JimSmith - 1/21/2005 1:02 AM
Botnst - 1/21/2005 12:46 AM
.......I don't think anybody in the gov thinks Iran is a military targte at this time. Despite building an army for 2 wars in the 1990's, we are probably unable to handle another war without relying on tactical nukes. At this time I just don't see Iran as being that great a threat. And I am sorry to say, I haven't the tea leaves and mindreading necessary to to speak with authority on what this or that nation's leadreship has up its sleeves.
I would suggest Mr. Cheney's comments directly contradict your first sentence from the paragraph I excerpted above. While he was "careful" to frame it as a military target of greater importance to Israel, I think the whole point was to communicate Iran is a military target. If you want to read some kind of innocence into that go ahead. I see no reason to mention this in an interview "innocently" so I presumed it was part of the typical conditioning process for the American people.
The rest of that paragraph I agree with, and find that to be one of the fundamental proofs of how wrong our presence in Iraq today is. It has made us weaker, not stronger. We are now a single attack away from desperation, as leaping to tactical nukes to protect our interests is a sure sign of desperation. Much more so than the "insurgents" in Iraq stepping up their attacks as the election approaches. Jim
Didn't say I was right, said I thought about it. It's easy to take a shot, now let's see your stuff. What do you think the dynamics are? What do you think the various governments will do and why?
Concerning Pakistani politics, its a big country and its government is not entirely under control of the eladership. In otherw ords, what we in the USA would consider a shocking breach of public trust--some general taking any army somewhere without the president's knowledge, is not uncommon in Pakistan.
Also as you can see in evidence on this board (two people of Pakistani descent, two views of relationship with Iran) the public is not nearly of one mind and has less respect and trust for their gov than we have for ours.
It is entirely reasonable and I'd say probable that Pakistan's gov is simultaneously aiding Iran and Al Queda and opposing them and that the two factions in the gov don't know about each other or are in opposition to each other. The gov is ineffective except the military, which is marginal. That is why the military is on power and a big reason why the civilian gov works somewhat in opposition to the rpesidency. And they have The Bomb. Pakistan is a freaking scary mess.
What should the US gov do, not talk to Pakistan? We tried that from Reagan II until 9/11 and look what it got us--where we are now. But if we befriend Pakistan, which is simultaneously helping us fight Al Queda and confront Iran while aiding Al Queda and aiding Iran, we'll be entering a volatile relationship with a schizophrenic country armed with a nuke. I don't see any good policy possible nor a hopeful outcome.
It's not all darkness and evil and bad times. Musharraf has forced and cajoled his military to cease aiding Al Queda and the Afghan warlords. He has largely controlled the Kashmiri insurgency, lessening the near nuke tensions with India and allowing high-level talks between the countries. And it is no longer offering sanctioned aid to Iran's nuke program. That's a huge step in the right direction.
The greatest long-term threat to the world from Pakistan (in addition to nukes) is the tens of thousands of uncontrolled religious schools, many of which use Saudi Arabias virulent interpretation of the Quran to teach literacy. The religious schools are the primary educational system of that country. In order to fight this educational system the gov must offer a better alternative, a modern educational system. Pakistan is one of the poorest countries in teh world. It cannot afford to create a full-fledged alternative to the madrasas and it cannot control the education within the madrasas.
How about the American taxpayer picking-up the bill to create secular schools? It's cheaper than a nuclear war.