I also love the military spokesman's line on the troops that died (by current count, about 8 with the whereabouts of 15 unknown): he said they "embraced martyrdom". You can call them shaheed but please don't say they "embraced martyrdom". They didn't embrace anything, except for a chance to provide for their families and perhaps become something some day. They most definitely did not embrace the idea of guarding 200 year-old forts in cold, dry conditions in the middle of tribal areas surrounded by psycho bearded fucks who want them - and the state - dead.
Anyway, this news made me think of an article in the NYT a couple of days ago, pulled up from the Department of No Shit, Sherlock, which said that the ISI has lost control of the militancy it once engendered. You think? One of these days, the NYT might actually supply us with information that is, broadly speaking, useful.
Speaking of providing useful information, recall NB's post on Nicholas Schmidle, a brilliant journalist who got down and dirty with events on the ground. As NB told us, he was expelled by the government, probably because his stories didn't shine such a flattering light on the government. Anyway, he had a statement or two to the BBC yesterday, and he sounds like a really nice guy. See for yourself:
His eyes almost light up when asked about the people of Pakistan.
Both he and his wife now speak Urdu and say it was almost like a honeymoon for them as they went there just two months after their marriage.
Mr Schmidle says his friends, his cook, security guard and all those who put so much on the line during their past few days were in tears when they left.
"It was actually more difficult to say goodbye to them than saying goodbye to my parents when I left two years ago," he says.
He says people may dislike American policy but when it comes to Americans or people from anywhere else the sense of hospitality is unbelievable.
"Hospitality triumphs over everything in Pakistan... they are the best people in the world," says his wife, Rikki, who had enrolled for Islamic studies at university in Pakistan and missed her Arabic exam because of the deportation.
So, would they like to go back?
"Inshallah [God willing]," they almost reply in the same voice.
Pakistan: Where We Throw Out Those Who Like Us.