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Thread: Pakistani Prez grabs power again

  1. #1
    [url=http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,144206,00.html]http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,144206,00.html[/url]

    talk about a double standard... yeah the US demands Democracy in the Middle East... for everyone but Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, who provide 90% of the terrorists and can do whatever the f--k they want. Sounds fair to me. <_<

    [quote][b]U.S. Mostly Mum on Musharraf Power Grab
    Thursday, January 13, 2005
    By Kelley Beaucar Vlahos

    WASHINGTON Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf&#39;s (search) potentially explosive announcement last month that he would not step down as military chief and rule his country as a civilian drew barely a whisper from the U.S. media and Washington officials.

    The silence, say foreign policy analysts, reveals as much about U.S. policy toward Pakistan since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks as any public remarks could. While U.S. officials may not wish to criticize Musharraf, analysts say it might be a mistake in the long term for the United States to turn a blind eye to Pakistan&#39;s military ruler.

    "The tensions are between long-term objectives and short-term objectives," said Ashley Tellis, foreign policy scholar at Carnegie Institute for International Peace (search). "Our objective in the short term is to defeat Al Qaeda (search), and we essentially need Musharraf as the head of the army that is assisting us. The long-term objective is to have Pakistan a democracy, meaning you don&#39;t want a military chief as head of the country."

    Just before the new year, Musharraf, who has held office since taking over in a bloodless military coup in 1999, announced he would not honor a promise he made in 2003. He had pledged to hang up his uniform at the end of 2004 in return for broader constitutional powers allowing him to dissolve Parliament and the prime minister&#39;s office at his discretion.


    His announcement came weeks after the largely pro-Musharraf Parliament approved a bill allowing him to retain his position as army chief while serving as president.

    Musharraf explained on Dec. 30 that the reversal was necessary for the security of the country, suggesting that "any change in internal or external policies can be extremely dangerous for Pakistan."

    Little has come in the way of a response from Washington. Asked by Agence-France Press on Dec. 31 about the development, Secretary of State Colin Powell (search) said, "This is a judgment for the Pakistani people to make.

    "The Parliament provided the means for him to do this. What I have to look at is where Pakistan has been, back in 2001, and where it is now, and the significant changes that have taken place as it has moved toward democracy," Powell added.

    But Muqtedar Khan, professor of political science at Adrian College in Michigan, said Musharraf&#39;s move directly "undermines the claim that this is a democracy and also suggests he is unsure about his own position in Pakistan.

    "In many ways (Musharraf) is an autocrat," Khan said. "He is more liberal than the Middle East dictators," but as long as he changes the constitution to accumulate more power and continues to wear a military uniform, "Pakistan will remain a non-democracy."

    Khan said he doubted that Washington would raise much of an objection because to do so would create tensions between the two countries and among political parties in Pakistan.

    Since Sept. 11, the United States has given more than &#036;1 billion to help beef up the Pakistani military&#39;s so-far unsuccessful search for Al Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden (search), who is believed to have been in hiding along the Afghan-Pakistani border.

    Other U.S. aid to Pakistan has increased and trade agreements have been more favorable to Pakistanis. In March, Pakistan was given "non-ally status" in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (search). One month ago, President Bush promised to help Musharraf with new weapons systems.

    Tellis suggested that Pakistan has astutely used its geographic proximity and strategic role in the War on Terror Musharraf has helped to crack down on Taliban (search) and Al Qaeda in his country and is allowing U.S. military on its bases. His claims to have kept more radical Islamic elements at bay is a powerful form of leverage.

    "What [the Bush administration is] struggling with is the brute reality of what they cannot negotiate around," said Tellis. "They recognize that if they push too hard, what [Musharraf] is likely to say is take a hike."

    One of those areas where the United States refuses to push is related to Musharraf&#39;s response to the investigation of top nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan, who helped turn Pakistan into a nuclear power and has admitted to selling nuclear materials to countries like North Korea, Iran and Libya for decades.

