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The Taliban’s Atomic Threat: John Bolton’s Fear Mongering

John Bolton, the former interim US Representative at the UN is now at the American Enterprise Institute. He was “interim” because he was not confirmed by the Senate despite Bush Administration’s advocacy. Among other things he faced allegations of mistreating women employees working under him. Seeing the writing on the wall he resigned in 2006. He was also associated with the Project for the New American Century. Scroll down from here to Associations with Bush administration to get an idea of the people involved.

Bush Sr. kept them at bay but the Junior did not have the spine and succumbed to the AEI lobbying. The results of that meddling are before us – Iraq, Afghanistan and the Economy.

In a recent piece John Bolton wrote for the WSJ he espoused his fringe neoconzix views.

Quoting from Obama’s press conference, he wrote:

At his press conference Wednesday evening, President Barack Obama endorsed Pakistan’s official position that it has secure control over its nuclear-weapons arsenal. Mr. Obama said he was “gravely concerned” about the situation there, but “confident that the nuclear arsenal will remain out of militant hands.”

The he quotes Hilary Clinton and speculates that the Pakistan Army dubbed the “steel skeleton” has dispersed the nuclear arsenal around the country.

That he chooses to fear monger and dwell on dispersion of nuclear arsenal rather than the assurance delivered by President Obama which berates the Zardari Administration but praises the Army conduct indicates his bent.

I have written about this topic here: The Genius Figures it Out: It is Da Bomb.

The successors to the Raj, and her satellite cohorts would like to get their hands on the Da Bomb. You must be familiar with the arguments floated: we need to keep it from falling in the hands of the big beards. This killer machine, dubbed the Muslim Bomb would wreak havoc as indiscriminately as the Christian, Communist, Jewish or Hindu bombs. Bu that is a digression.

The Army that has a country – yeah a stale joke – but valid to make the point – knows an insurance policy when it sees it.

So, even if Kahota is wiped out – never put all your eggs in one basket – it would have sufficient of those Da Bombs in its hideouts elsewhere to retain its blackmailing potential.

This is why I find John Bolton’s spin facetious and pushing his neoconzix agenda. He writes:

The second scenario is even more dangerous. Instability could cause the constitutional government to collapse entirely and the military to fragment. This could allow a well-organized, tightly disciplined group to seize control of the entire Pakistani government. While Taliban-like radicals might not have even a remote chance to prevail in free and fair elections, they could well take advantage of chaos to seize power. If that happened, a radical (sic) Islamicist regime in Pakistan would control a substantial nuclear weapons capacity.

The Pakistani Army has a country. It would never let go of that golden goose. The US, Israel and others would like to get their control over the the nuclear arsenal and then dismantle the programme.

The Army sees the arsenal as an irrevocable insurance policy for its survival and would protect it from everyone at all costs – from the rag tag Talibans as well as from other major powers. Its very survival depends on this control.

Any fears of their falling in Taliban hands are grossly exaggerated. The Pakistani Talibans have a very limited focus. They are focused on the past not the future. They want to impose their version of “Shariah” in their region. All else emanating from them is to be considered as rumblings for public consumption. Their tunnel vision thinking looks backward into pushing the baby back in the womb – no education for women – instant and medieval justice -recognise no law but the law of God – of course, as interpreted by them.

They do not have extra-territorial ambitions. A cause of greater concern would be non-NPT signatory Israel’s nuclear arsenal falling in the hands of terrorists. John Bolton should be more concerned about that remote possibility.

While nuclear proliferation should be checked, why single out Pakistan, India, Israel and perhaps in future Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey only? The biggest concentration of those weapons is in the hands of the US and Russia.

But I am getting ahead of myself. One would never catch John Bolton criticise Israel’s nuclear programme.

He does highlight a neglected area where the US,

… in the past penalized Pakistan for its nuclear program by cutting off military assistance and scaling back the International Military Education and Training (IMET) program that brought hundreds of Pakistani officers to the U.S. Globally, this extraordinarily successful program has bound generations of foreign military leaders to their U.S. counterparts. Past cut-offs with Pakistan have harmed our bilateral relationship. Perhaps inevitably, the Pakistani officers who haven’t participated in IMET are increasingly subject to radical influences.

This argument has the same validity that can be invoked to improve contacts and relationships between any two countries.

Here is a grudging admission,

Moreover, the Bush administration, by pushing former President Pervez Musharraf into unwise elections and effectively removing him from power, simply exacerbated the instability within Pakistan’s already frail system.”

He then advocates the prime American dichotomy, we will call this US affliction the Shah Syndrome. The affliction causes one to promote democracy while empowering dictatorships. Bolton says,

“This may mean stifling some of our democratic squeamishness and acquiescing in a Pakistani military takeover, if the civilian government melts before radical pressures. So be it.”

Then John Bolton reveals why the US should favour a puppet-dictator. It would enable the US to “extract as many nuclear weapons as possible from Pakistan, thus somewhat mitigating the consequences of regime collapse. ”

So even with the puppet dictator the regime would collapse at some time.

Last we checked, Afghanistan is not a nuclear power. Yet the alleged conspirators of 9/11 emerged from there. If Pakistan is allowed to disintegrate, the ensuing human chaos would be hard to contain even if Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is somehow hauled away.


  • arif |

    This is a classic example of Clash of Ignorance. Nobody in America is paying attention to this guy but only in Pakistan. Reverse is probably the trend, the Americans might be paying attention to all the fringe and extremist elements of Pakistan paying less attention to those who may be in the majority.

  • Amina Wasif |

    Well this is classical neocon-wingnuttery for you! I think we all decided long ago that the 'neo-con clown crowd' can't come up with anything *remotely* intelligent. It therefore pisses me no end when all wannabe intellectuals from our country soil their pants over articles from the Washington Post, RAND, American Thinker, and all other 'think tanks' thinking 'Oh boy, now we are in deep deep trouble'! Hate all neo-cons and their supporters!

    Brilliant analysis by temporal btw…keep it up!

  • SM Imran H Zaidi |

    We should put an end to their speculation by throwing 1 or 2 on tel aviv…

  • SEO Pakistan |

    Taliban has played a good role in war against india in the past. But, for pakistan government its not like accepting everything from them.

    We have to develop a government rule… not taliban rule…