Monday, December 15, 2003

I'm as pleased as everyone else that Saddam Hussein is in custody. I'm even more pleased to hear Donald Rumsfeld say yesterday (on Sixty Minutes) that for once, they'll be according someone "the privileges of a prisoner of war", according to the Geneva conventions, which still mysteriously do not apply to the people we captured in Afghanistan who are still cooped up at Guantanamo.

In the meantime, it's worth checking into what is being chased off the international front pages while the mainstream media reassure us, over and over, that Saddam Hussein is still in custody. Say, for example, yesterday's assassination attempt against Pakistani strongman Pervez Musharraf. Someone who had lots of explosives to spare, and exact knowledge of Musharraf's movements -- which is closely guarded information -- blew up a bridge.

I've been saying for a while now that Pakistan bears watching -- in part because before Sept. 11th, their intelligence agencies had a large and well-known role in setting up the Taliban, and they still probably contained sympathizers with Islamist radicals both in Afghanistan and Kashmir. It's possible that some of these elements are disappointed with the recent reduction of tensions in Kashmir. Or maybe not -- but whoever did it clearly had some expertise in military combat engineering. After all, their preferred style of assassination was not car bombing, or anything involving small arms, but rather blowing up a bridge...

In any case, there are now clearly terrorist elements -- most likely Islamists of one kind or another, who are bent on destabilizing Pakistan, if not seizing control outright. And by the way, unlike some other Arab states that come to mind, Pakistan does have weapons of mass destruction. Real weapons of mass destruction -- missiles and nukes.

Oh, by the way, now that we've got Saddam Hussein, mayhap we can refocus on trying to capture that other guy, who's had a beard for quite a while now. You know, the guy who actually did attack us?


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