Thursday, December 27, 2007

The horrible news of Benazir Bhutto's assassination today had me thinking of one thing...

Daniel Pearl's murder. And, more specifically, the book Bernard Henri-Levy wrote investigating his murder. In it, he explores the fact that Pearl was killed for finding that Omar Sheikh, the man he was investigating, had connections with both the ISI (Pakistan's Secret Service) and al-Qaeda. Sheikh masterminded Pearl's killing and eventually admitted his guilt in court, but his connections to both organizations were never fully explored.

Levy's book can be tough to read at times, but what struck me about the things he related about the many factions present in Pakistani society is that, in invading Afghanistan and partnering with Pakistan, the U.S. was delaying dealing with a hornet's nest. Levy saw, back in 2002-3, that America's military might was not going to be directed against the Afghani neighbor that was most likely harboring former Taliban leaders - it would be turned towards countries a little further west. Like, say, Iran or Iraq.

For more on why Iran or Iraq, head to Maitri's.

We are absolutely not justified in saying we didn't see this coming. Most folks around the blogosphere are seeing a potential powder keg of Asia exploding here. For all our sakes, I hope not.


Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Pakistan has been exploding for quite some time, just not in such spectacular fashion. What's worse is that there is not powder in the barrel, in this instance, it is weapons grade plutonium.

Cold Spaghetti said...

After living for a week on "red alert" and under curfew with submachine guns at every market corner, I was evacuated from Northern India in 2002 during that tense time when it appeared that Pakistan and India might head to war... it was a terrifying time. The people I worked with felt quite certain that the conflicts in Kashmir and in Gujarat were directly supported by the Pakistani government -- in other words, that Musharraf's government was a terrorist government supported by the U.S.

Personally, I am still reeling from the news of the assassination.