F.A.L. Brown still has the manual. The official title of the gun as referred to in the manual is "FN Light Automatic Rifle, caliber 7.62mm. NATO." The gun is usually known as the "F.A.L." Rodriguez told Brown to fly to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where he would carry out a plan to kill the man he was led to believe was Seal's co-pilot.

With his wife, Becky, to serve as cover Brown flew to Puerto Vallarta on June 18, 1986, on American Airlines flights 537 and 535 [see Appendix A, item E]. A guard standing by the guard house of the port's naval installation gave Brown the F.A.L. It was disassembled in a straw bag which explains why Rodriguez sent Brown the manual.

Using the alias Michael Johnson, a name he had used in undercover work in Arkansas, Brown was to proceed to the Hotel Playa Conchas Chinas on the morning of June 21. There he was to identify himself as Johnson to the hotel clerk and give him $50. The clerk would direct him to his target. All went according to plan until the clerk pointed out Brown's prospective victim.

The victim did not look at all like Seal's co-pilot. Brown left the hotel, ditched the gun, and flew back on American Airlines flights 292 and 512. The man he had been set up to kill was, according to Rodriguez, Terry Reed, the very same man Seal had been working with in training the Contras and the man who in 1991 was to file the aforementioned lawsuit against Buddy Young alleging that Young had "manufactured, altered, tampered with and/or removed evidence, all in the pursuit of advancing a wrongful criminal indictment."

Reed believes that Young, the head of Governor Bill Clinton's security detail, set him up in 1987 to be killed. Young has admitted to authoring a national police profile saying that Reed was armed and dangerous and known to use a concealed weapon.

Brown did not know anything about Reed until 1995. Upon returning to Little Rock he received a call from Rodriguez who wanted to arrange an appointment. Rodriguez was en route to Washington but would fly down to Little Rock on his way home. Brown said no. He wanted nothing more to do with Rodriguez.

These last revelations of Brown's are now documented. His airplane tickets were purchased in late May. I have photocopies of them in my files. The date of purchase is May 27. I have seen the F.A.L. manual. Copies of Brown's map from Puerto Vallarta and copies of documents in which the Arkansas State Revenue Department lists Brown's alias, Michael Johnson, are also in my possession. Brown had used that alias in undercover police work and had an Arkansas driver's license under that name.

Reed too has inadvertently provided evidence supporting Brown's revelations. Without knowing anything about Brown, Reed wrote a book chronicling his misadventures with the CIA and with Arkansas officials while training Contras. The book implicates Clinton in Mena and places Reed in Puerto Vallarta. Oblivious of the fate that was awaiting him at the Hotel Playa Conchas Chinas, Reed reports that he was told to be at the hotel on June 21 to meet his new CIA handler. The man who ordered him there was Felix Rodriguez, known to Reed as Maximo Gomez.

Rodriguez somewhat imprudently has also written a book about his life, Shadow Warrior. In it he mentions Navarro and Diaz, saying he knew them as investigators in south Florida. He mentions traveling to Washington, at precisely the time Brown says he traveled there, June 1986. On June 25 he met with Ollie North. Of course, North was the National Security Council aide engaged in resupplying the Contras. (15), (16)

Brown has two more revelations. Though he left the govemor's security detail in June 1985, he obviously continued to have numerous encounters with Clinton. Just before he went down to Puerto Vallarta thinking he was being sent by the CIA to kill one of the last living figures associated with Mena, he told Clinton what their acquaintance Rodriguez had put him up to.

According to Brown, he encountered Clinton, probably at the Capitol, and told him, "I'm going to take care of that problem in Mexico." Clinton acted as though he were aware of the mission, saying, "Oh, that's good, that's good, L.D." Looking back on that exchange, Brown believes Clinton also knew the identity of Brown's quarry, Reed.

Brown's second revelation is that during the Iran-Contra hearings he discovered the real identity of Dan Magruder, the CIA official whom he met in Dallas on August 30, 1984, and whose name Rodriguez invoked in persuading Brown to undertake their Caribbean operation.

Brown says he was actually Donald P. Gregg, at the time Vice President George Bush's national security adviser. Brown explains that he became aware of Magruder's real identity during the television coverage of Iran-Contra. The Donald Gregg appearing on screen and being accused of associating with one Felix Rodriguez in the Contra resupply operation looked and sounded to Brown like Dan Magruder.

Corroborating evidence that Gregg was involved with arming the Contras has been mounting for years. The stories began when Iran-Contra broke. They continued when Gregg's nomination as ambassador to South Korea came before the Senate early in the Bush presidency. Of particular interest during those hearings was Gregg's relationship with a CIA operative long famed for his daring anticommunist operations, Rodriguez. Gregg did not deny their friendship.(17)

The Magruder whom Brown met in Dallas talked of his prior service in and extensive knowledge of Korea [see Appendix A, item D]. He told Brown that he was an "Asian expert." Gregg, it turns Out, was CIA station chief in Seoul in the 1970s. Now two intelligence agents have come forward and confirmed that Gregg used the name Magruder while assisting in arming the Contras in the early 1980s in Florida and California.

Finally, remember Clinton's remark after Brown's last flight with Seal, "and your buddy Bush knows all about it." Were Clinton and Bush both politically exposed on Mena? This might explain one of the mysteries of the 1992 campaign, the mildness of the famously competitive George Bush and his refusal to attack Clinton where the challenger was most vulnerable-character. Some political observers have speculated that Bush's Graves' disease explains his listless campaign.

Others have claimed that Bush lost his relish for political life.

An alternative explanation might be that both men had a tacit agreement not to get personal, owing to their exposure on Mena. But there is no evidence that Bush or one of his financial supporters was involved in drug trafficking at Mena. Clearly Clinton had more to fear from Mena than Bush, which suggests a tantalizing detail: Might Clinton have hoodwinked Bush into a tacit agreement that lost Bush the election?

Looking back on his years of service with Clinton, Brown recalls contacts between the two men that, given the Clintons' remoteness from Washington, were unusually frequent and cordial. Bush and Reagan were hated by Hillary, Brown says, but not by Clinton.

When Brown's revelations about Mena were published in the American Spectator in the summer of 1995 they met with mixed reaction. The Wall Street Journal's lead editorial pronounced: "Mena cries out for investigation. A congressional committee with resources, subpoena power and the perseverance displayed by some past chairmen should look into this. If some chips fall on the Republican side, so be it. Important questions need to be answered."(18)

Other Journalists for the most part ignored the story though they had previously vowed that if a Clinton bodyguard ever came forward with claims of serious wrongdoing by Clinton, as opposed to mere adultery and satyriasis, they would investigate to the utmost.

Finally, there was a handful of journalists who set out to expose Brown as a fraud. I have in my files a cocky letter from one on the letterhead of a major news organization ridiculing Brown's assertions about flying with Seal and, incidentally, erroneously observing that Seal died in January rather than February.

That Brown's story stands unimpeached must give him great satisfaction. For over a decade he had lived in fear. He feared that his flights with Seal implicated him in a conspiracy to import cocaine. As people whom he had known at Mena disappeared or died violently he began to fear for his life. And as mentioned a few paragraphs back, he even feared for Clinton's life.

While I was encouraging Brown to reveal his story to me and later while I was encouraging him to go public with it, I never quite understood the intensity of these fears until he revealed to me his dealings with Rodriguez.

In my journalistic life I have not had to deal with many desperate men. Documents revealing drug dealing, gun running, intelligence gathering cloak-and-dagger operations, and ultimately murder do not make amusing reading. As I have mentioned earlier, we might never know for sure what took place at Mena or who the principal players were.

Yet there is a serious policy issue involved when government intelligence services link up with unsavory types and lose control of their operation. Further research into Mena leads me to believe that Seal's drug dealing might have been going on independent of and perhaps even unknown to the CIA.

In fact it is possible that the CIAs dealings with him were not terribly close and that the guns that he dropped were going to the Sandinistas rather than the Contras, or perhaps even to Colombian drug tycoons. Possibly Rodriguez was not even working that closely with the CIA but with others, for instance with North and Gregg, who had really lost control of their operation.