    In 2002, Musharraf announced that a government investigation had uncovered Khan&#39;s activities. Since then, Pakistan has been unwilling to let International Atomic Energy Agency (search) officials question Khan, who had been in charge of Pakistan&#39;s nuclear program since 1976 and is considered by many to be a national hero. Musharraf instead assured the U.N. agency that Pakistan can handle the Khan inquiry itself. Powell suggested in his Dec. 31 interview that the United States is so far satisfied with Musharraf&#39;s attention to the problem.

    "Musharraf is the best ally we have in Pakistan, and the best ally we are likely to get in the foreseeable future," said Jim Phillips, foreign policy fellow at the Heritage Foundation. "We don&#39;t want to undermine him, but at the same time we can&#39;t back away from our goals of promoting democracy in Pakistan and in the Muslim world."

    John Gershman, co-director of Foreign Policy in Focus (search), a Washington, D.C., think-tank, said the Muslim world is watching closely and may be tired of what they see as a double standard.

    "I think Pakistan has benefited from a double standard at least as much as Saudi Arabia in the post-9/11 period," he said, "and I think it&#39;s a problem when we have really hard evidence that the absence of democratic institutions provides a fertile proving ground for fundamentalist Islamicist activity."

    Meanwhile, protests against Musharraf, which range from former ruling parties to more extreme Islamic groups, have not stirred up enough outrage among Pakistanis to create any concern for Musharraf, according to observers.

    "The opposition at this point is completely divided and feckless. Unless he fails disastrously by a silly or costly mistake, I think people will tolerate it for a little while longer. There is a process of some kind of social and economic stability right now," said Tellis.

    He added that the Bush administration might privately encourage Musharraf to start transitioning to a civilian rule. But anything more than that could show weakness in Musharraf&#39;s position.

    "The relationship with the U.S has to stay stable," Tellis said.

    [/b][/quote]

  2. #2
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    Bitonti -

    What should we do? You advocate us not interefering in Iraq, do you suggest we interfere in Pakistan? If so, how should or could we go about interefering in such a way as to not make things worse or be considered a hostile occupier, etc?

    Is it possible that Musarraf is the best available alternative?

  3. #3
    the sad fact is whatever i say we should do will be marginalized and/or attacked so why should I bother?

    i&#39;ve proposed enough solutions that no one even reads to last a lifetime.

  4. #4
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by bitonti[/i]@Feb 9 2005, 02:59 PM
    [b] the sad fact is whatever i say we should do will be marginalized and/or attacked so why should I bother?

    i&#39;ve proposed enough solutions that no one even reads to last a lifetime. [/b][/quote]
    Specifically, regarding only what [i]just happened[/i], what is mentioned within the article you posted - what should we do, in your opinion?

    I mean, you read the quote about the "tension" between the USA&#39;s short-term and long-term onjectives. So, in this specific case, what, specifically, would you do?

  5. #5
    [quote][i]Originally posted by jets5ever[/i]@Feb 9 2005, 03:10 PM
    [b] I mean, you read the quote about the "tension" between the USA&#39;s short-term and long-term onjectives. So, in this specific case, what, specifically, would you do? [/b][/quote]
    thats a tough question to answer because i believe the USA&#39;s objectives to be fatally flawed - changing everyone over to true democracy will NOT stop terrorism. Democracy doesn&#39;t CREATE wealth, education and opportunities, it EXISTS in the protective shadow of these things.

    You want me to think of a solution toward a goal that is unrealistic... it does not compute.

    we hold 2 muslim countries to 1 set of standards and everyone else to another, it makes no sense - for example we tell IRan they can&#39;t have nukes, meanwhile this crazy a hole has enough nukes to blow up India 10x over. Our differing sets of standards make us look like hypocrites.

    that being said i can tell you one thing i wouldn&#39;t do is help Pakistan develop new weapons systems, as stated in paragraph 13 above.

    but im sure they will screw that up as well - all in all the Bush administration may very well be the worst diplomatic administration in the history of the nation.

  6. #6
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by bitonti[/i]@Feb 9 2005, 03:51 PM
    [b] Democracy doesn&#39;t CREATE wealth, education and opportunities, it EXISTS in the protective shadow of these things.

