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What worries me

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  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    Do you know what really worries me ? Pakistan. They allow terrorist to live in the northern 1/3 of the country. Their military doesn't seem to be interested in or strong enough to challenge the known terrorist. They have no boarder control at all. The govt. and the countries political process seems unstable at best. And, at the same time they have (according to wikipedia) 100 - 110 nuclear warheads. So much deadly power and no reliable means of protecting it from misuse. You hear about clashes and unrest in Pakistan on a regular basis.
    Luckily for us, I don't believe their missiles have the range to reach us but, it would be a terrible thing for a blast to occur anywhere on the planet.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    TJ Wrote: Do you know what really worries me ? Pakistan. They allow terrorist to live in the northern 1/3 of the country. Their military doesn't seem to be interested in or strong enough to challenge the known terrorist. They have no boarder control at all. The govt. and the countries political process seems unstable at best. And, at the same time they have (according to wikipedia) 100 - 110 nuclear warheads. So much deadly power and no reliable means of protecting it from misuse. You hear about clashes and unrest in Pakistan on a regular basis.
    Luckily for us, I don't believe their missiles have the range to reach us but, it would be a terrible thing for a blast to occur anywhere on the planet.
    I've been many times in Pakistan they had some of our troopships; so I dealt with them. That was still in the "good" years when we were not at war in the region. My feeling is that because of our war at their neighbors this whole mess developed, so you can blame us. I guess the other thing of going into a sovereign country and killing Bin Laden did not help the relationship either. Therefore my suggestion is to get the hell out of Afghanistan (do not leave troops behind) then things will sort itself out by itself in the region. Our interference/meddling between certain groups and what we immediately give a terrorist name and then use our drones to kill someone which is in our eyes not suited for our objective is stupid.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    McClellan --

    You are right to worry, and I'm sure the Obama administration worries as well, although the solutions to the problem are not easy. Hillary Clinton expressed as much in her public comments, and for those of us that look at the situation from a far, we cannot fully understand the delicate situation that exists in Pakistan today.

    Pervez Hoodbhoy, a PhD nuclear physicist graduate of MIT and currently a professor at Lahore University of Management Sciences, wrote an article in Heartland about Pakistan's struggle to become a true state:

    Pervez Hoodbhoy, Heartland, April 19, 2010: Can Pakistan become a nation?

    Written almost three years ago, it's a rather long, but well written article addressing the underlying causes of the turmoil in Pakistan. In that article Professor Hoodbhoy didn't cover the current state of affairs dominated by the US drone warfare against al-Qaeda and Taliban dominated areas in the north. However, his perspective of the deeper problems that allow the Taliban campaign of fear to even exist in their country is worth reading. Here are just a couple of the leading paragraphs that he develops in his article:

    "These questions beg the most fundamental one: is Pakistan the land and people inside a certain geographical boundary or, instead, is it a nation? By nation I mean a form of cultural or social community whose members share an identity, mental makeup, sense of history or common ancestry, parentage or descent.

    "By this definition, Pakistan is not a nation – at least as yet. Its peoples are too disparate and divided, have too little trust in those whom they perceive as outsiders, and identities of tribe and ethnicity are strong. This is painfully apparent in Karachi – Pakistan’s megacity of nearly 17 million – which is frequented by violent ethnic and religious clashes. And, while the flag is saluted with great fervor in Punjab, it does not fly at all on schools in Baluchistan where the national anthem is also not sung."


    Hoodbhoy covered his views on drones in a separate 2010 article: Viewpoint: Drones, theirs and ours

    Quoting Hoodbhoy:

    "Pakistan has many more drones than America . These are mullah-trained and mass-produced in madrassas and militant training camps. Their handlers are in Waziristan, not in Nevada . Like their aerial counterparts, they do not ask why they must kill. However, their targets lie among their own people, not in some distant country. Collateral damage does not matter.

    "The walking (or driving) drone’s trail is far bloodier than that of the MQ-1B or MQ-9; body parts lie scattered across Pakistan. Detection is almost impossible. The destructive power has steadily increased. The earlier version had a simple bomb strapped on the back but the newer one carries plastic explosives packed into vests both on the front and back of the chest. For additional killing power, the explosives are surrounded with ball bearings and nails. This killing machine is far cheaper than anything General Dynamics can make.

    "What must be the last thoughts of the bomber as he sits in the eight row of mosque worshippers, moments before he reduces dozens of his fellow Muslims to bloodied corpses? Can he think beyond instrumental terms? As a murder weapon, the human drone has no room for moral judgment, doubt, remorse, or conscience."


    His perspective of how to fix things in his home country goes well beyond the drones, but I found his closing comment revealing:

    "In this grim situation there is no guarantee of victory, even eventually. To prevent defeat every effective weapon – economic, social, political, and military – must be pressed into service. The use of aerial drones, terrible though it is, is a necessary evil. "

    The situation in Pakistan is indeed very complex and Hoodbhoy's views are certainly not shared with many of the Pakistani populace nor with many in the USA. However, his credentials as a Pakistani national, scientist, essayist, environmentalist, and social activist are well respected worldwide.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote: McClellan --

    You are right to worry, and I'm sure the Obama administration worries as well, although the solutions to the problem are not easy. Hillary Clinton expressed as much in her public comments, and for those of us that look at the situation from a far, we cannot fully understand the delicate situation that exists in Pakistan today.