I have gathered information that sketches several agencies working with varying degrees of responsibility at Mena. In the early 1980s it appears that to avoid prosecution for international drug trafficking, Seal approached the Drug Enforcement Administration, offering to serve as an informant. The DEA eventually used him on three counternarcotics operations.

Through a government register, the National Source Register, our intelligence agencies became aware of him. They knew of his easy aerial access to Central and South America. By 1983 Washington had become concerned about the possible presence of Soviet-made missiles in Nicaragua and even the possibility that the Soviet Union might have nuclear weapons there.

The National Security Agency (NSA), which monitors such foreign activity, needed low-flying airborne platforms like Seal's drug flights on which to place the sophisticated devices that would detect nuclear weapons in a place such as Nicaragua.

The CIA recruited Seal to undertake these flights. The CIA provided the front for dealing with Seal while the NSA equipped Seal's C- 123K with the required gadgetry. The plane was equipped with very sophisticated Nuclear Detection Devices manufactured by EG&G in Las Vegas, a highly classified Department of Defense contractor.

The NSA fabricated a TOP SECRET specially compartmented program for all electronic collection directed against the Sandinista government. The program was called "RAPPORT." When I filed a Freedom of Information request to the Pentagon it went immediately to NSA without any urging from me.
Owing to Seal's status as a CIA asset, Customs and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) could allow Seal to leave and enter the country without inspection. For security reasons the NSA barred Customs from inspecting Seal's plane. He was free to return from his flights south with small duffel bags of drugs. All the NSA wanted was its intelligence data tapes. Seal duped all these government agencies until someone put an end to his duplicity.

But to return to Brown's revelations about Clinton at Mena.

One might wonder why the governor of Arkansas would want one of his top security guards on the Mena flights. The answer seems obvious to anyone who has studied Clinton's behavior. Were the Mena operation exposed, Clinton could claim that he had a top state trooper with experience in narcotics investigations flying surveillance.

When Brown's story was published in the August 1995 issue of the American Spectator I was unable to get an official White House response. More surprising was the silence of all major news organization except for the Wall Street journal and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. For years journalists, most notably on the Left, had been on to Mena. Now a conservative was validating at least some of what the Left had suspected. As for Brown, major news organizations had been after him for months, suspecting that he knew something portentous about Mena.

Once the story broke their calls to him petered out. Unlike the aftermath of the troopers' revelations about Clinton's sex life, when he found himself peppered with journalists' inquiries day after day, the president never had to face similar inquiries from the press about this far more serious matter.

Thus one can imagine my delight on the evening of July 17, a week after publication of the August Spectator, when the president entered the dining room of Washington's Jockey Club. I was seated a few feet away with my fourteen-year-old daughter, Annie, and her young friend, Zana Arafat. Finally I would get the official White House response to the L. D. Brown story and from the White House's top official-all in the comfort of Washington's finest eatery.

The president proceeded to a table in the back of the restaurant where fifteen old friends greeted him. Upon meticulous reflection and with the principia of Miss Manners in mind I asked the maitre d' to tell the president that "Mr. Tyrrell of the American Spectator" would like to send over a bottle of champagne.

The Secret Service, of course, had to be consulted, but apparently the president was pleased. A beaming maitre d' returned to tell me that "President Clinton" would like to thank me after my meal, but, she advised, there were fifteen people in the president's party. "Two bottles," I insisted. My generosity is the stuff of legends.

Frankly I was rather surprised by the president's response. Since late 1993 when the American Spectator's Troopergate stories began detailing the scortatory side of Clinton's life, I had personally overseen an investigative team of journalists that both in Arkansas and Washington had turned up reports of conflicts of interest and abuse of power (for instance, David Brock's piece on Travelgate), and campaign irregularities, such as using "walking around money" to buy votes and filing false financial papers. We had reported real estate shenanigans, banking scams, and sharp tax filings that revealed the Clintons taking deductions on such piffles as the president's underwear.

Yet I should not have been all that surprised. For over two years I had been doing research on the Clintons for this book.

Clinton is a very reckless man, and he has many quirks, one of which makes him a tireless schmoozer. Down in Arkansas it was known that if there was one person at a party who, he felt, disliked him he would spend the entire party heaving himself at the skeptic. The evening of July 17, 1995 was my turn.

As we were almost finished with our meal when I sent over the champagne, I soon notified the maitre d' that we were ready to accept the president's gratitude. Past a wall of security and through a corridor of flunkies we were lead. The Clintons were seated at one long table with their guests and fifteen tiny servings of champagne. Large and amiable, the president rose from his chair to greet us. He was all smiles; Mrs. Clinton, seated across from him, was less joyous.

"And so we meet," I said. He joked, shook my hand, and immediately turned the charm on my daughter and Zana. He asked the girls their ages. He spoke of Chelsea's- summer camp. Out of the corner of my eye I espied an increasingly uneasy Hillary.

Time might be running out. Her eyes put me in mind of a snake about to strike.

Quickly I made my move for the White House's official response to the L. D. Brown-Mena story. Reminding the president of my respect for the Clintons' characteristically 1960s trait of "talking and talking" and debating every issue, I briskly addressed the issue of the moment. "What did you think of the L. D. Brown story?" I asked.

He reddened. He ignited.

He denied that he had read the piece. He said I should be "ashamed" of publishing it. "Lies, lies," he intoned indignantly. The flunkies stiffened. The president's next charges were curiously familiar. He called Brown a "pathological liar" who had tried to destroy his own family. Those were precisely the lines that the White House's operatives had employed months before against Brown to kill ABCs interview with him.

I replied that the president's hometown paper, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, had just described Brown as a very credible witness who had never yet been caught in a lie. The president began reiterating his charges. I mentioned that it seemed to me he had read our piece. He continued with his charges and showed no sign of breaking off what was becoming an increasingly uncomfortable conversation.

Surely, I thought, he will wheel on me and, as the sophisticates say, "cut" me. But, no, he continued to sputter and to whine.

This too was what Arkansans had told me to expect. There stood this large man surrounded by bodyguards. His presence, however, was completely without force. The president was angry. His voice was labored. Yet this was anger without force.

What came to mind was not the anger of a statesman, but rather Tinkerbell in a snit. I made my conges. Mrs. Clinton might join in, and I would be guilty of having placed young girls in harm's way.

The next day, when the press began inquiring about my presidential summit at the Jockey Club, I pooh-poohed the whole thing.

Tim Watters, the leading impersonator of Bill Clinton, was a friend of mine. I insisted that it was Watters whom I had encountered the night before. Surely the president of the United States does not accept champagne in a restaurant. The man I had met was an impostor, but a pretty good one.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


"Turkey, where Paul preached to the Ephesians and Galatians, once the seat of the Eastern Christianity known as Byzantium, has one of the smallest Christian minorities.

It is now home to less than 75,000 Christians, out of a population of 70 million.

The persecutions, even genocide, of the Assyrians, Pontic Greeks and Armenians, the population exchange with Greece and other mass Christian emigrations of the last century, all took their toll.

Things are quieter today for the Christians. To be sure the Orthodox Church is being slowly strangled by the state closure of its seminary, but the violence is no longer systematic or official.

It is more targeted, and carried out by zealous young men acting outside the law.

Last Sunday, Italian Catholic priest, Fr. Adriano Franchini, was stabbed after Mass at a church in Izmir. In April three evangelicals were mutilated and killed at their Christian publishing house. "

December 24, 2007, 0:00 a.m.

A Creche Without Christians
Christian Persecution in the Middle East.
By Nina Shea

In the two millennia since the child’s birth in a humble manger in Bethlehem, the good news of Christianity has spread to every continent, inspiring more followers than any other religion today.

But the lands that once were the cradle of Christianity have turned distinctively inhospitable to the faith.

