The latest developments in the murder of the Baluch leader, Bugti, is a case in point: Pakistan is in an uproar and calling for his resignation.As with the initial US-led 9/11 attack, perhaps yet again the bombing will commence before "the snows fall in October"....
Why would the axis-of-evil crusaders want to destabilize a crucial ally? They don't "want" to, but they have bigger plans.
The US has three military bases in Baluchistan. They say they are fighting Al Qaeda and Taliban forces in the region. Perhaps. But, Baluchistan borders with Iran to the west. Baluchistan, too, is rich in natural gas and minerals. China is helping the Pakistani government to build a natural gas pipeline from Baluchistan's port of Gwadar to China, a project the Bush administration opposes. The port of Gwadar just happens to be geographically located to overlook the Straits of Hormuz, which the Iranians intend to block if they are attacked. Hormuz is the crucial sea route for internatinal oil distribution.
Coincidence that the US should be interested in "terrorism" in Baluchistan and urging Musharraf to be more zealous at the same time that it is planning an attack on Iran?
An article by the Carnegie Endowment entertains the same thought, albeit to deny it: "The Baluch and the Pakistani think that Washington would like to use Baluchistan as a rear-guard base for an attack on Iran, and Iran is suspected of supporting Baluch [independence] activists in order to counter such a Pakistani-US plot. . . . Some Pakistanis perceive the US using its Greater Middle East initiative to dismantle the major Muslim states and redefine the borders of the region. Some Baluch nationalists charge the US with conspiring with the Pakistani government to put an end to Baluch claims. So far nobody has been able to prove any of these accusations."
No? No matter, the Iranians have been mining their side of the Baluch borders, just in case, and Bugti, Baluch independence leader, has been killed by the diplomatically besieged Musharraf, catapulting the country into a political crisis.
UPDATE: A January 23, 2005 article in the London Telegraph confirms Hersh's report.
UPDATE: Remind me again why Iran is a "threat"? I'm sorry, but the rabidly insecure, bedwetting Krauthammers, Perles, Olmerts and Bushes of this world are full of shit. Ahmadinejad, as much of a right-leaning blowhard as he may be (he didn't call for Israel to be "wiped off the map") wants diplomatic relations and trade with the US. Iran's wanted that for years. Does no one in the GOP remember the Mob's advice to "keep your friends close but your enemies closer"? It's sound advice. Plus, even though Iran is well within its rights to develop nuclear power, it's years away from developing a bomb (even if it's trying to do so). And even if it gets the bomb, it will never use it. If it did, it knows it would be obliterated by either Israel or the United States. These people aren't crazy--well, no more than the blustery but harmless Pat Robertson. The real boss of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei, is a cool pragmatist with a moderate approach to regional difficulties. We may not like his approach to governance, but he's no idiot. He's closer to Kruschev than to the paranoid Stalin. The way to eliminate Iran as a threat is the same way to eliminate everyone as a threat: Mind our own business, stop starting wars and overthrowing governments, strengthen diplomatic and trade ties, give money for development, exchange students, be the generous guy who buys the drinks and respects your space and opinion. Then everyone will love you, will tell you about any impending threats and will back you when you're in a corner. These fucking neocons are stone-cold idiots.
NOT AN UPDATE EXACTLY: Just another point that I made to a mystery reporter the other night (thanks for the hours-long conversation): If the present Administration cared about actual threats instead of pretexts, it would focus on North Korea. That place is run by a--does this sound familiar?--spoiled trust-fund baby who craves power and attention (flip side of coin). It doesn't help that that country is so poor and badly run (familiar?) that Kim Jong Il resorts to international smuggling to pay the bills. That creates a situation to sell nukes as tempting as a soldier sequestered in the Hanoi Hilton feels for any dumpy prostitute. Anyone with any sense would worry about the pompadoured dictator selling arms to monied clients. The only upside there is that he promised Saddam nukes but took his millions and gave him nothing. At least his cheatin' heart gives us hope.