(guest blogged by Bill W.)
John McLaughlin takes a look at the cover story in this week's Newsweek, "The Most Dangerous Nation in the World," and much to the dismay of the Bush administration and their PR fronts like Freedoms Watch, isn't about Iran OR Iraq.
Today no other country on earth is arguably more dangerous than Pakistan. It has everything Osama bin Laden could ask for: political instability, a trusted network of radical Islamists, an abundance of angry young anti-Western recruits, secluded training areas, access to state-of-the-art electronic technology, regular air service to the West and security services that don't always do what they're supposed to do. (Unlike in Iraq or Afghanistan, there also aren't thousands of American troops hunting down would-be terrorists.) Then there's the country's large and growing nuclear program. "If you were to look around the world for where Al Qaeda is going to find its bomb, it's right in their backyard," says Bruce Riedel, the former senior director for South Asia on the National Security Council. ...(more)
Unlike Iran, Pakistan never agreed to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which guarantees nations "the inalienable right ... to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes." Neither did India and Israel (North Korea is the only other nation in the world that is not currently a signatory, but they were until Bush abandoned Clinton-era agreements and safeguards and decided to name them to his "Axis of Evil") and yet after their developing nuclear weapons, they remain strong US allies. I'm not saying they shouldn't be either, but I am saying that when Bush singles out Iran's nuclear program as a cause for WWIII, it is absolutely hypocritical. Pakistan has even been caught exporting their nuclear designs and equipment to other nations, and yet the Bush administration continues to keep a blind eye turned toward them. Sadly, maybe that's a good thing, because this administration has proven time and time again that it lacks even the most basic of diplomatic skills and has pissed away its credibility to be able to deal effectively with these sorts of problems. Hopefully the time-bomb that today is Pakistan will wait until we can elect an administration that can.