• The Emperor of Ice Cream Melts Down

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    One hears it everywhere.
    It is inevitable that the draft is going to come back. Across the
    political spectrum, the clamor for more military personnel grows
    as America's commitments around the world broaden and deepen. And
    the reason for this is that George Tenet and Donald Rumsfeld have
    missed everything and now find the need to put more Americans in
    the line of fire to make up for their blunders, as the invasion
    of Iraq looms on the horizon.

    On June 26, Al Qaeda
    fighters, with the assistance of Pakistani tribesmen, killed ten
    Pakistani soldiers in western Pakistan, opening up what is now the
    most serious front in the world. Al Qaeda outsmarted Tenet and Rumsfeld
    by slipping many of its troops into Pakistan, while forcing the
    United States to commit thousands of its troops in Afghanistan,
    necessitating a draft to keep the global war going. Osama bin Laden,
    if he is still alive, or his top aides, know this will eventually
    not wash with the American public and that there will be a backlash.
    The still-affluent Americans, whose main concern is where their
    sons and daughters will go to college, will start to become vocal
    once Trevor and Courtney will be destined, not to Duke or Dartmouth,
    but to a jungle in the Philippines.

    What Al Qaeda is plotting
    is the overthrow of Musharraf in Pakistan, where anti-American sentiment
    is boiling over and where it has serious allies amongst the Islamic
    Pakistani generals and the SIS, the Pakistani intelligence service.
    If they can pull this off, they will have free reign in Pakistan,
    hardly the same thing as Afghanistan. They will have control over
    nuclear weapons and a gigantic, well-equipped army, air force, and
    submarine fleet. From this vantage point, they can take Saudi Arabia,
    and it will be checkmate. This was the old Soviet strategy it was
    never able to implement. How ironic if a bunch of terrorists who
    were created under the watchful eye of the CIA to defeat the Soviet
    Union in Afghanistan, pulls it off now! If Al Qaeda succeeds in
    taking Pakistan, India will have to invade, making nuclear war a
    distinct possibility. In such a scenario, India, with a huge Moslem
    population, will disintegrate, with Kashmir and other provinces
    seceding in rebellion.

    Bush fell into the trap
    with his demand that the Palestinians oust Arafat, announcing that
    he will withhold aid unless they follow his orders. It is precisely
    what Al Qaeda wanted to hear. "The only emperor is the emperor
    of ice cream," American poet Wallace Stevens wrote prophetically,
    envisioning a time when America, led by someone like Bush, would
    rule the world. Bush is now "the emperor of ice cream,"
    and he is melting down. As the stock market plunges with each new
    disclosure of fraud and corruption in the private sector and the
    federal government paralyzed with GPI (General Paralysis of the
    Insane), Americans may finally wake up to reality. The libertarian
    message is "What is our interest in all of this?" Who
    was it that said, "Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel?"

    28, 2002

    Cummings [send
    him mail
    ] is a member of AFIO (Association of Former
    Intelligence Officers) and served with the Office of General Counsel,
    U.S.A.I.D., Near East South Asia region, with responsibility for
    the legal affairs of the AID program in Israel, Jordan, Pakistan
    and Afghanistan. A graduate of Princeton and Columbia Law School,
    he holds the Ph.D. in Social and Political Sciences from Cambridge
    University and is the author of the forthcoming novel, The Immortalists.

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