The Pakistani dilemma

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In the current era of ideological polarization, throughout the West, the Right and the Left diverge on almost every issue. One of the few convictions that still unifies national security strategists across the ideological spectrum is that it would be a global calamity of the first order if al-Qaida gets its hands on nuclear weapons.

Unfortunately, due to the rapid demise of nuclear-armed Pakistan as a coherent political unit, this nightmare scenario is looking more possible than ever. Indeed, if events continue to move in their current direction, it is more likely than not that in the near future, the Taliban and al-Qaida will take possession of all or parts of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.

This week has been yet another bad week in Pakistan. On Monday Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari officially surrendered the Swat Valley – an immense district in Northwest Pakistan that encompasses seven provinces – to the Taliban when he signed a regulation implementing Islamic Sharia law in the area. Following the government's capitulation in Swat, the Taliban now controls 18 out of Pakistan's 30 provinces in its northwest and Federally Administered Tribal Areas that border Afghanistan. Only two provinces remain under full government control.

With its new territory, the Taliban now controls the lives of some 6.5 million Pakistanis. For their part, the civilians live in a state of constant terror. Since the Taliban took control of Swat in February, executions, public floggings and bombings of girls' schools, restaurants, video and music stores have become routine occurrences. As a merchant in Swat's main village of Mingora told the Wall Street Journal, "We are frightened by this brutality. No one can dare to challenge them."

And with just 60 miles now separating the Taliban from the capital city of Islamabad, the Taliban are well positioned to continue their march across the country. Indeed, the Taliban appear unstoppable.

The Pakistani government, for its part, seems both unwilling and incapable of taking concerted action to destroy Taliban forces. Again according to the Wall Street Journal, Taliban fighters are flooding the Swat Valley with thousands of veteran fighters from Afghanistan and Kashmir and setting up training camps throughout the areas. Moreover, they are recruiting – both through intimidation and persuasion – still more thousands of locals to join their lines.

A further sign of government capitulation came on Tuesday when Pakistan's Supreme Court released Maulana Abdul Aziz, the leader of the Lal Masjid or Red Mosque in Islamabad, from house arrest. In 2007 Aziz used his al-Qaida/Taliban affiliated madrassa to incite an Islamist takeover of the Pakistani capital. It took then-president Pervez Musharraf three months to forcibly take over the Red Mosque. Arguably, Musharraf's actions against Aziz and his followers were the ultimate cause of his political downfall last year.

According to the online Long War Journal, over the past year, the government has signed capitulation agreements with all of Aziz's Taliban and al-Qaida allies and returned control of the mosque/madrassa complex to the jihadists. At the time of Aziz's attempted overthrow of the Musharraf government and since, the Red Mosque became emblematic of the jihadist war to take over the nuclear-armed state. Aziz's release in turn symbolizes the current government's willingness to surrender.

For their part, US strategists appear despondent in their assessments of the situation in Pakistan, and its impact on NATO's capacity to stabilize the security situation in neighboring Afghanistan. US Army General David Petreaus, who is responsible for the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan, has called the Taliban an "existential threat" to the Pakistani state. David Kilcullen, who advised Petreaus on his successful counter-insurgency campaign in Iraq and now advises the White House, warned last week that Pakistan could fall within six months. The growing consensus in Washington – particularly given the recent unification of command of Taliban forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan under the so-called Council of United Holy Warriors and their open collaboration with al-Qaida – is that Pakistan is a far greater danger than Afghanistan.

THE US'S assessment of the threats emanating from Pakistan and Afghanistan has been largely the same under both the Bush and Obama administrations. In both cases, the US has identified Taliban/al-Qaida acquisition of nuclear weapons as a primary threat to US security that must be prevented. Both have also asserted that the unimpeded operation of al-Qaida training camps in Afghanistan/Pakistan is a grave threat to US and global security.

Then too, the US's strategy for contending with these challenges has been similarly focused for much of the past eight years. The US has sought to militarily and politically defeat the Taliban/al-Qaida in Afghanistan by fighting them on the battlefield and cultivating democracy. In Pakistan, the US has sought to defeat the Taliban by strengthening the Pakistani government, mainly through financial assistance to its civilian and military budgets.

