Monday, September 22, 2008

crystal ball

I am glad to see that someone is responding to ongoing developments in Pakistan with humour (thanks to dear S for the link). I am very depressed about Pakistan. There have been no major attacks by al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia for at least the last couple of years and the network has been severely weakened in Iraq. But the key front in the 'war on terror' has now moved to Pakistan, at a time when its military is more unpopular (domestically) than it has probably ever been in its history and its civilian administration is led by a powerful crook whom almost nobody trusts. Benazir might have been able to hold things together, but Asif Zardari certainly cannot. I am not one to look into crystal balls, but my sense is that things will get a lot worse in places like the Swat valley. There will be no formal secessions, just long, grinding counterinsurgency that leaves no victors. Two things will happen, are beginning to happen. (i) US counter-insurgency operations will increasingly violate Pakistani sovereignty, making it ever more difficult for any administration in Islamabad to cooperate with the US (this will hold equally true, perhaps more true, for an Obama administration). (ii) The US will increasingly begin to see India as the key stable partner in the region. As Pakistan implodes, the US will become ever more serious about military cooperation with India, with a view to containing the festering sore of Islamic radicalism in the region. The most important dimensions of the developing Indo-US relationship are not those which concern civilian nuclear cooperation, but the less discussed side agreements on military cooperation and interoperability, which will pave the way for India to become a key regional military ally in a way that is reminscent of Pakistan's role during the Cold War. The irony will be that in the 'war on terror', India will be the new Pakistan.

God, that's depressing.
Is it ok, in the blog world, to post stories, which I dont want to believe are true (coz they are so embarassing, not because they are unlikely :( )

- your not-obsessed with Zardari&Palin Dear S.

Zardari floored by Palin at first meeting New York, Sept 25 (PTI)
"Gorgeous," this is how Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari described
Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin when she met him here.
"You look so gorgeous. Now, I know why the whole of America is crazy about
you," Zardari said, while receiving Palin, also the Governor of Alaska, at
the Millenium Hotel here.

"You are so nice," 44-year-old Palin, a former Miss Wasilla runner up in
Alaska beauty pageant, told Zardari, husband of slain former Pakistani
Premier Benazir Bhutto.

An aide of Zardari then told the two to keep shaking hands for the cameras.

"I'm supposed to pose again," said Palin, who has energised the Republican
Presidential nominee John McCain's camp.

"If he's (aide) insisting, I might hug," 53-year-old Zardari replied, for
which Palin smiled politely in response. The conversation was captured on a
camera and telecast later.
dear 'dear S',

in future kindly post LINKS, not big chunks of TRASH about TRASHY people. ugh, imagine getting hugged by zardari. is 'i might hug' meant to be a warning of some kind? as in i might jump you like i used to jump babes in the sleazy discotheque i used to run? god this is straight out of an updated case of exploding mangoes.
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