10 May, 2007

Pakistan: An ally in crisis.

Family Security Matters, an American website "created to give Americans like us the tools to become involved citizens and powerful defenders of our homes, our families, and our communities", has been running an interesting three-part series entitled "Pakistan: An Ally in Crisis". The series examines the possible consequences of the increasing influence of radical Islam in Pakistan.

Part 1.

Part 2.

Part 3.

A good introduction to the complexities of Pakistani politics in relation to the War on Terror, although perhaps a caveat should be entered that the reality of the relationships between the various parties is often much more complex than it seems at first sight.

Taliban Spring Offensive IV.

Afgha.com continues Chronicling the Spring Offensive, with Part IV covering April 19 - May 8. Once again the, by now, familiar pattern emerges of isolated suicide bombings which, although potentially deadly, are much less dangerous than the frontal attacks of last year.

A significant strand to emerge from the chronicle is the Taliban's targeting of Afghani policemen. Otherwise, it seems pretty much a continuation of previous activity.

Afgha.com also highlights the use of mentally and physically handicapped individuals as suicide bombers.

Here we go again.

Blogging will fully resume next week hopefully. 16 days ago the first morning news story I read in the DT print edition was about hospital death rates. Out of interest, I googled Chesterfield Royal Hospital, our local hospital, and found this old BBC report. Oh dear, tempting fate. By 2pm I was in there with a lulu of a COPD exacerbation, under the care of Hadfield, the consultant quoted by the BBC. I got out this morning.

From what I have seen over the last sixteen days, I can offer the practical observation that patients tend to die in hospitals because they are terminally ill and not because of any willingness on their part to meet fatal criteria set out by civil servants. But then I think most people already know that.