In recent years, the US has also worked to decapitate the Taliban/al-Qaida leadership through targeted assassinations inside Pakistan carried out by unmanned aircraft. Under the Obama administration the US has declared its intention to maintain these strategies but expand them by increasing the number of soldiers in Afghanistan and by increasing its civilian assistance to the Pakistani government to $1.5 billion per year.

Unfortunately, the US's efforts in Pakistan to date have failed miserably and there is little cause to believe that expanding them will change the situation in any significant way. Both under Musharraf's military dictatorship and under Zardari's civilian government, the Pakistanis have failed to stem the Taliban's advance.

The Pakistani military and Inter-Service Intelligence agency (ISI) have refused to divert their resources away from fighting India and toward fighting the Taliban. They have refused to take any concerted action against terrorist groups, including al-Qaida, that openly operate on Pakistani soil. Against the wishes of the US, they have continued to surrender territory to the Taliban in the framework of "peace accords." And still today, the Pakistani government and military openly oppose US military action on Pakistani territory, preferring to allow the Taliban to take over the country to permitting the US to help the Pakistani military defeat them.

What the situation in Pakistan clearly exemplifies is the fact that sometimes there are no good options for contending with international security threats. Once Pakistan became a nuclear power in 1998, the US lost much of its ability to pressure the Pakistani government and military. Washington understood that if it pushed too hard, the Pakistanis could opt to abandon the West and collaborate with the Taliban and al-Qaida, which by then were not only openly operating from Pakistani territory after having taken over Afghanistan with Pakistani support two years earlier. They were also attacking US targets – including the 1998 attacks against the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

SINCE THE September 11 attacks demonstrated just how dangerous jihadists in Pakistan/Afghanistan are to global security, it has been clear that Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is a primary threat to global security. For eight years, the US's chosen methods for staving off the threats have effectively served as little more than holding actions because Pakistan's governments have been both unable and unwilling to wage successful military or political campaigns against the Taliban and al-Qaida.

Musharraf believed that he could play a double game of at once helping the US in Afghanistan and sheltering al-Qaida and the Ta
liban in Pakistan. The Zardari government, which exerts little control over the military and the ISI, has simply expanded and intensified Musharraf's policy of capitulating to the jihadists. Due to the Taliban's current control over the territories bordering Afghanistan, Pakistan is no longer in a position to support NATO operations in Afghanistan. And in the meantime, the advancing Taliban forces in Pakistan itself place Pakistan's nuclear weapons and materials in unprecedented jeopardy.

Given the failure of the US's political strategies of securing Pakistan's nuclear arsenal by supporting Pakistan's government, and fighting the Taliban and al-Qaida in Afghanistan, it is becoming apparent that the only sure way to prevent the Taliban/al-Qaida from taking control over Pakistan's nuclear weapons is to take those weapons out of commission.

The US has two basic options for accomplishing this goal. It can send in forces to take control of Pakistan's nuclear installations and remove its nuclear arsenal from the country. Or, it can destroy Pakistan's nuclear installations. Both of these options – which are really variations of the same option – are extremely unattractive. It is far from clear that the US military has the capacity to take over Pakistan's nuclear arsenal and it also unclear what the ultimate effect of a military strike against its nuclear arsenal would be in terms of lives lost and areas rendered uninhabitable due to nuclear fallout.

The only other option that is discussed by US strategists today is that India may serve as deux ex machina and destroy Pakistan's nuclear arsenal itself. Reasonably believing that India would be the first target for Pakistan's nuclear weapons – which Pakistan built in order to threaten India – US military strategists do not expect India to sit back and wait for the US to defend it against a Taliban/al-Qaida-ruled nuclear-armed Pakistan.

For India however, the calculation is not as clear as one might assume. New Delhi knows it can expect the US to support the imposition of various political and military sanctions against it if it were to attack Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. Consequently, it is possible that Washington's unwillingness to make a tough but necessary call may mean that no one is willing to make it.

