“The real problem is not that we are different, nor that we disagree and have conflict. It's that most of us automatically view conflict as something negative rather than as a tool God can use to help us better understand ourselves and one another.

--Robert Ricciardelli”

Sunday, November 04, 2007

11/4 Morning Report

Sounding like most “benevolent dictators” of the past, Gen. Pervez Musharraf suspended Pakistan’s constitution. With troops surrendering to militants in some areas, police raising the jihadist flag, and suicide attacks in major cities, Pakistan is a growing trouble spot. I think former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, recently returned from exile, made the most telling statement:

"I agree with him that we are facing a political crisis, but I believe the problem is dictatorship, I don't believe the solution is dictatorship…The extremists need a dictatorship, and dictatorship needs extremists.”
In this BBC article, another political rival, Imran Khan, is quoted as saying:
"When you stop all legal and constitutional ways of people challenging [the president], then the only ones who challenge him are people with a gun".

(…so…having gained power by military coup…are we surprised that he decides to keep power with the same methods?...I wonder what this will do for the GWOT…)

Meanwhile, in Libya, Islamists joined al-Qaeda. According to an internet audio message, the Fighting Islamic Group has joined bin Laden’s network. Interestingly, the message called for opposition to and the toppling of North African and Palestinian leaders, calling on Fatah to depose President Abbas and branding Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi “an enemy of Islam.” Islamic influence is growing all across the Middle East. Even Azerbaijan is having a resurgence of Islamic influence. Mostly beginning from the vacuum created by the break up of the Soviet Union, Islamic teaching of both Sunni and Shia ideas has been spreading, although under state control. Given the changes in Pakistan, iraq, Libya and other places, it does open the question of how long it will remain such an open society.

Closer to home, a pipe bomb was found at the Palo Verde nuclear plant. It was in the bed of a contractor’s truck, who claimed no knowledge of the device.
The pipe bomb was probably powerful enough to damage the vehicle but not the power plant, Sheriff Joe Arpaio said…."The mystery is how did it get in the truck and how he knew nothing about it. It's all very puzzling,"
In our open society, it would be quite simple to put something in a truck unnoticed. So, the question, on the surface, sounds kind of stupid. But, it does open the subject of social restrictions and searches that will further erode constitutional freedoms and protections—in the name of maintaining social order.

(…maybe one day we can say we are Pakistan!...)

And, in political news, reports from Arizona show that Democrats are out-fundraising republicans again. Through more efficient use of the internet, Democrats raised more cash than Republicans in the last Presidential election. You can visit Act Blue to see just how they are doing this year. Ignoring the political bias of the source, there was a lot of interesting information in today’s NY Times. And, let’s not forget the reported plan to manipulate Google data to bias the elections. Republicans need a focused vision for the future, and a united voice. Republicans and conservatives once took over Congress by successfully using the airwaves of talk radio. Now, the Democrats are showing you have to learn to use the internet to be really successful.

(…I hope conservatives learn this lesson quick…)