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Thursday, December 27, 2007

OMG, They Got Bhutto

This will tear Pakistan apart.

A very brave woman is dead. This is a tragedy on so many levels.

I wish some of the people who rant about there being no moderate Muslims would pause for a moment to reflect that there are, and that many of them have shown incredible courage in bucking the trend to speak for reason and hope in their own countries. There are many Muslim martyrs to reason, and to refuse to recognize that is an insult to humanity and reason itself.

I'd been expecting this for quite some time - the first bombing was the heads up. These guys are serious.
Yes, they are serious. They want Musharraf out, and this will accomplish that.

It's hard to see how a civil war won't result. What a disaster.
It is surprising that she survived as long as she did.This is very bad news,let us just hope that GW doesn't try to reassure the world and precipitate nuclear war.
It's hard to see how a civil war won't result. What a disaster.
# posted by Blogger MaxedOutMama : 7:47 AM

I've always thought that our next war would be in Pakistan and not in Iran. Iran might have nukes someday, Pakistan has them now. And its the real home to the Taliban.

'Nuclear Taliban' - if that headline doesn't grab the political spotlight I have no idea what will.

This is very disappointing news but so utterly predictable - it is like watching water run down hill.
And the next step in the Islamic Wars begins.

"So it Begins."
-- Vorlon Ambassador Kosh, Babylon-5
Tom - actually I think that this bodes ill in the Iranian direction. I seem to remember (I'll have to look it up) that there was a Pakistani/Iranian connection on some of the earlier nuke stuff. One of the Iranian ex-presidents just gave a speech a little while ago protesting the barring of candidates from running. A lot of people there aren't happy with what is happening, but they may have as little influence as the Reichstag holdouts against Hitler's enabling act, who found themselves in concentration camps as a result of their opposition. Due to their absence, the necessary majority was reached....

Under cover of "law", lawless acts may be done.

It's an unmitigated disaster for the people of Pakistan, that is clear. And it certainly destabilizes the region further.

It's not good news for Lebanon, which is undergoing another round of assassinations there.

Vader's right - a step into chaos is about the most optimistic characterization. I very much fear that Headless is correct about the next step.
I remember working as an engineer for a defense contractor in the 90's. My boss was an ex-military crypto guy, and "old crow" in the parlance. He mentioned to me one day in an off-handed sort of way that the hot bet for the first nuclear war was between Pakistan and India. This was long before either of them ever lit off their first test nukes.

The last thing we need in this part of the world is a civil war.

Dryfly, I suspect we'll have to wait in line if it all goes ugly. The Indian's will be there first.
MOM, was it you who was drawing the analogy between what's currently going on in the world (upheavals, financial crisises, simmering resentments, etc.) to what happened in the run up to WWII? If so I'd like to second that notion in an extremely concerned sort of way. I suspect if we're not careful this could lead to a major conflict of some sorts in our time, as Vader was hinting at.
Yes, Andrew, it was me. Wackoids like Hitler arise at various times, but the economic chaos, political disarray and shock involved in the Great Depression was what kept the European countries and the US from intervening immediately.

The way Hitler came to power was not legal. The Enabling Act was passed only because he arrested a bunch of Reichstag deputies. In the run up to his appointment as Chancellor, there was street fighting and a grab of police and state power in Prussia by the Nazis. There was no mystery at the time about what was happening, and the idea of a preventive war was almost immediately discussed. Before Hitler ever became Chancellor the Nazis were already killing people, and they could not have accomplished the passage of the Enabling Act without having that police power. The list of Reichstag deputies of the time who were killed or in prison for a long time is devastating. Jews were already being killed, etc, even before the power grab.

The preventive war would have been utterly legal and it didn't happen and the reason it didn't was largely that the civilized countries were overwhelmed. They preferred to look the other way. A more costly mistake has rarely been made in world history.

Just as none of the ASEAN countries will intervene in Burma, I very much fear that no coalition of countries in the East will be able to deal with a Pakistan and an Iran out of control.
Just as none of the ASEAN countries will intervene in Burma, I very much fear that no coalition of countries in the East will be able to deal with a Pakistan and an Iran out of control.

Its a little different going into Burma or Pakistan than re-occupying the Rhineland. Re-taking the Rhineland isn't a lot tougher than re-taking NJ... The mountainous regions of Pakistan aren't even controlled by Pakistan... same for the Golden Triangle area of Burma.

The hardest part for Americans to fathom is that there really isn't a lot we can do. I learned that in the early 80s when my roommate for three years was Turkish and he described what went on in the mountains of Eastern Turkey - no one, not Ankera, not the PKK, not even the drug rings completely controlled that area. Central Asia hasn't changed all that much since the days of the silk road.
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On WWII, We did not declare war on Germany, but Germany declared war on us. This is about as stupid of thing that Hitler did the only thing competing with it being the invasion of Russia.

Pearl Harbor was the only thing that united the US to fight a war and Germany was not part of it. Roosevelt would have had a very hard time fighting the Japanese and declaring war on Germany. A lot of US businessmen were Nazi sympathizers.

The Countries of Europe and their allies had just fought a war where an entire generation of your men were slaughtered, where in the same trenches you could look out and identify when prior soldiers died by the equipment on the remains.

WW I bankrupted Britain and nearly France. It is no wonder that the risk aversion was so high.

Justified war is a slippery thing. It might have worked to prevent WWII, but that is not a known, just an assumption. Intervention against Germany, might have just brought a more radical leader a bit later. OTOH, the doctrine got us Iraq and a leadership that wants to take on the world.

An interesting analysis of Munich is here

"How will it end?"
-- Dying Centauri Emperor, Babylon-5

"In Fire."
-- Vorlon Ambassador Kosh, Babylon-5
I agree with Vader on this one. People do not understand how devastating WWI was and how many men were killed during that war. It was truly horrific and neither France or England wanted to go at it with Germany again. The Treaty of Versaille that required punitive reparations of Germany caused a lot of resentment. Couple that with hyperinflation, depression levels of unemployment and there are some good reasons why people were looking for a strong man.

I'm not sure how this will play out with India. I suspect that they will take the territory they've been fighting over, if civil war breaks out in Pakistan. Could make it bad for all those companies with call centers in India ;)
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