Fiercely intolerant variants of Islam are taking hold in the region, many of them fueled with ideology and funds from Saudi and Iranian extremists.

From Morocco to the Persian Gulf, we are seeing the rapid erosion of Christian populations, thought to now number no more than 15 million. These are the communities that have disproportionately been the region’s modernizers, the mediators bridging east and west, its educators and academics, as the Lebanese Catholic scholar Habib Malik observes.

For empirical evidence he has to look no further than his own father, a principal drafter of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The loss of Middle Eastern Christianity has profound meaning for the Church. But it should not be a matter of concern to Christians only.

These Christian communities, along with a handful of other non-Muslim minority groups, such as the Bahais, Mandeans, Yizidis, Jews, together with the anti-Islamist Muslims, are the front-line in the terrible worldwide struggle taking place today between Islamist totalitarianism and individual rights and freedoms.

The extinction of these ancient church communities will lead to ever more extremism within the region and polarization from the non-Muslim world. This will hurt us all.

The new religious survey, Freedom in the World, produced by the Center for Religious Freedom shows that while some Muslim governments do respect religious freedom, none are to be found in the Middle East.

Israel is the only “free” country, and their Christian numbers are increasing. The survey ranks Jordan, Oman, Morocco, and Lebanon as “partly free.” Here the Christian populations are either miniscule and largely foreign, or, in the case of Lebanon, shrinking precipitously from majority to about a third of the population in recent decades.

The rest of the region is further down the freedom scale. In Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Algeria, and Tunisia there are virtually no indigenous Christian communities left, though some converts there carry out religious lives in the catacombs and expats quietly hold services.

In Saudi Arabia, religious intolerance is official state policy.

Over half of Iraq’s one million Christians have fled since a coordinated bombing of their churches in August 2004 was followed by sustained violence against them. A Catholic Chaldean bishop raised the possibility last month that we may now be witnessing “the end of Christianity in Iraq.”

Anglican Canon Andrew White, who leads a Baghdad ecumenical congregation, agrees: “All of my leadership were originally taken and killed — all dead,” he asserted in November.

Iraq’s Christian community, which dates from the Apostle Thomas, is not simply caught in the cross hairs of a sectarian civil war between Shiites and Sunnis. It is targeted for its non-Muslim faith — a reality U.S. policy fails to acknowledge.

An extremist Sunni fatwa issued to Christians this year in a Baghdad neighborhood could not be clearer: “If you do not leave your home, your blood will be spilled. You and your family will be killed.'”

The Christian presence in Palestine may hold out no more than 15 years, according to Israeli human rights lawyer Justus Weiner, due to increasing Muslim persecution and maltreatment.

Amidst a Muslim population of 1.4 million, some 3,000 Greek Orthodox live in the Hamas-run Gaza strip. An extreme Wahhabi-style group wearing seventh-century robes recently emerged, calling them “Crusaders” and vowing to drive them out.

It has succeeded in killing several Christians in recent months, including a prominent member of the community, Rami Khader.

The West Bank is hardly better. “No one city in the Holy Land is more indicative of the great exodus of Christians than Bethlehem, which fell under full Palestinian control last decade as part of the Oslo Accords,” states Weiner.

This town of 30,000 is now less than 20-percent Christian, after centuries in which Christians were the majority. In the West Bank’s only all-Christian town, now called Taybeh and once known by the Biblical name Ephraim, a Muslim mob from a neighboring village torched 14 houses last September to avenge the honor of a Muslim woman allegedly impregnated by her Christian employer.

Demographic decline isn’t perfectly correlated with religious repression.

Lower birth rates, conversions, and some voluntary emigration also account for shrinking numbers of Christians. Israel’s barrier fence, erected relatively recently in its history in response to terrorist attacks, is a hardship and is commonly blamed for the Christian exodus from Palestine.

But when the decline is so dramatic, when only the Christian and other non-Muslim populations are dwindling and when this pattern holds in country after country, the facts on the ground deserve a closer look.

There we see a region-wide, steady, grinding economic, legal, and social discrimination, and political disempowerment punctuated by horrific acts of terror by social forces that governments are unable or unwilling to control. The smaller a minority in the brutally sectarian world of the Middle East, the more vulnerable it is and the more rapid its decline.

Egypt, with some ten million Copts, has the region’s largest Christian minority. The state systematically discriminates against them and frustrates their efforts to build and repair churches. Fanatical Islamist groups rise up periodically and threaten or kill priests and individual Christian believers, especially converts, and the state often fails to bring justice in such cases.

Earlier this month, an Islamist website urged a terrorist attack on the Cairo office of the Knights of Malta, a Catholic charitable group founded in 1087 to care for poor and sick pilgrims to the Holy Land.

Posting photos of the Malta office, it exhorted: “Do not stint on your attacks, Egyptians, either with car or truck bombs.”

Turkey, where Paul preached to the Ephesians and Galatians, once the seat of the Eastern Christianity known as Byzantium, has one of the smallest Christian minorities. It is now home to less than 75,000 Christians, out of a population of 70 million.

The persecutions, even genocide, of the Assyrians, Pontic Greeks and Armenians, the population exchange with Greece and other mass Christian emigrations of the last century, all took their toll. Things are quieter today for the Christians.

To be sure the Orthodox Church is being slowly strangled by the state closure of its seminary, but the violence is no longer systematic or official. It is more targeted, and carried out by zealous young men acting outside the law. Last Sunday, Italian Catholic priest, Fr. Adriano Franchini, was stabbed after Mass at a church in Izmir. In April three evangelicals were mutilated and killed at their Christian publishing house.

Last June, speaking of Iraq but in words applicable to the region, the pope told President Bush of his concerns that “the society that was evolving would not tolerate the Christian religion.”

Chaldean Bishop Audo elaborated: "This is very sad and very dangerous for the church, for Iraq and even for Muslim people, because it means the end of an old experience of living together.”

Christian hearts are filled with joy and wonder reflecting on the first Christmas. They should also make room in this season for the persecuted faithful of the Middle East.

Thursday, December 20, 2007



The Waziristan Accord between Pakistan's government and tribal leaders in that country's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) has failed not only to curb violence in the immediate region but also to restrict cross-border militant activity--including resurgent Taliban and al-Qa'ida cadres--between Pakistan's "tribal belt" and Afghanistan. The purpose of this article is to examine the Waziristan Accord and to indicate why agreements of this nature will continue to fail unless there is a substantial modification in Pakistan's internal and regional policies.

On September 5, 2006, in the town of Miranshah, on the football field of the Government Degree College, Maulana Syed Nek Zaman, a member of the National Assembly for the North Waziristan Agency and a tribal council member, read out an agreement between the Pakistani government and tribal elders that has since been known as the Waziristan Accord.

The agreement, witnessed by approximately 500 elders, parliamentarians, and government officials, was signed on behalf of the Pakistan government by Dr. Fakhr-i-Alam, a political agent of North Waziristan, tribal and militia leaders from the mainly Pashtun tribes and clans of the area, and seven militants representing the Taliban shura (advisory council).

The signing was witnessed by Major-General Azhar Ali Shah, the commanding officer of the Pakistani army in the region. The venue was heavily guarded by armed tribal militia members and allegedly also by armed Taliban members.[1]

The Treaty of Waziristan (or the Waziristan Accord) is considered by some to be the "unconditional surrender" of the government of Pakistan to the tribes of the area, the Taliban, and al-Qa'ida.[2] On the other hand, government representatives continuously reiterate that the treaty was signed only with the elders and leaders of the tribes inhabiting the region, who have in turn committed themselves to suppressing cross-border Taliban and al-Qa'ida activity and to eradicating the presence of foreign militants in the area.[3]

However, even a cursory monitoring of the situation since the September 2006 agreement indicates that the former is probably closer to the truth. Nevertheless, describing the Waziristan Accord as an "unconditional surrender" is probably too extreme a characterization, since the government of Pakistan hardly surrendered anything but rather reaffirmed the status quo--a state of affairs that certain segments of the Pakistani administration do not consider to be adverse but rather vital to Pakistan's greater strategic interests.[4]

This article is divided into two sections. The first will provide a brief background of the events that culminated in the signing of the Waziristan Accord, its main purpose being to situate this particular agreement in the wider context of regional history and politics, including Pakistan's role in the War on Terror. The second part will examine what little has been made public regarding the Waziristan Accord and juxtapose its terms to events on the ground in an attempt to provide an assessment of it. The overall intention of this article is not only to illustrate how this agreement, like its predecessors, has failed to solve the two main issues it was designed to settle--the cessation of violence in the immediate area and the termination of cross-border militant movement and activity against the nascent Afghan government and U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan--but perhaps more importantly to highlight the reasons why accords of this nature will continue to fail unless the Pakistani government (in its entirety) radically alters its policies in the area and substantially shifts its regional strategy (both with respect to Afghanistan as well as Kashmir).