THE SITUATION in Pakistan of course is similar to the situation in Iran. There, as Iran moves swiftly towards the nuclear club, the US on the one hand refuses – as it does with Pakistan – to make the hard but essential decision to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. And on the other hand, it warns Israel daily that it opposes any independent Israeli operation to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear-armed state. That is, the Obama administration is forcing Israel to weigh the specter of a nuclear-armed Iran against the threat of an abrogation of its strategic alliance with the US in the event that it prevents Iran from becoming a nuclear power on its own.

In both Pakistan and Iran, the clock is ticking. The US's reluctance to face up to the ugliness of the options at its disposal will not make them any prettier. Indeed, with each passing day the stark choice placed before America and its allies becomes ever more apparent. In both Pakistan and Iran, the choice is and will remain one between seeing the US and its allies taking swift and decisive action to neutralize nuclear programs that threaten global security, or seeing the world's worst actors successfully arm themselves with the world's most dangerous weapons.

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.

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20 Comments

  • Marc Handelsman, USA 04/17/2009 at 18:43

    Unfortunately, it seems the Obama administration has reverted to a pre-September 11, 2001 posture. Ignoring totalitarian Islam’s goal of nuclear proliferation imperils Israel and India directly, and the US and EU indirectly. Now that Pakistan has surrendered more sovereignty to Al Qaida and the Taliban, a repeat of the Afghan disaster is happening. Al Qaida and the Taliban have new Pakistani training camps, and a potential nuclear arsenal coming soon. President Obama should know that Israel and India will defend their countries against jihadists and could care less about offending the US.

    Reply
  • Marcel Cousineau 04/17/2009 at 19:53

    NOW the LORD had said to Abram:
    “Get out of your country,
    From your family
    And from your father’s house,
    To a land that I will show you.
    I will make you a great nation;
    I will bless you
    And make your name great;
    And you shall be a blessing.
    I will bless those who bless you,
    And I will curse him who curses you;
    And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
    Genesis 12
    ‘the US’s efforts in Pakistan to date have failed miserably and there is little cause to believe that expanding them will change the situation in any significant way’
    ‘the choice is and will remain one between seeing the US and its allies taking swift and decisive action to neutralize nuclear programs that threaten global security’
    Since the U.S. embarked on it’s mission of carving up Israel for the no peace with Islam process it has been cursed.
    America at the top has cursed Israel and the Jews.
    Everything the U.S. puts it’s hands to is doomed to fail and things will only go from bad to worse the more Israel is pressured by this evidently cursed nation.
    Every facet of America is under this growing curse and everything related to onced blessed America is doomed to fail.
    So Caroline ‘the only choice’ is to understand that even after billions and billions spent on Pakistan,Iraq,Afghanistan,Palestinian Terrorist Authority,ect.
    things will only go from bad to worse because of God’s promise to Abraham.
    He keeps His promises.
    Don’t look to America to save anything ,because it will not even be able to save itself.
    America will even fail at the border with Mexico.

    Reply
  • Ron Grandinetti, USA 04/17/2009 at 20:17

    Caroline, thank God you have your eye on the ball.
    Now, I would feel a lot better if you were our commander-in-chief.
    When it comes to fighting terrorism unfortunately the liberal democrats and our present administration doesn’t have the stomach to do what it takes to dismantle both Pakistan and Iran.
    One wonders why, during the present crisis our government is cutting back our military capability?
    Why in the world would you cut back the military capability while it’s the government’s only major responsibility and obligation, protecting its citizens and country?
    They are aborting that obligation in favor of dismantling our free enterprise system and attempting to run the business sector and banking. That’s real scary and un-American.
    It appears the community organizer and his former Clinton advisors believe they are capable of talking both these terrorist states in quiting their nuclear ambitions. At least we have something in common, I believe in the tooth fairy.
    Americans are beginning to realize what a mistake they made electing a community organizer.
    The result, the birth of the “Tea Party”, a grass roots group of Americans from all walks of life and party affiliation.
    Look for major changes the next election, House and Senate cleaning time.

