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July 18, 2007


No... Egypt is the prize. Don't you remember?

thanks for the information.

do you ever feel like cassandra?

knowing what's coming but living in a world that does not?

I have heard that we are just 1 thin excuse away from a shooting encounter with Iran that could lead to war, or at least more certainly, selective bombings of nucelar sites.

It isn't that the US fears Iran directly but it fears for its client Israel, and the Israeli bloc in America is pushing hard in that direction.

After all Iran vows publically to destroy Israel and with two or three strategically targeted tactical Nuclear weapons could for all practical purposes do it...

Jodi -- how many years is Iran away from having a bomb?

It is unlikely that the military can be effectively removed from government in Pakistan. It is not simply that that the powerful are always reluctant to relinquish power but also the the lack of an independent civilian controlled administrative and judicial infrastructure that would, as it has in the past, create roadblocks to stable and effective government paving the way for the military to declare a national emergency and seize control yet again as it has done so many times.

Musharraff has also ushered in constitutional changes that vests the role of the Commander in Chief in the President, not the Parliament - the Pakistani constitution is a Parliamentary constitution - this has created a dual power structure which allows the President to overrule the Parliament (Majlis).

Musharraff has also encouraged religious parties in the Majlis and has been accused of inflaming riots by these religious parties in his attempts to silence the popular support for the dismissed Chief Justice.

Bhutto knows the pitfalls facing any non-military political party but her PPP is the largest party based in Sindh and is the most secular of the lot. Shariff is corrupt beyond belief and was even more eager than the military establishment to fan religious zealotry to further his own self serving ends.

The military establishment itself is hardly a united entity and we can thank US cold war era foreign policy and the CIA for setting up its semi autonomous intelligence arm, the ISI, to channel funds to maintain a bulwark against too independent minded India and then to fight the Soviets through the Taliban, recruited largely from the madrassas sustained by Saudi moneys and inspired by Wahhabi and Deobandi schools of Islam in the Pashtun tribal lands which straddle the border areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Pashtuns have never accepted the British denominated border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Durand Line, and have maintained an autonomous existence since at least the the 19th century. They have never tolerated foreign control or presence in their domains and they are not about to change now. It is not religious zealotry per se that shapes their perceptions and world view but traditional tribal cutural loyalties.

You can bomb the inhospitable ladscape to rubble but they will not surrender their worldview to any foreigner as the British discovered in the past and the Uzbeks have found out in recent times and that Musharraff and the military establishment are well aware of.

The State Department and the CIA are also aware of this, this is why they regard propping up the current military dictatorship as a safer bet for a nuclear armed country. They know they will not necessarily be able to control the outcome of any elections given the radicalisation that has already occurred across Muslim countries. They are jittery that a democracy experiment is going to present them with a prallel paradigm to Hamas' victory in Palestine.

In the long term, such a policy will not succeed, that, however, does not mean there is going to be a realistic reassessment of strategic foreign policy initiatives for the area.

Maybe, in order to keep sane, we need to look at it like the Alan Alda character in the Woody Allen movie: "Comedy equals tragedy plus time."

Sorry for that. But sometimes the problems just look to big. I've been to India, and I know what you are talking about.


it is a shell game. Sorta like a magicians staging. Nothing is what it seems. They are hiding but at the same time posturing about their capability.

I assume they hide more the real (locations, scale, etc.) and posture more over the semi-real (numbers, times). That is what I would do.

But as for the real rabbit in the magicians hat.

I would say 3 years minimum 5 or 6 maximum for the nuclear devices. Or 4 to 4 1/2 years solid. (((... but that is just a personal estimate.)))

In 10 years they will have a dozen of a size to be a real problem for say Tel Aviv-Yafo, 1/2 million population, 20 square miles, in a metropolean area of 3 Million (more than 1/2 Israel's population)
A real problem is they do have the rockets/(delivery systems), and in that amount of time the rockets will will be proven out.

You can safely assume the first bombs will occur within the next Democratic President's term.

Musharraf is reminding me more and more each day of Archduke Ferdinand.

regarding the time for iran to have a bomb.... think of all the bullshit propaganda that can be given to the world in between.. that is where the weapons of mass delusion finally show their bombing power..they have been bombing us into believing a pile of bullshit for a while now, and i expect it to reach a crescendo in the next 2 years. welcome to propaganda universe 2007.

i think you are mistaking busharraf for musharraf..