BACKGROUND TO THE WAZIRISTAN ACCORDIn 2001-2002, as a result of successful U.S. operations in Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom, OEF) against the Taliban movement and al-Qa'ida elements, the former were ousted from power and the latter lost their state sanctuary, effectively destroying them as an organization. However, it is by now a widely accepted fact that many members of both groups, including their top-tier leadership, managed to escape and find refuge across the country's eastern border with Pakistan--a region known as the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)[5]--and have since (especially the Taliban)
"...established themselves in parts of south-western and south-eastern Afghanistan, control parts of FATA and have their main headquarters and support networks in Baluchistan."[6]

The FATA consist of 12 administratively autonomous regions[7] of western Pakistan. Together with the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) that lies to the north and the province of Balochistan (or Baluchistan) to the south, these three administrative divisions (two provinces and one territory) form the greater part of Pakistan's border with Afghanistan. The southern Afghan provinces (from west to east) of Nimruz, Helmand, Kandahar, Zabol, and Paktika border Balochistan to the south. Paktika also shares its eastern border with North and South Waziristan, the largest and southernmost agencies of Pakistan's FATA. The remainder of Afghanistan's eastern provinces (from south to north)--Khost, Paktia, Nangarhar, and Konar--border the FATA agencies of North Waziristan and Kurram (Khost); Kurram (Paktia); Kurram, Khyber and Mohmand (Nangarhar); as well as Mohmand and Bajaur (Konar). Konar also shares a border with the Dir Agency of the NWFP.

The northeastern provinces of Afghanistan (from south to north)--Nurestan and Badakhshan--border Pakistan's NWFP agencies of Dir and Chitral to the east (Badakhshan also shares a small strip of border with Pakistan's Northern Areas).

Characterized by mountainous terrain and a bewildering array of autonomous, mainly Pashtun tribes and clans, the FATA are ostensibly controlled by the federal government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, but in reality the government has never exercised any level of substantial control over the area.

Unlike Balochistan and the NWFP, the FATA have never been truly incorporated into the Pakistani state. Epigrammatically, the government controls the area indirectly through political agents (PA), who are federal or provincially recruited bureaucrats that wield considerable executive, judicial, and revenue power in each FATA agency. These PAs, which are appointed by the NWFP's provincial governor, essentially control access to political and financial privileges and have the authority to suspend them arbitrarily according to the interests of the state (in consultation with the governor).

The PAs are in turn supported by khasadars (irregulars drawn from the tribes in the area and employed and financed by the PA) and levies (tribal militias) as well as by paramilitary forces under the control of the army, whose task is to maintain law and order and suppress crime. For purposes of daily administration, however, the PAs--and by extension, the government of Pakistan--rely on the support and services of maliks or holders of lungi positions, titles of official recognition and privilege (including financial benefits) granted by the political administration to tribal elders and leaders in order to secure their cooperation. Essentially, the PAs, as proxies of the central government, control access to political and financial privileges that they use as incentives and control mechanisms in order to manage the tribes of the FATA upon which they depend for their manpower needs.

The administrative and legal structures that the Pakistani government uses to manage the FATA are codified in a framework known as the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) 1901, a colonial-era arrangement that has been variously described as "arbitrary," "draconian," "oppressive," and contrary to human rights.[8] A former chief justice of the Peshawar (NWFP provincial) High Court explained in an interview with the International Crisis Group (ICG) that:

The present system of administration embodied by the PA and the FCR is a mechanism of social control that suited the colonial needs of the British but cannot be justified by any standards of modern administration and even basic human rights.[9]

The FCR is a parallel legal system used by the Pakistani government in essentially the same way as it was used by the British Raj, to control a supposedly "unruly" population according to the best interests of the central administration. In cases where the interests of the state are not directly at stake, the tribes of the FATA are left to their own devices to settle criminal and civil disputes. This state of affairs creates perceptions of exclusion rather than inclusion. Unlike the rest of the country, which falls under the jurisdiction of the country's regular court system (district and sessions courts that can appeal to the provincial High Courts or the Supreme Court of Pakistan), the FCR, with its arbitrary provisions for collective punishment, discrimination against women, and no right of appeal (to mention but a few), is the only law of the land.

Thus, the FCR is not only an anachronism but also breeds clientelism[10] and "...strengthen[s] conservative and patriarchal values."[11] While the Pakistani state claims that governance in the FATA is based on Pashtun tribal customs, in reality it has...elected to govern [the region] through local proxies and draconian colonial-era administrative structures and laws, depriving locals of constitutionally guaranteed civil and political rights and protection of the courts.[12]

The conclusion that can thus be made is that
...poor governance, combined with a long history of official [state] support for Islamist Pashtun proxies in Afghanistan... explains the growth of militancy and extremism in Pakistan's Pashtun-majority tribal region.[13]

The aforementioned administrative and legal issues are to a large extent responsible for the current state of underdevelopment in the region, which is the least developed territory in Pakistan. Not only are literacy rates far below the national average (which is itself comparatively low internationally--49.9 percent),[14] but due to its lack of infrastructure, the FATA comprise one of the most inaccessible areas in the world. Thus, although the FATA are "...formally a part of Pakistan [the region] more closely resembles a colony whose population lives under laws and administrative arrangements that set it apart from the rest of the state."[15]

A further issue that complicates matters is the transnational character of the Pashtun tribes living in the area. The Pashtuns are probably the largest "stateless ethnic group" in the current Westphalian international system (a description usually reserved for the Kurds)[16] and inhabit large sections of Pakistan's western regions (the NWFP, the FATA, and Balochistan) and Afghanistan's eastern and southeastern provinces.

They are the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan and the second or third-largest in Pakistan (after the Punjabis and Sindhis, depending on which census data one chooses to use). They straddle the Durand line, an artificial, colonial demarcation that forms the border between the two countries.

As with the FCR mentioned previously, the Durand line is a product of the British Raj's Afghan policy, inherited by the state of Pakistan after independence in 1947, and was a further attempt by the British Empire to control the "unmanageable" territory and population to the northwest of and adjacent to British India.[17] Indeed, the Durand line can be perceived as an attempt to weaken the potential unifying strength of Pashtun tribes in the area (a variation of the British Empire's "divide and conquer" approach), since it essentially divided the Pashtun ethnic group in two. Although the demarcation has been upheld under the uti possidentis juris principle of international law--where agreements with or between colonial powers are "inherited" by and are considered binding upon successor independent states--successive governments of Afghanistan (including the administration of Hamid Karzai and, to Pakistan's chagrin, the Taliban during their time in power)[18] have not recognized the line as the official border.

On the other hand, governments of Pakistan, fearing Pashtun nationalist claims within Pakistan as well as irredentist claims from Afghanistan, have continuously expressed recognition of the Durand line and have attempted to solve the dispute through the subversion of Pakistani- and Afghan-Pashtun nationalist movements while supporting Pashtun groups that espouse a non-nationalist agenda.[19]

This approach can best be illustrated by the rule of General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq (1977-1988). As part of a deliberate policy on the part of his regime, Afghan guerrilla groups that advocated Islamic (as opposed to purely nationalist) aims were supported in order to dampen Pashtun nationalist and Afghan irredentist claims on areas of the FATA, the NWFP, and Balochistan (a region claimed by Pashtun nationalists as part of "Pashtunistan"--the "homeland" of the Pashtuns straddling the Durand line).