    [/b][/quote]
    Can you explain this statement? I really hope Im misunderstanding your point.

  7. #7
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by bitonti+Feb 9 2005, 03:51 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>[b]QUOTE[/b] (bitonti &#064; Feb 9 2005, 03:51 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-jets5ever[/i]@Feb 9 2005, 03:10 PM
    [b] I mean, you read the quote about the "tension" between the USA&#39;s short-term and long-term onjectives. So, in this specific case, what, specifically, would you do? [/b][/quote]
    thats a tough question to answer because i believe the USA&#39;s objectives to be fatally flawed - changing everyone over to true democracy will NOT stop terrorism. Democracy doesn&#39;t CREATE wealth, education and opportunities, it EXISTS in the protective shadow of these things.

    You want me to think of a solution toward a goal that is unrealistic... it does not compute.

    we hold 2 muslim countries to 1 set of standards and everyone else to another, it makes no sense - for example we tell IRan they can&#39;t have nukes, meanwhile this crazy a hole has enough nukes to blow up India 10x over. Our differing sets of standards make us look like hypocrites.

    that being said i can tell you one thing i wouldn&#39;t do is help Pakistan develop new weapons systems, as stated in paragraph 13 above.

    but im sure they will screw that up as well - all in all the Bush administration may very well be the worst diplomatic administration in the history of the nation. [/b][/quote]
    Fair enough, good answer.


    What does create wealth and oppotunities, Matt? How does democracy exist in the protective shadow of education?

    Liberty, entrepreneurship, free markets, etc...these things create wealth...and a liberal government (in the classic sense of the word) is a vital component of that mixture. We can argue over semantics of "democracy" but it is liberty, personal freedom, and free, open markets that create wealth. Why does the USA have only 5% of the world&#39;s population, but produces over 40% of the world&#39;s GDP? Are we smarter or better than others? No, we aren&#39;t. We merely have recognized that personal freedom, representative government that is accountable to the governed, and market economies are the surest way to create wealth. India has figured that out, China is figuring it out in their own way, and most of the eastern European and South American countries are as well. This is why so many countries are moving towards market economies as opposed to command and control, central-planning systems. That method was tried and it was a spectacular failure. A country with an enormous amount of arable land could not even feed itself (Soviet Union) due to their system, which actually destroyed wealth.

    It is one thing to disagree with the Bush strategy in the Middle East. Fine. But personal liberty, representative government by the people, and free, open markets are most certainly quite conncected to economic growth and raising the standard of living of the citizenry...this is irrefutable. Our poor people in America today have things that even our relatively well-to-do ancestors could only dream about having only a few generations ago. It is not about who has the biggest slice of the pie, it is about making the pie itself larger. We have done that in the USA better than anyone ever has before us, and the traits that our democracy is based upon are the reasons. Again, don&#39;t want to argue semantics...I think you get my point.

    Hey - All of a sudden YOU are worried about inconsistency and hypocrisy? I thought consistency was the hobgoblin of feeble minds?? ;)

  8. #8
    Ever the liberal way.

    Criticize yet offer no solutions.....

    *****ing a little more thatn usual. That time of the month?

  9. #9
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    Does anyone else miss the Cold War and the Soviet Union???

  10. #10
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    Iran is the next target before SA and Pakistan becasue Iran is the spiritual leader of the middle east and we want topple the current anti-american ideology that the Iranian leaders seem to infuse in modern Islam.

    They&#39;re ambitious men who use their power as religious leaders to carry out their agenda&#39;s. Much like the Church in the middle ages, they use their religion to keep themselves on top and have the common man carry out their goals. (Jihad=Crusade)

  11. #11
    [quote][i]Originally posted by jets5ever[/i]@Feb 9 2005, 04:21 PM
    [b] What does create wealth and oppotunities, Matt? How does democracy exist in the protective shadow of education?

    ...

