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Finger, Nuclear Button, Prozac?

By: Meir Javedanfar,

08/09/2008

Extremist. Corrupt. Unstable.

These are some of the accusations leveled at Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. There is valid reason behind all of them and they are why many countries do not want Iran to have a nuclear weapon. This is despite the fact that if and when Iran does get the bomb, Ahmadinejad’s finger will be nowhere near the launch button. Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei will make sure of that.

Unlike Ahmadinejad, Asif Ali Zardari Pakistan’s new president, will have his finger on his country’s nuclear button. So it will be interesting to know about his background.

According to the London Independent, last year, Zardari was:

declared unfit to stand trial in a UK court on account of multiple mental problems. According to court documents filed by his psychiatrists, he suffers from dementia, major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress after spending 11 of the past 20 years in jail in Pakistan. According to their testimony last year, he found it hard even to recall the names of his wife and children. ”

This is in addition to his reputation as a corrupt businessmen.

Pakistan’s case is one of many problems for the US, and it could be about to become much worst. Its population dislike the US more than many other countries in the region, while Al Qaeda is becoming more influential in Pakistan, where it has reached into the country’s influential secret service (ISI). Pakistani Al Qaeda is also making notable progress in its fight against the Pakistani government. For example, it is now in control of roads leading to the city of Peshawar, which has 3 million inhabitants. That would be equivalent to the city of Chicago being surrounded by outlaws, with the US armed forces unable to break the siege.

The Iranian nuclear program is a cause for concern for the West, with much validity. However, equally dangerous, if not more, is the situation in Pakistan, which already is a nuclear country. Just as Saddam’s Iraq took the attention of the West away from Iran’s nuclear program, the current absolute focus on Tehran’s nuclear ambitions may do the same to the troubles in Pakistan.


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