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attacked the Marriott hotel in Islamabad over the weekend, killing 53 people, injuring hundreds, and terrifying everybody by driving a truck bomb up to the building. Since I was there -- in that building -- in 2002, this news feels a little more real to me than other reports of far-off killings. Let me try to make it a little more real for you too, because John "Bomb, Bomb Iran" McCain and Barak "Let's Bomb Pakistan" Obama both promise policies likely to increase the carnage. I was in Pakistan for a conference on sustainable development in South Asia, having been asked to speak on the economic, environmental and ethical perils of industrialized animal agriculture. The conference was held at the Holiday Inn Islamabad, a confluence of words that struck me as particularly incongruous. Modern machine guns clashed with the traditional dress of the doormen holding them. Such defenses were needed, I was given to understand, at a hotel frequently by Westerners like myself. I didn't feel scared but did wonder what two men with machine guns could possibly do to defuse a truck bomb. (You understand, don't you, that this is how it always goes? Machine guns can't stop truck bombs. Truck bombs can't stop nuclear bombs. Nukes can't stop snipers from sneaking into cities. Explosive drones shot from Afghanistan into Pakistan don't dent Al-Qaeda but do kill innocent children, setting off yet another round of retaliatory violence. Zyprexa 7.5mg pills $130.00 "every one murdered increases the curse. ") I won't recap the conference, since I've done so , but I will repeat that I've rarely been in an activist or academic setting where people did so little inflated talking and so much careful listening. I listened a lot too, which was easy to do since there was so much to learn and I wasn't scheduled to give until the last day of the conference. On the penultimate night of the conference, the organizers treated all the participants to a "cultural evening" of food and music at another Islamabad hotel -- the Marriott. Since all but those of us scheduled to speak the next day had done their hardest work of the conference, the mood was relaxed and festive as we sated ourselves at the extensive (and almost entirely vegetarian) buffet and then settled in to hear a range of traditional musical presentations. After the formal performances, I went to say my good nights to the conference organizers, having decided to leave with another group of sleepyheads in order to get a good rest before my presentation the next morning. "No, no!" said Abid, "Don't go yet. Wait just a few more minutes. " Shrugging, I complied, ducking down to chat with some friends sitting on the floor at the center of the room. Suddenly, there was Abid at the front of the room asking for everyone's attention, telling the gathered intelligentsia of South Asia that we have a birthday today, (no, no, no) pointing me out, and inviting everyone to sing "happy birthday" with him -- which they did. And meant it. Looking around the room (as best I could despite the furious blushing and palpable urge to to hide under a rug), I saw genuine smiles and felt myself the recipient of the best wishes of hundreds of strangers. I've rarely been so deeply moved. The room in which that happened has just been bombed. Do you understand what I'm saying? It's not just me; it's everybody. It's not just [zyprexa 7.5mg pills $130.00] there; it's everywhere. Everyplace is someplace special for somebody. No place is not sacred. So, now maybe you can see why I get so upset when Barak Obama -- striding toward the presidency with anti-war votes firmly in pocket -- threatens to wreak continued havoc in Afghanistan and Pakistan even as he promises to withdraw troops from Iraq. Now, while he still needs those votes, is the last chance for peace activists who participate in the electoral process to make themselves heard. If that's you, consider telling the Obama campaign that you intend to stay home on election day unless he reverses himself on Pakistan between now and then. Here's the relevant history: The British colonial British India into India and Pakistan before ceding control of the region. India leaned left, making alliances with other "Third World" countries aligned with neither the USA nor the USSR. The Cold War era USA saw Pakistan as a bulwark in the region, eventually using it as such in our proxy war against the USSR via Afghanistan. You've heard about how Ronald Reagan funded fundamentalist "freedom fighters" like Osama Bin Laden back in the 1980s? That funding flowed through Pakistan, via that county's secret intelligence service, which was itself richly rewarded. Said funding, and the power that the military gained by it, significantly distorted the domestic political process in Pakistan. Hence, not only the ongoing trauma in Afghanistan but also some portion of the continuing crisis in Pakistan can be traced to ill-advised U. S. interventions. Pakistan was and remains both . The army needs an enemy to justify its expenditures and its periodic seizure of state power. The religious right really does hate and intend to seize the state. So, you have the military right fighting the religious right, both currently or formerly funded by the USA, and both absolutely opposed to the values Obama and his backers purport to support. Caught in the middle are everyday people; their elected representatives; and the journalists, lawyers, and civil society activists who are probably the only ones capable of conceiving and enacting a sustainable solution. It's a very complex situation. Nobody can say for sure what would help. But it's pretty clear that bumbling around with more bombs (or lobbing them over the border from Afghanistan, as Obama has proposed, evidently forgetting that Pakistan is -- as Iraq was -- a sovereign state that has not aggressed us) can only make matters worse. As indeed it already has. Those claiming responsibility for the Marriott bombing cite U. zyprexa 7.5mg pills $130.00 S. attacks on Pakistan as their motivation. If Obama really wants to do things differently zyprexa 7.5mg pills $130.00, he could promise to become the first American president to quit making things worse in Pakistan. It's up to anti-war voters -- who he needs if he wants to win the White House -- to demand that promise from him now.