    [/b][/quote]
    [b]5ever[/b] ill take the first question first - by the way this goes out to [b]lawyers guns and money[/b] as well

    democracy is the most delicate form of government to run in the world. the nicest way i can put this is that Democracy requires a level of civilization not yet found among the Iraqi people, and certainly not found in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

    another way to put this is you can put a pig in a suit but it&#39;s still a pig.

    just converting these people is not enough to placate them. also it is not enough to just generate peace - look at the example of the Ukraine - they are a democracy whose candiates for prez just happen to get poisoned... see what im saying? these people are not ready for democracy and probably never will be truly ready for that particular form of gov&#39;t.

    Saddam was a despot and that&#39;s basically the level these people are at - despotism - Bush and friends think we can go from the stone age to the cyber age in 3 easy steps - it doesn&#39;t work like that. Only elite civiliations can run a democracy and make it work...

    ok and lets say for the sake of argument that the PNAC plan works (somehow) and terrorism ends...

    These hypothetical placated democratic citizens will want the American dream, and due to logistics, resource limitations and just plain dumb luck they will never ever experience it... at least not the way we run our economy...

    it is a FACT there would not be enough aluminium, steel, oil, rubber for everyone in a 6 person Iraqi household to have their own car...

    also these governments are too backward and corrupt to ever build something like the London Underground or the Autobahn...

    look at them they can&#39;t build their own streets, run their own sewer pipes and in short take care of themselves. We are blowing cash really quickly toward a cause that at best will take decades - at worst is lost totally

    it would take something like cold fusion power discovery to make true democracy - something where the way we are running our transportation and home energy would be drastically different - and that&#39;s just not happening anytime soon...

    ===
    [quote][b]Hey - All of a sudden YOU are worried about inconsistency and hypocrisy? I thought consistency was the hobgoblin of feeble minds?? ;)[/b][/quote]

    as for this post modern debate tactic where you hold me to standards of consistancy about my previous statement, which was about my lack of standards of consistancy ;) all i can say is wow

    seriously there is a difference between who can talk a better game and what will actually work on the ground in Iraq.

    I hope you guys are comfortable with this topic because we will be talking about it for the next 10 years.

  12. #12
    I&#39;m not comfortable with the state of the world, and this issue in general. I work and worked a few blocks from ground zero, and I admit my world was rocked on 9.11.

    While I support being aggressive, and supported Bush&#39;s reaction to 9.11, I always felt that Pakistan and the saudi&#39;s are...ummmm.difficult issues. As soon as I saw Pakistan in this header, my blood pressure went up. That is a hotbed of potential terrorists, but we are fortunate that Musharraf is amicable, if not dependent on us. He has survived many suicide attempts due to his partiality to the US of A. A quote from the article you posted is the full frontal truth:

    "Musharraf is the best ally we have in Pakistan, and the best ally we are likely to get in the foreseeable future," said Jim Phillips, foreign policy fellow at the Heritage Foundation. "We don&#39;t want to undermine him, but at the same time we can&#39;t back away from our goals of promoting democracy in Pakistan and in the Muslim world."

    You also touch on some other true concepts: democracy requires a delicate balance, and a pig in a suit is still a pig. And yes we are dealing with pig civilizations, and so if they have internal politics and unique demographics, that may require different treatment of them- what you refer to a hypocrisy. I can live with people saying that, because the trash we are trying to humanize is a different element that being mere hypocrites (although the saudi excel in duplicity and playing us to the hilt). You want to talk mealy mouthed hypocritical scum- look at the house of saud.

    Short of invading saudi, and renaming it New Texas, there are no easy answers. And yes, we will be talking about these issues for years to come.

    Peace out.

  13. #13
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Jets&Canes[/i]@Feb 9 2005, 07:39 PM
    [b] I&#39;m not comfortable with the state of the world, and this issue in general. I work and worked a few blocks from ground zero, and I admit my world was rocked on 9.11.