Even the administration of General Pervez Musharraf, while paying lip-service to wide-ranging reforms and half-heartedly implementing a few (mainly to ease international pressure), " following the pattern of the country's previous military rulers in co-opting religious extremists to support his government's agenda and to neutralize his secular political opposition."[20]

It can thus be argued that the partnership between the Pakistani state and Afghan Islamist groups has been a direct result of successive regimes' simultaneous (and continuing) collaboration with Pakistani Islamists. In the case of the Zia regime, in an attempt to legitimize military rule, it pursued a program of "Islamization" of the country,[21] which in turn led it to support the jihad in Afghanistan and brought it into a strategic alliance with Pakistani Islamist parties and groups as a means to further this specific end. The aforementioned concomitant policies can also be considered as part of the larger regional strategy pursued by Pakistan since its independence in 1947--the provision, by Afghanistan, of "strategic depth" for Pakistan in the event of total war with India, Pakistan's arch-rival on the subcontinent; a situation that could only come about through the rise to power in Afghanistan of a regime that shared Islamabad's outlook.

The nexus then, among Pakistani governments, Pakistani and Afghan Islamists, and Pakistan's Afghan policy in general, thus becomes evident when the strands mentioned previously are considered concurrently. This was illustrated during the period of the jihad against the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan (1979-1989). Throughout the jihad, the border tribal regions of Pakistan (Balochistan, the NWFP, and the FATA--including North and South Waziristan) were at the forefront of the mujahidin resistance effort, providing staging posts for cross-border operations against the Soviets as well as sanctuaries from which prospective and returning mujahidin to and from the "Afghan front" could be housed, trained, armed, and indoctrinated.[22] Pakistani Islamist parties and their members, such as the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI), and Maulana Fazlur Rehman, were instrumental in setting up madrasas (religious schools) and networks in support of the jihad against the Soviets.[23] The Maktab al-Khidmat lil Mujahidin al-Arab (Afghan Service Bureau, MAK), the forerunner to al-Qa'ida (as an organization), was formed in Peshawar, Pakistan (the capital city of both the NWFP and the FATA) in 1984 in order to facilitate the movement of mujahidin fighters to the jihad in Afghanistan. It was, however, just one of many such support structures on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.[24]

The Taliban themselves grew out of a movement based around Kandahar in Afghanistan and Balochistan[25] (specifically Quetta) in Pakistan in 1994 and were supported by individuals in the JUI, such as Samiul Haq (who "...has deep respect for Mullah Omar"[26]) and the Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).[27] The sanctuaries, entry and exit routes, and support networks that were created as a result of the jihad and Pakistan's Islamist-tilted Afghan policy, as well as the ties established between the Taliban and al-Qa'ida movements and Pashtun tribes along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, never really ceased to exist and were reactivated[28] following the fall of the Taliban. Writing in 1996, Olivier Roy stated:

The triumph of the Taliban has virtually eliminated the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. On both sides, Pashtu tribes are simultaneously slipping towards fundamentalism and becoming increasingly implicated in drug trafficking. They are gaining autonomy; already small fundamentalist emirates are appearing on Pakistani soil.[29]

A more succinct analysis of the state of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region (including the FATA) is difficult to find. Roy's statement encapsulates not only the porous and transnational nature of the border and its population, but also indicates the effects that Pakistani government policies have had in the region.

Government support for Islamist movements--such as Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's Hizb-i-Islami (Islamic Party)[30] and the Taliban--during the jihad and Afghanistan's civil wars (1989-2001) in pursuit of its Afghan and Pashtun policies in effect "...militarized and radicalized the border region."[31] Ahmed Rashid makes a similar point when he states that: "Tribal groups imitating the Taliban sprang up across the Pashtun belt in the NWFP and Baluchistan."[32]

Although this passage specifically refers to the emergence and consolidation of the Taliban movement during the period of 1994 to 1996, Rashid illustrates a number of the same points evident in Roy's aforementioned analysis. Additionally, he highlights the difficulty in distinguishing between Afghan- and Pakistani-based groups that refer to themselves as "Taliban," since the movement, far from being territorially confined to specific areas such as Kandahar in Afghanistan or Quetta or Peshawar in Pakistan, is as transnational as the population that spans both sides of the Durand line.

The reason is that the Taliban is a product of a system of "Islamization," created, operated, and supported by Pakistani and Afghan Islamist parties and movements. Despite the fact that "...there was mounting public concern about the Talibanization of Pakistan, the country's leaders ignored the growing internal chaos."[33]

The rise in militancy along the border regions and the weakness of the Pakistani government to confront it and decisively deal with it are not issues confined to Islamabad's past actions alone. Within the Pakistani political establishment itself there continue to exist powerbrokers that are either pro-Taliban or exhibit radical Islamist tendencies. The Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (United Council for Action, MMA)--an alliance of six major religious parties including the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam faction of Fazlur Rehman (JUI-F), the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam faction of Samiul Haq (JUI-S), the Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan (JUP), the Jamiat Ahle Hadith (JAH), and the Islami Tehrik Pakistan (ITP)--was explicitly formed in opposition to President Pervez Musharraf's decision to ally Pakistan with the United States in its Global War on Terror following the September 11 attacks.[34]

While the JI, one of the most organized political parties in Pakistan, is the prominent force behind this alliance, the MMA includes within its ranks both factions of the pro-Taliban Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (the Fazlur Rehman and Samiul Haq factions).[35]

The MMA's political platform aims at the Islamization of Pakistan through the introduction of the Shari'a, the end of coeducation, and the introduction of more Islamic texts into school and college curricula. Furthermore, it shares the outlook of the Pakistani military regarding India and Kashmir and Afghanistan's role as a provider of strategic depth against the former--this being one of the reasons for the lack of serious confrontation between the religious parties and the military. In the October 2002 general election, the MMA achieved considerable political successes, which enabled it to both become the ruling party in the NWFP and a major partner in Balochistan (in cooperation with Musharraf's Muslim League, Quaid-i-Azam, PML-Q) as well as to win control of 62 out of 342 seats in the National Assembly (making it the third largest party).[36] Constituent groups within the MMA and prominent personalities of the alliance (such as Rehman) have been instrumental in brokering the agreements reached with pro-Taliban tribes in the FATA (including the Waziristan Accord).[37]

The transnational relationships between the inhabitants on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and its porous nature are also reflected in one of the key judgments made in a 1985 Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) report regarding Afghanistan, which stated that " long as the insurgents have access to strong external support and open borders,"[38] the Soviets would find it difficult to control much of the countryside. Although this conclusion was made in reference to CIA estimates of the number of Soviet troops that could be used to reinforce the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics' (USSR) commitment in Afghanistan, the previously quoted extract crystallizes the two main difficulties faced by Soviet counterinsurgency efforts to defeat the mujahidin resistance--external support and a porous border.

Additionally, while the "external support" portion of the quotation undoubtedly refers to the various types of aid provided by third parties to the mujahidin (for instance, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United States), for the purposes of this article, it is enough to make the connection that any form of external support to insurgent or terrorist elements across the Durand line (given the transnational nature of the population and the difficulty of policing the border) would make it difficult for a stabilizing force (on either side) to establish control effectively. Without wanting to draw too much of a parallel between the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the current situation, what does become evident from a comparison of the two is the role that cross-border networks can have in sustaining insurgencies (or for that matter terrorist activity) on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.[39]

Thus, in order to deal with Taliban and al-Qa'ida members fleeing across the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and because of the potentially negative political fallout of stationing foreign troops on Pakistani soil or of conducting large-scale, highly visible "hot pursuit" cross-border actions, the United States was forced to enlist the assistance of the Musharraf government in order to suppress Taliban and al-Qa'ida movement and action between Pakistan and Afghanistan in 2001-2002. As a result, in July 2002, the federal government dispatched approximately 80,000 troops to sensitive border areas of the FATA for the first time since 1947, in search of Taliban and al-Qa'ida members.[40]

Almost immediately, a violent and increasingly expanding resistance against this perceived incursion by the Pakistani military surfaced. Although this outbreak of violence can be directly attributed to the military's (regular army and paramilitary units--for instance, the Frontier Corps) indiscriminate use of force and human rights violations,[41] it is also the product of Islamabad's previously outlined policies.

