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Pakistani President Tries to Assure U.S. on Taliban - NYT
Pakistan's leaders began an arduous campaign here on Tuesday to convince the United States that they will repel recent incursions by Taliban militant groups, secure their own nuclear arsenal and make good use of American military and economic assistance.

The first audience for the pitch was Congress, as President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan met privately for 90 minutes with members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Several of its members are wary of the Obama administration's request for additional military and economic aid to Pakistan, at a time when its confidence in the government is ebbing.

Mr. Zardari's presentation, however, left some members confused and disappointed, according to a person who attended the meeting. He said little about how the Pakistani government planned to regain momentum in the fight against the militants. And when he asked for financial assistance, he likened it to the government's bailout of the troubled insurance giant, American International Group.

So Zaradi meets with chairman of the House Committee on foreign Relations Howard Berman (D-CA. Whose new hobbyhorse is how to impose "crippling sanctions" on Iran by a blockade of gasoline shipments - Iran has little or no refining capacity of its own) and ranking minority member Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), who feels pretty much the same. Is it any wonder, then, that there wasn't a perfect mind meld? With those two running the foreign relations debate in the house, AIPAC feel relieved that they've got the house locked up, and the focus remains on the global war on terrorism.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 10:52:49 AM EST
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