Tuesday, December 30, 2003

The headline of an article in today's New York Times:

A Nuclear Headache: What if the Radicals Oust Musharraf?

It's about time the major media started worrying about this. Unfortunately, the worries seem confined to the Times's headline writers. The guys who wrote the body of the piece, David Sanger and Thom Shanker, have quite a bit to say about scenarios in which terrorists acting against the Pakistani government seize weapons or their components, and possible countermeasures (technical safeguards on detonators and the like). But they have very little to say about the increasingly worrisome scenarios in which radicals seize control of the Pakistani government itself -- which would make all safeguards against third-party terrorist action irrelevant.

The situation in Saudi Arabia is a little less dire. Mind you, the current government is in danger of toppling to radicals there too, particularly after Dubya's crowd gave Osama bin Laden one of his heart's desires by pulling out American troops. But hey -- they don't have nukes!

By the way, the Sanger/Shanker piece quotes several American officials, anonymously as usual these days, claiming that we actually don't know where Pakistan is currently storing its nuclear materials. Such comments aren't always to be taken at face value, of course, but still, Jim Henley may wish to take note...


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