The perception among certain tribes and clans of the central government (and by extension its armed forces) as an opponent to be resisted; the history of the FATA; the similar ethnic composition of populations on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistan border; the transnational social networks straddling the Durand line; Islamabad's unfulfilled development and political promises towards the region; and its oscillating policy of repression and appeasement towards militias and armed tribes all coalesced to fuel the violence that was observed following government operations in mid-2002.[42]

According to Pakistani security authorities, in December 2003 two assassination attempts against President Pervez Musharraf were traced to militants in the region comprising the agencies of North and South Waziristan.[43] In early 2004, a general insurgency developed against the central government of Pakistan, marking the beginning of what has come to be known as the Waziristan conflict. Despite the fact that a number of combatants battling Pakistani troops came from the numerous tribes of the area, the insurgency generally involved militants belonging to pro-Taliban tribes as well as members of the Taliban and al-Qa'ida movements.[44]

As a result of the inherent political chaos in the FATA and the resistance of the population due to this latest military crackdown, the Taliban movement and al-Qa'ida members were provided with an environment in which they could regroup, rearm, recruit, and rebuild their training infrastructure through alliances developed with certain tribes and clans in the region.[45] It is estimated that in the period from 2004 to 2006, as a direct result of the "war in Waziristan," the Pakistani army lost approximately 1,000 to 3,000 men.[46]

The possibility of an extreme deterioration of the situation and a spillover of the violence into agencies and provinces neighboring the Waziristans (North and South) and the FATA in general (mainly areas of the NWFP and Balochistan) led the Musharraf government to agree to a ceasefire with the tribes and militants inhabiting North Waziristan on September 5, 2006.

It is worth mentioning that this particular agreement between the Pakistani government and tribal and militia leaders (including pro-Taliban elements) is the third of its kind since 2004.[47] The "Shakai deal" (April 24, 2004) in South Waziristan was the first, wherein five tribal elders of the Zalikhel tribe--Nek Muhammad, Haji Sharif, Maulana Abd al-Aziz, Maulvi Abbas, and Haji Noorul Islam--accused of harboring al-Qa'ida members "surrendered" to the Pakistani military and reportedly "pledged loyalty" to the government in return for leniency. As part of the same agreement, the government released 155 of the 163 tribesmen captured in March 2004 as a result of military operations and gave "foreign terrorists" until the end of the month (April 30, 2004) to surrender and receive a pardon. The then interior minister, Faysal Saleh Hayat, announced that this general amnesty was open to all except top-tier leaders of al-Qa'ida and the Taliban.

The amnesty date was extended twice, and the tribal forces that were created to hunt down al-Qa'ida and Taliban members apparently failed to locate any foreign terrorists in South Waziristan.[48]

Following the Shakai deal, violence in the Waziristans continued both from tribal militias as well as from government troops, and although some successes were announced, the deal failed to stem cross-border movement. By June 9, 2004, a militant group led by Nek Muhammad allegedly took responsibility for an attack that killed 25 people (including 17 security personnel) and wounded 11 in the Tiyarza area of South Waziristan. (Nek Muhammad was subsequently killed when a precision-guided missile hit the house he was staying at in the village of Dhok, near Wana, South Waziristan on June 17, 2004.)[49]

The second agreement between the Pakistani government and pro-Taliban militants was signed on February 7, 2005, in Sararogha, South Waziristan. Baitullah Mehsud, a pro-Taliban mujahidin commander belonging to the Mehsud tribe, allegedly "surrendered" and "laid down his arms" at a ceremony held in an open field surrounded by Taliban cadres.[50] Abdallah Mehsud (who has ties to the JUI-run Jamiat-ul Uloomi Islamiyya seminary in Binori, Karachi, which sent at least 600 students to fight for the Taliban in 1997),[51] an associate of Baitullah and a member of the same tribe, never signed the aforementioned agreement, denounced it, and continued his attacks against military personnel and locals accused of spying for Pakistan or the United States.[52]

The terms of this second agreement were similar to the ones included in the Shakai deal, in that the six provisions of the agreement included clauses whereby Baitullah and his supporters would not support "foreign terrorists" in their area, would cease their attacks against government personnel and installations, and would be given official pardons in return. In the event of violations to the agreement, cases would be adjudicated under the FCR.[53] However, violence from both government forces and militants (including members of the Mehsud tribe) continued, and by July 27, 2005, Baitullah Mehsud declared the agreement void, resumed attacks, and blamed the government, stating that: "The government has not kept the agreement with us. It is not holding anymore.... They have violated the agreement by arresting our Mujahideen."[54]

The third agreement, the Waziristan Accord, has (unsurprisingly perhaps) gone the way of its predecessors. Although violence directed against government troops on the Pakistani side of the border did decrease somewhat in the immediate aftermath of the signing, extra-judicial killings continued, and insurgent and terrorist actions within Afghanistan increased dramatically. Talat Masood, a defense analyst and former Pakistani army general stated that " would take at least six months to see if the truce is effective, or whether militants use it to consolidate their positions."[55] As of 2007, more than a year after the signing of the Waziristan Accord, it appears that the latter is the case. Militant elements (including the Taliban and al-Qa'ida) are consolidating (or have consolidated) their positions and are expanding their influence along both sides of the Durand line. Like previous "peace deals," the Waziristan Accord was just as inconclusive and lacked definite guarantees and effective monitoring provisions. The former secretary of security of the FATA, Brigadier Mehmood Shah (now retired), who had been personally involved in the previous two agreements, described the Waziristan Accord as "weaker" than previous ones, stating that: "The Taliban's pledges are no more than a general statement that they will not do this and that." [56]

It can thus be summarized that the government of Pakistan entered into the aforementioned agreements due to its inability to impose its control on a particular region (or regions)--as a result of both its fractured stance regarding radical Islam within the country and its chronic mismanagement of the area(s) under consideration (namely the FATA as well as the NWFP and Balochistan). Given Pakistan's categorization as a failed or failing state,[57] a feature of which is a lack of capacity to control certain portions of their territorial expanse--thus providing space for opponents to their authority to surface--it is perhaps predictable that "peace deals" such as the Waziristan Accord would be sought by the central government. Generally speaking, in the case of "weak states," governments adopt one of two, or both, strategies--appeasement and/or repression vis-à-vis regional challengers. Pakistan has implemented both responses; Waziristan-style agreements provide an example of the former (appeasement), usually after the failure of the latter (repression).

This oscillating approach has resulted in an increase and entrenchment of armed opposition to the Musharraf regime in most areas of the FATA, wherein future agreements are perceived not as genuine attempts at some sort of conflict resolution, but rather as opportunities to recuperate, extend influence, solidify gains, and prepare for the next round of hostilities.

ASSESSMENTAlthough little has been published regarding the terms of the Waziristan Accord, from the information available in the public domain and according to various reports dealing specifically with the agreement, the Waziristan Accord is a three-page document that contains 16 clauses and four subclauses and follows the format of previous "peace deals" between militants and Pakistani forces in the FATA. The terms of the agreement include the following:

There shall be no cross-border movement for militant activity in Afghanistan. On its part, the Government pledged not to undertake any ground or air operations against the militants and to resolve issues through local customs and traditions.
The agreement will come into force with the relocation of the Army from checkpoints in the region. The Khasadar force [a local tribal force] and Levy personnel [tribal militias] will take over the check-posts.

