Friday, December 5, 2008

When it rains, it pours

There was a car bomb in Peshawar. (Peshawar being the capital of the FATA, or the tribal areas that are causing the U.S. so much trouble right now.)

So far 21 dead, 90+ injured. The electricity also went out and there were fires that destroyed a number of shops and warehouses due to an explosion in a nearby gas line.

Of course, everybody thinks this is India or Indians getting back at Pakistan for Mumbai, even though nobody actually knows whether Pakistan is responsible in the first place.

I would not be too surprised if this were the same group making sure they get what they want, which is conflict between India and Pakistan; or if it were unrelated (after all, this is the FATA, and there have been a lot of bombings and violence around there lately) and it's impossible for people not to construe it as a part of this narrative. After all, Peshawar is hardly analogous to Mumbai. While it is a center of arts and culture, something it shares with Mumbai, it's not the financial or economic center of Pakistan the way Mumbai is of India. It doesn't strike at the same pressure point.

A bomb in Peshawar makes much more sense in the context of the American war on terror than it does in the context of whatever chess game someone is playing with India, Pakistan, and Kashmir. (Unless, of course, we count this chess game as part of a larger one that has to do with Afghanistan, which seems eminently possible to me, although its similarity to a 24 plot makes me suspicious. Then again I continue to be no kind of expert or authority.)

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