Tony Blankley

On the other end of the land of lunacy lies Pakistan, our until-now more-or-less stalwart ally in the war against al-Qaida. Also on Monday, the leader of Pakistan's new government condemned the president of Pakistan -- our maximum ally, former Gen. Pervez Musharraf -- for "strong-arm tactics against Islamist militants (aka the Taliban)."

In his inaugural speech, new Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, a loyalist of assassinated opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, rebuked Musharraf's military tactics in the western provinces abutting Afghanistan where al-Qaida and Taliban forces operate.

Gilani is generally seen as a place holder for the real emerging leader, Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of former Prime Minister Bhutto, the recent martyr to the secular cause. As soon as Zardari is elected to parliament in a by-election, he presumably will be the prime minister.

Gilani said combating terrorism is his first priority, but he also said he is willing to talk to militants who are ready to lay down their arms and "join the path of peace." Translated into English, that means he intends to distinguish between Taliban (potentially good) and al-Qaida (probably bad). However, it has been our government's view that the Taliban support al-Qaida and that both are bad.

Thus, we are likely to face a new Pakistani government that rejects Musharraf's strategic alliance with the United States vis-à-vis Afghanistan. They will cut a deal with the Taliban in Waziristan (a region in west Pakistan on the border with Afghanistan) and begin the strategic argument that there is no mere Afghan solution to the danger. Rather, they will argue that a much broader regional peace process is required.

Our next president -- Obama, Clinton or McCain -- will face the likely prospect that in Pakistan and Afghanistan -- the cockpit of world terrorism -- we will have no regional ally.

Thus, the potentially emerging new Pakistani government would appear to be rejecting Musharraf's and our theory of the war in Afghanistan: that the Taliban are the enemy, along with al-Qaida, and must be defeated.

It is a measure of our unfeathered bipedalism that with these potentially dangerous events in train, the stories of the week in the media remain Hillary's stupid lies and Obama's clever tactics.

Tony Blankley

Tony Blankley, a conservative author and commentator who served as press secretary to Newt Gingrich during the 1990s, when Republicans took control of Congress, died Sunday January 8, 2012. He was 63.

Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.

In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.

©Creators Syndicate