[Thus far the Bush administration has managed to attack the wrong targets in its “war on terror.”  When it might have caught up with bin Laden in Afghanistan, it diverted it energies to Iraq, leaving both countries now in chaos with populations favoring American departure ASAP.  Now its apparent target of another possible attack is Iran, whereas the nation already possessing both nuclear weapons and the capacity to deliver them is Pakistan.  I know from asking my students that most Americans do not have a very clear sense of what lies where over there.  A quick map search will disclose that as the crow flies from west to east from the Mediterranean, we find lined up Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan.

It is pretty clear that the Cheney/Rumsfeld war plan has stuck the U.S. with two wings of a bird (Iraq and Afghanistan) whose central body is Iran — Iran also controls the sea routes into Iraq, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Dubai, Qatar, Kuwait, i.e. a major portion of the world’s OIL supply.  It would not be hard for Iran to block the narrow Strait of Hormuz passageway past its coast — the only oil and military exit route from all of the above.  No wonder there is a more than slight panic as Iran demonstrates its possibilities with an arrest of 15 British sailors coinciding with the weak sanctions against it voted by the Security Council yesterday.

BUT — a far greater hazard lies in this particular picture than an Iran with nuclear weapons capacity sometime down the line.  It is Pakistan with its existing weaponry and a frail government being run by an ever less popular general.  The Taliban is hanging out in Pakistan and striking more or less freely at our beleaguered troops in Afghanistan.  Dr. Khan, the Pakistani nuclear scientist who has supplied the bomb knowhow to countries ranging from North Korea to Libya with Iran stage center, lives happily on with the likelihood of doing more ‘Walmart’ distribution of the same as needed if General/President Musharraf is removed:


Frankly, I would not want to be the wounded U.S. President manning the eroding barricades at the White House.  Will he get it wrong yet again?  Probably.  Ed Kent]


Musharraf Finds Himself Weakened After Firing of Judge
Protests over the firing of Pakistan’s highest-ranking
judge signal the most serious challenge that Gen. Pervez
Musharraf has faced.


The General and the Housewife
Gen. Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan is facing the most
serious crisis of his presidency.


(Available only to TimesSelect subscribers)


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“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent  718-951-5324 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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