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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 22-Sep-2008
Islamabad Pakistan: Massive Taliban/al-Qaeda terrorist bombing

Web Log - September, 2008

Islamabad Pakistan: Massive Taliban/al-Qaeda terrorist bombing

"Pakistan's 9/11" has left the country in a state of shock, reeling from the terrorist attack in Islamabad, the nation's capital, on Saturday evening. At least 53 people were killed, and 266 were injured.


Islamabad Marriott Hotel, before and after the terrorist bomb blast. <font face=Arial size=-2>(Source: nytimes.com)</font>
Islamabad Marriott Hotel, before and after the terrorist bomb blast. (Source: nytimes.com)

A huge truck bomb, carrying 600 kg (1300 pounds) of high-quality explosives, exploded at the entrance to the Marriott Hotel. The bomb left a vast crater, 40 feet wide and 25 feet deep, shattering windows in buildings hundreds of yards away. It ruptured a gas pipeline, triggering a huge blaze throughout the hotel.

The Pakistani Government is blaming al Qaeda operatives for the terrorist bombing.

The hotel was located a block or two away from the federal government buildings in Islamabad.

The bombing occurred just hours after Asif Ali Zardari, widower of Benazir Bhutto, who won the election for President just days ago, gave his maiden speech to Parliament, in which he said that Pakistan is passing through a critical phase and must root out all forms of terrorism and extremism from its soil:

"We must root out terrorism and extremism wherever and whenever they may rear their ugly heads....

Let everyone have an opportunity to make an informed judgment about the risks to our beloved country and about how we should move forward with responsibility and clarity of vision."

At 2 am Sunday morning, he gave another speech, this time to the nation:

"Terrorism is an epidemic, a cancer inside Pakistan that we will wipe out. ...

[I appeal to] all democratic forces to come forward and save Pakistan.

We will not be afraid of these cowards. We will not fear these cowardly attacks. Pakistan is a fearless and steadfast nation. We Pakistanis believe that our death is in the hands of Allah and we do not fear dying.

Death will come one day but Inshallah (god willing), we will purify Pakistan of this cancer. The day will come when all these people (terrorists) will bow before you."

The successful bombing is a tremendous shock to the Pakistani people. It occurred in the heart of Islamabad - the equivalent would be an explosion a block away from the White House in Washington. For that reason, it's being called Pakistan's 9/11.

It occurred at a time when government meetings were in progress, and the truck supposedly had to pass through five or six security checkpoints to reach the Marriott.

The Pakistanis are going through a process of increasing horror that is very similar to the process Americans are going through over the financial crisis.

Up until 2-3 weeks ago, most Americans were living in a dreamland of denial, believing that the bubble (and their 401Ks) would begin to grow again soon, and that people like me who said we were headed for a financial meltdown were either crazy or motivated by some ideology (though I've never been sure what ideology).

In the last two weeks, Americans have seen some major "terrorist bombings" occur: The Fannie and Freddie nationalization, the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, the AIG bailout, and now the $800 billion bailout being worked on over the weekend.

These "terrorist bombings" have frightened ordinary Americans, and made them suddenly realize that their savings and their entire way of life are at stake. This is causing an American "regeneracy" to begin -- referring to the end of political bickering, and the restoration of civic unity for the first time since the end of World War II.

(For information about the term "regeneracy," see "Basics of Generational Dynamics.")

Now let's return to Pakistan.

Up until a month ago, when Pervez Musharraf resigend as President, the entire Pakistani population was in a state of total denial about the suicide bombings that were going on. The "logic" was this: The reason for the suicide bombings was that Musharraf was cooperating with the Americans, and the suicide bombings were really targeted at the Americans. And so, the fantasy reasoning continued, when Musharraf goes, then the violence will disappear automatically.

Since then, there have been several "terrorist bombings". The biggest until now occurred two days after the resignation in the town of Wah, just outside of Islamabad. The Pakistani people are now realizing that their entire way of life is at stake.

The reactions will be similar among government officials in Washington and Islamabad:

At some point, something so horrible will happen that a complete regeneracy will occur, in both America and Pakistan, and then the real crisis will begin. (22-Sep-2008) Permanent Link
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