Benazir Bhutto's Assassination

Our year ends on a sad note with the inevitable assassination of Benazir Bhutto and rising concerns over the future of Pakistan. It is hard for outsiders to judge the political winds blowing in that volatile country of over 100,000,000 except to intuit that the country's size matters unlike so many other hot spots that are small enough to be easily contained.

Pakistan is a country of grown men playing with fire who perhaps even believe that they have some right to do so. I fear that like Europe, it will take several million dead to cure this disease.

If that can be avoided then the next generation must become educated in the values of the enlightenment, rather than the values of seventh century barbarism. That would quickly release the peoples' energies to build a rich and prosperous nation of energetic people. I doubt if the will yet exists.

What this all means in a classic historic sense is that the famed Northwest frontier continues to brew up and make everyone nervous. It truly is the last sanctuary of the barbarian dream that captivated mankind for millenia. Its ending will be the end of military romance and the completion of the great enterprise of civilization begun in the Bronze age.

Yet I look at those desert hills and dream of building out woodlands wherever possible and building a rich land. It will be very difficult but done along the frontier, it will hugely improve the economic potential of the Indus valley. That is a worthy bequest. It makes politics small and beneath contempt.

The frontier and this remnant barbarism is now an ulcer on the globe that surely must be healed. It captivates and distracts the Islamic world from fulfilling their own destiny. It will not end until leadership emerges within Islam able to confront the horror.

In the meantime the Islamic world has had the benefit of oceans of global spending power through access to oil for two generations. The next generation will see this end. It has already begun.

Of course we see this world through the eyes of the wingnuts who have shaped western perceptions of Islam to date and this makes us nervous. The reality is that a large portion of the Islamic world occupies some of the most unforgiving land in the world.

It is this geography that represents one of the best opportunities to sequester carbon by the re establishment of agriculture and woodlands and their great opportunity to build the future.

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