10 October 2006

The Usual Suspect

Some days, it seems as though Pakistan is less a country than an intricate hive of political conspiracy.

President Pervez Musharaff, who has survived a number of assassination attempts, has only a tenuous hold over parts of the country, which is why the U.S. is still looking for Osama five years later, and apparently no control of the runaway secret police, the ISI.

And their foremost atomic scientist... the proud papa of the Islamobomb... is some sort of freebooting nuclear pirate.
Pyongyang has benefited from undercover deals involving Abdul Qadeer Khan, the former Pakistani nuclear weapons chief and so-called father of the Pakistan bomb...
AQ, as he is jocularly known, has been a busy little nuclear beaver.
He is suspected of supplying North Korea with uranium enrichment equipment and possibly even warhead designs, in exchange for Pyongyang’s ballistic missile expertise.
If anything, Mr. Khan is an equal opportunity proliferator.
In late January 2004 Pakistani officials concluded that two of the country's most senior nuclear scientists had black market contacts that supplied sensitive technology to Iran and Libya.

Pakistani intelligence officials said the scientists - A.Q. Khan and Mohammed Farooq - provided the help both directly and through a black market based in the Persian Gulf emirate of Dubai. Dr. Khan and Dr. Farooq were longtime colleagues at A.Q. Khan Research Laboratories.
Now I'm not sure what ballistic missile expertise they're referring to above, as North Korea's first ballistic missile test was shorter and less satisfying than my last cup of coffee.

Which is not to scoff at scientists working in a country... whose only apparent reason for being is to worship a tiny, eccentric madman... who, not surprisingly, looks as eerily insane as his behaviour.

The North Koreans have managed to hotrod some Russian scud technology, but fortunately for the western world, had no luck at all so far on any real homegrown innovation. Their recent test of a nuclear weapon that has rivetted international attention was similarly underwhelming... but maybe having a nuclear arsenal isn't the whole game.

Just imagine how much money Krazy Kimbo could put in his pocket by muling small quantities of plutonium to enemies of America & Israel.

Could be my man Kim is crazy... like a fox.

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