Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Born under a bad sign

Born under a bad sign.
Ive been down since I began to crawl.
If it wasnt for bad luck,
I wouldnt have no luck.
If it wasnt for real bad luck,
I wouldnt have no luck at all.
Booker T. Jones and William Bell
David Seaton's News Links
In the same week that oil pushed toward a hundred dollars a barrel, the financial News agency Bloomberg reported that, “The dollar fell to a record low against the euro on speculation financial-company losses from U.S. subprime-mortgage defaults will grow.” New York University economics professor, the always clairvoyant Nouriel Roubini, added, “the ongoing credit crunch will get much worse in the year ahead and its fallout spread from the US to Europe and throughout Asia and the globe. (...) The first crisis of financial globalization and securitization is thus only at its beginning stage.” At precisely this moment Pakistan took another step toward the abyss.

The veteran analyst Arnaud de Borchgrave wrote, “One of the world’s eight nuclear powers, Pakistan is now a failing state out of control where Taliban, al-Qaida and their supporters have secured their privileged sanctuaries in the tribal areas on the Afghan border; reoccupied the Red Mosque in the center of Islamabad; launched suicide bombers in widely scattered parts of this Muslim country of 160 million. More than any other country in the world, Pakistan is the breeding ground of Islamic terrorism.” The New York Times editorialized, “The United States is increasingly left with bad options. Cutting off aid would only make it harder to enlist Pakistan’s military in the anti-extremist fight and renew doubts about America’s reliability as an ally.” The Guardian’s editorial stated it even more baldly, “Gen Musharraf has called Washington and London's bluff, knowing they have no option but to back him. The general has exposed the impotence of the US and Britain to control a key ally with nuclear weapons.” The Pakistani army is the true center of power: all that holds a geographically and ethnically divided Pakistan together and the generals are not about to give up that role. If Musharraf falls, another general will be there to take his place... perhaps one who attends more to his prayers.

A sailor would touch wood and call this the approach of the perfect storm, an astrologer looking at the ephemeris would speak of an inauspicious aligning of the planets, a master of Diamat could speak of contradiction, of quantity becoming quality and a Hindu might simply smile and speak of the "Dance of Shiva". The fact is that the bad news is beginning to accumulate in a most alarming way: catastrophe: war, terrorism, inflation and now the possible collapse of major banks. Any one of these things would itself be a painful blow, taken together they begin to define our time. DS

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