In today's press conference with the Pakistan president, Dubya was asked about Pakistan's recent peace pact with the Islamic militants on the Afghan border:
Q: ...are you satisfied with his assurances on the tribal deal?
BUSH: ...I appreciate the briefing on the tribal deal. When the President looks me in the eye and says, the tribal deal is intended to reject the Talibanization of the people, and that there won't be a Taliban and won't be al Qaeda, I believe him, you know?
To refresh, this is what the McClatchy Newspapers reported about the deal:
The Pakistani military is striking truces with Islamic separatists along the country's border with Afghanistan, freeing Pakistani militants and al-Qaida fighters to join Taliban insurgents battling U.S.-led troops and government forces in Afghanistan...
... The Pakistani regime of Gen. Pervez Musharraf has been negotiating truces - with the Bush administration's encouragement - with Islamic separatists in North Waziristan and South Waziristan, mountainous tribal areas along the Afghan border where U.S. officials think bin Laden may be hiding.
In return, Pakistani officials are promising to restrict the country's troops in the area to major bases and towns and to pour huge amounts of aid - much of it from the United States and other nations - into the destitute region, according to American officials.
But as the truces take hold, separatists have been crossing into Afghanistan to fight alongside Taliban and al-Qaida fighters, according to Western and Afghan officials...
...It's unclear whether the flow is an unintended consequence of the truces or is being ignored - or encouraged - by Musharraf's regime as part of the price for peace with the separatists...
... The truces ... have coincided with rising violence against civilians and increased attacks by the Taliban in four Afghan provinces along the Pakistani border, according to a United Nations-run security-monitoring program that Western diplomats consider highly reliable.
"The Waziristan border is like somebody swung the gate open," one Western diplomat said. "They (the Pakistanis) have bought peace there by exporting the problem."
Soon after, Dick Cheney tried to pretend that such a deal hadn't be made. Now, Bush is being outright supportive of it.
Along with the recent report that Bush does not believe sending in a large number of special forces to the border region to get Bin Laden is a top priority, the question that again comes to mind is: "Who's Appeasing Who?"