Where does it go from here?

Benazir Bhutto, the head of a substantial tribal coalition just got murdered by the factional enemies of the established but embattled military government of her country. In a gross abuse of the word safe, the safe money seems to be on tribal war. This was a blunder on someone’s part unless they know a lot more than I’ve seen. Which is probable. But it looks like the groups with the signature of suicide bombings have doubled their enemies.

So, what happens next?


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  1. Mike

     /  December 27, 2007

    Feh, where does it go?

    Same way it has been. Lots of speechifying, lots of blather from “concerned world leaders”, maybe an election. Or not. Eventually an election will happen, the guy/party will be exposed as being corrupt (and they will be), the military will step in, process repeats.

    I actually would love to see an actual tribal war, it would be a nice change of pace and maybe someone will finish the unfinished business of finally beating down the tribes.

    Or (for those who are REALLY bored with this whole circus) maybe we can get someone to finally get India to beat these idiots up again. India is 3-0 in the subcontinent cup and I would love to see them 4-0.

    Bleah, maybe not that. There is a chance that things could go ugly so maybe I am not quite that bored (yet). But I predict that we will have a week’s worth of crap on Bhutto’s legacy (with plenty of omissions when it comes to her dirty money and why she was kicked out to start with). Probably some stupid “Person of the Year” thingy, lots of emptyheaded commentary (such as the moron who today said “Musharrif isn’t important in Pakistan anymore, so his response is really unimportant” (hello he is the current ruler and guy who controls the nukes, that makes him somewhat important in my book)), and probably a Noble Peace prize in memorium.

    Bets anyone?

  2. I was thinking more of who will get killed and why.

    Here is a promising start:


  3. Oh, LOTS of people are going to get killed. But this is Pakistan: that was inevitable when they refused to break any eggs on the foundation of the country. They chose to kick their social crises down the road and hope for the best, just like our Founders did with slavery. Who knows, maybe they’ll get lucky?

  4. Mike

     /  December 29, 2007

    As un-PC as this view is, I am going to say that Pakistan needs to have its time to clear house. In our Revolution we drove out the Tories and were not nice about it. In the Civil War, what started as “Save the Union” got properly moved to “we are going smash a dangerous political section’s powerbase so thoroughly they will NEVER be a problem again”. Neither necessary victory was nice, PC or ended well for the loser, but as much as many people hate to admit it damn well worked and made a better place (or just a more stable place if you prefer).

    There are people who need killing, there are groups of people that need to get over themselves, grow up and move into the modern world in which you have to deal with the fact that your little tribe isn’t so damn important or that it is NOT the big boy on the block.

    If Pakistan doesn’t deal with that, then this whole process is a blow out, and ole Bhutto died for nothing. If Pakistan can’t deal with it, then the British were idiots for leaving this place a mess. If Pakistan can deal with it, then we need to sit back, wait for it to get done, and go “nasty business that, but it had to be done” and keep the UN’s mouth shut.

  5. Mike

     /  December 29, 2007

    Yeah, I am a bit annoyed by this whole circus. But I haven’t had one surprise on this yet, and I am convinced that Pakistan is going to simply stumble onwards with the world doing nothing, and in about 3 or 4 years we will be right back where we started from. I’d much rather just have a bloody year which actually gets something moved forward in Pakistan than sit here and watch all the hot air get blathered out on Cable News and the UN, nothing get done because everyone wants a “civilized response” and the damn problem just stays there.

  6. Careful what you wish for. The progress that may occur could be the end of Pakistan as a functional nation. It would all be academic but for the nukes.

  7. Mike

     /  December 30, 2007

    Not to sound like I am an uncaring person, but my response to that is “and?” Its not exactly like Pakistan is really that functional right now and this is one of those Darwinism things for me. Either they can get their act together one way or the other, or maybe they need to breakup and become some smaller countries that CAN function. Africa was nothing but artifical and what we are seeing now is the artificiality of that situation breaking down and realigning. This is not a easy or painless process, but in my opinion necessary. Same goes for Pakistan, they can either step up or they need to drop to the minor leagues.

  8. Nukes. What happens to their nukes.

  9. Mike

     /  December 30, 2007

    They go boom? If they are based off of the North Korean design then I’d say we shouldn’t worry so much. But they could still be dirty, so yeah it is a good question.

