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Pakistan, Nukes and Taliban

Our Readers Who Comment have many opinions today about whom to blame for the strength of the Taliban in Pakistan and what the United States should do about it. But as Karen DeYoung writes, U.S. options are limited as President Obama meets this week with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari.

Readers suggest that instability in a nuclear armed nation is all Obama's fault; that it's all former President George W. Bush's fault; that it's Israel's fault, and, oh yes, that the long-time struggle with India over Kashmir may also be a contributing factor -- particularly in terms of where the Pakistani military's attention is focused.

There's no question that Pakistan has the White House's attention, as columnist David Ignatius reported Sunday, and the New York Times' take today is that American officials are "increasingly concerned about new vulnerabilities for Pakistan's nuclear arsenal."

We'll go with comments on DeYoung's story and start with chrisfox8, who asked, "Is it just me or are we acting scarily nonchalant about the possibility of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of religious lunatics?"

To which robtay12003 replied, "It's scary, all right. This "feel-good" mindset of the new administration when it comes to terrorist and thugs is naive and dangerous. This notion of "talking" to vicious murderers and striving to get everyone to "like" us is going to be our death knoll."

spamdump2718 suggested, "No more money to Pakistan until they reveal where all of their nuclear assets are, and they allow IMMEDIATE American control. Obama is extremely naive... Obama should today be talking with the EU, Russia, China, and India about how to grab Paki nukes, fighter jets, and missiles..."

sd71 posited that "Pakistan's nuclear arsenal could already be in the hands of the al-queda. at the least, al-queda sympathizers may have been inserted into pakistan's nuclear laboratories and fuel-production facilities..."

highwaybluesoccer wrote, "We got this going on in Pakistan, a nut case in N. Korea ready to launch a nuclear missle, we have pirates kidnapping ships, we have the castro brothers saying that obama misunderstood what they said, the other nut case president of Iran, ready to blow, can obama handle all of this, I think not..."

robertell said, "The best thing we could do in Pakistan is make sure there is a Palestinian State by, say, May 15. The longer we let the Israeli's rule our foreign policy, the more dangerous Pakistan becomes..."

dvsikka wrote, "Pakistan is on the brink of a civil war. How much of Pakistan is behind Zardari today is doubtful. It is no use expecting much out these meetings. Lies and deceptions of Pakistan leaders have created a fragmented Pakistan and till the internal situation is resolved, one cannot expect any result..."

ramroja said, "...America is mainly responsible for the current situation in Pakistan. America always liked to befriend and control one dictator in Pakistan vis-a-vis a parliament of 500+ democratically elected officials in India. Even religion might have played a role. Americans liked monolithic Islam against a pluralistic Hinduism. Unfortunately this myopic policy is now coming home to roost."

hemantgandhi wrote, "It is a no brainer that Pakistan will be taken over by the Taliban. The majorty of the population sympathize with them. It is time to hold direct talks with them. Topic? If you want to fight us, let us know so we can then bomb your country out of existence."

IqbalKhan said, "...US occupation in Afghanistan is the big elephant nobody likes to discuss. We're beyond the colonizing days and no nation accepts a foreign occupying force as its "savior". US is not a "savior" either for Afghanistan or Pakistan..."

polcat wrote, "Pakistan took the 10 billion from Bush and used it to buy weapons suited only to fight India, not the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Weapons that were mostly purchased by the way from American defense contractors... If that 10 billion would have gone directly into programs that would have benefited the Pakistani people... we'd be in a much better place with them then we are today..."

ziggyzap said, "...The Americans should do the smart thing - withdraw their forces from all other nations, look after the USA and nothing else and just mind their own business in future. Only then will they find that the people of the world might start to like them, rather than trying to kill every American they see."

srowe wrote, "Get out; cut off funds, now. Protect our borders."

fixitj wrote, "It should be obvious by now that we will all be paying the price for Bush's middle-eastern "Crusade" for decades to come..."

barbnc said, "I don't know why we still think that we can do anything anywhere in the middle east. Oh, we can overcome them with our military might for a while, but they are the ones that live there. Eventually we will leave and it will go back the way it was. The people there have to decide for themselves on change..."

lorddunsmore wrote, "The Pakistani government better wake up and realize that without U.S. aid they'd have to give the Taliban and other extermists a say in their government. All aid comes with a price, and the sooner they wake up the more likely they'll survive. India isn't a threat to Pakistan, but the extermists are..."

Wiggan said, "I suppose the challenge for the Obama adminstration is figuring out specifically who Obama needs to appease, bow, and grovel. After that they need to determine who they need to give billions upon billions of money that they borrow from China... After that he needs to blend in with the world stage to show he is appropriately passive and part of an international do nothing coalition."

We'll close with faithfulservant3, who wrote, "...The only way to even begin relieving the pressure is settling Kashmir. This will allow the Pakistani government and people, and much of the conservative ulema to change their focus. Only the vindication of this injustice, something that can be perceive of as a "win," will tamp down their anger."

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  May 4, 2009; 7:51 AM ET
Categories:  Pakistan  | Tags: Pakistan  
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Pakistan has relinquished its sovereignty in Taliban-controlled areas. So, any U.S. military operations in those areas would not be encroaching into Pakistani territory.

Posted by: elmo46 | May 4, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Since the testing and uses of the atomic bomb by mankind, this would become the weapon of choice by a country or by a group of people to settle the difference with their enemies. That path is firmly planted and cannot be changed. The US and Russia were locked in this circle and the fear of nuclear destruction kept them from using it. The enemy is different and a new MIDDLE-EAST FOREIGN POLICY must be developed. This enemy has a different mind-set and will use it even its own destruction is assured. 911 should have taught us that much.

Posted by: jk330 | May 4, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand the problem ???
Hussein can call his friends (Taliban)set the meeting up, then he and Clinton can tell them now bad America is ,give them Billions of dollars to do whatever. This will do until next month then he can do it all over again . After all ,he has Clinton !!!!!!

Posted by: jrvaughan | May 4, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

We all losing our sleep over nothing,we have let the country of over 160 mil people with one of the strongest army in the world handle the situation. We have to force our government to be fair on our foreign policy towards muslim country and don't let Israel or Indian influence on us.If pakistanis are capable of making the nukes then they are very much in the position to protect them as well. All this propaganda is been exqggerated by our media and our government to keep us busy with these threats.Lets take care of our economy first and create some jobs for ourself.

Posted by: mabny07 | May 4, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I love some of the comments especially those that advocate isolation. Sorry history proves that does not work. Let see its all Bush's fault does not hold water either. Pakistan would be having some sort of problem regardless of who is president. Obama may be naive granted, however playing nice will neither help nor hinder the U.S. and will have no baring on Pakistan. Finally all those people that keep advocating getting out of Afganistan. Please research your history. The Taliban gave sanctuary to those that attack the U.S. with massive loss of innocent life the reaction of this country was the same as it has been in the 233 years of our history. We attacked without mercy those that have done us harm. History will teach you many things I would suggest some here read up on the subject. As far as who is to blame look no further then the Taliban itself as they have to take responsiblity for their actions.

Posted by: mburton325 | May 4, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

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