Foreigners living in North Waziristan will have to leave Pakistan, but those who cannot leave will be allowed to live peacefully, respecting the law of the land and the agreement.
Both parties will return each other's weapons, vehicles and communication equipment seized during various operations.
Tribal elders, mujahidin and the Utmanzai tribe would ensure that no-one attacked security force personnel and state property.

There will be no target killing and no parallel administration in the agency.Militants would not enter the settled districts adjacent to North Waziristan.Government would release prisoners held in military operations and would not arrest them again.

Tribesmen's "incentives" would be restored. The administration is to resolve disputes in accordance with local customs and traditions.

Government would pay compensation for the loss of life and property of innocent tribesmen during recent operations.
There is no ban on display of arms. However, tribesmen will not carry heavy weapons.

A 10-member committee--comprising elders, members of political administration and ulema [religious scholars]--is to monitor progress of the accord and ensure its implementation.[58]

It is evident from the aforementioned that the government of Pakistan has made quite a number of important concessions to the militants in North Waziristan. In return for vague guarantees of cessation of attack against government personnel and installations, the state has not only allowed the existence of armed groups within its borders, but has so far also released militants arrested during operations, provided them with some sort of amnesty, and withdrawn from certain areas, handing their control over to questionable armed groups.[59]

Furthermore, and perhaps more importantly, the Musharraf government has no real means of monitoring militant pledges and imposing its will in the event that tribal and militia promises made are not kept, short of a return to violence. The Mujahidin Shura Council (the 10-member committee that is supposed to monitor the progress of the accord and ensure its implementation) has no real power but exhibits the potential of circumscribing and acting as a "check" on government decisions to impose its will. In effect, should the government of Pakistan decide to act in response to violations of the accord without the support of the ten-member committee, it will find itself not only acting unilaterally, but also in contravention of said agreement (thus exposing itself to accusations of not honoring its own pacts).

Additionally, the Pakistani government has, through the terms of the Waziristan Accord, turned over checkpoints to militias composed of fighters against whom it had been battling since 2002. Although it is true that the government retains some form of control (either directly or indirectly) over certain checkpoints and border-crossings, it does not maintain the kind of direct presence needed to manage North Waziristan and the border with Afghanistan effectively. In withdrawing army units to their barracks and removing visible signs of military presence from the area, the Musharraf administration appears to believe that by appeasing pro-Taliban elements it can remain in power, while retaining the option of violence through proxies.[60]

Indeed, it can be argued that the government has left the difficult and hazardous task of combating pro-Taliban tribes and members of the Taliban and al-Qa'ida to local militias that it perceives can be controlled through financial incentives and the occasional, limited operational assistance. Recent actions by the military, ostensibly in support and at the request of pro-government tribes during their clashes with Taliban and al-Qa'ida members and their local allies appear to corroborate this change in strategy.[61] However, this approach carries the risk of drawing the military into local "score-settling" among tribes who will be given the opportunity to denounce rivals as pro-Taliban or al-Qa'ida, thus eliciting financial and/or military support from the government in their parochial struggles. The polarizing effect of such a scenario risks making the situation worse rather than better. Additionally, a "proxy war" presupposes that the proxies in question have the ability (with a certain amount of support) to attain predetermined goals.

In the case of North Waziristan (and other areas of the FATA, the NWFP, and Balochistan) this means that pro-government tribes are strong and capable enough to carry out independently (to a certain degree) the eradication of Taliban and al-Qa'ida elements from the aforementioned regions and to stem cross-border activity. However, Mehmood Shah has commented that the Taliban "...are too strong to be controlled by the tribes"[62] since they have "...shattered the tribes' authority, killing hundreds of pro-government tribal leaders."[63] Similar arguments can be made regarding the effectiveness of the government's paramilitary forces in the area, namely the Frontier Corps (FC NWFP and FC Balochistan).

Despite ongoing material assistance from the United States (especially for FC NWFP units),[64] the Frontier Corps' operational value remains questionable. Although FC NWFP (comprised mainly of ethnic Pashtuns from the region) "...has a comparatively better reputation among people of the province,"[65] FC Balochistan (whose members are largely non-Baloch) " not popular in Balochistan and is seen as an outside force that is widely believed to be involved in human rights violations and is known for the disproportionate use of force."[66] Irrespective of the "better reputation" of FC NWFP as compared to FC Balochistan, both branches stand accused of indiscriminate and disproportional use of force, extrajudicial killings, and human rights violations generally attributable to the Frontier Corps' poor discipline, training, and coordination.[67]

This state of affairs (pro-government tribal weakness and paramilitary unit excesses) has not only assisted pro-Taliban, Taliban, and al-Qa'ida groups in consolidating their presence but has enabled such groups to create parallel administrations in areas of South and North Waziristan.

Apparently, more recently, in the Bajaur Agency of the FATA, an agreement similar to the Waziristan Accord has been reached with Faqir Muhammad, who has been described as "al-Zawahiri's Pakistani Ally."[68] Whether or not the federal government can still use pro-government tribes against pro-Taliban and al-Qa'ida elements remains to be seen. While it can be argued that more effective and efficient support and empowerment of pro-government tribal forces may yet yield positive, tangible results, the fact remains that events in the wider region during the 1980s and 1990s have tended to have a detrimental effect on "traditional" tribal authority (on both sides of the Durand line).

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the civil wars that followed it, the steady flow of refugees across the border, the marginalization of tribal leaders in favor of religious ones and the madrasa education provided to generations of tribal Afghans and Pashtuns have generally had negative effects on tribal social structures and the ability of tribal leaders to assert their control.[69]

A further complication to agreements such as the Waziristan Accord is the existence and status of so-called "foreigners" in the tribal areas and the opposing definitions that the tribes themselves and the government of Pakistan ascribe to these individuals. It is a generally accepted fact that the "foreigners" in the FATA are comprised (mainly) of five "groups": Afghan Pashtuns, Uzbeks, Chechens, Uighurs, and Arabs (mostly Yemenis, Saudis, and Egyptians).[70]

All the "peace agreements" that the government of Pakistan has entered into with militants in the tribal areas included tribal promises to expel "foreigners" from the region, or in situations where this is not possible, "...those who cannot leave will be allowed to live peacefully, respecting the law of the land and the agreement."[71] Given the intermarriages between "foreigners" and local women (wherein the former are considered to be members of the latter's tribe),[72] as well as the Pashtunwali norms of melmastia (hospitality) and nanawati (defense of a guest),[73] it is perhaps unsurprising that in all cases, signatories to the "peace deals" have been unable to locate foreign militants since, according to the aforementioned sociocultural factors, there are no (or few) "foreigners" in the FATA per se (although there appears to be some tension between the locals and Uzbek fighters).[74]

In tandem to the developments in Pakistan's FATA (and it is reasonable to argue as a result of them), pro-Taliban and Taliban forces have increased their activity in neighboring Afghanistan. According to International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), attacks against members of the NATO alliance and the National Army of Afghanistan have increased by 62 percent since 2005,[75] suicide attacks have increased five-fold from 25 in 2005 to 139 in 2006,[76] and large-scale Taliban operations (involving 50 fighters or more) have increased significantly.[77] According to Reuters, "since the [Waziristan Accord] was clinched, attacks against U.S.-led NATO troops and Afghan government forces have tripled in eastern Afghanistan, especially in areas bordering North Waziristan."[78]

As a result, NATO has been requesting that its members both increase their troop contributions and (to those countries that refuse to do so) allow their troops to engage in combat operations in order to counter resurgent Taliban and al-Qa'ida forces operating across the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

