“never been governed by any power”

From the Washington Post:

The new director of national intelligence said yesterday that the
United States is "very concerned" that Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda
leadership are attempting to rebuild their terrorist network and
establish training camps in a region of northwest Pakistan "that has
never been governed by any power."

This is a fascinating (and very true) statement.  No occupying force has ever had any success in this area.  This area is incredibly close knit, everyone’s related, and oh, by the way, they all follow a religion that you don’t even understand.

However it’s amazing that while the Intelligence community says things like this, you still have the White House pressuring Pakistan’s president to do things like fence or mine the Pakistani/Afghan border in the NWFP.  Do they not understand that this doesn’t work any better there than along the Mexican border?

When I repeated the line about that part of the world never being held by any army, my friends in Lahore would say things like, "You know, there’s nothing worth occupying there, it’s just moonscape."

And they’re right, there’s not much there except rocks.