India, Pakistan Must End Grudge Match

Like nine other people who watched the news over the sleepy post-Memorial Day week, I noticed those Pakistanis and Indians are still real excited about having a war.

If you need any more argument in favor of only letting the grown-up kids have nukes, today's Pakistan-India dispute should take care of it. Both countries drooled with ecstasy over their 1998 testing of nuclear weapons. Indians wept with pride. A Pakistani newspaper proclaimed, "Bang Triggers Widespread Joy." 

How will this latest version of the half-century-old grudge match play out? 

Last time around, Pakistan was the ugly stepchild of U.S. diplomacy. For supporting the Taliban and stomping democracy and testing those crude nukes, the various governments in Islamabad didn't get squat from Washington. Then came Sept. 11, and coup-leader Gen. President-for-Life Pervez Musharraf got one of those offers he couldn't refuse. He became the American Buddy. 

With his troops allegedly hunting renegade Al Qaeda and his nation serving as a very dangerous U.S. base, there has been talk among "high-level sources" that Washington will side a bit more against India this time around — if Musharraf can hold on to power

Okay, say you're India. Or, more precisely, say you're India's defense minister. You've got a country that's richer and more democratic than Pakistan — not too tough. You've got pretty good ties to the United States and Great Britain. You've got a population more likely to work in Silicon Valley than blow up infidels. You've got hot bikini models on the Times of India Web site. 

And still, Bush is yukking it up with Musharraf. 

How do you switch the current diplomatic balance? Easy. Just say Al Qaeda terrorists are hiding out on the Pakistan side of Kashmir: 

NEW DELHI, India (AP) — India's defense minister said Monday that fighters from Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda group, and Taliban fighters from Afghanistan are just across the border in Pakistan's Kashmir territory.

Remember what George W. Bush said: "Either you're in or you're out. Right now." 

Wait, that's what George Clooney said in the remake of "Ocean's Eleven." Sorry, but I just saw it on the VCR over the weekend. "With or Without You?" No, that was Bono. Whatever, Bush said something similar about harboring terrorists. 

The idea is that those supporting Islamic terrorists will not be our special pals. So if Pakistan is hiding a bunch of filthy Bin Laden nut-sandwiches in Kashmir, the game's off. 

Is India right? Probably. Pakistan is loaded with Bin Laden wannabes, like the sub-human scum who murdered reporter Daniel Pearl — who was killed for being Jewish, by the way. There's not a big Wall Street Journal readership among the toothless psychotics of the Islamic Jihad Death to Jews Brigade. 

But whether or not India's right about a Kashmir campout for wayward Al Qaeda, India might be onto a clever new diplomatic tool. Whatever the problem, just accuse the other side of harboring bin Laden's terrorists. 

Yeah, it's a swell idea. But I've got a better idea: 

Will you people quit this garbage? It's 2002. You all need to work on your image, right? The United States and Russia are trashing two-thirds of their nuclear weapons. We just found oceans of ice on Mars. There are Internet cafes in Karachi. 

Turns out it's more fun to be alive than to be crisped by a crude nuke due to some jackalope's big idea about national pride. 

Basketball Diary 

Thanks to the many, many angry Sacramento fans who wrote to me about last week's column. I would reprint some of it here, but vulgarity is not allowed on I enjoyed your comments and likewise enjoyed the constant Los Angeles bashing from Sacto's media. (Strangely, Lakers fans found my column "smart and witty," to quote one e-mail.) 

Hope you all enjoyed Game Four of the Western Conference Finals. And thank you, Robert Horry

I enjoyed Game Five ... like a trip to the dentist. If the Kings take the Western title, it's because they deserve it. Doubt me? I've been explaining my respect for the Kings all week. Doesn't mean I want them to beat the Lakers, of course. 

Let's see how it goes tonight. Nobody can say this series — or the Celtics-Nets series — lacks drama.

Ken Layne types from a shack behind his Los Angeles home. The author of trashy thrillers such as Dot.Con and the upcoming Space Critters, he has written and edited for a variety of news outfits including Information Week, the Sydney Daily Telegraph, UPI and Mother Jones. Since the Enron-like collapse of his Web paper,, in 1999, he has been posting commentary to

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