    Reply
  • Pops in Vienna 04/18/2009 at 8:07

    Dear Capt. Glick,
    Between Obama being president and things being so bad in Pakistan, you can pretty much expect the Taliban to be a nuclear power by the end of 2009. If the US blocks an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear capacity we’ll be in a fine mess by this time next year.
    After Washington, New York and Boston are nuked, the surviving mainstream media will be more interested in placing the blame on failed Bush policies and Netanyahu’s stubborness. Obama’s approval ratings will still be 66% as he continues to issue hopey-changey press releases from his bunker in West Virginia.

    Reply
  • Bill K. 04/18/2009 at 8:34

    Your gutsy recommendation that essentially advocates a military strike on Pakistan and Iran to neutralize their nuclear weapons is almost the only option we have left. This is what three decades of U.S. appeasement of the Islamists has wrought. The Obama administration is just the latest that has pursued this same policy that has failed so spectacularly for so long. The West seems unable to comprehend that Islam as an ideology is incompatible with civilization. This world is not big enough for the both of us. Either the liberal economic and political freedom of the West or the oppressive theocratic tribalism of Islam must go.
    The end game approaches soon. Will there be nuclear war between India and Pakistan? Or between Israel and Iran? There is still time to act but will we?

    Reply
  • Melinda Gormley 04/19/2009 at 1:18

    re: Bill K’s post: “The West seems unable to comprehend that Islam as an ideology is incompatible with civilization.”
    It is imprecise to say that Islam qua Islam is incompatible with civilization. Islam is incompatible with civilization because at its core is the philosophy of altruism.
    Under altruism, where an individual’s concerns regarding life, liberty, property and his own pursuit of happiness are “morally” sacrificed to the concerns and insatiable needs and decrees of others for the good of others, civilizations will continue to suffer.
    Moral civilizations gain levels of prosperity and security in direct correlation with the extent their individuals are free and protected by government to pursue their own rational self-interest. It is in the unacknowledged name of altruism, under an inverted and mangled concept of charity, that gangs and governments around the globe are destroying civilization.
    Altruism is the antithesis of liberty. It is the fundamental raging in the hearts of the fundamentalists and it is the dogma of altruism that must be defeated.

    Reply
  • Bruce 04/19/2009 at 1:24

    Where is the proof that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons? Even if it is true, look at what happened to their neighbor who DID NOT have them. If Iran is indeed pursuing nuclear weapons, it’s just to make itself safer in the face of Zionist expansionism and the US government which is too often doing little more than bowing, to the demands of zionists.
    Obama realizes this and I praise his position, I also voted for him and I hope he keeps up a hard line towards Israel. I think, that if he makes it clear that the US does not stand with Israel, the hard liners in the middle east will realize that Irael and the US are not one and the same. It’s standing with Israel and the zionists that made us a target in the first place!

    Reply
  • Danny Hershtal 04/19/2009 at 6:18

    Hello Caroline,
    A good article, especially in that it reiterates the points I made in my INN article 7 months ago! http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/8265 (Feel free to send me royalties.)
    I am currently trying to promote the issue in the Foreign Ministry and would be elated to help you bring more attention to the Pakistani threat in the press. As an alternate solution, one which I believe is currently in the works, the USA, Russia and China could each offer to “host” a third of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal on condition that they also offer political asylum to the soon-to-be-ousted Westernized Pakistani government and judiciary. Of course, as I state in my article, the very idea of the sixth largest nation on earth falling to jihad presents greater challenges than just the nuclear issue.
    All the best,
    Danny Hershtal

    Reply
  • A.M. Moore 04/19/2009 at 7:14

    Hit them both and hit them hard! It’s the ONLY thing they understand. Appeasement only makes them bolder. We’re out of time.

    Reply
  • Jeff Benton (jdbenton3 at yahoo.com) 04/19/2009 at 13:13

    If the Taliban and al-Qaida acquired Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, what would be the response of Israel?

    Reply
  • Leslie 04/20/2009 at 13:59

    A well written, analytical article. Just a minor clarification – the areas described as “provinces” are actually called “districts”.e.g.Swat is a district in the NWFP.

