Derb, you write:
On balance, I think we should be sanguine about Pakistan — or Saudi Arabia, or Egypt, or Iraq — going jihadist. Jihadism is a sure route to national poverty and inconsequentiality. If you have oil, you can keep something going for a while, as Iran has demonstrated, but the next Soviet-sized threat to the U.S.A. will not be a jihadist power. … Places that have oil will sell it to us, as Iran has always done.
Well, the jihadist threat may not be Soviet-sized but – based on 9/11 – it’s a whole lot more lethal. And if the next attack includes not just hijacked jet planes but nukes or biological weapons, we’ll be positively nostalgic for the days of crossing swords with the KGB.
And yes, places with oil will always sell it to us – and then use our money to buy the knives with which to cut our throats and the poles on which to hang our disembodies our heads. Forgive me if I’m not comforted that these these killers retain their commercial interests.