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Friday, June 07, 2002


At National Review Online, Victor Davis Hanson says liberals are unserious about the burgeoning India-Pakistan crisis. Why would that be? Because they can't use it as a stick to beat Israel.

"While our elites can vent the full range of their anger and self-righteousness at Israel -- as the symbol of Western 'colonialism' using its superior power and wealth to 'oppress' the 'other' -- Kashmir offers no such romance or glorification of the noble, indigenous anti-Westerner, and almost no opportunity for the political correctness of the morning latte or the evening seminar," he says.

Reverend Al Sharpton does say he's going to the region -- or, as links site RightWingNews puts it, "Sharpton Copies Jessie Jackson's Useless Trip To Israel And Decides To Try Draw Press By Going To India/Pakistan." But I suppose this doesn't count.

"Kashmir is very deadly business," Hanson goes on, "where the lives of millions may well hang in the balance -- and where easy and smug proclamations pale beside the specter of vast cities in ashes."

So one would assume the warblogbrethren -- no Jenin obsessives, they -- would have brought a Hansonian seriousness to the discussion. Here's Instapundit on the latest developments:

"JOE KATZMAN has a linkfest of resources on the impact of an India/Pakistan nuclear war. He also has an extended analysis of Al Qaeda's likely reasons for actually wanting a nuclear war between the two. Sadly, he's pretty persuasive. Of course, if there are nukes flying around, an extra nuke or two in the right place might go unnoticed..."

If I'm reading this right, the Professor thinks nuclear war in South Asia would make an excellent cover for nuclear strikes against Al Qaeda. Is this a joke, or a "ha ha only serious?" Perhaps Hanson knows.

(Instapundit's Katzman link is more serious, but equally fanciful, offering scenarios for Al Qaeda mischief in the region, including the assassination of Donald Rumsfield.)

Later, same page: "UPDATED FALLOUT MAPS for an India / Pakistan nuclear war are available through Shoutin' Across the Pacific. As long as it's not 'irradiating across the Pacific.' Actually, the fallout generated by Hiroshima-size nuclear weapons appears to be relatively minor anyway..."

Other recent examples of warblogger high seriousness on this subject:

"In the meantime, looking for a fair fight in Lakers-Nets, Tyson-Lewis ... and India-Pakistan?" (LagTime)

"Like nine other people who watched the news over the sleepy post-Memorial Day week, I noticed those Pakistanis and Indians
are still real excited about having a war.... Will you people quit this garbage? It's 2002. You all need to work on your image, right?... Turns out it's more fun to be alive than to be crisped by a crude nuke due to some jackalope's big idea about national pride." (Ken Layne, at FoxNews)

I hardly blame them. Given the high noise level emanating from the War on Whatchamacallit, it's hard to focus on this new threat. Even good sources such as Indian Lieutenant General Satish Nambiar don't give us much to go on ("We have convinced ourselves that we are a nice set of people. Nice guys have no place in this world today. I am not saying that we must all be bad guys...") So why wouldn't a weary warblogger prefer to scan pictures of Hollywood starlets?

Still, there are places you can go to get more informed analysis on the subject. Here is one. You can also read papers situated nearer the hot zone and get other angles, like this interesting Pakistani POV.

But let's not pretend a lack of seriousness on such subjects is a liberal phenomenon. Why, I bet some of Hanson's colleagues even take morning lattes.

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