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The bigger threat

Reader comment on item: Capturing Osama

Submitted by Vijay Dandapani (United States), Mar 9, 2004 at 08:11

While the capture and/or killing of Osama bin-Laden ought to be a priority for several reasons including the defeat of the arrogant Atlanticist, John Kerry it unfortunately has led to the Bush administration pushing a larger existential threat under the rug - the issue of nuclear proliferation.

The world's absolutely worst instance of the spread of weapons of mass destruction by a nation, Pakistan, has found very little play with most of the media repeating the pabulum put out by the Pakistani establishment that the whole episode is that of the work of a rogue scientist, A.Q.Khan. The administration, to its credit, does appear to have focused on trying to contain further proliferation. But that implies that there will be no further duplicity on the part of either the Pakistani state - a considerable stretch given recent disclosures of even Vietnam era duplicity by that country's leaders when F-104 Starfighters were shown to the Chinese for analysis.

The disclosure of their nuclear duplicity, resulted, as usual, in two public positions by the Pakistani establishment - one to the West in English about the rogue scientist and in the other in Urdu to their own people when President Musharraf railed about a "fellow Muslim" nation having sold them down the river.

The probabilty of a nuclear attack of any stripe in any part of the world by Islamic terrorists is not insignificant. Capturing Bin-Laden should not in any way take away from our ability to shut down the Pakistani nuclear bazaar. Hours after September 11th, Mr. Powell reportedly laid down an ultimatum to the Pakistani dictator that resulted in a 180 degree turn in that country's publicly stated policy towards the West. Some coercion on the nuclear issue should not take away from the US's ability to search for Bin-Laden in that country's North West hideaways.
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