Life and Death in Karachi
The homicide attack on the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan apparently failed to kill any Americans, injuring one Marine and wounding five Pakistani employees of the facility. Nine others were killed and 45 wounded. If you want a glimpse of how sensitive things are in Pakistan, this would be a good indicator. Terrorists of this nature were cultivated by the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence agency, the infamous ISI. President Musharraf must, I believe, be aware of what working with the U.S. means. First, it means that the monsters he raised are now turning their guns against his rule and the American presence in the country. Second, there is no way that he can exercise control over said groups and expect to get any traction on the issue of Kashmir. The conclusions one could draw are diametric opposites -- either Musharraf can't control the Islamist groups operating within his borders, or his control coincides with Western pressure for him to do so, which means that his authority is far more concrete than he advertises. The Pakistanis so far have been remarkably helpful in terms of logistics and the granting of airspace to attack Afghanistan. On the other hand, the real tar baby here is that two of the biggest terrorist acts since 9.11 -- the death of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl and this attack, not to mention the latest manifestation of the Kashmir conflict -- have something to do with Pakistan. Musharraf appeared back in January ready to make a decisive move away from the fundamentalists with his high-profile speech. At the moment I guess he feels he can balance the increasingly visible terrorism with his own survival.
The Pride and the Fear: Mexico Captures Group G
Today's World Cup commentary kicks off with Mexico's impressive 1-1 tie with the Azurri of Italy. Mexico played 84 minutes of solid soccer, but then allowed a stunning goal by Italy in the 85th. However, with a tie, the Mexicans won Group G and advance to the round of 16. No ties here, as the Aztecs are in the knockout round. Conversely, it's a real bummer to watch the Americans down 2-0 to Poland in Group D. My fellow Americans got blitzed in the 3rd and 5th minutes, and even though they need only a draw to advance, I fear that they may not get even that.