    Reply
  • Roger Mills 04/20/2009 at 22:49

    Dear Captain Glick,
    It is refreshing to read your posts. You very accurately access truths which seem to elude the media in the U.S., with few exceptions. My hope is that the U.S. military, in conjunction with Israel and other allies have plans to occupy Pakistan’s nuclear resources and neutralize Iran’s nukes. The reality of our current leadership’s positions renders my hopes all but nil. Still I hope and pray. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge….Roger Mills

    Reply
  • Bill K. 04/21/2009 at 6:30

    Melinda Gormley is right that altruism is the philosophy at the core of Islam and as such it is incompatible with individual rights. I have made this point previously, though in the context of Obama’s foreign policy towards Israel. Regrettably altruism is, to a somewhat lesser extent than that which is apparent in Islam, also at the base of most Western ethics and politics today. This is why the West has been unable to mount an effective response to militant Islam.
    Bruce’s post is an example of this altruism. Because Israel is an outpost of the prosperous West in the anti-mind, anti-life environment of the Mideast, altruism mandates that Israel must sacrifice itself to the impoverished Islamic masses that want only to destroy it.

    Reply
  • Marcel Cousineau 04/21/2009 at 14:11

    FBI spied on TEA Party Americans
    http://homelandsecurityus.com/?p=2659
    This is what the U.S. government is now doing to law abiding U.S. citizens.
    What do you think they will do with Israel ?

    Reply
  • Michael 04/21/2009 at 18:14

    It is absolutely time to pre-empt both of these nations. The loss of life in both will be unavoidable however it is better than having losses on both sides. NUKE ‘EM both.

    Reply
  • Gideon 04/22/2009 at 15:28

    Obama seems to be stuck in campaign mode. he has no clue what to do now that he is president so he keeps on traveling, gladhanding amd speechifying.
    He was so geared to campaign he’s a one-trick pony. Scary.

    Reply
  • Timothy Kriete For ISRAEL Genesis 12:1-3 NO BRAINER AMEN :):):) 04/23/2009 at 14:59

    Dear Caroline My Precious Holy Spirit Annoited
    Sister FOR ZION’S SAKE AMEN; STAY STRONG BABY
    GIRL, TRUST IN THE LORD AND LEAN NOT UPON THY
    OWN UNDERSTANDING AS IT IS WRITTEN PROVERBS 3:
    1-12 AMEN. Hey Sis, Can You Tell Me, Could This
    Be YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF JEHOVAH EL SHADDAI’S
    WARNING TO ALL NATIONS THAT COME AGAINST ISRAEL?
    9 mins ago
    WASHINGTON – New jobless claims rose more than expected last week, while the number of workers continuing to filing claims for unemployment benefits topped 6.1 million.
    Both figures are fresh evidence that layoffs persist and the job market remains weak.
    The Labor Department says initial claims for unemployment compensation rose to a seasonally adjusted 640,000, up from a revised 613,000 the previous week. That was slightly above analysts’ expectations of 635,000.
    The number of people claiming benefits for more than a week rose to 6.13 million, setting a record for the 12th straight week.
    GENESIS 12:1-3 NO BRAINER MY BROTHERS AND
    SISTERS, I LOVE YOU ALL AND YOU CAN’T DO
    ANYTHING ABOUT IT AMEN. STAY STRONG SIS, THY
    SERVANT AND BROTHER FOR ZION’S SAKE (ISAIAH 53-
    63, MALACHI 3:1-12, EZEKIEL THE HEBREW PROPHET’S
    WRITINGS ARE COMING TO PASS AS SOO MANY IGNORE
    THE CRYSTAL CLEAR WARNINGS IN THE WORD OF GOD
    PSALM 119:105, BOO IF YOU WANT AMEN. Timothy
    Kriete For ISRAEL FOREVER MORE NO BRAINER AMEN.

    Reply
  • Bob 04/25/2009 at 13:54

    We are missing Caroline’s columns. We pray all is well with Caroline.

