Friday, December 28, 2007

The Bhutto Assassination

Just an assortment of thoughts on yesterday's news:

1. First, this is a terrible tragedy. I know there were serious issues with Bhutto's policies and allegations of corruption. Nevertheless, it's hard to dispute her courage in returning to her country, exposing herself to extreme physical danger.

2. It's hard to see an encouraging outcome for Pakistan in the near or medium term future. Democracy? Probably off the table.

3. This is another thing that demonstrates the failures of the Bush foreign policy. If we had concentrated on winning in Afghanistan instead of invading Iraq, it's at least possible that we wouldn't have to be relying so heavily on Pakistan six years after the 2001 terrorist attacks. Even before this assassination, the Pakistani government wasn't looking like a terribly reliable partner. Now, with chaos in the offing and a leadership vacuum that may potentiate the Islamic fundamentalists, it looks even worse.

4. They can be glad they have nuclear weapons. They have a giant and more powerful country right next door, and without Pakistan's nukes India might be tempted to take advantage of this situation by invading, stirring up more trouble in Kashmir, etc.

5. This demostrates why it is in the interests of Iran to have nuclear weapons. Any neighbors or superpowers with inclinations to take over Iran will think twice if they think Iran has nuclear weapons.

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