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« Move Over Barney, Here comes the Fracosaurus (Sujatha) | Main | 20 obsolete English words that should make a comeback »

June 20, 2011


Omar: Who should be most worried here? India, Afghanistan or the Pakistanis themselves? The US is far away. The proximate threat to America is minimal although the irritant factor for the State Department and the CIA is huge, now that their protege has gone rogue.

There is another thing that has always puzzled me about Pakistan's so called nuclear capability. How accurate or exaggerated is it? If it were as menacing as we hear it to be, why has Israel never shown any interest in Pakistan's nuclear arsenal? After all, Pakistan has never made a secret of its paranoia about the dirty hands of the Amreekans and the Hin-Jews behind all its travails.

I think the nuclear capability is pretty impressive. Of course, without access to the spook world, its hard to know for sure, but from what we have seen and heard, I think it is probably a more advanced arsenal than the one India possesses (perhaps because the designs are Chinese and not indigenous, but also because Pakistan's military industrial complex is more focused, perhaps less corrupt, definitely less shackled by baboos and ideologically more lethal). I am sure Israel has thought long and hard about it. Maybe the CIA told them GHQ was under control (maybe they were, maybe they still are..who knows). Maybe its just too well defended to be taken out cleanly? once you have 100 bombs, you are not in the same position as a country that is just trying to smuggle in its first centrifuges...
In fact, I really dont understand the Israeli angle about Iran either. Why should Israel be so worried about IRan? Is it because they intend to invade more countries and think Iran will one day get in the way? Its not like Iran is anywhere close to Israel or has any tendency to launch bombs without any rhyme or reason? Iran is an enemy country for the Arabs and likely to remain one no matter what happens with Israel. Or maybe Israelis believe the same nonsense the mullahs do and fear the black flags of Khorasan and the coming of the prophet Jesus, leading an army of 5000 pure Muslims from Khorasan?
I am mostly kidding about the last part.

So it is as scary as you say. Again, I ask you who should be most nervous about Pakistan's precarious state?

As for Israel's paranoia about Iran, indeed it is a bit confounding. Perhaps Israel is just spooked by Ahmadinejad's rhetoric? Seymore Hersh recently had a very revealing article in the New Yorker about the true extent of the threat (or the lack of it) posed by Iran's nuclear program. Apparently, Iran did at one time intend to develop nuclear weapons but it was meant to deter Saddam Hussain and not to target Israel for destruction. Now that Uncle Sam has removed Iran's arch enemy, the ardor for weaponization has evidently cooled down. Apparently, the US (the CIA, especially), the IAEA, Russia, France, England and Germany all agree upon that. But the USA has to keep making ominous noises to keep Israel happy. Speak of a paranoid tail wagging the rational dog!

Hersh's full article is not available without digital subscription. If you can lay your hands on the hard copy of the magazine, take a look.

Afghanistan should be most nervous. India next. Everyone else can get their coke and popcorn and watch from a safe distance.

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