    Reply
  • Timothy Kriete For ISRAEL GENESIS 12:1-3 NO BRAINER AMEN 04/25/2009 at 21:33

    Dear Caroline My Precious Holy Spirit Of Jehovah
    EL Shaddai ANNOITED Sister FOR SUCH A TIME AS
    THIS FOR ZION’S SAKE (Esther 4:14, ISAIAH 53-63,
    Joel 2:21-32, Proverbs & Malachi 3:1-12, AND
    MOST IMPORTANTLY THE ETERNAL SALT COVENANT ONLY
    ISRAEL HAS WITH THE ALMIGHTY GOD OF ALL FLESH
    AS IT IS WRITTEN Psalm 119:105, Genesis 12:1-3,
    Proverbs 3:1-12, JEREMIAH 31-34 AMEN); STAY
    STRONG BABY GIRL AND LET YOUR HEART NOT BE
    TROUBLED AT ALL! Could This Be Yet Even MORE
    EVIDENCE OF THE LORD OUR GOD OF JACOB’S HOLY
    RIGHTEOUS JUDGEMENTS COMING TO PASS ON ALL
    NATIONS MY DEAR PRECIOUS BOLD SISTER???????
    Mexico fights swine flu with ‘pandemic potential’
    By MARK STEVENSON, Associated Press Writer Mark Stevenson, Associated Press Writer
    18 mins ago
    MEXICO CITY – A new swine flu strain that has killed as many as 68 people and sickened more than 1,000 across Mexico has “pandemic potential,” the World Health Organization chief said Saturday, and it may be too late to contain the sudden outbreak.
    The disease has already reached Texas and California, and with 24 new suspected cases reported Saturday in Mexico City alone, schools were closed and all public events suspended in the capital until further notice — including more than 500 concerts and other gatherings in the metropolis of 20 million.
    A hot line fielded 2,366 calls in its first hours from frightened city residents who suspected they might have the disease. Soldiers and health workers handed out masks at subway stops, and hospitals dealt with crowds of people seeking help.
    The World Health Organization’s director-general, Margaret Chan, said the outbreak of the never-before-seen virus is a very serious situation and has “pandemic potential.” But she said it is still too early to tell if it would become a worldwide outbreak.
    “The situation is evolving quickly,” Chan said in a telephone news conference in Geneva. “A new disease is by definition poorly understood.”
    This virus is a mix of human, pig and bird strains that prompted WHO to meet Saturday to consider declaring an international public health emergency — a step that could lead to travel advisories, trade restrictions and border closures. Spokesman Gregory Hartl said a decision would not be made Saturday.
    Scientists have warned for years about the potential for a pandemic from viruses that mix genetic material from humans and animals. Another reason to worry is that authorities said the dead so far don’t include vulnerable infants and elderly. The Spanish flu pandemic, which killed at least 40 million people worldwide in 1918-19, also first struck otherwise healthy young adults.
    This swine flu and regular flu can have similar symptoms — mostly fever, cough and sore throat, though some of the U.S. victims who recovered also experienced vomiting and diarrhea. But unlike with regular flu, humans don’t have natural immunity to a virus that includes animal genes — and new vaccines can take months to bring into use.
    But experts at the WHO and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the nature of this outbreak may make containment impossible. Already, more than 1,000 people have been infected in as many as 14 of Mexico’s 32 states, according to daily newspaper El Universal. Tests show 20 people have died of the swine flu, and 48 other deaths were probably due to the same strain.
    The CDC and Canadian health officials were studying samples sent from Mexico, and airports around the world were screening passengers from Mexico for symptoms of the new flu strain, saying they may quarantine passengers.
    But CDC officials dismissed the idea of trying that in the United States, and some expert said it’s too late to try to contain spread of the virus.
    They noted there had been no direct contact between the cases in the San Diego and San Antonio areas, suggesting the virus had already spread from one geographic area through other undiagnosed people.
    “Anything that would be about containing it right now would purely be a political move,” said Michael Osterholm, a University of Minnesota pandemic expert.
    Mexican President Felipe Calderon said his government only discovered the nature of the virus late Thursday, with the help of international laboratories. “We are doing everything necessary,” he said in a brief statement.
    But the government had said for days that its growing flu caseload was nothing unusual, so the sudden turnaround angered many who wonder if Mexico missed an opportunity to contain the outbreak.
    “Why did it break out, where did it break out? What’s the magnitude of the problem?” pizzeria owner David Vasquez said while taking his family to a movie Friday night, despite warnings to stay out of theaters.
    Beginning in late March, when the flu season usually starts to taper off, health officials began recording a spike in cases — three times the normal number.
