Thursday, November 8, 2007

Pakistan Comes to a Full Boil

As if the Bush administration's problems in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan weren't enough, the only Muslim country on the planet with a nuclear arsenal and the technology to continue to produce weapons of mass destruction faces an utter and complete meltdown. Like we needed that. But it was totally predictable. Only our clueless State Department seemed to miss the signals. An agressively dominant military, an autocratic general-turned-politician, multiple ethnic groups and restive tribes, and indemic corruption and violence add up to a recipe for disaster. Duh. This is a much more threatening situation than the nascent nuclear program in Iran that has so preoccupied Dick Cheney. And if it all blows up in Pakistan, it will take a lot of time and resources to manage the disaster. In a worse case scenario, the fundamentalist Taliban end up controlling two adjacent countries: Afghanistan and Pakistan; and the Pakistani nuclear arsenal. Not a pretty picture.

The mainstream media has reported much of the story behind the current unrest; from the assault on the "red mosque" to the troubles in tribal Warizistan. I've found that Dawn, a major Pakistani-based news organization, does a pretty complete job of reporting. I found a local blog, Pakistan Uncut, that has a lot of pics of the recent violent protests. The images of police beating lawyers and judges ranks with the Burmese authorities beating monks in Rangoon. I found a first-person account here, and a note to Pakistanis abroad about what they can do here. For the "analysts view," check out this overview on the Voice of America.

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