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THE ELECTRONIC LIVEIBIZA

Weekly Edition 067: Saturday 8th June 2002

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An Anthropological View
by Kirk W Huffman

 
Apology to Readers
 

Apologies to readers: this week has been rather hectic and there has not been enough time to gather the material for this column. Getting together the information for each week's 'Anthropological View' normally takes about two days (plus often years of 'background') so it's not a thing one can whip up rather quickly. I suppose, though, that in a way and at this moment in time one should really be more concerned about the powder keg situation between India and Pakistan and not about other, minor, matters. This present situation is the closest the world has come to a nuclear confrontation since the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962, and we are not 'out of the woods' yet. I have just received a phone call from a colleague (on his mobile phone) doing a documentary film for Spanish Television in Bhutan in the Himalayas asking if I knew what the latest news is. If India and Pakistan do set to with nuclear weapons (and there is an indication that India is prepared to 'call Pakistan's nuclear bluff' sometime during the second week in June and try and wipe out militant Islamic camps in Kashmir) then the ensuing radiation will, of course, affect even isolated Himalayan nations such as Bhutan. The world is too small now for old-style conflicts, and it seems obvious that the human race has not evolved in intelligence since the Stone Age - we just have bigger toys now. Although there have already been three wars between India and Pakistan over Kashmir over the last 50 or so years, this potential one has added dangerous ingredients. It is not a simple, straightforward 'go and get'em' campaign like the recent US bombing campaign in Afghanistan. But even the latter was slightly more complex than meets the eye: the US reaction was, of course, related to the events of last September 11th, but also very much related to frustrated US attempts over the last decade to try and engineer a situation in Afghanistan to enable the US oil giant UNOCAL to build an oil pipeline across the country (for those interested in an excellent, unbiased, detailed background on that situation, read Ahmed Raschid's "Taliban: Islam, Oil and the new Great Game in Central Asia", published in 2000).

 
Kirk W Huffman
kirkwhuffman@liveibiza.com
 

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