    On April 16, Assistant Health Secretary Mauricio Hernandez noted “an unusual transmission period” of regular, seasonal flu.
    Starting two days later, health teams were sent to hospitals looking for patients with severe flu or pnuemonia-like symptoms. They noticed something strange: The flu was killing people aged 20 to 40, though flu victims are either infants or the elderly.
    This Wednesday, Hernandez said testing was being carried out in Mexican labs, and hospitals were alerted to watch out for cases. But testing at Mexican labs did not alert doctors to the new strain — even though U.S. authorities had detected cases in California and Texas by April 19.
    Mexico City Health Secretary Dr. Armando Ahued said it wasn’t until mid-afternoon Thursday that authorities received a call “from the United States and Canada, the most important laboratories in the field, telling us this was a new virus.”
    “That was what led us to realize it wasn’t a seasonal virus … and take more serious preventative measures,” federal Health Secretary Jose Cordova said.
    Across Mexico’s capital, residents reacted with fatalism and confusion, anger and mounting fear at the idea that their city may be ground zero for a global epidemic.
    Authorities urged people to stay home if they feel sick and to avoid shaking hands or kissing people on the cheeks.
    Outside Hospital Obregon in the capital’s middle-class Roma district, a tired Dr. Roberto Ortiz, 59, leaned against an ambulance and sipped coffee Saturday on a break from an unusually busy shift.
    “The people are scared,” Ortiz said. “A person gets some flu symptoms or a child gets a fever and they think it is this swine flu and rush to the hospital.”
    He said none of the cases so far at the hospital had turned out to be swine flu.
    Jose Donasiano Rosales, 69, got nervous on the subway and decided to get out one stop early.
    “I felt I couldn’t be there for even one more station,” Donasiano said as he set up a rack to sell newspapers on a busy thoroughfare. “We’re in danger of contagion. … I’m worried.”
    The local Roman Catholic Church recommended that priests shorten Mass; place communion wafers in worshippers’ hands, instead of their mouths; and ask parishioners to avoid kissing or shaking hands during the rite of peace. The Archdiocese also said Catholics could fulfill their Mass obligation by radio.
    Ahued, the capital’s health secretary, said Mexico City may not be the epicenter of the outbreak — and could be appearing to the brunt simply because it is home to the most sophisticated medical centers.
    “The country’s best health care facilities are concentrated in the city,” he said. “All the cases here get reported, that’s why the number is so high.”
    The same virus also sickened at least eight people in Texas and California, though there have been no deaths north of the border, puzzling experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    A “seed stock” genetically matched to the new swine flu virus has been created by the CDC, said Dr. Richard Besser, the agency’s acting director. If the government decides vaccine production is necessary, manufacturers would need that stock to get started.
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    ___
    Associated Press Writers David Koop and Peter Orsi in Mexico City; Frank Jordans in Geneva; Mike Stobbe in Atlanta; Malcolm Ritter in New York; and Maria Cheng in London contributed to this report.
    Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
    TRUST ME SIS WHEN I DECLARE I TAKE NO PLEASURE
    IN THE SUFFERINGS OF OTHERS!!! IT IS A SIMPLE
    NO-BRAINER! NO BRAINER TO ANYONE WITH EVEN HALF
    OF A BRAIN WHAT IS HAPPENING WORLD WIDE, AND WHY
    AMEN SIS??? STAY STRONG BABY GIRL AND KEEP BIBI
    LIFTED UP ETERNALLY IN PRAYER THAT HE BE SWIFT
    & BOLD TO STAND STRONG IN THE FACE OF ALL
    NATIONS AND THE BOZO THE CLOWNS THEY SEND TO
    ISRAEL LIKE GEORGE MITCHELL, BILLIARY CLINTON,
    AND ALL OTHERS TO BASICALLY TELL THE WORLD THIS
    ETERNAL BIBLICAL/TORAH TRUTH: “The LORD God Of
    ALL Flesh (Jeremiah 32:26-27 AMEN) Has HIS HOLY
    RIGHTEOUS RIGHT HAND OVER ISRAEL AND THE JEWISH
    PEOPLE WORLD WIDE, THUS ALL NATIONS NEED TO GO
    PLAY SOME WHERE ELSE AND LEAVE ISRAEL AND THE
    JEWISH PEOPLE WORLD WIDE ALONE LEAST WORSE AND
    EVER INCREASING JUDGEMENTS COME UPON ALL NATIONS
    AS ALL THE HEBREW PROPHETS PENNED INSPIRED BY
    THE HOLY SPIRIT OF JEHOVAH EL SHADDAI, BOO IF
    YOU WANT THE GOD OF JACOB=ISRAEL BE FOREVER MORE
    BE PRAISED, AND HIS ENEMIES BE SCATTERED AND
    DEFEATED BY THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL AMEN!!!”
    NO DISRESPECT TO ANYONE BUT IT IS A NO-BRAINER
    FOLKS, I LOVE YOU ALL AND YOU CAN’T DO ANYTHING
    ABOUT IT AMEN!!! Thy Eternal Servant And
    Brother FOR ZION’S SAKE (ISAIAH 53-63, GENESIS
    12:1-3, JEREMIAH 32:26-27, THE JUST SHALL LIVE
    BY FAITH AMEN) Timothy Kriete For ISRAEL AMEN 🙂