    First off, the guys in charge of them are the most highly trained and intelligent guys in the Pakistani military, and also the most poltically stable (i.e. you won’t find anyone with a I love the Taliban T-shirt and a OBL bumpersticker on his bumper). They would migrate to the most (and I so hate to use this term) progressive group there which is also the one least likely to do something really dumb like give the bombs to someone much less stable or to launch them at India (if that happens, Pakistan will cease to be, end of story).

    There is of course the nightmare Hollywood senario in which a new radical power tries to sieze them, but these things are very well protected and guarded, so I am not so worried about that. A bunch of asshats in Toyota pickups with a Dishka machine gun welded onto the bed chanting “We Love Allah” are not going to be getting their hands on one of these.

    This is all “what if” happens and like I said above, I don’t think it will. Given what has happened so far, the only thing we are going to see is same old, same old, repeat preformance. And that was all we were going to get even IF Bhutto hadn’t gotten capped.

  10. Alex

     /  December 30, 2007

    Are you sure? The “father” of the Pakistani nuclear program has been selling his technology to the highest bidder and he was quite political. You’re assuming that today, those in charge of those nukes are above all this, but if all of a sudden their families and livelihoods get threatened, they will certainly change their tune.
    The lack of stability and chaos is not at all a good thing for Pakistan – or India, or the US.

  11. Mike

     /  December 30, 2007

    Lack of stability? When have they ever been stable to start with?

    You have a good point on the scientist, but I am not talking about him or the designs. I am talking ready-built, ready to use nukes. As strange as this will sounds, nuclear secrets getting leaked a bit don’t bug me so much. Let’s face it, knowing HOW to build a nuke doesn’t translate into being ABLE to build a nuke. Hollywood would have us believe that if you just happen to have the design specs, a garage workbench and a large gift card to Home Depot you could bang one of these out no sweat.


    Let’s look at the Manhattan Project and the sheer scope that entailed (never mind budget and brainpower, I am talking infrastructure alone). Yeah it was 1944-5, but that was the creation of the simplist atom bomb man has built. Al-Quadi has the blueprints to a bomb? Okay, where are they going to build it? Facilities WILL show up (we do have satalites that look for this stuff), and the material needed to built it are hard to get and regulated. Can these be gotten around? Sure, but it is HRAD to do if you have to do that for everything. Look at Iran’s problems in this. And they have legit help via the Russians.

    But I digress. Pakistan is the topic. I hold to my original position. Pakistan was never that stable to start with, it doesn’t matter because nothing has fundamentally changed with this assination. Politcal parties are corrupt, the military will crack down if it gets too out of hand, the world will balther some sound bites on CNN and in the opinion page of the New Republic, and Pakistan will blunder onwards in its own little spiral while India begins to make some progress.

    I halfway hope something does happen because until it does this circle will be unbroken. Is that a bad thing? It may well be but unless someone has a better idea (that is actually going to work, don’t post some crap about the UN doing something or how this will touch the hearts of the Fundamentalists) it is going to have to happen to actually break this pattern.

  12. Mike

     /  December 30, 2007

    As for threatening their families (of the Nuke units), that is akin to trying to break onto Minot AFB. The idea that you can get to someone via family is one that Pakistan especially has thought of and worked on. Perfect, probably not, but it will be hard to do.

  13. Alex

     /  December 31, 2007

    Let’s hope then that all these facilities are as secure as you indicate – both the sites where the nukes are held and the processing facilities to make the fissionable material. As for the strength of the military to step in when things get out of hand, they’ve had some setbacks lately, including some losses to insurgents in N. Pakistan and the recent assassination of a general about a month ago. Let’s hope they’re also up to the task that they have been following to date and they remain apolitical.

  14. Mike

     /  December 31, 2007

    The insurgents have lost heavily too. The big thing the army has problems with is that they have some troops that are not so reliable from that area, so you have to watch them. Of course, the solution is to send troops from other areas there and that is what they have been doing. That pretty much just reinforces my point, this has been going on since Pakistan was founded and I just don’t see any change anytime soon. For all the media you would think that this is the equivalent of JFK getting shot. But it just isn’t, it is continuation of business as usual in Pakistan.


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