Here is Pulitzer Prize winner Steve Coll, in this week's New Yorker:
It is difficult to imagine that Musharraf will ever recover the political strength necessary to govern the country.
Not surprisingly, neither the General nor President Bush seems to be aware of this.
Watch this interview with Musharraf, published today by the New York Times. It's nine minutes long. Listen to him try to explain why he can't resign as Army chief. For a more congenial interview, you might want to go back and review his appearance (part 1, part 2) on the Daily Show, during his book tour. At one minute into part two, Stewart asks:
You met with our President a few days ago, are you able to speak candidly with him about what you feel is working, and what isn't, and is he, [does he] seem open, or ... paying attention, or ... does he let's say have the TV on, ...
More Steve Coll:
The President has spent December in sleeves-rolled-up discussions with State Department experts and military officers, apparently searching for such ideas. It seems a little late in his chief-executive-style Presidency for such an earnest return to graduate school.
In a competitive democracy, it is difficult to rescue a war built on distortions and illusions, because, to protect falsehoods proffered to voters in the past, a President and his advisers may find it tempting to manufacture more of them. It does not require a cynic to see that even an implausible escalation plan has the virtue of putting domestic political opponents back on their heels. The Bush Administration is now reworking this sad axiom, and, once again, American soldiers will be asked to give their lives for its assumptions.
A Secret Hunt Unravels in Afghanistan
If at first you don't succeed, at least learn from your mistakes.
"The Planner" was about Iraq, but Coll's analysis fits with Pakistan, too; see Tariq Ali on doubling the doses.