“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Troops Mass in Northwest Pakistan

Isn't Allah just the Akbar?

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Forbes
Thousands of troops were deployed to Pakistan's northwestern frontier to try to dissuade outlawed Islamic militants from launching a holy war against the government for its bloody attack on a radical mosque, military officials said Saturday.

As the troop movements proceeded in at least five areas of the North West Frontier Province, a suicide bomber struck in another region of the border, his explosives-laden vehicle killing at least eight soldiers in a military convoy, army spokesman Maj. Gen. Waheed Arhad said.

Local security officials said as many as 12 soldiers died and another 20 were wounded in the attack. The region along the Afghanistan border has seen increased activity by both local militants, the Taliban and, according to a recent U.S. assessment, the al-Qaida terror network.

"With help from local tribal elders, we are trying to ensure that militants lay down their arms, and stop issuing calls for jihad against the government," said a senior military official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

He said there were no immediate plans for combat operations against Maulana Fazlullah, a radical cleric who has pressed for the imposition of Taliban-style rule in Pakistan, much like the leaders of the Red Mosque.

Pakistan troops overran the Islamabad mosque Wednesday following an eight-day siege with a hard-line cleric and his militant supporters that left more than 100 dead.

Fazlullah, who has close links to the outlawed Movement for the Enforcement of Islamic Law, told supporters to prepare for jihad, or holy war, against President Gen. Pervez Musharraf for the assault, the official said.
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