Biden Voted Against the Trans Alaska Pipeline

Sarah Palin is very eloquent and convincing in this argument against the Obama/Biden energy plan, please watch the entire interview — she covers a host of salient points. I also got pinged in email a while back regarding the tagging of energy posts with “Hunger”. Just to bring all readers up to speed, energy prices and hunger are immutably wed. When energy prices go up, food prices will as well. Growing, transporting, and storing food is energy intensive. You can read those articles here.

Barack Obama, Democrat-Lagos?

In an official statement from the Obama campaign they say they will not accept funding from the Nigerian group “Africans for Obama,” which is being investigated by Nigerian authorities.

LAGOS, NIGERIA — Nigerian anti-graft police have seized $629,834 raised at a gala dinner in support of Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, authorities said Sunday.

Obama’s campaign said it was in no way affiliated with the group Africans for Obama and would not accept funds from the organization. Although the fundraising was not illegal in Nigeria, it is illegal under U.S. law for foreign groups to donate funds to American political parties.

That’s all well and good, but it’s also bound to be the response when foreign donors are caught since accepting the donation would be illegal under US laws.

Obama’s donor website has no real audit of sourcing for the small donations, and as we’ve seen in the past the foreign support is out there, like the phone banks in the West Bank and Gaza.

The Dems have never been averse to courting foreign donations as past articles here and elsewhere have pointed out for both Barack and his primary opponent as well. See here, here, here, here.

Let’s reflect on the charge Obama flung at Hillary during the primary — He called her “Hillary Clinton, Democrat-Punjab” should we in turn start calling Obama “Democrat-Lagos?”

Pakistan Update

There have been two missile strikes in two days, one in North Waziristan, one in South Waziristan. Two “Canadians of Arab origin” were killed in the first, and an unknown number of foreigners were killed in the second. We won’t know for up to a couple of weeks if any Taliban or Al Qaeda leaders were killed by the strikes but by the increased tempo of strikes you can guess that TTP, the Afghan Taliban, and Al Qaeda are heavily infiltrated now.

This is not so much paid spying but rather disaffected members and tribespeople who are waking up to the fact Al Qaeda & TTP is at war with Pakistan and every Islamic country in existence. The Taliban and Qaeda certainly spend the great bulk of their time and effort on killing muslims, and mostly innocent ones.

The place this is most evident is in their ongoing war against Pakistan; with Musharraf gone and the fighting still going and reinforced by the most recent Al Zawahiri tape, it’s evident that the war isn’t against the US. It’s a war to achieve temporal power for the takfirist extremists who compose these groups.

In Parachinar the sectarian tribal war continues, and it’s evident that some of the terror groups are not just aiding and abetting the Sunni side, but also creating new inflamatory incidents any time this two year old fighting gets near to dieing out. It really started in 2006 at which point the Kurram levies were pretty effective against the Taliban, but several incidents involving a shrine caused violence to escalate between tribes. At points the Afghan Taliban have fired cross-border artillery on the Shia portions of Kurram, and the market areas of some towns have been gutted by fighting multiple times.

On the political front Zardari is the strongest candidate running for president, and all barriers have now been removed with the International court case in Switzerland being dropped. Aftab Ahmed Sherpao (PPP-S) and Maulana Fazlur Rehman (JUI-F) also swung in behind him. This brings moderate and conservative support to Zardari, but it must be noted that Fazl’s swing was conditional on the Bajaur offensive being stopped. Note that JUI-F bills themselves as “moderate” but they take many of the same sympathetic to the Taliban stances that the old MMA coalition used to. While JuI-F participated in elections, JUI-S (Sami ul Haq) boycoted them and is pretty much openly in bed with the Taliban. In the background the purported reasons for the boycotts have been largely removed. Musharraf is retired, and many but not all of the judges have been reinstated.

The Bajaur offensive is now officially stopped for Ramadan, but this will be temporary as the TTP and their AQ allies aren’t going to stop the war on Pakistan. It’s likely they will slow their pace as they reposition and rearm, but expect targetted assassinations against Pakistani leaders and their families to continue. Until Pakistan takes out the leaders of the insurgency, and all of them, the state is in danger of crumbling.

UPDATE: One other notable thing I neglected, once again you are seeing tribals band together to fight the Taliban. This was also the case in Musharraf’s 2006 offensive, but that faded quickly as the tribes did not receive support from Pakistan’s military. If Pakistan’s military commits, and the support is both consistent and persistent, then things could turn around in the frontiers relatively quickly.

[ This update was compiled from various stories in The International News, Dawn, and the Pakistan Daily Times. ]