    Reply
  • Marcel Cousineau 04/27/2009 at 17:26

    IN GUV WE TRUST
    exerpt ;
    This is rather astonishing to realize, because for this to have been a natural combination of viral fragments, it means an infected bird from North America would have had to infect pigs in Europe, then be re-infected by those some pigs with an unlikely cross-species mutation that allowed the bird to carry it again, then that bird would have had to fly to Asia and infected pigs there, and those Asian pigs then mutated the virus once again (while preserving the European swine and bird flu elements) to become human transmittable, and then a human would have had to catch that virus from the Asian pigs — in Mexico! — and spread it to others. (This isn’t the only explanation of how it could have happened, but it is one scenario that gives you an idea of the complexity of such a thing happening). Now, on a common sense level, what is the likelihood of such a combination of seemingly unlikely, trans-continental events taking place? At first glance, without the benefit of additional laboratory analysis, it seems extremely unlikely that this could have happened “naturally,” without human intervention. It’s not outside the realm of possibility, of course, but it seems exceedingly remote that such events happened without some human encouragement……..
    Let’s suppose for a minute that the conspiracy theory angle on this swine flu infection is correct. If the spread of the virus starts to wane, the best way for health authorities to unleash a second wave of infections is to mandate the vaccination of the public with vaccines that are intentionally contaminated with live H1N1 viruses.Does that sound far-fetched?
    Consider the news item published here on NaturalNews just one month ago, entitled Vaccines as Biological Weapons? Live Avian Flu Virus Placed in Baxter Vaccine Materials Sent to 18 Countries (http://www.naturalnews.com/025760.html).As that article explained, one pharmaceutical company was caught inserting LIVE bird flu viruses into vaccine materials sent to 18 countries. Was this a trial run for the H1N1 global infection effort? It certainly raises suspicions. When a new virus seemingly “engineered” from three different species suddenly appears in multiple nations — just one month after a drug company was busted inserting live bird flu viral fragments into globally-distributed vaccine materials — it should raise the eyebrows of even the most steadfast skeptics.It doesn’t prove anything, of course, but it does raise suspicions that this sort of thing could be happening beyond closed doors.The question to ask yourself on this is the usual one: Who benefits from a global pandemic?Once you answer that question, you’re well on the way to determining the truth or falsehood behind the H1N1 conspiracy theories.I’m not even going to answer that question for you. I’ll let you ponder the answer yourself.
    Once you answer the question of who benefits from a pandemic, ask yourself this second question: Are they capable of harming or killing humans to accomplish their goals?Answer that question and you’ve figured out most of the true story behind these events.NaturalNews will continue to cover this H1N1 swine flu outbreak in greatly detail. Watch the website for frequent updates.
    http://www.naturalnews.com/026141.html

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