- The Futures So Bright (I Gotta Wear Shades/thanks to Andy Bostom)
The situation in Pakistan is much worse than you are hearing.Â Much of the coverage (here at Atlas) is the increasing power grab of pious Muslims (“fundamentalists) in SWAT and the rise of the Taliban as well. But the power that holds that fragile tinderbox together is the military, and the military appears to be fracturing. Should that happen, true Islam (“Islamists”) will take over that country. Think jihad with nukes.
Should the Pakistani military split, the Taliban will seize control. The specter of Muslim “extremists” seizing power and handing over the country’s nuclear weapons to Al Qaeda is very real.
Will president B. Hussein call for a US military invasion into Pakistan and “persuade” the Pakistani military to turn over its nukes? As I pointedÂ out yesterday, Obama is clueless.Â That, orÂ he’s dangerous – we know he loves chaos.Â Either way, he has no plan. But know, the situation in Pakistan is much worse than they are letting on.Apparently the problem in the Pakistan military is within the junior ranks of the army – right up to Majors. There are many who will not take up arms against the Taleban, “seen as ‘kindred’ souls – in the struggle against the West in general, and the US in particular. To that extent the army is reverting to its post Zia identity as a guardian of the Islamic faith and according it a higher priority than the defence of national sovereignty, territorial integrity and the values enshrined in Pakistan’s constitution.”Â (here)
French envoy warns on Paki nukes
PARIS – France’s special envoy to Pakistan painted a grim picture Thursday of a country collapsing under pressure from Islamist rebels which could one day seize control of its nuclear arsenal.
“Today the Taliban are making progress not just in Afghanistan but in thePakistani interior itself, and at the end of this road there’s a stock of nuclear weapons,” Pierre Lellouche told Europe 1 radio.
Lellouche is President Nicolas Sarkozy’s representative dealing with the conflicts in Afghanistan, where French forces form part of a NATO force, and in Pakistan, where the government is struggling to deal with the Taliban.
“They are nibbling away and fear is settling into people’s hearts,” he said, describing the advance of Taliban guerrillas into districts just north of the Pakistani capital Islamabad, which Lellouche visited recently.
“We shouldn’t think of columns of Taliban descending on the capital. It’s more complicated than that. We are seeing the rampant Talibanisation of areas close to the capital, a mental Talibanisation,” he warned.
“They are closing schools and sports halls in Islamabad itself, even those used by foreign diplomats,” he said, adding that in Taliban areas “women are whipped in the streets. There has been violence and even deaths.”
Nuclear-armed Pakistan insists there is no danger of its arsenal falling into the hands of the militants, but the French warning reflects concern in other Western capitals, including Washington.
Lellouche will discuss the crisis on Monday with his US equivalent Richard Holbrooke and the French and US foreign ministers Bernard Kouchner and Hillary Clinton in New York during a meeting of the UN Security Council.
When neither a society nor its military can muster the will to identify and fight, as a nation, a lethal enemy among them, it’s over. Such is the condition in Pakistan. Pakistan, as a nation-state, is on a rapid path to implosion, disintegration and then explosion.
In short, it matters little what we do with them, what we do for them, what we give them, or what kinds of support we lend Islamabad. Unless and until the fragmented Pakistani society can uniformly identify the Taliban and al-Qaeda terrorists, no matter their heritage, as mortal enemies; and unless and until the Pakistani military can acknowledge this and muster the will to fight them and fight for the diverse society as a Pakistani nation, neither will survive.
And the above conditions seem not in the cards. And anointing Nawaz Sharif (ahem) Prime Minister once again may forestall or delay the al-Qaeda-induced and self-enabled fall of Pakistan, but it most certainly will not prevent it.
I could write a lengthy and heady analysis of the myriad conditions and complexities defining the dismal state of affairs and bleak outlook. But there you have it in a nutshell. For another succinct nutshell with the same conclusions, seeÂ John Robb.
A nation that will not save itself cannot be saved. We will simply have to adjust. And with much alacrity and urgency.