Now that the smoke has cleared, following the murder of Mrs.
and the riotous carnage that followed, news from this crucial
outpost in the war on terror is fairly sparse. Relative calm has
returned to the streets, and the government of
has even succeeded in postponing the highly anticipated elections
for six weeks without igniting the storm of protests that had been
predicted. But grave concerns persist over Pakistan’s role in the
global battle between western culture and radical Islam.
It was noted in the opening sentences of the
story in Britain’s The Economist that the war on Islamic
extremism and the terrorist movement may well be won or lost in
Pakistan. As we are learning
Pakistan is a
little understood patchwork, politically. And the world’s hopes for
averting the prospect of
al Qaeda or the
control of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal are tied up in the nation’s
unstable and unpredictable political climate.
According to the conventional wisdom promoted by our U.S.
Administration, and noted in The
Economist, the central hope for the maintenance of a semblance
of stability in Pakistan’s future is a free and fair election, now
scheduled for next month. However, there seems to be little hope
that will happen. Musharraf, and his “security” apparatus have a
history of intervention to assure political outcomes, and if this is
perceived to be the case in February, predictions are that Islamic
extremism will spread from the radical provinces into Pakistan’s
concerned? The EU is
actually planning to play a role in Pakistan’s upcoming election by
sending a number of “observers” to critique the results. As events
in this pivotal crisis play out, we may also see Pakistan become a
political football in the presidential race here in the U.S.
With the primary elections already in full swing here in the
Iraq have virtually
disappeared from our mainstream news. The situation in Iraq has
quieted down to such a degree that no one seems to pay much notice.
Of course, to do so would be to admit that one of the
Bush Administration’s policies is succeeding, and there is
little if any interest among the predominantly anti-Bush media in
Iran, until recently in the center of controversy, has become a
non-story ever since the dubious intelligence report surfaced
claiming that Iran had discontinued its nuclear weapons program in
2003. But the Iran nuclear program also has a connection to
Pakistan. The so-called father of the “Islamic Bomb,”
A.Q. Khan has
been implicated in smuggling nuclear secrets not only to Iran, but
to North Korea
as well [see
story]. Last I heard, he was living under house arrest in a
protected compound in Pakistan.
The bottom line is that there are lots of “Islamic bombs” in
Pakistan, in fact an arsenal of nuclear tipped missiles. While the
believes they are currently “secure,” there are obvious concerns
about what may transpire in Pakistan over the coming months.
Meanwhile, Iran continues to
uranium, which is the critical ingredient needed to complete
The world’s attention is, for the time being, distracted by the
“beauty contest” of American primary elections. As we look at the
prospects for our future American leadership against the backdrop of
Pakistan and Iran, realizing that the Taliban and al Qaeda have not
been defeated and are still thriving in the ungoverned regions; they
are raising up and training another generation of terrorists who are
motivated by sheer hatred of everything non-Islamic and anxious to
give up their lives in the process of destroying western
civilization, you have to wonder what lies ahead for
Israel, for Europe
and for us as well.