"THIS" WOULD BE the following dispatch from The Wall Street Journal:
Pakistan's Taliban seized control of another district in the country's northwest just 70 miles from the capital after consolidating their hold on the Swat Valley, according to local government officials and residents.BEFORE YOU SHRUG and withdraw once more into your Wii cocoon, the significance of the Journal's report is found on The Daily Beast in a post by author Gerald Posner:
The latest Taliban advance into the Buner district has spurred fears that a controversial peace accord, which allows the militants to enforce sharia law in Swat, has emboldened them to expand their influence.
Militants have been moving into Buner since the Swat peace deal was signed with the government in February. But starting Tuesday night they seized control of the entire district, which has a population of more than one million people, local government officials and residents said. Heavily armed militants, streaming in from neighboring Swat, occupied government offices and set up their own checkposts. Terrified residents fled their homes.
Dozens of hooded fighters carrying rocket launchers and machine guns ransacked the offices of international aid and development agencies working in the district and took away their vehicles. Some employees of the agencies were also briefly taken hostage. The militants set up their headquarters in the town of Buner after driving out government officials.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday the Taliban advance poses "an existential threat" to Pakistan and urged Pakistanis world-wide to oppose a government policy yielding to them. Pakistanis "need to speak out forcefully against a policy that is ceding more and more territory to the insurgents," Mrs. Clinton said in testimony before a House committee.
The Taliban advance should be causing high Richter-scale reactions inside the Obama White House. Counterterrorism officials have long warned that al Qaeda is desperate to obtain weapons WMD. Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is in play if the Taliban insurgency should unseat the government of Asif Ali Zadari.LET US FERVENTLY PRAY the world's big international players -- Britain, the United States, Russia and China -- are at this moment planning a joint military operation to seize, if need be, and destroy Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. Because if they aren't, and if Pakistan falls to the Taliban, we can be pretty sure -- one way or another -- this is The End of Everything. At least Everything as we have come to know it.
Pakistan has been a member of the nuclear club since in 1987. Intelligence estimates are that the country now has between 50 and 100 nuclear missiles that can travel 1,200 miles. That places much of India, Saudi Arabia and Eastern Iraq within range. With slight improvements in the rockets’ booster phase—not a difficult technological advance—Jerusalem could be hit.
Pakistan straddles a fault line between secularism and fundamentalism. Many Pakistani military and intelligence officers are markedly more radical than the centrist Zadari and openly supportive of Osama bin Laden. Pakistan’s equivalent of the CIA is still enraged by the central government’s abandonment of both the Taliban and the Kashmiri Jihadis. Fundamentalist religious schools—of which Pakistan has more than any other country—churn out thousands of radical Islamists, and outlawed militant parties regularly resurface with new names.
A Pakistani government led by Sunni fundamentalists could launch a nuclear attack on Iran's Shia provinces, long-time foe India and definitely Israel. Economic upheaval in the West would be assured by nuking oil fields in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. You think the stock market looks bad over the last two years? Let a Taliban spokesman announce that Mullah Omar has his finger on the Islamic Bomb.
Actually, a complete Wall Street meltdown would be only the half of it . . . particularly if the Taliban were to nuke the Saudi oil fields.
If the Taliban take over Pakistan, and its nuclear arsenal is still there . . . al Qaida will have The Bomb, and America could someday lose a major city. What's far more likely than that is the prospect of nuclear war on the Indian subcontinent, because India and Israel can't (and won't) live with the imminent threat of annihilation at the hand of nutwagon Islamist goons.
Jesus, mercy. Mary, pray.
HAT TIP: Crunchy Con.