The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. Psalm 118:22-23 NRSV

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Pakistan's Dangers

From his pseudo-election in 2000, I have had grave concerns about the foreign policy agenda of The Decider. Although delighted at the choice of Colin Powell as the first African American Secretary of State, I like the rest of the nation became quickly aware that Powell's moderate positions would have little influence on the neo-con world of Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld. Responses following the Sept 11th, 2001 attacks merely confirmed my discomfort, and then the war in Iraq exacerbated my concerns.

Fast-forward to 2007. While Bush and Co. exaggerated the potential nuclear threat of Iran at the same time that their own intelligence suspected that Iran's nuclear program was halted in 2003, Newsweek presciently announced that the most dangerous country was Pakistan. In a cover story in October, Newsweek's writers exposed the volatility of a nation that already has nukes. Since October, the danger has intensified, as President Musharraf has done everything including imposing martial law with the United States standing in the wings offering coddling words of support. No, The Decider did not technically support the suspension of the Pakistan constitution, but he did allow Pakistan's Decider to ... well, decide. Today, opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated. And with her assassination, the volatility escalates.

I am not a foreign policy maven. I understand the intricacies of these matter on the most superficial level. But as a citizen, I certainly wish I could have more confidence in the people who are supposed to be the experts in Washington. My advice to them is that maybe they should read Newsweek. (Or listen to the State Department, as a friend of mine who is a career diplomat has told me to add.)

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