    While I support being aggressive, and supported Bush&#39;s reaction to 9.11, I always felt that Pakistan and the saudi&#39;s are...ummmm.difficult issues. As soon as I saw Pakistan in this header, my blood pressure went up. That is a hotbed of potential terrorists, but we are fortunate that Musharraf is amicable, if not dependent on us. He has survived many suicide attempts due to his partiality to the US of A. A quote from the article you posted is the full frontal truth:

    "Musharraf is the best ally we have in Pakistan, and the best ally we are likely to get in the foreseeable future," said Jim Phillips, foreign policy fellow at the Heritage Foundation. "We don&#39;t want to undermine him, but at the same time we can&#39;t back away from our goals of promoting democracy in Pakistan and in the Muslim world."

    You also touch on some other true concepts: democracy requires a delicate balance, and a pig in a suit is still a pig. And yes we are dealing with pig civilizations, and so if they have internal politics and unique demographics, that may require different treatment of them- what you refer to a hypocrisy. I can live with people saying that, because the trash we are trying to humanize is a different element that being mere hypocrites (although the saudi excel in duplicity and playing us to the hilt). You want to talk mealy mouthed hypocritical scum- look at the house of saud.

    Short of invading saudi, and renaming it New Texas, there are no easy answers. And yes, we will be talking about these issues for years to come.

    Peace out. [/b][/quote]
    Canes...I totally agree with you. Both the paki&#39;s and saudi&#39;s are "damned if you do/damned if you don&#39;t" situations.

    BTW: Miami pro-day is 3/3.

  14. #14
    [quote][i]Originally posted by Come Back to NY+Feb 9 2005, 06:45 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>[b]QUOTE[/b] (Come Back to NY @ Feb 9 2005, 06:45 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-Jets&Canes[/i]@Feb 9 2005, 07:39 PM
    [b] I&#39;m not comfortable with the state of the world, and this issue in general. I work and worked a few blocks from ground zero, and I admit my world was rocked on 9.11.

    While I support being aggressive, and supported Bush&#39;s reaction to 9.11, I always felt that Pakistan and the saudi&#39;s are...ummmm.difficult issues. As soon as I saw Pakistan in this header, my blood pressure went up. That is a hotbed of potential terrorists, but we are fortunate that Musharraf is amicable, if not dependent on us. He has survived many suicide attempts due to his partiality to the US of A. A quote from the article you posted is the full frontal truth:

    "Musharraf is the best ally we have in Pakistan, and the best ally we are likely to get in the foreseeable future," said Jim Phillips, foreign policy fellow at the Heritage Foundation. "We don&#39;t want to undermine him, but at the same time we can&#39;t back away from our goals of promoting democracy in Pakistan and in the Muslim world."

    You also touch on some other true concepts: democracy requires a delicate balance, and a pig in a suit is still a pig. And yes we are dealing with pig civilizations, and so if they have internal politics and unique demographics, that may require different treatment of them- what you refer to a hypocrisy. I can live with people saying that, because the trash we are trying to humanize is a different element that being mere hypocrites (although the saudi excel in duplicity and playing us to the hilt). You want to talk mealy mouthed hypocritical scum- look at the house of saud.

    Short of invading saudi, and renaming it New Texas, there are no easy answers. And yes, we will be talking about these issues for years to come.

    Peace out. [/b][/quote]
    Canes...I totally agree with you. Both the paki&#39;s and saudi&#39;s are "damned if you do/damned if you don&#39;t" situations.

    BTW: Miami pro-day is 3/3. [/b][/quote]
    3/3 cool. I will be down there on 4/9 for the Canes spring practice game open to the public, which they play in the Orange Bowl.

    I meant to say that Musharraf survived several assasination attempts, not suicide attempts.

    Peace out.

  15. #15
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by The Gun Of Bavaria[/i]@Feb 9 2005, 05:48 PM
    [b] Does anyone else miss the Cold War and the Soviet Union??? [/b][/quote]
    yes, definitely. i may be &#39;master of the obvious&#39; here, but IMO there are 2 reasons why this situation is worse -
    religion. i don&#39;t think that needs explanation.
    iraq / muslim extremists overmatched. the US and USSR were closer to an even match, i had much less fear that either side would be desperate enough to end it all, or to launch a significant strike on a non-military target. that said, you definitely knew, to a much greater degree than you do now, that if either side wanted to, it was done.

