The caldron boiling in the Middle East isn’t getting any cooler. The worst-case political scenario, a nuclear armed, Pakistan, appears to be threated with collapse or is on the brink of a military coup.
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After a month of increasingly violent protests against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s alleged fraudulent balloting that resulted in his election victory, weekend demonstrations escalated after the killing of three activists by the government. In an effort to calm fears, a police chief apologized for the excessive forced used against the protestors, but it didn’t help.
Like Egypt, Pakistan has a rich history of military-coups (four since the end of WWII) prompting concerns the Army could squash protestors and stir up a witch’s brew that could leave the nuclear nation vulnerable to extremist takeover.
The chief instigators of the latest country to fall under discontent are populist Movement for Justice leaders Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri. The pair has successfully stirred up discontent blaming a sluggish economy as an excuse for assembling tens of thousands of followers in the streets in several large cities, including the Prime Minister’s home in Islamabad.
The protestors, armed with sticks, bricks and slingshots, demanded Sharif resign, however the embattled leader issued a statement declining to leave.
“I will not resign under any pressure and I will not go on leave. There shall be no precedent in Pakistan that only a few people take as hostage the mandate of millions by resorting to force,” Sharif said.
By Monday the protestors had overrun a TV station and Sharif’s official residence leaving police no option but to disperse the crowds with tear gas and rubber bullets. In the end a warning issued by the military ended the violent outbursts, but the demonstrators remained.
That led to Pakistan's parliament convening an emergency meeting to discuss the growing tension in the streets and somehow avoid Sharif’s removal or military coup. So far the prime minister has not addressed the protesters concerns and they remain camped out in front of the parliament building demanding his ouster.
The big picture, regime change train chugs along…
Meanwhile Saudi authorities arrested 88 nationals on suspicion of coordinating terrorist attacks inside its country as well as abroad, the Saudi Ministry of Interior said. The move came amid growing worries that ISIS’ rise to power could threaten the Monarchy or its leadership in the Middle East. King Abdullah issued his own prediction without specifying whom but that it was “certain that after a month they will reach Europe and, after another month, America.” Then the normally reserved United Arab Emirates called on the West to work with Mideast partners to confront the “global scourge” of terrorism.
But building a coalition starts at home
While President Obama is meeting with NATO partners in Wales looking to cobble together an international coalition of like-minded countries bullish on ISIS, many back in the land of the free and home of the brave think the leader of the free world ought to seek approval from Congress first.
One GOP Senator, Rand “I’m not an isolationist” Paul, wrote an OP-ED reminding the administration of its responsibilities; “I’ve said since I began public life that I am not an isolationist, nor am I an interventionist. I look at the world, and consider war, realistically and constitutionally… If I had been in President Obama’s shoes, I would have acted more decisively and strongly against ISIS. I would have called Congress back into session—even during recess. This is what President Obama should have done. He should have been prepared with a strategic vision, a plan for victory and extricating ourselves. He should have asked for authorization for military action and would have, no doubt, received it.”
Unfortunately, the message was met with heavy criticism from establishment Republicans.
Nevertheless, if Obama lays out a comprehensive plan outlining the case to rid the planet of ISIS, practical minded Americans usually make the right call and will support their president.
“Our objective is clear, and that is: degrade and destroy ISIL (ISIS) so that it’s no longer a threat, not just to Iraq but also to the region and to the United States,” Obama said.
Last story ISIS Murders Americans and President has no strategy
Previous story: President Obama begins airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq: Link here
The Islamic State seemingly moves with impunity and precision in Iraq & Lebanon: Link here
Obama trained insurgents launch killing spree against Iraq then turn to Syria (Part One Link here)
Iraq, ISIS and trained Islamic insurgents (Part Two Link here)
Obama’s Regime change train stops in Ukraine: (Link here)
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