Saturday, September 20, 2008
A huge truck bomb exploded at the entrance to the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad on Saturday evening, killing at least 40 people and wounding more than 150, the police said.This according to Carlotta Gall, who reports from Pakistan and Afghanistan for the New York Times:
The blast, one of the worst acts of terrorism in Pakistan’s history, went off just a few hundred yards from the prime minister’s house, where all the leaders of government were dining after the president’s address to Parliament.... an address which was reported as a broadside against both terrorism and US intervention ...
The toll was expected to grow because of reports that people had been trapped inside the six-story hotel, which has been a favorite meeting spot of both foreigners and well-connected Pakistanis in the heart of the capital. The building was quickly engulfed in flames and continued to burn for hours Saturday night.In addition to the speech mentioned above, this attack comes mere days after Pakistan's announcement that its military would fight back if American troops attacked on its soil again, and a few days before a scheduled meeting between the presidents of Pakistan and USA, at which the fight against terrorism is on the agenda -- or is the agenda!
The bomb left a vast crater, some 40 feet wide and 25 feet deep, at the security barrier to the hotel. Witnesses said security guards and their gate posts were buried under a mound of rubble. A line of cars across the street from the hotel were mangled and trees on the street were charred. Windows in buildings hundreds of yards away were shattered.
Thus, the timing can hardly be coincidental.
And as you can see quite clearly from the photos posted here, this attack is orders of magnitude beyond the suicide terrorism which occurs in Pakistan on a regular basis. In other words, it appears to be state-sponsored. And you can probably guess which state.
You might think everybody would hate these terrorists. But you'd be wrong.
Some people like them.
For some people, terror is good for business.
The presidential candidates lost no time in pointing fingers -- even though they can have no idea who was behind this atrocity.
Barack Obama brings the required combination of rush to judgment and irrational hype:
Today’s attack demonstrates the grave and urgent threat that al Qaeda and its affiliates pose to the United States, to Pakistan, and to the security of all nations.John McCain sings the same song, but in a different key:
While no organization has yet taken responsibility for this act, it is well known that Pakistan faces an enduring threat from violent Islamic extremism. We must work with the elected government of Pakistan to find those responsible, hold them accountable, and diminish their ability to threaten us and our allies in the future. It also serves as one more demonstration of the need for the next President to work closely with our partners and allies in order to counter the dangers posed by radical Islamic extremism.So there you have it: the government was "elected" and the threat is "enduring"; that's all the pretext these guys need for another hundred years of war.
But what the heck? Your kids weren't planning to do anything different with their lives, were they?
Another great post:
"Who is behind the Islamabad Bombing?
The timing of the bombing is very convienient. Here Zardari call for a stop to the illegal US bombing on Pakistani soil next you have this huge explosion just a kilometer from where Zardari is giving a speech to parliament.
Even before the echo of the blast had died down we all knew that the Talibaan would be blamed for it. But I'm not convinced that the Talibaan had a good reason to bomb theMarriot hotel in Islamabad. For one, security in Islamabad is so tough that getting even a small gun through would be next to difficult; getting a whole truck loaded with explosives through all that securty would be impossible.
Every bystander interviewed on TV here has voiced doubts about the ability of any tribal just driving up to the hotel in a loaded truck and blowing it.
Islamabad is a small city inhabited mostly by diplomats, army personnel and the rich folks of the Punjab. Getting through all that security can only be achieved by someone with high security clearance-A US diplomat or someone from the US embassy would have the run of the place-no questions asked. CIA, MOSSAD, RAW all use the US embassy ticket and all are on the loose here in Paksitan since 2001, when we decided to be allies with the US.
Strangely Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, India and other allies have been having the same problems-spate of suicide-bombings when before their alliance with the US none of these countries had this problem. Also Iran, Libya and Syria don't seem to be so ravaged by Suicide bombers at the moment but just let CIA through and suddenly every Muslim there will be blowing himself up. Curious.
Besides why would the tribals attack now? In Ramadan-when blood shed is forbidder for muslims. Why at the time of Iftari (breaking fast time) when it is the time of prayer, why this particular target when the area all around was more fertile, target wise?
Foreign experts may not know that killing and bloodshed is forbidden in Ramadan-except in self defence when they may be attacked by non muslim enemies who are not bound by this rule-though I failed to see how these people can be called 'experts' if they do not know this basic fact about Islam, but I'm dismayed to see so many local experts echoing the same sentiments.
How come these expert can't see the 800 pound gorilla in the room. Did they, the Pakistani terror experts, forget the Indian terror of the eighties and nineties so fast? Wasn't it RAW's style to bomb markets and other public places, especially during religious holidays like Ashura and Ramadan. Did these dim-witted myopic experts even consider the recent multiple blasts in Delhi just a few days ago-and that the bombings in Islamabad could be an Indian response to the carnage in Delhi? Unfortunately it seems that it did not even occur to them to connect the two events, which makes them not too reliable analysts in my opinion.
Why would the tribals target Zardari now, especially when he has called an end to US attacks on Pakistani soil? Unless the so called experts want us to believe that the Taliban are offended by this call-which beats me.
The Americans on the other hand have openly expressed their wish to bomb the tribal areas from across the border-which should be nice and safe hit and run jobs-and Zardari has opposed them like Musharaf couldn't and this to me is just another arm-twisting ploy of the bully for being denied something.
Also isn't it too obvious that this bombing is too convenient for Robert Gate' announcement to review Americas policy concerning Paksitan? Why can't these esteemed experts see what common folks can see plain as daylight; That this bombing is in fact another ploy of the Bush goverment to arm-twist not only Zardari but also the whole parliament into letting them attack the tribals areas and give them an open season to wipe out the inhabitants of that area.--MORE--"