STOPPING THE ATOMIC CLOCK February 17, 2009Posted by wmmbb in Humankind/Planet Earth.
India and Pakistan have a common history divided by imperialism, ideology and religion.
The bitter irony now of the division of the division of the Indian sub continent by the Imperialists is that India has the larger Muslim population. Both nation states are now nuclear powers so that any new shooting war between them takes on a dreadful significance.
Enter the CIA, and in a lesser role, the FBI, and if the story by Joby Warrick and Karen DeYoung in The Washington Post is to be believed, they emerge as the good guys. The report sheds background on the surprising development of Pakistan accepting that some of the planning for the Mumbai terrorist attack last November took place in their country. Warrick and DeYoung report:
In the aftermath of the Mumbai terrorist attacks, the CIA orchestrated back-channel intelligence exchanges between India and Pakistan, allowing the two former enemies to quietly share highly sensitive evidence while the Americans served as neutral arbiters, according to U.S. and foreign government sources familiar with the arrangement.
The exchanges, which began days after the deadly assault in late November, gradually helped the two sides overcome mutual suspicions and paved the way for Islamabad’s announcement last week acknowledging that some of the planning for the attack had occurred on Pakistani soil, the sources said.
The intelligence went well beyond the public revelations about the 10 Mumbai terrorists, and included sophisticated communications intercepts and an array of physical evidence detailing how the gunmen and their supporters planned and executed their three-day killing spree in the Indian port city. Indian and Pakistani intelligence agencies separately shared their findings with the CIA, which relayed the details while also vetting the intelligence and filling in blanks with gleanings from its networks, the sources said. The U.S. role was described in interviews with Pakistani officials and confirmed by U.S. sources with detailed knowledge of the arrangement. The arrangement is ongoing, and it is unknown whether it will continue after the Mumbai case is settled.
Officials from both countries said the unparalleled cooperation was a factor in Pakistan’s decision to bring criminal charges against nine Pakistanis accused of involvement in the attack, a move that appeared to signal a thawing of tensions on the Indian subcontinent after weeks of rhetorical warfare.
Third party intervention was really necessary, and frankly it difficult to see what other country or organizations would have been as effective. As the reporters correctly observed:
There is little public support for rapprochement, and domestic politics in both countries often dictate hostility rather than cooperation.
As the report notes the Americans have their own interests given their involvement in Afghanistan, ground over which India and Pakistan are competitors. So the American interest is to be seen to be even-handed, a policy shared by successive Administrations.
The danger of nuclear war has not gone away. Even when the Bush Administration was not in its lame duck days leaving its legacy for the planet, some people were smart enough to organize a deal with the North Koreans, for which we should be eternally grateful. Now we have got to get some agreement to start disarming the nuclear threat, American as much as Russian and the rest. Why Britain or France now needs to have nuclear weapons is more for vanity than necessity – and if the Trident program is be the standard, a very expensive vanity.
The North Korean government are great ones to poke a stick into the eye of any optimist. According to AFP they are proposing to launch a rocket during Clinton’s East Asian tour claiming the nation states right to self defence and the right to explore space. The question then arises as to what are the barriers to the unification of the Korean peninsula other than the economic burden the South would carry, and the presence of American bases?
The Guardian has the story.Apparently the North Atlantic is not large enough for the British and French navies to share since two submarines from these countries managed to crash raising speculation as to how that could have happened. There was a near miss or a scrap. Perhaps it was language difficulties. A right hand drive vehicle on a left hand highway, and the reverse.