Mullah Muhammad Omar, the feared one-eyed chief of the Taliban, is an anachronism in an age when high-blitz publicity is regarded an essential ingredient of realpolitik. Omar defies conventional wisdom. But then he is no practitioner of conventional
Few know that bin Laden is a poet too. His poems are mostly about Palestine. No doubt bin Laden can be eliminated, but his poetry will survive him. This will only fuel the palpable hatred the Muslims harbour against the US.
Musharraf can succeed because...
The clerics are on his payroll. The army seems to be united. He enjoys support of political parties. Moderates and intellectuals back him.
There is no charismatic religious leader.
It's a nation waiting for devastation, for sleek planes to rain down lethal bombs, for deadly missiles to penetrate its impregnable mountains, for its ruins to turn into rubble, for its defiance to be punished, tamed.
In India, as the finance minister would agree, we tend
to suffer too much from "the Law of Unintended Consequences", to borrow from Tom Clancy in The New York Times. Barely had things got moving on a
near-atrophied economy, calamity struck New Yor