    Pervez Hoodbhoy, a PhD nuclear physicist graduate of MIT and currently a professor at Lahore University of Management Sciences, wrote an article in Heartland about Pakistan's struggle to become a true state:

    Pervez Hoodbhoy, Heartland, April 19, 2010: Can Pakistan become a nation?

    Written almost three years ago, it's a rather long, but well written article addressing the underlying causes of the turmoil in Pakistan. In that article Professor Hoodbhoy didn't cover the current state of affairs dominated by the US drone warfare against al-Qaeda and Taliban dominated areas in the north. However, his perspective of the deeper problems that allow the Taliban campaign of fear to even exist in their country is worth reading. Here are just a couple of the leading paragraphs that he develops in his article:

    "These questions beg the most fundamental one: is Pakistan the land and people inside a certain geographical boundary or, instead, is it a nation? By nation I mean a form of cultural or social community whose members share an identity, mental makeup, sense of history or common ancestry, parentage or descent.

    "By this definition, Pakistan is not a nation – at least as yet. Its peoples are too disparate and divided, have too little trust in those whom they perceive as outsiders, and identities of tribe and ethnicity are strong. This is painfully apparent in Karachi – Pakistan’s megacity of nearly 17 million – which is frequented by violent ethnic and religious clashes. And, while the flag is saluted with great fervor in Punjab, it does not fly at all on schools in Baluchistan where the national anthem is also not sung."


    Hoodbhoy covered his views on drones in a separate 2010 article: Viewpoint: Drones, theirs and ours

    Quoting Hoodbhoy:

    "Pakistan has many more drones than America . These are mullah-trained and mass-produced in madrassas and militant training camps. Their handlers are in Waziristan, not in Nevada . Like their aerial counterparts, they do not ask why they must kill. However, their targets lie among their own people, not in some distant country. Collateral damage does not matter.

    "The walking (or driving) drone’s trail is far bloodier than that of the MQ-1B or MQ-9; body parts lie scattered across Pakistan. Detection is almost impossible. The destructive power has steadily increased. The earlier version had a simple bomb strapped on the back but the newer one carries plastic explosives packed into vests both on the front and back of the chest. For additional killing power, the explosives are surrounded with ball bearings and nails. This killing machine is far cheaper than anything General Dynamics can make.

    "What must be the last thoughts of the bomber as he sits in the eight row of mosque worshippers, moments before he reduces dozens of his fellow Muslims to bloodied corpses? Can he think beyond instrumental terms? As a murder weapon, the human drone has no room for moral judgment, doubt, remorse, or conscience."


    His perspective of how to fix things in his home country goes well beyond the drones, but I found his closing comment revealing:

    "In this grim situation there is no guarantee of victory, even eventually. To prevent defeat every effective weapon – economic, social, political, and military – must be pressed into service. The use of aerial drones, terrible though it is, is a necessary evil. "

    The situation in Pakistan is indeed very complex and Hoodbhoy's views are certainly not shared with many of the Pakistani populace nor with many in the USA. However, his credentials as a Pakistani national, scientist, essayist, environmentalist, and social activist are well respected worldwide.
    Just wait and see; sorry this guy is also part of a "sect" the way I read this; he is correct there are many etnic groups. Only the US involvement makes the mess only bigger.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    Wow,
    I just read the attached links in Schmidts post. I must say that I learned a lot more than I knew before about Pakistan.
    Part of what initially worried me about Pakistan was the fear that factions within the country might one day take over a facility
    and thus a nuclear device. This country has a lot of problems though.
    I think that it's disgusting how they treat women. Somehow I think their men should be challenged by the question: How can you let your
    Daughters, wives, sisters, or mothers be so mistreated ? Are you too much of a fool to see what is important and to protect that ?
    I really think the only hope for the women in Pakistan is if men are considered weak by allowing mistreatment.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    TJ Wrote: Wow,
    I just read the attached links in Schmidts post. I must say that I learned a lot more than I knew before about Pakistan.
    Part of what initially worried me about Pakistan was the fear that factions within the country might one day take over a facility
    and thus a nuclear device. This country has a lot of problems though.
    I think that it's disgusting how they treat women. Somehow I think their men should be challenged by the question: How can you let your
    Daughters, wives, sisters, or mothers be so mistreated ? Are you too much of a fool to see what is important and to protect that ?
    I really think the only hope for the women in Pakistan is if men are considered weak by allowing mistreatment.
    Yes , that is the case there; Pakistan is a quite large area; the differences between the south and north are enormous; the same between cities and country side as well; some area's are up to the times others are still as 200 years ago; so the diversity is enormous; add on top of that all kind of religious differences then you get a difficult to govern country. Personally I'm of the opinion that the drone use on the border area is kind of a dangerous game, because we intrude in a lot of cases into a sovereign country, with whom we are not at war. Also for the ones we kill; their relatives will become even more fanatic and then resort to what is previously described the launch the "human drones" more and more and adds to the turmoil.
    So in fact we are lighting the "fire".