"The Mullahs and the Military" -- Channel 4 Dispatches Documentary on Pakistan

You know, the country that has a strong Taliban influence that could take over at any moment and have a nuclear arsenal? The country that opened a nuclear-technology mall under A.Q. Khan (and everyone knew all about it the world over, as William Langewiesche showed in the Atlantic a ways back)? The one that's almost gone to nuclear war at least once with India (who was equally blameworthy)?

Oh, yeah...Pakistan.

But Iran is the real problem. They are actually a key ally against Sunni extremists -- but no matter. (The Holst and intro graphics are a bit much, but at least the person posted it on YouTube!)

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  1. If this documentary is accurate, then Pakistan has two viable choices: (1) the current military fascist dictatorship, or (2) an Islamist fascist dictatorship. Either way, Pakistan has nuclear weapons. Nice. Let's do keep making nuclear deals with India ("off the books," so to speak); let's keep up the fiction of no Israeli nukes; let's keep bullying Iran over a few centrifuges. And above all, let's really piss off Russia, as we have, first by lying to them about NATO expansion (thank you, Clinton), then by pulling out of the ABM treaty and planning the deployment of ABM technology (that probably doesn't work) on their front porch. Genius.

    Good thing we invaded Afghanistan and fired up what was already latent in Pakistan, too. Good thing we're apparently staying in Afghanistan for the foreseeable future. Makes us very safe, indeed.

    We ought to pull out of the Middle East completely, and stop backing these military regimes. It may be too late now, but only a truly radical change in US policy has a prayer of undercutting the Islamist wave (yes, there are Islamists and then there are Islamists -- I know). This requires an immediate solution to the Israel-Palestine problem, too; we all know what's going on with that nowadays: exactly nothing.

    America, had it chosen to remain a revolutionary republic (in the eighteenth-century sense), had it fulfilled its promise, could have avoided a lot of blowback. We could have supported Castro -- should have. We could have supported Arab nationalism -- should have. We could have reined in our multinationals and also Israel, without dismantling either -- though dismantling the former isn't so bad an idea.

    But through greed and prejudice we have painted ourselves into a very tight corner, and I see zero chance, other than a Kucinich presidency, of the radical changes necessary to use our still awesome power and influence to offer a real humanistic alternative -- one implicit in the founders' ideas (if not always or even often in their actions), and upon which the survival of our species probably depends.



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