  16. #16
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by The Gun Of Bavaria[/i]@Feb 9 2005, 05:48 PM
    [b] Does anyone else miss the Cold War and the Soviet Union??? [/b][/quote]
    yes...but only cause it made the Olympics a hell of a lot more fun&#33; :D

  17. #17
    [quote][i]Originally posted by isired+Feb 9 2005, 11:53 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>[b]QUOTE[/b] (isired &#064; Feb 9 2005, 11:53 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-The Gun Of Bavaria[/i]@Feb 9 2005, 05:48 PM
    [b] Does anyone else miss the Cold War and the Soviet Union??? [/b][/quote]
    yes, definitely. i may be &#39;master of the obvious&#39; here, but IMO there are 2 reasons why this situation is worse -
    [/b][/quote]
    there&#39;s actually another reason - when the USSR was in existance at least we knew SOMEONE was guarding their fissionable materal.

    without the USSR and without any real economy in alot of these little territories, the risk of someone purchasing enriched Uranium and Plutonium is HUGE.

    we are actually alot less safe then we ever were in the cold war. Mutually assured destruction turned out to be a great system. Now we face an enemy that does not care if they are killed in battle... plus these same psychos only need to come up with a few hundred million bucks to buy their very own soviet-era warhead.

  18. #18
    The other thing I want to add about this Pakis thing is that they and India, who are basically in a continuous war with each other, both possess nukes. Makes that entire region scary.

    I always thought that Jerusalem would be in the crosshairs of causing nuke war, but Kashmir is in second place.

  19. #19
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by bitonti+Feb 10 2005, 09:52 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>[b]QUOTE[/b] (bitonti @ Feb 10 2005, 09:52 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> [quote]Originally posted by isired@Feb 9 2005, 11:53 PM
    [b] <!--QuoteBegin-The Gun Of Bavaria[/i]@Feb 9 2005, 05:48 PM
    [b] Does anyone else miss the Cold War and the Soviet Union??? [/b][/quote]
    yes, definitely. i may be &#39;master of the obvious&#39; here, but IMO there are 2 reasons why this situation is worse -
    [/b][/quote]
    there&#39;s actually another reason - when the USSR was in existance at least we knew SOMEONE was guarding their fissionable materal.

    without the USSR and without any real economy in alot of these little territories, the risk of someone purchasing enriched Uranium and Plutonium is HUGE.

    we are actually alot less safe then we ever were in the cold war. Mutually assured destruction turned out to be a great system. Now we face an enemy that does not care if they are killed in battle... plus these same psychos only need to come up with a few hundred million bucks to buy their very own soviet-era warhead. [/b][/quote]
    frame it anyway you want......you&#39;re forgetting one main problem the militant scuzlims have- delivery systems for the weapons they are trying to acquire.

    Unless a scuzlim can sneak a bomb into America then strap it onto themselves (and most of these weigh in excess of 150-pounds) it will be tough to get one into America then detonate....no- I&#39;d rather take my chances with the camel jockeys rather then the ability of someone to push a button or flip a switch and have nuclear missles heading towards the US.

  20. #20
    [quote][i]Originally posted by Come Back to NY[/i]@Feb 10 2005, 12:18 PM
    [b] frame it anyway you want......you&#39;re forgetting one main problem the militant scuzlims have- delivery systems for the weapons they are trying to acquire. [/b][/quote]
    im not forgetting anything - have you seen any security at our ports? they could just throw it in a container and ship it by sea.

    the Bush administration is so scared of terrorist attack that we have pre-emptively invaded a country and took it over - but meanwhile you (an avid-Bush supporter) don&#39;t think it&#39;s possible someone could smuggle a nuke into the US?

    our borders are porous - if we spent a tenth of what we have spent in Iraq on border control, this country would be exponentially safer

    as it stands our forces are stretched thin, our borders are exposed and there is no end to terrorism in sight...

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