Barnett Rubin warns that knee-jerk support for Pakistani military dictator Pervez Musharraf is not exactly ‘realism’ of the sort some Washington politicians like to boast of.
On the lighter side, Firedoglake speculates as to what George W. Bush really meant when he said, “I just spoke to President Musharraf before I came here, and my message was very plain, very easy to understand. And that is: The United States wants you to have the elections as scheduled and take your uniform off.”
The Center for American Progress has a new report out making recommendations on how to go forward on Afghanistan policy, aptly called “The Forgotten Front.” I’ll bet you if you walked around the street and asked Americans randomly how many US troops are in Afghanistan, few would know that the number is 20,0000.
At the Napoleon’s Egypt blog, David Boyle has posted some great letters from French officers in Egypt in the summer of 1798, with the most recent one by Adj.-Gen. Pierre-Francois Boyer being especially meaty and detailed. This paragraph on the French conquest of the Mediterranean port of Alexandria is blood-curdling (and also surely exaggerated). Massacring the women and children in the mosque was not very nice.
‘ The charge is sounded—our soldiers fly to the ramparts, which they scale, in spite of the obstinate defence of the besieged: many Generals are wounded, amongst the rest Kleber—-we lose near 150 men, but courage, at length, subdues the obstinacy of the Turks! Repulsed on every side, they betake themselves to God and their Prophet, and fill their mosques—men, women, old, young, children at the breast, ALL are massacred. At the end of four hours, the fury of our troops ceases—tranquility revives in the city—several forts capitulate—I myself reduce one into which 700 Turks had fled—confidence springs up—and, by the next day, all is quiet. ‘