In addition to the external effects of the Waziristan Accord, the "deal" has also had internal consequences for the state of Pakistan. While it is certainly the case that the accord is a result of the Pakistani government's ambivalent and oscillating attitude towards radical Islamist tendencies within its territory, it is also a cause for further violent action by other groups. The siege of the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) in the capital Islamabad from July 3-10, 2007, is an indication of this parallel process. On the one hand, the violent showdown can be perceived as the culmination of a year-long struggle between radical Islamist elements of this particular establishment and the Musharraf government. On the other, it can be argued with equal validity that "peace-deals" in the FATA (such as the Waziristan Accord) emboldened activists of the Red Mosque (who share links to radical Islamic groups in the Waziristans and the FATA) into asserting themselves more forcefully, since they perceived the Musharraf government as weak and ineffective (because of Waziristan Accord-style agreements).
Although in the case of the Lal Masjid siege it can be concluded that the Islamists "over-reached" and misread the situation (since Islamabad and the FATA exhibit different political and social trends), there nevertheless appears to be a connection between government appeasement of militants (such as the Waziristan Accord) and further violence elsewhere. Unsurprisingly perhaps, in the same way that militants have used government actions to extricate themselves from past agreements (labeling them "violations"), the Lal Masjid incident provided armed elements in the FATA with an excuse--intended primarily for local consumption--to withdraw from the Waziristan Accord, thus leading to its collapse. This is not said to imply that the Red Mosque incident was staged specifically to provide militants in the FATA with a pretext for renouncing the accord, but rather to illustrate how agreements of this nature have strengthened militants in the tribal areas both militarily and politically and to demonstrate their "spillover" effect.
CONCLUSIONA pattern is clearly emerging. Waziristan Accord-style agreements have, to date, occurred in at least three (if not four) areas of the FATA. These "deals," while alleviating the Pakistani military somewhat, have not resulted in a cessation of attacks against it and its local allies and have emboldened pro-Taliban militants both in these particular areas and in neighboring ones; territory that is crucial in the War on Terror and Afghanistan's reconstruction. Indeed, the effects of the Waziristan Accord and similar agreements have already manifested themselves beyond the Waziristans (the events of the Lal Masjid siege providing a poignant example). Not only are Taliban and pro-Taliban elements consolidating their position in the FATA, but it appears that their influence has spread to areas of the NWFP, Balochistan, and possibly Kashmir. It is estimated that one of the reasons for the increase of Taliban attacks against NATO and Afghan forces in areas that were hitherto considered "safe," such as the northern and western provinces of Afghanistan,[79] is the fact that crossing-points have been established in areas of the FATA, the NWFP, and Balochistan. Withdrawal of Pakistani army units has generally resulted in an increase of extrajudicial killings by pro-Taliban elements against pro-government tribal leaders, the opening of offices run by Taliban-affiliated groups claiming to be responsible for the maintenance of law and order, and the distribution of leaflets to that effect.[80] Something similar has been observed in certain areas of Afghanistan.[81] Given these developments, it is possible to conclude that "Pakistan is now paying the price by... losing control of much of the frontier area to groups it has supported, groups that exploit their ties in Afghanistan just as the Taliban exploit their ties in Pakistan"[82] and that "...Pakistan [is] providing strategic depth to the Taliban."[83] Additionally, it has become possible to describe the Waziristan Accord and agreements like it as the effective "ceding of territory to the Taliban."[84]

In conclusion, although the Waziristan Accord and its predecessors did indeed offer the Musharraf government some degree of respite and (temporarily) decreased the "hot-spots" of violence and areas of contention with which the administration has had to deal, they proved to be short-term solutions that provided the opportunity for radical and militant elements to regroup and consolidate their positions.

Given the escalating popular resentment against the government of General Pervez Musharraf in increasingly varied areas of governance--including amplifying levels of violence in the province of Balochistan[85] and vocal opposition by pro-democracy elements--it can be argued that the regime's choice of this particular method (Waziristan-style accords) for dealing with the "Islamic component" of the turmoil plaguing Pakistan was perceived as offering the most politically expedient (and promising) approach to keep the Musharraf regime in power and to decrease the "problem-spots" in the country.[86]

The military's traditionally close ties with Islamic elements and the electoral collaboration between Musharraf's PML(Q) and the MMA in the October 2002 elections suggest that, after government failures to deal unilaterally with the situation in the FATA, mediation through the use of Islamist allies was a political option that seemed to carry the least risk. However, continued instability and negative "spillover," both violent and political, indicates not only the shortcomings of this policy, but also underscores the inability (or unwillingness) of certain groups (Islamic, political, or otherwise) in the country to influence, "rein-in," or control particular Islamic militant elements in Pakistan's tribal areas. It is perhaps the realization by Musharraf of the limitations of continued association with the MMA that a limited rapprochement with Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party (PPP) has been initiated.

As a final point, although radical Islamist groups have increased their power in the FATA, NWFP, and areas of Balochistan, and violence has moved beyond the boundaries of the Waziristans to a degree that threatens the viability of the Pakistani state, it is unlikely that Taliban or militant elements (and/or their political/military allies) can use their power in the tribal belt to take over the government. While it is true that some circles within Pakistan see no reason to end the strategic alliance with movements such as the Taliban and their domestic backers, the religious right[87]--since they are considered to be more reliable allies in the pursuit of "traditional" Pakistani policies (especially given improving U.S.-Indian relations)[88]--and that the Pakistani military has traditionally adopted a stronger Islamic stance when perceiving its domestic position as being undermined,[89] there is a growing realization among the country's elites (including the military) that Taliban and similarly inspired groups pose a serious threat to the continued existence of the Pakistani state.[90] This is not meant to imply that the threat to Pakistan posed by increased radicalization and violence in the FATA, NWFP, and Balochistan and their propensity to spread is trivial, since a "failed" (as opposed to "weak") Pakistan carries significant regional implications, not least for the reconstruction effort in Afghanistan.

Yet the argument that a Taliban-style, nuclear weapons-toting Pakistan is considered to be unlikely must be emphasized.
Islamic parties have usually relied on the military's support to increase their electoral appeal, which reached a record high in the October 2002 elections.[91]

Given this reliance, it is improbable that, for instance, the JI (the largest, most organized constituent member of the MMA alliance) will willingly dissolve this partnership in favor of the more radical Islamic approaches (as espoused by the JUI-F and JUI-S factions). Furthermore, the MMA is less than the monolithic Islamic alliance than it is usually portrayed as being. Although their ethnic, doctrinal, and policy differences are downplayed by representatives of the alliance, the MMA represents an uneasy coalition of Islamic parties with widely different constituencies.[92]

Illustrative of this is the fact that the JI draws most of its support from Punjabi and muhajir (migrant) communities in the Punjab and urban areas of Sindh, whose interests do not coincide with the more tribally based JUI, which caters to a Pashtun electorate located in the FATA, the NWFP, and areas of Balochistan (although it does have limited support in Sindh).[93]

The point is that in the event of a consistent, popularly endorsed government response to radical Islamic elements, the MMA is likely to face internal pressures threatening its cohesion, making it possible to surmise that more moderate Islamists might opt for accommodation rather than confrontation with the government (provided of course that this does not damage their relationship with the electorate).

Thus, it is worth noting that although the threat from radical Islam in Pakistan persists and radical Islamists "...have managed to exert a political and ideological influence in excess of their numbers..."[94] their potency "stems less from [their strength] than from the weakness of their opponents."[95] This implies that a more stable government with a clear strategy for dealing with a variety of sociopolitical issues stands a chance of combating the radicalization evident in Pakistan.

The kind of government response that is required to reverse the "Talibanization" of the FATA and parts of the NWFP and Balochistan will obviously not be an easy task. Continued governmental mismanagement (at all levels but particularly at the regional level), widespread corruption, uneven development, the fact that both Pakistani political parties and successive governments have "...failed lamentably to develop Pakistan or improve the living conditions of its people, thus making the radical option seem all the more attractive,"[96] and an obsession with India mean that substantial shifts in the country's internal and external policies will be necessary. Waziristan-style agreements are thus a symptom of the multifaceted problems afflicting Pakistan.

Despite offering vague, short-term solutions, they only serve to further weaken the central government while strengthening opponents who perceive violence as the only method that can achieve results.

*Evagoras C. Leventis holds a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in International Relations from the University of Indianapolis and a Master of Letters (M.Litt.) in International Security Studies from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.