With Iran, there are many elements within the country who do not want war. After seeing us invade Iraq, they may want a nuclear weapon for defensive purposes, but thinking that EVEN IF IRAN HAD THE BOMB it would use it is like saying that just because Israel has the bomb (since the 1970s) it would of necessity use it against some Arab country or Iran. Iran has not been expansionist for hundreds of years. Saddam started the Iraq-Iran war, not the Iranians.

So the big question is why we keep strengthening Ahmedinejad's position instead of minimizing his importance and dealing with the elements of the Iranian government who aren't interested in war.

Bush now looks as stupid for rejecting Iran's offer in 2002 or 2003 to resolve differences as it looks for breaking the agreement with North Korea that Clinton negotiated, as a result of which N Korea built 2-3 bombs, and now we are back to the very same deal that Clinton negotiated, except that N Korea has a couple of bombs.

Never forget that there is only one country who ever used nuclear weapons against another country, and it is us.

If I recall, The Taliban in Afghanistan did a gas line deal with Russia, Germany, France, maybe China was in on it?

And the USA was left OUT of it.

Shooter, prior to 9/11, went there to DEMAND a cut of it, and was told by t he Taliban, NO WAY, BUTT OUT. Then we invaded Afghanistan, there's no pipeline, there's no Russian linkage to energy they need.

Now, Russia/Putin have inked SOLID oil and energy contracts with Iran. And per the above, a new gasline with Pakistan and Iran, too . . .

I'm guessing, when Putin was in BoyKing Land recently, he told him square to his eyes, touch Iran and we mess you up BAD!

China remains quiet on all fronts, but has deals with Iran for oil, too, if I'm not mistaken.

I'm praying that Putin and China both have leverage enuff on BoyKing to keep him from pressing the Iran Button . . . cuz THAT'S gonna let loose some seriously ugly stuff and we have 180,00 troops and a similar amount of contractors next door in Iraq that are gonna be shooting ducks anytime Tehran's Mullah's make the call. I think, bombing Iran, for ANY reason, will be a time for The Mullah's to MAKE that call.

Don't forget, the whole carrier thing? Putin was with BoyKing, next we know, carrier's are moving out for badly needed maintainence . . . my guess, they woulda stayed in The Gulf, and we would have HAD the Iran Incident, had Putin not thumped BoyKing's noggin.

Now Pakistan is to be a doable thing . . . . it sure sounds a lot like what AlfredK posted on his site . . but Putin and China just MIGHT be our best bets for peace . . . who woulda thunk it!!

Hats off to this site, EW, and the regular contributors . . . a pleasure to read it and always informative in ways some other blogs aren't . . . here's to the sum toto of the blogs, though, for being MY MSM . . . on a daily basis . . *G*

Yea, but no one has considered the matter of Pakistan, India and Iran inking an agreement to fund and build a gas pipeline from Iran to India, and of course the obvious, the same pipeline could move Turkmenistan Gas to India just as well. Iran and Turkmenistan are the huge Natural Gas sources available, and this decision on the part of Musharraf's Pakistan is huge. And this was always one of Cheney's goals afterall.

In recent years Pakistan has built a deep water port that would work well for LNG (liquified natural gas) in the west of Baluchistan, with massive Chinese investment, and India has done the same in Baluchi Iran, along with a road project that reaches up to Turkmenistan, and tracks Afghanistan's western border. Can a full pipeline be far behind that investment?

What I see happening is a total slap in the face to Cheney and his big oil and gas friends. I think it interesting that Musharraf slapped down the red mosque folk, while in the same instant signing on to the Baluchistan Natural Gas pipeline.

What do you make of this from Stratfor Sara?

"July 24, 2007 0200 GMT
U.S. forces on Monday moved a day closer to launching a major military operation into Pakistan. Pakistan has realized that the United States was not kidding when, last week, it broached the topic of launching major operations into Pakistan. The United States has seized people's attention, but it remains to be seen whether the chaos that is Pakistani politics can solidify for an internal housecleaning before Washington must make a final decision"


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